WOW another month has flown by. It’s amazing how quickly this trip has been going. I know I say it every month but it just doesn’t feel like I’m more than a quarter of a way into my trip. I’ve really found my groove and I’m still loving every minute of it.
1/3-7/3- Paris, France
8/3-11/3- Brussels, Belgium
11/3-16/3- Chester, United Kingdom
16/3-20/3- Copenhagen, Denmark
21/3- Oslo, Norway
22/3-23/3- Bergen, Norway
24/3-31/3- Hurtigruten Cruise on MS Lofoten Bergen-Bergen (including stops in Alesund, Trondheim, Tromso, Honningsvag, Kirkenes, Hammerfest).
Some Interesting Statistics
Countries Visited- 7 (France, Belgium, UK, Denmark, Sweden and Norway)
Planes- 2 (Brussels- Manchester and Manchester-Copenhagen)
Trains- 11 (excluding local trains)
Cost of Train from Paris to Belgium- $3 AUD
Cable Cars- 1
Things lost- 1 x cardigan (I didn’t exactly lose this but I left it behind at my Aunt’s place in Chester)
Couchsurfing hosts- 1 (just in Oslo)
- Disneyland Paris. For Christmas my Dad bought me a ticket to Disneyland Paris and I spent a whole day there. It was terribly cold, probably the most cold I’ve been of my whole trip. But even the weather couldn’t ruin my day at Disneyland. Disneyland isn’t really for big kids, there are very few thrill rides and most of the attractions are geared towards younger kids. But I loved my day being a little kid again. I especially loved the parade and the night show was the absolute highlight. It made me want to go home and re watch all of my favourite Disney films.
- The Moulin Rouge. I’d actually forgotten all about my original plans to go to the Moulin Rouge while in Paris until a girl in my hostel mentioned she was going. It didn’t take much convincing for me to fork out quite a bit of money for a night tour of Paris and the show combination. Whilst it is a touristy thing to do, the show was incredible! The dancers, costumes and music made it a night to remember. And I even met one of the dancers in a café a couple of days later!
- A day with Tyler in Chester. Between Brussels and Copenhagen I skipped back to Chester to pick up my summer clothes and visited my Aunt, Uncle and cousins again. My really good friend from university is currently on exchange in Liverpool and he caught the train down so we could spend the day together. It’s always nice to see a familiar face!
- Reuniting with Stine in Copenhagen. I first met Stine when she surfed my couch a couple of years ago. She stayed in Melbourne for 6 months after that so we became very great friends. It was so exciting to be able to catch up with her again after more than a year apart during my recent visit to Copenhagen. We had a blast and definitely indulged our shared love of food.
- Norway in a Nutshell Tour from Oslo to Bergen. The Norway in a Nutshell tour is the scenic route from Oslo to Bergen. It involves a ride on the beautiful Oslo-Bergen railway until Mydral, a journey on the famous Flam Railway, an amazing Fjord cruise through a UNESCO listed Fjord area and then a bus and train through more scenic areas to Bergen. It was absolutely incredible scenery and so beautiful.
- The Hurtigruten Cruise on the MS Lofoften to Northern Norway, and especially seeing the Northern Lights. At the moment I’m writing this whilst still on my 12 day cruise on the MS Lofoften. I’ve had the most amazing time and see so many beautiful parts of Northern Norway. This cruise has been a nice rest for me as well, it’s been great not to have to move my stuff for a while and to have a room/cabin all to myself. But the clear highlight of this month (and possibly my whole trip so far) was seeing the Northern Lights. I booked this cruise specifically to hunt the light and we hit the jackpot. It was so magical and something I’ll never forget.
Favourite Food Moments
- My Chocolate and Beer Tour in Brussels. When asked why I added Belgium to the list my reason was chocolate, beer, waffles and frites. Given I wanted a foodie experience while in Brussels I decided to fork out the extra cash for foodie tours on my last day in Brussels. I had the Chocolate Tasting Tour in the morning followed by the Beer Tour in the afternoon. I arrived to find myself the only person on the Chocolate Tour but my guide (who happens to own the company as well) says they do the tours no matter how many people are booked. We did some amazing tastings and got drunk halfway through when my guide decided a beer break was in order. More beers after the tour and during lunch meant that I started the beer tour already feeling more than a little tipsy. The Beer tour was also incredible and we really learnt a lot about the different types of Belgium beer and what is good to try. Let’s just say I’m not quite sure how I managed to get on my flight that night. The tour company was Global Enterprises and I’d 100% recommend.
- Every day on the Hurtigruten. The food has been incredible. We have a buffet for breakfast, a buffet for lunch and then at least a four course meal for dinner. But the highlight of the trip was definitely the arctic buffet we had the night after leaving Tromso. I ate three full plates of prawns, mussels, king crab, crab, crayfish and the best salmon I’ve ever had.
- Some bad experiences with men. The only bad moment I can point to during this month is a few experiences I’ve had with men. I won’t talk about all of them, but the worst was definitely being the most sexually harassed of my life in a bar in Brussels. I couldn’t even go to the bathroom without multiple men trying to block my path and talk to me. The girl from the hostel I was hanging out with and I couldn’t dance without being constantly harassed by men even though we had clearly shown ourselves not to be interested. And when I finally had enough and nudged one out of the way, he actually pushed me. It’s not an experience I’d like to repeat anytime soon.
Money Spent- $4698
I spent a huge amount of money this month but I was absolutely expecting it as I was visiting some of Europe’s most expensive cities and countries in March. The Hurtigruten Cruise was one of the five special things I had put money aside to splurge on during this trip.
I’ll talk about in a future post but given the cost of everything in Norway it’s actually incredibly good value. I only paid 1029 Euros for 12 days including my own cabin and all meals included. Considering how expensive accommodation, food and transport is in Norway (just the local bus around town costs $5 a ticket) it’s a pretty good deal.
As always you can see the full break down here.
I had such grand plans going into this month about publishing every second day. I blame copious amounts of alcohol for that plan falling apart. I’m still months behind with my posts but hopefully you are still enjoying what I’m writing, even if the content is a bit delayed.
I’ll definitely have the Portugal posts finished by the end of the first week of April, and I really would like to have finished the Spain posts (I have a lot of them planned) by the end of the month.
Instagram Top Five
As unpredictable as ever!
A photo posted by Britt Jeffs (@adventureliesinfront) on
This was just some of the stunning scenery I saw on my 12 hour scenic journey from Oslo to Bergen via train, bus and boat. Norway is seriously spectacular. Tonight I leave for an 11 day round trip journey beyond the Arctic circle to Kirkenes, the very top of Norway. I’m so excited but not sure what the Internet situation will be like so you might not hear from me for a while!
A photo posted by Britt Jeffs (@adventureliesinfront) on
Where to Next?
After finishing my Hurtigruten cruise on the 3rd of April I’m heading to Florence to study for two months. I’m so excited to finally be able to unpack my bags, have a bedroom and a place to call home. Moving around all the time gets very tiring.
But I won’t exactly be hanging the travelling shoes up. I’ve got weekend plans to Malta and France for Anzac Day. Not to mention all of the places in Tuscany I’ll be visiting while in Florence.