Berlin – The DDR museum

Ever wanted to know how it was to live behind the iron curtain in East Berlin before the wall fell in 1989? Well, then you should make sure visit the DDR museum, where you can really get a hands-on experience of history.

Located in Berlin’s historical district, close to the museums on Museum Island, the DDR Museum exhibits everything from the car of choice (which really just was one, the good, old Trabant with a several years’ wait list) to scenes from the daily life of both the main population and the wealthy few and it even has (among lots of other stuff) a life size typical East Berlin apartment replica. Disregarding the gun in the desk drawer, the apartment was not that different from what we oldies remember from the 70-80’ies (a mix of brown and orange ruled), but the apartments in East Berlin were of course in short supply and with endless waiting lists.

The last picture, the one with the grenades, is not from a military setting, but from a school yard setting (the world’s worse handball substitute ever)!!

The entrance fee to the museum is EUR 8,50 for adults and EUR 5,50 for children. It is well worth a visit, and if the weather permits, you can go for a tasty lunch in by the river afterwards.

Berlin Marathon – Race Report from the back of the field

In pouring rain, one hour after the gunshot for the elite, it was only the slowest left to start the 46th Berlin Marathon, and among them – me.  As so often before, I had time to repeatedly ask myself the question: Why on earth are you doing this? And the answer is quite simple and it hasn’t got to do with the joy of running or anything like that; I simply do not want my boyfriend to be the only one with a medal around his neck at the end of the day – affectionately mocking me with phrases like “pain is temporary – quitting lasts forever” (true story after I had to leave the race after 25 km in Stockholm due to an injury a few years ago). That is why I did not forfeit, despite fever and sore throat, but decided to give the medal hunt a try.

After just a couple of km I realized that this was going to be tough one (so, what else is new…?). My leg felt like led, and I was not at all able to keep the wanted pace without jumping to pulse zone 4. Not a great start, in other words… After only 15 km I felt completely depleted and then the heavy rain started. Perfect! From here on I was able to wog my way to the finishing line, but the jogging part became constantly shorter and shorter. For the approx. 10 last km, I was actually able to increase the jogging intervals, but that was simply because just walking was too painful to endure.

For the first time in history I used wireless airbuds, with a promised durance of 5 hours, but which only lasted for about 3 (thank you Bose Soundsport). Luckily I had foreseen this problem and had brought the portable charger, so after approx 10 minutes, the airbuds lasted for another hour before I had to repeat the charge.

Nourishment during a race always constitutes a big problem for meg, since my stomach cannot take any kind of sport gels. I did, however, bring with me 2 x baby smoothies, which I was able to digest during the marathon along with a couple of banana bites. Not much, but at least enough to keep me going.

For the last km, up the Under the Linden and to Brandenburger Tor, I was so motivated by the fact that I was approaching the finishing line, so this km was actually my fastest one. If you are thinking “If that was your fastest, then you had more to go on earlier in the race” think again. I REALLY did not! The mere thought of the finishing line along with the cheers of the spectators still left along the course, just gives me a second wind.

FINALLY, I could cross the finishing line and collect my fourth big, fat, Berlin Marathon Medal. My boyfriend had graciously been waiting for me for 90 minutes, so when I had regained my strengths and gotten changed, we left the area. Still runners were out in the course, but now they had closed off the finishing line, so the runners were not able to cross it or collect a medal. It was really heartbroken to watch… I mean, I do get that after 6:15 you do not get an official time, but someone could at least stay behind and give the slowest participants a medal for their effort!

Anyway, since this was my fourth time in Berlin and my boyfriend’s fifth, we have now decided to go for the jubilee membership (10 x Beriln Marathon), so we are already looking forward to next year and hopefully it will be a bit easier than this year.

 

To sum up: I got the medal, and nothing else matters 🙂

 

Berlin Marathon – 6 dager igjen og nede med feber og vondt i halsen

Det slår liksom aldri feil… like sikkert som maratondagen nærmer seg med stormskritt blir jeg syk og ligger rett ut. Historisk har jeg basket med både influensa, lungebetennelse, slimposebetennelse, svimmelhetsanfall i dagene før et maraton (i tillegg til å være i generelt ræva form, selvfølgelig) og denne gangen er det feber og vondt i hals og hode som hjemsøker meg 2 dager før avreise.

Vel, er vel ikke annet å gjøre enn å forsøke å sove bort utysket og det har jeg gjort til gangs i dag med nærmest komatøs tilstand frem til langt utpå ettermiddagen. Satser på at det gjør susen etter hvert… Skal nå forsøke å holde meg våken til podens leggetid før jeg trer tilbake i Drømmeland, men merker allerede at derre skal holde ganske hardt.

Nuvel, om 2 dager går turen til Berlin, så juhuuuu, detta skal bli skøy…

Dubai – beautiful sunset and an aging birthday girl

Then the sun has set on my second to last night here in Dubai before I have to return to the rainy and chilly weather back home. The day has really been great, much due to all the greetings regarding the marking of yet another birthday (I stopped celebrating my birthdays several years ago) and the nice gesture from the hotel housekeeping.

To prove that I am not at all old, I have now for 3 consequtive days been swimming 2000m, wogged for an hour on the treadmill as well as walked 500+ steps (OK the last one not really intended but more due to the fact that the elevators are quite slow so I rather choose to walk the 14 flight og stairs). This has resulted in a tired and sore body, so I am not quite sure what I really proved (or disproved). But, could we worse, right?

The sun sets around 19 during summer and then it is just to head down to the beach to enjoy the beautiful scenery and go for an evening dip in the ocean. The ocean temperature these days is solid 36 degrees, so not very cooling in other words. It is kind of like descending into a giant hot tub. But again, I sooo much prefer this to the chilly summer water back in Norway.

Hot’n Toasty – wogging in 44 degrees Celsius

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I arrived at my hotel in Dubai at 02:00 this morning, so a morning wog on the beach was out of the question today. Instead I slept until 8 before I made my way to the supermarket around the corner to purchase breakfast, coke zero and (lots of) ice cubes. I also swam 1000 m in the pool before it got crowded.

After retiring to my amazing room for lunch around 14:00, I was finally ready to donne my jogging shoes and head out to the jogging track at the beach. The plan was 30 min of slow wogging, but I threw on the towel after 20 min. It was too hot, even for me, to continue.

The beach at JBR is usually very crowded, but not this time of year, when it is too hot to go for a cooling dip in the ocean (feels like getting into a gigantic hot tub!. Only the really sun hungry (me) or the constant frozen ones (also me) prevails in the current conditions.

Unsurprisingly enough, I didn’t encounter any other runners/woggers on my wog. I actually barely saw anyone at all, and the few that I met looked at me as if I was a crazy person wogging in this weather.

After a couple of lazy hours in the shade og an umbrekka, I swam another 1000m before retiring to my room for a quick shower. Then I went to Mall og the Emirates to purchase some clothes to junior.

Safe to say, I love it here. I mean, I acknowledge the heat, but I so much rather take this weather compared to the quasi summer weather we tend to get back home.

The remains of summer…

Following several days of rain and not so agreeable weather, we finally got a final visit by the summer this weekend. 20+ degrees and sunny weather should be sufficient to please even the most weather-grumpy of us (namely me…).

As usual, I woke up at the break of dawn, so by 8:30 I was up in the Bugarden park for a slow wog, enjoying the final stage of the sunrise. Fantastic colors, few people and the feeling of tranquility you only get from enjoying the nature, more than made up for the fact that the wog was awful and that my body went on strike after just a few miles.

After a quick shower and an even quicker nap on the couch it was time to enjoy the remains of the summer again. Along with junior and friend, plus my mother and dog, we set off to Sandbakken at Goksjo lake between Sandefjord and Larvik in Norway.

We left the car a couple of miles from Sandbakken and walked the quite scenic trail to the small beach, which we were lucky enough to have all to our selves. Or so we thought… In Norway this time of year, the wasps are quite in abundance and very aggressive, and the minute they sensed the backpack filled with sandwiches and buns, they went for it. We ended up abandoning the backpack with 10+ visitors at the outskirts of the beach and then we were able to enjoy the nature, water and not to mention the sun. We ended up eating our lunch in the safety of our car, with all doors and windows closed, so that the angry, little buggers couldn´t get to us.

The four-legged creature was tricked into a bath by the stick-trick by the two smallest to-legged creatures. The old ones settled for a quiet moment in the sand. A perfect break in other words. .

Sleepless in Sandefjord…

This summer has been quite below par sleep wise and since I still sleep in my PJs and with my winter duvet, I cannot exactly blame the measly few days of heat either. Here the other day, I was so beaten by previous insomnia that I fell straight into a sleepy coma at 22, just to wake up by a racket outside around 02. Of course that was enough to prevent me from going back to sleep.

It is amazing how much you are able to think during the MANY hours of not sleeping, not that any of my thoughts had a high Nobel factor. At around 05, I cursed Mr Sandman, gave up on the whole sleep project and decided to start walking the 6+km to work. The streets in the center of town, that usually are buzzing with life during the summer months, were completely desolated and the only ones I met on my morning walk through the city center was a street sweeper and a guy collecting empty bottles for recycling in the park. But, truth be told, at least the photo ops are in abundance in the wee hours of the morning (OK, the photos have some work done, but the liberating feeling while walking was at least genuine).