Honningsvåg, the North Cape, fish ice-cream & the Aurora Borealis

Day 20 – Tuesday 9/10

Each morning we woke up, to the slow rattle and roll of our beautiful ship, the MS Kong Harald pulling into port, we knew another incredible adventure was ahead of us. We chose to travel in Autumn, so the fact we had seen as much snow as what we had, was incredible. There were many hours where we would lay sideways in our bed and just stare out of our window, completely amazed by what we were looking at.

EUROPE - 7270It was hard to believe we had already reached day 5 of our trip. It seemed that this amazing adventure we had waited so long for, was going past so quickly. We wanted to embrace each and every moment and with relative whiplash looking from one side of Norway to the other, our eyes were drunk with beauty.

EUROPE - 6657

Today was the day we would get to visit the North Cape, Nordkapp – the beautiful home to Honningsvåg. As awful as this is going to sound, the relief we felt when we were able to get off the ship and board an English-speaking bus away from the mass population of incredibly rude, pushy, eyes-for-Christmas people we had spent nearly a week within our small quarters, was invigorating!

Honestly, I think we had the best tour guide, he was so passionate and absolutely nothing on this Earth grabs my interest and inspires me than learning about a place from a local with stars in their eyes. It reminds me that although some people think that taking tours is not ‘authentic’ enough, I disagree with you completely. Having someone who loves where they are from, enough to share it with you is the epitome of travel and experience, really absorbing the location you are in.

EUROPE - 7349

Nordkapp sits at latitude 71°10’21” N and safe to say it is the furthermost North I have ever been, or am likely to ever go! We knew that in terms of tourism, this particular location is known as a tourist trap, and it is expensive but it is beautiful. As I write this, I can see my beautiful Sami-made Christmas decoration on my tree and I have absolutely no issues with the cost we faced to visit this place. It was AMAZING. Our bus trip was around 30-45 minutes up the mountain to the visitor’s centre. We were still completely blown away to see snow wherever we looked.

Nordkapp was eye-opening and I would have loved to have spent more time in the Sami-district, but seeing as we only had a day in the area, that unfortunately was not an option. Grant and I made our way away from the crowd when we got off the bus – heading straight out to the point and avoiding the visitor centre and the actual monument. With hundreds of people up there, we preferred to enjoy the beautiful view, have a view moments without interruption and avoid the reality that it was definitely a tourist butterfly-net. It was worth it, completely. It was completely overwhelming to realise where we were, what we were experiencing and to try and imagine all of the people before us over hundreds of years who had visited the area.

We only had a short time in Nordkapp but I can honestly say, that as we exited the bus and headed back towards the ship, I was really dreading leaving such a beautiful place, the most northern place I had ever been to and one of the most beautiful places I had ever seen. I think our kisses at the most northern point of Europe would stay with us for quite a while!

EUROPE - 6669This was also a pretty terrible day to realise that although my boots were great for hiking, they were 100% inappropriate for ice, I cannot count how many times I nearly completely stacked it!

So, some fun facts about Nordkapp, which we were told by our incredible tour guide:

  • Nordkapp is not actually the northernmost point of Europe, the neighbouring Knivskjellodden is 1457m further north.
  • In approximately 1664, the first tourist was reported to have climbed the plateau, he was an Italian Priest and it took him more than two years to make his journey.
  • The first group travel was arranged in 1875 for 24 participants.

EUROPE - 6672

This destination is certainly expensive but it is absolutely beautiful and I figured that if we were going to travel all that way, only to stay on the boat and not go on the journey, it would have been a missed opportunity.

The entrance fee is 275NOK, which is around $45AUD – you will pay more to go on an organised tour, but the climb is steep and the tour guide is a local and is passionate – so well worth it if you can afford it.

Once we made our way back down the mountain and back onto the ship for our final leg of our Hurtigruten journey we finally tried the Brown Cheese and Stockfish flavoured ice-cream on board the ship (unusual, but not all that unpleasant), rugged up with warm drinks and waited for our chance to see the Aurora Borealis.

I had already been asleep for an hour when G came and woke me up once they were showing, I had the wrong lens on the camera and was totally out of it. However, you can see my very very amateur shots below!

Thank you for reading my post! I am a Brisbane based creative and blogger. I do not receive payment for my blogging, and in the event, I have been gifted any products and items, I will always mention this. I live with my Husband, make hand-crafted household and personal eco-friendly items, accessories, and provide photographic services when requested.

If you enjoyed my post, I would be so appreciative if you left me a review and liked this post.

You can find me on:

Instagram 

Facebook 

Pinterest 

For any wholesale, product sale, blogging or photographic requests – please email me at hello@courtneygayecreative.com.

x Courtney x

Advertisements

Travel Diary (Day 11) – Faroe Islands to Bergen (via Copenhagen)

Day 11 – Sunday 30/9 – Faroe Islands – Bergen (vis Copenhagen)

Well we knew today was a write-off, as most transit days can be. We had no idea how long the day would feel though! As our schedule really only allowed us to visit the Faroes for three days, this meant we would leave on a Sunday. Sadly there are no direct flights on a Sunday from Vàgar to Bergen, so we needed to fly via Copenhagen.

As our travels tend to play out, we woke up to shocking weather and we were beyond pleased to have experienced the beautiful weather we had whilst we were there.

Our flight was not until lunchtime, so we had a few hours to explore Vagar a little more, we drove out to a beautiful old cathedral, boat harbour and village with some older style log buildings.

We drove back to the airport, dropped off our fantastic little cat which had served us well and decided that wine + beers at the airport were our best-bet for some time wasting.

Once we were on the plane we had a few more drinks and watched movies on our phones and we were back in Copenhagen. We had around a four and a half hour layover in Copenhagen, but once we collected our luggage and then took it to the departures terminal and survived that disaster we couldn’t be bothered leaving the terminal. We had originally planned to maybe go back into Copenhagen and see some more, but sadly that was not to be!

We departed Copenhagen around 9pm and landed in Bergen at 10:30pm, it was such a long day. Once we had our bags we then headed out to our bus transfer which dropped us off at the Torget stop near the old fish markets which was the same block as our hotel!

Originally we had booked to stay at a place called Citybox Hotel, but in my over-prepared state as I couldn’t pre-pay the stay I had cancelled it and booked elsewhere. We stayed at the Magic Hotel in Bergen and it was gorgeous! The rooms great, the location could not have been better, incredibly comfortable bed and all-inclusive breakfast in the morning. If you are heading to Bergen, I couldn’t recommend this hotel any more!

Really not too much to update on today, given it was a transit day – only that we are finding the serving of hot fish meals on planes to be, um…different? Also a lady kept turning around in her seat and turning our air pumps off above our seats. Seriously she did it three times, until I had to tell her ‘No, leave it – that’s my fan and it’s on me’. Oh and the other lady that tried to stay on her mobile phone during our plane’s taxi – hiding behind her seat. Hilarious.

The Scandinavians are a very tolerant and patient bunch, put it that way! We all know what sort of responses occur with that sort of behaviour in America!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

Barefoot Farm Byron – Our Camping Adventure

Very little is needed, to make a happy life – Marcus Aurelius

Sometimes you just have to escape, am I right? Honestly it has gotten to the point where I am sure that G and I really only have quality time together at the end of the day, when we eat dinner and before we go to bed. I am incredibly thankful for everything we have and everything we continue to grow, but I have to tell you, I miss my Husband. So very much!

IMG_0329With only five or so weeks to go before our trip of a lifetime, and faced with our first weekend together in six weeks (seriously!), we woke up last Saturday and we just knew that sitting at home was not going to cut it. It just was not how we were going to want to spend out weekend!

The weekend I went hiking with my friend to watch the blood-moon, she told me all about YouCamp, an amazing Air BnB type platform, but for camping on private properties. Seeing as G had only just bought his new toy (the double swag), and faced with a particularly warm “winter” weekend we decided to hit the road.

G has gone camping many, many times before and as a man, he is quite comfortable just jumping in the car and going. I on the other hand, am really struggling to learn the art of ‘minimalism’. My Mazda 3 was packed within an inch of her life (her name is Scarlett by the way) and we hit the road. We had found the Barefoot Farm Byron, which is a gorgeous working pecan farm with a stunning Pantry on its property.

It only took us around two hours to get to our destination, that was with heavy traffic along the Motorway. We were warmly welcomed by Ash and Matt and shown around their property, honestly our excitement levels to be staying on such a beautiful property, for such an affordable price was beyond. To think we had thought of paying for a hotel somewhere for the night instead!

G had the swag up in a matter of minutes and then went off to prepare the firewood. I decided to take the drone out for a spin, which was all well and good before we lost lighting and I somehow landed her in a tree. Soooo, hopefully any day now my new blades and the blade protectors arrive in the mail! Practice makes perfect I suppose and better I crash her while we are in Australia and before our big trip overseas.

We spent the night by a beautiful fire, enjoying the Aussie version of s’mores and drinking whiskey (he) and wine (she). Having no electrical distractions (no reception) beyond our already downloaded music and the calming sound of the fire in front of us was perfection.

As for the stars, of my goodness – the stars! They were absolutely incredible and we were right under the path of the milky way. We had our first attempt at shooting star trails and it has given me enough confidence to try and work on it a little more before our big trip overseas.

I definitely could have packed a tenth of what I did and could have gone with the clothes on my back and maybe a beanie, but like I said – I would not know how to pack lightly if my life depended on it. I suppose the only reason I did not take more, was because my little hatchback was filled to the brim already!

We had one of the best sleeps we have in weeks, no barking dog next door or little girl across the road who is constantly yelling at her neighbours to play with her. No cars, no planes (we live super close to the airport and right under the path for landing). No doors slamming or fire alarms going off. Just the sound of nature, a couple of cows in the distance and the crackling of the fire. Absolute bliss!

IMG_0420I woke up to a beautifully cooked breakfast and fresh orange juice and the most beautiful morning breeze making its way through the swag. Coming home was incredibly disappointing, but having spent such a beautiful night away with my Husband, without distractions was unbeatable.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

Courtney Gaye Signature copy

5 beautiful sunrise quotes <3

IMG_0262

“When you do something beautiful and nobody noticed, do not be sad. For the sun every morning is a beautiful spectacle and yet most of the audience still sleeps.” – John Lennon.

IMG_0295

“Come sit with me, and we can watch the sun stretch in the sky as our city wakes, ever so slowly, into a beautiful day.” – R.J.L.

IMG_0302

“Forever that girl that gets really excited when the sky is in pretty colours.” – Word Porn.

IMG_0304

“It was sunsets that taught me that beauty sometimes only lasts for a couple of moments, and it was sunrises that showed me that all it takes is patience to experience it all over again.” – A.J. Lawless.

IMG_0303

“The sun is a daily reminder that we too can rise again from the darkness, that we too can shine our own light.” – S. Ajna.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

 

My favourite Camera Gear

Picking your photographic gear, is like picking a car. It is deeply personal. I remember saving for the Canon IXY DIGITAL 320 (2002), I had been going through two or three rolls of film a month and on my part-time Woolies deli wage, that just could not keep up.

So Christmas 2004 I skipped off to Harvey Norman and bought my brand new camera, the printer to go along with it and immediately started with it. In 2004, these were the specs of my first digital camera, which cost me, I think around $500 (possibly more):

3.20 Megapixels * 5.33 x 4mm Sensor * 2x Optical Zoom * ISO: Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400 * Min Shutter speed: 15 sec. My current love, ‘Dotty’ (my Canon EOS 80D) just for a small comparison to the above has the same specs of: 24.20 megapixels * 22.3 x 14.9mm Sensor * Digital zoom * ISO: Auto – 51200) * Min Shutter speed: 30 sec.

Safe to say, there is a noticeable difference, but one would expect that with 14 years difference! Before I purchased Dotty just before Christmas last year, I was the proud owner of Betty, a Canon EOS 550D with only the lens kit it came with, and she was my trusted Camera for eight long years and I cried actual tears when she stopped working.

acs_0237.jpg

My current (every-day) gear includes: my Canon EOS 80D, a 24mm pancake lens, standard 18-55mm lens and my new toy, a 16-35mm lens. I bought my camera strap from Etsy years ago and I love it.

I also have two polarising filters, one for my 24mm pancake and one for my 16-35mm lenses.

I have not included all of my gear, but since I started to really utilising my Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest pages I figured I would show the everyday gear I have.Camera House is where I have bought a fair chunk of my gear over the years and I have included the catalogue for them here.

-What do you use? 🙂

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post. I may however 

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x