Travel Diary (Day 22) – Oslo to Edinburgh

Day 22 11/10 – Oslo – Edinburgh

EUROPE - 3231We had an early morning to head back to the Oslo Airport and make our flight to Scotland. The excitement of heading to Scotland was there, but we were also really quite sad about leaving this amazing country. If you are travelling in and out of Oslo, I couldn’t recommend the Oslo FlyToGet service any higher. It will cost you far less than other modes of transport, the buses and trains are really comfortable and you’re guaranteed to get to your destination.

EUROPE - 2088

We lugged our massive (seriously, those backpacks were such a mistake!) to Oslo Airport and soaked in the little time we had left. Our boarding time was not until after lunch, so I had time to do some photo back-ups, FaceTime my family and also have a couple of cheeky wines.

Our flight was only an hour and a half and by lunchtime, we were flying over Scotland! We had a lot to see in our short amount of time in Scotland so we hit the ground running. We dropped our luggage off at our Premier Inn on Princess Street, went for a walk, grabbed coffees and kept on walking. We walked all the way through and to Old Town and again had the same feeling we did when we were in Oslo, wishing we had of had more time in this beautiful city!

Guinness and Whisky was our next step and as we sat down and soaked in the foot traffic along Edinburgh’s beautiful cobblestone streets, the surprise dimly lit alleyways and of course the imposing castle!

Edinburgh’s Old Town has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since the mid-nineties and I honestly felt as though I had stepped back in time. Victoria Street is absolutely gorgeous and rumour has it that it is the inspiration behind Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley.

We quickly decided that what we should do, is go on a Haunted tour through Edinburgh. Sounds like such a great idea after a few drinks, but by the time the sun disappeared, I have to admit I was seriously getting spooked out (and excited!). We decided to go with City of the Dead tours, it seemed to have the most comprehensive detail on their website, and we just hoped it wasn’t corny or had the tour guide dressed as a vampire or anything ridiculous.

EUROPE - 2101The tour itself was really spooky, especially when our tour guide (who was fantastic and not dressed like a B-grade Drama Student) would dull her candle or turn her torch off. I think the closest I came to losing my mind is when we were underground. There is a reason why this tour group has been named Britain’s Best Ghost Walk, it is so well done, very spooky (without it being over the top) and really highlights the fact that truth is always scarier and stranger than fiction!

Some fun facts about Edinburgh (hold onto your butts here)…

Ghost hunters and Psychics have long said that Edinburgh is one of the most haunted places in the world.

Hundreds of ‘witches’ were burnt at the stake during the witchcraft frenzy of the 17th century.

The underground vaults (absolutely the scariest place I have ever been) used to be the home for the poorest people in Edinburgh, as well as vagrants, thieves, sex workers and those with only the darkest of intentions.

Greyfriars Kirkyard is a graveyard which dates back to the 16th century and being there was just horrifying. Many claim that they are attacked by malevolent spirits. G walked right up to the back of one of the scarier cells. I feel things a little more deeply than G, so I was on high alert for most of the tour, I kept trying to lock down my mind and heart from racing (which took a lot of slow breathing and counting).

You can book a tour with City of the Dead here.

EUROPE - 2050Once we finished our tour we walked back down through Old Town, back to our hotel and off to sleep – ready to explore more of Edinburgh the following day before we drove to Glasgow!

Edinburgh I hope to come back one day and spend a week or so in your beautiful city!

x Courtney x

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

Oslo, Norway

Day 21, Wednesday 10/10

Waking up this morning knowing we had reached the end of our Hurtigruten adventure was bitter-sweet. We never like ending a cruise, but we had experienced such a wonderful time and we were excited to see what was next.

Thankfully we booze-packed our luggage the night before. So when we woke up it was really just our carry-on we needed to have sorted. Due to a miscommunication on our end, we were not out of our room by 8am as you should be and so we were in a bit of a mad rush to get sorted. G had already started looking at the weather in Oslo, to see if we would be getting back to warmer weather!

After we left the boat and headed to the bus which would take us to the airport, I was able to hug and give a kiss on the cheek to the exploration director, she was absolutely wonderful and I think she made the trip as good as it was!

Our bus ride to the airport was another cramped experience. Honestly, as majestic as the return trip would have been on our cruise, I think I am in desperate need for some wide-open spaces and need to get away from lines and crowds and rudeness and staring (seriously, four days is about my limit).

During our booze-packing last night, I seemed to have the insight that my luggage would absolutely be over the 20kg limit. We are flying with Norwegian Air Shuttle and I think this is the airline with the least amount of luggage permissible. I bought an extra two kg’s and thankfully came in with 400grams to spare. We cooled our heels at the airport for a couple of hours and we were able to say goodbye to our wonderful dinner buddies, Ros and Wendy – two beautiful souls from Adelaide who we had connected with on the trip.

As terrible as this sounds, honestly knowing we would not have to handle the aggressive behaviour and poor social skills of 75% of the guests on the ship had the same effect on us as too much champagne. As we boarded our bus and drove off towards the airport it was bitter-sweet. We could not believe that this journey which we had waited years for, was over. Just like that. What an adventure!

Once we made it to the incredibly tiny airport in Kirkenes, we had a few hours to wait before our flight. Our flight to Oslo was quite quick and to look out the window and see the beautiful landscape change so drastically was amazing. I guess given the 1800km stretch of land between Kirkenes and Oslo, was roughly the same as Cairns to Brisbane (with very little change in the landscape in comparison in terms of seasonal change), it was mind-blowing to see such huge changes.

Landing in Oslo was amazing, that airport is just phenomenal. We had less than 24 hours in Oslo and given our exhaustion we were so glad we had decided on the train into town for our very brief stay.

As we carried our gigantic backpacks, day packs and all of our de-robed jackets/scarfs through the streets we immediately realised that Oslo was a city we would return to one day. After spending a week in very cold, sparse areas of Norway it seemed a shame that we had only one night in Oslo.

We made it to our hotel, immediately received a room upgrade (this was so welcomed and so appreciated!) and then I decided to spend an hour in the shower. Washing, scrubbing, exfoliating, shaving (!) and basically stretching out in the gigantic shower-bath. I typically hate shower-baths, but after very cramped quarters on the ship, I was so excited to be able to reach behind my knees!

I decided to accompany my shower with 90’s music, a bottle of Limoncello (had only intended for a small glass but once I realised the extent of my wild-woman body-hair, the bottle quickly became necessary. An hour slipped away easily and as I emerged feeling like some glamorous, post-Arctic-circle siren – I threw my thermal leggings in the bin, dumped my empty Limoncello bottle on top of it, threw my hair into a top-knot and was ready for our express Oslo tour!

NB: ‘Tour’ means us legging it for as far as we can go in one direction, then coming home. Usually involves several stops at drinking establishments. Always completely worth it, as we always come across the prettiest places and sights, and all for free when you’re walking!

 

Our walk was warm and pretty and we could visibly see the seasons changing and I wasn’t wearing thermals! Yay! We hoofed it to Kampen and then walked back to Tøyen and then found ourselves standing outside what would quickly become Grant’s favourite part of Oslo. Way Down South. Hello, American BBQ. After all of the fish which I had consumed, and the Sheep’s Head we quickly tried to forget, it was for the best that my red-blooded man had come across a restaurant famed for their trays of meat.

*Edit – I have since become a vegetarian and I also believe that eating my weight in salmon and also seeing my Husband consume the head of a sheep had something to do with it. Oh, and the white/blood sausage, but that’s for a future post!

EUROPE - 947The hospitality was amazing, it was our favourite thing to do – banter with the Owner and Staff (our highlight was meeting the lovely Jim himself, enjoy delicious food, enjoy each others company and then go for a long and slightly tipsy walk home. We both left with our amazing #stretchypants t-shirts, full bellies and without the guilt, we perhaps should have felt, about scarfing down American style ‘Family Pickins’ platter BBQ in Norway.

Oslo was such a brief stop and I would be lying if I said I didn’t think of it often. One day I hope to return and spend a lot longer in Norway, explore the family heritage and throw ourselves into everything this beautiful country has to offer.

Thank you, Norway, for everything you shared with us, for all of your beautiful sights and for planting within us a seed to revisit. It will take us a few years (maybe ten or twenty) but we WILL be back!

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