A 29-km AurlandsFjord Tour with Norway in a Nutshell®

A little warning, this trip is a self-guided trip where all the purchased tickets are bought as a bundle by Norway in a Nutshell®so there will be no guarantee that you will be exploring with the same people (you can obviously make friends, as I did!). Is it worth it buying as a bundle? YES if you’re planning this trip last minute (like a week beforehand). I calculated every single ticket (if bought independently) and you will only save around 20€, the bundle will cost you 1740NOK (170€), it is EXPENSIVE. So, here’s the breakdown of the whole trip:

  • Bergen to Voss by Bergen Railway

Ready to wake up early in the morning? The train to Voss will leave at 08:39 from Bergen Station, make sure to be on time (the train ain’t gonna wait for ya). You will realize that there will be a lot of people with the same ticket (as you do) as you buy them from Norway in a Nutshell®. Both printed and electronic tickets (save the planet please) are excepted. There will be a specific seat number assigned for you, but I don’t think people really check or care about it. The train ride will take 1.5 hours, so you can still rest;)

  • Voss to Gudvangen by Bus

When you arrive at Voss, you won’t have much time to explore around since you will only have 15 minutes before the bus will leave. Well, I decided to have a short walk just around the lake and enjoy the pristine water and air. Stretch up your arms and legs for the rest of the journey. The bus ride is short, just an-hour-long! You will also pass by some amazing sceneries during the bus ride, some lakes, and snowy mountains.

  • Gudvangen to Flåm by a Sustainable Cruise

Gudvangen is unbelievably beautiful, I can’t even tell how clean it is, the view is breathtaking. WOW, it is more beautiful than Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland. Look up to check out their snowy mountain, and just enjoy those fjords before leaving by the boat. I would suggest getting a take-away lunch before leaving for this trip. Prices will be very expensive (eg. a regular sandwich for 8€), you will starve!! The best you can get inside the boat will only be hotdogs… The rest-area will also sell some souvenirs if you’re interested.

created by dji camera

Interesting fact, the cruise is fully sustainable! It’s so huge, the boat’s capacity can be up to 200 people. You can stay both indoor and outdoor, well obviously I chose to stay mostly outdoor, ain’t gonna waste that money! You will see how long Aurlandsfjord is:) The wind will hit so hard though, so don’t forget your thick gloves, hat, and scarf. The boat will stop once by a village named Aurlandsvangen, if you book the bundle differently, you can also spend a night here. Since the bundle that I booked is the simplest one, we’re gonna continue the journey to the next village, Flåm.

Flåm is a very small village, located in the inner end of Aurlandsfjord, a branch of the giant Sognefjord. You will only have 40 minutes in the village. So I decided to send a postcard to my little sister, fly my drone, and check out the Visit Flåm Museum, it’s free! The museum is generally small, you can check out a brief history of Flåm Railway, Flåm itself, and how locals live back in the days. During this short time, I just use most of it to enjoy the amazing landscape outside:)

  • Flåm to Myrdal by Flåm Railway

Widely known for the most beautiful train ride in the world, this train will take you up to the high mountains, Myrdal. You will definitely enjoy the beautiful scenery of the snowy mountains, hidden waterfalls, local houses in the middle of nowhere, and of course orange leafless trees. In this 20km long ride, you will have a stop by Kjosfossen Falls for a photo stop, a great spot to take some pictures 🙂 The whole train ride is 50 minutes, so make sure you enjoy every second of it, remember that this railway took 20 years to be done, it’s a real artwork.

I would suggest choosing the seat on the right side when going from Flåm to Myrdal as most of the beautiful scenery is on that side. It’s also possible to open the top part of the window to get a more HD view of the landscape.

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  • Myrdal to Bergen by Bergen Railway

Well, technically you will change to the train that you use at the beginning of the trip (the one from Bergen to Voss). The whole train ride will be 2 hours towards sunset, enjoy the sunshine before it leaves. When it was the end of January, the sunset was at 16:20, so early! The whole trip was extraordinary, I would also recommend this tour for families. Though you have a designated seat on your ticket, most probably the train will be empty, so free seatings:)

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Will you choose this bundle after all those amazing pictures I’ve shown you? You decide;)

 

Winter Outdoor Adventure in Bergen, Norway (3D2N)

While planning this trip, it wasn’t hard to put Bergen as part of the list. Seen as a city fjord, Bergen is also surrounded by stretches of mountains (that you can even hike on them).  Though it is considered as the rainiest city in Europe, you can do a lot of outdoor activities, even during winter. I would suggest a 2-night stay rather than 3 as Bergen is considerably small:)

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Keep in mind that purchasing Bergen Pass will be totally worth it as it is super cheap in any case! A 24-hour pass worths 280NOK (26€), 48-hour for 360NOK (33€), and 72-hour for 430NOK (40€). The best way to purchase it might be when you arrive at the airport, in my case, it was Bergen Lufthavn Airport, you’ll find Deli de Luca shop (or at the tourist information) at the arrivals hall, they accept cash. If you decide not to purchase it at the airport, you can always buy them in the city center, at the fish market tourist information.

So here’s what I did on the first day:

Lille Lungegårdsvannet

Need some fresh air after your flight? Come and chill here for a bit, they have a lot of benches around for you to sit on. You can also see so many birds, swans, and ducks flying around. Since Bergen is a small city, you can also have a look at the hillside from here.

Fishmarket in Bergen

Being a city just by the coastline, Bergen is well known for its seafood. Here, you can see (and eat of course) different types of fish (halibut, turbot, monkfish, salmon, cod, trout, etc), crabs, and shells. Don’t get surprised, the average price for a good lunch is a minimum of 30€ without a drink, so I didn’t get the chance to taste some of the freshest seafood here.

Go hiking at Mount Fløyen

You will need to take a cable car to get up to Mount Fløyen, the cable car’s name is Fløibanen, it’s in the city center! Since I have my Bergen Pass on hand, the cable car is included. They are open all year round, from 08:00-23:00. Winter price is always cheaper for most attractions, it’s 100NOK (9€) for a round-trip for an adult. If you have time and you love hiking, it’s better to just hike up for 1.5 hours and take the funicular down for 50NOK instead.

By the time you’re up there, you will get a crazy view of Bergen and you can also hike around the mountain. There are so many routes you can take, I chose the short one, where I visited a small lake named Skomakerdiket. FYI, there’s also a choice of visiting a troll garden (they are man-made troll statues). Be prepared for some slippery road (it was icy!). The routes are very well marked, so don’t be scared to be lost;)

Bergenhus Fortress Museum

Visiting Bergen during winter is not the best idea first of all. Most museums close at 15:00, so early! That’s why you really have to pack up all the museums on your list during midday. Since I started late today, I decided to go to this museum first since they close at 17:00. The museum is free of admission, lovely!

The facility is not that great first of all, they only have the English pamphlet on some printed paper that you can get on hand around the museum, no audio guides available. But customer service is so amazing there, the lady explained so many things about Bergen’s history, not only about the fortress either. This museum has several areas to check out, you can even walk out and see the whole fortress area including:

  • King Håkon’s Hall

Being 750 years old, this building is originally built for royal residence and feasting hall. Eventually, during the 20th century, it was used as ammunition storage for Bergenhus Fortress. They open from 12:00-15:00 daily and adult ticket price for 100NOK.

  • Rosenkrantztårnet

This is a renaissance era monument built for defensive purposes. They open from 12:00-15:00 daily and adult ticket price for 100NOK.

Bergen Aquarium (Akvariet i Bergen)

Who’s up for a 20-minute walk from the last bus stop? Don’t be surprised that not even one bus goes here. Save up around 45 minutes of your time at least to go back and forth from the city if you really wanna see this aquarium. They’re opening time is from 10:00-18:00, it’s a great place to spend your time just before dinner time (since most museums close at 15:00). The ticket price is 275NOK (25€) for all ages, though it is included in the Bergen Pass. This is where your Bergen Pass will “harvest” some money;)

Is it worth it? I would say yes:) You can see so many different animals, from fish, crocodiles, sharks, and insects. I enjoyed every single second of it, they even have different movie screenings, I saw the “Whale Migration”, so beautiful<3

Night stroll and check out Norwegian style houses

There’s nothing like Scandinavian houses in other parts of the world. As a person who adores architecture (not a pro obviously), walking around and checking out different styles and designs is such a unique experience. Those houses with all pastel colors, from grey, brown, light blue, and beige are just beautiful… The view that you’ll get from walking southeast to the central city is also breathtaking, Bergen with its fjords!

My second day is literally just the fjord tour and a suggestion of a cheap dinner;)

Fjord Tour with Norway in a Nutshell®

There will be a specific blog post about this, stay tuned<3

Dinner at Søstrene Hagelin

Where else to find a delicious dinner under 10€ here in Bergen? Here you go. Eating healthy as a traveler is not that hard here:) They have a wide range of menu of fish cakes; fishball, fish burger, fish on brown sauce (the one that I ordered), fish soup, fish wrap, fish pudding, until fish gratin. Originally invented by two sisters from 1929, their recipes are always made by fresh fish fillets.

Expect yourself to feel half full after eating a 3-piece fish cakes on brown sauce, they even add some boiled diced potatoes, boiled veggies, and pomegranate jam on your plate. It is a great portion for me, though I believe it won’t fill your regular belly! I will definitely go back.

Remember to rest enough after a day full of exploration, let’s move on into another fresh day!

Mount Ulriken643

As one of the rainiest city in Europe, don’t expect Bergen to always have sunshine. I planned to take the gondola/lift but the weather was super cloudy and wet (from the night before), so it’s definitely not worth the money. FYI, they open all week except Monday from 10:00-17:00 and the ticket price is 185NOK (2-ways) on winter months (Sep-Mar). If you have a Bergen Pass you will get a 20% off, making it 148NOK (it helps!).

The road labeling from the last bus stop which is Haukeland Hospital  (you can take Bus #2, 3 or 12 from the city center) is not clear at all, so make sure to open your own map! You should walk through Haukelandsbakken Tunnel to get into the right way. It was quite weird that I even have to pass through the hospital to find the right exit to reach the cable car area.

As I decided not to get the cable car, I decided to go for a 45-minute hike (out of the whole journey of 1.5 hours) to find out how cool the view would be. It was quite slippery since I wasn’t equipped with any hiking gears, be careful especially when you reach the icy part of the mountain.

Bryggens Museum

Going back from the mountain took me at least half an hour to reach the city! Make sure you reach before 14:00 as they close at 15:00 (FYI, opening hours is 11:00-15:00). Ticket price is 100NOK (9.7€) for adults and 50NOK (5.7€) for students (make sure to bring your student ID), it’s really worth the visit if you have an interest in history. The museum is mainly about the life of medieval people in Bergen and other western parts of Norway. They show thousands of artifacts, ranging from kitchenware, a ruin of a house, to human skeletons.

Schøtstuene, Hanseatic Assembly Rooms

Another must-visit museum if you love history and economy. Opening time is the same as Bryggen’s museum, 11:00-15:00. The ticket price is 120NOK for adults and FREE for under 18 (yay for me). The museum is mainly about the Hanseatic merchants who worked and lived in Bergen for at least 400 years, they come from different regions; Germany and The Netherlands. The museum building is one of the preserved wooden houses from the Hanseatic era, look at the details of the glass window

They also provided us a guided tour included in the ticket. It’s daily at 15:00, the meeting point is in front of the building. The route that we’re gonna do is Schøtstuene – Bryggen – Midthuset. We’re gonna check out that famous icon of Bergen, Bryggen, and really know the history behind it, so cool! Imagine those merchants standing where you stand right now! For the last stop, the guide will bring you to Midthuset (The Middle House) to check out the museum shop🙂

Vågal Bar

I guess we need a break! Here’s a very cool bar where you can order coffee, tea, wine, and beer. Though it’s a Swedish drink, you can also warm yourself with glögg, a hot mulled wine. The vibe is so calming here, bring your travel friends to chit chat for hours! The price is standard, a cup of coffee for around 50NOK and a glass of beer for 80NOK.

Well, that’s all for now, I hope you will enjoy your next trip:)

 

 

 

Low-Cost 2 Nights Travel in Oslo, Norway

First off, make sure you check if the Oslo Pass will suit your needs. The idea of getting it is to enter some attractions for “free”, but again, it depends on where you want to go. Personally, I wouldn’t have the need of buying it since I look under 18 years old (children price for me and usually tickets are FREE). FYI the 24-hour pass is 445NOK (46€), 48-hour for 655NOK (68€), and 72-hour for 820NOK (85€), so it is pricey.

To save more money on you, I will definitely suggest you guys buy the Oslo Transport Pass which worths 111NOK (10€) for 24 hours. This card will allow you to use every single transportation in the city, from the bus, tram, boat, and metro around zone 1 and 2 (basically all the main attractions in the city!).

Here we go, here’s a 2-day itinerary for you guys who are very curious about checking out a lot of attractions in a day. On average, I walked (way too much) around 20,000 steps a day, so for those who love long walks, this is just for you.

Short information regarding airport-to-city transport, I took the “Flytoget” bus number F1, F1X, or F2 for 120NOK (11€) one-way (student price), this is way cheaper rather than taking a train to the city.

The drop-down for the first day will be this one;) All the links are all in pink. I really enjoyed the walk so I hope you guys do too!

Take a free walking tour w/(Oslo Free Walking Tour)

It’s always good to have an idea of what’s the best way to explore the city by joining these free tours. I usually gave the tour guide around 5€, ranging from 1-2 hours long tour. As a curious ass girl, knowing the history of the place I am visiting has always been on the list, so it was very interesting for me to know that Norway got its economy boost only since the 60s since they are so rich in oil mining.

Oslo Opera House

Though it was a shortstop, make sure you spend half an hour to reach up to the top part of the opera house since you will have a better look at the city, it’s free to just walk up. But anyway I didn’t do it, but instead, I continued walking to see more what’s around. There’s also this sauna “boxes” just by the opera house where you can book them online and release your muscle stress when you have free time. For anyone who is interested, check them out KOK Floating Sauna (price starts at 1800NOK = 180€ for 2/3 hours).

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The sauna that you have to book online

Oslo City Hall (Rådhuset)

Since I joined the free walking tour, we even had free access to the city hall plus some explanations about the various number of city halls that were used before. They even have several artworks to check out inside. Make sure to be amazed by the paintings on the walls, it’s so beautiful!

Oslo Stock Exchange (Trondheimsveien Oslo)

A very shortstop again. This is where the tour guide really explains the history and the economic boost of Norway. Nothing really special about this place, but make sure to do some research about it if you’re not interested in doing a guided tour.

Christiania Torv 

Another stop for some dose of history, it’s basically telling that Norway has always been seen the little brother of Denmark and the Norwegian king didn’t like the idea. Since then, there’s this monument showing that Norway indeed starts at that point in the city.

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Aker Brygge

This is a literal dock where you can take some boats across the archipelago (the one that I took on day 2 to Havedøya). But here, you can also find a lot of fancy restaurants and bars that I really can’t pay for (you know how cheap traveling feels like). But anyway, a very great view of the city line here.

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National Theatre

Nothing really special, but for those of you who like to explore more landmarks here you go! You can also see two statues in front of the theatre, one of them was an ex-king of Norway.

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Karl Johans Gate

From the city, you should walk around Karl Johans Gate and follow the pathways to get to the Royal Palace. For those who wanna do some shopping, walk east from this road. You will also pass by a park where there will be an ice skating rink during winter time (Spikersuppa Rink), they charge 7€ for a pair of skating shoes and free of charge if you bring your own.

The Storting (Norwegian Parliament)

Another stop by a monument by the walking tour. Again, nothing much. Just for the picture. Unfortunately, guided tours only start by Spring 2020 (every Saturday from 22 Feb-20 Jun), where it starts at 10.00 and 11.30 in English only. No bookings needed and it’s free, so just show yourself up:)

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The Royal Palace

Have you ever wonder how the change of guards is like here in Norway? It ain’t similar to that huge ass amount of guards in London, but make sure to pass by at 13:30 to see the change of guards. It is daily, so don’t worry about the days of the week that you’ll be there for. The whole process will take approximately half an hour, so make sure to get some pictures on how they march and walk!

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Sunset around Aker Brygge

Hope for great weather when you’re in Oslo (especially during winter) as the sun-time is super short and most probably it will be cloudy all day long. You will also see a lot of people with their dogs walking around there. FYI, Norwegians are one of the most outdoor humans in the world, even during bad weather they still go out!

Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art

Damn, I’ve been dreaming to get into another modern art museum and here I am. Ticket price is free for me since I “paid” for the children category. But the adult price will be 130NOK and students for 90NOK, they are open during winter (Jan 2- Apr 30, 2020) daily, generally saying from 12:00-17:00. Don’t be surprised regarding the timing as Scandinavians have fewer working hours during wintertime.

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The collections they have are just crazy, they have paintings and other tangible artworks from the 40s until the ones from 2019. I was just amazed at how these talented artists have this image in their minds centuries ago. That time, they had a temporary exhibition of animal organs, quite disturbing but interesting.

Clench your thirst to a bar (Underbar)

To end up this tiring day, I decided to get a craft beer in a bar nearby. Again, don’t be surprised because of the price. It is amazingly expensive, I had mine (330ml) for 9€, the pale ale was perfect though.

Are you ready to go for your second day? It’s gonna be fun!!

The Viking Ship Museum

After such a long day that I had yesterday, I started at 9 am in the morning to go on the way to this museum. They open from 10:00 – 16:00 up until April 2020. Adult price is 120NOK and students for 90NOK, for me it’s free (under 18) 🙂 It’s definitely a must-go museum, you can see such details and stories about the Vikings back in the days. They have 3 ships on display, The Oseberg, The Gokstad, and The Tune Viking ship. Keep in mind that these ships are from the 9th century, they restored it super well, it took them more than 15 years for The Oseberg ship.

The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History

Save up 1.5 hours for this place and really, don’t go to the exhibitions since it’s not interesting… If you’re interested in Sami culture, do check out the exhibitions though, you can see how they survived from the past centuries and how they make their traditional handmade clothing.

The open-air museum is so unique, so have a walk around it, you’ll find so many traditional Swedish houses, barns, and chapel. Be careful if it’s raining since the road will be muddy🙂

Island Hopping to Hovedøya-Lindøya-Bleikøya (Havedøya Route)

Two museums in a day are just enough, who’s up for island hopping? Since Oslo is an archipelago area, island hopping is a great idea, especially during the summer. I went when it was raining on a cold winter day, not a good idea but it was still crazy amazing.

I went only to the island of Hovedøya to visit the Havedøya Kloster. It is a ruin of 1147 monastery and fortress, I can’t say it’s not preserved that well, but the short walk (10 minutes) to that landmark is very enjoyable, tall trees and smell of the ground, something that you can’t find in the city.

Keep in mind that the boat (B1) from Akker Brygge leaves only every 30 minutes for the cyclic route of Hovedøya-Lindøya-Bleikøya, plan your time well. Check out the skyline before arriving at the dock:)

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The Vigeland Park

Take a break and chill here! It’s completely free and open for 24 hours. This park is located 25 minutes north-west from the city by taking Tram 12 (included in the transportation card too!). Going during daylight is much preferable since you can see clearly all the meaningful sculptures. Made by Gustav Vigeland, his message regarding this artwork is about humans, it’s just so timeless.

Walk around the city

Nothing will beat just strolling around, searching for nothing to experience a city. Close your Google Maps and just get lost and be amazed:)

 

Enjoy your trip! See you soon for another pocket-friendly itinerary to Bergen, Norway.

 

 

Enchanted by the Most Amazing, Lisbon

My visit to Lisbon was super short, but most importantly it become my most favourite city in my WHOLE life. I don’t think I can find a way to really explain it. Even by the time I reach the inter-connected bridge (25 de Abril Bridge) to Lisbon. Feels like home… My heart just melt down to the heart of the city. Have you ever felt the same to a place?

Arriving in the golden hour wasn’t an amazing decision, we could’ve enjoyed the sunset in one of the famous spot for sunset in Lisbon. But our drive from Madrid was quite far! Covering over 1200km in just 3 days, damn boy (poke to Diogo–he’s an amazing driver btw). Even though I’m just a co-pilot in the car, I can feel the fatigue on my whole body. BUT, as far as I travel with someone that I really enjoy spending time with, nothing matters (wait for my Faro blog!).

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25 de Abril Bridge

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Águas Livres Aqueduct Bridge while entering the city

Opening the car door on our final destination feels great. I can stretch all my back, legs, and also hip. Plus, feeling the fresh air under my white t-shirt. Well, we deserved a little rest before going to dinner!

Couple hours later, we dressed up to go to a pretty sushi restaurant in Palacio Chiado. I put on my seatbelt, and ready to go! The weather was still cold that time (mid March!). I put on my vintage orange outer wear and laced up my white Adidas shoes. Bam! I opened the window of that car, looking at every corner of the city. Old, friendly, everything was just there. My mind was feeling so calm.

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The vibe in the restaurant

“I feel so weird, how can I fall in love so hard to a place?”, I said.

We waited for a little while because the restaurant was greatly packed with people. But no worries, beer here we start! The chandelier, old paintings on the wall, and the warm vibe of the place is put together super well. Damn, Lisbon. How can you create this places??? It was a great talk with the family. Because of my curiosity, we decided to try one of the best original egg tart of Portugal, Manteigaria.

For you guys who are wondering it’s here;

This spot! https://www.google.com/maps/place/Manteigaria+-+Portuguese+custard+pies+factory/@38.7107598,-9.1462536,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0xd19347fb4271673:0xe8af7b569be2615f!8m2!3d38.7107556!4d-9.1440596

Then, another favourite place of mine is LX Factory, so dreamy!! I promised myself to go visit this place AGAIN. Here’s the link of the location;

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/”/lx+factory+lisbon+-+Google+Search/@38.7035026,-9.248884,12z/data=!4m8!4m7!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0xd1934af61dedbe5:0x33ebaaaa14f543ac!2m2!1d-9.178844!2d38.7035235

By the time I got here, it was almost sunset, the ray of light and the breeze were crazy beautiful. We went to a book store (Ler Devagar) before heading for dinner. I just can’t stop being amazed, this place suits me so much. All the friendly people, chill weather, and also the feeling that I’ve never had about a place. The bookstore is super well structured, look!

Here’s the Google maps link btw!

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ler+Devagar/@38.7027621,-9.1784599,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x6c018055230f5ef2!8m2!3d38.7027621!4d-9.1784599

The feeling of being amused let me forget about my hunger. But still, it’s dinner time. Can’t let the gastric juice excess in my tummy. And honestly, the pizza was incredibly made. Best pizza of my life, even though pizza is something that I’m not a fan of. And guys, PLEASE try pizza with arugula, it’s beyond!

The amazing pizza place is Amesadolx, Ld. Here’s the Google Maps direction!

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/”/amesadolx+lda+lisboa/@38.7023771,-9.248466,12z/data=!4m8!4m7!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0xd1934a58a3e6309:0x94c1579ab07cbd00!2m2!1d-9.178426!2d38.702398

See you on the next one!