Continuing my trip through Scandinavia, my next stop was Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. Best known for things like meatballs, Ikea, Ikea and their meatballs (yes, I’m talking to all you folks who go to Rockdale just to eat their meatballs!) I actually planned to visit Stockholm back in December to meet up with two friends from Australia who registered for the annual Stockholm Marathon at the end of May. Whilst I was initially considering registering for the marathon as well, I pulled out as I didn’t have to will to train for it! Continue reading Stockholm Syndrome
Search the net for the “Top European travel destinations”, “Best places to visit in Europe” or even “Top European capital cities” and Oslo will not feature on any of those lists… So why the heck did I choose to spend another 3 days in one of the most expensive
countries cities in the world? How about because I’ve never been here before? Anyway, I wasn’t quite sure myself, but decided to go to see what all the non-fuss was about. Besides, you can take a really cool railway from Bergen to Oslo – supposedly one of the most scenic in the world!
Surrounding Bergen are a number of mountains, each accessible via clearly marked and maintained hiking trails. Every year in May, the local Trekking Association (Bergen od Hordaland Turlag) holds the 7 or 4 Mountains Hike, a day hike where around 8000 participants walk up Lyderhorn, Damsgårdsfjellet, Løvstakken, Ulriken, Fløyen, Rundemannen and Sandviksfjellet – the seven main mountains around Bergen. It involves covering a distance of around 35km, with 2300m of vertical ascent and descent.
The gateway to the fjords and Norway’s second largest city, Bergen is a popular arrival destination for tourists visiting Norway and it was the second stop on my journey through the country.
As the flight from Stavanger to Bergen never went above 10,000 ft, you could get an awesome view of the fjords, the rugged coastline and the 7 mountains surrounding Begen if the weather is clear. Big tip- sit on the right hand side of the plane! Continue reading Bergen and the Hardangerfjord
Billed as one of the most visited attraction in Norway, Preikestolen or the Pulpit Rock is a 620m high rock cliff above the Lysefjord, which as the name suggests, looks like a pulpit. (Quoting The Castle: “Dad, what’s a pulpit?” “Where the minister gives his sermon from. How much?” “Eight hundred…” “Tell’em he’s dreamin…“). What makes the Pulpit Rock such a highly visited attraction is that it gives people the opportunity to literally live life on the edge as there are no safety rails or barriers preventing anyone from falling off the cliff face. In fact, many people tempt fate by nervously creeping towards the edge, some on their stomachs to peer over and straight down into the Lysefjord… Continue reading Preikestolen and the Stavanger Region
Sounds easy enough right? The words of the Himalayan Encounters brochure went like this:
Escape from the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu. Experience the thrill of off-road mountain-biking. Visit the historic town of Kirtipur. Discover the richness and ingenuity of Newari cuisine.
So, with nothing better to do in our afternoon after arriving back in Kathmandu from Lukla, Mark and I decided to book this 4-5hr tour in for 8:00am the next morning… Yep, that’s right. After trekking to Base Camp, up Kala Patthar and back down, what did Mark and I decide to do the day after? A bike ride… Continue reading “Kathmandu by bike”
Reaching Base Camp
Day 8: By this time, most of us in the group had no idea what was the day of the week let alone the date, though it was not like we had any real need to know up in the mountains. Either way, my hope of getting a good night’s sleep were quickly killed alongside a few brain cells as Yoon and I nearly suffocated overnight, having forgotten to open our room’s window. At 4910m, only 56% of the air at sea level is available with every breath so ensuring that you have a fresh supply of air in the room overnight is a must! (A pretty cool website on the effects of altitude can be found here.) Only after managing to open our window at 4:00am was I able to get an hour and a half of continuous sleep before having to wake up for breakfast. Continue reading Everest Base Camp Part 3: Arrival and descent