Saturday, 30 November 2013

Birchtree Island

After my last trip to Norway I got so many e-mail telling me that fjords are not the only place where it is possible to enjoy a close contact with the nature and water. In one of these e-mails I have received an invitation to a nice little island in the North-East of Poland, called Birchtree Island. If you are not sure what a birchtree is, here comes a hint.

To get on the island we need to take a boat. So let's come to the pier.

Here you can spot the buildings on the island.

We can take a little ferry.

Or maybe you would prefer this nice sailing boat as a means of transport?

Jump on, but be careful, it is not very stable.

 Looks almost as a fjord, isn't it?

The trip is not long, here comes already the pier on the island. The owners have told me that each house that they rent to tourists comes automatically with one of these colourful boats.

The houses themselves also look pretty Scandinavian, don't they? I believe we've seen a very similar one in Sandvika.

 My human family rushed to the playground.

I prefer to rest a bit in a nice hammock. So let the time flow around us my friends...

Saturday, 23 November 2013


Sandvika is a nice small town in the municipality of Bærum in Norway. It is located on the shores of the Oslofjord.

I really loved this peaceful place - the blue water, the blue sky, white sails and autumn leaves.

Wooden houses recall me that I am well in a Nordic country.

Probably the most famous place in Sandvika is the shopping center. With a surface of 60 000 m it is the largest in the whole Scandinavia.

If you have a feeling it is not so big, you need to realise that includes several buildings, connected with little bridges that cross the streets.

These are not the only bridges in town, water is everywhere.

One of them will take us to a place some of you were probably waiting for. The post office. Whoever got a postcard from Norway can leave a message of course.

The town has some nice public buildings, like this theater ...

... or this cultural center.

One building that has caught my eye is this Kommunegården.

I first thought it is some kind of garden open to the public. But it seems to be an office building where under one roof you can find all (or most of) municipal institutions of Sandvika. The only plants I have found close to it were those ones.

I guess you will agree with me that the town itself is not so thrilling so let's get back to the fjord again. The biggest natural attraction in Sandvika, and the most favourite place where locals spend their free time, is the Kalvøya island.

We can get there by this nice little bridge.

When walking on the bridge, on the left you will see the marina again.

On the right people are fishing.

Let's have a little break as well and let's enjoy the last rays of autumn sunlight.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Aker Brygge (Oslo)

Today I will take you to a new country - Norway! We will land at the airport in Oslo. The Norwegians celebrate the 150 anniversary of birth of the famous painter Edvard Munch. Huge reproductions of his masterpieces decorate the walls of the airport.

Unfortunately, I only had a short half an hour in Oslo. It is definitely not enough to visit the historical center of the city. Instead, I will take you to the old shipyard area, called Aker Brygge.

The huge red building is the Oslo City Hall.

On the other side of the street comes the Nobel Peace Center. It is an exhibition center that promotes the ideals of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Aker Brygge is located on the banks of the Oslofjord. It still includes a marina with smaller and bigger ships.

The old yard buildings are now turned into offices and shopping centers.

On the other side of the fjord you can admire the Akershus Castle, located on a little hill. It was originally built in late thirteenth century. Next to it there is a station of big ferries that can take you to other Scandinavian countries.

It is quite a contrast compared to the modern residential and office buildings established over the last twenty years.

Looks a bit like Venice I guess. With parking places for boats just next to the office.

If you have a spare moment you can take a look inside the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art. I like the idea of having wooden walls - looks a bit like a barn, doesn't it?

In the back you can see the fjord leaving the city. The little light is a small lighthouse that is helping ships to navigate. It takes one hour to reach the open sea. The fjord is not very long but ships and ferries move there very slowly.

Another look at Akershus Castle. It seems some military ships have anchored next to it.

Time to say goodbye to Oslo. We have one more place to visit in Norway. A small but charming town. On the banks of a fjord of course.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Celebrating Independence in the Museum of the Polish Army

There are many ways to celebrate the independence of a country. Typically, the military services prepare some parades and the politicians give speeches. This year, the Independence Day was a unique occasion to get inside some of the equipment gathered in the Museum of the Polish Army. I have taken you there over a year ago. Today, Mike will let you sneak inside some of the exhibits. 

First it was possible to get closer to the T-55U main battle tank.

This is the main entrance into the tank. Not a big one, you must admit.

The orange whole is the place where missiles are loaded.

Then comes the Antonov An-2 plane.

The sexiest part is of course the yoke and all these buttons.

But I really liked this little shelf just above the windows. Feels like being in a local train, doesn't it?

I really liked this armoured car and I was looking forward to a nice ride. 

Unfortunately, for some reason that they did not want to explain, they were only letting kids on board. It does not really look like a stroller after all.

At least I was able to jump into (or rather onto) this jeep. Not as safe but surely faster.

The "Agata" search and target acquisition radar is so big that it was difficult to make a full picture of it, with all this crowd. So here comes a picture that we have found over the internet.

Inside there are some strange devices and I am not really sure how it works.

Last but not least, here comes the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21.  

I am sure that each and every of you who has ever seen the Top Gun movie has dreamed at least once to fly a supersonic jet fighter aircraft.

So let's jump in an enjoy a dream coming true.