The winter is not gone yet…

Oh hey! It´s almost one year of  “not posting on my blog” anniversary. I was almost convinced that I would end up making it to the one year, but today I just got inspired by the snow!!

The winter in Oslo started 5 months and 11 days ago. That was when the first snow flakes fell – 21st october 2010. I remember this day cause I was out with friends and I remember how impressed I was that the snow came so early. Today, 31st March, when our watches are already on summer time, here comes lots of snow again. It feels like the winter has started all over again. That is a record of the longest winter of my 5 years of living in Norway! 🙂

As the winter is not only freezing cold and long, I´m here to show you some of its beauty:

Nice walk on a sunny day

Half frozen river

The surface of an undiscovered planet 😉

Sun, you are always welcome!

I guess even the birds cannot wait for some warm days! I hear them singing outside everyday now. Good sound!

UTS and the Project

Here it is, at last, a post about UTS – University of Technology Sydney… where I spent most of my time while I was in Australia and where I learned a lot and made good friends.

My overall opinion about UTS is quite positive. The university provides a lot of practice for the students and we have a tight schedule. The engineering faculty is excellent. The focus is on manufacturing and they have a huge workshop fully equipped with all kinds of manufacturing machines where the students have access to either for learning during the classes or for help with our projects.

One of the subjects I had was Mechanical Design 1, where we had to work hard on a project called Warman Design and Build Competition. Basically we had to design and build a prototype of two vehicles (one had to be fully mechanical) which would serve to transport a payload of minimum 200g of rice across a track that was composed of two tables localized 200 mm from eachother and, to make things easier, the tables were inclined 4° on opposite direction if you understand me? 🙂 A picture is best to ilustrate it 😉

The track

The vehicles had two minutes to do all that. And they had to interact to each other somehow to transfer the payload from one corner of one table to the opposite corner of the other table. We had to work in groups of maximum 5 and the winner will represent UTS on a national competition in September this year.

Only a couple of minutes before the final trial our vehicles were working just the way they were supposed to. I even got to film it seven times where it was just perfect and we were all so happy with it and relieved that they were finally working. But unfortunately we were a bit unlucky on the first trial – our payload fall on the floor which gave us 0 points. On the second try our vehicles made us proud!! 😀 If they worked on both trials we could have won…

Yeah, could´a, should´a, would´a… 😛

Hard work!

Woman´s touch

Disappointment…

The great trial

Happy with the result

Go team!!

Welcome to Paradise!

Before the city life blurs completely the wonderful experience I had just last week, I have to post you something about a piece of paradise right here in this planet.

I spent seven great days traveling around the Fiji Islands, an archipelago of more than 300 incredible islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to! The beaches are amazing with clear waters and stunning reefs just a few steps into the water teeming with colorful fishes. I have visited 4 islands – Nadi, Tavewa, Nanuya Balavu and Bonty. I loved the resorts on these islands, very nice people, good food and amazing snorkeling at your doorstep. And to complete this picture, the weather was just perfect everyday. It felt like I was in another world where there was nothing else than joy and relaxation.

Here are some pictures to show the incredible beauty of this place. The pictures are nice, but they don’t express half of the feeling of  how it is to be there, touch it, smell it and just live the Fiji Time.

On our way to Yasawas

Local transport

Snorkeling in The Blue Lagoon

On our way to breakfast at Mantaray Resort

The view from up there

Fijian dance culture

...and limbo

Bounty Island

Clear water...

Fiji by night

Definitely the best trip ever!

Half way here

Today I realized that  is exactly 3 months since I left Oslo. And its exactly 3 months left for me to leave Australia. Once more, time has proven it´s ability to move fast and imperceptible…

I feel like I haven´t settled down here yet, and soon it´s time to move back home. I also feel like there are many things to explore around here and I did not get the chance to do so. Six months is a long time, but it´s also a very short time…

Sydney, my chosen city, has shown me it´s side I haven´t noticed before. Here you can get to experience the Australian life style, but you can also have the feeling that you are anywhere else but Australia. None of my neighbors are Australian, my school mates might be 80% from Japan, China or India and maybe 20% from Australia (or moved to Australia when they were kids). And this also applies for tutors and professors, + my friends are all exchange students 🙂 Oh, wait! There is actually one australian in the bunch 😉

Still, if you can just find some time off you can get to some of the most beautiful places you have even seen in only a few minutes away. That is when I realize where I am… In a land down under, house of remarkable fauna and flora, stunning blue ocean and wonderful beaches!

Chinese New Year

Mardi Grass (Gay Parade)

Surfers Paradise

Surfers by night

Blue Mountains

Jenolan Caves (Blue Mountains)

Bondi Beach

Bronte Beach

Australia´s mascot

The outback

What a great place!

Surfers Paradise

We spent three days at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast and of course we had to try some surfing. My first impression was that a good physical shape is quite important for handling this really fun sport. I got very tired just after 30 minutes of a two hours class we had on the first day – when we learned how to catch a wave, get in position and stand up. After a few tries on standing up my legs started to get really lazy, which is quite irritating when your mind wants to keep on going 😛

After two days of classes I got to two conclusions: “I wanna surf more!” and “Wetsuits are probably nice.”
I got scratches all over my legs 😛

I am looking forward to the next time!

Sun and finally BEACH!!

Øyvind and I drove to Jervis Bay when the comp in Mt. Beauty was over. The area is surrounded by amazing beaches each with its unique beauty. On the January 26th, Australian day, we went to a beach called Hyams Beach which has the whitest and softest sand and the clearest blue waters I have even seen! It’s just stunning!

White sand

Enough snorkeling now

Beautiful beach

Thanks for the wonderful day, babe!

Presentation dinner

On the last day of the comp the pilots got to fly again, uhuu! Afterwards was the presentation dinner. The winner of the Bogon Cup 2010 was the same as in Forbes: Jonny Durant. Congratulations!!

One thing that I really appreciated on the Bogon Cup this year was that for the first time the drivers got some recognition. Phill, the organizer, mentioned that we are many times forgotten on the presentation dinner, but the truth is that we are a very important piece on the competitions. Without us the pilots are just lost, literally 😉 Each of the drives got a bottle of wine and a cute Bogon Cup mug.

Thanks Phill!

The champions - Bogong Cup 2010