Trip to the Rocky Land

In March Mark and I took a trip to a nearby country.  I’m calling it the Rocky Land because of its rugged yet beautiful landscape.  It’s not a touristy destination, but it has so many striking features hidden from most of the world.  I’m glad we got to see them for ourselves.

This country unfortunately has a lot of war history.  This is not an uncommon sight – old tanks left on the side of the road.

 

Like so many of the countries in this part of the world, they like to decorate their vehicles, especially these large trucks.

 

We visited some people who had a farm.  Here’s a local with his lamb.  Oh wait!  That’s Mark!

 

Let’s just say, the wife was happy when the beard was gone.

And here’s my pregnant self in a local dress with a newly henna-ed arm.

 

We visited a few different cities, and had to drive between a couple of them.  Along the way we got to witness some of the famed rugged and beautiful landscape.

 

 

On one of the road trips we stopped to visit Rostam‘s throne. Regardless of whether the many ancient stories surrounding Rostam are true or not, this old throne does exist and his name has become attached to it. It’s small, but is probably the most uniquely shaped old ruin we have seen.

The ancient bazaar inside the caves (behind us) was also pretty cool.

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Stockholm in December

To celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary, Mark and I took a short vacation in Stockholm.  Yes, we vacationed in Stockholm in December.  There were only 6 hours of sunlight each day apparently, and the weather was pretty gloomy.  But it was just right for us.  We took it easy, toured the city during the day and rested in our cozy hotel room in the evenings.  Speaking of the hotel, I should have taken pictures of the breakfast spread they had for us each morning.  Not only did they serve Swedish meatball, there was also smoked salmon, amazing cheeses and other exquisite stuff.  Those Swedes sure know how to do breakfast.

Gamla Stan (old town) is one of the major touristy areas in Stockholm.  I loved it!  It was just my kind of place – quaint little stores, narrow winding cobblestone streets…

 

We visited a couple of Christmas markets.  This one in Gamla Stan was the bigger one.  We didn’t really have a good Christmas tree, but we still bought several ornaments.  They were just too cute to resist!

Super-sized Toblerone – YES please!

We of course toured the Royal Palace.  And of course there was no photography allowed inside.  Why is there never photography allowed inside palaces?  It’s a shame.  Because I love palaces!

 

There are a lot of buildings like this in Stockholm.  I love the simplicity and neatness of it.  And you can be sure they have cool and stylish furniture inside, as we know from IKEA, Swedes have good taste.  Wish I lived in one of those apartments.

 

Because of the cold and rainy/snowy weather we weren’t able to take too many pictures.  We also took a random bus one day and rode it to the end of the line just to see what the normal part of the city looked like.  And rode the ferries some as the city of Stockholm is made up of 14 or so islands. On our last evening there we splurged and ate at a nice restaurant in Gamla Stan.  We had elk meatballs and reindeer cheesecake.  Yummm.

Though it was a short trip, we had a good time.  It was enjoyable also because almost everyone spoke excellent English.  It gave our tired language-learning brain a break.