In London: The British Museum

In all my years of going to London, I had never been to the British Museum. So when I had some free time on a recent trip I headed straight for it. The only tip I have is, and this goes for any museum visit in London is to go early, especially at the weekend! PhoebeGill160508007The British Museum is free to enter, which really is wonderful. The building is so grand and it is very impressive. As a first time visitor it can be a little confusing where you should start but there is a big information point inside the door where I am sure they will point you in the right direction. It get’s very busy as time goes on so it can feel very cramped but just respect other people and let everyone have a turn. Remember manners people! PhoebeGill160508011Museums are really important so that we can learn and understand history. People don’t often get the chance to travel and see artifacts that are native to that country so I understand the need for museums. I got to the Rosetta Stone and it was so crowded and people had to squint to see the information written beside it and there was different information on each side. Which was a shame but still really great to see such an import piece of history that deciphered an amazing ancient writing system. PhoebeGill160508016Although I understand the need for places like the British Museum, I have to say that I felt very emotional walking around the Parthenon room. In school I learnt about Greek and Roman architecture and mythology and having been to the Acropolis and seeing how incredible that site is, it’s horribly sad to see the amazing elements of the Parthenon sitting in a grey, cold room. There was a caryatid all by herself! PhoebeGill160508019As interesting as The British Museum is, it really does feel that the artifacts that decorate this building aren’t theirs, and sometimes it feels like it should be back where it belongs. Maybe it is just the fact that I have been to the countries where these pieces come from that I have more of an emotional connection but I just didn’t really feel comfortable there.PhoebeGill160508030Thats not to say this building isn’t impressive and the design isn’t immersive but to be honest if you are going to have big pieces from places with such a rich history, I would have liked way more information! I suppose I would just like a person like my sister beside me all the time who can explain it’s history in such an engaging way! Definitely go for a visit, there is so much to see I am sure I actually saw very little!

Happy Travels!

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In Norway: Driving Across the Country

Driving the Roads

I booked this trip to  Norway last December and now that I am back it kind of seems like a dream. If I squish the time I actually spent on Norwegien soil, I had two days. This seems crazy to me. I didn’t sleep much and I drove a lot. Over 1200km.

PhoebeGill1604231139I decided to drive from Asker to Bergen, I didn’t have a plan, I just had points of interest that I wanted to see. so I just drove. The roads at this time of year (April) were perfect to drive on. I did get a little worried at night time because the temperatures were dropping to -8 to -13 degree weather but there were no disruptions to roads what so ever. Also note this time of year Norway is gearing up for tourist season and roads will be opening back up again. PhoebeGill1604231255The scenery is absolutely gorgeous, around every corner is another huge mountain, fjords, moose, lakes, it’s never ending even with all of the tunnels! I feel like I saw nothing and loads at the same time. I was enamoured.PhoebeGill1604231167One thing I didn’t do enough of was get out of the car and get closer to beautiful things along this route. All in good time though. I also didn’t see that many waterfalls I think I saw two my entire time! PhoebeGill1604231114

Hardangervidda

This magical part of Norway was incredible! It’s a frozen, snow covered, beautiful landscape. I drove through this area at night and it was crazy, there was so much snow on either side of the road, it seemed like I was in another world! I get very giddy around snow.PhoebeGill160423067-2When the sun shines it is absolutely gorgeous, like a Windows screensaver. I took a moment to sit and take it in. Absolutely stunning! I also saw arctic hare, gah just incredible! PhoebeGill1604231363Although the roads can freeze over it was fine to drive on, just slow and don’t brake like a mad yoke. I would love to see what these roads are like in the height of winter, it must look like you are in a thick cloud. Maybe one day. PhoebeGill160423002

Vøringfossen

I have now discovered that this is getting a big renovation of bridges and look out spots but when I was there it was blocked off and full of building materials! However, the area is awesome. PhoebeGill1604231333This waterfall drops 100ft down into the valley and is so gorgeous, I would love to go down and see it from the bottom. I am sure it will be wonderful when it is finished, it’s a great location which deserves the best view. PhoebeGill1604231355

Stegastein

In the little town of Aurland you start your accent to the Stegatein lookout point. It’s not a very busy area, so the roads get narrower. The road to the lookout point is your classic mountain windy small roads so shudder to think passing a tour bus up there. PhoebeGill1604231185 Once you get up to the top, there is information and toilets but they are closed in the winter time and reopen in summer. Then you walk down the incredible platform and wow is it amazing. PhoebeGill1604231198I was lucky enough to have the place to myself for a bit before a van full of people showed up. As I was snapping away and recording some video, a cruse ship left port and was going down the Fjord. It was a postcard scene. The water was such a beautiful blue and the mountains were huge. It was gorgeous. I recommend you stop off here because it is amazing. PhoebeGill1604231204

Bonus Thing to See

If you have the time and inclination, find the little alpacas. So cute! They aren’t big on people so they will walk away but this was my first time seeing these adorable fluff balls in real life so I had to park up and say hello. I am not going to tell you where to stop so try and find them if you are on the road. PhoebeGill160424100

So that was my crazy two day trip to Norway. I will be back because I need to hike and explore way more! I had so much fun and I definitely recommend you rent a van and have an amazing time, read about my rental experience with Nordic Campers here.

Have you been to Norway? Where else would you go?

Happy Travels!

In Norway: Renting a Car with Nordic Campers

I am so excited to share this review with you not only because I think this information is very valuable to my fellow camper van travellers but because this is what I wanted my first rental to be like!

In summary: I loved this van, I love this company, I will be back to use it again but now lets get into the details.

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What I Loved

I love that their vans are new, they are 2014 models and haven’t racked up that many kilometers. I choose a plain outside because we all know how last time worked out for me, if you didn’t see it check it out here. I loved this van by the end of my trip. It was fantastic and had everything you could possibly need!

Unlimited Kilometers! Now if you read my previous post on rental thats what really bummed me out because I can drive a lot at once. I am so so grateful that Nordic doesn’t charge for extra kms and I hope it wont change. In the three days I drove over 1200km and it was incredible that I didn’t have to worry like I did last time!

Free wifi! Once again I am just going to say that I love this rental. Each camper has a wifi dongle and as long at it is charged you will have wifi, this was perfect for me as I used google maps for the entire trip and i got to Facetime my family.

Each van has a toll tag which makes life a lot easier, there are a lot of toll roads on the Oslo to Bergen route. If you plan on using a different vehicle to Nordic Campers than check out Auto Passes website for further information on how to pay 

Most importantly, everything worked! I cannot express how easy this trip was with this camper. It really had everything you could want from the correct cables and adaptors to kitchen supplies this van seriously had it all and I 100% recommend!

What I Didn’t Like

The front part of the car and the back sleeping section are completely separate which means if you have the heating on in the front it wont warm up the back at all really. This only becomes an issue if you are wilderness camping because each van is equipped with a heater that you can plug in at a camp site. I didn’t opt to sleep in campsites and I have to say I was freezing and didn’t sleep well at all. At one point during the night I actually got into the front bit of the van and slept in the front seat with the heater on. Basically, my advice is to find a campsite and stay there, be warm and snuggly with your heater because you will get a much better sleep!

The only other thing I didn’t really enjoy was how much it cost but Norway is deemed one of the most expensive countries in the world so you have to take that and the fact that it is your car and accommodation in one, into consideration. For three days I paid about €400 and this isn’t peak season but also not completely out of season so this price will vary. Also note that Norway charges you for going through the tunnels, which there are so so many of, going over bridges and then they also have tolled roads so there may be extra charges you aren’t aware of at the time. There are cheaper ways to travel but I have to say I don’t regret this decision. I had an amazing time!

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Top Tips

  1. Pick up wasn’t stated on the booking so if you have a pick up in Asker go to the corner cafe called Lancelot (turn left when you leave the train station) and a van will be parked there at your agreed time.
  2. Sleep in a campsite! I know it’s extra money and isn’t as flexible but I was so cold. So if you run cold normally you have been warned!
  3. Petrol Stations are everywhere. You will be fine for petrol or a snack.
  4. Watch out for speed cameras! They are plentiful and can sneak up on you.
  5. All you need is a valid drivers licence. So once again under 25 friendly!
  6. Try not get distracted by the utter beauty of this amazing country!

Would I use Nordic Campers again? Definitely yes! I think you should give the website a look , save up your pennies and have a great trip!

If you have any questions I will be happy to help if I can, just leave them down below! Thanks so much for reading!

Happy Travels!

In Spain: Dalí Theatre and Museum

I had to take these images off Bebo (such a throwback) so the quality and selection I have isn’t the best but I can still remember like it was yesterday. It is where my love of his mind came to be.

Located in Figures, Gerona, Spain, Dalí’s hometown. The building is amazing, its crazy with so much detail. I would go back tomorrow! There is actually a big trip I want to do in this area. So maybe one day soon I will be showing you this area properly!

I definitely recommend you take a trip to see it, it is unique and so unlike most museums.

Happy Travels!

In Travel: 5 Reasons Why I Hated Amsterdam

I have been to five continents, 22 countries and I have only hated one place.

This will surprise some but I hated Amsterdam. The list is endless but I will try sum up the things I didn’t like.

We decided to go to Amsterdam as a layover back from Greece. Greece is one of my favourites, I would happily go back tomorrow but Amsterdam, very different story.

Flying Ants.

It was the summer and just my luck it was the few days when flying ants were plaguing the streets. Imagine having breakfast by a canal, a typical Amsterdam experience, when suddenly you see the air moving and fluttering. I cannot stand them, they are stupid and get everywhere, even in my orange juice that morning, I felt like tearing my skin off and ruining my breakfast didn’t help. It was vile.

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By Francisco Anzola (Amsterdam Canal) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Drugs

I don’t care if you want to get off your face, I will think you’re an idiot but I don’t really care. What I do mind, is seeing needles on the ground outside, seeing people off their heads in supermarkets and people starting fights in the street. It made me so uncomfortable. And no I wasn’t in the red light district for any of this, I was 15 and my father knows Amsterdam very well. He wouldn’t take his family to the sex district.

Trams

Why are they so close to the paths? Like do you realise people could step out to avoid another human and bam. Also that ding-ing really grates after a while.

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By Ilonamay (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Bicycles

Shut up with your bells, pedestrians need to cross the street too. I have always hated cyclists so a country celebrating bicycles isn’t really the country for me.

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By Alfredo Borba (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Hotel

I can’t remember exactly what hotel we stayed at but it didn’t have any air conditioning. In the height of summer for your air conditioning to be broken isn’t ok. Me and my sister couldn’t sleep and decided to watch Monty Python, which was a lovely bonding moment but I’d rather the sleep.

Basically Amsterdam made me feel gross, angry, tired and so damn appreciative of my home. As we turned the corner in the taxi I started to quiet cry because it’s so nice having my home to go back to. Although the trip was a disaster it made me realise what I had.

It’s amazing what a bad hotel and bad atmosphere can do to your enjoyment of a city. I might go back one day but right now I have better places to go.

Happy Travels!