Norway summer road trip

August 27th

Another one of my passions for those of you new to this blog, along with crochet is sailing.  Last year we took our boat to Norway and we have been back and forth this year when money and time permitted to move her slowly northwards, with the intent of making it to the arctic.  As our children's
summer holiday began so late this year, my husband along with some friends began the summer section of moving Brimble northwards. Hopping on a plane as soon as we could and beginning the long drive north seeing beautiful scenery in wonderful Norway along the way, was not a short straw.  Can you tell I loved it?  What was particularly fantastic was that growing up as a child and visiting family in Norway and watching the weather forecast with all these strange place names meant that this road trip became a sort of weather map tick list of places I have now been too; I found this all so exciting to the child within me!  Hope you enjoy the road trip photographs I have to share with you.

Road trip from Porsgrunn to Bodo, a total of 1365 km

As the crow flies the journey we were to undertake was only 935 km, but as the roads in Norway are seldom straight, they do not really have motorways outside of Oslo and the speed limit is much lower than we are used to here in the UK, the actual journey length was close to 1365km.  According to google maps if you drove continuously at about 60kph (you just in reality would never average so high with the road conditions and real life speed restrictions) you would be able to drive the distance in 17 hours and 49 minutes.  We took four days and enjoyed ourselves!

I just love Norwegian interior...

...and this café for our lunch stop was no exception.
Even on the first day, there was time for some shopping,
Norwegian hand blown glass.

First over night stop near Lillehammer

Much of Norwegian self catering accommodation is in log cabins

Old food stores, always on raised legs

Almost everywhere you look there is beautiful scenery

Spot the log cabin with smoke from the chimney

We passed several ski slope,
they seem so strange in the summer months.

The main road north to Norway,
 used by commercial vehicles too!

Beautiful moss was found in abundance,
florists would have a field day here

Carpets of moss

Norway is particularly good at making great vantage
view points, often with tables and benches for lunch/coffee stops. 
We could learn a thing or two here in the UK.


Outside the Arts museum of Trondheim, we came across
 this fantastic set of clay models made by school children.

Just so colourful and bright. 
Often the most simplest of things...

Leaving Trondheim, we just had to stop off, a slight detour, to visit Hell. 
We have officially been to Hell and back!!!

Reaching Trondheim and the night light became now more noticeable. 
We were heading into midnight sun territory.
This was taken at 11 pm looking one way...

...and this was at 11pm facing the other way. 
The colours and lighting were unbelievable,
these just do not do it justice.

Around about midnight in Norway in the summer...

Our third night was in Mosjoen. 
The children loved the 'Heidi' type bedroom

Our log cabin for the night, full grown trees and all!

Inside the cabins are simply furnished
but with all that you could need.

Often, sociable grilling/BBQ areas are provided,
 this one sat about 20!

Dramatic, don't you think.

The Norwegians may not have cottage gardens
but they are clever and adventurous in their pot planting.
A fantastic find of a café, where they too have been serving
since the 1800's, used to also be the old hardware store.  So much memorabilia
and the children said the best hot chocolate ever. 
Made the proper way, with melted chocolate.

We stopped off at a mountain farm for lunch. 
Where they had been serving travellers since the 1800's,
it is remote towards the north even now, I cannot imagine what it must
have been like back then. Rømmegrøt is Norwegian porridge made with sour cream,
whole milk, wheat flour, butter, and salt. 
Eaten for either lunch or dinner and accompanied squash drink.

Finally on day 4, we reached the Arctic circle

Many cairns have been made, not so much as to mark the way,
but to let the world know someone has been here,
or in this case, hundreds and hundreds!

As with anywhere in the world, commercialism takes advantage
and inside you can send your post card with a franked
stamp telling the world you have crossed the arctic circle!

Our last night of the road trip and our
little cabin even had flowers on the wall.

Bodo: a great view of the wonders of nature and man made.

We had to stop at the Saltstrommon, the strongest current in the WORLD. 
Conditions were not optimum whilst we visited but my gosh it was strong enough.
 I would not want  our boat anywhere near this.  Current can run as much as 40 knots!

This does not show the current at full strength!

This was taken at 2am, just look at the light!
 Next instalment: sailing in the arctic, hope you will join me on our journey...

After four days of driving, we were about to be reunited
with Mr H and the Good Ship Brimble.
They were just a 4 hour ferry ride away.

Summer arctic holidays over - I am BACK!

August 26th 

Arctic summer montage
Huge huge apologies!  Firstly I did not tell you that I would be out of contact, actually if I am honest, I really thought I would be blogging over the summer. However,  two things occurred... it was not so easy  and I won't disappear again without letting you know first ;)
Having internet on a small boat in the arctic was difficult, not impossible, but hard and secondly family time is so precious I didn't want to miss a single bit of it, so sorry if you have missed me, but I AM BACK!  I have so much to share with you; crochet of course, holiday snaps, sailing in the arctic, road trips in Norway, food recipes and several other snippets.  The only way to do this is to break it down into several posts, so watch out, I will be inundating you.  Keep coming back daily, there should, oops, there I go making promises, but there should  be something each day, I hope...

Hope you have had a wonderful summer, let me know what you have been up to, I've missed you!

Baking, baking and baking

22nd July   

When sad news hits you, how do you respond?  If you can answer that then I am sorry for your sadness.  Me, I have discovered much to my surprise I bake!  There is something comforting, warming and a little bit like being wrapped in a warm snugly blanket about creating comfort food and watching others enjoy; a little bit of happiness. So what have I been baking, well in the last three weeks I have just worked out that I have baked:

5 banana cakes
an apple cake
4 chocolate cakes
3 bakewell tart cakes
4 chocolate cakes
a fruit cake
kransekake see post  here for details
120 waffles
and a
raspberry and white chocolate cake
Luckily I do not really eat cake (my vice is chocolate) otherwise I might be as big as a house!  I just realised that it works out to be on average 7 cakes a week.  I am beginning to slow down, so maybe I am slowly healing too.  Unlike me though, I have not focused on taking photographs as is my normal want, but I did manage to take a picture this week of a new bake that I had not made before, but was such a hit that I shall make it again.  The raspberry and white chocolate cake.  Give it a try for a tea time treat.  We discovered that in this wonderful heat we have been having here in the south of England, that the cake did well being left in the fridge so as not to melt the ganache sandwiched between the two cake layers.  Just a thought...
Top of cake before dusting of icing sugar.
Raspberry & White Chocolate Cake 
♥  200g sugar
  100g white chocolate
  4 large eggs
  200g sugar
  200g s r flour
  175g raspberries
For the ganache
  200g white chocolate
  250ml double cream
  icing sugar for dusting
  Grease & line 2 x 20cm round loose bottomed cake tins
  Pre heat oven to 182 degrees GM4
Cake bases:
Cube butter and break up chocolate pieces.  Set in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.  Melt slowly and stir occasionally.  When melted remove from heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
Beat in the eggs and sugar gradually, into the cool chocolate mixture with an electric whisk.
Fold in the flour and raspberries.
Divide mixture gently between the greased cake tins and bake for 20-25 mins or until golden in colour.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tins before removing them.
Place broken up chocolate pieces and only 100ml of the double cream into a heat proof bowl over simmering water.  Stir until the chocolate and cream have melted and the mixture is smooth and silky in appearance.
Leave ganache to cool to room temperature.
Beat in the remainder of the cream into the cooled ganache.
Putting it altogether.
Once cakes have cooled, sandwich them together with the ganache and when ready to serve sprinkle over icing sugar.

recipe by John Whaite on BBC Good Food
♥Sending cake love to you all♥