Norway – Icey Valleys, Lakes & Viking Stave Churches

The journey back to Oslo was a lot of fun… with some breaking and entering (we think?). 

We left Aurland in excitement to get to the Oslo Christmas Market! But that was not forgetting out stops along the way! So we set of on our next 4 and a half hour journey! 

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Our first stop on our journey was a beautiful snowy piece of road where the lake came beside the road and the mountains reflections in the water were almost perfect, this spot was called Eldrevatnet. And it was breathtaking. The next stop was in a similar area where we decided to take SLIDE on the ice! It was just a really nice way to break up the journey.

This second spot was also where we took our group pictures!

Our following stop was the windy road town of Gol, Norway! THIS was where we were wondering if we were breaking and entering! I found a stave church named Gol Stavkyrkje Gordarike on the maps, it was the first one to come out out of 3 in the area and naturally this one was the fake one. Either way it was good to see what is known as a viking stave church in Norway!

The stave church was in this area which had hotel rooms and a beautiful surroundings with the stave church in tow. There was no one there to stop us form walking in and the hotel rooms didn’t even really look like they were being used. We wondered if we had just come at a low part of the season because it was so quiet! Either way we walked right in and had a proper good snoop and film of the stave church they had don their grounds! 

IMG_20181125_134918We stopped finally for some food in Fla. Not Flam, Fla. For a really really traditional Norwegian meal. McDonalds! It really wasn’t too much different to the UK. Macca’s is Macca’s at the end of the day. There was also this huge troll statue also which signifies their stories of legends that they tell to their children when young of trolls that roamed the land before us and among us quietly. This is a pretty big thing in Norway as it goes years back into Norwegian folklore!

And then we arrived in Oslo!

Next Stop? Oslo Christmas Market! (After the hotel of course).

Stay tuned! J

But if you don’t want it to be over just yet;

 Catch it and all the girls social media links & our Norway Videos Below! 

Majelle;

 Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCttIR4FZPlhSMiGYnEBIuDw

Twitter: https://twitter.com/majellelegros

Insta: https://www.instagram.com/majelleabell/

Abbie;

Youtube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jttFXtOkTw&t=517s 

Jessie;

Youtube Video; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3Lj_CvN0OA

Instagram: www.instagram.com/jessiexmills

Twitter: https://twitter.com/_itsjustjessie_

Rebecca;

Youtube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7ioBFHy4TA

 

The Norway Video

Hey all!

So as I did for Iceland I also created a video for my Norway trip!! I haven’t started the blog posts for Norway, but I will soon!

Dissertation and the fact it was my birthday recently have kept me on my toes.

But now you can experience the video and what we did in Norway before I write my posts on it!

Enjoy and I will be back to blogging properly soon!

NORWAY VIDEO! 

If you have a youtube account feel free to subscribe as well!

Sri Lanka videos coming next!!

Budapest’s Places to Eat & Places to NOT.

FOOD.

Its an essential in our lives, obviously.

We tried to eat out as little as we could because we were away for 10 days and it gets expensive after a while eating out all the time. But when we did, we certainly enjoyed it!

FOOD DO’S;

So one of the coolest places we went for food was next to Simple Ruin bar, called Karavn Street food! You walked in to find food truck after food truck after food truck of all different types of food. Burgers, pizza, traditional Hungarian cuisine as well as noodles and waffles with ice cream. They literally did everything and it was so hard to choose. Id have rather have eaten traditional Hungarian food from a traditional proper Hungarian restaurant so I went for the noodles instead.

 

Il Pastaio Retaurant was the first place we visited for dinner, a small Italian spot near the centre of Budapest where all the shopping centres are. It was delicious and service was fast as well although we didn’t stay for long. The service was really good and my pizza tasted A* so iI would definitely recommend it!

MVIMG_20180821_203052Next stop, Buddies Burgers!! I believe there are a few of these around Budapest. I don’t want to say its fast food but it sort of is. you’re given a burger menu and you choose your burger, side and drink, order at the desk and then they put your name and number up on a screen when it is ready for collection. Its literally that simple. It just tastes AWESOME. My burger was banging and I really enjoyed the comfort and atmosphere of the place as well.

STIKA Budapest, you want breakfast? GO TO STIKA.

The food is unreal, the service is quality and the tunes are banging inside. There is a lovely seating area outside as well. I would highly recommend this place for breakfast. I paid the equivalent of 1 cup of tea in the UK and got a pot go tea and managed to get about 4-5 cups in. Ya girl was caffeine ready. I also had homemade pancakes with salted caramel sauce and berry compote, MAN WAS IT SO DAMN GOOD AND AESTHETICALLY PLEASING. This place is a little pricier than your usual as its really really nice. We had to queue to get in but it was totally worth it.MVIMG_20180825_122338

Piknik Cafe is situated by the Fishermans Bastion. The coolest outside cafe with SO MUCH FOOD on display to eat. I wanted it all. It was really cute and traditional and they sold a lot of sour bread. I just went for your typical snack of Onion rings because how english can you get? But generally the atmosphere was really good and its on the list because I want to go back to eat ALL OF THEIR FOOD.

Huszkar Etterem was our proper Hungarian cuisine experience. We walked in completely blind and no idea what to eat. There service was unreal and the gentleman was really happy that we as tourists were willing to try their food. AND MAN WAS IT DELICIOUS, I had stuffed schnitzel with cheese and bacon and some other Hungarian things which I do not remember how to spell no pronounce and man it was the nicest meal I had all stay, even if the amount of salt on the meal meant that the dead sea may as well have been in my mouth.

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Gozsdu Udvar is a huge food area, multiple restaurants and an amazing atmosphere, people dancing together in the square, karaoke bars. It really has a good feel about it but typically we went to the one restaurant in the place which had the worst reviews and brad never got his food and it was cold, But more on that in my FOOD DON’TS below!

Csiga cafe for breakfast was a little more reasonably priced and also really really well hidden, we didn’t even know it was there until James found it on his maps for breakfast as we had to be out of our Airbnb by 10am. All I had was a croissant with ham and cheese and a cup of tea and it looked and tasted amazing and didn’t even cost that much! The atmosphere was really lovely and I felt like I could’ve happily sat in there for hours.

BBZ Bar & Grill was our last food stop. We chilled here and had some food before our flight home and I would definitely recommend it! I had 4 burger sliders and MAN were they tasty! This was actually our second attempt eating here as Myself and Brad tried to eat here earlier in the holiday but when we got here we couldn’t get in because there was a DOG FASHION SHOW. They have a doggo menu on the tables where if you also purchase a meal of the dog menu the meal goes to a dog in a shelter, SUCH a wonderful and creative idea! The restaurant itself also looked really snazzy and has hands down the most inspirational toilet doors I have ever seen in my life. For a final restaurant experience I was really happy we went here, reasonably priced as well and really good food!

FOOD DON’TS

Do NOT, EVEN IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT, go to Rico’s Restaurant & Music venue in the Gozsdu Udvar. We didn’t even look at the reviews for the first time ever and once we had sat down and did have a look, we realised how bad the reviews are. We thought we would give it the benefit of the doubt. BIG MISTAKE. My food came lukewarm which was disappointing but I ate it anyway, and brads food came stone cold, so when he told the waiter it was cold whilst we waited for a new plate of food to come for Brad a LOT of time passed. Like I finished my meal and he still hadn’t had his main back. We asked the waiter when he would be bringing Brads food out and their response was ‘oh, you wanted another one?’, as you can imagine, we very quickly left, without leaving a tip, to find somewhere where Brad could actually eat!

*****

Those were our Budapest Food adventures! Mainly all successful minus the unfortunate experience typically on our date night!

Much more to come on Budapest, stay tuned!

 

 

Budapest – Sweating the Sites!

The Budapest sights are ENDLESS and that is what I loved about Buda, its such a small place but there is so much to be done and so much to see. I had a brief idea of everything I wanted to do and see before we headed away and I was so happy as we managed to see everything on my list and more!

IMG_20180825_145706Now I understand that Budapest is split into two, Buda and Pest. I have a sheer habit of just referring to the whole country as Buda, its quick and easy right? So if you see that I’ve written about a particular sight in a particular place of Budapest, but its in Pest and I’ve stated Buda, I promise its just me being awkward. I WILL TRY MY BEST to make sure I distinguish which part of Budapest the site is in properly!

Buda and Pest are split into two by the Danube river! With Buda to the left on the Danube and Pest to the right!

So where to start?

Going day by day would take absolutely yonks so I’m just going to go by each sight we went to see and our time there. If there was anything that I loved about the sights of Budapest was the architecture of the city. So many beautiful buildings and the STREET ART. There is some serious artistic talent in Budapest, Ill be doing a blog post solely on the street art!

IMG_20180822_145121So the best site to start with was the Synagogue as it was the site we lived closest too! Dohany Street Synagogue sits just outside the inner city With a Museum, Cemetery and Holocaust museum inside the walls! The building itself is absolutely beautiful, the architectural structure of the building and the beautiful patterns on the outside and inside of the building make it a wonderful sight as you walk through the streets. Unfortunately we didn’t to head inside but It gives me a real good reason to go back to Budapest! Especially as I LOVE dark tourism, so knowing there was a Holocaust museum inside and I didn’t go in and pay respect and gain information on the museum makes me want to go back, and I said I would never go back.

So a little more central to Budapest is the BEAUTIFUL building of St Stephen’s Basilica. A Roman Catholic church with regular concert events and open to the public with a small donation upon entry and the inside beholds the most beautiful sculptures, gold and artwork a place of worship has to offer.

The atmosphere was very wholesome and warm, It was a really beautiful building. I really wanted to head to the top of the Church as they have a spire where you can see over the whole of Budapest but we just could not figure out how to get up there! An experience for another time I think.  The building is also home to a large square situated directly outside the church where people can gather to eat and sit and admire the beautiful view. Not to mention have the obligatory pictures taken in front of it!

 

One stop on our trip was a visit to the Danube. Naturally to get to the Castle and Bastion we needed to cross over the iconic Chain Bridge that crosses from Buda to Pest over the Danube! Now myself I have seen the Danube before when I visited Vienna so it was pretty cool to be able to say that I’ve now seen the river in two different countries! so the Szechenyi Bridge was pretty funky, the view of the castle and Pest side of the river was absolutely wonderful to look at especially as you walked over to that side of the bridge!

One of the sites that we saw was something that I find really interesting and will stay with me as Dark Tourism is something I am studying at University. We saw the Shoes Memorial along the Danube. The shoes along the Danube represents remembering the Jews and when they were brutally murdered by the fascists and their arrow cross militia men during the second world war. It was a really simple but moving memorial. The shoes had been draped in jewelry and people had left flowers beside certain pairs maybe signifying a connection. Such a beautiful place for a beautiful memorial, it brings you back to the now and is a small reminder to be respectful when viewing things like such.

When I went to Buda I saw two of the most phenomenal and beautiful architectural buildings I’ve seen so far on my travels! The first one was the Hungarian Parliament building. As you can imagine it is definitely impressive. Beautiful cream and red colors with large spires and castle like turrets. It was really something. We also got to see the changing of the guard outside of the building. Their marching was so unusual and nothing like traditional army marching here in the UK! The best way to explain it would be for you to go and see it for yourself!

The second beautiful building we saw was one I have been DYING to go too so I am SO happy that we got to see the Fisherman’s Bastion! It was at the top of my must see list for Budapest because of the sheer beauty, history, views and the pictures duh. The stone fortress was beautiful marble with some lovely views over Budapest and the Danube. The stairs were so grand walking down and up and it also holds the statue of St Stephen in between the walls to also walk around. It was easily one of my favorite places we visited. Although to get to the higher tiers you do have to pay a small fee but I feel that is totally up to personal preference. You can see exactly the same on the lower tiers. There is also a wonderful cafe inside the walls of the Bastion as well, Imagine the view whilst sipping a cuppa!

Whilst we were crossing the Chain Bridge I mentioned above, we walked towards the hill to head up to Budapest Castle. Before we got to the castle up a fun old walk, which totally could’ve been done on the path, where we tried our luck at walking up the side of the hill instead of sticking to the path, surprisingly it worked and we made it all the way up! We totally could’ve taken the IMG_20180825_131928funicular but it would’ve taken forever to queue, we also saw the Zero Kilometer Stone as well before we headed up the hill. That is where all the distances are accurately measured from in Budapest! So at the top of the hill here was another impressive building to tick of the list. Inside of the castle is the Budapest history museum and around the castle are the amazing Budapest views!

So I realized that this post was REALLY LONG, So I have decided to split up the trip! So tune in for Sweating even MORE Budapest sights a little later on in the week where there will be another blog post on the sights we saw as I really am only halfway through on telling you all the things we did! 10 days is a long time to do things!

Stay tuned and stay lovely

x J x

My London Bucket List – Part 6, Cookie Dough and Free Bars

Going to Westfields was somewhere I though I would go to when I had a lot of money to spend. I was wrong and we went anyway and it was still awesome.

The shopping centre is in Stratford, East London, and if you love shopping it is well worth the visit that is for sure! IMG_0680

There is obviously everything from an M&S to a Pull & Bear, a cinema and a CASINO. The place is absolutely huge with all different floors and sections. I’m sure there is more there as well I just didn’t discover it. 

But our main reason for venturing to Westfields in our hungover state on that day was because we wanted to go to the My Cookie Dough stall they have! If you can’t tell it seems to be a running theme of cookie dough, especially after standards were set high when we visited Naked Dough in Old Street!

It was only a small stall literally as you entered Westfields in the middle between all the shops. It was super busy but it was totally worth the wait.

I’m certain the boys, Brad and Mason, just got the usual Cookie Dough flavours with their toppings and ice cream although I can’t really remember, I know that Salted Caramel was somewhere in the mix of it all for the two of them!

IMG_0679I was going more the diabetes route, I got the Birthday Cake Cookie Dough, my god if you ever want a fast track to diabetes or the most extreme sugar high and low of your life then this is the one for you. 

It was a layer of cookie dough, and in the middle is a drizzle of the strawberry sauce and some sprinkles, and then on top of that was another layer of cookie dough and 2 scoops of ice cream, and then MORE Sauce on top!

It was phenomenal and only cost me around £5! I’d definitely recommend a visit to My Cookie Dough if you’re in Stratford or Westfields at all!


 

December was the month of course for Christmas Parties!

Now Brad is also In London on his placement year also, but with a car company instead!

So naturally when Renault/Dacia were having their Christmas party I was invited along which was always nice, and it was nothing shy of impressive.

The Venue was Battersea Park Evolution! And it was absolutely HUGE, it had to be to seat over 500+ people!

The event itself was Apres themed so of course skiing and snow and cold thing. The venue itself as you walked inside you headed up the staircase to he balcony overlooking a larger bar and reception area where there were dancers and cabins as the bars and cocktail shacks, it was all very impressive.

ALL the drinks were free. I mean if you ask me that’s pretty awesome, I had a great time! You got your free prosseco(s) on arrival and of course everything else that was free with it. I was ordering so many cocktails the barman stopped giving me the names and was just calling them ‘The Green One‘ and ‘The Purple One‘, and I was very okay with this!

IMG_0670Suddenly at about 8pm there was a loud bang, a curtain fell and the main seating area was revealed. Over 120 tables to seat us all with wonderful minimalist centre pieces which were like something from the beauty and the beast, the way her rose sat inside a glass cover, the table pieces were the same!

The ceiling was all small lights to make it look like the night sky and the stars above and the general atmosphere was awesome. Later on the area below the stage was turned into a dance floor and there was even dodgems but the queue was memorably long so we didn’t bother with it!

Afterwards we headed back to the hotel in Battersea, We walked. Because SOME SMART ARSE (James if you’re reading this its you) thought it would only take 10 minutes to walk. So an hour later I’ve taken my heels off (after 5 minutes of walking) and the boys are drunkenly wandering in front after picking up people’s Christmas trees they had left outside their houses after crimbo!

They were using them too sweep the paths for any glass because of my little bare feet, they’re alright sometimes aren’t they?