5 REASONS TO VISIT CAMBRIDGE

5 Reasons to Visit Cambridge

Calling all England lovers and enthusiasts!

 

I have a secret for you and it goes by the name of Cambridge.

Of course, the aforementioned shire is famous for it´s historically significant colleges and alumni by the likes of Stephen Hawking, Charles Darwin, Jane Goodall and Ian McKellen just to name a few.

However, this breathtaking city is much more than simply a scholar´s paradise. Covered top-to-toe in various varieties of flowers, English Gothic architecture and delicious market treats, Cambridge is surely England´s other Crown Jewels.

The city is a mere hour´s drive from London and is very accessible by bus or train. So for anyone spending a few days in London, here are 5 reasons why you should consider making a stop in at Cambridge:

1) King´s College

Head to the centre of the city along King´s Parade and you will find yourself staring up at King´s College´s magnificent facade.

King´s College Cambridge
King´s College on a cloudy day

Look to your right and you will spot the College Chapel. Architecture fans are sure to be impressed, as this chapel is considered an exceptionally exquisite example of Perpendicular Gothic architecture. The interior of the chapel also features the world´s largest fan-vault ceiling (for more information click here).

King´s College Chapel
The College Chapel

2) Chelsea Buns at Fitzbillies

Follow in Stephen Fry´s footsteps and head to the infamous Fitzbillies on Trumpington Street. Here you will find the stickiest, most delicious chelsea bun in all of England.

Fitzbillies Chelsea Bun
Fitzbillies´ famous Chelsea Bun

In fact, the Fitzbillies chelsea bun is so popular amongst Cambridge locals that when the store reopened, after closing in 2011, the folks of Cambridge lined up all the way down the street and around the corner just for a taste of these delicious buns. You can be sure they were not disappointed.

3) The Bridge of Sighs

Aptly named, the Bridge of Sighs can be located at the back of St Johns College crossing The River Cam.

The Bridge of Sighs
The Cambridge Bridge of Sighs

A visit to St Johns to see this spectacle and enjoy the beautiful gardens is certainly worth the £8 entry. Keep your ears open as students give guided `punting´tours along the river and tell tales of their experiences at the college.

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A student punting along The River Cam

4) The Cambridge Market

A short walk from King´s College will land you smack bang in the middle of the marketplace along Market Hill. Have a wander through and enjoy all the street food vendors, fruit and vegetable stalls and art hawkers.

The Cambridge Market
Check out the noses on these babies
Bread
Some seriously tempting foccacia

Make sure to stroll the lovely streets off Market Hill as well, and maybe stop in at Aromi for a homemade Italian gelato or two.

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Details along Market Hill
Bike
Tell me this isn´t the cutest thing you´ve ever seen?
Gelati
Slightly melted lemon and strawberry gelati

5) Sir Isaac Newton´s Apple Tree

Of course, a trip to Cambridge is as beautiful as it is historic. For a little blast to the scientific past make a pit stop at Trinity College. Here you can spot Sir Isaac Newton´s famed apple tree where it was said to be the inspiration for his theory of gravity after being bopped on the head by one of the fallen fruits.

Sir Isaac Newton´s apple tree
Sir Isaac Newton´s apple tree in front of Trinity College

Unfortunately, this tree is not the original, however, it is a descendant of the first plant and worth a proper look.

 

 

So to all Londonites and tourists alike, add Cambridge to the list of English must-sees and be prepared to fall a little in love with this quaint university town.

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THE LIEBSTER AWARD

The Liebster Award

Many of you may have noticed this funny little thing called The Liebster Award popping up all over the place…

liebster award badge

but you may be left wondering…what is it?

Well, much like you, I too was perplexed until the lovely lostinprettyeurope nominated me for this award. Many thanks extended her way. You will certainly need to have a little peek at her blog as her eloquently written adventures around the globe are endlessly entertaining.

Now, The Liebster Award was originally designed with the intent of creating a community of bloggers and aiding new blog discovery. Essentially creating a pocket of happy little bloggers. Today I am happy to have the opportunity to join this community.

If the blogs I nominate choose to accept the award, please go through the official rules and find out more about the award. The rules are:

  • Recognize and thank the person who nominated you
  • Provide the rules of the award (can link back to the official rules post)
  • Answer the 11 questions posed by the nominator
  • Provide 11 different questions to be answered by your nominees
  • Nominate 5-11 blogs
  • Give 10 random facts about yourself(optional)

So without further ado, here are my answers:

Why did you start this blog?

I began writing this blog in an effort to document all my travels and share experiences I thought might be helpful to others after reading many blogs that I found extremely useful in planning my own journeys.

Do you blog full-time? If not, how do you find time to manage the content?

I would not consider myself a full time blogger. I simply write when inspiration strikes and my free time allows it.

Talk about the best book you´ve read and why you liked it.

The best book that I have read was Wuthering Heights. I am truly infatuated with English classics and I loved the heart-wrenching romance of this particularly lovely tale.

Where was you first international travel? Did you like it?

My first international travel was to New Zealand, I believe. I absolutely loved New Zealand and all it´s natural wonders and would return in a heartbeat.

What is your favourite travel experience?

My favourite travel experience occurred just this week in fact when I visited Bibury, England with my mum. Bibury has been second on my bucketlist (only to Hallstatt, Austria) for a few years now so when we arrived in the town I was overwhelmed with excitement. Experiencing it with my mum was the icing on the cake.

What is your least favourite/worst travel experience?

By far my least favourite travel experience was visiting Boston on a family vacation. We were incredibly tired and drenched after walking The Boston Trail in sopping wet conditions. I´m sure if I went back, I would enjoy it, but the pelting rain and lack of energy made for a gruelling experience.

If you could change your nationality, what would you choose and why?

As an Australian and Latvian I would not change my nationality as having both are extremely handy in my travels. Without my dual citizenship I simply would not have the opportunity to do half of what I´ve done so far.

What is your favourite time/season of the year and why?

Summer, summer and summer. Enough said!

What is the most interesting conversation you´ve had with a stranger abroad?

Coming back from England I had an extremely stimulating conversation about the differences in personality between the English and Norwegians. After visiting both, I felt it was very accurate.

Have you travelled in your own country extensively?

I have travelled around my own city, Melbourne quite a bit, though I´d like to do more travel around Australia as a whole.

What three places would you like to visit the most?

  1. Hallstatt, Austria
  2. The Maldives
  3. Scotland

My questions for the nominees are:

  • What inspired you to create your blog?
  • What have you learnt from blogging?
  • What has been your favourite post to write?
  • Where would you like to travel to within the next 6 months?
  • Do you prefer solo travelling or travelling with others?
  • Where and what was your most delicious meal in a foreign country?
  • If you had to move to one of the countries you´ve visited, which would it be and why?
  • When is your favourite season to travel?
  • Where would you travel to if you only had a tight budget?
  • Where would you travel to if you had unlimited funds?
  • What is at the top of your bucketlist?

I would like to nominate the following blogs, should they choose to accept:

  1. Floundering Adult
  2. The Sophomore Slump
  3. Avec Valerie
  4. The Broke Travellers
  5. Green Lights Ahead
  6. The Flowing Minds
  7. Audrey Writes Abroad
  8. Ramona Crisstea
  9. Boarding Pass
  10. Samantha In Transit

 

 

5 REASONS TO VISIT EASTERN NORWAY

5 Reasons To Visit Eastern Norway

Want to experience all of Norway´s natural beauty and vivid history while avoiding hoards of tourists clamoring for the perfect fjord picture to instagram? Then skip the West Coast and head on over to the Norwegian East Coast instead.

This underrated section of the country is full of spectacular things to see and do. The following are only 5 of the many reasons you should be considering Eastern Norway for your next trip:

1) To Climb Gaustatoppen

Gaustatoppen is the Telemark district´s tallest peak and an experience that should be illegal to miss, should you be in the East. On a clear day you can see one sixth of Norway from the top. Not only that but the mountain sits next to a beautiful velvety lake reflecting colours beyond the imagination.

Gaustatoppen
Lake view from the top of Gaustatoppen

This hike is a meer two hours to the top and well worth the effort. However, be warned as boulder-covered paths and slippery snow may make for treacherous climbing conditions for the less experienced hiker.

2) Heddal Stave Church

When heading towards Gaustatoppen from the east, it is impossible to miss the Heddal Stave Church. Being Norway´s largest stave church, Heddal is sure to impress, regardless of religious belief or lack there of.

 

Heddal Stave Church

Built in the 13th century, this church stands tall in the Heddal valley. This view is as peaceful as it is intriguing. Make sure to take a closer look to see the perplexing thick black lacquering covering Heddal Stave Church´s wooden panels.

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Heddal Stave Church up close

3) Fredrikstad

Fredrikstad´s Old Town is the epitome of a quintessential European fairytale village. A walk through the small cobble-stoned streets will take you back to early Nordic life. On a sunny day this city glistens with antique lustre, housing many boutique stores and some of the most magical cafés you could dream of.

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A candle-lit lunch consisting of: karbonade, parsnip soup & chocolate caramel slice

4) See Munch´s House in Åsgårdstrand

You´ve heard of the painting The Scream, but did you know the artist who painted this masterpiece, Edvard Munch, was Norwegian?

The Scream
Source: wikimedia

In the beautiful little white-washed town of Åsgårdstrand you can visit the famous Munch house in all it´s orangey glory.

Åsgårdstrand
The beautiful town of Åsgårdstrand – known for it´s white houses

Here you can also stop into the Munch Cafe for a bite to eat. Don´t forget to order on one of the famous ´krabbelurers´ if you´re a fan of doughnuty-goodness (who isn´t?)

5) Visit Ancient Viking Burial Grounds

Take a trip to the Vestfold district and you will discover the Borre Mounds. This impressive landmark is host to one of the largest viking burial grounds in all of Scandinavia. Not only are the mounds beautiful to look at, but you can actually climb on top of them. Because who doesn´t want to stand on top of viking souls?

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A cheeky snap buy a viking burial mound

 

So why not skip the tourist traps this summer and check out Norway´s Eastern treasures?

 

6 STEPS FOR PLANNING THE BEST TRIP

planning a trip

Some people can spontaneously travel to a new destination without doing any prior research.

But, as anyone with any contact with me whatsoever can attest,  I am not one of them.

Of course, spontaneity is an important quality for fun, lighthearted travels, but a little planning can never hurt. Or at least, I like to think so. There´s just something exciting about arriving to a new city with a roughly sketched itinerary of the best sights, restaurants and a few insider tips to make the most of your journeys.

travel accessories

That being said, researching an entire destination can feel a little overwhelming at first. However, when broken up into a few simple steps you can get a good overview of the main attractions.

So without further ado, here´s a helpful little guide to structuring your travel research:

1) Ask People You Know

Between friends, family, coworkers, and students you probably know someone with a few helpful hints about your next stop on the map. Often, people who´ve spent a little time in your desired destination have great tips on hole-in-the-wall restaurants and lesser known sights. If you´re short on time, they will often be able to give a good indication of what is a must and what can be missed. Budget travellers will be sure to find some sneaky tips from students.

2) Check Pinterest Travel Boards

Oh, Pinterest. This site is a gold mine for sharing some of the most tempting travel pictures. A quick search of your next destination will give you a simple visual of all the most popular attractions. You will also find helpful list posts on here to check out for some extra tips.

3) Scope Out Trip Advisor

Once you´ve picked a few spots you´d like to see, it´s best to scope out some traveller reviews. Of course, almost every place will have a bad review so take it with a grain of salt, but make sure to have a quick skim of these reviews to see if there´s any common complaints. Here you can also look for more inspiration of things to do based on popularity and traveller ratings.

4) Blog Investigation

Blogs, blogs, blogs. There are so many blogs dedicated specifically to sharing travel tips (this one included). Reading a few blogger experiences of different spots will help with gleaning a bit of inside info on what you should expect.

5) Search Engines For Specifics

Curious about the weather forecast during your planned stay? Want to know sunrise and set times to snap some beautiful pics? Looking for ticket prices, opening times, or maps? Google it.

6) Youtube (With Caution)

This is one of the more advanced planning tips for all you control freaks and perfectionists out there like me. Youtube has so many fantastic vlogs and tours of all sorts of attractions and expeditions that will be sure to answer any lingering questions as you can literally live the experience vicariously. Of course, it can demystify and dull the excitement of seeing things for the first time so use this tip sparsely.

 

Following these 6 steps should make for manageable travel research. What resources do you find helpful for planning a trip?

THE 10 PLACES WHERE…

Greetings fellow readers, writers, and adventurers!

I have been nominated by the lovely Lisa over at Fromdreamtoplan for my very first tag post: The Places Where… tag. If you haven´t already checked her out, you simply must, if not to read about her adventures then to simply see all the beautiful places she´s visited. A big thanks to Lisa for translating this tag for us all from Italian to English!

I must say I am very excited to have a chance to take part in this tag as not only is it related to my all time favourite pass time, that being travel, but also it allows me to interact with you all on a more personal level. I am loving visiting all the wonderful blogs on this site and getting to know some of you a bit better and need to mention how appreciative I am of all the genuine comments you all leave. It´s been a pleasure thus far.

Nevertheless, that´s enough babbling….let´s begin!

Cite A Place…

1) You Always Bring With You

I have no other option but to answer Melbourne, Australia on this one. Being the city I grew up in, I can´t help but bring fond memories and cultural quirks from here wherever I go.

2) Where You Had Fun

Lausanne, Switzerland was one of my favourite family trips. This city is beyond beautiful and I had a lot of fun strolling along Lake Geneva while snacking on a baguette and watching the Geneva Jet.

3) Which Touched You

There´s no place that´s ever effected me quite like Osweicim, Poland, or the town in which Auschwitz-Birkenau is situated. This place touched me in the most chilling and horrific way possible, but also reminded me of how important human empathy is.

4) Which Disappointed You

Don´t get me wrong, I love this country, but Oslo, Norway was a real disappointment. I was expecting a lot more based on Norway´s general beauty and impressiveness, but I found Oslo to be really quite overrated.

5) Which Surprised You

When my family suggested going to Quebec, Canada I wasn´t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. I was pleasantly surprised by the European feel I got here and how stunning and cozy this city was. I would recommend it to anyone and hope to get back there at some point.

6) Where You Have Tasty Memories

I´m not gonna lie…I talk about this tasty treat a lot (in fact you can go read about it here), but I am in love with Prague´s traditional street food; trdelniks. I ate many delicious things in this city such as fried cheese, potato pancakes and a killer apple cake but by far trdelniks have been the most delicious cultural treat to date. I would get on a plane right now just to visit this beautiful city and snag one of these cinnamon-sugared slices of heaven.

7) Where You Lived A Memorable Moment

Snorkeling in the Florida Keys, USA was certainly one of my most memorable travel moments. I was so excited to see all the tropical fish, jellyfish and even an eel that by the time I got out of the water, I was as red as a tomato.

8) Where You Lived A Romantic Moment

Annecy, France. I wouldn´t say it was romantic in the traditional sense of `an experience between lovers´, but for me I found Annecy an incredibly romantic little town and fell in love with it…but shhh, don´t tell my partner.

9) You´d Like to Go Back

I would absolutely love to go back to Rotorua, New Zealand. Seriously. This place was just something else. The bright oranges contrasted against tropical blues of steaming geysers was a magnificent sight that I would certainly enjoy experiencing again.

10) You´d Like To Go To

After seeing so many blog posts on this place and never having actually been to a typical `tropical getaway´type destination, I´ve been desperate to visit the Maldives. I mean don´t even get me started on those crystal clear waters.

 

I´d like to nominate:

1. lostinprettyeurope

2. travelfranzi

3. danniijane

4. greenlightsahead

5. avecvalerie

6. wwellend

7. globetrottingteen

8. abouthersmallworld

9. threemonthadventure

10. aliceswonderland17

11. Fromdreamtoplan

 

The rules are as follows:

1. Cite the creator of the tag: Una vita non basta
2. Answer the 10 questions
3. Nominate 10 bloggers, in particular who love travelling, and advise them about the nomination
4. Use the tag “ipostichetag” when publishing the post
5. Cite the creator of the blog as 11th in your nomination list

Happy blogging everyone! I look forward to reading all your answers.

A SIMPLE UPDATE

Today´s post is going to be a little different.

Often I write with the intention of sharing information that might be helpful for everyone and anyone. Tips and tricks inspired by my experiences that may help my readers.

But today´s post is just an update. This post is dedicated to something that happened yesterday that I just can´t get over…

 

So, as you may know, I am an Australian living abroad in Norway with my boyfriend in-between monthly adventures around Europe. Recently, my mum came to visit for a week and a half. We spent our days travelling around the country; hiking mountains, gaping at centuries old wooden churches, and enjoying the Norwegian summer sun by the fjord coast. Sadly, all good things must come to an end and mum had to leave early Monday morning. So the first hours of Monday were spent in bed not wanting to move.

As you can imagine, starting a life in a new country takes lots of time and many unpredicted set-backs pop up along the way. At this point in time, I am working on the not-so-exciting legal aspects of living in a new country and many processes feel endless. Therefore, the combination of my mother leaving and knowing I must return to all my current stressors was a lot to handle.

Feeling homesick and stressed after hugging my mum goodbye at 5am, I shot my sleeping boyfriend a text expressing my grief.

At 8am I receive a response from him asking if everything is okay and if I need anything. Not in the mood to talk and knowing he must be rushing off to work, I replied with a short `No´, and crawled back into a ball of low spirits.

Next minute the phone is ringing. He is calling, but I just don´t have the energy to answer so I stare at the bright screen of my mobile and let it ring out…a totally out-of-character response, as I´m usually very reliable with his calls.

While wiggling back under my blanket I hear the doorbell. Thinking it´s a neighbour, I don´t answer and wait for them to leave.

Suddenly, the door crashes open. My paranoid heart beats a thousand miles an hour as I hide under the blanket, anticipating an armed intruder.

An unexpected weight comes crashing down on to my bed as I feel arms wrapping around me and a familiar voice.

`Hey sneepy!´

A feeling of warmth wells up inside at the realisation of my boyfriend leaving work to come check on me. He describes how he was searching for a hydrangea, my favourite type of flower, to bring and cheer me up but that the store only had the green kind rather than purple, my favourite colour. He stays for a few minutes to give me a good cuddle and promises to have a movie night with me and then runs on back to work.

The next day he takes time off of work to drive me to the immigration department, despite my insistence on taking the bus. Here I receive unexpected news of yet another obstacle to living and working in Norway. My boyfriend takes my hand and promises to help me figure it out as we drive to the tax office for more information.

A few hours of driving, questions and general irritation later, we find a solution and a huge weight that had been plaguing my mind for months is lifted off my shoulders.

So what I´ve learnt recently is 2 things:

  1. Moving is hard
  2. My boyfriend is not half bad

 

 

 

 

12 IMPORTANT QUALITIES IN A TRAVEL PARTNER

Not all of us are solo travellers. And that´s okay.

Of course, solo travel can be extremely rewarding, but travelling with a friend, family member, or partner can make all the difference between having a good time and having a great time.

The benefits of travelling with a partner are many:sharing pricey meals, feeding off each other´s energy, having a safety buddy and countless others.

BUT having great adventures together also depends on how well you and your travel comrade jell. I mean what´s the point of backpacking through Germany with your high school buddy if they´re slowing you down and killing that exciting travel vibe?

So, to help you find the perfect partner, I´ve created a list of the most important qualities to look for in a potential fellow globetrotter:

  1. Patient – Because not every situation can be decided in a matter of minutes.

  2. Flexible – Plans don´t always work the way you want them to. When this happens you need someon flexible on your side.

  3. Street smart – Because what´s worse than travelling with someone who gets you two conned into paying over-priced tour fares?

  4. Open-minded – Travelling authentically requires a non-judgmental and accepting mindset.

  5. Curious – Someone who is curious is going to be enthusiastic and passionate about discovering a new culture.

  6. Resourceful – As a back-packer this is almost the number one important quality. Travelling with a wasteful or careless partner is a recipe for disaster.

  7. Dependable – Because nothing´s worse than finding out last-minute that they forgot to print those ever so vital bus tickets.

  8. Cooperative – Working together gets the best results. Plus you´ll have someone to help plan activities and navigate.

  9. Independent – You won´t always want to do the same thing. Travelling with someone who doesn´t mind splitting off for half the day to do your own thing is a win-win situation.

  10. Calm – Travelling can be stressful. Very stressful. But having a calm companion by your side can help dissipate those `head is whirling´-type situations.

  11. Willing to compromise – Because where´s the fun in travelling with someone who only wants to do things their own way?

  12. Daring – To travel is to try new things. To try new things is to go out of one´s comfort zone. Someone who is daring will be able to make the most of new experiences and challenges.

 

So what do you think is important in a travel partner?

 

 

 

5 REASONS TO VISIT PRAGUE

5 Reasons To Visit Prague

By far one of my favourite cities, Prague is a dream come true for travelers, foodies, photographers and historians. With warm Bohemian style buildings situated along the gleaming Vlatava River, Prague is a must see for every man and his dog.

There are a plethora of things to check out in Prague, but the following were my personal favourite must-sees:

1) The Old Town

Surely Prague´s Old Town, or Stare Mesto, must be one of Europe´s most breathtaking medieval squares. Packed with attractive buildings and it´s oh-so pretty Tyn church, it is easy to get lost in enjoying this square for a good couple of hours.

Old Town Hall View
View from Old Town Hall Tower

For a spectacular aerial view of the square, climb the Old Town Hall Tower. The ascent and ticket prices, at only $5USD, are very reasonable, but for those who prefer a more leisurely experience there is an elevator to the observation deck. Once at the top, admire the pointed Gothic spires of Tyn Church and the red roofs outstretching for miles.

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The Astronomical Clock

On your way back down make sure to catch the proceedings at the Astronomical Clock on the Southern facing wall of the Town Hall. This show runs every hour on the hour and draws spectators from far and wide.

 

2) Trdelniks, trdelniks, trdelniks!

A sweet, grilled street food that will only take one bite to get you hooked, trdelniks are a foodies bestfriend.

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Trdelnik Stall

Prague is filled with little pockets of trdelnik stalls, serving the authentic doughy pastry. Covered in cinnamon and sugar, you´re tastebuds will thank you for trying this delicious treat. For a little more decadent of a dessert, opt for the trdelnik with plum jam.

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A trdelnik in the process of being dipped in cinnamon sugar

3) Charles Bridge

Ask anyone about what to do in Prague and they will mention the Charles Bridge.

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Of course, this cannot be missed, but be wary as it becomes very busy and touristy throughout the day. We visited Prague in March, the low season, and decided to try to catch the 6am sunrise. This was optimal as when we crossed back over the bridge around 5pm it was almost impossible to move, squished like sardines in the crowd with a very touristy view of locals selling postcards every few meters.

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A very sleepy 6am snap on Charles Bridge

4) The Lesser Quarter

The Lesser Quarter, or Mala Strana is a jewel just waiting to be discovered. This area has much to offer. The castle district is a definite must, housing many formerly royal buildings.

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St. Vitus Cathedral

Though St. Vitus Cathedral is the main draw, make sure to checkout a few of the buildings here as the architecture is stunning.

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Aside from the castle district, Mala Strana is also home to St. Nicholas Church in all it´s baroque grandiosity.

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St. Nicholas Church

Next to St. Nicholas Church stands a hidden gem, The Town Belfry. This tower provides a beautiful view over all of Prague from a different angle than that of the Old Town Hall Tower.

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For the lover of music, stop in at the Czech Museum of Music. With an array of old historical instruments and it´s `Mozart Piano´this museum has much to offer and can fill a good couple of hours.

5) The State Opera House

You may not be a fan of the opera, but you will be a fan of this opera house. The impeccable detail of The State Opera cannot possibly be met with indifference.

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Interior of The State Opera

Rich reds, gleaming golds, and an earthy green ceiling are a show in themselves, but if you do get a chance try to catch a ballet or opera here as the experience will be unforgettable and tickets are quite inexpensive.

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The Snow Queen performed by The Czech National Ballet

We popped in to watch a ballet adaptation of The Snow Queen and it was certainly one of the highlights of the trip and a really immersive cultural experience.

 

Though I have only listed 5, there are many reasons to visit this beautiful Czech city. So if you´ve got travel on the brain, pack your bags and head to Prague.

DARING TO MAKE PEACE WITH UNPREDICTABILITY

Those days where every step forward leads you three steps back. Yup, we all have them.

For me, the beginning of this week has certainly fit this description. With one thing after another going wrong, I´m left wondering if there´s an escape button for responsibilities?

Stress
This pug gets it.

But, of course, this mentality is not the most productive of sorts. I mean, dwelling on the negative can´t do much good, right? Thankfully, psychology has taught me that our frame of mind can be chosen. And when we can choose to be happy and relaxed why wouldn´t we?

I know what you´re thinking. I can almost hear a little mental chorus repeating,

`That´s easier said than done´.

But let me explain.

One of the most common mantras of positive psychology is to reframe obstacles as challenges. See, the basis of this discipline revolves around focusing on one´s strengths in the face of adversity rather than dedicating time to the weaknesses. Now how does that relate to unpredictability?

Let´s discuss the idea of unpredictability for a minute. Unpredictability is essentially a neutral term, however has an indirect negative connotation due to it´s root´s in irregularity. Irregularity is defined as being unbalanced and a lack of balance is almost always associated with difficulties in one way or another. As such, unpredictability has received a bad rap.

However, as we all know, our lives are full of unpredictability. In fact, every moment of our lives is unpredictable. Unfortunately, to the frustration of human nature, we only have minimal control of our planned existence. Therefore, we´re left having to learn how to deal with it and this is where positive psychology becomes the most useful trick to stash up your sleeve.

Having the ability to reimagine a negative obstacle as a positive opportunity for challenge is essential for inner peace. When we approach something with a negative mindset, we set ourselves up for stress and internal struggle. For many of us, this is our reaction to unpredicted events and over years this becomes our ingrained strategy.

How then can we increase our ability for positive mental reframing? Simply being more conscious of our natural reaction. Scanning the situation for the opportunity rather than the setback and devoting significant attention to it. Of course, you were right when you were thinking it isn´t that easy. Changing how the brain is rewired requires time and consistent practice. But with dedication it can become second nature.

So why choose to see the unpredictable as stressful when there are better options?

 

 

For more on positive reframing, check out this short but sweet TED talk.

 

 

 

NOREFJELL

Today is officially the second day of summer in Norway.

The sun is beating, folks are working in their yards, and children don ice creams galore. Who knew Norway could feel this tropical?

In fact, it´s so balmy I´m even….dare I say it….missing winter. Or maybe not missing it, but looking back on it nostalgically; an unusual notion in the mind of an Australian.

As such, today´s post is dedicated to our alpine trip to Norefjell in early March.

Norefjell is a popular ski resort in the Scandes Mountains region. Being relatively close to Oslo, it is easily accessible and provides an array of thrilling slopes to test for beginners and advanced skiers alike.

Cabins tucked away between tall pines, peek out to greet visitors on the way up the mountain and make for a cozy weekend stay.

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It was here that I had the opportunity to try skiing for the first time.

Having had many years of experience in figure skating, I was feeling optimistic about hitting the slopes. Thus with boots, skis and helmets in tow we made our way up to the ski centre.

Here we found the children´s slope, or ´barnebakken´. My incredibly patient boyfriend, Robin, suggested we practice here. In hindsight this was certainly a wise idea.

The scene was truly something out of a fairytale. A thick layer of evergreens steeped in fluffy white clouds waiting at the bottom of the slope; a perfect background for snowflakes twinkling in the sunlight. Everything had surpassed all my expectations…except for the skiing.

My first hour proved to be a difficult feat. Whining and moaning, I tirelessly attempted to copy Robin´s expert instructions. Many hours of slalom-trials later something just clicked. Somehow it all became easy and I rushed down the children´s slope, dodging obstacles at lightning speed. It was at this point that Robin suggested we try one of the more advanced slopes.

Entirely unprepared and feeling uneasy, I hopped onto the chair lift and endured what seemed like the longest ride up the mountain. We got to the top of one of the slopes. Upon seeing the steep drop, panic overtook logic and my eyes welled with tears. Seeing my fear, Robin suggested we go onwards to a more gradual course. It was only once I reached the top of this slope was I told that I would now have to ski down both the gradual and steep slopes to get back down to the carpark. Somehow I figured we could catch the chair lift down and avoid the sheer drop of the second slope.

Numb from fear, I took off down the slope. About 20 seconds into the course we realised we had taken the wrong slope and instead were accidentally on a black course, the most advanced. Luckily, the more gradual slope was within eye sight and simply required a small detour to reach. However, being off the course, this snow was light and fluffy rather than dense and compact, certainly not ideal skiing conditions.

Not even a minute into the long route back to the carpark and I was already on the ground with a twisted knee. If you´ve ever fallen while skiing, you know how difficult it is to get back up, but let me tell you…it is certainly something else with an injury. With shooting pains, I hobbled down the first slope alongside Robin. We reached the bottom and Robin alerted one of the ski staff members. Sitting in the snow, drenched and frozen to the core, I waited for the medic to arrive by snowmobile.

After much fuss, I was finally back in our cozy cabin with a mug of hot chocolate.

And such was our trip to Norefjell; a breathtaking winter wonderland with an unfortunate ending.

At least, this little fellow enjoyed himself…

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