Stress has taken a toll on me these past few months. Physically, I got migranes and low energy. Mentally, I got depressed because of the situation we are in. Despite the effort to exercise and eat healthy, I felt that nothing is working. Good thing I have friends who motivate me to take a break and relax. I’m also thankful for those friends who stay despite our distance and lack of time to talk with each other.
Last month, I took a very short trip to Stavanger and Førde. The latter was an unplanned trip. My friend from Sandnes picked me up and then we drove to Førde to fetch our friend and her baby. Before we left and drove back to Stavanger, we went to the tourist attraction in Førde which is the Rex Garden. This garden is just a hundred meters away from my friend’s home.
So, what’s the story behind Rex Garden? Well according to my friend, this nature park is run by someone who apparently has a huge passion for landscaping. The park/garden has lots of plants and flowers. That’s why it is attracting visitors from other places. The wooden statues and sculptures here were made by a local artist from the area. The place is also beautiful because it is situated by the sea and a perfect place for grilling during the summer days.
Rena is a small town in Hedmark region. Seven and a half hours car drive from Bergen and is located in the eastern part of Norway. Bf and I visited a relative who owns a camping place at Åsta just 15 minutes away from Rena center. We went here on the third week of July this year. We were invited so we didn’t have to pay for our stay. How cool is that? 🙂
Kvile means “relax” in Norwegian. I can say that my bf and I had a very comfortable and relaxed week during our stay here.
The cabin that we got is around 25 square meters big. It has a double deck bed, a dining table, chairs, heater, small fridge and a small kitchen counter with cabinets. So in short the cabin has everything that we need. However, there is no water supply and toilet inside the cabin. We had to go to the common washing area which is located just a few steps from the cabin.
What I love about this place is that there are a number of activities to choose from such as fishing, hiking, swimming, kayaking and grilling. Also, Rena is just 2 hours away to Sweden and circa an hour away to Oslo by car.
The camping area is also near a huge field. Just perfect for morning walks with the dog.
Just 5 minutes walk from the camp is the longest river in Norway, which is Glomma. According to my bf’s cousin, the river is rich in fish and therefore people come here to fish. But there are rules to follow and people who wants to fish here must get a permit first, since this is a freshwater river.
You can find a handful of information about fishing by the river and somewhere near the railways.
More pictures of the river shot from different places.
The place is also near the railway where the Åsta train accident happened in 2002. Here stands a monument stone with the names of the victims engraved. The accident is one of the biggest in the history of the transport industry.
Speaking of railways, have you heard about making a wish while standing on the railway? I had a classmate before in high school who told me that her wishes came true when she wished for something while standing on the railway. I admit that I had to make one when I took a picture of it.
Anyways, as I’ve mentioned earlier in this post, we were just 15 minutes away from Rena town center. Here can we find the schools, shops, restaurants and a wooden church.
Moving on, the weather during our visit here varied a lot. One day it was raining hard and just after a couple of hours the sun comes out. I can say that the weather in this part of Norway is way better compared to Bergen.
I can say that the 7.5 hours car trip to Rena is worth it. There are lots of beautiful places to see and this is one of the trips that I recommend if you want to see the difference between the western part and eastern part of Norway because you can see how the landscape change as you travel from the west to the east.
I’m ending this post with the link of Kvile Camping, for those who are interested in renting a cabin/s and caravan/tent place: http://www.kvilecamping.no/
A trip to London is incomplete without going to one of their plays. When I was planning this trip, I checked the plays that they have in London. There’s the Harry Potter, Mathilde and etc. I wanted to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. But I didn’t pre order, so what happened is that the tickets were sold out during our stay in London. Lesson learned! Being spontaneous is not always a smart thing.
We went to Stomp instead because it was the only available play during our preferred time of the day and we booked the ticket at a shop/pawnshop/ticket office near the Queensbay tube station. The man who is working there (who I think is the owner) was helpful and was full of enthusiasm. He showed us a brochure of the plays available in London and tried to convince us to watch a play at least. He also promised us a good seat in the theatre too (which we didn’t get). The man seemed harmless and it seemed that he was just trying to make a living. I know that the tickets didn’t cost a lot, but since he is a reseller, the tickets cost a bit more than buying it directly at the theatre. I trusted him, my friend trusted him. My friend and I agreed with the price and paid him using our credit cards. I only found out about what he did when my credit card statement came and to my surprise I paid 40% more than the price of the tickets. He robbed us!
Even though we didn’t get the promised seat, my friend and I had a great time watching Stomp.
Anywho, a long weekend is not long enough in London. I don’t have a proper picture of the Big Ben, The London Eye, The West Minister’s Palace and the London Bridge because I forgot my charger and we spent our last night at my friend’s flat. But that’s alright at least I have seen them from the bus. I’m sure that I’m not gonna forget how they look like anyways! 🙂
Nevertheless the bad experience, London is a great experience. Aside from crossing the road (well, looking from right to left), I’ve learned that the Londoners are friendly contrary to what is portrayed in the media sometimes. Because you know, the suit and tie.
London is one of my must-see cities. So on my birthday week, I went to London with my friend who also has the same birthday month (January) as I am.
I flew directly to London with British Airways from Bergen. The airfare was not the cheapest (but has one of the cheapest fares) but I prefer it than SAS and Norwegian because it was the only direct flight to Heathrow. The SAS flight have a layover in Stavanger, which I really hate because it only means chaos in the airport and tax-free. While my friend flew with SAS because she was taking the flight from Stavanger.
When I left, the temperature in Bergen was approximately 10 degrees Celsius and to my surprise, it was colder in London! It was zero degrees! Good thing that we have brought our good warm jackets with us. It was freezing cold! When we arrived at the hotel, it was already dark so just stayed in the hotel and relaxed.
Our first day in London’s spent in sightseeing and exploring the nearby parks. Since we stayed at Byron Hotel which is in Queensborough Terrace, we were just a couple of minutes away from Hyde Park and the Kensington Palace.
The next park we visited is the Holland Park. Actually, we were looking for the famous Filipino restaurant in London, but we have decided to take a walk in the park first on the way to the restaurant.
Inside the Holland Park, you can find the Kyoto Garden. I would call this a gem because it captures not only our attention but also our senses. It is indeed unique in this place. Kyoto Garden was created by a Japanese designer to celebrate Japan Festival in London in 1992 according to rbkc.gov.uk. My friend and I spent at least half an hour here to unwind.
After a couple of hours walking in the park, we were off to find Romulo Cafe, the famous Filipino restaurant that I mentioned earlier. I’m sure some of you will ask why eat in a Filipino restaurant when you’re in London. Our reasons are because my friend and I were craving for Filipino food and there is no Filipino restaurant in Bergen and Stavanger. So this was our chance to satisfy our cravings!
After our dinner, we are on the move again! This time, to meet our friend in the Royal Victoria and Albert Museum.
My friend and I were on a budget trip, so as much as possible we went to places with either free entrance or with cheap entrance fee. We were lucky during our visit to this museum because there was a free concert too. So it’s like hitting two birds with one stone! 🙂
Sometimes the thought of travelling abroad to see new places makes us forget to appreciate our own country/home. I’m not saying that we should for example stop dreaming of seeing the Eiffel Tower or the Coloseum of Rome. My point is that there are also beautiful and unexplored places in your own country. Not only that you get to learn about the history of the nearby places but you also get to support the local tourism in the country. And besides local travelling can be less expensive too. You can also squeeze in a short trip to the next town or city in your busy week.
About a month ago, I took a 3 hour cruise to Mostraumen. The catamaran leaves at 10 a.m. and is back in Bergen at 1 p.m. I took the trip because I really wanted to travel somewhere I’ve never been to and at the same time near my place. My bf was out of town for work and I was left with our dog and the fishes, hence the short trip.
The trip is very relaxing. I chose to sit on the upper deck on the way to Mostraumen for a better view. I usually get anxious during boat rides but because of the beauty of the fjords, I didn’t get nervous at all!
The cost of this fjord trip is 550 NOK or 59 Euros. Snacks and refreshments are not included but there is a small kiosk on board if ever you get thirsty/hungry.
For more information about Bergen-Mostraumen cruise please check out this link.
I woke up to the sound of the pouring rain. First, I thought that I was just dreaming. Then I looked outside our balcony. Our towels and our swimming attires were soaked and the sky was grey. I thought that I’d never see the sun for the rest of the day and that we’re stuck in the hotel. I went back to sleep and when I woke up it’s already almost 11 a.m. It means that my bf and I should move our ass out of the bed right away if we want to eat breakfast in the hotel restaurant. This time the rain stopped and the sun was up. My bf and I had no plans but you know Norwegians when the sun is up there is only one thing in their mind, to get a tan. I almost forgot that the weather in Tenerife is way different from home. Rain doesn’t have to last the whole week. We spent our day at the hotel with the bf’s family and enjoyed unlimited foods and drinks by the pool. How cool is that?
Day 4,5,6 and 7
Even though our hotel is almost perfect, I didn’t limit myself from just staying on the hotel’s premises. Tenerife has a lot to offer and staying at the hotel for the rest of the trip would be a waste of vacation days. Anyways, here are some of the things that I did during my stay at Costa Adeje Tenerife.
I also met some amazing people when I was there. I usually don’t talk to strangers or initiate a conversation with someone I don’t know but I’m quite friendly and talkative when people start talking to me. So, the first one that I met is a Chinese waiter from Taiwan. He’s working at Intercontinental restaurant at Playa La Pinta. He asked me where I’m from and I told him I’m from the Philippines residing in Norway. From there we exchanged stories. The second one is a psychologist from Berlin. I met her at the same restaurant, same evening I met the Chinese waiter. She was too sitting alone in the restaurant. She too asked me when I’m from and since we’re both alone that evening, I’ve decided to join her table.
I hope you all enjoy my Tenerife posts. Thank you and have a nice day!
“We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.”
― Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon
Our hotel is located on the right side of the motorway. Just a 2-minute walk from Gran Sur shopping mall. When we went out of the hotel on the second day, we didn’t take the cab because we wanted to take our time exploring the place. The picture below reminds me somehow of the place where I grew up in the Philippines because I grew up near a shopping mall and a motorway.
Anyways, the bf led the way since he knows where the beautiful places are as he has already been here one time before and besides he has a better sense of direction than me.
Tenerife is more than its beaches. There is also shopping. Lots of it! So if you’re into shopping but at the same time wants to experience the island life then Tenerife is the right place for you. My bf knows me well so he took me to a shopping mall. After checking out the shops, I’m proud to say that I resisted the temptation from buying stuff here. Haha!
Then just around the corner, I found a fast food restaurant, Southern Fried Chicken or SFC for short. Is it me, or it’s just that it sounds like the famous American fast food chain? BF and I took a break here. I had one piece of chicken breast with fries and he had a sausage. The price is not bad considering the size of the menu. I ordered the smallest chicken meal they had. I only paid circa 3 euros. The chicken tasted good and yes SFC has satisfied my KFC cravings.
Moving on, the first beach stop is Playa la Pinta. It is a small beach but a lively one. There, we met my bf’s family, enjoyed the sun and found Restaurante El Puerto. The children got ice creams, the bf, his siblings and dad got drinks and I had a crepe with ice cream. This is one of the restaurants that I recommend here at Playa la Pinta because the service is really good and the staff are friendly and good at entertaining kids.
Playa la Pinta
The bf’s sister shopping for flip flops
Restaurante El Puerto
Crepe with icecream
The bf’s dad
One of the shops by the beach.
What I love about the beaches in Tenerife is that using sunbeds and straw umbrellas is free of charge. All you have to do is to relax and have fun.
At the beginning of this year Fjordline has started offering domestic travels between Bergen and Stavanger. For your info the cruiseship that goes from Bergen to Stavanger is the same as the one going to Hirthsals Denmark. It’s just that before it was not possible to only take the boat on short distance routes like Bergen-Stavanger. I guess the management thought that by accepting passengers who are traveling to and from the two cities would earn them extra income. And besides the ship docks in Tananger, Stavanger to pick up passengers traveling to Denmark.
I find this way better than taking the bus, because you can relax the whole journey, eat at the cafe, drink wine or just enjoy the view and plus a one way ticket would only costs you 200 NOK regardless when you book your ticket! Good deal, right? Unlike the bus (Kystbussen), it would costs you at least 540 NOK and that’s if you book the ticket two days ahead of your travel date. The travel time is almost the same as taking the bus but the comfort is much better than taking the bus. However, the ship docks at Tananger and not in Stavanger center. You will need to book a bus if you want to proceed to the town proper. Fjordline’s bus fair costs 75 NOK. But still the total fair is cheaper.
Since this route is a short distance one, I am not allowed to buy anything from the tax free shop. If you want to shop tax free then you should be traveling for at least 24 hours abroad. But don’t worry. The prices on board are not bad!
So what are you waiting for? Book your trip now! 🙂
This weekend, my friends visited me in Bergen. It was their first time to be here so I was really happy to show them what Bergen has to offer. When they arrived here it was already getting dark and it was also raining a lot. So we showed them some of the malls in the city center and after that we went to TGIF for dinner. Then we went to their hotel room to have a couple of drinks before going to the night club.
The following day, the weather improved. Less rain and the sun was out. So we head to Fløyen (We took the Fløibanen), one of the seven mountains in Bergen.