Archive for Europe

Five things to do in Eastern Norway

When visiting Norway most travellers head there to see the amazing Northern Lights. With the probability of seeing them much stronger in the North, other areas of the country are often less populated by tourists, such as the East.

 

Map of Norway and Sweden.

Map of Norway and Sweden.

 

 

The east has some of amazing experiences for you to enjoy, here’s the top 5:

 

Oslo

 

Based in the East is Norway’s dazzling capital. Famed for its breath taking beauty Oslo is a stunning cosmopolitan hub surrounded by such amazing natural scenery it’s really hard not to love. Packed with hip Scandinavian bars and cool cafes, Oslo is oozing with culture and a must visit destination for any avid city break lover. There are lots of museums and galleries so its perfect for culture enthusiasts and its vibe is unlike any other European city. Its location means you can easily leave the city by boat to experience so much more of Norway.

 

View of Oslo city from roof top of the opera

View of Oslo city from roof top of the opera

 

 

The Norwegian Opera and Ballet

 

Head to the famous operatic theatre to experience some amazing performances of the best ballet and opera in Europe. You can book an English speaking tour in advance and find out so much about the stunning building before settling down for an evening of entertainment like no other.

 

Ballet Dancer

 

 

Telemark

 

The Telemark canal is one of the most iconic features of eastern Norway. Built in the 1890’s the enchanting canal runs from the mountains to the sea and has a reputation as one of Europe’s most beautiful waterways. Taking a leisurely riverboat cruise down the canal makes for a wonderful day out and ensures that you see all the amazing scenery Eastern Norway has to offer. Telemark is definitely a must visit location for any adventurous types as there are so many activities to do from hiking, walking and cycling to husky sledding and cross country skiing in the mountains for the real dare devils.

 

Lillehammer

 

Home to the winter Olympics in 1994 Lillehammer is one of Norway’s best known winter sports resorts. The town is an amazing place to visit for explorers and adventurous people who want to take a ride on the infamous 100kph bobsleigh.

 

Norway Lillehammer Ski

 

Holmenkollen Ski Museum

The ski museum and jump tower is an incredible day out and a chance to see some death defying jumps if you’re lucky. Be sure to ring ahead in advance of your trip and find out what day there will be live action jumps happening for you to see.

 

*Images courtesy of iStock

25 funny facts about Eiffel Tower

the view of Paris

I was browsing internet and found a really cool infographics with 25 funny facts about the Eiffel Tower. Please feel free to check it out and learn something new:

 

toureiffel_en

 

 

Check out other three things you cannot miss in Paris.

Three must-see soccer derbies when travelling around Europe

What do you want from a derby? There is only one answer – atmosphere. Although there is much debate over which soccer league is the most entertaining, there are clear winners when discussing the rife atmospheres around Europe’s largest soccer-crazy cities. These derby matches are ridden with history alongside the cities themselves and there is no doubt this is the perfect way to travel around Europe for any fan. The varying and fascinating lives which ‘city-zens’ live is wonderful to see.

 

AC Milan vs. Internazionale

 

Milan is undoubtedly one of the greatest cities to visit in Italy, Europe and even in the world. Milan is widely regarded as the global capital for fashion and design. To say the top Italian soccer teams reflect this in their style of play would be an understatement. These two giants of Italian soccer are arguably the country’s most successful teams in recent times, making their rivalry so much vaster.

They produce work of the highest quality on a field which both teams share as their home, causing further confrontation between the two sets of fans. However, this certainly creates a shear cauldron of atmosphere when the two teams meet for the Derby della Madonnina.
Such spectacles have seen the two teams soar in regards to popularity and appreciation for the quality of play which they produce, so much so that they are attracting the best players and coaches in world football.

 

Galatasaray vs. Fenerbahce

 

Istanbul is one of the busiest cities in the Europe and the largest in the Middle East. The dense population of the Turkish capital creates a real buzz around the city. This continues to exist when the two contrasting sides of Istanbul meet at their ‘home’ for a clash which they say is more important than winning the domestic Turkish league and one which the international betting markets will often tip as a dead heat.

 

The match is a heart-thumping encounter where once again there is heaps of history involved. Galatasaray are situated in European Istanbul while Fenerbahce are based in the Anatolian part of the city. Fenerbahce were seen as the ‘people’s club’ in the past and Galatasaray were abused for aristocracy. This continues today.

 

Olympiakos vs. Panathinaikos

 

football

*photo by Protonotarios

 

Athens is one of the most historic cities in Europe, and the Greek Gods will look down on Athens and see one of the most traditional soccer derbies in the modern game. These two teams are referred to as the ‘eternal enemies’ in Greece and they continue to entertain some of the most ferocious occasions in soccer history.

Athens is known for its cultural and tourist attractions. This derby is certainly part of the Greek culture. Greeks are known for their nationalism and a match of such high stakes and intensity is the perfect opportunity for such a release of passion. Once again, there are hidden agendas in such a rivalry, stemming from political forces and the hierarchy within the two clubs, encouraging the passionate following of the two clubs.

Three Best Destinations On A Backpacking Tour Of Serie A’s Clubs

Italy’s Serie A is one of the most historically successful and internationally recognised soccer leagues in the world today. It is perhaps only eclipsed by England’s Premier League and Spain’s Primera Liga. Therefore, it is not surprising that millions of backpacking soccer fans are embarking on Serie A-themed tours around Italy, witnessing the high-class sporting action whilst submerging themselves in the sights and sounds of Italy’s most stunning and scintillating cities.

Not only are Serie A’s teams spread out beautifully within Italy but each club’s home city offers a distinctly different flavour. Therefore, following the path of the Serie A’s fixtures is not a bad way to explore Italy, especially if you are a sports fan. Of course, not everyone is going to be able to see every match and visit every city. So, for those interested in such a football tour of Italy, here are three locations and teams that are not to be missed.

 

Cagliari Calcio, Cagliari

Cagliari Calcio call the Stadio Comunale Sant’Elia its home. It hosted three matches during the 1990 FIFA World Cup and has existed since 1920. Nestled within the ancient city of Cagliari, it is not just this longstanding club that is brimming with history.

Above ground, this diverse city is known for its stunning Art Nouveau architecture and striking monuments. However, below ground, lie several remains of human settlements from thousands of years ago. Beneath Cagliari lies a Roman amphitheatre, a huge necropolis from the Carthaginian era and even a prehistoric Domus de Janas.

Situated on the coast of the autonomous Italian island of Sardinia, Cagliari has a stunning coastline which features one of the largest ports in the Mediterranean Sea. Meanwhile, within the city centre, one will find several museums, theatres and libraries. Moreover, given this and the city’s historic underbelly, Cagliari is currently favourite to become the European Capital of Culture in 2019.

 

*photo credit: berlinrider 

 

Palermo, Palermo

The winners of Serie B last season, Palermo has sadly failed to dominate the top Italian league in the same way. They languish mid-table, with odds of only 2000/1 in the Serie A betting to win the league. However, even if they lose the league, Palermo’s location is definitely a winner!

Palermo is located on the iconic island of Sicily and is known to be the cultural, touristic and economic capital. One of the largest Mediterranean cities, Palermo is known for its exceptionally sunny and warm weather.

Besides having a world-renowned collection of beautiful churches, ranging from Romanesque to Gothic to Baroque styling, Sicily is also known for its gastronomy and restaurants. The city also boasts a vibrant nightlife that centres around Sicily’s long history involving live music.

 

Juventus, Turin

The champions of Serie A in 2014, and favourite to repeat this feat, Juventus is a legendary soccer team. How appropriate then that the team is located within perhaps the most important city in northern Italy, with Turin being the capital of the Piedmont region.

With the Po River to its right, the Susa Valley behind it and the Alpine arch circling it, Turin boasts some truly awe-inspiring scenery and landscapes. Besides this natural beauty, Turin is known for its art galleries, opera houses and theatres. All built in a variety of styles, including Renaissance, Neoclassical and Rococo.

However, perhaps the most famous object within Turin is the controversial Shroud of Turin. This beautifully illustrated cloth depicts the image of Jesus Christ and is at the centre of a debate surrounding the authenticity of the claims that it was his burial cloth. With carbon-dating proving this false but a variety of other campaigners, such as Jeffrey Skurkaclaiming otherwise.

3 things you can’t miss in Paris

Montmartre at night

There’s no wonder Paris has been denominated as one of the top romantic holiday destinations in the world for centuries. We all know that.

And we also know that the majority of the people visit this super sweet romantic city in couples. I was there for just 3 days on my own and let me tell you, there were moments when I was surrounded by so many couples I was wishing to have someone with me there. Anyone. Even one of my gay friends in order to share the moment!

Anyway, Paris is a destination for everyone. I had fun there as a solo traveler, my friends enjoyed it as couples, and others go to Paris with their kids. I can say for sure that one day when I have my own kids, we will be looking for places to stay in Paris for a city break too. One thing that we will have to keep in mind when we book our room is how close it will be to certain places. Especially with kids, we will need to plan a trip that is within walking distance of kid friendly restaurants and attractions.

However, besides the Eiffel tower, my favorite Montmartre with the view and Moulin Rouge, there’s much more to probably one of the most romantic cities ever.

 

Montmartre at night

Montmartre at night

 

 

3 things you can’t miss in Paris:

 

1. Disneyland Paris you don’t even have to use your imagination to go to the different world. The place does it all for you. From Disney characters, to golf courses, fitness trails and many adventure activities … all that and many more surprises are awaiting you in Disneyland Paris.

2. Chocolate tour – are you one of the biggest chocolate freaks as much as I am? Then Paris chocolate tour is one of the best options for you. I mean, who wouldn’t like to eat his way through Paris! There’s a bunch of famous chocolate makers around the city and I can bet you will never forget your Paris visit after taking this tour. And did you know since 1995 Paris chocolate festival has been held in the city? Usually it takes place late October and early November so if you don’t mind putting up on weight, plan your Paris escape accordingly.

3. Jazz – not a fan of chocolate but you prefer music? How about jazz? Jazz in Paris is so popular that jazz festivals became part of the city. In early March you can visit the Banlieues Blues Jazz Festival and later on in May also the Saint Germain des Press Jazz Festival watching the bands performing live.

 

PS: Are you on a budget? Check out free things to do in Paris. You’ll be surprised at the number of them, there’s really plenty.

 

the view of Paris

the view of Paris