Friday, September 30, 2005

Norwegian Workshop

During last week I have been at a doctoral student workshop in Trondheim, Norway. Must say I really liked travelling there, as it combined the familiar (the architecture, the people, even the lifestyle) with the very original (the fjord and the surrounding mountains).
The workshop itself was very useful, and I am glad i received useful feedback on my paper (yes, someone HAD to read it). I was also glad because I realized I can read and understand Norwegian, an extremely useful thing as I was supposed to make comments on the papers of our Norwegian counterparts who wrote some of their contributions in their native tongue... So I guess my Swedish finally reached that advanced stage where I can make inferences and really understand words, even if they are pronounced somewhat differently. Yupii!
Back in Lund, it felt like the deep South - how everything is relative! From a Trodheimian point of view Skåne is just as warm and sunny as Southern France! But truth is that we have a most wonderful sunny autumn, so it does feel at leat "not so north".

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Lund Culture Night

Last weekend Lund was suffused with great artisitic energy as the Culture Night (they should call it Culture Day instead, as events unroll from 10 am) took over the city. Martin, I and our friend (and current roommate) Monika went first to the movies (a very artsy thing, "India Song", after a novel by Marguerite Duras - cannot say I loved it) then had practically to run between events. We saw a magic show, lots of live gigs (from calm jazz to soul to African rythms on 10 marimbas!), and dance demonstrations. I really enjoyed the Zimba Marimba Band, it gave the whole auditorium a great energy. The members of the group were very young but traveled to Africa (Zimbabwe, Botswana) and clearly got rythm. It was funny though to see and hear this super blond guys and girls and imagine them on the Black Continent :)
Another thing that stuck to mind was an exhibition about female underwear from the 18th century to today - how scary those corsets were!!!! Torture instruments, no less! Fortunately there were also few contemporary interpretations of the corset theme, and they managed to look both comfortable and very feminine (unfortunately I have no pictures as we still have no camera...)

Monday, September 12, 2005

New Pictures: Historical Sites, Romania

As I was mentioning previously that we visiting sites of historic importance, including THE Dracula Castle (a complete fabrication, btw, I think Vlad Tepes spent one night in this place at most), here are some pics from that part of our Romanian excursion.

The Bran castle (aka Dracula's Castle)

Interior courtyard with fountain, Bran Castle

Risnov Fortress, the Eastern Tower

Risnov Fortress, Small streets

View of the Piatra Craiului Mountains from the top of Risnov Fortress

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

One of the old closes or very narrow streets - heritage of the medieval style of urban (non) planning
One of the beautiful houses of Brasov that I was talking about.

Brasov - nice building

Sweet Sweden, again

Oy, it has been a long time since I posted something here... But I had good reasons, mainly the lack of good internet connections while I was in Romania. Now that I returned to Lund, I hope to keep up with the weblog.
As I was mentioning previously, Martin and I engaged in what is known as social tourism, by fixing our health problems in Romania where it is much much cheaper than in Sweden (or elsewhere, I would guess). And despite their devilish reputation, Romanian doctors are quite good at their job (especially the ones we consulted). Therefore Martin got rid of his glasses/ contact lenses via a laser eye surgery and I have perfect teeth again! Yupii!
We also had some time for traveling around the country. Have been twice to the seaside, in a small place (I don't want to call it resort as it is very rustic and wants to remain that way) on the border between Romania and Bulgaria. Good weather, good company, good atmosphere - nothing wrong with dancing on the beach until 3 am !!!
I also went back to my favorite town in Romania, a town I used to visit very very often but have not seen in 5 years -Brasov, the gateway bewteen Walachia and Transylvania, an old medieval fortress developed into a commercial center, with loads of gorgeous houses and a lovely atmosphere. I was also extremely glad to meet some of my old friends who still live there or came to visit for the summer: it felt so good to catch up!
Around Brasov there are several castles and fortresses that we also visited, including the famous Dracula Castle - so Martin can say he's been in Dracula Country :) He also took a small excursion hiking in the Carpathian mountains together with a Swedish friend who joined us for a week. It was a nice "Discover Romania" tour for him (or at least I hope it was).
Now we are back in Lund, in a new apartment (huuuuge, now is the perfect time to pay a visit, we have so much extra space) which we tried to furnish the best we could but still has an echo... The weather here is perfect, sweet and sunny, a truly lovely time.