whatever, whenever, wherever

26 April 2014

I've got two weeks left until my final uni deadlines so things are a bit crazy right now but I thought I'd right up a quick post! So earlier on this week I decided to finally make a purchase that I've been wanting to for a very long time, I call it a motivational present to myself because I've been mentally, physically and emotionally stretched lately with deadlines looming over my head. 

I've wanted a compact system camera for ages now & have always liked the Olympus PEN series. I'm very indecisive and that increases whenever I buy a new camera but after some more research, I decided to go for the Olympus E-PL5! There were others that appealed to me but the Olympus E-PL5 seemed to fit most of my criteria and I didn't want to spend loads of money because I'd rather spend a little more when I upgrade my DSLR. It arrived yesterday and so far I love it! There are some cons but those aren't a big deal at all. Anyway, if any of you own an E-PL5 and have some tips then please let me know!

Also, I wanted to say thanks to everyone who has followed me & who have left lovely comments on my first post. The next one will hopefully be a recipe so stick around! :)

6 April 2014

Last July, I booked a last minute holiday to Bergen in Norway with my brother and sister. We went for 3 nights and our flights were booked with Easyjet. It was my first time flying to somewhere else in Europe and I found Easyjet pretty good for the short flight, everything went smoothly which was great. It depends on how much you want to do but I felt like 3 nights was a pretty good amount of time to spend there. This is going to be a long post but I'll start off with some photos, I took over 1600 (eek) photos but here are a few of my favourites.

I booked to stay at Incity Hotel and Apartments, we didn't need anything fancy as we were only really sleeping there anyway, as long as it was clean, had enough space, had wi-fi & was in a good location it was fine. Prices were pretty reasonable for Norway, the room was quite spacious and it had everything that we needed for our stay. The location was great, it was central and we could easily go anywhere from there, it was also easy to get to to/from the airport.

We arrived in the morning so we dropped off our luggage at the hotel and explored the area before it was time to check in. We were only about a 5 minute walk from Bergen's famous Fishmarket so that was one of the first places that we went to which is such a lovely place, there is a lot of fresh seafood here and I actually just had a big plate of prawns one day for dinner. Next door to the Fishmarket was the Tourist Information Centre which is such a useful place, we went there to book our fjord tour tickets and to pick up some maps. There is loads of information available there and you can buy your travelcards there too, definitely go here if you visit Bergen, the staff are so nice and helpful too which is great. We walked around Bryggen which is on UNESCO's list for World Cultural Heritage sites and also around the Bergenhus Fortress Museum just to take in the air and to see what was around. 

We went up the Fløyen mountain twice on our trip, once in the early evening and once later in the evening. You take the Fløibanen funicular up to the viewing platform which is about 320m above sea level (the Eiffel Tower is 324m high), it only takes about 8 minutes and the views at the top are amazing, especially if you go at night! On our first trip up we decided to hike down which took less than an hour and on our second trip we stayed up there until the last available time to take the funicular back down. There are a lot of hikes that you can take on Fløyen as well which vary in difficulty and duration so there is something for everyone. 

We also went up Ulriken, the highest of Bergen's famous 7 mountains.  The first time we went to Ulriken it was closed, on that day it was windy in the morning and they decided to close it for the entire day. The website said it was closed but when I called up the phoneline, it said it was open. Lesson: Trust the website. You can actually take a tour on a double decker bus from the Fishmarket which takes you to Ulriken but the first time we decided to walk there from Bergen Aquarium (nothing amazing but good for kids, the penguins are worth the trip though!), the walk took us much longer than we expected and it wasn't an easy walk either. The ground is not flat in Bergen and our walk consisted of a lot of hills, I enjoyed it though because I love walking and taking in the views but I'm pretty sure my brother and sister wanted to give up half way. Anyway, after that we took a local bus back to the hotel and the second time we went we took a local bus there and back. You take a little cable car up to the top of the mountain which can be scary if you're afraid of heights, it only takes about 10 minutes though and you arrive 643 metres up, twice as high as Fløyen! We didn't spend much time there because we were flying back that day but it was an amazing experience. The views are amazing, and just walking around up there is just so lovely. 

The biggest thing we did in Bergen was the fjord tour, there are a few options to choose from but in the end we chose to go for the Sognefjord in a nutshell which was a 10 hour round trip. The Sognefjord is Norway's longest and deepest fjord, the tour starts just outside of the Tourist Information Centre. Make sure you get there early, we were running late but luckily we managed to get the last seats on the boat that were by the window. The boat ride is 5 hours long and the views are amazing but I did fall asleep for part of it, it was early in the morning and we realised that 5 hours is actually very long to be on a boat. The boat stops in Flåm which is a small village, when you book your tickets you can decide on how long you want to stay in Flåm, I think we stayed for under two hours? We took a short hike and grabbed some lunch before we started our journey back. On the way back you take the Flåm railway (one of the steepest normal gauge railways in the world) to Myrdal, there are a lot of great mountain views and waterfalls along the way. The train stops at Kjosfossen waterfall where you can get off for a few minutes and enjoy the view right up close. From Myrdal you take the Bergen railway back to Bergen, we were knackered at this time so we fell asleep for most of the journey. Definitely take a fjord tour if you go to Bergen though, you can't go to Norway and not see the fjords!

We actually didn't try much of the Norwegian cuisine at all, we grabbed food a few times at the fishmarket which was really good. One day we bought groceries and cooked pasta at the hotel. We ate too many hotdogs during our stay, not our fault though, they were available everywhere and they were tasty too! 

Overall, I definitely recommend a trip to Bergen if you love sightseeing and hikes. It's a beautiful place and I felt refreshed after spending a few days there, being surrounded by mountains, water and greenery! It is an expensive city as expected of Norway so be prepared for that, most of the attractions and travel weren't that expensive but food and clothes definitely are. Everyone there is cheerful and they really make you feel welcome.

This was such a long post so well done if you made it to the end and I hope you have enjoyed reading it, I'd love to see more of Europe in the future so if you have any recommendations then please let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading & have an awesome day! xo

Hello all!

I've decided to start blogging again and I wanted to start a fresh blog so welcome to WHATSUPJUB! I'll be posting a jumble of things here including things lifestyle, food, travel & beauty. Uni ends very soon so hopefully I will have more time to do some interesting things so stick around & I hope you enjoy my new blog!

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