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:)

 

 

 

Day Trip to Árbol del Tule-Mitla-Hierve el Agua

Mornings in Oaxaca (during November) is freshy. Please don’t forget to bring your jacket in the morning to be prepared for the evening for this trip. IT WILL get chilly by the time the sun’s out. Sometimes, people decided to leave their jacket and suffer in the evening. Well, let’s just be prepared for the weather;)

Mercado Benito Juárez

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Mercado+Benito+Ju%C3%A1rez/@17.0589597,-96.728885,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x85c7224038b4eba3:0x71688b6fd72b54d0!8m2!3d17.0589597!4d-96.7266963

Morning walks has always been my “must-do” during my travel. So before the tour started, I decided to walk several block from my hostel to this huge market. They have so many handcraft shops, food stalls, to fresh meats.

Mercado 20 de Noviembre

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Mercado+20+de+Noviembre/@17.057857,-96.7294396,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x85c7224022ee0c31:0x1d059e688a2bcd76!8m2!3d17.057857!4d-96.7272509

It’s heaven of fooood<3 Cheap breakfast? Grab one here! You can get all those agua fresca (fresh flavored water) just for 30 pesos ($1.5). My favorite will always be the horchata!!! I still can’t move on. For those of you who don’t know, agua horchata is literally translated as rice water. And, they make it with crunched walnut… Can’t even expect more than this. Drool.

Árbol del Tule

The day tour started at 10am, they have a pickup from the hostel, damn the service is so great. The hostel that I stayed in was Casa de Don Pablo, they have some choices of tours during the week, super recommendable. The ride was directly to this humongous tree, it took us around 25 minutes to get there.

By the time we arrived with that tourist bus, we went to the ticket box to buy an entry ticket. No tickets are included in the tour! I mean, there are no major differences if you don’t wanna buy the ticket because you can still see the tree from farway (but without details of the unique trunk). The wind was so chill that time, even though it was sunny.

Fresh Cotton Home Industry

I feel like I’m in New Zealand! Even though the production process doesn’t start with shaving sheep, we were shown how they made all their cotton products from scratch. They are actually just a home-sized factory, you can count those knitting machine. They also made their own coloring naturally, everything eco-friendly❤ I love it!

Despite that, they sell everything crazy overprized for tourist. I mean I didn’t buy anything, so it doesn’t matter. Along the way, they told us that they still teach their kids how to knit since they’re in kindergarten. Aww! I wish I could see them doing it. Preserving cultures is important!!!

Mezcal El Rey de Matatlán

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Mezcal+El+Rey+de+Matatl%C3%A1n/@16.9945051,-96.5279791,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x85c732240dcf3943:0x353c252f5e652075!8m2!3d16.9945!4d-96.525785

You’re haven’t been to Oaxaca if you don’t do mezcal tasting!! Oaxaca is well known for their mezcal production compared to other states in Mexico. We started the short tour by listening to the production process, ranging from grinding to fermentation. The machineries are very limited; I think that’s only for display purposes.

Then, it continues to the tasting. There were so many types of mezcal though, from the regular, aged, to flavored. Try to drink them little by little;)

Zona Arqueológica de Mitla

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Mitla,+Oaxaca,+Mexico/@16.9211732,-96.3991341,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x85c0ccb057457005:0x5497eb6346d2218e!8m2!3d16.9211732!4d-96.3991341

After those alcohols I think you better rest for a bit in this 20-minute ride to Mitla. The sun was heating my beige sweater that time; we were split into 2 groups, English and Spanish speaking tour. And of course, the one in Spanish is much more complete than the English!! The tour was generally fine; the Spanish refurbished Mitla on 1520s as a religious complex, they said. Entrance fee is not included, remember! Just 60 pesos ($3.2USD) anyways;)

created by dji camera

Hierve el Agua

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Hierve+el+Agua/@16.8656531,-96.2760065,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x85c0c8fe944491e3:0x2d9ba5e9d5bb8efd!8m2!3d16.8656531!4d-96.2760065

“What even? A frozen waterfall?”, I thought.

Entrance fee: 20 pesos ($1USD). Indeed guys, it’s a petrified waterfall that form from mineral water which touches the karstic limestone. That is the reason why those crystals were formed on the mountain’s edge. Besides, you can also see the 3 mineral pools that sit beside the cliff. It is rich of calcium carbonate, magnesium, and a bit of sulphur that creates a yellow hue.

I also wonder why the name of this place started with “hierve” (in Spanish), which means boiling in English. Turns out it’s just heavily carbonated but the water temperature is just around 22-26°C (legalnomads.com). And, the water is actually sprouting out from the ground, creating some bubbles on the ground. Aside from sightseeing, you can swim inside the mineral pools too!!

And it’s not the end of the day without a little hike! I went for a 15-minute hike to see the other part, which is the cascada chica. You can see the smaller petrified waterfall with a worm point of view, so wonderful!

That’s a wrap for the day trip! Just make sure you bring some extra money for some entrance fee. Love you guys<3

Hiking Day at El Cerro de La Bufa, Guanajuato

PRO TIP: this itinerary is for those of you who’s searching for a day trip around Guanajuato!

I was quite confused that morning, where should I go? And, I was alone which makes it even more difficult if I wanna travel a bit far. But on that morning I met a friend from the hostel that I lived at, Mau. He gave me this idea to hike a mountain which is located around 45 minutes away from downtown, hell yeah! Without even thinking, I decided to go, but breakfast comes first!

Gorditas Las Gueras

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Gorditas+%22Las+G%C3%BCeras%22/@21.0163783,-101.2541273,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x842b73f80440885b:0xea3dabe3a5223aa7!8m2!3d21.0163733!4d-101.2519332

Yuuuuum, gorditas for breakfast is a MUST here. As always, chicharrón (pork skin) is my favorite😉 I need power!! The sun was bright that morning, great choice for hiking! Plus, the price is reasonably cheap! That’s why we gotta wait the line for quite a while.

 

El Cerro de La Bufa

https://www.google.com/maps/place/El+Cerro+de+La+Bufa/@20.9945541,-101.2554007,16z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x842b76ad47b3b807:0x36b93df945de0754!8m2!3d20.9945541!4d-101.2532066

After so long I’m finally hiking again! We were talking a lot about live, together with some chill music? Enjoying the clean fresh air, just something rare from where I live. Love the positive vibe happening. There were not so many people surprisingly.

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Entrance!

The beginning of the hike was medium (already!), pebbles were very dry, making it so slippery to walk on. Mid way, we have to climb up with our hand. Be careful from the black poisonous worm, it’s so common.

 

By the time you reach a flat surface, you’ll know that you’re almost there. Take a little break; you deserve it. Look at those trees around, pretty hills. In about 30 minutes from the flat surface, you will reach the top! There’s a blue cross right there. The view to downtown is super broad—from downtown to the other part of the city.

 

created by dji camera

The huge hill;)

created by dji camera

Spot me!

Presa de La Olla

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Presa+de+La+Olla,+Barrio+de+la+Presa,+Guanajuato,+Gto.,+Mexico/@20.9945541,-101.2685327,14z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x842b76ad47b3b807:0x36b93df945de0754!2sEl+Cerro+de+La+Bufa!8m2!3d20.9945541!4d-101.2532066!3m4!1s0x842b7159a491b15f:0xd5d7afec1ca9ca31!8m2!3d21.0020053!4d-101.2388527

Just a 10-minute drive down from El Cerro de La Bufa, you will see this pretty spot; it’s a dam. Not like other dam, the background is very pleasing to see. Green forest, humongous hill, and smooth breezes. Take a deep break and clear your mind<3 But first, lunch! I finally got the chance to try one of Guanajuato’s authentic food, the guacamaya! For those of you who don’t know, it’s a tasty torta originally from Leon, Guanajuato. It is served with pork rind, avocado, and spicy sauce. Heaven in the mouth honestly.

 

 

Also, take a chance to climb up the small red tower (el faro), just an extra lovely view to see the dam from a height. Also, you can spot a lighthouse from here. It’s actually made as a decoration by the dad of La Cina–a vigilant back in the days. Additionally, check out the small park just by the dam.

 

 

Casa de Las Leyendas

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Casa+de+las+Leyendas/@20.9945541,-101.2685327,14z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x842b76ad47b3b807:0x36b93df945de0754!2sEl+Cerro+de+La+Bufa!8m2!3d20.9945541!4d-101.2532066!3m4!1s0x0:0xdb69968b9342c99f!8m2!3d21.0069832!4d-101.2469798

Another recommendation from my besties, Miriam. It was just 30 minutes before the closing time (5.30pm), we thought they closed already—there was no one on the ticket booth AND no visitors at all. Not expecting anything to be honest. But after some knocks, someone turned up and gave us an access!! Just 40 pesos ($2), guide is also included.

 

There are about 6 rooms in total, telling different histories about Guanajuato—including Callejón Del Beso story. Moreover, they also tell us histories about the lighthouse that we saw before. So muuuuuch things to see and learn!! One of the best museums I’ve ever been in life. So authentic and affordable❤ Oh! The whole tour was in Spanish (English is not even available), so be aware.

 

The sun was almost out; we decided to walk back to take our bag in downtown. For me, I will enjoy my extra couple hours chilling in downtown before taking my bus back to Puerto Vallarta. Another cute friend I found there, Magnus! See you guys all in other part of the world!!

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The walk back down

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Eating elotes just by Teatro Juarez, that is Magnus!

See you next Thursday. Let me know your travel stories, too!

Beach Hike to Las Animas

Working 9.5 hours per day is quite tough to admit. But having my days off on weekends is great. Come on, just be grateful and don’t complain about life. Something better is waiting for ya’ll out there. Mornings are not really tough for me, it’s just part of my routine! But then, the sunrise time during this time of the year is still super late, around 7.40! But anyways, I finally arrive in Nuevo Vallarta to meet my friend, Esperanza.

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The road from Puerto Vallarta down south east

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The entrance to Boca de Tomatlan Village

She drove all the way south east passing Puerto Vallarta downtown. I literally just went to a deep sleep because of the fresh wind from the window. My hair flew back together with the wind, I just feel peaceful! After around 1.25 hours drive from Puerto Vallarta, we finally touch down our feet on Boca de Tomatlan, a little village I can say.

For people out there who don’t own a car or doesn’t rent any, you can also take a bus to Boca de Tomatlan! From Puerto Vallarta Old Town, you should take a bus from Basillo Badillo and Constitucion and get a bus which shows Mismaloya/Boca. If I’m not mistaken the bus color is orange!

Walking in my white Adidas ultra boost was amazing, I don’t even feel like walking! Also a little reminder, never forget to bring water, insect repellent, sunscreen, and snack! The starting point of the hike was clear, there’s a sign and you have to cross a bridge, crossing a river. Then, you have you pass some casitas (small houses) just around the community–super safe here! People are friendly and they always greet us along the way.

The beginning of the hike is just fine, the route is easy, just stairs and nothing is slippery–even the day before was raining. Not long after the hike, we found the first “break” point, you might feel dehydrated after a 30-minute walk, grab your liquid! And you’re back on the track. For those of you who wants to challenge yourself, jogging/running in this kind of track is super possible. It was already 10 am that time, we decided to continue before the sun stung our skin!

Next stop is Colomitos Beach (Playa de Colomitos), it’s a public beach–super pretty! Also, if you want to do snorkeling, bring your goggles or your snorkeling kit. The water is crystal clear, maybe you can spot 1 or 2 small boats going there–they’re the water taxis from Boca de Tomatlan. For us, we just chill a little while there–by means taking some pictures! It was already hot at that moment. Just half way to go to Las Animas–our final point.

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Look how clear is the water

Warning! The route after Colomitos gets harder, but nothing to worry! Just wear your shoes back and control your balance. Additionally, the view is waaaaay more breathtaking. Get ready to be amazed! My local friend told me the “forest” route is almost done–can’t wait! After around 20 minutes, we started walking down the beach and the sand, way easier!! But then, we passed some huge rocks on the way, just be aware!

Not long after, we start passing by some boutique resorts (Hotelio Mio and Playa Caballo Resort). Damn, those resorts look very dreamy! Just check them out at booking.com! Just perfect for couples!! Just look at the tree houses, I wish I can stay there for holiday! Afterwards, we start walking again to the beach route, as we can already see Las Animas from distance.

From the colorful umbrellas, amount of people around the coast, the stalls, and the water taxis gathering that area, you can clearly see that you’re about to enter a little world out of nowhere! And look, I found this pug puppy, made my day already! As you enter Las animas, you can start looking to different food stalls. Servers in the restaurant will start to greet you and offer you different types of food and drink.

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The umbrellas from far away

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That time, me and my friends decided to try Mike’s Beach Club.

https://www.google.com.mx/maps/place/Mike’s+Beach+Club/@20.5071997,-105.3458629,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x84215c2492f565bd:0xffa146e3181efe3f!8m2!3d20.5071947!4d-105.3436742

I wasn’t that hungry in the beginning, but ordering a limonada (lemonade) is always a great idea! Hot weather and cold drinks? Who will ever say no! Hahah! After enjoying a little nap on one of the cabana, I decided to order a portion of marlin fish. Believe it or nor, it was THE BEST marlin plus tortas that I’ve ever eaten in my whole life! I will recommend it to everyone!!!

After chilling out for hours there, we can either hike back to Boca de Tomatlan (which takes another 2 hours back) or take the water taxi. And of course, water taxi was what we chose. It cost only 50 pesos for a 10 minute ride. Just great!! We finally arrive to the coast and decided to go back home.

Tips on what to bring: water, sunglasses, swimsuit, snorkeling kit, bug spray, sun block.