<![CDATA[Diving and Travel - Blog]]>Thu, 29 Apr 2021 16:51:18 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Sweden - Romme Alpin]]>Sun, 24 Jan 2021 09:21:39 GMThttps://divingandtravel.com/blog/sweden-romme-alpin5949560
We had such a cozy weekend last time and felt we had to go with the kids as soon as possible back to Romme.
​It´s not so easy to know how winter or activity level will be this year so we take the opportunity now while it´s possible.

We were a bit nervous when we booked because the temp started to drop to plus degrees in Borlänge. We looked every day before the D day.

We left as soon as we could on Friday with the goal of collecting the youngsters' equipment before they closed the rental. It went very well and smoothly, we had pre-booked everything so there was only a small correction in the boot sizes. It was snowing properly and was a bit too hot but it felt like it was still okay to be carried on tomorrow.

We checked in and then sat down in a secluded part of the Lodge and took some snacks and drinks.
I think we sat there for a couple of hours talked, looked in mobiles and I had some work done. So incredibly relaxing.

17:15 it was time for dinner buffet. Since it's Friday, it became the American theme as last time. Maybe not the theme I think is most fun but there are some good things to find.
Now the authorities have introduced that you can only sit 4 people per table. Feels very silly when you are a family of 5 who also sleep in the same room. But it's not something we or they can do anything about. We had to sit on 2 tables and talk a little louder so everyone could hear. But it doesnt mather, we are happy to finally do something properly together so right now everything work.

Installation in a slightly larger room for 5 with the usual discussion about where everyone should sleep and who  decide first and last on our last trip.
A quiet evening where we adults fell asleep early while the youngsters had to sit down in the lobby and talk further with their friends online. The new way to socialize almost 24 hours a day, it feels like.

Breakfast buffet in the morning, which is always appreciated.
Then it was snowboarding for 2 hours for one of our young people and the rest of the day skiing. We were so lucky with the weather even if it was a bit warmer than desired for skiing but it was stil okey. After lunch some slopes were a little bit sticky but there were several that continued to be good.
We was skiing from start to the end of the day and then it was time to go home.

Now we have cravings for next trip. 
​We are happy and satisfied and plan the next trip and keep track of the weather.
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<![CDATA[Sweden-Romme Alpin]]>Fri, 22 Jan 2021 11:11:51 GMThttps://divingandtravel.com/blog/sweden-romme-alpin
It's a new year and we leave a  pretty tough year and hope that everything will start to come to something more normal this year. I sit and dream about our next trip and we are constantly looking online about what is happening and what kind of rules we got at the moment. We sit with a long list of our future destinations and dream.

After many cancellations of travel in 2020 and no proper vacation, it creeps in the body who wants to do something fun and active. After many thoughts and trade-offs if we dare to go, we chose to take a trip to Romme Alpin which is not so far away from Stockholm.
After work, happy and excited, we jumped into a prepared car. One night doesn't require much packing 😉

We arrived 3 1/2 hours later, really hungry. The crew at Romme alpin was kind and let us book table at the Lodge even if we should be 15 minutes late after last sitting. We had to sneak into the restaurant and finally we could sit down and inhale the atmosphere.
We can see that there is a lot less with people. It feels like people do their best to keep distance to each other. And they had made a way out and a way into the buffet room where they took hand liquor before the entrance.

I sat with horror and watched a small child who had a stuffed animal in the shape of an elephant in same size of herself and which she ran around and dragged on the entire floor of the restaurant. I may be a little sensitive, but it wouldn't have come in to my house until it was washed.

When we were done, we sat down for a while in the Lobby, but it was not to long before everything was shut down at 8:30 pm.
We went to the room, watched tv and fell asleep pretty quickly after our work week.

Saturday morning, can't remember the last time I slept so well. Had to take a picture at the  bed mattress brand so I maybe can get a new one at home. Have woken up small moments during the night and heard that they worked hard out on the slopes with their machines and scooters.
Finally we had the long-awaited buffet breakfast, fixed our rides, packed up our room and then out on the slopes. Aaa...  we have longed for this a long time!

I quickly noticed that my feet were not happy. The toes numb away, got tingling, aches and it burned.
Disaster, but I knew I heard that you can custom fix ski boots but I don't know how.
We went down to the skishop and the first guy didn´t knew anything about this but asked us to come back when a colleague was back who had more experience.
One hour later I came out with custom made soles and now my feet were so happy again.

-9°C, perfekt snow, perfect amount of people, equipment fits perfect.
We went over and over again until the slopes closed and we started driving home again.
A big smile on our faces and we could not stop talking about what an amazing day we had.

 
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<![CDATA[Sturgeon]]>Thu, 05 Nov 2020 11:58:24 GMThttps://divingandtravel.com/blog/sturgeon

The sturgeon is a fish I saw on a documentary and I was very amazed by this ancient creature.
I was looking at internet and realized that there is very little information about it online.

The sturgeon is found in 26 different varieties and are today one of the world's most endangered species. The sturgeon has survived changes for millions of years and is very adaptable. The skin is thick, durable and is covered with protective snail-shaped bone plates. It is 250 million years old, which means that this fantastic prehistoric creature has survived both the dinosaurs and the ice age. It is bottom-dwelling and has 4 thick beard reins under its jaw which they use when they search for food on the bottom.

Of freshwater fish, sturgeon have the longest average life expectancy of 50-60 years. Beluga sturgeon can be more than 100 years old and grows the hole life, therefore the sturgeon can be extremely large. There is a theory that the Loch Ness beast may be an ancient sturgeon.
Reproduction is very slow as they are not sexually mature until after 14-15 years.
The sturgeon is picky about where it puts its spawn and can swim 160 km to find the right place and returns to the same area every year. Maybe even on the exact same place it was hatched.

From the beginning, there were so many sturgeons, and they was considered as rubbish. The ones they fished up were thrown ashore so they dried and then they were used as fuel. It was also the food of the poor before the europeans came with the knowledge of how to smoke the meat and use the spawn and they started to overfish the sturgeon. Initially, the spawn was served without charge in pubs that made guests thirsty and bought more to drink.
Then the demand became huge, the 9 sturgeon species that existed in America were soon fished out and the spawn became the rich man's food from royalty to the mafia and today it can cost from 35000 dollars per kg and up. People didn´t think about the problem with overfishing should spoil the possibility to get new generations.

People quickly realized that they could sell expensively to the western world and the fishing in the Caspian Sea which is 3600000km2 which makes it the world's largest lake where about 130 rivers flow out began to be overfished. During the last year of the Russian Empire, they wanted to modernize and began to build a lot of dams and factories (industrialization). The dams meant that the sturgeon could not get to its playgrounds and the factories released all kinds of pollutants into the lake and the biological diversity was and still is strongly affected. The sturgeon population has therefore decreased by 90%. Attempts have been made in different ways to control fishing and also ban fishing on sturgeon have been done. But that did not help, partly due to poaching as it is for many the only source of income.

In collaboration with the Blue Marin Foundation, which aims to protect and restore marine environments around the world, they have managed to make a sanctuary in Southern Azerbajdzjan where they try to protect and rebuild an aquatic environment and hope that the sturgeon will want to spawn again and save the species.

In Wisconsin at Lake Winnebagdo, they have succeeded in a sanctuary and today got the largest population of sturgeons in the whole world. 10 days a year, the sturgeon has its spawning season and people come from different places to have the opportunity to see the fantastic ancient animal in their real habitat.

It is sad and frightening when you consider that the sturgeons has survived both dinosaurs and the ice age, and in only 150 years the human have almost extinct the sturgeon.​

Hope more can see the value in preserving this prehistoric fish and enjoy see this uglybeautiful creature also in the future :)
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<![CDATA[Sweden - Exhibition in Mullsjö]]>Mon, 14 Sep 2020 16:26:20 GMThttps://divingandtravel.com/blog/sweden-exhibition-in-mullsjo
Today I teamed up with Åsa, Nina and Elina and put togheter the exhibition of art and photos that has been planned for a while in the City Hall and the library in Mullsjö.
 
When the clock strikes 4 in the morning and it is pitch black, you first think that something is wrong, but then I come to my senses and I realize that it is time to speed up. Out and walk the dogs and then off to the train.
 
At 9 we arrive in Mullsjö and was picked up by Åsa and straight to the City Hall. I have been looking forward to get everything ready and we have chosen to do the exhibition in a few different parts.
It is partly my art and photos that will be shown, but I also want to spread curiosity among the young people who come to the library and increase the understanding of how fantastic creatures there are and how important it is to protect animals and nature. On one wall we have chosen to take pictures of a selection of our sea creatures and on the back put text about this particular animal. These pictures are laminated to our little ones and young people and they can take down and look a little closer and read. A selection of books is also picted by the staff of the library with team from the sea and sea animals.
 
During these 2 months, Åsa will be on place to be able to show and answer questions. The idea is also to be able to invite preschools and schools to receive guidance in the exhibition during this period.
Towards the afternoon we were ready and tomorrow the exhibition is up and running, which is great 😊.
Paintings will be changed / added during these months.
 
Please watch and enjoy!

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<![CDATA[Sweden- Falu Koppargruva (coppermine)]]>Sat, 08 Aug 2020 11:31:08 GMThttps://divingandtravel.com/blog/sweden-falu-koppargruva-coppermine
 A little weekend to Falun with the family.
 
We enter Scandic Hotell with a 20 minute walk into the center, overlooking the ski jumping tower. We chose Scandic because they usually are good, have breakfast and this particular Scandic also has a gym and pool so we would have a little more to do this trip.
 
We enter the entrance happy and are met by a real energy killer. A grumpy guy who you can barely hear what he's saying should check us in. We have booked 2 rooms for us all five, he places us at 5 floor intervals. We stand at the elevator a little quiet and think and then I go back to the "cheerful" guy and ask if it really was the best thing that could be arranged? We want to be as close to each other as possible. A little sighing, he fiddled with the computer and suddenly we had 2 rooms next to each other. The rooms were clean, nice and had what we needed.
 
We went for a walk and went down to the center and bought snacks for the evening. Perfect weather 😊
 
Back in the room we looked forward to going down to the pool and exercise. We changed and went down to the basement. Once down, we stood a little surprised and watched the pool where a dad sat on a stool and watched while his 4 year old bathed. The pool was just as big and deep as a children's pool usually is, a little snoopy we went up again.
We got ready and went to a Japanese restaurant called Tairyo where everyone who worked used a mouth guard, which I appreciate, and we sit outside.

We took all five different dishes to try some varied Japanese food. It was nice and carefully laid out. The sushi was very good, Yakisoban: one with shrimp and the other with chicken was good but there was to much of noodles for my taste, could have been a little more vegetables. The Zaru soba menu was okay but the chef's choice of two small dishes where one was seaweed according to the wishes of my daughter who likes it a lot (which was good), but the chef's choice nr. 2 was plain pickled ginger which was very boring. Our youngest who likes Japanese culture a lot and also wants to learn the language wanted to try Ramen. It was beautiful to look at but was not quite as she thought. It was a little bubbly and felt overcooked. The bamboo shoots were really sloppy, there was a completely raw egg in it and when I tasted it tasted like shrimp powder. However, I do not know how the dishes should taste or be, so don´t know if it was unfamiliar or if it was not the best cooking. But we have to try again elsewhere so we can compare 😊

When we were about to leave, our youngest thanked for the food in Japanese to one of the waiters with the result that he became very quiet and we thought… oh maybe it was wrong in the pronunciation after all. But then he said "I´m Chinese!"

The rest of the evening we snuck into the room, watched movies and ate snacks. At midnight we went down to the gym and did a workout. The gym was really good.
In the morning, the girls and I went to the gym again and then got ready for breakfast and departure to the Falukoppar mine.
 
Unfortunately the breakfast was a failure, our happy check-in guy the day before had given us breakfast time 9:45. Due the corona, only a certain number of people are allowed to eat at a time, which is good. But he had not informed the kitchen, but when we arrived most of the food had been removed and the pancakes were dry as shoe soles.
 
The Falu copper mine has existed since the Viking Age and was in use until 1992. Lots of different minerals have been mined there, such as gold, copper, iron and more. During the 1600s, 1700s and 1800s, Falun was a wealthy city but not so healthy as the smoke from the thousands of huts that extracted minerals from the rocks was thick all over the city. The average life expectancy at that time was 40 years, but for the miners it was 30.

The mine is about 600 meters deep but the last 200 meters are filled with water. Life as a miner was hard and many died. 15-year-old boys had to start by pulling away chopped stone where each stretcher with stone was carried by two boys and could weigh up to 100kg. When the boys proved that they were strong and enduring, they became finished miners who could start to break stone. It was a difficult process where one meter could take a month. It was dirty and there were barrels on display in some parts of the corridors with water to drink, but according to our guide, the barrels were not so nice after a while when the snuff from everyone who drank ended up in the water.
 
The climate down there in the mine means that things do not rot. In 1719, a dead man was found down in the mine, they exhibited him in the square to see if anyone recognized the man. A woman recognized him and it turned out that she had been engaged to him 42 years before when he suddenly disappeared in 1677. He is still called Fet-Mats (Fat-Mats)and at that time Fet meant that you were big and strong.
 
It was interesting to go down there as part of the time it is low ceilings and tight and then enter halls with high ceilings. Water dripping from the roof and a special smell.
I find it fascinating that you can do these excavations and that it does not collapse more often but I also feels sad about how human abuse the earth.

I could not help but think of Tolkien and his "The Lord of the Rings" and the "Hobbit" books when we was walking in certain places in the tunnels. Can we dig too deep?
 
Then it was off home with a break in Uppsala where the boys ate at Max and girls ate Chopchop 😊
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<![CDATA[Sweden - Rindö]]>Fri, 17 Jul 2020 16:08:23 GMThttps://divingandtravel.com/blog/sweden-rindo
A small day trip to beautiful Rindö which is an island near Vaxholm in Stockholm archipelago.
Sunny and a great mood, it fit well with a picnic basket.
 
Historically, Rindö has been important for the defense of Stockholm's inlet since Gustav Vasa's time. On the east side we have Byviksfortet and Oscar-Fredriksborg which protected the inlet at Oxdjupet. On the west side there is Rindö Redutt that was protecting the inlet at Kodjupet.
 
We had a bit of a hard time finding Byviksfortet, it was a bit hidden and anonymous. Once we saw a small sign, we parked on the small forest road and walked in. It is a bit overgrown and we saw many closed doors and walled windows, we tried with a little imagination to come to what it might once have looked like inside the walls.
 
Rindö Redutt, the first thing you see when you drive in is that there are a lot of blasting stones around the fortress it would make it more difficult in the event of a invasion during the active period of the fort. Today you have an artist's studio and craftsmen there.
 
Oscar-Fredriksborg, is so incredibly beautiful by the water. On such a sunny day, it was so cozy to walk around and look and be able to sit down and have a little picnic break.
The inlet is heavily trafficked at this time of year by boats of all varieties.It would have been exciting to go in and see what the corridors and rooms look like, I have read it should be long tunnels in the rock.

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<![CDATA[Sweden - Nacka Adventure Track]]>Wed, 15 Jul 2020 19:10:28 GMThttps://divingandtravel.com/blog/sweden-nacka-adventure-track
Today the whole family went to Nacka's Adventure Track.
The top for those who want a little height and lactic acid in the muscles 😊
 
We had chosen "Länken" which is about 11 meters up. A calm girl had a brief with all of us who were going to walk the track. What was good was that the course was made in loops so you could choose how much you wanted / could do. The harness had two suspensions where you were constantly stuck with one hook while moving the other hook to the next station.
 
It was really fun, but for me who is not that tall had some problem at a station and had to hang like a monkey in the tree to manage to hook my ropes. Luckily I´m used to climb at most things even in everyday life.
 
Unfortunately, I did not manage to complete the entire course as the lactic acid in especially my arms went completely crazy after a while. These muscles are not trained enough. Only our younger girls in the family managed to do everything.
 
We then finished everything with a zipline down to the ground.

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<![CDATA[Tourism  & Phajaan]]>Mon, 29 Jun 2020 09:55:49 GMThttps://divingandtravel.com/blog/turism-phajaan
 While we are waiting for Covid 19 to slow down and hopefully end  and we are able to travel again, there are a few things to think about and ponder.

No one knows today what side effects this pandemic will have. For us humans, it has been a horror that is not yet completely over. Many have lost a loved one and many have hovered between life and death, others have hardly noticed anything.
Some  positive side effects is that for our nature and wildlife there has been a pause and to some extent a recovery. The air is cleaner, turtles have been given the peace to lay their eggs on previously overcrowded beaches and more live baby turtles survive etc.
Worlds attention to wet-markets has increased and hopefully the outside world can influence and shut down the wildlife trade altogether.

For anyone who cares about animals, nature and the environment, it continues to be important to further educate and pay attention, all single individual contribution can help to change.

When I was a kid and went to the zoo, I was not among those who were thrilled even if I had a great interest in animals, but I thought it should be like that and did not think much more about it. The only thing I could see was stereotypical behaviors and sadness from the wildlife.

Many years later, when I was in Thailand for the first time, I paid attention to animals in markets where you could pay to be photographed together with wildlife.
I saw elephants standing at roadsides fully clothed with the carrier, lean and swinging back and forth with their proboscis. I still didn't understand the extent more than that I felt sick and got a lump in my stomach. When I talked to others who have been away they meant that the animals are well and are well cared for, I had a bit difficult to completely agree that lion cubs that are photographed with humans do it without being affected in any way or the monkeys in chains in the markets who had flapping and stressful movements thought it was okay.

The second time in Thailand all my doubts burst, me and my husband do not go to zoos when we travel and when we had a day left before the return trip back to Sweden and we was not allowd to dive because of the waiting hours after the last dive, had arranged some other activities. We would watch temples, bamboo rafting, and swim in waterfalls, everything was in in a package with a guide all day. We had a great time…!

... until our guide wanted to show us that little extra... we walked behind a temple where there were small concrete cages with different animals, ranging from crocodile to kittens. Many of the different animals were probably dead due lack of water.
At a downed stump of about 1 meter was an orangutan fixed in a chain. He hit himself, screamed, banged his head in the stump, and so on. I was so upset and tears were spurting. Now our Thai guide understood that things had not gone well and explained that when people got tired or didn't want an animal anymore they left them to the temples. And according to Buddhism, you cannot kill, which makes it better for the animals to die by themself.

 When I got home, I started googling and finding as much information as I could about wildlife and tourism. It was scary to see how much worse it was than I thought. I read and learned about something called Phajaan and are practiced by anyone who uses wildlife in tourism.
 
The most famous is phajaan on elephants.
Phajaan is called "crush" in English and means crush/break. It's a method in how to get an animal to lose will, not resist and do what they're told to do whether they're scared or if it hurts and is totally against their natural instinct. The option of disobeying will always be worse.
The method used is pure psychological and physical torture where you first forcibly take the elephant cub from his mother, in some cases while the cub sees his mother killed. The kid gets chained for days to weeks in a cage so they can't move, without water, food and sleep to speed up the process while shouting commands, hitting with sharp piles, sticking nails in your ears to slowly and methodically break down the animals own will. If the Baby Elephant should meet her mother after this treatment, the baby would not recognize her.

I heard about an Elephant Sanctuary in Chiang Mai Thailand where a woman named Lek started an Elephant Sanctuary in 1996. Lek has saved Elephants from the forest industry and tourism. In the forest industry, elephants are forced to eat amphetamines in order to work around the clock.

I read about one of the elephants on the sanctuary called Jokia and had been rescued from the forest industry.
She had been pregnant and had to work around the clock and gave birth while pulling a log up a hill. Her baby died in the fall! Jokia lost the spark of life completely and the workers failed to get her to work and sold Jokia to the sanctuary. Jokia was at that time completely blind as the workers used to enjoy shooting with a slingshot on her eyes.

The use of elephants in the forest industry was actually banned in 1989, but up in the north the police do not go and they use the elephants as much as before. In tourism, trekking and other entertainment of elephants are still common.

My two children chose to go to this reservation to see what it looks like and how they are taken care of. The elephants live in a quiet place where tourists get to dress the same as those who work there, help to prepare  food for the elephants, walk with them down to the water where they are bathed. It is difficult to know how the elephants with their trauma feels in this constellation and whether it is good enough for the elephants with that form of tourism but I understand that money needs to be in to be able to buy more land, save more elephants and inform tourists.

It should now be clear that Phajaan does not only apply to elephants. This applies to all captive wildlife used for tourists.
Tigers that are taken from their mothers when they are very small, been carried around and photographed with tourists for several hours a day. Showing the slightest aggression, they are abused and even tourists are encouraged to do the same if they show the slightest reluctance. Even as they get bigger, they are used for photography and in some places walking with tourists. Drugged and afraid of being beaten.
The rest of their time they spend in small cages with concrete floors.
No exceptions!!!
In Thailand alone, over 800 tigers are kept in captivity, abused and used for tourists today.

The macaque is a popular monkey in Asia for dance and entertainment. The neck chain is fixed when they are very small and it usually grows into the skin with painful infections as a result. To not risk the monkey biting any tourist, they pull out all teeth. Even here, beatings are used to make the monkey obey.
Other species such as trapped sea creatures crowded by humans, sloths etc, are also used to amuse tourists.

It is extremely important not to benefit any of this and never pay for a few seconds with these wildlife.

Now I thought it ended there and that Sweden might be a little better even though my zoo visits have not always been in the best interests of the animals. I discovered that even our famous zoo that provides dolphins is part of horror and death. I immediately got anxiety and guilt that I had once been there and probably marveled at the dolphins like all the other visitors.

 I was told that there are two variations on how dolphins come to a dolphinarium:
One is the hunt which consists in the dolphins being chased by loud racing boats and chased into shallow water. There humans choose which dolphins they want and hook them up with nets in the boat. Some dolphins have during the hunt got water into the blowhole and later die of pneumonia, many of the dolphins that are pulled up in the boats die during transport to the dolphinarium due to. Stress and trauma.

The second way is that dolphins are born in captivity, which is also not healthy and complication-free both surface and chlorine. In a natural state, dolphins swim over 100 km a day, our pools can never compare with that.
The captivity results in skin disorders, fungus in the bladder hole, weight loss, antisocial behavior, aggression and ulcers of stress. . They won't be as old as if they were living in the wild.

Kolmården has also been involved in hunting and capture until the mid-1990s and over 60 dolphins have died since its opening. To avoid conflict, aggression, stress and bullying, dolphins are usually medicated to avoid fights.
 
Today I have reconciled myself to have done things in ignorance, the important thing now is to spread the knowledge and be able to put an end and not be a part to make the hunting profitable, stop bad treatment and trauma on our wildlife, find ways that promote the economy of countries that make it more important to protect and preserve life in its natural state.
 
The photos above are from the Elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai.
Feel free to google phajaan for pictures and more info about wildlife and tourism.
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<![CDATA[Manta]]>Fri, 12 Jun 2020 20:08:58 GMThttps://divingandtravel.com/blog/manta
Manta is an enigmatic and fantastic creature. The first time I saw it, it was almost like the heart stopped. I saw the big creature come floating, I wished it would like to get close, play and show off, but she wasn't so impressed with us at the time, took a praise on us and then hovered away like a shadow. Though the small moment, I was so happy and overwhelmed…
 
Knowledge about Manta have been very thin and researches have only been done for a few years and have shown a lot of amazing things. For example we  know that there are two species and unfortunately both species are now red listed as vulnerable. One species likes to stay close to the coast and coral and the other is more out in the seas and can go down to great depths.

There are several major threats that put Manta at risk.
Partly they get caught in fishing nets and become part of a by-catch. It is also caught for its gills and meats when used in Chinese medicine.
Because they do not reproduce so quickly, they have difficulty recovering.
Thanks to tourism and diving, some countries have realized that the economic value of a living Manta is greater than a dead, which has increased their chances a little more.
 
The largest species of Manta can be an impressive 7 meters between the wing tips.
The manta cannot be still and resting but must constantly move in order for the water to pass through the gills and be able to breathe.
 
Mantas has filter just like whales and eats plankton. They are counted as a fish, are very intelligent, curious and behave like whales. They love to play and would love to come and swim near divers if they are in a playful mood. On their underside they have individual drawings as a fingerprint.
 
They are pregnant for one year, have babies every two or three years, and give birth to living babies.
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<![CDATA[Gran Canaria - Arguineguin (summer 2014 & 2015)]]>Mon, 25 May 2020 11:40:20 GMThttps://divingandtravel.com/blog/gran-canaria-arguineguin-summer-2014-2015
In this period of pandemic, musings, longings, dreams, visions of the future, plans become many. The list is getting long. What places should we go to? Where are we going first? Depending on the time of year when its possible to go abroad again, what do we choose and in what order? The next thing I know, I'm sitting for the hundredth time, going through photos and remembering what we've already have done, places, people, experiences... aaa what I long and how happy I am to have experienced what I have allready done.
In the meantime, I make a look back to the first 2 abroad trips me and my husband made with the children when we met a little bit more than 7 years ago. We chose to go to Gran Canaria and Arguineguin for 2 summers.

The children were so small that it felt like a good idea to stay in a large hotel that has everything. We got hold of good price and went to Sunwing Arguineguin Seafront with Ving.
A very nice apartment overlooking the stage and the sea at the hotel. Everything you could possibly need was to find at the hotel and my extra son also tried the hotel hairdresser with good results. Many arrangements for children, food, buffets with different food themes every day, drinks, ice cream in abundance. This was like a dream world for the children. Large and nice pools where we kept most of the waking time of day. And just as much fun every time Lollo and Bernie came walking.

One of the arrangements for children and young people was Mini Melo. They  who wanted choosed a song and started to practice, either mime or sing and dance, all depending on what they dare to do. The evening when it is Mini Melo they who was responsible for the event made a really nice arrangement so it should feel like real Mello. The kids was standing on a decorated scene with a jury and stage host, they had a greenroom with snacks and the small performers was standing on the main stage as the whole hotel can see. Our  girls could´t find a song they wanted... the choice was simply to sing acapella on both trips.
Youngest sang the first year "Lady" with Björn Skifs and the second year the girls ran together with the song "Hold me" with Nanne Grönwall. Very brave 😊

One day on our first trip to Grancan in 2014, Stefan and I thought we should do something fun and rented a car to look around the island. Said and done, we went away and it didn't take many minutes before the question came "when are we going back to the hotel?". That question then came countless times during the trip while we looked at beautiful views and had lunch at a restaurant that was inside the mountain. After this little fiasco, we chosed not to make a new drive the next time we arrived in 2015, we choose to wait until the kids got bigger and maybe not just want to eat ice cream and hang out by the pool.

The trip in 2015 we took a little walk outside the hotel and find a pool at a diving center. The girls wanted to dive and we decided to come the next morning. The oldest had tried the pooldive at home before but it is new for our youngest. The center had a theory review of what to think about and how it works. Then the girls had to help rig the diving equipment to learn how to do. They had fun and everything goes so well they ended up doing a lot of exercises like taking out and putting the regulator back in the mouth, filling and emptying the mask, somersaults, swimming through rock rings throwing a toyped to each other, telling how much air is left, etc. A really fun morning.

I really liked the hotel in the sense that everything is available, it is bright, clean, there are gyms, daily arranged workouts in the pool, always something to eat that is well prepared, evening entertainment with performance and music where we could choose to sit down by the outdoor dining and watch or on our balcony with direct view to the stage. It was different themes every night. I really enjoyed every evening!

What is minus for me and Stefan who gets a bit restless was that there are not so fun places outside the hotel to walk around, but for the moment it´s okay.

With the benefit of hindsight until May 2020, I have to say that this hotel itself if you do not look at anything outside has been the best hotel so far.
 
If you are happy to spend most of your time in the hotel area I can really recommend this hotel.

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