Discovering the natural beauty of Ålesund, Norway

This week post is about  a young couple’s trip to the natural beauty of Norway. For four days Vanessa and Alex, went on a Easter break to discover Ålesund in Norway, place that both agreed as being the most beautiful they have ever seen. They have chosen Alesund, knowing that it is a quiet fishermen town, as they were hoping to see some northern lights (even though April is too late) and the Fjords!So here are their suggestions!

Middle of Geiranger Fjord 2

We did not work on a plan in advance, and were not aware that during Easter time everything is closed in Norway… So, we arrived on Friday afternoon and we were surprised that even the tourism office was closed (the whole weekend). This made the beginning of our journey  a bit more difficult, as we did not have information about where to go and how to move around the area. We had to rely on the internet to plan our trip.

We checked at the hotel “Radisson Blue” and we were very happy with our choice. We had an amazing view from the window of our bedroom as you can see below.This was not very expensive and everything was nice and clean. Downstairs where the lounge was and the living space, everything was very charming and the big windows to the mountains and the sea view were stunning.

View from the hotel

Our aim was to go on a boat in the middle of the famous Norwegian Fjords! Yet, this was not possible during this weekend. We quickly realise that we had no way to move around as the bus were not working or very few, boats very conditioned and not going to all the usual locations available. We found ourselves stuck in the bedroom without options! However, we managed to rent the last car from AVIS, 5 min before the store closes and that was our lucky!

Ferry at Magerholm

We stayed there from 3rd of April and we left on the 6th of April, just a long weekend.

It is an amazing place if you want to be closer to nature, breath pure air and enjoy sceneries that you cannot see anywhere else.

The actual centre of the city is very beautiful and calm. When you walk close to the sea, you see the fisher’s man on their boats with all the catch of the day to sell. They are very friendly and approachable and talk about their lives a little bit.

First day

  • Checked in Radisson, sea view, really good location to walk in town centre;

Hotel Terrasse

  • Go for a walk in the town, Alesund beautiful and quiet, surrounded by water and majestic mountains.

Alesund town center

  • Shop a little bit, but they do not have too many products… and it is expensive

Alesund houses

Alesund street

  • First restaurant, “Egon Alesund”, large choice, Menu/speak any languages, best value, large portion, very good typical fish soup, nice quiet and wood decoration: Our favourite!

Egon restaurant

Fresh fish and chips

Second Day

  • Amazing breakfast at the hotel! They had everything!! Every day we had available some of the best fresh fish in town. Special attention for the amazing smoked salmon!
  • Quick walk through the town centre, Fishers’ boat arrival with fresh fish and sea food

Alesund port

  • 1pm we picked the car and started the road trip.
  • In the fjord area, the main transport is boat, so there are not too many bridges or tunnels. So when you are driving, you need to take Ferry boats to cross fjords. They are not too expensive and there is a lot to take during a day trip. This really adds something to the adventure! (Ferry boats operate from early in the morning until 11pm all year)

Ferry station at Linge

  • With the car during a one long afternoon we managed to go down the south, drive along the fjords, going up and down mountains and valleys, sometimes full of snow which was amazing. Landscapes varied from very white, bright, ice to a mix between blue, white, green when the road opens on the fjords.

Between Stranda and Hellesylt

End of Geiranger Fjord

  • Maybe the benefit of all tourist activities being close during Easter weekend is that we could enjoy any places alone, quiet. And be alone on the road.
  • Our aim was to do a loop around the Geiranger Fjord and pass by the bottom of it.
  • We drove on the tourist mountain road which was really challenging and once you passed the top of the mountain, the view opens on the end of Geiranger Fjord… Breathtaking….

Middle of Geiranger Fjord

  • Here is the map for the itinerary!

Map

  • We finished our trip and were back at night in Alesund(around 10pm)

View From Alesund

  • Last restaurant serving food –» Egon !! Fish soup and chips!

Third day

  • Going to the island that we can see from our hotel room, on the west of Alesund: Godoya.

From Godoya hike-Alnes village

  • Driving through Hovland, Valderoya until the bottom of Godoya. Passing on long and amazingly designed bridges or under water tunnel, which makes the trip really amusing.
  • Park the car and walk along the north coast of the island and until the top of the mountain Godoya to find snow and a lake!
  • Then going down in direction to Alnes!
  • Do not cross someone’s garden even though it looks all open and seems alright… Norwegian do not like at all (believe me, we have tried!)
  • Be careful closing the gates behind you to make sur the sheep do not escape.

Close the Gate

  • Alnes is a really quiet and nice remote place, houses have different colours…

Alnes village

  • Back to Alesund and expensive restaurant, Norwegian dish… Fish basically.

Fourth day

  • The Hotel can book a shuttle for you to go to the airport (same price as the bus from town centre)
  • The last morning, we decided to go to the top of Alesud to have an amazing panoramic view.
  • We rushed it a little bit to make it to the top and be back on time at the hotel for the shuttle, but it was worth it! The hike was not too hard (Norwegians do it running…)

Alesund from the top

 

 

I hope you like it! J

Vanessa & Alex

Advertisements

Ålesund, Norway – take a note

Ålesund is a town in Møre og Romsdal county, in Norway. It is part of the famous district of Sunnmøre, and the center of the Ålesund Region. It is a sea port and it is also the principal shipping town of the Sunnmøre district. It is also famous for its unique concentration of Art Nouveau architecture.

In the past 13 months the highest temperature was 30.0 °C on the 2nd of July 2015 and the lowest was  -4°C on Christmas day, the 25th of December 2014.

Alesund port
Alesund port

It is an amazing place if you want to be closer to nature, breath pure air and enjoy sceneries that you cannot see anywhere else.

The actual centre of the city is very beautiful and calm. When you walk close to the sea, you see the fisher’s man on their boats with all the catch of the day to sell. They are very friendly and approachable and talk about their lives a little bit.

Vanessa & Alex

Vanessa and Alex beautiful journey in Ålesund will be posted tomorrow so keep an eye for an amazing 4 day trip suggestion of what to do and see in Ålesund, Norway.

Country: Norway

Capital: Oslo

Largest City: Oslo, 915,000 habitants

Official languageNorwegian

Currency: Norwegian krone (£1 = 12.4 NOK)

Population: 45.033 habitants

Total area: 98,78 km²

Sovereign: King Harald V (1991)

Prime Minister: Erna Solberg (2013)

Along the Stuart Highway to Uluru, AU

Niklas Keller is a young German who is passionate about travelling the world. After finishing his high school, Niklas decided to take a GAP year to Australia where he volunteered and travelled for an year! During that year he had the chance to visit Uluru where we went on a exploring trip!

Uluru

This is about a car and camping trio in the Northern Territory, Australia’s least dense populated state or Territory. The NT has an area four times as large as Germany but only has about 180 000 inhabitants. 120 000 of these live in Darwin and it’s surrounds at the North Coast, where we started our trip.

Darwin NT’s capital is a very modern but also remote city and Australia’s smallest capital.

This article however focuses on the Stuart Highway. A street that cuts the continent in half connecting Darwin to Adelaide in South Australia.

map_australia

If you start from Darwin you have to take on about 1500 kilometres to get to Alice Springs, the famous desert town. If you continue south for a few hundred k’s you get to a turn off to the west, which takes you along another 400 kilometres directly to Uluru. So basically fi you start in Darwin you only need to do one turn to get to Uluru!

Driving through bushfires

Along this drive are a lot of beautiful, funny, creepy, weird and most of all fun things to see!

Remote funny places

I have selected just a few of them to show you.

out in the dessert

remote farms

First of all, don’t be surprised if you find yourself driving through a bush fire. In certain times of the year there a fires laid on purpose to burn old wood and other fuel laying around so that they don’t feed one of the bigger fires during the fire season.

Another thing you will most likely encounter are kangaroos, wallabies and other animals crossing the road, so always watch out and have two people sitting in front that always watch out, seriously that is important, you will see a lot of animals that did not make it and they have a certain size, they are a danger for you too!

Emu

Kangaroo crossing the road

Wallaby

One of the most beautiful nights we had was the night at the devils marbles. A giant field of  big round rocks randomly laying around in the desert. Like most nights we camped at a national park public camp site. They usually don’t have more facilities than a toilet, but they are cheap and most times in the middle of nature, apart from wild camping, you can’t get closer to nature when staying out in the country.

Camping at night

One of the best things about the dessert are the stars, which you can see exceptionally clear and bright since there is no light pollution and almost no moisture in the air. Time your trip with a new moon and you are set for one of the best night skies you have ever seen!

amazing stars

While on your drive take time to stop every now and then and just enjoy how far away you are from everything! The best way to do this is just to take one of the many dirt roads and see where it takes you, but always mind your cars abilities, it can get VERY rough! We tried to find an old gold mine, but we could not and found ourselves in the middle of nowhere.

Morning athmosphere

One of the best and most famous highlights other than Uluru is Kings Canyon, which is between Alice Springs and Uluru. There you can do a 3-hour walk, which takes you around the rim of a beautiful canyon. Watch out for little lizards and other things!

Random Gorge

Kings Canyon

When you finally make it to Uluru,  it is important that you take time just to appreciate how massive this one solid rock really is! Like an iceberg there is only about 1/8 of it visible from above the surface.

Sunset at Uluru

Around Uluru there are a lot of interesting places and things to do. Make sure that you do the Mala Walk, where a ranger tells you about it’s significance for nature and the local people. Also there is a cultural centre where you can learn a lot about local and regional indigenous culture! You can also do a walk around Uluru and always keep an eye open for cool little places and indigenous wall paintings!

exciting corners at uluru

devils marbles

Lizard

near Uluru

When around Uluru you have to watch the sunset and also to get up for sunrise! These are just magic and also Katja Tutja, a rock formation about 50 k’s north of Uluru, is definitely worth the drive at sunset.

Sunrise

The drive through the Northern Territory with the rewarding destination Uluru is a great adventure! It does take a lot of effort to get there in the first place and also the driving when you are there is a lot of work, but it’s an absolutely magnificent experience and you will see a lot of things you just can not see in Europe.

morning athmosphere

gumtree forrest at uluru

P.S.: When you are at Uluru: Pleeeeeease don’t climb it! I know it looks ridiculously tempting, but it’s actually quite dangerous and more important, one of the most offending things you can do to the indigenous people of the region.

By: Niklas Keller

Northern Territory, Australia – take a note

The Northern Territory  is a Federal territory of Australia. It is known to be the place where nature is strongly represented with landscapes that will make you fall in love just like some of the most recognisable natural icons in Australia that you will find there. The Northern Territory contains hundreds of rare species of flora, native wildlife and, the very famous, crocodiles.

Emu

@photocredit: Niklas Keller

There are 52 national parks and nature conservation reserves, while the outback offers vast wide-open spaces and pioneering journeys. Niklas Keller, a German traveller who took a GAP year in Australia, adventured himself in one of those journeys. In Uluru, Northern Territory he experienced an unforgettable experience between man and nature.

“The drive through the Northern Territory with the rewarding destination Uluru is a great adventure! It does take a lot of effort to get there in the first place and also the driving when you are there is a lot of work, but it’s an absolutely magnificent experience and you will see a lot of things you just can not see in Europe.”

Niklas Keller

Niklas incredible adventure with tips and suggestions will be out tomorrow so keep an eye!

Country: Australia

Capital: Camberra

Largest City: Sydney, 4.543 million

Official language: English

Currency: Australian dollar (£1 = 2.13 AUD )

Population: 13,35 million

Total area: 13,572 km2

Sovereign: Queen Elizabeth II (1952)

Prime Minister: Malcolm Turnbull

Tokyo, an unforgettable experience

Claudia Canovai is a young Italian girl who is passionate for travelling. She has visited many different continents and cities but the one place she wanted to talk about was Tokyo where she did a semester abroad of university. She studies literature in Rome, Italy but decided to adventure herself for some months and went study in Japan! During this adventure that she truly loved she also got the chance to do some tourism in Tokyo, a city who made her fall in love!

11931706_10206494875603301_1920100967_n

11938025_10206494875763305_175078970_n

While visiting Tokyo, what she enjoyed seeing the most and she truly recommends everyone to visit is Meguro River during sakura season, as well as Ueno park, in Taito. Sakura season is the period of cherry blossoms in Japan which is truly magical as the trees turn pink.

claudia tokyo

11995723_10206494875803306_498088222_n (1)

11950818_10206494875643302_1543839377_n

11994385_10206494875683303_676921446_n

When your belly starts asking for food the place she says is a must try is 35 steps bistro. It’s an izakaya in the heart of shibuya which is one of the most popular neighbourhoods of Tokyo.

food

Roppongi and Shibuya are considered the most famous night out places. There are amazing clubs and bars open all night long. The streets are always incredibly full of people walking and dancing and having fun. You can meet anyone from Japanese to foreigners, from business man to crazy people dressed up as manga characters or baby dolls. The life of this two places gets crazy at night.

When asked about interesting and curious things she found she Tokyo she said right away “I could talk forever”. In Harajuku people go out dressed in the most different ways. Shibuya crossing is the most crowded crossing of the world!

10403066_10205277482449233_6266980194821332246_n

11046927_10205277481969221_3158551447803969221_n

In Roppongi hills there is a huge statue of a spider which is kinda scary . Love hotels are a peculiarity of Japanese culture. lovers go there and pay only for the time they need. And the rooms are decorated with different themes such as under the sea, hello kitty, into the jungle etc.

11938066_10206494875843307_546799514_n

“Tokyo is a city that surprised and that I definitely want to go back to! Especially the surroundings have a lot of magical natural beauty that makes you fall in love with the Japanese culture. I look forward to go back someday!”

10427286_10205418699059560_7636928681105651877_n

Tokyo – take a note

Our first place to be featured on the blog is the big city of Tokyo (東京 Tōkyō, “Eastern Capital”), the capital of Japan.

claudia tokyo

Tokyo was ranked first in the “Best overall experience” category of TripAdvisor’s World City Survey (the city also ranked first in the following categories: “Helpfulness of locals”, “Nightlife”, “Shopping”, “Local public transportation” and “Cleanliness of streets”). The Michelin Guide has awarded Tokyo by far the most Michelin stars of any city in the world. Tokyo ranked first in the world in the Safe Cities Index.

Tomorrow Claudia Canovai‘s experience of exploring Tokyo will be posted! She is an Italian traveller who has been a bit all over and Tokyo is one of the places that as Claudia says “it won a special place in my heart!” So don’t miss out her adventures there! For now here are useful notes to take of the beautiful capital of Japan.

Country: Japan

Capital: Tokyo

Largest City: Tokyo, 37.217 million

Official language: Japanese

Currency: Yen (£1 = 181.5 JPY)

Population: 13,35 million

Total area: 13,572 km2

Emperor: Akihito (1989)

Prime Minister: Shinzo Abe (2012)