Archive for April, 2008

Bowling in Antwerp, Belgium

April 30, 2008 Leave a comment

bowling I’m sure everyone reading this has wondered "is bowling the same in Belgium as it is in America?" I can now report that yes, it is exactly the same. Same shoes. Same balls (we had coloured ones). Same lanes & pins. Same types of machines to keep score. And of course, most of us were terrible – I was there with about 20 co-workers. The big difference about bowling in Antwerp is seeing stuff written in Dutch, French, and English.

Eurostar to Brussels

April 29, 2008 Leave a comment

With a planned strike of all railway workers in Belgium now canceled, I am off to Brussels for some meetings with a bunch of other Microsoftees and maybe a customer too. Taking the Eurostar is much more relaxing than flying! It is also easier to get work done on the train too, which is good since I have to prepare for my presentation later today.

A short trip to Budapest

April 24, 2008 1 comment

budapestI didn’t see much of Budapest – 2 days of meetings and one night out. But, at least I did see the Nyugati Railway Terminal, Saint Stephen’s Basilica, and the Hungarian Parliament Building (pictured). All of these were at night in the rain, but they were nice to see anyway. I never saw the river or the bridge which are also famous. Check them all out at 

A bit more fun is the growing list of cities we’ve visited since arriving in London a year and a half ago. We are up to 18 (give or take) assuming I’ve not forgotten any of them.

Helsinki, Finland

April 20, 2008 Leave a comment

Brian and Lorie in front of the Senate Square We walked around Helsinki on a cold (6 Celsius), but sunny day today seeing the mix of architecture and cultural influences. We have seen restaurants that are themed around Latin America, Texas, Memphis, Russia, India, Japanese, Chinese, and of course Finland. It is certainly a different mix of culture than Stockholm, Oslo, and Copenhagen. Even if you do see some of the same restaurants in those cities, you get the feeling that Finland is much more influenced to the Eastern Europe cultures than its Scandinavian cousins to the West.

I have posted a few photos here.

Stockholm then Helsinki

April 19, 2008 Leave a comment

One of the many bridges in Stockholm We spent the day walking around Stockholm today, mostly in the old town, then caught a flight to Helsinki. During the flight we saw about 1 million islands off the coast of Sweden then again off the coast of Finland: maybe it was about 10 million little islands. I’d love to have the time to explore them one day!

While walking around in Stockholm, I saw two games of Bocce Ball like we play in Minnesota at the lake cabin. However, the balls were metal so that could get dangerous. I uploaded a few new photos here.

This evening in Helsinki we had some reindeer meat for dinner, but most of the meal consisted of mashed potatoes and red currents. Reindeer tastes sorta like steak and the potatoes tasted like… potatoes.


April 18, 2008 Leave a comment

Square in old town After 2 days of solid, but useful, meetings I finally got an hour or so this evening to walk around Stockholm. The old town area, which is on a little island (Stockholm has lots of islands) is a great place to walk since there are few roads that cars can drive on. Click the photo for others pictures. Now it is time to find dinner…. will it be sushi or Swedish meatballs?

Flat bread just like mom makes

April 16, 2008 1 comment

flatbread We landed in Stockholm, Sweden this evening and enjoyed a tasty little meal (fish of course) but the main item I have to share is about the bread. Flatbread, or crisp bread to be precise: the restaurant had some along with regular bread and it was good, at least after putting butter on it. After all, flatbread isn’t that exciting so it is basically a tool to carry some sort of spread/topping. In Swedish, it would be called knäckebröd, spisbröd, or hårdbröd.

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