norway bucketlist bergen fjords Norway

Norway Bucket List My Top 5!

1. To climb mount Ulriken. Mount Ulriken stands at a sumptuous 2,100 ft and is in actual fact a mountain …. albeit a small one. The mountain is only a short 15 minute bus ride from the centre of picturesque Bergen with an easier climbing route 45- 60 minutes or the harder route, 40 minutes clambering up a boulder strewn stream! On the plus there is a restaurant at the top with a glass of red as a way of treating yourself, beautiful views over several Fjords, not to mention the cable car to whisk you back down if you were like me by the end of it. Exhausted! You can read the climbing Ulriken post here.

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2. Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf -just one of the many protected UNESCO sites throughout Norway that is a testament to its beauty, both natural and man-made. The coloured wooden slatted buildings with a mountainous backdrop originated in 1702 and were traditional used for warehouses for merchants goods. Today you will find cafes, bakeries, artist studios and also jewellery inspired by traditional Viking designs. A perfect reminder of you holiday or just the perfect picture postcard : )

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3. Bergen Fish Market – My obsession with seafood is well known and what better place to sample some of the best fishing waters in the world. Bergen has it in abundance. Literally straight off the boat. You may dine inside with 3 different restaurants to choose from or if the smell is a bit much there is also a heated outside seating area where you may feast on delectable sweet King Crab, Salty Oysters, Lobster and to this day, the freshest prawns I have ever had the luck to have eaten. Plump, firm, sweet and so fresh the produce, you can actually watch the fisherman offload their boats and walk into the fish market with their goods which will be arriving on your plate within the hour! Norway is notoriously expensive and the platters are no exception however just a few taster dishes and a bowl of Moules Mariniere is more than manageable.

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4. Floibanen Funicular – Located in the centre of town, the funicular will take you to one of the several peaks surrounding Bergen and is well known for its stunning views looking down upon the UNESCO wharf and the surrounding Fjords. There is also a hotel which you may stop in for a light lunch and a multitude of woodland walks all starting from this point and leading onto the other mounts varying in 1 hour to 6. Seeing as Bergen itself has Europe’s highest rainfall, it’s worth coming prepared with good hiking boots and a warm waterproof jacket.

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5. Slightly more off the beaten track, at least a 3 hour trip by train but who is complaining when you have scenery like Norway outside off your window? The Flam railway is the most beautiful railway in the world. Just a word of advice, we booked in for the Norway in a nutshell day trip that included the railway and the Fjord Gudvangen two hour Fjord cruise which to this day for me was the highlight of my trip. Sailing on a large cruiser with a backdrop of snow peaked mountains and cascading waterfalls. What more could you ask for whilst you sip on a latte and snuggle in blankets on the deck? Flam itself is quaint, of stunning natural beauty and an awe inspiring mountainous backdrop.

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voss lake norway bergen Norway

Bergen – Norway

On discovering that the city of Bergen has the highest amount of rainfall in Europe ( 235 days of the year ) you might have thought my friends would of dissuaded me from going and if it wasn’t for google images showing captivating Fjords like a scene from Lord of the Rings, I think too I may of skipped it. But thank god I didn’t!

bergen harbour UNESCO

Bergen is a multi-cultural bustling hub and also a UNESCO heritage site. The locals here are warm and friendly and open to helping lost tourists ( Ahem ) but don’t go expecting to see too many tall blonde Vikings in this city… Bergen is a mix of multiple nationalities, just like London does not have the quintessential English Rose.

The food here is a mix of Thai, Sushi, Peruvian ( believe it or not, the second best restaurant in the city is Peruvian fusion – Munken Bistro ) and of course as to be expected, a multitude of fresh smoked Salmon options available in the fish market that also hosts 3 restaurants inside. Yes, the smell is just about bearable but for the quality of freshly caught fish, Mussels and King Crab, not to be missed!

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Italy

Capri Bucketlist My Top 5!

Capri Bucketlist my top 5

1.Visit the Piazzetta

This beautiful bustling square is situated in the heart of Capri and is constantly packed with day trippers.
From the budget travellers ( Me ) to the Gucci clad jet setters having a break from their super yachts.
The gelato here is a must and just an hour or two sipping on an expresso and people watching. It really is an eye-opener!
Surrounded ny beautiful architecture including the church Santo Stafano built in the 18th century and the clock tower.

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2. Faraglioni Rocks

This has to be the most Iconic image of Capri.
You can either take a short 20 minute boat trip to visit Faraglioni or walk from the center of town and down a very steep but beautiful cliff side walk, offering great views and the chance to take a water taxi past the rocks on the way back to the main marina.

Be prepared to take bottle of water as this was a very exhausting and sweaty trip with no swimming at the end of it unless you want to pay the fees to get into one of the private islands swimming residences. A l plus is if you decide to walk back there is a small stall with a local woman that has been selling freshly pressed local oranges for the last 20 years.

legend has it that if you kiss your lover whilst sailing under the archway, your love will last forever.
Cheesy yes but the amount of couples, young and old that took this cheeky opportunity on our boat was actually quiet endearing…including me… ahem…

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3. The Blue Grotto

The most commercial part of our trip but a must see. You can take a boat from the main harbour to the grotto and then you will also have to pay an entrance fee and to the rowers that will pull up alongside your boat and pick you up for the grotto tour.
Be prepared for a bumpy wait for the rowers to come up to your boat and pick you up. There will be manay tourists here on other trips and a large queue to get in.
You can roughly fit 7-8 to a boat and be prepared to be squished as the rower will have to time the entrance to the grotto perfectly before pulling you through the tiny entrance, at the same time lying back across you as you clamber beneath the rafters!
Its best to go on a non cloudy day around midday to see the full effects of the stunning sapphire waters. Your guide will sing to you for extra tips too!

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4. Fortelina Beach Club

Hollywood film stars, Royalty and me. Fortelina beach club is famous for being one of the most beautiful beach clubs in Italy.
. It was here that the women of Capri used to come to macerate flax leaves in the natural pools which formed at the bottom of the cliffs. For centuries the thread used in clothing and fishing nets was made here.
There are multiple swimming areas and privacy including a restaurant and waiters serve you champagne as you sit on your deck chair and take in the beautiful surroundings.
Entry is 20 Euro and well worth it as I found some of the local beaches packed and really dirty, especially near the harbour which is to be expected.
It’s good to treat yourself now and again and this was one of the highlights of my trip : )

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5. Dinner at Il RIccio

Next to the blue grotto in a sheltered cliff side spot is the luxury resort and beach club Riccio.
A meal here will set you back at least £200 for two people but it really is a once in a life time affair.
It is to this day the most romantic spot I have ever eaten in the world, with beautiful views, open air dining, candle lit tables as well as a desserts room.
Yes… you guessed it. After your lobster and Scallops you are led away to a beautiful nautical white washed room full of luxury desserts.
And you pick whatever you want. Did I say whatever? We stared in stunned silence like kids in a chocolate factory as we pointed to a multitude of sins.
Everything about this place screams luxury, elegance holiday : )