This summer, I’ve been working as a tour guide in Stavanger and while I love answering people’s questions about the country, there were some questions I simply wasn’t prepared for! In this video, I collected 7 of the most random questions I’ve been asked about Norway over the summer, and I made sure to research their answers to share them with you :)
You have decided to visit Northern Norway to experience the Northern Lights or just to escape the tourist crowds of the south and explore the true wilderness of Norway? You’ve done a bit of research and have come to the conclusion that the Lofoten Islands look gorgeous as well, but you’re not quite confident to drive a car abroad - especially not during winter? Or maybe you’d just like to combine a Nordic city trip with exploring Norway’s great outdoors? Whatever it is that puts you in the position of having to decide between Bodø and Tromsø, I’m going to give you the rundown of both cities and tell you the good, bad and ugly about them, so that hopefully, you’ll be able to make a decision in no time!
Is autumn in full swing where you live? I have to admit, I’m not a fan of the lack of daylight and bad weather that come with autumn in Norway but I’m absolutely in love with the colours of this season! Unfortunately, it doesn’t last very long here in Stavanger. Either the leaves are blown away in a storm quite quickly or they start to rot almost immediately after falling to the ground as it rains so much here. There seems to be one place in the Nordics that does a proper Indian Summer, though: Finland! Or rather, Finnish Lapland!
One of the biggest (and least crowded) gems in itself is the region of Finnmark, stretching all the way to 71 degrees north. I was lucky to experience life in the outskirts of Europe when I did my Workaway stay in the small village of Gamvik, and still regret that I didn’t went further east to explore the Norwegian-Russian border area around Kirkenes. Therefore I was all the more excited when I was contacted by Prityazhenie, asking if I’d be interested in writing a post about the region and specifically about Pasvik Nature Reserve - a national park that actually stretches over areas of Norway, Russia and Finland, and apparently is a heaven for bird watchers! If you’d like to really explore the wilderness of Northern Norway, Pasvik Nature Reserve seems to be perfect place. Here’s why:*
Winter is approaching and you are planning a trip to Tromsø? You've maybe heard of the ice hotel in Kiruna or Kirkenes? As of last winter (2017/2018), there is also such an ice hotel near Tromsø. Initially not designed as a hotel, demand soon required the option to stay there and this should be possible from this winter onwards. Last winter I took part in an organized bus trip from Tromsø and experienced the following:
Heia! Can I be brutally honest with you? I've lost my blogging mojo. That is I did loose it. Then I took a month off as I didn't really have time to write anyway, and now I'm getting back into it and feel as refreshed as ever! I've been thinking a lot about what I hate about the current state of blogging, lately. For instance, the fact that everyone seems to be writing for Google only, rather than for their current audience - something people still seemed to be doing back when I started this blog in 2014. Or maybe travel bloggers never did? Maybe that's just something lifestyle bloggers are very good at? But isn't blogging dying anyway?
Sweden is a place that many people appreciate due to its beautiful landscapes, medieval architecture – and overall fascinating touristic points. You have very beautiful coasts, intricate buildings with a fair amount of detail – and the feeling that you are in the countryside, even if you are in the middle of a city.
It might seem like Stavanger in summertime is full of tourists, while all the locals disappear to either their summer cabin or to Spain in search of vitamin D. However, there's actually loads going on in the city during the summer months and besides Hafrsfjordkaupangen in June, late July is a time when the entire region gathers in Stavanger again after the summer break to celebrate food at Glad Mat Food Festival and this year, also to have a look behind the scenes of the world's sailing vessels at the Tall Ships Races.
Ribe was the last place my parents and I visited when we explored Denmark together last year, but this charming small town also was the one place that impressed me most! While Aalborg was a big surprise to me and Odense is so enchanting, Ribe made me want to stay longer and explore more of Denmark's west coast! Not only is Ribe, in south-west Jutland, Denmark's oldest town, it also has plenty of present-day attractions to offer. But see it with your own eyes:
The prospect of going on yet another day trip on a really miserable, cold and rainy day during last year's Easter holidays didn't excite my parents a whole lot, to be honest. I knew, though, that they'd become much more excited when we'd eventually arrive in what turned out to be Denmark's most enchanting city: Odense! Just a 2-hour drive from Copenhagen, as well as Aarhus, and perfectly situated in the middle of Denmark, Odense makes for the perfect day trip when visiting the country.
Why you would want to stand in line (and this is no joke!) at Pulpit Rock, Trolltunga and co. when there's an entire country of over 1600 km in length to explore, is beyond me! Therefore, I've decided to put together a small selection of alternatives to the "must-sees" of Norway - for anyone who'd like to escape the summer crowds in the country and those of you, who are seeking to discover Norway like a local!
Now, Tromsø might be situated way above the Arctic Circle and transportation options to and from the city might not be as frequent as they are for Oslo, but it's not impossible to get to Tromsø on a budget. There are in total 5 ways to travel to Tromsø - some of them rather fast and easy, and others rather slow and scenic - which I'd all like to present to you in this article, along with their pros and cons!
I actually planned my trip to Bergen three times before I finally made it, but visiting in February, while the city was covered in snow, couldn't have been a better time - not only did I avoid the summer and Christmas crowds, I also saved a huge amount of money on accommodation! In fact, I only spent roundabout $250 - not bad for a weekend trip in Norway! In this article, I therefore want to give you a detailed overview of how much I spent, what I did, and how you can travel to Bergen for under $250 too - even if you don't live in Norway!
Bergen is such a lovely gem at the west coast of Norway and even though it's Norway's second biggest city, it's extremely compact and cosy! You can walk almost anywhere and 2 days are plenty of time to see most of what the city has to offer! I got to visit Bergen back in February and the city did not hold up to its reputation as Norway's rainiest place - it didn't rain one bit during my stay. Instead, the city was covered in snow - which, to be honest, made it even more beautiful!
Today I wanted to take the time to not only update you on myself, though, but also fill you in on the Norwegian healthcare system that I've now been forced to get to know a lot better than I ever did before in recent weeks. Whether you're a tourist coming to Norway on holiday or planning to move to the country, in this article I'd like to tell you everything I've learnt about what happens when you get sick in Norway!
Up until this year, I had never even heard about Lahti. Turns out, however, that I've been really missing out. The city of Lahti in Southern Finland is a culinary hotspot with plenty of options to sleep somewhere with a view. The city seems to truly come alive in the summer but there also is a ton of things to do if you're planning on visiting in winter - that is beside watching ski tournaments and stuffing your face with Finnish cuisine (as you definitely want to do if you've read my last post). Here are, thus, 12 things to see and do in the Lahti Region in winter!*
The city of Lahti in Southern Finland isn't just a centre for winter sports but also a culinary hotspot as I've outlined in my last post. First and foremost, however, the Lahti Region with all its lakes is all about nature and views, and it truly was a winter wonderland when I visited in January. Of course, if you're going to go all the way to Finland, you want to stay somewhere that gives you the chance to really immerse yourself in nature and the landscapes around you, right?! These 5 places surely have the views - and much more!*
Have you ever heard of Lahti? This town of 100.000 inhabitants, just a 1.5h drive from Helsinki, is known to many as a centre of winter sports in Finland. Not to me though. I'd never even heard of Lahti before visiting Finland for the first time - and was pleasantly surprised to find a town in stunning surroundings that has so much more to offer than just sports! Lahti is, in fact, a culinary hotspot of Finland and in this post, I'm giving you 8 reasons to visit the Lahti region that all involve delicious Finnish cuisine. I hope you're not reading this on an empty stomach!*
When my friend Christina asked me what I wanted to do during my one full day in Helsinki with her, I had to think for a minute. It took me 26 years to finally visit Finland and although the country had been on my bucket list for ages, I realized that I actually knew very little about its capital. Sure enough, I knew I wanted to visit Helsinki Cathedral because that's what you HAVE to see when visiting the city - but other than that? I had no idea. Until I stumbled upon an article on Twitter showcasing urban nature in and around Helsinki - which had me hooked immediately!