On the west coast of Norway. Bergen!

Reading time: 6 minutes. Enjoy!

*All photos are author’s property and penalties will be imposed upon violation*

I didn’t travel the whole of Norway but Bergen is my best staying! It is an amazing city with World Heritage colorful wooden houses which are part of the UNESCO list. I’ve spent about a month in Bergen. I have experienced Fjords tour in the North Sea with a lot of snow and it was really cold and windy. Before my living from Bergen in June, it was summer already and I climbed on the top of the mountain nearby with shorts and short sleeves. The temperature during my stay varies from 5 to 30 degrees… But even on the north, the climate is warm because of The Gulf Stream. For Norway, you will need warm clothes no matter the season!

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During the summer you will have plenty of time to walk around as it is the time of the white nights.

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Sometimes I needed to go to the gym at 1 am because it was hard for me to sleep. But this is me, don’t worry. In the hotels, they have really cool curtains and you will never see the white nights through them. I stayed in Augustin Hotel. It is well priced but it has sweet rooms, perfect location close to the city center and close to nice areas to walk around the North Sea. The gym is ok and they have a really cool Winebar & Kitchen restaurant Altona! It is a really interesting place as they kept the very old architecture from the past, they serve nice wines and the food is extremely delicious!

 

The Norwegian kitchen is a must to try. On the Fishmarket in Bergen, you can eat the fresh seafood, they have plenty of different kinds of fishes. I tasted the food there and every time was a joyful moment!

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Well, it is time to have some fun around Bergen! I will love to share what I managed to visit and what impressed me in this North pearl of Norway. Let’s go through my Top 10:

1. Bryggen – since 1979 has been on the UNESCO list for World Cultural Heritage sites. Why? Because of the beautiful old wooden houses – a series of Hanseatic commercial buildings lining the eastern side of the Vågen harbor in Bergen. The houses are really old and even wooden they were protected from burning during the years. The area is magnificent, there are small shops with handmade stuff, Christmas shops and nice coffees and restaurants.                                                              IMG_20180424_104244_929.jpg

2. Fløyen – the closest mountain where you can get on the top and see the city from really cool perspective! There are a funicular and a cable car which can take you to the top for about 15-20 minutes. The price if you want to go up by funicular/ cable car is 270 NOK (28 EUR) for adults and 160 (17 EUR) NOK for children. I went there on a hot sunny day and I preferred to walk up. It takes me about 2 hours to reach the top and to go back. Personally, I found this way more enjoyable as on every corner there is a nice view, I can walk and breathe the fresh air of the mountain. I experienced the beautiful neighborhood on my way. It is up to you how you will reach the top, but it is totally worth it because of the view! Simply breathtaking!         IMG_20180611_000835_593.jpg PANO_20180609_200001.jpg3. St. John’s Church

 

4. Bergen Cathedral –  There have been 5 fires here.

IMG_20180501_181512.jpg5. Gamlehaugen – historical royal castle. The locals go there for swimming and outdoor activities during the weekends. They play volleyball, do jogging and running, walking with dogs. It’s perfect for a picnic and relaxing.

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6. The Akvariet – I missed this aquarium because I have experienced many others but for people who are new to this kind of attractions that can be a lot of fun!

7. Fjords tours – The Fjords are the biggest attraction in Norway. There are many opportunities and you will be able to see the longest Fjord, the widest… the deepest. Bergen is in a unique situation halfway between the two biggest fjords in Western Norway – The Sognefjord and the Hardangerfjord. The Fjords in this region have been inscribed on UNESCO’s famous World Heritage List. Norwegian people say: “when you are in Norway you have 2 options – to go in the sea or to go to the mountain.” The Fjord tour combines both and it is a really cool experience. The prices of the Fjords’ tour varies from 1600 NOK to 2000 NOK per person for a day.

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8. Bergen on foot – walking through the narrow streets and alleyways can be a lot of fun! The narrow idyllic streets are so romantic and sometimes with beautiful views of the North Sea. A great mix of residential houses, small shops, and cafes create a lovely relaxed urban atmosphere.

 

Bergen is a lovely city with musical and cultural events running all year and you can check what’s on the calendar next.

 

9. Bergen is surrounded by 7 mountains. Whenever you have a chance to get to one of them, it will be a lucky day! The freshness of the mountain is one of the best things I have experienced in Norway. Never ever feel the air in this way.

 

Now you are ready to go to Bergen! Enjoy and remember to take your credit card because sometimes this is the only option to pay here. A lot of services are automated in Norway and allow you to pay only by card. Including bathroom services.

Norway is an expensive country to be visited and never can be on a budget. Plan to spend money on your joyful moments there. And be happy!

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Kisses!

*All photos are author’s property and penalties will be imposed upon violation*

 

Floro – hidden beauty in the North Norway

Reading time: 7 minutes. Enjoy!

*All photos are author’s property and penalties will be imposed upon violation*

I was traveling for a whole day to reach my final destination Floro in Norway. And this was just the beginning of exploring the culture of the Vikings living in Norway!

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Floro, Norway!

My route: Sofia ( Bulgaria) – Vienna ( Austria) – Oslo ( Norway) – Bergen (Norway) – Floro (Norway).

I reached Floro from Bergen by boat. And this was so cool because I could see some of the very popular and beautiful Fjords in Norway. They are really nice, it’s true! When possible try to travel by boat while in Norway because these Norwegian Fjords are quite beautiful and impressive.

 

 

 

Floro. Beautiful small town on the North Sea. Traveling to Floro can be organized with a flight from Oslo or Bergen. Another option is to get a boat to Floro. If you are in a hurry, you can take the fast boat. If you want to spend some more hours in the water, take the touristic boat. Taking some of the touristic tours will mean deeper exploration of many Fjords and amazing breathtaking mountain views.

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The White House in the middle of the North Sea. On my way to Bergen from Floro!

It is not a rumor that the standard it’s high compared with many other European countries. The prices of the hotels are almost one and the same no matter of how north or east you are in Norway and the lowest fares in a good hotel can vary from 120 EUR to even 200 EUR per night. In the summer they get higher because of the high season. The high season is April, May, June when it is expected the weather to be a little more friendly and with more sun. During this period many cruises are organized for people all over the world and Norway is really full of tourists. The white nights are also happening during these months and I really like them!

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Midnight in Floro during the summer!

One of the charming things about Floro is that this town is really local town, no tourists and really calm even during the high season.

Everything in Norway is well priced. In the stores, in the restaurants. Norway it’s not on a budget destination. But of course, the quality of almost everything is good. The food is delicious. They have really warm clothes and accessories. Plenty of Christmas ornaments and the traditional trolls figures everywhere.

Good news: The drinking water is free in Norway! It is fresh and super cool! And clean! And you can drink from the tap with no worries! It’s even recommended!

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Cold, clean and beautiful. North Sea.

How about the weather? Yes, it is cold. And the local people are a bit cold especially at the beginning of a new conversation. But if you spent some time with the Norwegians, some of them can be nice.

 

 

Floro! The town is not a touristic place and the local people are not used to see many foreigners around. In the stores, they don’t have many touristic magnets and stuff and it is hard to make a gift from here.

Recommended hotels in Floro: Comfort Hotel & Quality Hotel. I stayed in Comfort Hotel and I can say it was fine for me, the gym is outside the hotel but it is a big one, the breakfast is super, it is clean and the relaxing area is nice. It is close to the center, close to supermarkets, close to restaurants. Quality hotel is just 5 minutes from Comfort Hotel.

What to see and what to do in Floro? Floro has incredibly beautiful nature! The nightlife is not something you can come for. It is a really calm city. Of course, there are small and big restaurants with beautiful views of the North Sea, also there are some pubs where you can taste local beer. The food is extremely delicious and you can taste different fishes and seafood. Be prepared to spend about 20 to 45 EUR per dish or even more if you gonna eat in a restaurant. A glass of wine is about 10 EUR and the beer almost the same.

 

 

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Regular view from office building in Floro
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Another usual view from office building in Floro
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Feeling part of National Geografic!

The harbor is something every town in Norway should have. In Floro, the harbor area is quite nice. Many boats are coming and going and they bring the vitality of the town.

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Floro’s Harbor

There is a town football team and you can watch some of their games. I had the chance to be a part of one. It is a good way to experience the Vikings’ spirit! I don’t watch football but I did enjoy the football game in Floro. Next, to the stadium, there is a beautiful path in the forest and of course I had a walk there. The air is so fresh, the trees so big, the forest was really impressive and massive. Everything is so green! It gives me the sense of freedom.

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Watching the Vikings football game

 

 

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Floro’s forest
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I feel so small!

There are so many lakes in the city and there are areas where you can sit around them and have a lunch with champagne. You can even have your dinner outside in nature. You know in the summer the sun doesn’t go down or it goes but really lately. So the too many light hours give you more time to be outside on the mountain or in the North Sea.

 

 

If you wanna go on a beach, that’s not a problem. There is a nice sandy area, a barbeque can be organized there. It is called Sørstrand Folkepark. It is close to the airport but hidden in nature. In a good weather you can get some ten here and even go in the water, locals said. But that’s more for the locals. I felt cold all the time being in Floro and the wind is cold. Around this sandy beach area, there are some historical monuments from the Second World War. These German Bunkers are many in this area and there are some more in the Forest Area of Floro as well. If you like history, this can be something to explore.

 

 

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Sørstrand Folkepark beach
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Sørstrand Folkepark beach

 

 

Hiking is a very popular activity and there are organized hikes for tourists but you can also rent a bike yourself. I got a bike from my hotel Comfort Hotel for free, so you better check your hotel options first. It is a really nice experience. You are passing mountains and North Sea views are just wonderful. The vast mountain area is called Flora district and offers good walking and hiking experience. On the south/ east side of Svanøy, there are many signposted footpaths and hiking paths. You better be in warm clothes!

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Biking in Flora District

I strongly recommend doing the Brandsøyåsen Hiking. This is the highest peak in the Flora mountain area. It is reachable from Floro town. I can say it was a little extreme to reach this top, it was rainy and even some snow but the sun came up when I was at the top and the view took my breath.

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Breathtaking view from Brandsøyåsen!

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Norway is a really different experience from any other European countries. It is the touch of the nature that gives you the sense of the powerful energy around. It is once in a lifetime experience to explore the culture, The North Sea, The Ocean, The Fjords, the beautiful forest in Norway.

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Floro is just the start of one Norwegian adventure. I spent almost a month in Norway, so I am really excited to share more of what I’ve learned from the Vikings. Stay with me on the road!

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Kisses!

*All photos are author’s property and penalties will be imposed upon violation*

#off-road #adventure #rodopi #buggy #speed #mechichal #mountain #chepelare

Rodopi mountain is calling you! Levochevo and Chepelare in the winter!

In the Central Rodopi mountain, there is a small village called Levochevo. When entering the village there is a sign “Welcome in a piece of Paradise”. We are driving slowly in a really tiny road between some cows. It smells of the village and the beautiful nature prepares you for gorgeous views.

#cows #road #rodopi #mountain #bulgaria
Cows on the road
#cows #road #bulgaria #levochevo #rodopi #mountain
Many cows welcome you!
#Levochevo #rodopi #mountain #welcome #Bulgaria #beautiful #nature
Welcome to Levochevo

I am making jokes that this is the “Bulgarian Tivoli” ( Tivoli is an Italian cute city) because it really has these small cobblestone streets and the food is so delicious. Every house keeps the old traditional look and at the same time the modern way of living. The oldest houses dated from 1876. Some of the houses have names – traditional Bulgarian names. It is so nice to see how the Bulgarian spirit has been kept for years here in Levochevo, in the heart of Rodopi mountain.

#traditional #house #bulgaria #traditional #Bulgarian #name #rada #Rodopi #mountain
House “Rada”

The biggest Festival in Levochevo is during the traditional Bulgarian celebration of “Илинден”. During this Festival the whole village is on the main square and everyone is dancing the Bulgarian traditional dance horo.

The views are simply fantastic as the village Levochevo is on a high hill and when you look down you see a big part of Rodopi mountain, many different shades of green color! It is so relaxing, there is no rush and you are infected by this calmness immediately.

#rodopi #mountain #fantastic #view #rodopi #mountain #beautiful #nature
Rodopi mountain

Chepelare – my favorite choice for skiing resort in Bulgaria, is around 14 km away from Levochevo town. The trip to both destinations Chepelare and Levochevo can be combined. Chepelare is an amazing winter destination in Bulgaria. The ski slopes are long, wide and beautiful. There are slopes for everyone – from amateurs to professionals. The Rodopi mountain loves all her guests and shows its majesty every day.

#mechichal #rodopi #ski #skiing #slope #winter #time #amazing #nature #beautiful #Bulgaria #Rodopi #mountain #skislope
Mechi Chal
#ski #slopes #slope #mechichal #chepelare #rodopi #mountain
On the slope of Mechi Chal!
#winter #ski #destination #mechichal #chepelare #rodopi #mountain #skiing #ski #slopes
Mechi Chal – just amazing!
#beautiful #sunset #mechichal #chepelare #rodopi #mountain
Sunset at Mechi Chal, Chepelare

The traditional food of Rodopi mountain is something you can’t resist. Definitely try “пататник“, “родопски клин“, “марудници“, “качамак“, “агнешко чеверме“, “салата от смилянски фасул“, “телешко“, Bulgarian yogurt (кисело мляко), “сарми“, “къпана баница“. This just the begining of a legendary kitchen!

#traditional #bulgarian #food #rodopi #mountain #patatnik #пататник #тиквеник #bulgariansalad #salad #mechichal #chepelare
Traditional Bulgarian salad; Traditional pumpkin pastry called “Тиквеник”; Traditional potato specialty called “Пататник”.
#traditional #meat #dish #сърми #bulgaria #bulgarianfood #food #delicious #chepelare #mechichal
Traditional specialty with chiken, beef and pork plus “сърмички”! Delicious! Called Капама!
#fantastic #food #delicious #Rodopi #Chepelare #mechichal #mountain #traditional #Bulgarian #food #родопскиклин #rodopi
Traditional banitsa with rice called Родопски клин! Fantastic!

Enjoy skiing, enjoy Bulgaria, enjoy Rodopi mountain, enjoy the incredible food and yes – the winter is blessing season!

#off-road #adventure #rodopi #buggy #speed #mechichal #mountain #chepelare
Off-road adventure time!