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Behind the scenes

 

Cinque Terre part 4

For those of you following along, this is my last post on our fantastic adventure in Italy. I would like to now share with you some random facts and pictures from behind the scenes of our trip.

While my husband and I both consider ourselves to be rather fit and healthy, we did have a few small problems hiking. We live in Norway where the number one thing to do is walk and its mostly uphill, so that wasn’t a problem. It was the heat we struggled with. It didn’t help matters that on our first day my husband wore leather boat shoes, with NO socks! Needless to say, by the time we reached our destination his shoes were full of puddles and his feet full of blisters. I told him to wear socks but no one ever listens to me. (I know, I sound like my mother)

I knew Cinque Terre would be a beautiful place, but was in no way prepared for the splendor of these five villages and landscape around them. Hiking through olive groves, vineyards and passing lemon trees along the way was heavenly. That’s why I cannot, for the life of me, understand a person’s need to defile such beauty.

Everywhere I looked I could see names, initials and curse words carved into the leaves of the surrounding cactus and Aloe Vera plants. Why would anyone want to mar these robust and time enduring plants?

I insisted on an unplugged vacation, which meant no laptops, iPods, iPads or iPhones (one phone for emergency use only). The television in our hotel room had NOTHING on in English, not even CNN. There’s only so much talking a couple can do (he’s the quiet type). Luckily, I brought a book (two things one must always remember to pack, aspirin and a book). I also had to give my husband permission to cruise the net on our ‘emergency’ iPhone, while I read. I must now confess, curiosity got the best of me and the book I brought along was, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ (I swear, I don’t usually read erotica and don’t ask for a review).

Now for the best part – food, drinks and dessert. Cinque Terre is located on the coast and their speciality is most definitely seafood. Now when I think of seafood, I think of lobster, shrimp, crabs and salmon. Here the delicacies are anchovies, squid, octopus and sea bass. The sea bass was good but I didn’t care for the rest, my husband loved it all. I would have been happier with a bowl of pasta, but even that had seafood in it.

Seafood spaghetti anyone?

 

Lunch was never a problem, we always ended up at an outside cafe eating salad and pizza. The pizza was always thin, crispy and loaded with melted mozzarella. The tomatoes plump and red with fresh mozzarella and basil on top.

We found a restaurant on our last night that served real spaghetti, minus the seafood and along with some crusty bread, I chowed down!

I have just two words to describe desert, Panna cotta and Tiramisu. I shouldn’t have, but I did and it was worth it!

We ordered a bottle of  Cinque Terre wine everyday, for lunch and dinner. The local wine is a dry white (my favorite) with a delicate bouquet and nice finish. Being a costal wine it also has a bit of sea tang to it (my husbands words). I don’t usually drink soda, but I have to admit ‘La Limonata’ (Lemon Soda) sure tasted good, on those hot afternoons. The one thing I didn’t see, was iced tea and was only able to drink hot tea for breakfast and in the evenings. I’m surprised I didn’t go into withdraw.

I love eating out in foreign countries, surrounded by people from all over the world. One night as we sat waiting for our meal and enjoying our wine, I noticed there were Swedes sitting to our right. A couple from down-under to our left, a family from somewhere in the UK behind us and Americans everywhere. I’m sorry, I have a bad habit of listening in on the people around me…

Every evening after dinner we’d wander out to a charming little Cliffside Bar, where I’d sip tea and we’d watch the sun go down on another perfect day in Italy. Bellissimo!

Something big, part 2

 

The three books you see above are always lying on my desk and thats why there is no excuse for bad grammar or misspelled words! (thats me being hard on myself for misspelling ladder in my last post) However, most of the time I’m doing three things at once and we all know how that goes. Anyhow, blogging is supposed to be fun-right?

Now back to the story…

Where were we? Oh yeah, Hjemmet (Norwegian women’s magazine) is coming to photograph the house and the two culprits below got paint all over my floors. Don’t let their innocent faces fool you…

 

I learned something very useful this week, baby wipes can be used for something other than their intended purpose. They’re great for removing paint off floors and furniture, so the dogs still have a home.

I took out my husbands stitches today, well three of them, he had to take the other seven himself. Here in Norway we don’t bother the doctor with such trivial things (we’re Vikings, you know). He also fixed the broken boards on the deck, the only problem is, they’re much newer and lighter than the others now. We may have to replace them all. Otherwise, outside is looking pretty good. As for inside, I had to call a friend for help.

My friend Anja has an eye for decorating and many thoughts. It helped to get a new set of eyes and another opinion. Together we came up with some good ideas. We made a list of all the changes and the things we needed to buy (nothing big…). I also borrowed quite a bit of stuff from her (crystal candle sticks, throw pillows, a large ceramic angel and a very special fruit bowl…)

I decided to let them photograph the living room, kitchen, dining area and outside. These are the rooms I wrote about in the book and have the best views of the sea. I’ve also decide to set up small areas in these rooms to photograph instead of the whole room. Some examples of what I mean below, but remember I’m no photographer!

 

 

 

We have a large patio at the front of the house which sits above a high cliff, from here you can see out the fjord and into the North Sea. This area is the pièce de résistance and I intend to do it up good. I’m setting the table with a seafood extravaganza and will take pictures, for you to see on the day they come. The big day is Friday, June 15 and the only thing that can spoil it is the weather… What are the chances of that in Norway?

To be continued…