live slow, love nature, be adventurous

Monday, September 23, 2013

Weekly Wishes #9 - London Calling

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Good news first: After not doing so great on my goals from two weeks ago, I’m glad to be able to say that I did a heck-of-a-lot better this time around. My goal was to get some things organized in life – both in regards to travel and university – and while no travel plans are hammered into stone at this point, things have gotten clearer and will hopefully get planned concretely in the near future.

Speaking of travel: I’m going to London this week! And I couldn’t be more excited. Not only will I finally get to see my boyfriend again (it feels like I haven’t seen him in years!), but I will also get the opportunity to explore a city that I have been dreaming about visiting for the longest time. I have a feeling that London and me are going to hit it off! I’ve been twice in the past, but it’s been years and while this gave me the chance to have a love affair with another great European city, I am more than ready to go to England again.

Which brings me to this week’s goal: To just live in the moment and take everything in that life and the city have to offer. To finally eat out again. To not have to faint when ordering a drink. To walk along random streets and find beauty in hidden places. Quite simply: To enjoy myself to the max.

Here are some things I look forward to doing in London the most:

Have great food.

I love cooking, but I also love eating out which is nearly impossible to do though in Norway without breaking the bank. London is famous for its great food scene, though, and I am planning to take advantage of that.

Have reasonable prices.

London may be super expensive when compared to European prices, but I think that in comparison to the Norwegian price level nothing seems quite as bad anymore. It will be refreshing to go to a Grocery store and not have to pay 30 NOK (3,70 Euro) for a chocolate bar.

Sightseeing

There are so many great cultural delights around London that I don’t even know where to start! I am glad that I will have more opportunity to visit in the future, because I’m sure that one visit won’t be enough. From the British Museum to the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey, I have a long, long list that most likely will be impossible to finish this time, but hey, that just means I have to come again! ;)

Shopping

I’ve been dying to go shopping again! Fashion is something that on occasion I am not interested in at all and on a different occasion am totally enamored with. Currently the latter is the case (blame it on Fashion Week) and since London is one of the world’s fashion capitols I can’t wait to hit up some awesome stores. Topshop, here I come! :)


In case you’ve been to London already: What are your favorite places there? Please share in the comments if you have any recommendations! 


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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Photo Of The Week 07: Two Different Sides Of Bergen


Happy Sunday everyday!

I hope you had a great weekend! I didn’t have the most exciting week and mostly concentrated on studying, but I did go out for a short hike today (who is surprised?) which turned out to be a lucky coincidence because it was the first beautiful, sunny day after a rainy and cold week. 


Photo A

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The Fløyen is one of the seven mountains directly surrounding Bergen and one of the top attractions of the city because it allows for great vistas over the harbor. The view is so iconic that no visit to Bergen is complete without having your picture taken with the ‘Queen of the Fjords’ in the background! I already have several pictures and hope to have a whole bunch showcasing Bergen during all the seasons.

But the Fløyen is also the starting point for many hikes in the surrounding area and in my opinion it would be a shame to only visit the observation deck. You can take a short hike to the Blåmanen or a longer one to the highest mountain of Bergen, the Ulriken, or – if hiking isn’t really your thing – just stroll around in the forest and still get plenty of opportunity to marvel at the beauty of Norwegian nature.

This lake is only a couple of hundred meters away from the Funicular and in the summer months you can rent canoes here for free – I haven’t canoed in forever, but I imagine that it must be a fun way to spent a beautiful summer’s day.


Photo B

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I have shared the ‘classic’ view over Bergen with you in a previous ‘Photo Of TheWeek’ feature already, but there’s actually more to Bergen than just a peninsula, even though the other parts of the city might not be as interesting tourism-wise as the city center. 


What's your favorite photograph?


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Friday, September 20, 2013

A Walk Around Trondheim Part I

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I think I loved Trondheim even before I stepped foot in this city. Trondheim just has the best name EVER! This will be difficult to understand if you don’t speak German, but in the pronunciation of my native language I can barely imagine a greater sounding name for a town. Sadly, it doesn’t work as well in Norwegian – never mind in English – but it did ensure that I arrived in Norway’s third largest city in good spirits.

Trondheim is everything you would imagine a quaint Scandinavian town to be: There are beautiful wooden buildings nestled along a beautiful waterfront. It is home to Scandinavia’s largest sacral building and the greatest pleasure lies in just walking through town and taking all in. Top this with the fact that we had beautiful weather for the duration of our stay (I’m talking sunshine for once) and you get a really great combination.

We arrived in the early afternoon and stayed for two nights, the perfect duration for a stay in this town. You could get away with staying for only one day and still visit all the major attractions, but your stay would also be a lot more rushed and give you less time to leisurely stroll around. 



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Central Trondheim is situated on a peninsula which gives the city quite a unique geographical location: To the North, there's the sea and and to the east, south and parts of the west there's the river Nidelven. In other words, you're never far away from the water. 

One of my favorite places in Trondheim were the Bryggene. Similar to their more famous cousins in Bergen, these building are colorful remnants of a time when sea faring trade was a much bigger part of society. Trondheim's Bryggene seemed much less touristy to me than Bergen's Bryggen. There's not a whole lot to explore, but it does make for a beautiful photography backdrop.


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The most famous sight of Trondheim is definitely the Nidaros Cathedral. Nidaros is Trondheim's old name (going back to the beginning of the post: Nidaros is pretty cool name as well) and was Norway's (if not Scandinavia's) most important Pilgrimage site.

It's the burial site of Norway's most important saint, Olav Haraldsson, a Norwegian king in the 11th century. He was responsible for the spread of Christianity in Norway, but died in battle while doing so. Nidaros was quickly declared a bishop's see and hence eventually became Scandinavia's most important sacral town.

The Cathedral is a beautiful and definitely surprising sight - you wouldn't imagine to find such a building in Norway. While the facade is full of interesting statues showcasing different saints, the interior is nothing terribly new if you've been to a lot of European cathedrals already, but it is still impressive.

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Once a year, at the end of July, there’s a festival in honor of Olav Haraldsson with all sorts of cultural activities, ranging from church services to concerts and craftsmen workshops. There’s also a historical market where you can purchase all sorts of goods (and delicious cinnamon almonds) in the Archbishop’s Palace, right adjacent to the Cathedral. In the Palace, there’s also a small exhibition showcasing the Norwegian Crown Jewels.


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There are several ways to cross the river and leave the peninsula, but the most idyllic one is definitely Bybrua that connects to the lovely quarter of Møllenberg. If Trondheim is everything you would imagine a Scandinavian town to look like than Møllenberg is going to fulfill all your Scandinavian dreams: Quiet streets, bustling cafes all situated amongst beautiful wooden buildings and an all-round friendly vibe make me really want to live there. 


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I also saw one of the craziest (albeit coolest) things I’ve ever laid eyes on in Trondheim: A Bicycle Lift. If you’re wondering if I’ve lost it, please allow me to explain. Møllenberg partly lies on a pretty steep hill, so to make life easier to residents (I guess) someone decided to install a bicycle lift on one of the main streets. The concept is pretty easy: Your right foot gets pushed forward while you sit on your bike. I saw some people (unsuccessfully) try to use the lift, so it seems to be a lot harder in practice than in theory. Combine this with the fact that the hill really isn’t all that high and you wonder if maybe this town has too much money lying around. 


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Stay tuned for more on Trondheim! 


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linking up with Belinda and Bonnie


A Compass Rose
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