Friday, June 6, 2014

One-day stint in Liechtenstein

Visited the countryside in Liechtenstein, the smallest (but also richest) German-speaking country. It lies entirely in the alps and is amazingly scenic. Drove up to a farm, walked around, bought a bottle of fresh milk from the pasture, and called it a successful day trip!

This is what the view looked like as we drove into Liechtenstein...completely engulfed by the beauty of the Alps on both sides...

We reached the countryside and drove up the hills into a small farming town. SO in love with the view:

And cows! Would have been an incomplete picture without them! 

If you live in the surrounding towns, you can get fresh milk every day by coming up to the farm and filling your glass bottles from this machine for just a few cents:
 
 So I had to do it too...

We walked around in the neighboring town for a little while. The whole place was just so relaxed and peaceful. Might consider retiring here someday...in this cute home I found:
Imagine walking out of your front door to a view like this!

Other pictures of the really quiet and quaint town: 
 
Wood art? 

Hope you enjoyed this post on my day trip to Liechtenstein! 
Until new adventures...xoxo 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Norway Leftovers

So far, I've posted a lot on sightseeing in Norway and all the main attractions in Oslo. This last post on Norway is a compilation of all the little bits and pieces that fell through the cracks - exploring Norwegian lifestyle and culture, some favorite eats, celebrating birthday dinners with Madeleine's family, cooking and baking at home, going shopping, walking around town, and general shenanigans. 
Madeleine's mom catching some sun in their frontyard! She is super adorable.
The gorgeous house where I stayed!
 
Learned to make a quiche! Cooking dinners at home with Madeleine and chatting late into the night...
Madeleine's mom's kitchen...serious inspo and IKEA showroom status...so beautiful.
Celebrating Andreas's 5th birthday in the backyard with some (homegrown!) rhubarb & strawberry pie with whipped cream. Apparently, Norwegians never buy cakes or pies...it's always homemade for special events such as birthdays, family dinners, and other celebrations...so organic!
Shopping & dinner with the very chic Madeleine.
Goat cheese vegetarian lasagna at Grünerløkka, one of Oslo's trendiest hipster neighborhoods.
Enjoying a Norwegian vaffel with sour cream. nom. 

Last, but not least...I could not leave Norway without visiting the fjords! On my last day, Madeleine and Jeanette took me for a rooftop ferry ride on the Oslo Fjord. We made a quick tour of the islands off the coast of Oslo to catch the sunset. 
 
 

Hope you enjoyed all my posts on Norway!
Until the next adventure...xoxo

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Museum Rundown

During my time in Oslo, I visited many museums, including the Folk Museum, Viking Ship Museum, Munch Museum, and Modern Art Museum. Thought I'd give a quick overview of the main attractions at each one. 

Norsk Folkemuseum (Norwegian Folk Museum)


The Folk Musuem was a recreation of pre-industrial Norwegian society, shedding a spotlight on the rural class. The basis of the rural economy was farming and craftsmanship. The open-air museum attempted to shed light on the rural lifestyle of Norwegian farmers by replicating a typical village from the 17th century. Pictures below of traditional farmhouses, churches, and the open-air musuem.
Quaint, peaceful countryside scenery. 
The architecture of the farmhouses and the entire village made me feel like I was lost within a Game of Thrones episode...
Small towns started curbing into rural societies - what some of the first "Old Towns" looked like... 
Distilleries started making their ways into the towns and alcohol had to be rationed, creating chaos and crowds when doors were open.

 The Gol Stave Church - the main attraction of the Folke Museum. Dated back to 1212, the church was almost demolished when King Oscar II moved it from the mountain village of Gol, Hallingdal in 1880 to preserve Norwegian architecture and culture. 
Inside the church - the Last Supper very artistically designed at the altar.

Vikingskips Huset (Viking Ship Museum)


I was really excited to go to the Viking Ship Musuem, because Viking lifestyle and history has always fascinated me. The Viking Age lasted from about 800 to 1050 A.D., during which time the Norsemen were the lord of the seas. The Vikings were excellent ship builders and sailors, allowing them to make long sea voyages and visit almost the entire Northern hemisphere. 

The Viking society was divided into classes, with the ships (pictures below) available only to the upper and merchant classes.
The two biggest Viking ship excavations are housed in this museum: the Osberg Ship and Gokstad Ship . Viking burial procedures included burying the dead inside the ships along with grave gifts, such as valuables and necessary items for the "afterlife." When the ships were discovered, archaeologists found skeletons, chests, and other artifacts (ie. tools, clothes, utensils), but no gold, silver, or other valuables. Their best guess is that grave robbers of the time found the burial sites and stole jewelry and other expensive items many years ago. 

Munch Museet (Munch Museum)


No doubt you've heard of Edvard Munch's famous Scream. This Norwegian artist has a museum erected in his honor in Oslo, housing his life's work and some of his most famous exhibits, including the Scream. Munch was a deeply troubled soul (as artists go) and his works reflect the intense emotions within. Through his art, he reflects deeply on the environment around him - taking on inspiration from animals, plant life, and religion. His works explore intense biological concepts such as metamorphosis, crystallization, metabolism, immortality, and photosynthesis. A few of my favorite pieces from the museum...

One of Munch's many interpretations of Madonna:

Munch's palette:

 Methods of paint-making in Munch's time. Every color is made with different natural elements for the purest and most authentic quality of a particular color:

Munch's self-portrait...a very renowned and popular piece:

My personal favorite in the Museum - a piece called Kvinne med valmuer (Woman with Poppies):

Last, but not least...the Scream. Photography of the original piece was not allowed, so you'll have to make do with a picture of my postcard...
"I was out walking with two friends - the sun began to set - suddenly the sky turned blood red - I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence - there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue black fjord and the city - my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety - and I sensed an endless scream passing through nature."
- Edvard Munch

The Munch Museum was also connected to a botanical garden that I walked through. Pictures of beautiful colorful tulips, my favorite flower...

Astrup Fearnley Museet (Oslo's Museum of Modern Art)


Without question, Astrup Fearnley was my absolute favorite museum in Oslo. In fact, it might be the most favorite museum I have ever visited! I loved the modern architecture of the building, the exhibits, the depth with which they were described, and the unique quality of all the artists. 

Set up right on the harbor/beach/coast, the location of the museum itself was a gorgeous sight. 

To spare you all from the agony of the billion pictures I took, here are a few snaps of exhibits and pieces I enjoyed most:
 

The following pictures are of my favorite exhibit in the museum...a room full of white-framed photos depicting many different people going about their lives - through happiness, sadness, partying, fashion, vacations, adventures, and everyday lifestyles. I loved how stylish the setup was - completely filled with character. 

More exhibits...

Finishing off this post with an interpretation of the Incredible Hulk!
Hope you stayed with me through all of the museums!
Until next time...xoxo