Tesla roadtrip – back to Norway from France

My last post got so long that I decided to split it in two. So here’s the tale of our journey back to Norway from France.


That’s a strange charging station placement.

For a little excitement on our way back to Norway, we had planned to make a small detour to Europa Park for some roller coaster fun. The acceleration in a Tesla may come close to the feeling in a roller coaster, but it can’t truly compete with an actual roller coaster ride :) So we set the GPS to Europa Park and didn’t concern ourselves much with the route, it was only supposed to be a short 50-something km trip. Not that it wasn’t, but the GPS sure took us the scenic route. I have no idea if there could have been a more efficient road to take, but when we got to the border between France and Germany, we sure began to wonder. Suddenly we were stuck in a non-moving line of cars, and it took us a few seconds to realize it was, indeed, a ferry queue. I had really not imagined there could be a route involving ferries this far from any sea, but there it was. A ferry across the Rhine. Now, after a few seconds of confusion, we quickly realized it was a very short ferry trip of maybe around 100m with a ferry that was just going constantly back and forth, so it didn’t take us very long, and it was free too. But I would have liked to know from the beginning that this route involved a ferry, and if there was an alternate route that did not involve one. Especially considering the ferry did only traffic over during the day/evening, so if we’d been there late at night we’d been stuck. Would the GPS have known and routed us differently? I have no idea. In any case, after some more scenic routes through Germany, we arrived what felt like the back-door way to Europa Park. We had to make a weird 180-degrees turn to get into the usual line into the parking area. Another fun thing was that there was a Type-2 charging station at Europa Park. But it wasn’t inside the parking area like you would think, it was on the inside of a bus-stop. We actually passed it on our way to the parking area, and I wonder if we could have just parked there for free while we charged, but it didn’t really feel safe to leave our car somewhere buses might be driving in and out all the time. And we knew we had enough power left to reach our first supercharger on the way home anyway, since we’d planned for that.

Unfortunately we couldn’t stay the whole day at Europa Park. We had a long drive home, and we both kind of needed to get back to work after a long vacation, so after a few coasters, some ice cream and winning some sort of moose/hippo hybrid stuffed animal shooting basketballs, we set off. For some reason the GPS took us back through the “back-door” way out of the area, and through more tiny German towns before leading us onto the highway. No idea if that saved us any time, we could probably have just gone onto the highway pretty much straight away. And of course, the route planner still suffered from the same jumpy behaviour about what superchargers to stop at, but this time we’d learned how to deal with it. We also made sure we didn’t have to stop at the supercharger in Bad again, and instead stopped in Hamburg this time. By the time we got there, it was getting pretty late, and conveniently the charger was right next to a hotel, just like the one in Denmark on our way south. Of course, it seems every time there’s a hotel, there’s nothing else there, which I find kind of annoying. But instead of stopping to sleep at this hotel like we probably should have, we felt we hadn’t gotten as far as we should that day, so we decided to go to the next one and sleep there. The next leg would take us into Denmark, and I drove that while my husband was sleeping in the passenger seat. I was feeling fine when we left the charger, but after some time on the road, I really regretted it. It was getting increasingly difficult to stay awake, and I kept having to distract myself by pouring M&Ms into my mouth to stay awake.

Stand-in driver!

Stand-in driver! Most of the time he served as a great pillow.

When we got to the supercharger in Denmark there was of course no hotel right next to it, and the gas station was closed so we couldn’t even go there for a toilet break. We sat in the car looking for nearby hotels while we charged, picked one and drove over to it. But it didn’t have a night-open reception, so we couldn’t even get in. By that stage, it was getting so late that it was starting to feel pointless to pay for a night at a hotel, and so for some other ridiculous reason, we decided to just power through the night. But after driving for a while he woke me up, totally confused about what the GPS was doing. For some reason it had decided that we needed to turn around and go back to the previous charger to charge more if we wanted to reach the next charger! He was very worried at that stage and didn’t know what to do, so we decided to just stop and look at what was going on. After checking the distances against our expected range, it became clear the route planner had gone completely bonkers. Even setting the next supercharger as our destination didn’t help, we had to actively remove the go-back supercharger stop from the route to get it to shut up about taking the next exit.

Still some construction work was going on around the area.

Still some construction work was going on around the area.

We reached the supercharger in Køge very early morning, and both just slept in the car while it charged. This was by far the most elaborate supercharger we had come across in Europe until now, with a Tesla roof and I think a whole 12 chargers. After waking up to an almost fully charged car, we went into the nearby gas station to get some breakfast before we went on to get into Sweden. Having charged so much in Køge we skipped the first charger in Sweden and went straight to the one in Udevalla. Pretty much all through Sweden the route planner kept on about it’s ideas of wanting to take us back to the previous supercharger to reach our destination, but by now we were getting used to just removing that ridiculous charging stop once it popped up.

We didn’t have many more troubles on our way home. A bit of traffic jam on the only section of road since the small-town roads around Europa Park that wasn’t a highway, and at the only supercharger stop in Norway we actually got parked in by a cement truck that was working on filling in around some extra chargers being set up, so we had to wait for them to be done. It was pretty clear we were back in Norway though, as it was filled up with Teslas there, and a line even formed while we were waiting for the cement truck to let us out. All and all we had a fun trip, and it was great to get to test out the car on a more long distance trip, even with all the weirdness of the route planner. It was still very nice to have the route planner and not have to plan the route beforehand. But driving through the night was a bit too exhausting and not something I think we’ll want to do again.

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Tesla roadtrip – Norway to France and back.

I’ve had my Tesla Model S for about one and a half year now, but the longest trip I’d had up until now was Oslo-Trondheim, which is about 500km, takes about 7 hours and has 2 supercharger stops. This June, I had decided to go to Fanabriques, which is the largest LEGO event/exhibition in France. AFOLs from around France and surrounding European countries gather to show off their creations, and the exhibit had around 15.000 visitors over the weekend this year. To travel to such an event to exhibit LEGO creations is a bit unpractical using a plane, because of having to pack things for survival through airport luggage handling… So we thought, why not make it a roadtrip, and drive the Tesla to France? Well, the number one argument would be that it’s kind of far, and the trip would take us two days. But it would also be an opportunity to test out the supercharger network, and to give my Tesla a chance to unfold on highways with higher speed limits than Norway’s maximum of 110km/h (autobahn, I’m looking at you!)

Now, to go from Norway and down into Germany, there are three main options. Either we take a ferry to the north of Denmark (Hirtshals) and go straight down through Denmark, we take a ferry to the north of Germany (Kiel), or we drive through Sweden, and take the bridge over to Copenhagen and cross through Denmark that way. Because we didn’t want to have to rely on ferry times (the one to Denmark only goes twice pr day, at inconvenient hours, and the one to Kiel only once and is an overnight ferry), we opted to drive through Sweden. This of course meant more hours of driving, but money saved and we wouldn’t have to worry about missing the ferry.

Conveniently, Tesla has released their trip planning navigation which automatically adds in the needed supercharger stops on the way. We were excited to test this out, and didn’t worry at all about planning our trip in regards to what roads to take or where to stop along the way. This trip planning is supposed to remove all range anxiety, and while I’ve never felt any range anxiety in my Tesla since the very beginning, it was nice to know that on such a long trip, the car would make sure we didn’t mess up. Or so we thought…

Day 1

We input the address to our hotel at the destination in France (Rosheim) and set off. The car decided to pick the same route we had in mind, through Sweden. Just for the record, our route was pretty much this:

oslo_rosheimAbout 1800km. 18 hour driving, if non-stop. The plan was to try and get to, or close to Germany on the first day, find a place to spend the night, and then do the rest the next day. Due to circumstances (coming home from Brickworld in Chicago the day before…) we didn’t start very early, so we would have to drive to quite late on this first day.

But already on our way to the first supercharger, the only one in Norway before going into Sweden, the trip planner started to show some odd behaviour. As we were nearing Moss, it suddenly had the idea that we should take a ferry over the Oslofjord to Horten, and then drive to Larvik to take the ferry I mentioned previously to Hirtshals. Not only that, but it also claimed that we didn’t have enough charge to make it to the next supercharger (which would be in Hirtshals) with this route. Wth? What happened to removing range anxiety? Now, luckily, we knew this route suggestion was ridiculous, and that it involved ferries we didn’t want to take. Because the navigation doesn’t inform about that. The route looks just as if there’s a bridge going over. We tried to get the navigation to recalculate the route, but it just kept insisting on this stupid detour, so we just set the navigation to the supercharger we wanted to stop at so it would stop nagging us about taking the next exit. At the supercharger, we put it back to our address in France, and now it was back on track for driving through Sweden. Initially. After a little more driving, it had discovered yet another ferry. This time from Sweden directly to Denmark, to Fredrikshavn to be more precise. No no no Tesla, we don’t want to be led onto these ferries randomly. Again we just put the navigation back on track with the next supercharger and drove on through Sweden. We thought this would be the last ferry it would be confused about, but no such luck. As we were one our last leg in Sweden, towards Malmö where the bridge to Copenhagen is, it again found a ferry crossing over. This time we were a bit unsure if this was actually a ferry, as our local knowledge was getting thinner. But zooming in on the map showed once again, this was indeed also a ferry.

When we got into Denmark, we were at least happy there would not be any more ferry detours to worry about. At this point it was getting quite late, and when we came to the supercharger in Middelfart at around 1 in the morning, we were happy to discover there was a hotel right there. At any other time of day, we would have been somewhat annoyed, as the hotel was the only thing that was there, but this late, a hotel was just what we wanted.

Day 2

We still had a little way to go to get into Germany, but we had gotten far enough on the first day that we would be available to get to France not too late in the evening. With the ferry nonsense behind us, the trip planner was being less annoying to deal with. But at this point, it was no longer obvious what the next supercharge would be, as they were closer to each other than in Sweden. The trip planner tells us how long it thinks we should charge at each one to reach the one it deems to be the most suitable next one, which is not necessarily the closest one or the one furthest away but within the car’s range. We don’t really trust that it calculates this with regards to how fast the range will diminish when driving fast on a highway, so we always charged a bit more than it suggested. This brought forward another interesting quirk of the trip planner. What happened was then when we’d be done charging, it would figure out that we could drive to a supercharger further away than it originally had planned for us. The problem was, this would only be possible if driving very economically. Something we didn’t intend (or want) to do at all on the autobahn. What happened then was that it displayed a warning that we needed to drive slowly to reach the destination. Except we didn’t, because there were other superchargers to stop at! When the estimated range left at the destination reach 0%, it finally decided to change the destination to another supercharger. Except it wouldn’t put it to the one before (which is what we were aiming for), but the closest one it could find! It seems that the trip planner calculates what charger to stop at differently when we are driving and not. Once it has settled on a next destination, it will fall back to take us to the first charger on the route if we can’t reach that particular destination, instead of recalculating a more sensible charger to stop at given our actual final destination. So again, we had to manually tell it to navigate to a particular supercharger several times.

Another thing that became apparent during this trip, is that not all superchargers are placed near what I’d consider a logical place for a short break along the way. A logical place would have a place that is open 24/7 (typically a gas station) where one can use the toilet and buy something to drink or snacks, and a place where one can sit down to eat if it’s time for a meal. Many places were like this. There would typically be a fast food b19245042908_c8f88fa6ef_ourger place (I’m kind of sick of fast food burgers now…) and a gas station. But some places were not. An example of a place that was not was Bad Fallingbostel. This place had only 2 chargers, and was next to something that looked like a place to view houses one could buy to build. Not exactly what I’d consider a typical place to stop for a bite to eat or a toilet break.

As for driving on the autobahn, there was no question the car was handling speed very well. As Norwegians, we’re not used to drive very fast, so we didn’t try to rival the speed loving Germans or take the car up to the software speed limitation, but we quickly adjusted to driving rather comfortably at between 140 and 160km/h. There is no doubt this eats range at similar high speeds, but we were never worried about reaching the superchargers we needed to, as there were plenty of them along the way.

19436844611_79e84a5b26_oIt was also apparent we hadn’t really done any research on the route to take, because on one leg the navigation decided driving on some local side roads that took us through tiny German towns was the way to go. Had we known better, we would never have taken that exit from the autobahn as the navigation was telling us to do.

At the last supercharger stop before our destination, we had to charge enough to be able to go back after the weekend. We were also planning to make a small detour to Europa Park on our way back, so we would need enough charge to make it there and then to a supercharger, as we didn’t know if we’d be able to charge either in Rosheim or at Europa Park. According to our research, there should be a Type 2 charger at both places, but you  never know if those will actually work, or even be available when you need them. So we just calculated how long we would need to drive, and made sure to charge enough adding in some buffer for loss of range while parked and the little driving around we would need to do in France.

The last leg into France was just about 50km, and we arrived at our destination at around 23. Trip planner quirks aside, we had a pretty comfortable trip. Switching drivers at every supercharger stop meant we never had time to get really tired from driving and could rest it out in the passenger seat. We are clearly making more stops than we would have in a non-electric car, but overall that might actually be a good thing, as it makes the whole trip more comfortable.

I have some more stories to tell about our trip home, but I’m going to leave that for the next post, as this one got quite long!

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Taking my Tesla to the mountains and back

I’ve been driving around in the car of my dreams since November now, a beautiful red Tesla Model S. But driving electric presents some challenges, at least until the infrastructure gets to a point where you don’t have to think about where to charge anymore. One of the ultimate tests for us was if we could use the car to get to our cabin in the mountains, at Skramstadsætra, and back, without any major problems. Last weekend we finally put the car to the test!

So, why was this a challenge? Well, first of all, the distance from our house to where we park the car in the mountain near our cabin is 187km. That doesn’t sound so bad, does it? The stated range of the Model S is 480km, although we all know that’s under pretty optimal conditions. But so far, it doesn’t sound like much of a challenge at all. But then consider this: we have no way to charge the car up there. The parking lot does not have any electrical power. Our cabin does not have electrical power (and is also about a 30min trip on skis from the parking lot during winter). Actually, there are no available chargers anywhere in the area. Ok, so, fine, that just means we have to make the roundtrip on a single charge. 187*2 = 374, which is still well within the stated range, so all should be fine, right? Next detail: we’re in Norway. Norway isn’t exactly flat. So it’s not just the last part of going up the hill to the parking lot that is going to put a strain on the battery, it’s the entire trip of basically going up and down mostly all the time.

Well, challenge set! So we charged up the battery to 100%. The typical range when we started our trip was 396km (which was, kind of disappointingly, lower than we had expected, but this range calculation might be influenced by our daily driving, I’m not sure). We put the car in range mode to save some energy on the climate control (although the car still kept a good climate) and set off. Luckily, our skis fit inside the car, so no range would be lost to having to mount a roof rack :)

On our way there, we didn’t really think all that much about economizing energy. We felt pretty confident that we would be able to get far enough back towards Oslo that we would be able to reach a charger if need be. But we still drove far more economically than usual, not pushing the car’s limits on the highway, and trying to flow with the terrain and not speed past slow going cars. The last bit up the hill of course sucked a lot of range from the battery, but we figured we might recover some of that going back down again. The verdict when we parked the car: 198km of range left. Ok, so we had used pretty much exactly half of it. Confident that it would not be a problem getting back, we put the car in energy saving mode (hoping it wouldn’t consume much energy just standing there), took our skis and went up to the cabin.

There was quite a lot of snow up there!

Two days later, before heading back to the car, we checked the app and were disappointed to see that two days parked in not very cold, but still sub zero temperatures at night had decreased the range to 175km. We debated pre-heating the car to get the battery warmed up and thus be able to regenerate more on the way down, but we weren’t sure if it would be worth it overall, so we didn’t. Instead we noted the address of the nearest chargers compatible with the Model S, one 142km away, and one 166km away (yes, we really were in a charger desert. There is one closer, at 43km away, but that is Chademo, which there isn’t an adapter for yet). As we started going down the hill, with almost no regenerative capabilities, we were lacking 9km of range to get home. However, we decided to make it a challenge and try to get home without having to recharge. We set the navigation to our home address so we could keep track of the distance left and compare that to the estimated range left, and started slowly going down the hill in order to regenerate as much as possible with a cold battery. To our surprise, as we were nearing the bottom of the hill, the range had actually gone up to 180km, possibly due to a warmer battery recuperating some energy. So in a very short time, the range and the distance left to travel was getting closer to each other. Once on the main road we just kept to the speed limit, which was going to be between 60km/h and 80km/h for the most part until we reached the highway nearer to Oslo. We had tried the cruise control for a bit going the other way, but quickly decided that I was doing a better job at conserving energy 😉

We took great pleasure in seeing that the difference between the range left and the distance left kept increasing, and started to really believe we wouldn’t have to stop to recharge. But we also knew that once we reached the highway, we would have to go below the speed limit of 100km/h to be sure to reach all the way. Since we also live on a hill in Oslo, we needed some slack to get all the way there too 😉

On the highway we found a truck that was doing an average speed of about 90km/h and decided to just stick behind it (at a safe distance of course). It was a bit painful to be in a sports car and not zip by trucks and other slow-going cars, and even more painful to be passed by another Model S, but it was also fun to see that we were succeeding in our challenge.

The result? We parked the car with 44km of range left! The roundtrip on one charge was a success. The car passed the test :) We never felt any of this infamous range anxiety, we only felt more and more confidence that the car was up to the challenge, and it wasn’t like we had to drive super slowly either. Just a little bit under the speed limit on the highway. We also never turned off the heating, or the internet radio or anything else. In overall lost time on a 2 hour trip, it was probably 10 minutes, much less than we would have had to stop for a charge if we had been going faster. Average energy used for the entire trip was 167 Wh/km, although it was significantly less for the return trip only. The average for the last 50km said 140 Wh/km when we parked. Plus, the car is such a breeze to drive, whether I’m treating it as a sports car, or an electrical car in need of range conserving gentle handling. I love my car 😀

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Super Mario ambience for my Jolla

My latest phone is the Jolla phone that runs the new Sailfish OS, and it’s a very good successor to the now dead Nokia N9 Meego OS. I preordered mine as soon as it was possible, and have been happily using it since December :)

One particular feature of Sailfish is the use of ambiences. Now, the thing about these ambiences is that they have rather peculiar dimensions, compared to what you’d normally set as a wallpaper on your phone. In fact, the ambience has to be 540×1600 pixels. Not a lot of wallpapers out there with that dimension now, are there? The factory ambiences that were insmario_ambiencetalled on the phone are nice, but kind of boring. I haven’t found anything else interesting out there either, it’s all mostly abstract pictures/art. Time for something more geeky! 😀

So here it is, my home-made Super Mario ambience for Jolla. I just downloaded an almost empty background image from New Super Mario Bros (I think it’s from the Wii version…), stretched the sky a bit and added some underground (to reach the 1600 pixels high, and make the main image be visible on the lock screen). Then I found some other elements (beanstalk, Mario, enemies, coins) to put in there and placed them around to create a nice little scene.  What I like most about this now is that you can only see the Star coin when pulling down the top menu. If you like Mario and want a fun ambience for your Jolla, feel free to download this one. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I’m in no way a photoshop guru (actually, it’s made with Gimp). And yes, there may be some scaling of certain elements that is off. Still, it looks good on the phone :)

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Getting started with Python on EV3

So I’ve been diving head first into LEGO’s newest Mindstorms generation, called EV3. But seeing as I’m a Linux geek and a programmer, using LEGO’s own graphical drag-and-drop programming language from their windows/mac software was completely out of the question! Now, the EV3 runs Linux out of the box, which is very cool, but it comes with some limitations, so to get going with a proper programming language, installing another Linux version was necessary. Luckily, the EV3 makes that so much simpler than the NXT did. Just pop a bootable OS on a micro SD card, stuff in the EV3, and voila, it will boot from the SD card! Pop the card back out, and the EV3 still has it’s factory firmware. No flashing needed! Neat!

So what programming language to use? Well, turns out some guy who calls himself Topikachu has already made a ready Linux image with Python installed, and even made Python libraries to interface with the EV3 sensors and motors. Does it get any better than that? He’s made a quick howto on how to install it, which you can read on his github. If you have a USB Wifi dongle too (currently only one is supported, but I’m sure more will be added in time), it was very easy to get it hooked up on wifi too. I just had to log in over usb as described, update the wpa_supplicant.conf and I was good to go without a cable. You may want to check out what IP your brick received before unplugging the usb cable though 😉

The Python API is really great, but I couldn’t find much documentation of it, so I had to read his code and look at his tests to figure out how to use it. Wasn’t too hard though, and here’s a little program I wrote just to test out that things were working (it doesn’t do much, basically just tries to crash :P)


import time

from ev3.rawdevice import motordevice
from ev3.rawdevice import analogdevice
from ev3.rawdevice import uartdevice

from ev3 import lego


A = 0x01
B = 0x02
C = 0x04
D = 0x08

right = A
left = D
both = A+D

touch = lego.EV3TouchSensor(0)
ir = lego.EV3IRSensor(3)


distance = 101

while True:
  if touch.is_pressed() == 1:
    motordevice.stop(both, brake=1)
    print "stopping\n"

  cur_distance = ir.get_distance()
  if cur_distance > distance:
    print "searching\n"
    motordevice.stop(both, brake=1)
    motordevice.speed(A, 20)
    motordevice.stop(A, brake=1)

  distance = cur_distance

motordevice.stop(both, brake=1)

That doesn’t look so hard, does it? Here’s some additional notes I made for myself to remember what the different functions do and how to use them.

A = 0x01
B = 0x02
C = 0x04
D = 0x08
PORTS = A+B # Access both A and B at the same time
from ev3.rawdevice import motordevice

motordevice.stop(B,brake=1) # brake makes it actually brake the motor, not just stop turning it

from ev3.rawdevice import analogdevice
touch = lego.EV3TouchSensor(0) # Note, the port numbering is 0-3, so the port marked 1 is 0, etc.

from ev3.rawdevice import uartdevice
color = lego.EV3ColorSensor(3)
color.color_to_string() # This only works for color_mode
color.set_ref_raw_mode() # raw values, -127 -> 127
color.get_value() # raw value from sensor sensor

ir = lego.EV3IRSensor(2)
ir.set_prox_mode() # proximity mode
ir.get_distance() # for prox mode
ir.set_remote_mode() # for using the remote control
ir.get_remote_command() # get remote control command
ir.set_seek_mode() # follow remote control when button pressed
ir.get_all_direction_and_distance #  for seek mode
ir.get_direction_and_distance(chan) #  for seek mode

# This is how I managed to read info from a Hitechnic accelerometer sensor (originally made for the NXT)
from ev3 import robot
from ev3 import sensor
iicsensor = IICSensor()
iicsensor = sensor.IICSensor(1, 0x02)
Posted in LEGO, Linux, Scripts | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

Winter mountain: finishing up

I can see that the hard work on my mountain killed my blogging. I had planned to keep this updated with my progression, but I ended up spending all my free time building on it instead. The deadline was approaching too fast, so the stress caught me. So here’s all the further progress shots I took:

The village has taken form

Building upwards on the mountain side


Ski slope is taking shape

Closing the loop, now it’s a volcano! :P

Ski jump in place, and ski slopes and tracks in place.


Building up the steep side


Details on the mountain side, trees and cabins.

At this point I was so panicky about finishing up in last few days, I didn’t take any more progress shots. A couple of days later, the mountain was to be moved and set up at the exhibition in Telenor Arena. More on that later :)

Yes, I’ll be getting back into blogging now, and I’ll be doing some catch-up posts on what I’ve been busy with lately.

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Winter mountain: Placing the village, and finding the form

My mountain is slowly starting to find it’s form, and I’ve figured out a lot about how to build it, and where it will slope how steeply. I’ve also started to place the buildings in the village part of this layout, and landscape around them. So far, my biggest concern is if I have enough bricks. That may sound weird when I’ve ordered 30.000 bricks for this project, but they get used pretty quickly… It’s probably a bit like estimating an IT project, I should have multiplied by pi 😛 Too bad it would have been very expensive to do so…

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My biggest project yet: a mountain

I’ve finally gotten started on what is definitely my biggest project yet: a winter mountain for my winter village. I already have a lot of the houses that  I will use for it, so most of the work is on the landscaping. I have a acquired a massive amount of white bricks in different shapes, and have finally started to build with them. I have take over the kitchen table (with even an extra plate added on the side), and have layed out the size it will be in baseplates. There isn’t much to see yet, but here’s an overview picture to show he scale of it…

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A trip to the hospital

While photographing my hospital, I also had some fun taking shots from a minifig’s point of view with my phone. I tried to get good lighting inside, and I think the pictures turned out pretty OK, so here’s a little story told through those pictures.

“Whoah, that guy does not look good. I better keep my distance, in case what he has is contagious. I hope I don’t they don’t make me sit here and wait next to him…”

“Hello Sir, how may I help you?”
“Uhm, hi, I’m here to visit my daughter who was brought in earlier to give birth to my grandchild.”
“Ok, then you need to take the elevator up to the first floor…”
“Eh, sorry what, first floor? Isn’t this the first floor?”
“Well, yes, in Norway it is, but we’re speaking English now, so this is the ground floor, and you need to take the elevator up to the first floor, so that would be second floor in Norwegian then.”
“Uh, yeah, uhm, ok… and then?”
“Then you just follow the corridor, past the toilets, and walk to the end, there’s the maternity ward.”
“Ok, what room is she in?”
“You didn’t tell me her name…”
“Oh, right, it’s Johanna Hansen”
“One moment please… She’s in room 103″
“Ok, so second floor, 103, got it, thank you!”
“I thought I said first floor, I hope he presses the right button in the elevator…”

“Oh, the doctor’s office’s door is open. I wonder if he has a patient in there… No, don’t look, there could be more contagious people in there! Or maybe he’s just bracing himself to call in the sick dude in the waiting room. I bet doctor’s are afraid to catch all the diseases coming in here too…”
“Ah, there’s the elevator. Now let’s see… Second floor, was it? No, first floor, no, eh… Shit… Ok, I’ll try the 2-button.”

*elevator music*

“Hum di dum….”


“Ok, here we go…”


“Oh, this looks like the cafeteria. Did the receptionist mention that in any way? No, I thought he only said something about toilets… Maybe it wasn’t this floor after all. Hm, I could have a look around on this floor first, just to be sure. But maybe I’ll grab something to eat first, I am sort of hungry, and that croissant looks delicious.”
“Hello, can I get you anything?”
“Yes, I’ll have a croissant please.”
“Here you are Sir, that’ll be 10 bucks.”
“Let’s see… Here!”
“Thank you.”
“Btw, is the maternity ward on this floor?”
“No, it’s one floor down.”
“Ah, ok, thank you.”

“Maybe I’ll just sit over here and eat my croissant before I go down. Wouldn’t want them to think I prioritized getting some food before coming to visit. Oh man, I’m going to be such a lousy grandfather. Mmmm, this croissant is quite good. I wonder what that guy over there is here for. He’s so nicely dressed. Oh, what if he’s the hospital administrator? Nah, I doubt that.”

“Munch munch”

“Ok, that’s the end of the croissant, better head down a floor then. Time to go see my grandchild!”


“Ok, so, button 1 this time.”


“Ok, here are some toilets! So just follow this corridor then… Oh! babies! Oh, hey Dan! How is Johanna? Why aren’t you in there with her?”
“I fainted, so they threw me out…”
“She’s still in labour?”
“Yes, apparently, we’re having twins!”
“You are? Oh dear… congratulations then!”
“Yes, well, I’m a bit overwhelmed… If you want to see the first twin, it’s her right inside the window here. They don’t trust me to hold her right now because I fainted earlier, but I’m sure they’ll let you go inside and see her. I hope Johanna is ok in there though, apparently, the second twin was a bit reluctant to come out…”
“Oh my, yes, I hope she’s ok. I don’t think I should go in, I’d probably faint too! I did when Johanna was born… I’ll just go in and see the first born then. Does she have a name yet?”
“No, when we were told it was twins, we wanted to reevaluate the name we had in mind, since we now need two names.”
“I see…”

“There’s my little girl! Oh, why are you screaming? Is grandpa scary? I’m sorry I didn’t bring you anything. I doubt your parents would have wanted me to let you eat croissants anyway! Oh, there’s a water cooler out there, why didn’t I see that earlier? Hey, look Dan, your daughter is so cute! I’m sure they’ll let you come in and hold her now, have a cup of water, and you’ll be fine!”
“Is the old man saying something to me from in there? I can’t tell through the sound proof glass. I’ll just smile and nod… Maybe I’ll have a glass of water. Oh, he smiles… He must be happy to see his granddaughter.”
“That’s the spirit! He’s going to make a fine father…”

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Mini hospital

Contests really make me build lots of crazy things, and the one I built the hospital for had a category for a mini building as well, so I figured  I would make a mini version of my hospital :) I think it looks a bit weird, but it’s definitately recognizable.

It even has a mini ambulance 😉

It’s not easy to see from this angle, but I even tried to emulate the bench on the back. I didn’t want to take any shots at an angle, because the sides look really crappy because of the headlight bricks 😛


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