Ankor på vift

A freedom-oriented travel blog

Author: Ulrika (page 1 of 25)

A weekend in Budapest

Budapest is just a train ride away from Prague, so when our friends announced a weekend gathering in Budapest, it was just for us to book train tickets.

It was a loosely planned weekend with organized lunches and dinners, but what we did in between was up to us who came for the weekend. We have already been to Budapest once before, so this time we were focused on doing fun things with Othilia.
We had a lovely weekend with lots of play and discussions, the later with both old and new friends. We also meet up with our Hungarian friends and anarcho-capitalists who we first got to know at the Philosophy Europe convention in Prague back in September. Due to the nature of our whole weekend we won’t publish any pictures on our friends, but much more on us and what we were able to see of Budapest.


Budapest är bara en tågresa bort från Prag så när våra vänner tillkännagav en helgträff i Budapest var det bara för oss att boka tågbiljetter dit.

Det var en löst planerad helg med organiserade luncher och middagar, men det vi gjorde emellan var upp till oss som kom till helgen. Vi har redan varit i Budapest en gång tidigare, så den här gången var vi fokuserade på att göra roliga saker med Othilia.
Vi hade en härlig helg med mycket lek och diskussioner, det senare med både gamla och nya vänner. Vi träffade också våra ungerska vänner och anarkokapitalister som vi först lärde känna vid “Philosophy Europe”-konferensen i Prag i september. Eftersom våra möten var av mer privat natur så kommer vi inte att publicera några bilder på våra vänner, men fler bilder på oss och vad vi kunde se av Budapest.

This is our favorite picture of Othilia in Budapest. The Hungarian parliament in the background.
Now how did we get there? The train from Prague to Budapest took 6.5 hours and went via the Slovak capital Bratislava. The two-way tickets for us three (two adults and a child) were around 45 Euro. Othilia had fun during the train trip running between the wagons, here a well-deserved nap in Ulrika’s arms.
This is lovely to see bitcoin Atms and several of them here in Budapest. Not the best conversion rates though.
Our first evening in Budapest and what a welcome we got!
We love to walk around in Budapest due to the impressive architecture.
Our first whole day in Budapest started with Othilia showing her independence. She suddenly didn’t want any help and wanted to walk by herself. Here looking more closely at this purple scooter.
We tried to avoid this part of Budapest the last time we where here, so it was nice to see the tourist part of the city this time around.
We used google maps to find small parks for Othilia to run around in.
We found the Budapest eye, but we didn’t try it out.
Szent István Bazilika had a lovely square where Othilia could run around.
Liberty square had a water installation and Othilia was scared of the water funny enough, she usually loves water.
We just happened to come to Liberty square because we had found a playground that we wanted to take Othilia to. Best of two worlds, her parents could enjoy the surrounding on a macro level and Othilia enjoyed the playground on the micro level.
Othilia made huge developmental leaps while in Budapest. Suddenly, she wanted to push her stroller by herself.
We took several walks along the Danube river, it is a beautiful view from almost any place along both sides of the river. Last time we where here we visited the memorial for the 20 000 Jews that got murdered along the riverside during world war II, a place we really recommend people to visit.
This building in Budapest gave us “Atlas shrugged”-vibes.
New day and a new picture of the Danube river.
We had lovely weather here in Budapest. Othilia in her “Dalarna” dress in the end of October. She got that dress from her paternal granmother (farmor) and we love it. We truly enjoyed the feeling of late summer here even if the leafs had starting to fall down to the ground.
We got to see the Hungarian parliament building after sunset and it was spectacular. Our feeling of Budapest is that it is quite similar to Prague, but that Budapest is more of a large Metropolitan city, and feels bigger than Prague.
The weekend went by so fast and we had to say goodbye to all of our friends and head back to Prague. Thank you Sofia for organizing this weekend. You are welcome to visit Prague some day!
Next up is the end of October and our activities in Prague.


Othilia in pumpkin land

A pumpkin exhibition at the botanical garden in Prague made us happy when the temperature dropped again in October. Autumn was temporarily back with colored leafs and more puddles for Othilia to jump in. We went to the pumpkin exhibition with our friends in the Prague libertarian parents group and the kids had so much fun.

We are now reporting from the middle of October and the weather changed back and forth between late summer weather and autumn weather so we tried to take advantage of all the nice days here in Prague – we knew that winter was coming.
Now a few pictures comes from the pumpkin land and from the nice late summer days in mid-October.


En pumpautställning i den botaniska trädgården i Prag gjorde oss glada när temperaturen sjönk igen i oktober. Hösten var tillfälligt tillbaka med färgade löv och fler vattenpölar för Othilia att hoppa i. Vi åkte till pumpautställningen med våra vänner i Prags libertarianska föräldragrupp och barnen hade så kul.

Vi rapporterar nu från mitten av oktober och vädret ändrades fram och tillbaka mellan sensommarväder och höstväder så vi försökte dra nytta av alla de fina dagarna här i Prag – vi visste att vintern var på väg.
Nu kommer lite bilder från pumpalandet och fina sensommardagar i mitten av oktober.

Othilia in pumpkin land.
Pumpkins in different colors matching the autumn.
We stopped at the pond where Othilia always tries to jump in.
Edward and Othilia plays in the South America garden at the botanical garden.
The botanical garden in Prague has also put up tipis near the South America garden.
The mothers inspecting the pumpkin garden.
The view over Prague from the botanical garden. Jana and O are enjoying the beautiful view.
The metal creatures are an art installation at the botanical garden.
The youngest kids in the hammock.
Then we said good bye to the botanical garden for this time.
Othilia looks so “grown up” in this picture, not a baby anymore. The weather changed quite a lot in the middle of October. One day we had to dress Othilia in her overall (I don’t know how to best translate this word to English, winter suit?)
The other days we could put Othilia in summer clothes.
We took advantage of the lovely autumn days and she got to be outdoors and play with Edward.
Our friend Lynn decided to come visit us in the middle of October. We were so happy to have her here and Othilia loved playing with her. Lynn was a great guitar teacher for Othilia as well as stroller pusher. We hope to see you soon Lynn!
I have to end the blog with Pontus amazing morning photos of Prague. I can’t get enough of them.
Next up for us was a trip down South and visit another city we like – Budapest. More about that in our next blog.

Opt-out – Hacker’s Congress 2019

Hacker’s Congress is always at Paralelni Polis here in Prague around the first weekend in October. This years theme suited us well (Opt-out) and we bought the tickets as soon as they were released. The price was a bit higher this year, but the quality of the conference was higher as well. They had much more sophisticated recording equipment and most of the talks were recorded. Some speakers declined to be filmed for obvious reasons, but the open talks are available here if you are interested.

More and more children attend each year, so this year Othilia had a friend near her age to play with. Older kids also had things to do at the conference so the attendees of the conference is turning into a mix of young hacker’s and families with children.

I will show a few photos from the conference, but I highly recommend you to visit their Youtube page and look at the recordings from the conference.


“Hacker’s Congress” arrangeras alltid på Paralelni Polis i Prag runt första helgen i oktober. Årets tema passade oss bra (Opt-out) och vi köpte biljetter så snart de släpptes. Priset var högre i år, men kvaliteten på konferensen var också högre. De hade mycket mer sofistikerad inspelningsutrustning och de flesta av föreläsningarna spelades in. Vissa av talarna ville dock inte filmas av uppenbara skäl, men de öppna samtalen finns här om du är intresserad.

Fler och fler barn deltar för varje år som går och i år hade Othilia en vän nära hennes egen ålder att leka med. Äldre barn hade också saker att göra på konferensen så deltagarna på denna konferens har förvandlats till en blandning av unga hackare och barnfamiljer.

Jag kommer att visa er några foton från konferensen, men jag rekommenderar dig starkt att besöka deras youtube-sida och titta på inspelningarna från konferensen.

Othilia checking out the Bitcoin ATM. The only accepted currencies at this conference are cryptocurrencies, mainly bitcoin and litecoin.
A summary of the Hacker’s Congress 2019
The history and background of Parelni Polis was presented. Václav Benda was a Czech Roman Catholic intellectual and mathematician, that lead the anti-communist dissident organization Charter 77 when Czechoslovakia was under Communist rule. He wrote the essay Parallel Polis (parallel cities) in 1977 and he is an important person to the crypto-space here in Prague.
Some words of advice.
Some words about Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra.
Some talks was live on Youtube and more are now available on Youtube.
Ken Schoolland was one of the main speakers at the conference. He is an Associate Professor of Economics at Hawaii Pacific University and the author of The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible.
Othilia chilling in the bean bag at Paralelni Polis. We couldn’t bring Othilia to the lectures so we had to divide the interesting talks between us.
Othilia had her friend Astrid (and her mother Hayley) at the Hacker’s Conference. They already met at last years conference, both just a few month old and in a sling back then. Now they are running around at Paralelni Polis.
We also took Othilia out to playgrounds so she wouldn’t be indoors all day.
Othilia is an expert at stealing other children’s balls (look how happy she looks :)). We bring her own balls to the playgrounds, but she is never interested in her own balls, only those of others.
Back to the conference! We got handed a Venezuelan Bolivar at the conference – this piece of paper is now worth less than 1 satoshi (0.00000001 BTC).
The people who put the conference together – a big thank you for all the work you put in to make this happen!
We will end this blog post with a few pictures from the morning walks Pontus does.
Troja bridge in the dark.
Some boats on the Vltava river is part of the public transportation system, so a regular ticket is enough to go from one side of the river to another. They also start to go quite early as you can see by the morning light.

Libertarians in Prague and the Kokořín Castle

We get to meet Czech libertarians every time we come here, we have even started our own chat group with Libertarian parents in Prague, so that our children can meet and play with each other. The group is still small, but we hope that it will grow slowly.
The beginning of October means that our favorite conference of the year is coming up and this also means that a bunch of our friends shows up and we get to hang out with them. This year we took them to the Kokořín Castle, a castle totally surrounded by forest, and it is a nice day trip from Prague.


Vi får träffa tjeckiska libertarianer varje gång vi kommer hit, vi har till och med startat vår egen chatgrupp med libertarianska föräldrar i Prag, så att våra barn kan träffas och leka med varandra. Gruppen är fortfarande liten, men vi hoppas på att den kommer att växa långsamt.
Början av oktober betyder att vår favoritkonferens går av stapeln och det betyder också att ett gäng av våra vänner dyker upp och vi får umgås med dem. I år tog vi dem till slottet Kokořín, ett slott som är helt omgivet av skog och som är en trevlig dagstur från Prag.

The weather got a bit colder in the beginning of October, so we needed to dress up a bit to meet other children in our Libertarian parents group.
Our first meeting was at a playground in a park in the South of Prague. They also have a man-made cave system for older kids to play in.
It doesn’t even look like we are in Prague anymore,
Prague has so many playgrounds and we love that with Prague, so child friendly.
Our first Libertarian parent/child meet up was with the first lady of Liberland (Jana) and a thought-criminal mother (Caroline) according to the Swedish state media. If you don’t know what I mean about thought-criminal, you should watch the YouTube video linked at the end of the blog post. It is hilarious!
Some early morning pictures taken by Pontus on his walks.
It is so nice to see a city slowly waking up to a new morning.
The weather turned into summer again and we got invited to our unschooling friends Martin and Zdenka. Zdenka is involved in the Czech un-/home-/worldschooling community, but we have a lot more common interests than that subject. They are also interested in biohacking and longevity so we had so much to talk about.
Their newest family member Astrid is so adorable. We have met a few babies named Astrid and even a Margit here in the Czech Republic. It is interesting to hear such Swedish names pronounced with a Czech or English twist on it.
This is the conference that keeps us coming back to Prague each autumn. It is always the first weekend in October, so this means that a lot of our friends tend to show up here in Prague in the beginning October.
We can even have a Swedish Libertarian meet up here in Prague.
The first weekend in October means that we are inside a building most of the day so we decided to go on an adventure out in the nature to counteract being indoors all day.
Carvings in the stone – date unknown.
our adventure took us to the Kokořín Castle. An old castle up on a rock in the middle of the forest.
You park at the river and then climb the stairs all the way up to the castle.
Kokořín Castle was built in the end of the 14th century.
It was heavily damaged in the Hussite wars (1419-1434) and stood as ruins until 1911 when a 7-year restoration took place.
The Kokořín Castle is open for visitors and we were able to climb up one of the towers.
The view is fantastic and a day out in the nature was just what we needed.

SVT (Swedish state propaganda channel, yes it is founded with taxes) found out that Swedish families are thinking and caring for their children’s future and calling us criminals for giving the advice to move abroad to be able to homeschool (it is still not criminal SVT to move from Sweden!). Our friend Caroline was “exposed”, because she is an administrator of a Facebook page about unschooling. It is hilarious to watch. Link to youtube (with English subtitles):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GFdbYfCGZI


Prague botanical gardens and Philosophy Europe Convention 2019

Prague has a botanical garden, and and we went there with our friends, the King family, and people from the worldschooling community. The botanical garden is up on a hill in Northern Prague, so when you reach the bottom half of the garden, the view is lovely – especially over Troja castle. Time-wise, we are still in September when we did all these things. I know I promised you October in our last post, but we’re not quite done with September yet 🙂

We also went to the Philosophy Europe Convention that focus on philosophy, Libertarianism and Austrian economics. It was the second time we attended this conference and we like how it is put together, both with workshops and lectures mixed with excursions in and around Prague with the group of participants that we now consider our friends.


Prag har en botanisk trädgård och vi åkte dit med våra vänner familjen King och människor från “Worldschooling”-gruppen. Den botaniska trädgården ligger uppe på en kulle i norra Prag, så utsikten är vacker när man når den nedre halvan av trädgården – särskilt den över slottet Troja. Tidsmässigt är vi fortfarande i september när vi gjorde det här. Jag vet att jag lovade er oktober i vårt förra inlägg, men vi är inte riktigt klara med september ännu 🙂

Vi deltog också i “Philosophy Europe Convention” som fokuserar på filosofi, Libertarianism och österrikisk ekonomi. Det var andra gången som vi deltog på denna konferens och vi gillar hur den är sammansatt, med både workshops och föreläsningar blandade med utflykter i och runt Prag med den grupp deltagare som vi nu betraktar som våra vänner.

Othilia in the botanical gardens! This is a good place to explore for small children.
Othilia and Edward have become friends!
The pond in the botanical garden with turtles and fishes swimming around.
They get along most of the time and she is following him around regardless if he wants it or not.
The botanical garden was ready for the autumn.
Othilia is our golden baby!
There are different areas in the botanical garden and a lot is created with the little people in mind.
The botanical garden ends with their own wine yard, where you can sit and have some wine and a lovely view.
Next door is the Troja castle and this is not a bad view to have while ending a day at the botanical garden.
Mornings in Prague, the sun goes up and Pontus is there to catch it.
Pontus always finds interesting things to take pictures of. This is a canoe slalom track in the river, this is not the only track in Prague we have seen so it seems that it is a more common sport to engage in here.
We had several meetings with friends from the Philosophy Europe Convention in the end of September and that brought us into the woods around the Karlstejn castle.
Othilia got to try riding daddy’s back when she wasn’t up for walking on her own.
We got to see the Karlstejn castle from the outside. The discussions we had in the forrest were so interesting and Othilia’s pace was not the fastest so we ended up getting to the castle outside of the regular visiting hours.
We also went exploring the city of Prague with our friends from the convention in between the workshops.
Part of the time were spent at playgrounds so Othilia would have something to do while the adults were talking.
We discovered a new part of Prague that we absolutely love – Vyšehrad.
The view is fantastic from the hill.
Prague from Vyšehrad
Ulrika looks skeptical, but it was because her attention got caught by passing people. The sunset is beautiful and Othilia is always lovely!
Basilica Lawrence is standing on top of Vyšehrad and the cellar of the church is more than 1000 years old. You can feel the wings of history up on this hill!

Next we will enter the month of October in our blog updates.

Back in our gem Praha

We are in Praha (Prague in Czech) and the fall is always busy for us here in Praha, the capital of the Czech Republic. I want to show you pictures from where we first arrived to Prague in September, the weather was beautiful and it is always nice to prolong the summer, which is quite short in Northern Europe.

Prague or Praha is the closest thing we have to a base and we realized that we have spent seven out of Othilia’s 13 first months here. Enjoy the birth city of our daughter!


Vi är i Praha (Prag på tjeckiska) och hösten är alltid uppbokad för oss här i Praha, Tjeckiens huvudstad. Jag vill visa er bilder från vad vi gjorde då vi först kom till Prag i september. Vädret var vackert och det är alltid trevligt att förlänga sommaren som är ganska kort om man befinner sig i nordeuropa.

Prag eller Praha är det närmaste vi har en bas och vi insåg att vi har tillbringat sju av Othilias 13 första månader här. Njut av vår dotters födelsestad!

The first thing we did was to meet up with friends and have a barbecue on a roof top. Stunning sunset that welcomed us to Prague!
Othilia loves her new play room and is is a fine climber of stairs. Our daughter is so brave and unafraid of things, but still so careful and asks to hold our hand patiently if she judges that she needs our assistance over some obstacle.
Pontus continues to wake up early in the morning and take a walk. He always takes pictures that we want to share with you. Here is Prague while waking up to a new day!
Malostranská in the morning
Pivovar Marina in the morning
Some mornings are more cloudy than others.
The Vltava river
Church of St. Anthony of Padua in the background
We are hanging out with the King family and the Vietnamese market had a food festival in September. We love Vietnamese food so we had to visit the festival and let Othilia try it out. She liked it as well!
We visited Othilia’s pediatrician and our daughter was 75 cm and weighed 9950 grams. We have a nice pediatrician that is in full sync with how we view the world and our lifestyle! We like that.
There is so much things to do her in Prague for kids, we have mentioned that before. Here is an exhibition out in the open at the Stromovka park about the the moon landings and the race to space.
And signs both in Czech and English. That is something you don’t see everywhere here in the Czech Republic.
End of September and we enjoyed the summer.
This was a short recap of the last days in September for us here in Prague. October was much more busy for us! And Othilia’s development accelerated to a pace none of us were prepared for. It is an exciting ride to be fortunate enough to follow a child grow up.

Othilia one year and one month in Sweden

We had an intense one month in Sweden after departing from Netherlands. Othilia was about to turn one year and we wanted to celebrate this with our families. We also had other birthdays to celebrate, new babies to greet and a great-grand mother to visit, so August was a family-intense month for us and we wanted to enjoy that to the fullest.

Othilia has developed so fast and is now a little person. She is so determined and curious, so us parents we just follow her and see what she does. She is adventurous, but careful and she is talking a lot (by our standards), but she doesn’t yet speak our language. However, she does say a few words in Swedish and show us that she understands way more words than she can say right now. Ulrika also swears that she hears Othilia use a few English words (like daddy), but time will tell if she starts speaking English at a young age. The King children do shower her with English so we will see what happens to her language development.

We celebrated Othilia’s birthday during several days and we are so glad that she is so loved by our families and that we had the opportunity to celebrate her first birthday in Sweden. We will insert a lot of pictures from Othilia’s month in Sweden and her birthday below.


Vi hade en intensiv månad i Sverige efter avresan från Nederländerna. Othilia skulle fylla ett år och vi ville fira detta med våra familjer. Vi hade också andra födelsedagar att fira, nya barn att hälsa på och en gammelmormor att besöka så augusti var en familjeintensiv månad för oss och vi ville njuta av det till fullo.

Othilia har utvecklats så snabbt och är nu verkligen en liten person. Hon är så beslutsam och nyfiken, så vi föräldrar bara följer efter henne och ser vad hon gör. Hon är äventyrlig, men försiktig och hon pratar mycket (enligt vår familjs standard), men hon talar inte vårt språk än. Hon säger dock några ord på svenska och visar oss att hon förstår fler ord än hon kan uttala just nu. Ulrika svär också på att hon har hört Othilia använda sig av några engelska ord (såsom “daddy”), men tiden kommer att visa om hon börjar prata engelska i så här ung ålder. King-barnen överröser henne med engelska så vi får se vad som händer med hennes språkutveckling.

Vi firade Othilias födelsedag under flera dagar och vi är så glada över att hon är så älskad av våra familjer och att vi hade möjlighet att fira hennes första födelsedag i Sverige. Vi kommer att publicera en hel del bilder från Othilias månad i Sverige och hennes födelsedag nedan.

Gothenburg seen from Ramberget.
Here we have family so Gothenburg is a place that we visit when we come to Sweden.
Saying hello to Othilia’s great grandmother!
We soon went North meeting up with old friends in Linköping and celebrated Othilia’s cousin Noa’s second birthday in Stockholm.
We where soon with grandparents in Långshyttan and Stjärnsund trying out one of her birthday presents that Othilia got early.
Othilia was so fascinated by being on the lake.
Trying different vehicles, even a bicycle!
Inspecting grandmother’s garden!
Othilia got to her favorite thing at Stugan – playing with water and playing with grandmother (not in the picture)!
We investigated different places to have Othilia’s birthday party and we found the right spot at Svartviksstugan near Sandviken in Gästrikland.
In just a few weeks we would celebrate Othilia at this spot, but first we had a few days in Gävle and Norrsundet to spend.
We got to spend some time with aunt Jonna at Högbo before she left for her own adventures. We also gave Othilia a birthday present early – a stroller!
We visited Norrsundet a sleeping fishing village and a “bruksort”. Othilia is jumping on rocks now!
Spending time with a grandparent in Norrsundet, trying out the playground!
We even had our first date in a year while Othilia got to spend some time with a grandmother. Thank you mormor and Mats!
We met up with bubb.la people in Hedesunda and Ulrika showed where she has been playing in the water when she was young.
Be a tourist in your own home town. Ulrika has never gone out to Limön, an island in the Gävle bay area, so we decided to take the last boat on the summer schedule out to that island.
We were the only people on the boat which was strange, but we would find out later on why we probably were the only passengers that day.
Limön! An old fishing island which is know mainly occupied by summer houses and a café.
We had the island almost to ourselves, except for a few summer guests in their cabins. We tried the water, which was really cold, but that didn’t stop Othilia. You see the factory Korsnäs in the background.
We found swings so Othilia wanted fully enjoy them. She can now swing like the older kids do it.
Just an hour before our boat was departing we saw this and we realized that we had skipped to check the weather forecast for this day. No wonder we were the only people on board that day. But the intense rain passed quickly and we could safely go back to the mainland.
Then Otihlia’s days of celebration came and she was dressed for the occasion by a dress she got from Othilia’s cousins (and their parents).
We had a bit of bad weather, but that didn’t stop the celebration. We lit a fire in the fire place.
And Othilia was excited over the birthday cakes. One bought (but carefully selected by mom) and one home made (by dad, his favorite cake). The buns was also home made by grand mother!
We want to thank our families for all the great gifts Othilia got from you. We are so grateful that you were able to come and celebrate that Othilia now has been on the planet for a full year. Happy birthday our beloved and most precious daughter! We love you!
We had a second birthday celebration with Ulrika’s side of the family and we want to thank them for coming and celebrating our daughter as well. Thank you! Othilia’s birthday parties also were our good bye to our families for this time. A few days later we left Sweden from Trelleborg (picture from the coast of Trelleborg) and headed South.

Texel island and preparing to leave Netherlands

Netherlands do have a few islands outside of their mainland and the biggest island is called Texel. The rumor was that Texel (pronounced Tessel in Dutch) would have nice places to take a bath, so we packed our swimwear. Just a few days from our planned date to travel to Texel, a friend contacted us and let us know that she and a friend where in Amsterdam for a holiday so we invited them to come with us to Texel.


Nederländerna har några öar utanför kusten och den största kallas Texel. Ryktet var att Texel (uttalat Tessel på holländska) skulle ha fina badmöjligheter så vi packade med oss badkläderna. Bara några dagar från det planerade datumet för att resa till Texel kontaktade en vän oss och meddelade att hon och en vän var i Amsterdam för en semester så vi bjöd in dem att komma med oss till Texel.

We bought our ferry ticket online, which made the check-in smooth and simple,  and we drove on to the ferry after we had picked up our friend Lynn and her friend Lina at the train station in Den Helder.

Ferries to Texel depart from Den Helder and they depart frequently all year (one every 30 minutes during high season). It is quite cheap if you can avoid the weekends and Mondays, meaning taking your trip out to Texel Tuesday to Thursday is cheapest. You buy a two way ticket and you either walk, bicycle or take a car on board. We took a car and the ticket is valid for the car, meaning that you can go up to 9 persons in one car on one car ticket. The price was 25 Euro for a car if you travel Tuesday to Thursday (it is 37 Euro the other days).

Hi Texel! Othilia is here!

One of the things you can do on the island is to visit the Eierland lighthouse. The lighthouse was built in 1863 and it was built on top of a 20-metre high sand dune.

During an uprising in April 1945 the lighthouse suffered a lot of damage. The lighthouse was then repaired by constructing a new wall around the original wall, but you can still see the original wall with its bullet holes when you go up the tower.

We got a nice overview over the sea and beach from the top of the lighthouse. Othilia loves to climb!

This was our main objective today. It was a really warm day, so being in the water was a necessity for Othilia.

The girls on their way to the beach!

Othilia was happy!

Pontus was running around and took pictures on animals he found in the water.

A few crabs! There were also animals in the water that we couldn’t see, but we could feel them – water fleas!

We ate dinner on Texel before we took the ferry back to the mainland and said good bye to Lynn and Lina. Our days in Netherlands were about to end, so we want to end our Netherlands 2019 trip with photos from our time here that didn’t fit the previous blog posts.

The days we didn’t have an adventure planned we stayed in or close to our magical village. We had Harlingen near us, where we went for shopping etc, but we also had close to Bolsward, where we found our favorite ice cream flavor – duindoorn in Dutch or havtorn in Swedish (sea buckthorn in English).  
Pontus started with a new habit to wake up and go watch the sunrise, so I want to show you a few of the sunrises Pontus captured during our month in Netherlands. So here is a mix of pictures from our month in the Netherlands.


Vi åt middag på Texel innan vi tog färjan tillbaka till fastlandet och sa hejdå till Lynn och Lina. Våra dagar i Nederländerna var på väg att ta slut, så vi vill avsluta vårt Nederländerna 2019 med bilder från vår tid här som inte passade de tidigare blogginläggen.

De dagar vi inte hade ett planerat äventyr stannade vi i eller nära vår magiska by. Vi hade Harlingen nära oss, dit vi åkte för att shoppa osv, men vi hade också nära Bolsward, där vi hittade vår favoritglassmak – duindoorn på holländska eller havtorn på svenska.
Pontus började med en ny vana att gå upp på morgonen och titta på soluppgången, så jag vill visa er några av de solupppgångar Pontus fångade under vår månad i Nederländerna. Så nedanför denna text är en blandning av bilder från vår månad i Nederländerna.

Stunning picture of a sunrise over the avenue leading to our village.

Othilia eating berries in our backyard.

sunrise!

Othilia playing in the village playground.

The heat was unbearable so we had to buy a fan to our rented house. It saved our days and nights for a couple of days.

Our nearest beach in Makkum. Nice to have when the temperature was peaking.

Another stunning sunrise that Pontus captured. This is not a bicycle road – it is actually a normal car road with a maximum speed limit of 60 km/h.

We took a walk in a small park in Bolsward one evening.

And this is here main objective when when she sees water. You can imagine what her reaction is when we deny her a bath.

The city had placed out animals carved out of wood in the park.

Othilia gets to hang out with dad in the morning if she decides to make morning way before I do. Here in her pajamas watching the sun go up.

Wherever we go we get stuck for a while if Othilia see a ball. Here, we had stopped at a McDonald’s to eat and Othilia was in heaven, the playground had balls hanging from ropes.

An evening shoot capturing the full moon. Pontus’s mobile camera is so good at taking pictures in poor light.

Then it was time for us to leave Netherlands, but it will not be our last time here. We love the Netherlands, especially the Northern parts. More pictures from our time here can be seen in the slider below.

De Haar Castle and Utrecht with bubb.la

De Haar Castle was another recommendation we got and our contacts brought us to Utrecht in the Netherlands so we decided to pay this castle a visit. It was on one of the hottest days here in the Netherlands so being inside a cold castle was perfect for us.
De Haar Castle had gradually turned into ruins since 1641 when the heir of the castle ruins, Etienne van Zuylen van Nijevelt, in 1887 married Hélène de Rothschild, of the Rothschild family.  Hélène’s family, the Rothschilds, decided to rebuild the castle from its ruins. They hired the famous Dutch architect Pierre Cuypers and he would work on the project for 20 years. De Haar Castle has 200 rooms and 30 bathrooms, and a few rooms on the ground floor have been opened to be viewed by the public, so we went in and took a look at them.


Slottet De Haar var en annan rekommendation vi fått och våra kontakter förde oss till Utrecht i Nederländerna så vi beslutade att besöka platsen. Det var en av de hetaste dagarna här i Nederländerna så att vara inne i ett stort, kallt slott var perfekt för oss.
De Haar-slottet hade gradvis förvandlats till ruiner sedan 1641 när arvingen till slottets ruiner, Etienne van Zuylen van Nijevelt, 1887 gifte sig med Hélène de Rothschild. Hélènes familj, Rothschildsfamiljen, beslutade att återuppbygga slottet från dess ruiner. De anlitade den berömda holländska arkitekten Pierre Cuypers och han skulle arbeta med detta projekt i 20 år. De Haar-slottet har 200 rum och 30 badrum, och några få rum på bottenvåningen har öppnats för att beskådas av allmänheten, så vi gick in och tittade på dem.

Welcome to De Haar Castle!

Better be in the shadows while walking around the castle!

Walking inside the castle over the draw bridge

First thing you see when you walk in to the main hall!

The main hall felt like it was taken from the land of the Maharajahs (Rajasthan in India) and sure thing, the newlywed couple loved travel and they even invited Maharaja friends to the castle.

The family tree of the van Zuylen/Rothschild family can be found here.

A few things from the Etienne/Helene van Zuylen era are on display in the different rooms.

Like their hygiene/make up boxes they couldn’t travel without.

A few of the suitcases that the family used during their travels.

The dining hall. A lot of prominent people have been dining around this table.

Collections of different things bought during their travels far away.

A few bedrooms are open for display. This room was Baronnesse Gabrielle van Zuylen during a few decades when she was married to Thierry van Zuylen van Nyevelt.

The library/cigar room!

The kitchen in the cellar. Highly modern for its time. Even though the castle has been built to resemble the old castle, the family was keen to modernize the castle so they would have proper bathrooms and kitchen, electrical sockets, heat and ventilation.

We couldn’t resist to buy a bunny to Othilia when we walked out through the museum shop. She was so happy to see it and she wouldn’t let go of the bunny.
More pictures from the castle will be displayed in the slider below.

We took a short walk in the park as well before we left for Utrecht.

We found deers in the park and Othilia got excited.

They were also staying in the shadows.

We found a swan family as well. We couldn’t stay longer, the heat was getting to us even though we were staying in the shadows most of the time.

Our original plan was to take a walk around Utrecht after our visit to De Haar Castle, but the heat forced us to find a place for us and Othilia to swim. The Evening came and we had arranged a bubb.la meet up in Utrecht so we had to leave the lake and head into the city – our only request was to sit indoors with an air-condition on full speed.


Vår ursprungliga plan var att ta en promenad genom Utrecht efter vårt besök i De Haar-slottet, men värmen tvingade oss att hitta en plats för oss och Othilia att simma. Kvällen kom och vi hade ordnat ett bubb.la möte i Utrecht så vi var tvungna att lämna sjön och åka in till staden – vår enda begäran var att sitta inomhus med luftkonditionering på full hastighet.

We found a lake near the De Haar castle so we went there to spend our afternoon waiting for our bubb.la member meet up.

Othilia and dad in the water.

We were not the only ones escaping the city during the heat wave.

Early evening and we were in the city of Utrecht.

We ate dinner here and then took an evening walk in the city center of Utrecht.

The city once had a much higher water level, that is why you find a lower ground level next to the canal today and both restaurants and tenants take advantage of that.

The canals are also used for kayaking and swimming in.

The sun was going down and we had to say good bye to our new friends. We didn’t have so many days left here in the Netherlands and we wanted to go on one more adventure before leaving the Netherlands. More about that in our next blog post.

The windmills of Zaanse Schans

We visited Zaanse Schans after this village was decided to be the place for a small bubb.la meet up with a Swedish/Japanese family that we wanted to meet. We always try to meet up with like-minded people when we travel around in the world and here in the Netherlands a few fellow bubb.la members currently live.

Zaanse Schans is a village with historic wooden buildings set up with the intention of preserving the historical heritage of the Netherlands. Many of the buildings here were relocated to the Zaanse Schans expansion plan between 1961 and 1974, and restored to their former glory. Only a few of the windmills are still on their original property. It feels like an amusement park, because of the many tourists coming here (2.2 million visited in 2017).  We bought the Zaanse Schans Card 15 Euros (10 Euros for children between 4- 17 and below 4 for free). With the card you can visit several museums free of charge for an entire day. However, the windmills you still have to pay for to enter (5 Euros to enter each windmill).


Vi åkte till Zaanse Schans efter att denna by bestämdes att vara platsen för en liten bubb.la-träff med en svensk/japansk familj som vi ville träffa. Vi försöker alltid träffa likasinnade människor när vi reser runt i världen och här i Nederländerna bor för närvarande några  bubb.la medlemmar.

Zaanse Schans är en by med historiska träbyggnader inrättade med avsikt att bevara det historiska kulturarvet i Nederländerna. Många av byggnaderna här flyttades till Zaanse Schans expansionsplan mellan 1961 och 1974 och återställdes till sitt tidigare skick. Endast ett fåtal av väderkvarnarna står på sin ursprungliga plats, resten är flyttade hit. Det känns som en nöjespark på grund av de många turister som kommer hit (2,2 miljoner besökte stället år 2017). Vi köpte Zaanse Schans-kortet för 15 Euro (10 Euro för barn mellan 4- 17 och under 4 gratis). Med kortet kan du besöka flera museer gratis en hel dag. Väderkvarnar måste man fortfarande  betala för att gå in i (5 Euro för att besöka varje väderkvarn).

Some of the windmills of Zaanse Schans on this side of the river: De Huisman (Spices), De Gekroonde Poelenburg (Wood saw), De Kat (Paint), The Seeker (Oil), Bovenkruier (Wood saw), De Os (oil), Het Klaverblad (Wood saw), De Bonte Hen (Oil).

We came to Zaanse Schans in the morning when the weather was a bit colder, but the prognosis was promising sun, so me and Othilia had dressed for that.

We were waiting for our company of today a fellow bubb.la member that we have wanted to meet as soon as we knew we were going to the Netherlands.

Stefan, Aki and their daughter came with the train meeting us and it was so fun to spend a day with this family, we would love to do it again someday.

Zaanse Schans is a created windmill park with old windsmills transported from the whole country to be in the same place. It feels more like an amusement park for tourists, than a genuine village, but the windmills are still running and you can walk into them if you pay 5€ at each entrance. The other houses are museums, some are free and some you need to pay an entrance fee to get in, and others are restaurants, cafes and shops.

The Netherlands are known for clogs (Klomp in Dutch) and we have actually seen normal people walking in those in supermarkets. There is actually a clog making man in Zaanse Schans and a clog museum is a part of his working place.

Clogs in all forms can be found here.

There were a lot of clogs for purchase as well, not just for show!

Putting Othilia in place for the photoshoot I had planned with her dress from Bali, bought by mormor (grandmother) approximately half a year before Othilia was created. The problem was that Othilia only wanted to walk into the water so we had to act fast.

The hat were on her head for approximately 20 seconds before it ended up in the water. The hat was rescued by Stefan, but most of all quick thinking by Aki.

Next to the mills you have other historical buildings that have been transported here.

We decided to walk around in this part to take photos. We had so much to talk about with Stefan and Aki so we didn’t want to end the day to early. Othilia got the other hat, while the yellow hat was drying.

Zaanse Schans!

A garden in Zaanse Schans!

It looked like at least some of the houses here had people living in them!

We visited the museum of Dutch clocks and we could appreciate the craftmanship and work dedicated to these clocks. The boats and whale in the lower part of the clock was actually moving.

The first store opened by Albert Heijn, the largest supermarket chain in Netherlands, has also been moved to Zaanse Schans. The store orginally opened in 1887 in the town of Oostzaan. We said goodbye to Aki and Stefan for this time around, but we would meet Stefan again a few days later.

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