Merry Christmas!!

I'm a tad late on this here blogpost...just a taad. Yeah, I know. It's crazy how time flies when you're out there knocking down shots of Jose Cuervo. But hey, better late then never, right?! 

Anyhow, just wanted to take this here opportunity and wish you all, my digital friend-o's, a merry Christmas and a happy new year!! 

Here are some of my favourite moments of last years' shenanigans. Ho Ho Ho!!

Sebastian & Stella The Chronicles | Cuteness Overload!!

During the past days I've been going through unprocessed photos of my buddies Sebastian & Stella from the last couple of years. 
It always makes me so happy to look at moments shared together with these two cupcakes. They are the sweetest most adoring two little people that I know in the whole wide world!!

So without further ado, these are my favourite never before posted photos of Sebastian aka. "Bullen" & Stella aka. "Patata" Englund.

Sweet Summer Memories | Sailing in the Archipelago

As the days go by and the darkness lingers longer every day I try to find energy for that loss of B vitamin somewhere else. A walk during lunch time when those precious rays of light still shine upon ones face is an efficient way for instance. Another source of vigor for me in the constant darkness is looking through photos of those sweet summer days.

If even just for a moment putting yourself back into a scene where the gentle summer breeze caresses your skin while you without a care in the world keep sipping on that frozen strawberry margarita and enjoying the good company of friends and family.

This short journey down memory lane is some sort of conscious mirage that enables me to find that something extra when the wind howls outside and there ain’t nottin’ but rain according to the weather forecast.

The photos from our two day sailing trip in the Stockholm Archipelago are a good example of where I’d like to go back in my imaginary time machine.

Jenny & Tobbe invited us to tag along with them on their boat during a weekend in august. We loved every minute of that experience and it’s mostly thanks to the good company of our captain and co-pilot. Thank you so much guys, it was a real treat!!

The Getaway Trip With 2 Cherries on Top | Barcelona

Our summer tour in Biarritz, San Sebastián & Bilbao was coming to an end and it was time for us to head back to Stockholm.

During our last day in Bilbao, my wifey was doing what she does best while I was chilling on the armchair. That is texting her sister on WhatsApp, checking the weather forecast back home, asking me what she should wear to the upcoming wedding party while singing along to Adele on Spotify...Suddenly the singing stops, her face turns all disappointed and she’s like “Vad faaan?!?” (In English that would be something like “Oh Nooo!?!”).

It turns out that the weather back home was looking more like autumn during the coming last weeks of our vacation. So we did what any Swede probably was doing in that same moment; we started looking for a flight to somewhere more sunlit.

We decided to come back to Spain again, but this time to a location that we’d visited on several occasions before. A flight ticket to Barcelona was our way out of the grayish & rainy abyss that awaited us in Sweden.

We flew home on a Thursday, did a whole lot of laundry, repacked the suitcases, headed off to the wedding in Uppsala on Saturday and off to the airport on Sunday. And before we knew it, the sun was shining on our faces again while laying on our beach towels on the lovely Barceloneta and mannerly declining the “Cooca Coola, Fanta, Cerveeeza?!?” offer’s.

Also, it turned out that our friends Raber & Sara decided to go to Barcelona just a couple of days after our arrival. We had couple of awesome days together enjoying the nice weather on the beach, strolling around the city and of course wining & dining at our favourite restaurants in El Born and Rival.

I gotta say that having the company of the Shoshtari-Goniband-Amin’s really was the cherry on top for our getaway summer vacation. Thank you guys, it was a blast!!

The Art Of Pintxos | San Sebastián

On the bus ride from Biarritz to our next destination both my wife and I were so amazed by this place that we felt anything else would fade in comparison. Biarritz had definitely raised the bar.

However, our next destination San Sebastián did not disappoint at all!

 It is said that it’s impossible to lay eyes on San Sebastián and not fall madly in love. This is indeed true, especially if you are as serious an eater as we are.

San Sebastián is cool, charming and well-mannered by day, graceful and flirtatious by night.

It’s a city that loves to indulge and has a food culture that’s unmatched anywhere else in Spain. There’s a reason why Donostia as it’s called in Basque frequently tops lists of the world's best places to eat.

In this region of Spain, the chefs have created their own cheeky version of tapas. They call it pintxos and this cheerful little morsel of Basque cuisine has been refined to an art form. The perfect pintxo should have exquisite taste, texture and appearance and it should be savoured in two elegant bites.

But just as good as the food, is the summer fun in the sun. For its setting, form and attitude, Playa de la Concha is the equal of any city beach in Europe. Then there’s Playa de la Zurriola, with its surfers and sultry beach-goers.

As the sun sets after yet another gentle summer’s day, you’ll find yourself jostling next to locals and tourists alike outside of bar Nestor.

Whilst enjoying the starter; a simple yet marvelous plate of Pimientos Verdes, you can’t wait to taste that first bite of the chuletón that’s prepared to perfection. You take a sip of that heavenly Ribera del Duero and realize that, yes, you too are in love with San Sebastián.

The Mic Drop | Biarritz Part V

This is the last part of my Biarritz photo story quintette in which I’ll try to wrap things up.

I kind of wanted to round off the whole story by including photos that didn’t really fit in the previous posts. Also, I usually try to incorporate a funny story in the posts from my everyday life. Fortunately for you, I don’t have any tales to tail for today’s episode.

In conclusion I just want to emphasize that my super-secret agent of wifey and I really had an amazing time at this beautiful location.

Lastly, in an attempt of “Dropping the Mic”, I’d like to go back to the first post and quote myself;

"Here in La Côte des Basques, Biarritz is the last bastion of the South West bordering Spain and jostling with the Michelin stars of the culinary San Sebastián. 

Its mild climate and the beauty of its awe-inspiring scenery, its curved inlets punctuated by rocky outcrops, all those cozy boulangerie, patisserie & crêperie’s, and the great events that it hosts, make Biarritz a destination of enchantment to which we will return to over and over again!!"

La Grande Finale

The Emigrated Friend | Biarritz Part IV

During one evening my wife had made plans for us to meet up with a friend of hers who’d moved to Biarritz several years ago. We decided to get together at the Etxola Bibi bar known for its amazing sunset view overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Side note – Do you guys remember the “Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey” from SNL? 

Well, here’s my “Deep Thoughts” of the day: Why is it that women in general are better at keeping in touch with friends, colleagues and other connections? 

Even people they don’t meet very often they stay in touch with in some way. I wish I had this trait. On the other hand, I surely would have a huge phone bill. I think I would have to get an extra job just to pay the bills. But then again, when would I have time to see all my friends?”

Anyhow…The Etxola Bibi offers an unpretentious and relaxed ambience where one can mingle with the locals over dinner & drinks right on the street. I gotta say that it’s hard coming by a nicer view than provided at this location.

After a drink at the bar, my wife’s friend Sophia, her fiancée Youri and their cute daughter Siri gave us a tour of the city and showed us some of the hidden gems Biarritz has to offer.

Sophia runs her own business, Biarritz Living. So if you’re in the lookout for stylish and comfortable holiday homes in Biarritz’s best neighbourhoods make sure to get in touch with her. Here’s the link to the webpage and this one to the Facebook account. Biarritz Living offers tailored & multilingual expert service: they speak English, French, Swedish and Spanish.

It was a pleasure meeting you guys; hope to be seeing you soon again!

The "Etxola Bibi"

The Sunday Brunch | Biarritz Part III

I don’t know about you fellas, but I firmly believe that my wife could be an excellent secret agent or spy. Hell, not even Ethan Hunt would stand a chance! 

Don’t tell me that you don’t recognize any of these features;

  • She is aware of her surrounding at any one instance of her awakened state.
  • She is always observant and vigilant of “suspicious activity" and/or " suspicious people”.
  • One of the greatest tools in her arsenal is the ability to remember everything that has happened until today, and I mean everything! I’m at a great disadvantage here since I have the memory equivalent to a fish! (Much like the cute Dory in Finding Nemo).
  • She has a black belt in conflict management and has acquired the degree “Master of Science” in the art of texting 5 people simultaneously whilst discussing weekend plans with me and putting on nail polish.

In addition to all of this she is a great investigator/researcher and utilizes social media channels like Instagram to her tactical advantage. The latter of these abilities is sometimes used indirectly to my tactical advantage (hahaa!!).

So one day at home prior to our Biarritz trip, while I was chilling on the couch and thinking about absolutely nothing (yeah that’s my superpower!) she was using the force to track down places for us to visit in the vicinity of Biarritz.

That’s how we found about The Beach House. During our stay we made sure to plan a daytrip out to this restaurant/pool bar.

The Beach House is located just a few steps away from the beaches of Anglet at a neighboring distance of 3km to the iconic city of Biarritz. It’s advertized as a "culinary happiness house made to serve".

Here one can experience international culinary fusion curated in the heart of the basque country. The dishes are distinctly prepared with select, locally farmed produce and seafood.

If you’re in the area, make sure to try this place out. The Sunday brunch which we had comes highly recommended! 

The Beach House

The Serious Eaters | Biarritz Part II

As usual when my wife and I travel, one of the major aspects of the destination is the food.

It goes without saying that we are serious eaters with refined interest in seeking out new culinary experiences as a hobby :)

I have a sweet spot for pastries & ice cream and she loves the salty stuff; like chips, popcorn and sunflower seed. Sunflower seed you may ask yourselves!? This is a custom much popular in the Middle East that needs an entire post to cover properly. Howsoever we share the same passion for Nutella…So in more than one way we complete each other!

Soooo… How did the eatery scene in Biarritz compare? Well I gotta say that this stylish coastal town, with all the cozy boulangerie, patisserie & crêperie’s scored high in our books! The only one drawback is that the prices match my appetite.

If you're looking for service minded- and to our surprise very good English speaking staff, fresh fish & seafood, divine French pastries and top quality coffee then you will not be disappointed in Biarritz!

The Chow

The Pearl Of The Atlantic | Biarritz Part I

As ritzy as its name suggests, this stylish coastal town took off as a resort in the mid-19th century when Napoléon III and his Spanish-born wife, Eugénie, visited regularly. 

Along its rocky coastline are architectural hallmarks of this golden age, and the belle époque and art deco eras that followed. Although it retains a high glamour quotient (and high prices to match), it's also a promised land for surfers, with some of Europe's best waves.

Here in La Côte des Basques, Biarritz is the last bastion of the South West bordering Spain and jostling with the Michelin stars of the culinary San Sebastián. 

Its mild climate and the beauty of its awe-inspiring scenery, its curved inlets punctuated by rocky outcrops, all those cozy boulangerie, patisserie & crêperie’s, and the great events that it hosts, make Biarritz a destination of enchantment to which we will return to over and over again!!

This is the first post of my photo-story-quintette covering our week-long vacation...Et Voilà!!

 The Scenery (Love At First Sight!)

Introducing My Homie Carl | Riga Wknd Trip

I’ve done a couple of posts about my buddy Sebastian & his baby sister Stella before. Now it’s time to introduce their equally cute dad Carl, or as we would say in my neck of the woods “Baba Carl”.

Carl is married to to my wife’s sister Lara, so that makes him my brother in law. In addition to being in-laws, Carl & I share a lot of common interests. As with Sebastian, eating ice cream is definitely on top of that list!
Since we’d never travelled together we decided to go to Riga for a couple of days. We did some sightseeing, took some photos, had some nice food & pasteries and partied 2 nights in a row. Then came the third day…aaand so did the hangover, so we went to the movies instead.

Here are some my favourite shots from the trip.
Always a pleasure Carl!!

Starting off the Summer in Uppsala | Nadia’s High School Graduation

The end of the school year is a time of joy & happiness since it usually marks the start off summer.  High School graduations however are somehow bittersweet. For all those seniors that have been looking forward to this day, it also means the end of an era.  At the same time it’s the beginning of something new, unknown, exciting yet sometimes scary.

You can see the same bittersweetness on the looks of all the parents. They’re happy at the same time sad.  The little birds are finally ready to go out there in the world and fly solo.

Last week me and my wife Shams celebrated her sister Nadia’s High School graduation at Fyrisskolan, Uppsala. I could see in all those faces what I felt 16 years ago. So much happiness, hope & excitement for what’s ahead.

So I wish you all of luck flying out there reaching for your dreams Nadia!

The City of Roses & Ruins’ | Gotland Photo Trip

In preparation of this year’s first photo trip I started going through my shooting-locations-bucket-list. After extensive research - what would I do without you google? - and considering the 4 days I had to spare the decision came to be Gotland.

Except for being a beautiful island and I do love to shoot areas around water, Gotland gets the most hours of sunlight in Sweden. Also I could fly to Visby in under an hour hence maximize my shutter-pressing-time!

The first 2 days I spent exploring the charming city of Visby on foot and on bike. Having literarily the worst sense of orientation in the history of orientation I gladly found myself lost in all the small adorable alleys. Thanks to this ability I stumbled upon GlassmagasinetEurope’s biggest ice cream bar (Say Whaaaaat!?!?). So if you’re a sucker for ice cream as I am it’s well worth a visit. 

If wining & dining is your thang then you’ll find yourself overwhelmed by all the top tier restaurants that are offered. My favorite place was definitely Surfers. Here you get Sichuan inspired cuisine delivered tapas stile and beautiful cocktails served up by super friendly waiters in a chill locale. Check them out at

During my third day I made plans to visit the neighboring island of Fårö. After a bus ride of 1.5h, I rented a bike before crossing over on the ferry. I then biked up to and back from the Digerhuvud nature reserve. This location is known for the rock formations called “Rauk” or sea stacks. These formations are a result of erosion during the Ice age and are unique to Gotland and Fårö.

To summarize, I think the perfect way to describe Gotland & Visby is a quote I found while researching: 

Visby is the city of roses & ruins’, mythic and embodied with a romantic historic aura.
An idyllic small town and yet Gotland’s largest habitation.

Here are my favorite photos from the trip.



Coaster Car Land in Nykvarn | Day trip with Sebastian

So it’s time for another post with my cute & bestest buddy in the whole wide world!
I don’t know if you know this, but at his spare-time Sebastian enjoys tinkering on his lavish set of toys. 

Most of these collector items are imported by his equally cute dad when he's away at business trips to Japan. Sports cars, motorcycles, buses, tractors, trains, airplanes & choppers. You name it, he’s got it!!

For his birthday my wife came up with a great present. 
She’d found this place called Lådbildslandet just outside of Stockholm.
They’ve got a bunch of different tracks where kids from the age of 3-9 can ride all kinds of coaster vehicles with real engines!

So a couple of weeks ago, we took Sebastian out on a day trip to the coaster car land.
We were really impressed by how quick he and the other kids learned to drive the cars & bikes.
It was really fun at the same time a bit strange too see so many little people out on the tracks. 

Anyhow, here are my favourite photos from the trip.

Introducing Stella | Sebastian’s Birthday Party

You remember my cute buddy Sebastian, right? Well his third birthday was a couple of weeks ago.
Other than that, he’s been going through some dramatic yet exciting changes lately. 
The big news is that 2 weeks prior he’d become a big brother!

So I’d like to introduce you to Stella, the latest addition to the now even cuter Englund family.
She’s 4 weeks old, enjoys her daily long naps and loves to cuddle up on the couch with a bottle of warm milk formula.

We had a great day hanging out at the Englunds’ with the rest of the family, Sebastian and the new bundle of joy! 

Here are some of the photos from the birthday party.

Family Get Together | Gothenburg Wknd Trip

I moved from my parents’ in Gothenburg during the fall of 1999…aaand just realised that 16 years has passed - 16 years people!!

Anyhooow. I’ve probably always been back to my mom’s saffron odorous kitchen during the weekend of March 21. Well the reason is that the Persian New Year “Norouz” usually occurs around this date.

So being the most important holiday for us we try to get the family together.
The special thing about this year was that my sister Rei had returned back to live in Sweden after 4 years abroad in Cape Town! We were all happy to have Rei and her husband Keenon present and it really made this years Norouz the best ever!

It was also a blast hanging out with my brother Radin & his fiancé Sofia during the weekend. Thank you guys for having us over :)

Last but not least, thank you Rahimeh & Rasool for the great food, the amazing homemade pastries, the gifts, the great stories and all the laughs. Love you!!

Here are my favourite shots from the weekend.