Monday, 30 September 2013

Travel // Norway // Bergen, Ålesund, Geiranger & Oslo

Mount Ulriken
Geiranger Fjord

Oslo Opera House
Vigeland Sculpture Park

On the 2nd September my boyfriend and I went travelling in Norway. As soon as we told friends and family our idea, we were very well informed that Norway is one of the most (if not the most) expensive country in the World (we had a Mcdonald's out there which came to £18! So we mainly lived on pasta and rice...). But, we wanted a change from the usual 'couples holiday' to the greek islands, spain and the canary islands. We are both extremely keen on travelling, and thought, why not start ticking these amazing unique places off on the old bucket list now!? You'll find mine on my Pinterest :)

I did masses of researching; Reading reviews on hostels, translating Norwegian bus and train timetables, converting NOK into Sterling... and finally we created our plan, including itinerary, accommodation and travel (all for a price similar to an all inclusive greek island one week holiday!).

We first flew out to Bergen, the 2nd largest city in Norway, which in our eyes was still actually quite tiny! We stayed in the Bergen YMCA hostel, which was in the most perfect location (the hostel roof terrace overlooked the harbour). We spent 3 nights here and visited the hanseatic wharf, museums, went for walks along the harbours and also hiked up Mount Ulriken which is the highest peak in Bergen (we had to stop for a break before we even reached the start of the trail! Oops).

Next, we flew up to Ålesund, then caught a late bus down to Hellesylt, a tiny village nestled at the end of the Sunnylvsfjorden, and spent 2 nights in the local hostel here (The view from our room was incredible!). We caught the daily ferry across to the village of Geiranger and saw the famous Geiranger Fjord on the journey. We both hadn't quite anticipated the size of the mountains that steeply rose on either side of the fjord, they are massive and just reach straight down to the water. We saw the legendary waterfalls, 'the suitor' and 'the seven sisters' and even saw dolphins breaking the surface of the water which was pretty special. We actually did the ferry trip twice, the first day it was quite grey and clouds clung to the middle of the mountains, then on the second day the water was a deeper blue and the mountains greener, and sunlight poured over the top of them in rays, it was well worth seeing it again in a different light.

We caught a bus back to Ålesund and spent a night in the hostel here in the town centre; The front door led straight onto the park and the 418 steps up to the Aksla viewpoint which is where all the iconic photos of Ålesund are taken! We were then up bright and early the next day to catch a bus to Andalsnes and then a 6 hour train down to Oslo. We arrived mid afternoon, got settled into the hotel (not hostel! Oh the luxury...) and then set out to explore Oslo! We spent 2 nights here and saw all the iconic sites including the Royal Palace, Vigeland sculpture park, Opera house, Holmenkollen Ski jump and Karl Johans Gate. Finally we caught our flight back to Heathrow, and after averaging 9 miles walking a day in Norway I think it's fair to say we didn't really move much the day after we got home! But wow, what a great trip, definitely go and see Norway! I'd love to see the north in winter next...

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Geranium Glass

Sagrada Familia Stained Glass and Garden Geraniums.
I've been working on this 'geranium glass' design for a little while and I've struggled with the colouring, although I do like the overall look, I wanted the colours and details to be a bit more vibrant in a less pink and green, colour clashing way. So I mixed it up with some photographs and previous patterns I've created, and mapped a few different designs onto my brothers samsung galaxy SIII. They make me think of a punk flower garden; Really edgy and bold floral patterns :)