The Windy City – Chicago!

Me, Alexander, Sverre, Gergo and Hannah decided to pay Chicago a visit some weeks ago. We borrowed a car and bought doughnuts & coffee for the road trip! The drive was 3-4 hours and certainly different from what I’m used to in boring AF Scandinavia. Large billboards literally follow you the entire way; half of them tell you to put your faith in God and the rest appeals to the hungry traveller. Somehow the best steak in the state is always located at the next food exit. Yes, food exit, that is what (some of) the highway exits are called.. lulz.. The typical food exit consists of a cluster of different fast-food chains and the like. A spot on the map of extreme caloric density with an event horizon i.e. the point of no return, where/when you spot that juicy, delicious burger on a billboard.. lolol, here’s a picture of us (three backseat physicists):

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The designated driver for the occasion was Alex, given that flat terrain is one of his Danish specialities lololol. Sverre and his phone can be seen also to the right, making sure we are on the right track. #NeverTrustAWindowsPhoneEverAgainLOL

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For those of you wondering how far – or perhaps, where the third most populous city in U.S. is situated, here, have a look at the map:

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HVT_5521The nickname «The Windy City» is certainly a good fit, for a lot of reasons, mainly – its so damned windy. Luckily for us, the temperature was also freezing! The place we stayed at was somewhat cheap, but more importantly, right in the hearth of Gotham, I mean the metropolis.

After arriving quite late, we decided to grab a beer – and if it hadn’t been for mr. Treider here, almost ruining it by «oh man we gotta go check this out» and «must.. photograph… over… there..» we would have had more than 14 seconds to pick a «flavour». It turned out the store was «right around the corner» all along. However, neither me nor Alex will acknowledge that someone went around the entire block. Because, that would be… absurd.

Due to the coffee (singular), I couldn’t sleep all night. So, next morning I decided to step up my game, and get that caffeine tolerance up up UP. This has proven more difficult than imagined.

After breakfast, we went out to find Cloud Gate, i.e. The Bean the perhaps most well known tourist attraction in the city(?) – at least the most photographed one. It is best described as a mirror, bent in three dimensions to look like a bean, hence the nickname. We first had to walk there – and here are some shots taken on the way:

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(Sorry, no points for recognizing Lincoln).

Finally, zeh Bean: (click here for a version in color)

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As you probably noticed earlier; Chicago is located by Lake Michigan, down south. The fresh water has a special green/turquoise tint to it.

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The city is also known for the excellent Field Museum, the home of SUE; the largest, best-preserved, and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever found.  That’s «her» below:

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I also found these absolutely hysterical statuettes, which I decided to caption appropriately (you must know your internetz):

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We continued our expedition towards the planetarium. (Don’t mind the pointing, it’s the complete opposite direction)

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We found it (and decided to come back later) along with a gorgeous view of the city skyline and the lake. We also found our dark caped guardian – not the hero we deserve, but the hero we need. *Sigh*, I need to stop with these quotes.

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Me, appreciating a little sun for a change:

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After having some food, we joined Alex in his quest of finding Saint Mary of the Angels. If you got he reference of him holding a doughnut and a cup of coffee in front of SUE, you probably get this one too (I most certainly don’t lol). Since we live in 2016, finding the church took about 1.5 seconds + whatever time it took to google it. We grabbed an über and arrived shortly after.

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Signs. Weird ones. Blue ones. Chicago hosts a diverse collection… Remember to keep a ruler in your car so that you can check if parking is legal or not during winter times. Will there be more snow? Will the magical 2 inches be reached? Playing with fire, are we? Or how about a 500 dollar fine for feeding the pigeons?

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Pizza, delicious and fat. One metric tonne of cheese. Very yummy, much taste, such wow. Sverre looks ecstatic at the sheer sight of food after a long day (as we all were, of course).

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I wanted to go back to the pier for a long exposure shot of the city in the dark, over the water. Somehow I managed to convince the others to accompany me! Safe to say, we were not alone out there. There were a certain very recognizable smell in the air.

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This blog post would be incomplete without a photo of the famous Chicago «L» (short for elevated) that transports people into, around and out of the city.

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…and here is a cute little turtle from Shedd Aquarium:

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To this day, I don’t know why it says «A BEST». GAWD, IT MAKES NO SENSE. Anyway, this is the entrance of the Art Institute of Chicago. A place definitely worth a visit.

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This exhibition appealed to me of course! /physicslessonstart/ What we’ve got here is the classic potato battery, taken to the extreme. After some googling, I found out that you can get a little over 1 V per potato. A rough estimate of 500 potatoes gives us something like 500 V to play around with. Wait. Am I sure that they are all connected in series? Nope. Could you do anything fun with it? Not really, the current is probably too low bad. Is it still awesome? YES! /physicslessonend/

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Also, we got this intensely interesting triple-square thingy going on. If that doesn’t get your hearth pumping, I don’t know what will.

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The last great adventure was climbing up the 92-or-so floors of the John Hancock Center. There we got to try out Tilt, which is best described with some photos. This evening was the night of the Super Bowl, so we had the entire floor to ourselves; 360 degree of pure panoramic view. What followed was quite a spectacular sunset, I must say.

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Here is a timelapse from my phone of the sunset. Due to «bad» auto-exposure there is some flickering… Anyways.

Then, after some food from a great kind-of-market-place-but-not-really, we found the car and started driving home. Since Chicago/Illinois is an hour behind Michigan, we got back a little later than anticipated. But, who cares? Awesome trip!

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Driving in darkness – also, bridges!

Scandinavian Roundtrip #01

Late October ’14. I picked up Jørgen at Bø in Telemark. It was late afternoon, and the sun was about to set. We had a very specific mission in mind, we were going to Denmark – by car. This of course, meant we had to cross the famous Øresund Bridge – and boy were we excited about that. Jeez.

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First obstacle in our path, – waiting in line for the ferry that was going to carry us from Horten to Moss. The wind was chilly, but the sea (or should I say fjord?) was calm. Looking towards land on the other side, calm seems to be a good description there as well.

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Well ashore, we once again turned to the road. At some point we noticed the astounding amount of windmills along the unlit highway. We deduced from this, without a shadow of doubt, that we had crossed into Sweden. The rain started pouring down like crazy, but we were to busy singing along to Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s Murder On the Dancefloor to notice. (The video proof of this will be destroyed, rest assured. EDIT: Hmm.. at second thought, I’m gonna save that for your wedding Jørgen #trollface #swag #HaddeIkkeKommetSærligLangtIIdolNei)

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We drove past Gothenburg (Göteborg) and continued (on the now very familiar) European route E6. The trip meter was closing in on the 50 kilometer mark, meanwhile Sweden prepared for dawn. We however, did not feel the urge to stop. Until now. We spent the night in a (not so) small hotel in Falkenberg, watching over Tullbron.
That’s a bridge, that is. This bridge:

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Please don’t think of us as bridge fanatics or any of the sort. They are just that…. pretty… mmhm..

Moving on. For once, there is actually gonna be a picture of me featured right here on the blog. Thanks to Jørgen! I think I’m singing along to Spice Girls. #WouldHaveBeenKickedOutOfIdolEvenBeforeItStarted.

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And then, all of a sudden, Øresund Bridge. Magnificent, monumental and majestic. We left Malmø under perfect photographic conditions. My best shot from the trip, coming up: (#LikeOrGTFO)

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24 hours after start, we had crossed into Denmark. The speed limit was now raised for the second (felt as the «third») time. First to 120 km/h in Sweden, and now 130 km/h. Why «third» you say, well, the Norwegian Government had announced earlier that same year (in May) to raise the maximum speed limit from 100 km/h to 110 km/h on some specific (ridiculously well built) highways.

Just a note, depending on the display you are watching these images on, they might appear very dark. That is mostly likely because the images are very dark lol #ThankYouVeryMuchVeryHelpful

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BUT!!! What did you do in Denmark? ..you may rightfully ask. Well, that’s a story for another…. wedding. Here have a cooki… I mean sunset

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First week in Michigan

In the very unlikely case that you, the reader, are in fact not Norwegian, consider this your lucky day! I’ve decided to write this in English, just for good exercise!

The first few days here at Michigan State University (from now on, MSU) are coming to an end, – and what an eventful week it has been! It all started with me actually getting my VISA back from the embassy in less than 24 hours (rather than the specified 10 days, thanks to a lovely lady (caseworker) at the consulate). I packed my bags, slept perhaps an hour or two before rushing to the airport, way to early. Dropped off my bag and went straight through security in a matter of minutes. When arriving gate 50, at the end of the hall, I had roughly 2 and a half hour before departure. Yeah. Well planned and all that. The sun was slowly rising and with nothing better to do, I tried to get a somewhat good picture of it.

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I put on my headset, turned the volume up quite a bit and set the alarm to go off some 90 minutes later. ZzzZZzzZZz. Finally boarding! Kygo was there! Kept staring like a starstruck moron. Walked onboard, found my seat and was in a good mood thanks to amongst other things, an empty seat right next to me! Yey! Over the speakers we got notified of a 30 minute delay, so we started waiting. Little did we know…

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…and waiting… and waiting. You get the point. Flight cancelled. Back off the plane, get the luggage back, try again tomorrow. Orientation weekend in Michigan, out the window unfortunately.

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New day & better luck. First a short flight to Arlanda, (Sweden) before flying back over Norway, and then crossing the Atlantic. Couple of hours waiting in New York. Got through U.S. Customs and Border Protection smoothly!
The bag tag printed by SAS was actually headed towards New Orleans, but thankfully I was made aware of this by the individual scanning my bag. I got a new tag and managed to get it with me all the way to Detroit. At that moment, not a whole lot of happy thoughts about SAS went through my head.

The weather was foggy, or perhaps misty is more correct. I had some time to kill before my bus to the university was leaving, so I sat down at a local bar and asked for a Coca Cola Light. That did not go exactly as planned… I forced down a god-awful Corona Light and said good bye, ashamed. DIET COKE GOD DAMMIT! Lesson most definitely, learned.

When I finally arrived at MSU, I was met by my awesome Norwegian prof. Morten Hjorth-Jensen (the mastermind behind the exchange agreement where I don’t have to pay 10400 USD in tuition…) and a couple of Ambassadors from the university (also awesome!). I got safely escorted to Owen Hall, all the way to the door, 323, where I moments later fell asleep.

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The following morning (middle of the day actually) I woke up to a quiet and slightly foggy university. I can honestly say that I’ve had no problems whatsoever with jet lag. Easy. 6°C was something completely different from the -18°C back home. Oh boy, little did I know…

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The semester didn’t really begin before Monday, so the campus was awfully quiet. Not a soul to be seen anywhere, except for the occasional oversized squirrel. The Ambassadors helped me get some necessary supplies, and also set me up with an American number (+1-(517)-708-xxxx).

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And if you wondered what my dormitory looks like, here’s a photo of the hallway at least:

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I was invited out for dinner – burger & local beer of course – by Morten, which was precisely the kind of food I craved, and precisely as good as one could possibly hope for! Not to make you jealous, but, yeah, the food here is nothing short of amazing, – just beware of the portion sizes (or you’ll quickly end up in some trouble…). Asking for a miniscule amount, tends to be just about perfect, in the cafeterias all around campus.

And by the way, don’t expect to find the tap for water at your first try. However, vividly blue Powerade or any other flavour of soft drink, not a problem.

The weather changed overnight and suddenly I found myself in very familiar surroundings, – the kind of weather one usually (only) experiences when going skiing in the mountains of Norway (and you are so unlucky as to have no shelter from the wind). The kind of cold that will freeze you, balls to bones in a matter of minutes, if not extreme measures are taken. (Btw, can you spot the Matrix-quote?)

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The Red Cedar river splits the campus in half. As can be seen here, it started to freeze right after the temperature dropped.

The campus is situated in the small Midwestern town called East Lansing. The closest city is Detroit, while Chicago isn’t that far away either.

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We also got a cool looking museum, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum:

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…with this creepy little mascot in front:

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With all the snow and the warm light, the campus looks quite beautiful in the evening / during nighttime.

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Coming up, the very last photo of this blog post –  where I once again present to you, the Red Cedar river.

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Tilbakeblikk, Lofoten! [Arkivbilder, del 2 av 3]

Da var del 2 klar, – og den er en noe mer fargerik fortsettelse av del 1.

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I løpet av året i Lofoten, var et av høydepunktene turen til Nyksund. Der videreutviklet vi blant annet teknikken «sette-fyr-på-stålull-og-snurre-rundt». Av en eller annen grunn, hadde jeg ikke redigert alle disse bildene før nå – og forresten, fler enn meg som ser et ansikt i steinen til høyre?

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Det skulle vise seg at flere år måtte gå, før de gamle teknikker ble tatt opp igjen og denne gang perfeksjonert: <<Ring of Fire>>. Men, tilbake til Nyksund! .. og det med et sitat fra en av fotolærerne på skolen: «Aldri la linjer gå gjennom hodet på folk». Ser ut til at jeg glemte det rådet.

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Så skal vi hoppe litt i tid, til den store havørn-utflukten vi hadde i slutten av oktober 2010 – milde himmel, er det gått 5 år?! Det skulle nemlig vise seg at jeg har oversett en god del bilder fra denne turen, da antageligvis alle ørnene som sprutet omkring, stjal oppmerksomheten min.. håhå, ganske fornøyd med dette her:

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I det båten vår kjørte forbi staken, endret perspektivet seg gradvis, så jeg har flere bilder herfra:

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Kystlandskap med fiskebåt går også an:

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SURPRISE, klart det skulle med en ørn til! (Kan røpe at det er maaaange i vente i del 3…)

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SURPRISE 2, klart det skulle være med litt nordlys!

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De neste 6-7 bildene er ikke helt sammenhengende i tid/sted/rom, men de får da lov til å være med her allikevel! Noen gir iallfall meg #LofotFølelsen

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Takk og på gjensyn!

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Tilbakeblikk, Lofoten! [Arkivbilder, del 1 av 3]

Jeg er (og har heller aldri vært) særlig god på å slette unna bilder jeg ikke er helt sikker på at jeg vil ta vare på. Den tid er nå over. I et heroisk forsøk har jeg nå bladd meg gjennom (rundt regnet) 20 millioner bilder fra året nordpå… og kastet på dør en hel drøss. Jeg har også plukket med meg noen på veien, som jeg ikke har vist fram før.

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Dette er altså første del av min arkivbildegjennomgang fra året på Lofoten Folkehøgskule. I dette innlegget blir det utelukkende bilder i svart/hvitt. Enjoy!

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Fjoråret oppsummert med 5 bilder

Det er ingen hemmelighet at denne bloggen har hatt bedre tider hva gjelder hurtige oppdateringer. Her kommer et lite plaster på såret i form av 5 bilder – utvalgte – fra året som nå (forlengst) er over… I tillegg har jeg spyttet inn ett arkivbilde fra Lofoten!

Stjernehimmel over hytta

Bildet er tatt på hytta til kamerat Anders som ligger i nærheten av Risør. Neste bilde ut er tatt på Lambertseter, i «skogen» som ligger ned mot hovedveien, etter første skikkelige snøfall i vinter.

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På vei hjem fra Geilo og en meget awesome hyttetur, fant jeg denne godbiten av en tåkekladd.

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En tur til Bergen har jeg også hatt – i regi av et bryllup – de bildene kommer forhåpentligvis hit en gang før dette millenniet er over – og på vei dit kom jeg og Marit over denne fine fjorden.

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Vann er fint – også når det fosser. Her, Tvindefossen utenfor Voss:

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Til slutt, som lovet, et arkivbilde fra Lofoten – en ørn!!!!

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Tur til Roma, andre del

I Vatikanet, der del én sluttet, gjennoptar vi Roma-tråden. Sagaen fortsetter. I farger. Iallfall de fleste bildene.

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Her har vi utsikt fra toppen av Peterskirken. Både den ene og den andre veien.

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Kirken er overdådig utsmykket, spesielt innvendig. Ingen tegn å spore etter nøysomhet her nei. Håhå. Nåløye til himmelen ser ut til å ha fetet seg opp litt siden Jesu tid. Håhå. Slik ser for eksempel taket ut:

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Tilbake igjen på utsiden sto vi, med lange varme bukser (synlige knær var nemlig ulovlig). Står du midt på Petersplassen kan du ikke se at det er tre(?) ringer med søyler, da de er plassert radielt rett bak hverandre. Ser du derimot fra et hvilket som helst annet sted, ser det omtrent slikt ut:

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Jeg har fremdeles ikke gått lei vidvinkelen min (som er brukt i 4 av 6 bilder så langt..) og knaller på med iallfall ett til.

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Det blir fort lunsjtid etter den evidelige trappetraskingen på vei opp (og ned!) til/(fra) toppen av kirken. Vi kastet terning (du vet en sånn en med to sider, der det står pizza og pasta) og det ble pasta til lunsj. Fornøyde vandret vi videre i retning Piazza Navona.

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Dit kom vi aldri! ..men vi fant tilslutt veien til Borghese-parken.

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———-

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Der støtte vi på denne litt overraskende karen:

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…og denne overraskende bjørnen som ikke var helt klar/konsekvent når det gjaldt røykebestemmelsene:

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…og når vi først er inne på temaet røyk:

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Vel hjemme på hotellet og rett før køyetid, fant jeg det fram en ukjent «kreativ» side av meg selv:

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Morgenen etter skulle vi møte Meyer og Fredrik som også tilfeldigvis befant seg i Roma samtidig som oss. Etter en litt treg start på dagen, med en del vanskeligheter for å komme oss framover i denne byen (fotgjengeroverganger = parkeringsplass), fant vi tilslutt fram til Forum Romanum & Colosseum, der vi skulle møtes.

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Hva gjelder Colosseum, den ubestridt mest kjente severdigheten i byen (for ikke å si landet), så synes jeg den gjør seg godt på bilder – fra utsiden vel og merke. Hadde ikke like mye hell fra innsiden.

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Ingen skikkelig bloggpost uten minst én måke:

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Og som alltid her på bloggen, bilde ut av flyvinduet på vei hjem!

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