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!

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In Life: A Perfect Sunday

So for many reasons, most notably I am very grateful for the ability to move and the fact that I am reasonably healthy, I decided to go for a hike on Sunday. I have decided to get out and do more on the weekends since I sit at a desk all week.

I left the house at 7:30am to do the 45 minute drive to Glendalough, somewhere I love and go to an awful lot. I was the first person in the car park, I love being the first person in a car park. PhoebeGill160110052This hike is a part of the white route in Glendalough, there are a lot of rocks as the path winds up the hill. I see various outfits whenever I’ve walked up here. I’ve seen hiking poles, I’ve been waterproofs and thick coats, I’ve seen shorts and gym gear. My suggestion is you wear any shoe with good enough ankle support, bring gloves because the wind comes down this valley and it can get quite cold, especially in winter. Also wear something that is comfortable, I’ve done this hike in jeans in the height of summer…terrible terrible decision! Like awful! Just wear exercise clothes or sweatpants, be comfy! I also recommend water and a clementine. Clementines are fantastic! PhoebeGill160110061Take note, in this area there is lots of wildlife! I love looking at the side of the hill and spotting all the deer and the feral goats. I like the feral goats, I was hiking in a spot close to here and I heard a noise above me, I look up to see a line of goats wandering on the side of the hill. I then called the person I was with and they thought I was mad but believe me there are goats, look out for them they are pretty cool! PhoebeGill160110094The hike up is fun, there is a gorgeous waterfall that is now strong and thunderous, it’s pretty great! The view from the top is amazing and I love it. I have so many memories around this place! PhoebeGill160110088Once I reached the top I realised how much snow had fallen the night before. I knew that the fact I am like a new born giraffe on ice meant that I probably shouldn’t walk up the mountain ridge. I met two dogs and their human said that it was quite icy on the walk so that only confirmed that I should venture any further. PhoebeGill160110105Once I descended the hill I got back to my car and drove up to the top of Glendalough to see more snow. I got to see the most gorgeous view of the Wicklow gap. Snow makes me ridiculously happy! Ever since 2010 I have learnt that in Wicklow it snows and that if it’s not too bad I can drive around and go see it. I love snow, it makes all my memories happier and warm. PhoebeGill160110179Although I was giddy at the prospect of new powder hugging the ground, my heels at this point were on fire! I needed to break in those Mendel boots I bought for Iceland, I did walking in Iceland but I didn’t do any hiking, so this was their first proper outing…ouchy!PhoebeGill160110185I then drove home with a stupidly big smile on my face and donned some blister plasters and spent the rest of the day relaxing.

My definition of a perfect Sunday!

 

What’s your perfect day? Tell me in the comments! 

Happy Travels!

In Reykjavik: View From The Top

In Reykjavik: View From The Top

Something that you have to do in Reykjavik is go to the top of Hallgrímskirkja. It is absolutely beautiful!

There is an admission fee of 700isk (€7) that you buy in the shop just past the entrance.

There are four sides of the tower to get a panoramic view of the city. But three of them are the best.

1. The stunning view of Mt. Esja.PhoebeGill150112019

2. The straight view of downtown Reykjavik. With the colourful buildings and gorgeous view of the water.
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3. The view of where the sun rises and the expanse of the city.PhoebeGill150112058The views are so beautiful and well worth the 7 euro. Have you been up the tower?

Happy Travels!

In Reykjavik: Hallgrímskirkja

In Reykjavik: Hallgrímskirkja

I am not a religious person and I am not that big on organised places of worship. I am not going to get into it on the internet because we all know that doesn’t end well but I recommend going to see this church. PhoebeGill150112017

It is a Lutheran church and is the 6th tallest building in Iceland. It is a focal point in the city, you can usually spot it so it’s a good building to use as a compass.

What struck me is that it is very plain, I actually liked that it was so bare, I have been in churches gilded and with stain glass, they scream of opulence and money and that doesn’t sit well with me so it was nice to go somewhere that was architecturally intricate and beautiful.

There was one stain glass window, simple, in the corner, unassuming and I really liked it.

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The thing that I was most awed by was the amazing organ as you turn to leave. Wow, this amazing piece of art is just beautiful! It is stunning, with 5275 pipes of all different sizes. It is 15 meters tall and 25 tons. It is amazing.

PhoebeGill150112268I really recommend you go in and see for yourself. It’s nice to go into a quiet place away from the bitter cold.

Happy Travels!

In Reykjavik: Downtown

In Reykjavik: Downtown

Downtown Reykjavik is where you go to shop, grab a coffee and eat. It’s got such a nice vibe and it’s great to walk around and explore, there are so many streets you can meander around. PhoebeGill150112156

I love Ireland’s 53 Degrees North, it has everything outdoorsy. 66 Degrees North is just as magical! I wanted everything in it. Every clothing item was black and grey and was perfect but woefully expensive! PhoebeGill150112152There are lots of tourism shops, from The Nordic Store, to Islandia which is the cutest shop. If you want your trinkets these are the streets to walk down. 
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At the end of the shopping street you get to the seafront road, I usually love the atmosphere near the sea and harbours and this is no different. There is Harpa, the concert and business hall on one end of the street, it’s a really cool building and on the other end is the lake. PhoebeGill150112176

There is a little park behind the lake is beautiful and would be a lovely spot in Summer, there is again, cafes and eateries around here that look really nice! This is the parliament area so it’s got gorgeous buildings and little parks. It’s lovely!PhoebeGill150112181

This is a school, how beautiful! I would love if my school looked like this! PhoebeGill150112147

Tjörnin, Reykjavik City Lake is a definite must see, this is where you can feed the ducks and swans, a lovely place to go. The Greylag Goose are adorable and will come up to you, lovely birds, probably wouldn’t put your fingers out to them though.

In winter the lake freezes and people walk across it, play football on it and it can be used for iceskating but there is a frost free section for all the birds that hang out.PhoebeGill150112194

I love this area! I want to go back and explore more. Do you have any favourite spots in this area?

Happy Travels!

In Reykjavik: Street Art

In Reykjavik: Street Art

Reykjavik has some amazing street art and sculptures scattered all round the city. I definitely recommend you walk around and try and spot these incredible pieces. All you have to do is keep walking, go down small streets and you are sure to find beautiful pieces all across the city.PhoebeGill150814531I love these birds they reminded me of the guinea fowl I saw in South Africa.PhoebeGill150112150

I love that down small streets you can find wonderfully creative pieces.PhoebeGill150813517

I don’t want to show too much because it’s a fun game wandering around finding them. Reykjavik is beautiful and with the addition of street art it makes it even more wonderful!
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Happy Travels!PhoebeGill150815561