С рождеством!!!!

С рождеством, readers, especially those of you who are orthodox. I hope you had a wonderful christmas (or day off work), and would like to hear about some traditions maybe some of you guys have during this day? If you have any, if you celebrate Orthodox christmas at all, please feel free to share your stories and traditions, maybe even photos in the comments.. I would be very happy!!!

New post coming soon :)

My Norwegian christmas / Мое норвежское рождество

Hey all! I hope 2017 is treating you well so far! :)  I wanted to share my Norwegian christmas with you, the Norwegian food and our traditions, and tell you all a little about it. Norwegian christmas follows the Lutheran protestant church, and we celebrate christmas on Christmas Eve, 24th of December, which is the same day as many other countries celebrate it: Scandinavia, Iceland, Finland, etc. Maybe even more, I'm not really sure. Anyway, unlike americans and the british who celebrate it the 25th in the morning, we celebrate it in the evening.

Русский: Привет всем! Надеюсь, что 2017 будет для вас лучше, чем прошлый. Я хотела поделиться своим норвежским рождеством с вами. Норвежское рождество относится к лютеранской протестантской церкви, и мы празднуем его в рождественский сочельник - 24 декабря, что есть тот же день как много других стран празднуют: Скандинавия, Исландия, Финляндия, и т.д. Может быть даже больше, я не уверена. В любом случае, в отличие от американцев и  британцев, которые празднуют рождество утром 25 декабря, мы празднуем вечером.

Read more...Collapse )

С новым годом, ребята! / Happy New Years! <3

YES, to answer adri_an's question, YES, we do celebrate New Years Eve in Norway! Doesn't everybody?! In Norway we celebrate Christmas (24th of December in the evening, protestant Lutheran church) and New Year! So basically 24th-2nd of January is holidays for us. I've spent most of these days working when it's not red days, so I haven't had much of a christmas holiday this year... sadly. But I do have some cool news, and a lot of things to write about now that I finally have holidays and much more time on my hands!!!

I missed my blog and all my readers very much, and I will update you all as has been promised so long. But firstly, I wish to wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEARS, с новым годом вам! I wish you all happiness, new experiences and opportunities, and I hope you will continue reading my blog and leaving me interesting comments and questions, I appreciate it very much.

What are your plans for the New Year? I'm making a dinner with my friends; turkey dinner kind of American/British style, with gravy (brown sauce) and lots of vegetables. For dessert we are going to have Riskrem with strawberry sauce, riskrem is like a rice pudding, very creamy and sweet dessert. I will take photos of it and show you in my next post, I think I will make a post with personal photos of my christmas and new years! And of course, I almost forgot, I'll drink red wine and at 12:00 I will pop open a champagne as is the tradition for me during new years! Hope you all have a good time tonight! Party on!

See you very soon with many updates to follow <3

Again, happy new year, folks! :)

Dear readers, here's a little update for you!

Привет всем! I would like to apologize for not being here for awhile... so just a little update for those who actually read my blog regularly; I am in the middle of exam periods and quite busy, so busy my Chernobyl post has come to be last priority on my list of daily doings, and for that I am sorry :(  After my last exam in the middle of December, I will go back to blogging more frequently, and I hope you guys will stick around until then, because I miss reading your comments and writing about my travels and things I do.

From the book I am reading about nation building in modern Russia (Vera Tolz; "Inventing the Nation Russia").

Right now I am preparing for my first exam in Russian politics, it is quite interesting as it covers everything from Peter the Great, until Putins political and economical reforms all the way up to 2014, and everything inbetween. Learnt a lot about political reforms and political movements during the history of "modern Russia", and the idea of the nation and state of Russia and how they differ. I will write more detailed about my thoughts about it after my exams:)

The other exams are in phonetics and grammar of the Russian language. The first semester has covered everything from declensions of nouns, aspect, conjugations including exceptions, all cases in singular and plural, imperative, comparative, as well as general speech, syntax analysis and exceptions of regular grammatical rules. Translations from Norwegian-Russian and Russian-Norwegian is also another important part of our studies. That's a lot of information to process in 3 months and take exams in! Luckily for me I knew lots of it from before, but I learn new things every day, and now I feel more confident in why certain things are written the way they are, and able to explain and understand WHY it is the way it is.
Read more...Collapse )

Independence Square, Kiev, Ukraine / Майдан Незалежности, Киев, Украина

Hey, guys! Some photos of Independence Square I took during my walks... and the aftermath / memorials from 2014 protests. Already looking quite good there, there was a huge road next to the square with a photo of every person who died during the protests. I tried not to take too many photos, I generally try not to take too many photos of memorials during my travels, as it might seem a bit disrespectful, and there was a lot of people standing around the memorial sites. Comments, anyone? Anyone who actually saw how it looked like in 2014? Or the aftermaths after it? I'll be glad to hear any personal stories.. Sadly I did not have any guide or anything in Kiev, as I don't know anyone there. :( So I just explored myself, and did some research online prior to going, and after coming home.

Next posts will be about prices in Kiev, and Chernobyl + Pripyat :) I'll be uploading A TON of photos I took in Chernobyl, I can't wait to share them, I look forward to it! :D Anyway, here are some photos of the central square;

Read more...Collapse )

The streets of Kiev, Ukraine / На улицах Киева, Украины

The first day in Kiev, upon arrival, I spent sightseeing, walking around through several places in the centre of Kiev. Of course that includes Maidan (Independence Square), and plenty of orthodox churches! I will make another post about Maidan, as I think there are already plenty enough of photos of random streets and churches around Kiev, and Maidan deserves its own post in my opinion. I've always wanted to visit Kiev, especially considering Kievan Rus, the city of churches and the birthplace of all of Rus... all the legends and battles and stories, and I wanted to see this place with my own eyes... I was NOT disappointed, what a BEAUTIFUL city!

However one thing surprised me... why everything is written in Ukrainian, but everyone (almost everyone in Kiev anyway) speaks Russian? I know people speak Ukrainian in the provinces, etc.. but it was impossible to find any Russian menu, even though the waiters in restaurants and shops and I spoke Russian to eachother. Very strange for me. Can anybody explain that to me? I asked one Ukrainian, who said they just speak Russian at home from way back, but he couldn't exactly explain why everybody else spoke Russian.

Anyway, photos;

Read more...Collapse )

Ukraine, Kiev / Украина, Киев - Родина мать

I'm just chilling by the tanks.

Hey again dear readers! :) I am back from Ukraine, and back to my normal daily life. The trip was amazing, and I have so much to write about and tell you about, but I will do it gradually. First I wanted to share some photos of Родина Мать with you, as I am sure most of you have already seen (maybe even in real life?). It was so tall, and really beautiful. I even visited the war museum underneath it, which showed a lot of objects from World War 2, with a focus on Ukraine during WW2, especially Kiev. It was a museum well worth visiting, and perhaps I will even share photos of this museum with you? But most important is the statue, and the amazing tanks on the square, not to mention the soviet sculptures nearby, with churches and a beautiful sunset really made this day complete. I combined this day with the Chernobyl museum, which I might also make a post about, although it was quite dark in there, but I got a lot of interesting information about Chernobyl before going there myself. But more about that later - for now, here are some photos of the square near Родина Мать! :)

Read more...Collapse )

Hello from Kiev, Ukraine

Hey, just a little update. Right now I am in Kiev, Ukraine... I am taking a lot of photos to share with you on my blog. How many of you have already been to Ukraine, or Kiev? Do you perhaps have any tips while I am here? I am leaving on Monday. :) On Sunday I am going to Chernobyl, and I will share that with you as well. I have always dreamt of going to Kiev, mostly because it´s the birthplace of ancient Rus, I adore orthodox churches (most beautiful in the world in my opinion), but also because I am very fascinated with abandoned places such as Chernobyl.

Excuse the bad quality photo above, I haven´t had time to transfer photos from my "professional" camera yet, but it will come. This is the Parliament building in Kiev, my view from the hotel... :)

Read more...Collapse )
  • Current Mood: happy happy

Калинка, калинка, калинка моя! - и мой почерк на русском!

Сегодня мы выучили песню "Калинка" в университете. Да, это была настоящая лекция! Аааах, я люблю русских профессоров :)  Пожалуйста, если у вас хорошие песни (особенно фольк), leave them in the comments below!

Read more...Collapse )

Russian language (and cursive) in university / Русский язык (и почерк) в университете!

To be honest, I don't think the meteorite post is that interesting, and I want to blog more about Russia, and my studies - if you are interested in seeing the meteorite post (a meteorite crater on the road back to Oslo), I can post it later, just leave me a comment about it. The last 3 weeks, however, many things have happened... I've been studying every day, and there has been ALOT to do, very intense studies... and would like to share some of my early experiences in the studies with you! :)

I'll blog about my thoughts and experiences of the Russian studies (language, history, politics, everything we are studying), future travels, and if all goes well - I will also blog about my stay in Russia next year, as I am possibly going to live there during some of my studies. :)  So welcome to a new chapter of my blog!

Russian studies at the University

This is what I received on my first day at the university. :)))

Read more...Collapse )

Tourist in my own country, Norway - Part 5 / Турист в своей стране, Норвегия - Часть 5

Last big post of the series about my Norway trip! After our visit in Flåm, we travelled to Stahlheim to enjoy the view, as recommended by my family living in Flåm. After our visit to Stahlheim, we drove down a crazy typical "Norwegian" road (shown in a video below), and drove through Hemsedal (ski resort) on our way home. We stopped at the mountain before arriving at Hemsedal, because I wanted to take some photos for you guys, to show you the mountain road up there, as well as Hemsedal, and a meteorite crash site (I'll make a small post soon about the meteorite site).. and after that, we were safely home. :) Hope you enjoy the photos and video, there's a timelapse in each!



That's me to the right, watching two chinese tourists taking photos, waiting for my turn to take photos :D

Read more...Collapse )

Tourist in my own country, Norway - Part 4 / Турист в своей стране, Норвегия - Часть 4

Hey again, dear readers :)

The last two weeks have been crazy - I started university and that obviously means a lot of partying, getting to know people studying the same as me, etc. I've decided to blog about my experiences in studying Russia at the university, and my struggles of trying to master Russian in the next time to come... So this blog will be more focused on Russia in the future. I also attended Midgardsblot festival, which I may talk a bit about if you are interested - but sadly, due to many circumstances, I did not take a lot of photos here, I didn't even bring my camera which I normally use for this blog. But I might make a short little post about it for those of you interested in this Norwegian festival, viking culture and how we keep it alive here in Norway, as well as METAL concerts. :) Not to mention, folk music...

BUT to focus on this post! It is finally time to write about Ægir bryggeri (local Flåm brewery) and show you photos of Stahlheim.. as I promised 2 (!!!) weeks ago.

Ægir brewery in Flåm

Outside Ægir brewery, which is in a cool viking-style, in the centre of Flåm.

Read more...Collapse )

Tourist in my own country, Norway - Part 3 / Турист в своей стране, Норвегия - Часть 3

Okay, finally time for Flåm, you guys have waited too long now. Sometimes I write often, sometimes I take a looong time between each post, I apologise for the randomness :D Will try to be more regular with my posts ;) Now it is finally time to show you Flåm and tell you a little about what I did there. This post will be in English, because there is a bit more information and story-telling than the other posts. So, after the beautiful crazy tunnel I showed you in my last post, we finally arrived in Flåm;

Finally in Flåm  /  Наконец в Фламе

Photos, local Flåm storytelling, must-see places, and my family's farm, it's all here! :D

This was the first view we saw when leaving the big blue crazy tunnel.

Read more...Collapse )

Tourist in my own country, Norway - Part 2 / Турист в своей стране, Норвегия - Часть 2

Hey guys! Today I want to share more photos of the trip to Flåm! I will show you Borgund stave church, and some nice locations closer to Flåm! :)

Русский: Привет! Сегодня я хочу поделиться больше фото по дороге во Флам! Я буду показать вам Borgund церковь, и красивые места недалеко от Флам! :) К сожалению, этот пост будет по-английски, я не знаю точно как объяснять все на русском в этом посте, есть много сложных слов.

Borgund stave church

Borgund stave church (Borgund Stavkyrkje) in the village Borgund, in the Lærdal municipality (область Sogn og Fjordane)

Borgund is the best preserved stave church in Norway, closest to its original state from the early middle ages - it was built somewhere around 1150-1200, exact dates are unknown. The stave church wasn't really being used for religious purposes after 1868, as a new church was built next to it. Since then it has been a tourist attraction and today it is a museum... Sadly the tourism is slowly wearing this church out, and it wont last forever in this condition, which is the case for most stave churches in Norway. :( I recommend visiting them before it is too late and they are closed off for tourists.
Read more...Collapse )

Tourist in my own country, Norway - Part 1 / Турист в своей стране, Норвегия - Часть 1

Hey all! I drove by car to Flåm, it's a famous place in western Norway. It takes about 4-6 hours to reach Flåm, depending on how many times you want to pull over, in order to see or take photos of places on the way... You probably know about the fjords in Norway, Norwegian nature, and beauitiful Norwegian mountains and waterfalls? Well, I'll show you where my family lives in the west of Norway, about my experience in this place, and what my Polish friends thought about Norway. My friends from Poland have never been to Norway before, and at first they came to Oslo, close to where I currently live. I showed them the city and the centre of Oslo. Unfortunately, I was busy at work when they first arrived, therefore I couldn't join them in the museums on the first day. But in the evening we drank beer in the pub, and yes... My friends were in shock when they saw the prices of beer and alcohol in Norway. Even I myself am in shock when I see the prices in Norway sometimes... :)  PS! I'll write in Russian as an introduction to this trip!

Русский: Привет всем! Я ездила на машине в Flåm, это известное место на западе Норвегии. Это занимает примерно 4-6 часов доехать Flåm, зависит от того сколько раз ты хочешь остановиться, чтобы увидеть или фотографировать места... Вы наверное знаете о фьордах в Норвегии, норвежской природе, красивых норвежских горах и водопадых? Ну, вот, я покажу вам где моя семья живут на западе, о моем опыте в этом месте, и о чем мои друзья из Польши думали о Норвегии. Друзья из Польши никогда не были в Норвегии, и они вначале приехали в Осло. Я показала ими город и центр Осло. Я, к сожалению, была занята по работе когда они приехали, поэтому я не была вместе с ними в музеях в первый день. Но вечером мы пили пиво в пабе, и да, мои друзья конечно были в шоке, когда они увидели цены на пиво и алкоголь. Даже я иногда в шоке когда я вижу цены здесь в Норвегии... :)  Кстати! Я пишу на русском в этом посте, надеюсь что все будет понятно вам 100 %.

The most important places which I recommended to them (and my favourite museums in Oslo), was the viking museum (you may see the Oseberg ship, an authentic viking ship) and many other things, for example the weapons the vikings used (all authentic of course), and so on. I have photos of this museum, I can show you guys and explain a little about it later. I also recommended Akershus Fortress, and the Norwegian museum of Cultural History (Norsk Folkemuseum). If you want to read a post about these museums, write in the comments below, and I'll write a post, where I will recommend places to see in Oslo. Friends visited all the places that I recommended to them, and loved these museums!

Русский: Самые гланые места которые я рекомендовала им (и мои любимые музеи в Осло) - это музей викингов (ты можешь увидеть корабль Oseberg, (аутентичный корабль викингов) и много вещей, например оружие викингов, и т.д. У меня фото музея, я могу показать вам и объяснять немного об этом позже. Я тоже рекомендовала Akershus fortress, и Норвежский музей истории культуры (the norwegian museum of cultural history / Norsk folkemuseum). Если вы хотите читать пост об этих музеях, напишите в комментариях, и я напишу пост, где я могу рекомендовать где побывать в Осло. Друзья посетили все которые я рекомендовала, и очень сильно обожали эти музеи!

Travelling to Flåm /  Путешествие во Флам

I'll show you some photos I took on the way to Flåm. We drove through many different terrains and varied landscapes - from t he east to the west of southern Norway. Next post will be of the actual places we visited.

Русский: Я покажу вам фото которые я сделала по дороге во Флам. Мы ехали мимо очень разных пейзажей, и природных ландшафтов - с востока на запад всей Южной Норвегии. 4-6 часов по дороге :)) Следующий пост будет о местах, где мы жили и посетили.

What is quite interesting is that the terrain changed drastically, even after 10km, the nature looks completely different - which is very typical Norway. Next posts: Some nice locations we visited, and stories! ;)

Fjord near Hønefoss (small city 1 hour away from Oslo)    /     Фьюрд близко к Hønefoss (маленький город недалеко от Осло)
Read more...Collapse )

Update/news + photos of Åsgårdstrand, Norway / Новости и фото Асгардстранда, Норвегия!

I'm going to study Russian at University!

Wow, already 2 weeks gone by... Been working full-time, as my boss is on vacation, but on the brighter side, I received lots of awesome news. I got accepted into the degree at university I've been dreaming about for the past years!!! And that involves a lot of travelling and exciting opportunities... including spending some time living in Russia! Yes, that's right, I will study Russian language, Russian culture, politics, history, everything that has anything to do with Russia! I am so excited about this!! I've previously had some projects going on in Russia, but now I want to work with it full-time, and devote my life to Russian! I hope to blog about my studies for the next years, and my travels and experiences connected to it, so the blog will be even more focused on Russia in the future. ;)

Going to the famous Norwegian fjords tomorrow!

Now, I have a couple Polish friends visiting Oslo, and I'll be going on a roadtrip with them tomorrow morning to western Norway, to show them the fjords, in a very specific place that I'll show you photos of when I come back from my trip... A part of my family has lived here for many, many years, they were the administrators/leaders of the main hotel in this fjord for several years, and I have visited them in the past, but it's been many years since last time now. ANYWAY! FJORDS! NORWAY! NORWEGIAN FJORDS! Western coast! WOOOOO! And plenty of Japanese and American tourists coming in on their fancy cruiseships! Haha, I'll take as many photos as possible for you guys, and even lots of videos. I'm bringing a gopro, my camera, and everything, so let's get this trip started!!! :D I am so excited!

Photos of Åsgårdstrand, Norway

And remember that medieval festival in Tønsberg a few weeks ago? Yeah, I promised to show you photos of the Norwegian cities in that area too. Tønsberg and Åsgårdstrand. I'll start with showing you some random photos I took while in Åsgårdstrand. My mum has a house there (it's like a summer house, норвежская дача), and this city's name is quite interesting, as it means "beach in Åsgård" (Asgard, as in Norse mythology, viking name). The city itself is quite old, and considered a tourist town. Why? Because of the idyllic, romantic atmosphere... the beautiful old-fashioned houses from 18th century, the friendly local people (it's a very small town so everybody knows everybody here). There is also, as the city name kind of hints at, a beautiful sand-beach along the entire coast of the Oslo fjord (it goes all the way from Oslo and goes through Åsgårdstrand as well). Some famous Norwegians lived in Åsgårdstrand, an example is the internationally famous painter Edward Munch, who had a summerhouse here, only a 2 min walk from my mother's house. So here are some photos of this beautiful little town;

Almost each house in Åsgårdstrand looks like this one. Every house is painted in white and red, and on a rare occasion - yellow. You are not allowed to paint your house any other colour, to keep this atmosphere of the town, which is famous for its white houses mostly, and the occasional red and yellow one.

Read more...Collapse )

Borre Viking Festival (viking burial sites) / Борре Викинг Фестиваль (места захоронения викингов)

I was at the viking festival finally last weekend, and of course I took plenty of photos to share with you all, I hope you enjoy them! The first photos are of the area called Borre, near the city of Horten. At Borre, there is a viking museum (that is bigger and has more information than the Oslo Viking museum), there is Gildehallen (replica of authentic viking longhouse where vikings feasted - I will show you this one in August), and of course - the yearly viking-market festival AND Midgardsblot festival! I gladly bought a ticket to the market as well, and put on my viking costume, and off I went! Until the guards told me; "Vikings enter for free!" because I was wearing viking clothes... Damn it! At least I supported the festival, but now I know I have free entry to these festivals! :D

Important thing to note is that this area where the viking festivals are located, are REAL viking burial sites. I'll start with showing the entrance to the festival, as well as some photos of the beautiful nature surrounding the festival and museum... Sadly the photos do not show half of the beauty of this area, with viking burial sites and graves spread around the entire place, all the "hills" you see in the photos are in fact old viking graves, where they buried ships. 100 % authentic, this is the place vikings in Norway lived and settled down, and the atmosphere in this area is so mysterious... I absolutely love this place.

I have my own viking outfit like most of the people in the photos below, I'll make an update and show you my outfit later - I am not 100 % finished with it, some important details are missing... so have a look at the vikingfestival in the meantime;

Photos of the area near the festival (Borre)

The entrance to the festival, "Borrekaupangen" sort of means, the market at Borre, it is a place where people trade goods.
Read more...Collapse )

Gasmask collection / Коллекция противогазов

So, I like to collect things, it's one of my hobbies. I collect many different things, for example I always try to get a fridge magnet from every country I've been to, so my fridge is filled up with fridge magnets as I like to travel alot - and I have one for each city I have visited in Russia... I actually went crazy over there in St. Petersburg and bought like 4 different magnets, snow globes, and all kinds of souvenirs, so I guess I could start my own "Russian souvenir shop" here in Norway already ;)  Everything from tourist-ushankas, matryoshka dolls, and all that typical stuff that only tourists buy... Or do some Russians perhaps have a nice collection of this in their home to show off their patriotism? ;)

Either way, I am a big, big fan of military things, especially Russian and soviet, and am in the process of collecting this too - gloves, belts, hats, ushankas (real), police hats, pilotkas, emblems / kokardas (кокарда, военные значки и звезды)... mainly from USSR, but also from modern Russia :) I would collect weapons too, if that was legal here...  But, one of my favourite things to collect are GASMASKS! Sounds pretty creepy, and most of my friends think I am really weird for doing this, but I think they are awesome... It should probably be said that I am a big fan of STALKER game series - Shadow of Chernobyl, Clear Sky, and Call of Pripyat. Love them all. I am trying to make a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. cosplay outfit with the GP-5 as seen below, almost completed my set, just need a few more things... Maybe I'll post it when I have finished the outfit.

I am actually also planning to visit Ukraine in the autumn, and that naturally means going to Chernobyl / Pripyat.. I hope it will go as planned, because I am dying to share photos of it here! So here is my current and very small collection of gasmasks (but I am in the process of buying and finding more of them):

Soviet GP-5

Read more...Collapse )

Tønsberg Medieval Festival / Tønsberg Средневековый фестиваль (видео включено)

So making a new and promised post about Tønsberg medieval festival has taken me more days than I expected, especially since I have been away celebrating my birthday which was yesterday... but here is the promised post ;) Tønsberg festival was more impressive than the Oslo one, mostly because I think Tønsberg and Vestfold county (область) generally takes such festivals more seriously than in Oslo - but also because the location was PERFECT for this kind of festival! Tønsberg is Norway's oldest town/city, and the festival took place just underneath Slottsfjell (I will explain what this is further down in this post), basically isolated from the modern city itself - nature was all you saw around you, and the festival was like stepping into medieval times. Everyone working and selling at the markets in the festival were dressed appropiately, and medieval clothes could be rented to visitors, for a small fee.

Not everyone dress up in medieval clothes, but the fact they offer to rent such clothes out to visitors is a big plus, and makes the immersion easier and more "authentic" for all visitors and participants. The market was bigger as well, and every seller at the markets, who was at the Oslo medieval festival, also participated in the Tønsberg medieval festival - even the singers and folk bands from the Oslo festival were also at Tønsberg festival! Generally, I was more impressed by the Tønsberg festival, lots more entertainment, much better location, and generally speaking the entire experience was much more immersive. There was even beer-tasting, and full medieval party in the evenings, with mead and lots of dancing and singing... it felt like it was straight out of a movie set in medieval times!

Midgardsblot also sold discounted tickets (which I of course purchased INSTANTLY), to Midgardsblot festival (18-21st of August) which will take place at Borre, near Horten city, in the county of Vestfold. If you are into viking culture, festivals, metal music, or even folk music, I highly recommend anyone interested in it to take a look at "Midgardsblot", bands like Wardruna, Skuggsjá, Enslaved, Folket Bortafor Nordavinden, and many other bands will be playing - and I even spoke to some of the organizers myself to get to know a bit more about their concept of this festival! I will make a post explaining a bit more about this festival, and of course I will try my best to document the festival myself when I go!

But now the focus is on Tønsberg medieval festival, so I wanted to share some photos I took of the event to you guys;

"Welcome to the middleages!" in Norwegian :) Entrance to the festival.

Read more...Collapse )

Oslo Medieval Festival (videos included) / Осло Средневековый фестиваль (видео включено)

Each summer a medieval festival is organized in Oslo. This year it was at the end of May, and I usually visit this festival every year, or almost every year. The first time I attended was in 2006, and it has come a long way since then, with an even bigger market, more festives, and even more entertainment.

The week after the Oslo festival, I visited Tønsberg medieval festival, to compare the two festivals, simply because I LOVE medieval and viking festivals. I've always been interested in history, ancient cultures and culture in general, and spent most of my teenage years attending such festivals and reading literature (shakespeare, viking sagas, medieval literature) and going to theatres. Next post I will share photos and some experiences from the medieval festival in Tønsberg, and I also visited some small towns and villages further south in Norway, which will make it to yet another post.

The medieval festival celebrates everything medieval, with some hints of the viking age (as we are in Norway after all, you can't escape our love for our traditions and ancient culture!). There were markets with jewellery, armour, souvenirs, hand-made ornaments and decorations for the house (in a traditional style), and many more things. The festival also included medieval food, beer, and lots of different entertainment. As I think the photos are pretty self-explanatory, I will share some of the photos (and videos of musical groups!) I took of the Oslo medieval festival with you, with some descriptions - hope you will find it interesting, as I surely did;

PS! All photos and video is taken by me!

Oslo Middelalderfestival (Oslo medieval festival)

Mjolnir hammers and other viking-inspired jewellery on display - for a cheap price!

Read more...Collapse )

Norwegian "Russ" / Норвежский "русс"

Hey guys! The last week has been pretty busy, lots of work, even an exam, and some interesting events that I will share with you all soon enough - I went to a medieval festival yesterday in Oslo, and took lots of photos that I want to share with you soon. I also promised to make a post about the Russ in Norway (graduation students) so here it is (and it will be a bit long because I haven't posted in a looong while);

In Norway, we have a very special way of celebrating the end of mandatory school + videregående, which is after school, but before University. We start in school when we are 6, and we finish mandatory (required level of education) school when we are 15-16 years old. After that you may go to videregående (sort of like a college, it prepares you for university and higher education), for another 3 years, but this is optional. People usually finish videregående when they are 18-19 years old, and when finished, they officially become a "Russ". A Russ is a graduation student, who can now choose to work, or go to university. So they spend the entire Russ period (which is basically the exam-period) partying hard! I'll explain some typical and important things about being Russ in this post! PS! Russ have been a tradition since 18th century (1700ish).

Russ have a uniform, which consists of pants and a hat, and sometimes even jackets and other accessories. But the pants are the most important part. The pants are usually decorated with signatures, funny jokes, drawings, and other things, that represent the individual. Same goes for hats, people are given a nick-name during the Russ period which they get on their hat (more about that below).

Different types of Russ

Russ comes in many colours, and as you can see in the photo further below of the parade, there are mostly Red russ but also a Green Russ. Even more colours exist, and the most common types of Russ are red, blue, black and then green. Each colour represents what you studied in videregående.

Red Russ - studied general studies, preparations for university (you can choose between different subjects, ranging from maths, physics, politics, sociology, psychology, theatre, music, etc).
Blue Russ - studied sale/service or economics, (in some cases also media, but it differs from region to region if you are blue or red).
Black Russ - studied a specific profession (not higher education, but not school either), to become plumbers, carpenters, car mechanics, electrician, construction, etc.
Green Russ - studied agriculture, resources, farming, etc.

This is the general idea, although it depends on the area you live in. Red Russ are the most common, and blue comes afterwards. Black and Green Russ are quite rare, and especially, when I was young, they were really hard to find. Each time we found them we were soooo amazed, and needed to get their "Russekort" (Russ card). Yes, children have always, and still collect these cards, like as if they were Pokemon cards... Some examples below;

Read more...Collapse )

Strange and funny Norwegian laws / Странные и смешные норвежские законы

Norway is a country of bureaucracy and pointless laws, and some of our politicians have (or the lack of) an education that is not even remotely relevant to the ministry / department they are in. Also everything that is remotely fun, or interesting, or potentially dangerous if you are an idiot – is either very expensive, heavily taxed, or banned. Laws in other countries, especially in the USA, are much much worse and pointless, but still I wanted to share our laws with you. Here I will only include laws that are interesting or strange in some way, so all the boring irrelevant, or obviously good laws, and financial stuff will be left out. From laws of the 16th century and even earlier times, and also modern laws that are still active today, here are some strange Norwegian laws:

Old Norwegian laws / Старые норвежские законы

  • 1582

    - Infidelity resulted in execution, no questions asked.

    - Sex outside of marriage meant some extreme fines (штрафы)

  • 1687

    - The punishment for blasphemy (God, his holy name, words and sacraments) would be punished by cutting of the tongue and head (decapitation), and putting the head on a stake. Good old times!

    Read more...Collapse )

17th of May - Norway's National Day / 17 Мая - Национальный день Норвегии

Photo I took in Oslo yesterday - of Karl Johan's street.

Yesterday was the national day, and constituion day of Norway. Independence Day. 17th of May, 1814. We have many things to celebrate this day. Norwegians are very patriotic and proud of their country. Hoooray! :D I love Norway! Oslo has a population of about 600 000 people, and in comparison with Russia, this is very few people. But 60 000 children participated in the parade!

Русский: Вчера был национальный день, и день конститции Норвегии. День независимости. 17 Мая, 1814. У нас много причин праздновать этот день. Норвежцы очень патриотические, и гордятся своей страной. Урааа! :D Я люблю Норвегию! Население Осло составляет примерно 600 000 человек. По сравнению с Россией, это очень мало людей. Но 60 000 детей участвовали в этом параде!!

Read more...Collapse )

Spring in Oslo / Весна в Осло

A couple of days ago I spent my day in Oslo as a "tourist" (I love to be a tourist in my own city sometimes, to get new perspectives). I walked around the beautiful park surrounding the King's Castle in the centre of Oslo, taking photos in order to show you guys - for those who are interested. The yellow building below is where our King Harald V of Norway lives!

Carl III Johan (King of Norway and Sweden during the union) - Statue says the following in Norwegian: "The love of my people - my reward". This statue is infront of the King's Castle in the centre of Oslo, and the statue is looking out at Karl Johan's gate (Street of Karl Johan - Norwegian spelling of his name). This street is at the heart of the centre in Oslo, and also where the Independence Day parade takes place, among many other streets of Oslo. Independence Day and Constitution / National Day of Norway is the 17th of May, tomorrow. Tomorrow I will go into Oslo, and take lots of photos of the festives I can find, and hope to share it with you guys!

Read more...Collapse )

Second photo is a TROLL! Yes, a Norwegian troll! From Norwegian / Scandinavian / Norse ancient folklore. All Norwegians (at least when I was a child), grew up believing that trolls were real. My family always told me that they lived in the forests, looking for children like me! They also said that rivers and waterfalls in mountains were a result of trolls peeing down the mountains.... I was REALLY scared of trolls as a child. There are many different kinds of trolls, ranging from the almost-harmless ones, to the incredibly dangerous and evil ones. Trolls also have different looks and behaviour... If anyone is interested - I can tell you all more about Norwegian folklore and what it was like to grow up as a Norwegian child, believing in our folklore 100 %, and what kinds of creatures we were scared of! ;)

Tomorrow is 17th of May, and I will celebrate our Independence and National Day! Photos will follow! Hope you will all have a nice day too! :)

About Russian language, and difficult sounds / О русском языке, и сложных звуках для иностранки

I can read Russian pretty well, as long as it's daily speech between friends or online, or a subject I am familiar or interested in... But when it comes to speech (my listening skills), many Russian people lose me quickly. The amount of сленг, русский мат, and general разговорный русский still surprises me every single day. This video is a very good example of my confusion when I am in Russia, and sometimes I even wonder "Do I even know the Russian language?"... after 2,5 years of intense self-studying, I still struggle with new pronounciations, new slang, new мат, русские поговорки, general things I do not understand. Especially in Moscow I found it diffifcult to understand people! The guy in the video speaks clearly, slowly, and everything is understood. But once the local slang, and colloquial stuff comes in, I lose it. Probably the only word I would understand from these examples were "кадела?". Each day I learn new words, each day I learn new slang, each day I realise how little do I actually know about the Russian language... No matter how well I know cases, grammar, how big my vocabulary is, Russian seems to be a never-ending road for me. And that's actually a good thing! Russian is truly a rich language!

Read more...Collapse )

Netherlands and Germany! Part 3 / Голландия и Германия! Часть 3

For the final part of my little adventure in Netherlands and Germany, now is the time to talk a little bit about Enschede, Netherlands. Enschede is much bigger than Gronau (Germany), but much smaller than Münster... Yet, Enschede was like a tiny version of Amsterdam - the only other city I have spent a lot of time in. Beautiful architecture, coffee shops, bicycles everywhere, dutch markets, tulipans and lots of flowermarkets, and delicious food - all kinds of restaurants and junk-food places on each and every corner of this little city.

What makes it diffferent from Amsterdam? Well, Enschede has no Red Light District - but prostitutes are still legal here. Also Enschede lacks the famous canals that are one of the main attractions of Amsterdam. But either way, it had everything else Netherlands has to offer and is famous for.

This was pretty much the view from the train for the entire 2 hours between Amsterdam and Enschede. Houses, canals, and flat land.
Read more...Collapse )

Netherlands and Germany! Part 2 / Голландия и Германия! Часть 2

Münster is 1 hour train-ride away from Gronau / border to Netherlands. It's also known as "the bicycle capital" of Germany - which is not a big surprise considering the fact it is so close to the border of Netherlands (the bicycle country), haha.

Münster, Germany

We spent an entire day visiting the city of Münster, which is a very old German city, with lots of beautiful architecture, cathedrals and churches, and beautiful cobblestone-streets (булыжник). It was really rainy, and freezing cold, and we all dressed pretty badly for the weather because we tried to pack light clothes, to save room for moving my friend's things. A little mistake... but at least we managed to move her things. We walked around all day, sightseeing, shopping, and visiting a few cathedrals and churches in the city centre.

Read more...Collapse )