Autumn has taken over the city we live in – the wind is going wild outside and rain comes and goes by the minute. I must admit this is one of my favorite times of the year – the changing of the seasons. I especially love it when summer slowly moves away and autumn enters with its fresh crisp air and bright colours… Still this is always the time of year when I get excited about next summers holiday! Me and the H have been talking about jumping a flight to the US for quite a vile. But we’ve been a bit lost on the idea of what we want to do when we’re there… Most of the people we know seem to cover the basics like New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and some crazy in Las Vegas. We want to see San Francisco and New York, but the others don’t attract us in the same way – we want to check it out at some point – but it is not at the top of the list. We’ve talked a bit about doing the south, to see New Orleans, a bit of Texas and Savannah… But today we made a decision on something completely different – and that is thanks to our desire to check out the Pacific Northwest.
We’ve always talked about wanting to check out Portland and Seattle, and now we’ve had a look around the sea of visual inspiration out there – and we are sold! There is something about the wild nature, the idea of being in a city but with the wildest nature at a hands reach. And the possibility to inhabit a lovely treehouse for a night or two…
So now it is just to start booking tickets when the price is right…
The idea is to start out in San Francisco, then head towards Portland then Seattle – and all that we find interesting in between. Then finding our way to New York by plane before heading back to Norway.
I could try to explain why the idea of moving through the Northwest by using words – but I am as usual finding it way easier to show it through the use of visual input. If anyone out there has any tips and tricks to share about the area – on where to go and what to see – we are fully open and on the hunt for some insider tips. Bring it on!
In my head I am imagining slow days in the one of the tree houses at Treehouse Point, great food and even better coffee in Seattle, going all artsy in Portland, enjoying the sights and the whales at San Juan Islands… I am smitten!
Got any tips?
Here comes part 3 of our holiday. . . After our very successful week in Lisbon we decided to head to Aveiro for a couple of nights before leaving Portugal behind. We wandered around Aveiro for two days – pretty knackered at that point, so I must admit that I didn’t really keep my ears open for names – all I remember is that we visited Costa Nova which was on my “need-to-see-it” list! The ultra short stay didn’t give much to note down but I’ll do my best to at least give you a few words – and of course – in my own true style a whole lot of imagery!
After a couple of hours on the train we ended up in Aveiro. . . Made our way to the hotel and had a bit of a lay down, incredibly tired from travel stress. After a couple of hours of down time we decided to check out the town. It is called the Venice of Portugal – obvious from the random gondolas passing us as we walked along the canal. Ended up in a shopping complex for a bit, had some quick lunch and some lush frozen yoghurt before continuing to walk down alleys and around corners to figure out what the town was about… It is absolutely a cute town, with tiny shops and restaurants hidden in narrow alleyways… On the second day we did what we had to do, we jumped the one and only tourist bus the city had to offer and drove around for about an hour… After being slapped across the face by random branches and having a look at the university and the salt production (this of course the nerd in me loved!) we jumped in a cab and headed to Costa Nova.
One thing is for sure though – once again we found a place to be amazed by brilliant tiles, amazing architecture and use of colour in the best way possible (a crazy way)!
Here we go – COSTA NOVA! Which was on my to-see list based on one thing and one thing only – visual perfection! You have probably seen photos from this lovely tiny coastal town, which seems like a perfect holiday town for families and surfers – and of course the random crazy person with a love for houses in bright colours and stripes – like myself… We literally spent 2 hours in the town, visited the market and took too many images before heading back to Aveiro… So I do not have much to tell you in the form of words – so I give you visual input instead – enjoy!
I know you had to wait a bit for this one! Sorry! I will do my best to make the process a bit quicker for the next and final holiday travel post – which will also be the shortest one – our 3 nights in London Town before returning back home!
-all images by me-
Here goes – the second of the four posts about our lovely trip to Portugal and London.
After four nights in Porto we got on a train to Lisbon. It was just a three-hour trip between the two cities – easy choice of transport.
The view from our balcony – lovely waking up to a view over the botanical garden…
Every morning was spent with a cup of coffee on our balcony.
I absolutely fell in love with this city. . . Such a beautiful place! We were lucky enough to find a flat right next to the Avenida da Liberdade – so we were in walking distance from most of Lisbon. We spent a week in the city, and all I want to do is return! I have said to the H that I want a vacation place in Lisbon – at least he agrees!
The Art of Lisbon
I am not talking let’s hang it in a gallery and sell it kind of art – I am talking of the art you see everyday in a city – the decorations on a house, the tile work that surrounds you, the amazing street art you pass by… And Lisbon is full of it! Porto had its share of it as well – polka dots and stars painted on houses and so on, but in Lisbon it went to a different level all together. Abandoned buildings was made into enormous canvases, filled with amazing pieces of graffiti – You will understand what I am talking about when you see the images – I am talking beyond amazing! Then there is the tile work – there are so many houses decorated in the most amazing tiles you could ever imagine,
Seriously the coolest optician in the world – I wish my optician had a sign that looks like this!
This right here might be my favorite street art piece ever. I wish I could get this on a print and hang it above my bed.
The National Pantheon
Hello gorgeous is all I have to say! After visiting the flea market (images found down below) we decided to give the national pantheon a visit. We made our way up to the top of the building through narrow corridors and stone steps. . . Why is it so boring to walk up steps? But almost every time what you find at the top of those boring steps is something utterly amazing? Can someone please explain that correlation to me? Well anyways, this was no exception – at the top of those boring steps we found something amazing! We stepped outside and walked around this gorgeous white landscape, with a view for days over the city and beyond. The inside of the pretty beast – well I feel like the images speak for them selves in that matter!
The Lisbon Architecture
Travelling with an architect and having a keen interest in great buildings myself – vacation time soon turns into look at this great architecture time… Me and the H are both still in awe of the incredible architectural melting pot we’ve left behind us… Not only is the architectural influences many - you see islamic influences, roman influences, art nouveau and baroque – you’ve got old and you’ve got modernism at its best – and all of this is mixed together into the perfection we call Lisbon. We spent a week there – and I feel like I need at least two more weeks to get through the architectural sightseeing I want to do…
Feira Da Ladra
When we had a Saturday in Lisbon we felt like we couldn’t skip checking out the famous flea market, and we were not disappointed! I managed to keep my cash in my pocket – I did not buy anything. Besides interior pieces I had a bit of an internal struggle about not buying 10 vintage watches and 20 old cameras… If you have a lot of time for hunting, and a lot of extra space in your luggage when you visit Lisbon – go check it out and go crazy!
I must say I do like a ceiling full of colorful buckets!
There are some proper shops in the market as well – by proper I mean shops you walk into and pay at a cashier…
If only I had a place in Lisbon – or enough room to pack these lovely pink pieces of greatness with me back home… I would want it all, the chairs, the bed, the bedside table, the dresser – EVERYTHING!
Our Favorite Look-Out Point
Me and the H found our favorite look-out point in the city – there are tons of them – but for us the perfect spot was the Jardim de S. Pedro de Alcântara… We could walk up behind where we were living – there was this perfect little garden patch with the most amazing view of Lisbon. It had a lovely tiny bar in the corner, so you could hide under the trees – enjoying some shade whilst sipping on a perfectly made mojito…
As the last stop in this post – I’ll share some images from the famous Bairro Alto.
Lisbon has quickly made its way to my top 4 cities list. I am already dreaming of going back. . . Hope you enjoyed the pretty image heavy post…
all images by me
We are back home – the vacation is behind us – and now it is time to share some of the greatness… I will do 4 posts – one from each place we went – and I will do it in the same order we did it on our trip… Firstly we have Porto, then Lisbon followed by Aveiro and we finish it off with a tiny post from two hectic but shamazing nights in London!
So here goes! PORTO!
I have always wanted to go to Portugal – since I was a puny child… This is because we were supposed to go when I was tiny, my mum had sat down with us, shown us all of these amazing pictures in a travel catalogue (oh the olden days). I remember being utterly amazed by this place, the rocky sea-side, the colorful houses, the sunshine and the nature… But then something went wrong – we ended up in a different country for our holiday… But I’ve always remembered those images and my craving to see what Portugal is up to has never disappeared. Finally I got to check it out – and I am not disappointed.
So here is our stay in Porto – or at least bits of it:
We left Norway behind on a rainy afternoon – which didn’t make it feel to bad to leave it all behind…
Had a pit stop in Bremen – had 3 hours of sleep before having to get ready for our next flight…
Leaving Bremen behind – ready to meet Porto!
We found our lovely hotel – where I had what I would call a well deserved tubtastic moment! We stayed at the Sheraton Porto Hotel & Spa – which was a pretty great experience… The only thing that would pull it down would be the distance to the city center – but the closeness to great Japanese food brings it right up again!
We also enjoyed the lovely view from our “way-up-there” hotel room…
Our first food experience in Porto was horrible – beyond belief! We had just gotten to the city after our long travels – and a taxi driver threw us off in the most touristy place along the river – which is logical when you have a load of tourists you need to rid of. Our need for food was enormous – after having breakfast in Germany ages ago – our stomachs were growling in a manner usually only produced by hungry wolves… So we did what good tourists do – we went for the first thing we could find – where the people didn’t understand us and we did not understand them – and after many feeble attempts to come to an understanding we all go for the same thing on the menu. It ended up being a mountain of crackers, salty ham and salty cheese… No one could finish it – and I am never having crackers again!
Luckily this horrible food encounter made everything else we met along the way seem like a Michelin star meal! Ok that is maybe taking it a bit far – but we did get lucky in the food department after that meal though. What I found peculiar was the fact that we came across a great amount of Japanese restaurants – and I loved it! We had two brilliant Japanese places in walking distance from our hotel.
First we had a proper family style teppanyaki experience at Teppan | sushi & teppanyaki… Great food in great amount…
Another great Japanese moment was accidentally coming across a restaurant called gosho. This was more of a fine dining Japanese experience – and I finally got to end my cravings for sushi (at least for a little bit) This restaurant had the coolest interior I have ever seen, and open space in a basement – I unfortunately did not take a picture of this greatness as we entered – but to say it like this; I was to amazed to react!
We had the obligatory lunch at the amazing Majestic Cafe…Gorgeous but crazy crowded – but common – enormous mirrors, pink walls and decadence for all the money – what is there to complain about?
And of course we had great coffee mayhem all through out the holiday!
We had the chance to go crazy in the coolest candy shop ever – so we did! Remember reading about Dream Pills ages ago – and it lives up to its name… We filled a pill bottle and labeled it “in case of emergency” – let’s just say we encountered a lot of emergencies that day! Love that they had an international” label section as well – since portuguese makes close to no sence for the two of us…
This was a city where you could just get lost in the architecture, the colours and the buzz… Every day was a totally different experience – and we would love to return to experience more of this beautiful city.
I know it is tons of images – but dammit – I had to take 200 shots for every meter OK! And it is no secret – I prefer to communicate visually!
all images by me
(taken with my Nikon and my phone)
Ready for day three? I know I am… I know day two was quite an image heavy post – but it has nothing on day three!
Day three was the day we had set aside to be proper tourists.
EDINBURGH DAY THREE
We woke up quite a nice day – the sun was popping out at times and the rain was nowhere in sight. . . We started our day with some Hula in bed – great start to the day!
I have one thing to say – YUM! Favorite boost combo for a long day of tourist activities – multi vitamin and energy on the go. . .
Had to take a picture of the lovely colourful tiger in the hotel lobby before heading out to be a crazy tourist. . .
Since this is the day we got the most covered… So I have decided to chop it up in separate parts.
Our first stop was the castle, and it was pretty amazing. Behind the walls there was a whole city unfolding in front of us. . . And of course I was amazed. I went a bit trigger happy with my camera so I hope you enjoy!
We did the obligatory tour which ended with a view of the rather stunning crown jewels… Beautiful!
Still – my favorite bit from the entire visit was the view of the city… Absolutely breath-taking…
The Scotch Whisky Experience
After finishing off at the castle we had to take a tour of The Scotch Whisky Experience which is situated just a stone throw from the castle… It wasn’t even noon – so let’s call it a truly early whiskey experience. I would have been happy with the regular tour which gives you one tiny taste of whisky (I am not a big whisky drinker) – but the H decided he wanted more than just one try of whisky… So of course he decided to get us the gold tour – which included four (+ the regular taste) different whisky tastes… Oh the joy! It was quite a mission for me – but the H was enjoying himself – so I was pretty happy as well. My favorite bit was the huge collection of whiskey – it is in fact the worlds largest private whiskey collection – and that made the whole trip worth it.
If you are a fan of whisky this is definitely a stop you need to put on your Edinburgh itinerary – and if you are not a great whisky drinker it is worth it just to check out the collection. . . And the barrel ride was insane haha!
The Tourist Bus Ride
After popping into a factory outlet for some great tartan scarfs and taking some photos of a man with a bagpipe (oh what a great tourist I was) – we got our bus tickets and sat down at the top of one of the Edinburgh tourist busses – ready for our great tour of the city!
Where the ugly grey building is – used to be where the infamous Burk & Hare resided… Another geek moment!
The Burk & Hare Stripbar – no, we did not visit it – but they have Guinness for those who want to visit it…
The castle from a different angle…
The Coo in Cowgate
For all the sinners out there…
The Scottish Parliament
Our Dynamic Earth – unfortunately we did not find the time to stop by here – so that is definitely on our to-do-list for our next visit!
New Town + Calton Hill + The Rest Of The Day
After our busride – we headed towards Calton Hill to find 21212 (a michelin star restaurant)… We were on the hunt for 21212 for lunch – but when we finally found it, after walking about Calton Hill for way too long, we were 12 minutes to late to do lunch there… So we decided to book a table for dinner later on. So for lunch we stoped at an italian restaurant not far away – all based on insane hunger…
Calton Hill/Regent Gardens + The Scottish Government
The Balmoral Hotel
The North Bridge
Our amazing dining experience at 21212! Never experienced anything like it – but so worth the price – shamazing!
all images by me
So here we are – day two of our trip to Edinburgh – and I will share our day through images – a combination from my camera and from my phone. We had already decided to set this day off to a Princes Street shopping mayhem – which we knew would lead to intense headaches and crazy feet pain… But why not!
EDINBURGH DAY TWO
We started our day with breakfast at the Hula cafe, which was insane! And it turned out to be our go-to-breakfast-place, we had breakfast there every morning!
The H enjoyed a bagel whilst I had the most amazing fruit salad with granola and yoghurt… And of course we tried the freshly pressed juices combined with a multivitamin booster… Smart move for a day of shopping, didn’t feel tired all day!
Of course I fell in love with all of the colorful chairs around the cafe…
After finishing our breakfast we headed out to explore the area once again… Right next to our hotel was the amazing West Bow – filled with great mini shops with amazing store fronts…
The perfectly colorful West Bow!
Who doesn’t find a huge nose charming on a store front?
A cute knitting boutique… So bringing my mum here! She is the master of crazy knitting.
The store front window of The Red Door Gallery – which I will get back to later. . . Definitely my favorite shop from the entire trip – went a bit crazy in there on our last day.
When we felt pleased about our visit to the West Bow we headed up to the Royal Mile and walked in the opposite direction of yesterday… I love walking around new cities with no knowledge of where to go. . . And by doing this we covered some of our “tourist-goals”…
We found accidentally found The Elephant House – the coffee shop where J. K. Rowling put Harry Potter to paper… Great geek moment for me – unfortunately it had a que to sit down, so we bailed – I was satisfied with just a peek inside…
Further down the street we stumbled upon another one of our “tourist-goals” – Greyfriars Bobby. . . The amazing dog of Edinburgh – and it didn’t hurt that he looked a bit like Tipi…
Greyfriars Bobby – the cutest statue I have ever seen!
The Greyfriars Bobby pub – we didn’t pop in… But it does look good though…
Of course we had to pop into the graveyard and check it out…
After our visit to the graveyard we headed over to Princes Street to cover our crazy shopping – but on the way we had to have a pit stop at one of the cute shops along the way – filled to the brim with funny bits!
We covered the typical – “we-do-not-have-this-in-Norway” shops and the “this-is-half-the-price-of-Norway” stops – like Joy, Primark, Topshop, Lush. Office etc.
The gorgeous Scott Monument – which is a monument to the Scottish author Sir Walter Scott.
Cool details in Topshop…
After filling some bags with goodies we headed up to St. Andrews Square – mostly because I got seduced by the cherry blossoms…
St. Andrew Square ended up not just being pretty – it was quite a nice place to have a wee rest before heading back to our crazy exploration of the city.
After doing some more roaming down Princes Street we decided to pop in somewhere for lunch… We found an Italian cafe – which unfortunately ended up being quite a food disappointment – but the H got to enjoy the second national drink of Scotland (after Whisky) – the Irn Bru…
After our lunch we decided to head back to the hotel for a rest before dinner. . .
For dinner we had a plan to head over to New Town to find a restaurant – but we walked further than planned and ended up outside Holyrood 9A – which we had read about way back. So we decided to have a proper meat fest.
So for dinner we had gourmet burgers and some great beer – and we did not leave disappointed.
Just saying – if you’re in Edinburgh – you have to stop by for these burgers – beyond amazing… And I’m not a burger person at all!
The lovely Olivia Burton London watch that H got for me… Perfection…
Some of the perfumes we harvested whilst out and about…
all images by me
We are back from Edinburgh – and I am already planning our return! What an amazing place, if you haven’t made it there yet, I definitely recommend it.
I am of course going to share our trip with you, but I have decided I will divide it into four posts – one for every day there. . . So here is the first one.
EDINBURGH DAY ONE
After quite a fuzz we made our way to the airport – feeling great!
We left Norway behind, and the view from the plane was absolutely amazing. For some reason I really love being able to see the country I am leaving as I fly away from it. . . I really don’t know why, but it makes me feel a sort of travel satisfaction.
I can’t remember anything being as beautiful as flying in over Scotland. The sun was on its way down, and it was as clear as could be. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get any photos of flying in over Edinburgh, it was impeccable. We could see everything, from the castle to Calton Hill and Holyrood Park. . . To say it like this, our first impression of the city couldn’t be any better.
We made our way to the hotel (The Apex City) – which must be one of the most perfectly placed hotels – at least for us. It was situated in the Grassmarket, and as you can see in the image above, we couldn’t complain about the view.
After getting some snaps from the Grassmarket we headed out for an evening walk around the city and to find a place to get some dinner.
We headed up to the castle, the sun was setting, and I really wanted to get a photo from the area outside the castle, unfortunately it was closed. We walked through bits of the Royal Mile, and we were amazed by the beautiful architecture and the colours of the city.
Here you see one of our favorite buildings in the entire city – and it is all about the doorway to us… And of course the stairs.
From Castle Rock we walked down Ramsay Lane, and found our dream house! Look at these beauties – this is Ramsay Gardens – and I would move this second if someone called me and said “you’ve won a house in Ramsay Gardens!”… Absolute city charm perfection. Not only are these houses perfectly placed in the Old Town, but they’ve got an amazing view over to the New Town and Prices Street Gardens. I am in love!
Here you have the back of the houses – common – who wouldn’t love calling this home?!
This is probably my favorite shot from the entire trip – the sun setting behind Princes Street with Princes Street Gardens in the front. . . At this moment we were both falling head over heels for the city.
We walked over to the New Town and had a bit of a gander before we decided to head back to “our side” of the city for some dinner. One of the things I absolutely love about Edinburgh is all of the alleyways around Old Town. And since I have the curiosity of a child – I had to have a look down 99 percent of them. And to our luck we found a tiny Thai restaurant in one of them, the Chang Thai Restaurant. It was quite a weird one – from our seats we could see the legs of the people passing through the alleyway – and for some reason we both felt at home!
all images by me!
We’ve finally booked it – a trip to Edinburgh… It has been a plan of ours for ages now – and today I had a pit stop at one of the airlines that I know go from our city to Edinburgh and it was a brilliant flight sale on… So no more procrastination in this house – it was so cheap it would be a shame not to book a trip. So now it is settled in May we are packing our bags and hopping a flight to Edinburgh – and I can’t wait!
We have been talking a lot about traveling this year – and we have looked at a lot of places that is far off. We want to go to the US (at least 3 different routes), we want to see China and Japan – then there is Thailand and Vietnam.. Then we realized that what about our own continent? What about Europe? I grew up in Norway (and have spent a lot of time traveling in Europe as a child) and the H grew up in London (and has covered parts of the UK and some european countries + Africa). We ended up realizing that as we sit and wait for the great trips that takes ous far away we should make time to explore our own playground as well. So Edinburgh is our first trip to check off our Europe travel list.
If anyone can give us some pointers on where to go and what to see, where to drink and where to eat – please give us a heads up!
We have gathered a few ideas on what we want to see – like hopping a train to North Berwick to go on a bird safari and eat at the lobster shack, walking the Royal Mile, going on a well deserved shopping spree, see the Edinburgh Castle. . . We have a long list to cover in probably to little time – but knowing my self I will probably go off the grid and just wander around and see where I end up…
And for my sake it will be 90% about taking pictures – so I promise you some image heavy posts from our trip – no doubt about it.
Here is some Edinburgh inspiration…
The Princess Street Gardens via
The “Wee” Whiskey Shop via. We can’t go to Scotland without bringing some Whiskey home – that’s for sure!
The Royal Mile via
The Scotch Whiskey Experience via - this is on our to-do-list! Even though I am not a great whiskey drinker… I’ll ask my dad to train me before we leave!
The streets of Edinburgh via
Edinburgh Castle via
Edinburgh streets via
Rumor has it this is the place to go for beer & burger – one of the things I miss from living in the UK! And I don’t even like burgers that much! via
North Berwick via
Food at the Lobster Shack in North Berwick, via. Yummy!
Here you have birds flocking around Bass Rock in North Berwick via - hoping we get the time to go on one of the bird safaris!
I’ve been letting my self drift away in future planning lately – especially planning things connected to future travels. We are planning a trip for christmas and new year – I know it is quite some time away – but I do love planning ahead… I am able to be impulsive and get on a plane if it is for just a couple of days – and somewhere not to unknown… But we are planning a trip that will be more than a couple of weeks and more than a couple of countries – quite far from here – so getting a certain whiff of the land seems pretty good in my mind.
Right now we have decided on Asia – and we’ve picked out some favorites.
We would like to go to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia – based on the fact that we both seem to be overly fascinated about the things we’ve read about this place. It seems like a melting pot of different cultures and religions – old and modern.
After a couple of days in Kuala Lumpur we would like to jump a flight to Vietnam – either starting of in Hanoi or in Ho Chi Minh then making our way from the one to the other. On our loafing through Vietnam we would like to see the Cu Chi tunnels, the Mekong Delta and Halong Bay…
After our movements through Vietnam we would like to catch another flight – but this time to Thailand. We are still trying to make some sense of what we would like to see when in Thailand. And are open for any kind of tip! Here are some images showing you all why we have fallen for the idea of moving around in these countries…
all images via
Oh I am ready to run away – right now!
Another sleepless night – what do I do? Oh I hunt for inspiration – that is what I do. . . It might seem that is all I do – all day long – and that might be true… I am easy to inspire!
Here are things that haunt my dreams when sleep is out of sight:
The drinks I should be drinking…
From the top – crazy tasty looking Mojito, White Russian, Frenchy, Cherry Gin & Tonic + Cuba Libre…
The places I should be visiting…
Tokyo, New York, Havana, Amsterdam & Marrakesh
The beautiful threads I should be wearing…
Dior, Tom Ford, Elie Saab, Alexander McQueen & Vivienne Westwood.
The houses I should be living in…
A combination of beautiful houses I wouldn’t mind living in. The last one is my dream home – just imagine it all fixed up – and it is in London – why is it not mine?!
All the white beauty I should be celebrating…
White horse, ricotta, snow-white, white living space x 2.
All the beautiful music I should be listening to…
Mumford & Sons, Leonard Cohen, Lykke Li, SBTRKT & CocoRosie
all images via