Iceland mini guide

13.10.2017 / mini guides

Fikk en hyggelig forespørsel om jeg ikke kunne dele noen Islandtips, så da tenkte jeg å starte med 5 av mine favorittsteder:

Skogafoss

Av alle fossefallene vi besøkte, var dette den mest imponerende. Gljúfrabúi Waterfall var mektig, men ikke i helt samme skala som Skogafoss, så sistnevnte stikker av med en knepen seier. Når vi var her var det en del turister da, så jeg tror det skal være bra med (turist)bussforbindelser hit. Det er forresten ikke lov til å filme med drone her (dessverre), men det er selvfølgelig mulig å få mange kule bilder likevel.

 

Seljavallalaug

Det ser kanskje ikke så fristende ut å bade med algene i vannet, men jeg kan love at det ikke er ekkelt i det hele tatt! Vannet er varmt, rundt 20-25 grader, og når du først har gått oppi, skal det noe til før du vil forlate igjen. Garderobene derimot, var ekle, så jeg anbefaler å skifte i bilen eller på forhånd. Den enkleste måten å komme seg hit, er vel å kjøre. Hvis du taster “Seljavallaug” inn på Google maps får du koordinater slik at du kan kjøre til parkeringsplassen, og så gå de resterende 10-15 minuttene til bassenget. Husk å dra tidlig på dagen (eventuelt når det er veldig sent) hvis du er like antisosial som oss og vil ha hele bassenget for dere selv. Første gang vi var der var i 19-tiden på kvelden, og da var det mye spetakkel og lite bildevennlig, haha!

 

DC3 plane crash på Sólheimasandur

Flykræsjet på Sólheimasandur er kun verdt å få med seg fordi det ser så stilig ut. Bortsett fra flyet er det ingenting annet enn svart sand å se, bortsett fra horder med turister da..Vi gikk nesten i kø bortover, så her kan det være lurt å ikke gå i 14-tiden slik vi gjorde. Vi ventet hvert fall en goooood stund før jeg kunne ta dette bildet uten mennesker. Også her er det enkleste å bare søke etter stedet på Google maps for å finne lokasjonen. Fra parkeringsplassen tar det omtrent  30-45 minutter å gå ut til vraket.

 

Viti crater

Et gigantisk vulkankrater med en krystallklar blå innsjø inni. Dette er definitivt ikke noe du ser hver dag! Jeg ville satt av rundt 1 time til å gå rundt hele krateret, for det er virkelig noe for seg selv. Her kan du parkere på kanten av vulkanen, så du må ikke gå lange biten for å oppleve dette.

 

Stokksnes

Mitt favorittsted. Fjellene, den svarte sanda, lyset og havet som knuser inn mot stranda. Jeg tror ikke bildene mine kan rettferdiggjøre hvor fint det var her. Spesielt ikke når vi våkna etter en natt i telt – herlighet det var flott! Dette stedet må nesten oppleves. Vær forresten klar over at du må betale for å komme inn på dette området i “the Viking cafe”. Det er ikke snakk om mer enn en 100 eller 200 lapp (alt ettersom om du skal campe eller ikke), men vi ble uansett overrasket..

 

Ellers er det vel verdt å få med seg Den blå lagune, Gljúfrabúi Waterfall og Kirkjufell. Sistnevnte var dessverre skoddelagt da vi besøkte stedet, men av konturene skjønte vi jo at vi nettopp gikk glipp av en fantastisk opplevelse…Ridning på islandshets burde jo også prøves ut. Selv om det kanskje ikke var et høydepunkt for min del, var synet av meg på hesteryggen hvert fall til stor glede for min hesteglade reisepartner. Så er det nå jeg skal si at det er en glede og kunne glede andre?

 

Transport

Vi leide bil i 10 dager når vi var der, og det var absolutt verdt det! Jeg vil påstå at det er den letteste måten å reise på. Husk på å kjøpe forsikring mot steinsprut, ettersom det nesten er til å unngå da mange av veien er laget av grus. Kvaliteten på veien er veldig forskjellig, men om du skal ut av hovedstaden er det sannsynlig at du plutselig møter på veier som er i mye dårligere stand enn dette. Spesielt om du skal kjøre litt nordover i landet.

 

Overnatting

Prisnivået ligger omtrent på det samme som i Norge, men jeg tror maten er bittelitt billigere. Vi booket et par overnattinger på diverse gjestehus, typ AirBnB, og det var helt greit. I tillegg hadde vi med oss telt, og for å være helt ærlig var disse overnattingene mer minneverdige. Vi hadde blant annet den utsikta! Island er definitivt ikke den billigste plassen å reise til, men jeg kan legge hånden på hjertet og si jeg ikke angrer på at jeg dro! Det er uten tvil en av mine beste reiser – så langt!

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ITALY mini guide

12.06.2016 / 2015, Italy / mini guides

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Hadde egentlig tenkt til å skrive denne posten for lenge siden, men det ble egentlig bare med den tanken, for åpenbart skjedde det jo ingenting før nå. Så jeg reise jo til Italia en tur i fjor sommer med to venniner, så da tenkte jeg det var lurt og bare samle alle mine tips i en post i tilfelle noen skulle være interessert!

 

Milano

Milano var vårt første stopp på italiensk jord, og her tilbrakte vi to solfylte dager (før vi tok toget videre til Cinque Terre): Her snakker vi alt i fra de dyreste og mest eksklusive motehusene til vintage butikker og de vanlig kjedebutikkene, så når det kommer til shopping, vil jeg tro denne byen kan tilfredsstille selv den kresne.

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Duomo di Milano, den enorme katedralen i hjertet av byen, var helt klart høydepunktet! Fantastisk fin på utsiden, men for ikke å glemme på innsiden også! På dagen er det alltid flust av folk her, så om du vil ha bilder uten turister er eneste løsning å stå opp klokka 06. Husk på at om du har tenkt deg en tur inn, koster det 2EUR og du må dekke til skuldre og ha på deg bukse/skjørt som går lenger ned enn til knærne dine. Hvis du imidertid skulle glemme det, kan du jo gjøre som meg: kjøpe deg et nytt skjørt med god samvittighet.

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Under oppholdet hadde vi så flaks at vi var der når EXPO2015, verdensutstillingen, åpnet, og den var jo så klart verdt å få med seg! Hvis du ikke vet hva verdensutstillingen er (slapp av, det visste ikke jeg heller før jeg plutselig var der), så er det en internasjonal utstilling hvor alle de deltagende landene (som kommer fra hele verden) bidrar med sine kulturelle/teknologiske/sosiale/økonomiske resultater under et gitt tema. For eksempel ble Eiffeltårnet og Frihetsgudinnen bygd til forskjellige verdensutstillinger holdt i Paris.

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Det mest imponerende ved EXPO 2015 må være “The tree of life” som leverte DET lysshowet på kvelden. Det var bare kjempe fint.

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Metroen er vel det enkleste formen for transportmiddel, og jeg vil tro den billigste. Billetten min under oppholdet hadde hvert fall samme pris som en busstur tur/retur byen i Bodø..

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Før jeg oppsumerer, må jeg trekke frem vår utrolig hyggelige vert, som kom i møte med oss og i tillegg lot seg avbilde! Jeg hadde aldri prøvd Airbnb før turen til Italia, men vi benyttet oss av tjenesten (som rett og slett går ut på at folk leier ut et rom, en leilighet eller hjemmet sitt) både i La Spezia og Milano, og jeg kan ikke si annet enn at jeg er veldig fornøyd.

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Ellers så opplevde jeg egentlig ikke Milano som en spesielt interessant by. Vi hadde det jo koselig når spilte kort, drakk vin og spiste spagetti, men hvis det ikke var for katedralen, vil jeg nesten påstå at Milano ikke er verdt besøket. Det er hvert fall ikke sånn at jeg føler at jeg tilbake med det første.

 

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre, som består av de fem (fargerike) fiskelandsbyene på østkysten av Italia, er rett og slett til å dø for! Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola og Riomaggiore er alle sjarmerende på hver sin måte, og virkelig verdt å oppleve. Det er med god grunn at jeg fortsatt poster bildene mine derfra på Instagram og på bloggen for å si det sånn. Får visst aldri helt nok!

Det går veldig sjarmerende turstier mellom byene, så det anbefales virkelig på det sterkeste! Kan jo legge til at det er lurt å starte tidlig på dagen om du er der på sommeren, så du slipper å gå i solsteken. Det gjorde jo selvfølgelig vi, så jo lengre vi gikk, jo flere  plagg var det bare å kaste av seg. Til slutt kom jeg til et punkt der jeg tenkte jeg ikke kunne kle av meg mer utenat det ble ubehgelig for flere enn meg selv. Gjett om jeg var overlykkelig når vi endelig kom frem til Monterosso (vi startet i Vernazza) og jeg bare kunne kaste meg ut i havet!?!

 

Monterosso

Det er mulig å finne badeplasser i alle fiskelandsbyene, men dette er faktisk den eneste med ei sandstrand (og ei grotte)! Her selger de også de fineste postkortene, synes nå jeg. Tror egentlig bare bildene skal få lov til å tale for meg, for de beskriver dette flotte stedet mye bedre enn vokubularet mitt kan:

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Vernazza

Nydelig landsby med molo. Anbefaler å finne stien mot Monterosso og gå opp i høyden for den beste utsikten over byen. I høyden er det dessuten tomt for folk om kvelden – så det er liten sannsynlighet for at du uønskede turister i bildene dine. Husk på å ta med lommlykt da (eller strøm nok på mobilen slik at du kan bruke lommelykten der), for det blir fort mørkt, og det er ikke særlig gøy å ramle i de trappenetrinnene. Anbefaler også spise ved strandkanten ved solnedgang (om du ikke skal fotografere solnedgangen fra høyden så klart), fordi du får se DET lyset samtidig som du spiser DEN maten!

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Corniglia

Landsbyen ligger mye høyere opp i fjellet enn de andre byene, men om du går gjennom hele byen og ned på den andre siden mot havet, er det mulig å finne en badeplass også her. Fantastisk fin utsikt er det hvert fall, ettersom byen ligger så høyt i terrenget. På “Food and sea” serverer de også utrolig god (og billig) mat, så det er verdt å få med seg. PS! For å komme seg opp til byen må du gå opp DE trappene, så ha for all del: kle på deg ordentlige sko..

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Manarola

Tilbyr fantastiske strawberry daiquiries, og er etter min mening den mest velbeliggende byen å ta bilder av om natten! I Vernazza opplevde jeg at gress og busker sperret litt av utsikten, og i Riomaggiore måtte jeg balansere ut på en bølgebryter bestående av steinblokker for å få det rette utsnittet (og gjett om jeg var nervøs for å falle da???). Jeg forsøkte ikke å ta bilder av Corniglia og Monterosso om kvelden, men det var rett og slett fordi husene ikke er “samlet” så tett som i de andre byene, og derfor ikke ser like spekakulære ut i mine øyne. I Manarola derimot, var det mulig å bare følge en sti litt unna byen og så knipse i vei uten andre problemer enn turister som gikk i veien. Vil helt klart tilbake for å ta flere bilder her ettersom jeg ikke ble helt fornøyd, men jeg har bare meg selv å takke ettersom jeg ikke gadd å ta med stativet den ene kvelden vi var der..

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– Riomaggiore

Jeg tror ikke engang bildene kan rettferdiggjøre hvor fint det egentlig var her, så det eneste jeg kan si er WOW! Byen må være min favoritt. Den ser rett og slett SÅ majestetisk ut om du klatrer ut bølgebryteren, og det er jo umulig og ikke bli helt forelsket. Hit må jeg tilbake – definitivt – for selv om jeg allerede har tatt en time lapse og avbildet byen minst 200 ganger allerede, får jeg visst ikke helt nok.

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Overnatting og transport

– Vi bodde i La Spezia, en by rett ved siden av Cinqe Terre, ettersom det var billigere for overnatting, men det gjorde absolutt ingenting ettersom togturen til landsbyene kun tok 5-10 minutter. Vi leide faktisk en typ leilighet på Airbnb, og jeg tror ikke vi kunne vært mer fornøyd! God plass, mulighet for å lage mat, butikk rett utenfor, og ikke minst: kjøleskap.

– Den enkleste måten å reise mellom de fem byene på, er med tog. Vi kjøpte et todagers pass til rundt 200kr, og da kunne vi fritt bevege oss mellom fiskelandsbyene og La Spezia (i hvert fall frem til midnatt). Dessten er det jo som sagt stier du kan følge, men vær oppmerksom på at noen av dem kan være stengte.

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Av de tre stedene jeg besøkte i Italia, er dette helt klart plassen jeg gjerne vil reise tilbake til en dag. Forhåpentligvis velger jeg ikke å dra midt i høysesongen neste gang, for det var seriøst stappfullt på enkelte tidspunkt på dagen.

 

Venezia

Like fint, vakkert og flott som på postkort! Venezia skuffet ikke med sine sjarmerende kanaler, gode pasta og trange gater (men byen når liksom likevel ikke helt opp til Cinque Terre).

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Først må jeg bare anbefale denne fine butikken! Det var så mye fint og se på, og om jeg hadde vært rik hadde jeg sikkert tømt hyllene. Jeg hadde seriøst lyst på alt! Nøyet meg imidertid med ett seglstempel med min eget initiale haha. Butikken finner du langs hovedgaten, men dessverre husker jeg ikke eksakt adresse. Den ser slik ut da:

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MEN på Rialtobroen ligger det en lignende butikk, som så klart er verdt å droppe innom.

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Et lite tips er å stort sett holde seg til hovedgatene om kvelden og finne seg et kart! Vi greide selvfølgelig å rote oss bort, og det var ikke SÅ enkelt å finne ut hvordan vi skulle komme oss togstasjonen igjen. Jeg forsøkte desperat og spørre om hjelp av forbipasserende, men alle sendte oss i motsatt retning av hva den forrige hadde sagt..Gjett om vi gikk i ring da!! Google maps reddet oss sånn halvveis en gang, men herlighet så mange små gater og trange smug vi gikk gjennom. Mørkt var det selvfølgelig også, og på et tidspunkt var jeg skråsikker på at det var noen som fulgte etter oss.

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Overnatting og transport

Når det kommer til overnatting, går det helt fint å bo utenfor selve øya. Det gjorde vi, og vi tok derfor tog inn til Venezia hver morgenen. Det kostet oss rundt 2 euro hver vei, så det var helt greit. Hotellet vi bodde på lå rett ved togstasjonen, så vi gikk kanskje 50m og så var vi der.

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Vi reiste nedover siste uken i juli og var der til noen få dager ut i august. Totalt 10 dager altså, og jeg brukte vel omtrent 10 000-11 000 på hele reisen tilsammen. Vi bestemte oss for å pakke i sekk, og jeg må si jeg var ekstremt glad for at vi tok det valget etter at vi spottet noen som forsøkte å dra med seg trillekofferten sin over brostein og opp og ned steintrapper…ikke å anbefale!

Og det er vel alt jeg har å komme med for denne gang. Så om Italia er destinasjonen din for sommeren, så ønsker jeg deg en minst like fin tur som den jeg var på! (Og hvis du vil se flere bilder alle bildene fra turen, kan du finne dem her)

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CHINA mini guide

17.02.2015 / mini guides

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a complete list of all the places I visited while travelling to China last year. it was the first time exploring the world on my very own and it was such a wonderful experience! definitely recommended!

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Company

I figured I didn’t need to be dependent on anyone but myself so I just travelled around the planet all alone. I’ll admit it was a bit lonely at some points but I have absolutely no problems about spending some time on my own, sometimes I even suspect myself for enjoying my own company too much. besides, I wasn’t by myself during the whole trip. I signed up for a guided tour group and then I met people from all over the world – Australia, Myanmar, Japan, France, Germany, China – so even though you’re travelling alone it doesn’t mean you’ll be alone.

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The First Beacon Tower

The First Beacon Tower marks the starting point of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall, and was built to give early warnings, via smoke signals, of approaching attackers. there’s only ruins left of the actual tower (not shown on these pictures), but there’s a clear light blue river floating by worth taking a peek at because yes the area is actually as stunning as the pictures show.

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Food

I’m always eating way too much pizza, hamburger and pasta whenever I’m dining out but this time I wasn’t in charge of the menu at all. I actually ate everything I was served – whatever that may have been – and surprisingly, I liked it all! vegetables, pork, soup, noodles, it seems like the Chinese kitchen is endless. obviously, eating Chinese food in China is definitely NOT the same thing as in Norway. it’s so so delicious! rule#1: no pizza whenever travelling to China.

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Giant Buddha Temple

The Giant Buddha temple, located in Zhangye in Gansu, housed a 35m long Buddha made of wood and it’s actually the biggest indoor sleeping Buddha in all of China so it’s definitely worth a peek! sadly I don’t have any pictures to show you of the actual Buddha because photographing was forbidden inside the temple.

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The Great Wall

it felt kind of mandatory to visit one of the wonders of the world, even though I’d already been there twice, but this time I visited other sections of the wall, built in the Ming Dynasty so it was so worth it! the weather was perfect for climbing the steep steps, the cool air felt fresh in my lungs and no pollution whatsoever bothered my inhaling. however, I wouldn’t recommend anyone to wear high heels because I did and I’ll admit it wasn’t such an appropriate shoe choice.

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Horse hoof temple and caves

this was actually the biggest surprise of the trip – in a good way! one of the caves was seven floors tall and offered such an incredible view at the top! I just stood there and soaked in the beauty because the caves were surrounded by this stunning scenic area with the snowy Qilian Mountain range as a beautiful backdrop. wow.

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Hotels

I’m actually not fond of recommending hotels (and that’s why this is the first time) because some people might mistake my advices for advertising (but I don’t have those things on here I promise) but I just thought I should mentioned these two located in Beijing because they sort of stood out from the rest.

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East Beijing

East Beijing is located midway between the airport and the city which is kind of perfect as it’ll only take you 20minutes with a taxi – equal to 60 yuan – to the airport and likewise to the city. the hotel offers an incredible breakfast buffet (including the sunrise if you’re up early) and view of the dawn right from your bed. no sounds from noisy neighbours and the staff is ready to help you with everything, including finding the door to your room if you’re ever in doubt (been there done that). the beds are comfortable and oversized and the showers are just like every shower should be. the hotel is right beside a massive shopping mall where you pretty much can find everything you need – coca cola (for 2yuans), food, post cards, clothes, etc.. warning: shopping malls in China tend to be enourmous in size so it’s extremely easy to get lost. I did. twice.

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Langham Place Beijing Capital Airport

extremely convenient if you’re just staying for a few days or like in my case – just one night. the hotel is obviously located real close to the airport and there’s a shuttle from the hotel leaving every 15 minutes driving you to your terminal for free. there’s a shower AND a bathtub and the beds are just how I like them – oversized and comfortable.

 

there’s absolutely no problem at all finding a hotel in Beijing (of course there’s several other options) but I’d just like to share these two because they were my favourites.

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Jiayuguan Fortress Town

The fortress at Jiayuguan, located in the Gansu province, is the western-most end of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall and is consisting of three defence lines – the moat, the outer city wall and the inner city wall. the three towers are such a spectacular view – especially at sunset!

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Cloisonne enameling factory

they made everything with perfection and I just love the fact that everything is handmade and therefore very unique. I believe you can find several of these factories all over China, but I visited this one in Beijing.

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Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park

it’s nicknamed one of the most colourful places in the world and it’s the main reason why I chose to travel to China in the first place. I wanted to see the colourful mountains with my very own eyes and it has truly been a dream-come-true. the red-coloured sandstones, located in the northwestern Gansu province, really make this place unique and worth seeing by yourself because yes it’s unbelievably beautiful!

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Binggou

another scenic area, not loacted far from the Danxia landform, where the nature is almost just as amazing! definitely worth spending some time there because wow. just wow.

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the Secret valley

this was another scenic area in the geological park, and it was just so so pretty! I believe water had formed most of the landscape which made it even more special.

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The tea house

the country is famous for its tea leaves, having originated in China, so it seems like the number of different types of tea are infinite. so if you’re into tea, be sure to find one of those cute tea houses – I think they’re pretty much scattered all over Beijing.

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Transportation

taxi is incredibly cheap compared to Norway, and I found every driver extremely nice and helpsome even though they didn’t understand a word of English. however, they navigated through Beijing like a superhero and drove me from A to B (reading the signs like nothing which I obviously couldn’t). all I had to do was to give them my adress, written in Chinese.

ps! the taxi driver doesn’t neccessarily know the importance of a seat belt. when the speedometer hits 120km/h you do want to be sure you’re fasten before he/she starts accelerating.

 

it was an truly incredible trip, and now I’m only longing to get back because there’s still several other places I’d really like to visit! (which hopefully will be in 2016)

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RHODES mini guide

20.01.2015 / mini guides

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the solution of a typical tourist place including warmth, sunlight and delicious food but exclusive the massive tourism. I don’t really enjoy those crowds of tourists so I was relieved when it turned out there weren’t any.

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Food

I’m usually into pasta and pizza whenever I’m travelling and the word ‘boring’ describes my intake of food pretty well but I couldn’t resist trying the traditional dish called gyros. it only cosists of pita bread stuffed with onion, pork, chips++ and it’s actually a lot more tasteful than it sounds. I don’t think anyone makes it like the greeks.

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The beach

I don’t think anyone needs to be convinced about how delightful it is to see blue as far as the eye can see really is. I jumped into the ocean more than once and the fact that I swallowed too much salt water didn’t scare me at all..it usually does but this time it didn’t matter..so be sure to find yourselves a hotel near the ocean, it’s the only lifesaver when the temperature hits more than 40degrees..

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Rhodes Old Town

the place must be the definition of beautiful. there’s a medieval wall enclosing the Old town, and a walk throughout the place is mandatory. it has those old narrow, peppled streets with small charming shops and hidden restaurants serving local food everywhere. unique pieces made of leather tempted me to go all in, but I somehow managed to resist (when I thought about the amount of money I’d already spent on clothes, bags and shoes in London earlier that very same summer), but I’m not sure if I would be able to say no twice.

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The valley of butterflies

the valley is unique, and it can not be compared to anything I have experienced before. thousands of butterflies were fluttering past me in a hurry, but if you timed your shot right, it was possible to get a close-up. we were folling this path through their propical home, and the place itself was so peaceful and undisturbed by human intervention it felt like a real time travel. I would recommed everyone to wear proper shoes for hiking – I  had of course chosen a pair of sandals and I almost faceplanted because of the slippery peppled stones forming the path – and also remember to bring with you a bottle of water because it’s going to be sweaty and very hot. camera wise, I’ll sugest you to bring with you a telezoom (if you’re lucky enough to own one) to get the best shots of the butterflies. they are incredibly fast and they do like to keep their distance, so to avoid my 5omm wasn’t really a problem for them at all.

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The white city

the highlight! we were guided to the white city – Lindos – but even though it was not as impressive as Minas Tirith, it did have an impression of royality because of the ruins of the acropolis reigning over the rest of the city. it was such a splendid view up there, and again, I would recommend you to wear more appropriate shoes than I did – because I wore sandals, again – and this time I actually did fell when I carefully tried to climb down the way from the city. it was not one of my proudest moments in my life.

PS! be aware of thieves. they broke into our appartment while we were sleeping, and helped themselves with bags (among other my very precious Spell bag), money, phone and pretty much everything they could find of value. I was so glad to find my camera in the exact same spot I left it the earlier day. it would be a catastrophe if it was stolen because it’s really the love of my life.

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LONDON mini guide

13.01.2015 / mini guides

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I don’t know if it’s because of the British accent, delicious food, stunning architecture, charming brick lanes or enormous shopping malls, but I just love London. the people are extremely friendly, communication is (unlike in Paris) not a problem at all and the overall atmosphere and impression of the city make me feel very, very welcome indeed.

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Buckingham Palace

the palace is such a royal view! even though I’ve only seen the outside, I’d love to take a tour inside as well. be sure to see when the changing of the Guard take place because I only got a glimpse of it from the roof of the sightseeing bus and it was such a pity I didn’t see everything. please, don’t make the same mistake as me.

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Company

it was our we-are-finally-eighteen-let’s-travel-together-trip and it was truly a memorable trip. recommended if you’ve never travelled with anyone but your parents before.

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Food

I must admit I have not yet tasted the famous “fish and chips” breakfast, but I have discovered the best pizza in the world. Garfunkel’s is a nice resturant located in Oxford street (near the Oxford Circus tube station) where they serve a pizza called American Hot. it costs approximately 9 British pounds so if you’re into spicy food: do yourself a favour and taste it. there’s seriously nothing that can be compared.

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London by night

I swear you’re not going to regret experiencing the city by night. it’s such a gorgeous view! I had my eyes set on London Eye, Bigben and Tower Bridge, and I’m really greatful that my friends came along to see the enlightened city with me because the view should indeed be shared with the people you love. we even got a handful of really good shoots, and when looking back, these are actually the ones I like and appreciate the most. it may be a little cold so be sure to bring a jacket just in case because it would be such a shame if you were so unfortunate to miss the view because of the temperature.

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London Eye

the wheel can be found close to Bigben and Westminster Abbey by the river Thames, and the 30 minutes long tour offers a spectacular view of London. be sure to take the trip on a sunny day (when there’s no fog), and you’ll be able to see as far as the eye can see. if you have time to take the trip when the night falls, DO IT! I had already made other plans when I figured out you could experience the same view by night (on fridays), and it was such a downer because the city looks even more beautiful by night. if I remember correctly, I payed 19,00 British pounds for my ticket to the top.

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Madame Tussauds

I visited the Madame Tussaud back in 2011, and I must say I admire the craftsmanship. it was A LOT of people though..sometimes I had to push my way through the crowd in order to actually see something. I guess the enourmos crowd kind of ruined the experience for me becaseut I didn’t found this attraction as exciting as the others, but I bet I would’ve felt differently if I visited the place at another time of the year. we had of coursed picked the date when the holidays had just started…

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Markets

the original plan was to visit Camden market but we somehow ended up at the Apple market in Covent garden instead. I would recommend everyone to visit whatever market they do find because they’re all so charming, and there’s people everywhere selling handmade and unique pieces and things. I don’t think we have anything like that in Norway.

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Musicals

“The Lion King” musical bought back the memories of my childhood, and I couldn’t help but sing along. it was a fantastic show, and the costumes were really wow. so take the tube to Covent Garden and let yourself be amazed by the talented children’s and adult’s performances! I payed 39 British pounds for the entertaining musical, but the price may vary depending on which day you want to see the show. I don’t think it was the cheapest ticket, but definitely not the most expensive either.

the “WE WILL ROCK YOU” musical, based on songs by the band Queens, was simply incredible! the dancers/actors/singers/entertainers did an amazing job, and I was stunned by their performance! you don’t neccassarily need to be a fan of Queen’s music (I don’t and I don’t blame you) because the show itself is just THAT good. unfortunately, I can’t remember the price of the ticket, but the place itself is easy to find as it is located somewhere in the middle of Oxford Street. the big logo is pretty hard to miss!

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Shopping

I guess Oxford street is a shopaholic’s paradise. there’s all kind of stores selling clothes, shoes, make-up and whatever you’re looking for so I couldn’t really have asked for anything more. my favourite shops were Urban Outfitters(!!!), Forever21, River Island, Topshop and Primark, but there’s of course hundreds of other stores to fall in love with. I don’t think it matters how much money you’ve saved up because you’ll end up broke at the end of the day anyway. next time I want to get lost at one of London’s vintage markests, and of course explore other hidden shops. when it comes to shopping, London’s definitely the right place.

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Sightseeing bus tour

when you sit on top of the roof and look around, there’s nothing but 360degrees of beauty surrounding you. the bus stops by the most popular tourist attractions, and the smart jump on/off ticket make it easy to visit several attractions during one day. I payed 29 British punds for my bus ticket, but I think the price may vary a little depending on the bus company. I know a lot of people do this trip but though you’re surrounded by tourists I truly understand why people enjoy it.

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Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The making of Harry Potter

THE highlight of the trip and definitely the ultimate dream destination for every Harry Potter fan. I got to see the Great Hall, Hermione’s Yule Ball dress, Diagon Alley, Dolores Umbridge’s rules, Dobby and so much more. the model of the Hogwarts castle is incredible and it’s probably the closest you’ll ever be to the castle. there was aslo an enormous gift shop where you could buy a wand, Bertie Bott’s every flavour beans, the Marauders map and several other props. I will try not to reveal everything for you because you should indeed go and experience the magic for yourself! “Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The making of Harry Potter” is located an hour outside of London, and the cheapest way to get there is probably to take the train to Watford Junction train station, and then take the Harry Potter bus (stationed right outside the train station) to the studio. The bus ticket costed me 2pounds (cash), and the studio tour itself was 29 British pounds. I can not wish you anything but a macigally trip! this will not be a disappointment.

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Westminster Abbey

the extremely gorgeous church. I’m not religious or anything but I’m simply drawn to tall buildings and detailed architecture. I haven’t had the chance to go on the inside yet though the outside is more than stunning. next time I’ll hopefully be staring up at the high ceiling and think about how amazing the piece of art really is (because yes there will be a next time).

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PARIS mini guide

12.11.2014 / mini guides

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such a beautiful city in both daylight and nightfall. however, the knowledge of English was nonexistent rather than limited and may therefore be a problem if you’re not able to communicate in French or find someone really nice who’s (bilingual or) willing to help you. fortunately, I met five of those superheroes, and though they were like a rare specie, I’m still so so so incredibly grateful for their help.

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The Arch of Triumph

I like this monument. it’s kind of perfect in my opinion as it’s crowning the end of Champs-Élysées. I’m actually regretting I didn’t visit the observatory at the top and got the chance to photograph the arch at night. well, there’s always a next time.

 

Champs-Élysées

famous for its cafés and luxury shops, but sure really pretty for just a stroll as well. I actually like this busy boulevard.

 

Company

traveling with friends always make the trip more memorable and fun. my best friend travelled along with me, but a boyfriend is certainly accepted as well because there’s a lot of couples. everywhere.

 

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Disneyland

though I’m not sure the entry fee (73EUR) was worth paying, this place did make my best friend very happy which made me very happy indeed. the amusement park is divded into two theme parks but according to my best friend, Disneyland Park, is the only one worth seeing because Walt Disney Studios Park is just not THAT magical. well, I got to see the Sleeping Beauty Castle which was kind of nice.

 

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the Eiffel tower

obviously, the only place where you can’t see the Eiffel tower. beautiful view and absolutely the highlight on a sunny day. Trocadéro would be the perfect spot to observe the tower if you’re not bothering to visit the actual tower.

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Food

people are complaining about the price level in Norway, but I actually found the prices in Paris to be quite similiar to Norway. water is even more expensive there than here (at least when bought at a restaurant). however, not surprisingly, all sorts of wine was quite cheap. cheaper than water actually. the best pain au chocolates (so far) can be found at Starbucks near Opera because they were warmed so the chocolate melted. best.breakfast.ever.

 

Hop on hop off

easy, fast and pleasent way to explore the city (as long as the weather’s not too rainy or cold).

 

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Louvre

it was rather noisy and crowdy, and people behaved rather rowdy. I tried battling my way through the masses in order to catch a glimpse of Mona Lisa, but after all it was probably not worth it. I was wearing sandals and people had a tendency of trampling on my feet. however, there’s SO much more worth seeing besides that one painting. looking upon Liberty Leading the People was kind of ecstatic and the museum itself was such a time-travel-labyrint I was sure we’d never find the exit. the entry ticket is 12EUR which isn’t too bad either.

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Madeleine

I’m a huge fan of the pillars and the fact that it was less crowdy than both Sacre-Cæur and Notre Dame and (almost) as spectacular as the latter definitely made the church peek-worthy.

 

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Notre Dame

almost as mesmerasied by the beautiful ceiling and structure as the disrespectful people making noise and photographing with a flash.

 

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Palace of Versailles

my absolute favourite day of the trip was spent in the palace and garden of Versailles. its enormous size, symmetric structure and overall perfection caught my attention at WOW! and the garden actually matches the palace (both when it comes to size and incredibleness). I payed 15EUR for my entry ticket but I would gladly have payed more to skip the 2 hours of queue. be sure to wake up early in order spend more of your valuable time behind the golden gates of Versailles, not waiting in line on the outside.

 

Sacré-Cæur

I was surprised by the silence in this church because while silence means high louds of whispering and occasionally shouts in Notre Dame, silence actually means silence and it was such a nice contrast to all of the outside’s noise.

 

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Shopping

Urban Outfitters was kind of a disappointment in comparison with the size of the stores in London, but I did manage to find some pieces anyway. Forever21, located close to Louvre Rivoli, was a rather positive experience. I had to laugh when spotting all of these dads sitting by the entrace because it reminded me of how my dad’s attitude towards shopping. La Fayette, an enourmous building of departmens, can be found near Opera. expensive clothes, cheap clothes, luxury brands, chain stores, vintage, whatever they have it all.

 

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Tour Montparnasse

the roof is the perfect spot for photographing and soaking in a beautiful view of the city. One of the highlights of the trip, and the young/student price is 11,50EUR which makes it affordable. definitely recommended!

 

Transportation

The metro was kind of superior and made navigation no problem at all. our tickets were marked zone 1-5 because it made everything easier while travelling. Zone 1-3 covers the inner city while 4-5 is required in order to travel to Versailles and Disneyland. My 5 day ticket costed me about 500NOK, and allowed me to use both the train and metero. bus is probably the easiest way to get to the airport, but I guess it depends on where you’re staying.

 

if you’re interested to see more photos, you can find the Paris photo diary here and Versailles photo diary here.

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STOCKHOLM mini guide

23.07.2014 / mini guides

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our neighbour country’s capital is mesmerising but though it’s not the cheapest place to visit, it’s definitely one of the most beautiful. it’s something about it that makes me want to revisit again, and again, and again and again.

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Company

be sure to bring enthusiastic and friendly people. this wasn’t really a problem in my case.

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Food

I can’t really recall the names of all of the restaurants we visited but Bellman located in Sergelgatan, close to Segels torg, is certainly worth remembering. they serve this taco dish for 89SEK and it tastes wonderful, especially after a long day of shopping. another place I won’t forget is none other than Ben & Jerry’s located in the heart of Gamla stan. the natural reason is because we became regular guests and made daily visits. several visits a day actually.

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Gamla stan (the Old Town)

this definitely being the highlight because of the narrow cobbled streets and alleyways which easily could’ve been the set of medieval times. small restaurants and shops (included 7eleven) can be found everywhere, and the service and atmosphere are no other than exceptional. Michelangelo serves Italian and their calizone tastes mmmmm. breathe, feel and love the place. you won’t regret.

however, the only thing I do regret is that I did not visit this adress: Acne Studios Head Office Lilla Nygatan 23. do not make the same mistake! this video will show you why. I think I cried when I realized what had just slipped through my fingers.

Grøna lund (amusement park)

not really my type of fun, but my sister and bestfriend did find this place very amusing. I suspect them for loving 80 meters drops more than me just a slight. the admission price is 110SEK, but you will have to pay for tickets in addition. I can’t recall the exact price of these though, but it is possible (as far as I’m concerned) to buy a ride pass for a while day for approximately 310SEK. just to draw a camparison, according to my sister, this place is waaaay better than Tusenfryd.

Hop on hop off

pay 260SEK and you’ll be touring through the streets on the top of a standard red (or green) bus. perfect for sunny days but could be rather cold when the temperature drops. I believe there’s hop on hop off tickets for boats as well, but I couldn’t even stand the thought of it without becoming seasick.

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Shopping

Weekday, American Apparel and Levi’s (just to mention a few favourites) can be located close to Sergelstorg. Sergelsgatan is also nearby, and both Topshop and Monki are worth mentioning. Gallerian is this huge mall where you can find another Topshop store (Topman included), T-shirt store, Mango, River island and yet another Monki. ps! they sell ice cream and sweets everywhere in case you’re in for a treat. close to Norrmalmstorg you can spot Acne studios immediately but you can also find Zara closeby. However, Biblioteksgatan, close to Stureplan, turned out to be my favourite street. the obvious reason is because of COS, & other stories and Urban Outfitters. the Urban Outfitters store is worth visiting even if you’re broke because the interior and overall look must be absorbed firsthand. if you’re looking for more luxurious clothing and shoes, Birger Jarlsgatan is closeby and seems to be the home of too expensive hand bags and shoes.

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Stockholm Palace

located in Gamla stan and way more stunning than the Royal Palace in Oslo. usually I prefer pillars because it gives the construction stability, but maybe it’s the charming windows and the fact that it’s build of bricks that overthrow all doubt. yet I have not entered the Palace, but you can do so for approximately 150SEK. next time I’ll definitely peek inside and not just through the windows. (yes there will be a next time.)

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The royal guard

I think we coincidentally walked right into the Changing of Guard ceremony, and I think we all agreed it was a rather gratifying experience! be sure to check the time of the starting of the march. you may not be as lucky as we were.

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Transportation

the cheapest way to get from the Arlanda, the airport, to the centrum, is by taxi, at least if it’s four of you. we payed approximately 500SEK for the taxi ride and saved 40SEK compared to public transportation. it is not much, but the taxi will drive to the doorstep of your hotel wheras public transportation require a lot of walking..it’s of course ok if you don’t mind the exercise though.

we lived quite central, close to Gamla stan, and therefore didn’t mind using the praised underground for transportation. our feet worked just as good. our ability to read maps and navigate was therefore tested, and though we felt very lost once, we did get to the hotel safe every night.

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