Glacier Norway

What happens when you turn a corner in Norway!

A moment lived in Norway by Georgina Mckimm, a traveler from United Kingdom

On February 22nd 2016, I moved into my VW Caddy and have been living in it ever since. One Van and No Plan is literally what it says on the tin! I live in my van (Callie the Caddy) and just take each day as it comes. Check out what I have learned and experience along the way!

Heading down from Bodo after spending a memorable few days in Saltstraumen, the plan was to head to the ferry then down towards the south of Norway, but when you turn a corner and there is a f***ing Glacier in front of you! Your plans change!

Parking up opposite the Svartisen Glacier it then becomes my sole mission in life to touch it! Now you could have done the touristy thing and grabbed the boat over to the other side for 150 NOK (15quid ish) but why pay for something when you can get there for free! So what I thought was going to be roughly a half an hour Kayak turned out to be a good hour +. Not that I minded as Kayaking around Norwegian Fjord is an awesome way to really understand the sheer size and beauty of them!  (check out the video of the Kayak over here)

After reaching the shoreline and hiding my bright Green kayak in the reeds I set off on what looks like an hour ish walk to the Glacier! Again I am seriously not good at judging these timings! Heading towards the Glacier and stumbling across two moose on the way is always an added bonus! Getting to the lake at the bottom of the glacier was stunning and you could really start to understand the sheer size of it! I was mesmerized back at the Van, let’s just say I was like a kid at Christmas!

The sunshine was now out in full force, having set of prepared for a day of cloud and rain a walk to the glacier in my full-length wetsuit was beginning to look like a bad idea! The walk around the lake was stunning, waterfalls falling from all around the glaciers shimmering in the sun through the trees. Tiny little streams trickling underfoot! Once you make it around the lake you get hit with a choice, you can follow the red or blue route up to the glacier! I did the obvious thing and choose red for Man Utd!

So off I scramble up the rocks, halfway up the red route you are hit with pretty much a vertical climb. Which I would definitely not recommend doing in the midday heat in a full-length wetsuit! The benefit of it I supposed was stopping every two minutes to breathe and take in the stunning views this place had to offer!

Reaching the top and popping your head over the last rock is an incredible feeling just standing there taking in the beauty of the Glacier, the height, the width, the coolness that radiated off it!

And the BLUES! Don’t get me started on the colors this thing had on show! On top the white, with a hint of baby blue to the underneath deep dark blue with shades of purple!

I sat there for hours just studying it with my eyes, the blues were mesmerizing! I really didn’t know you could get so many shades of Blue!

Then the sounds, the volumes of water rushing down underneath to droplets of water falling on the rocks around the edges! With the occasional sound of chunks of ice separating away and smashing against the ground!

After pulling myself away from the Glacier I decided my knees would probably thank me if I went back down the blue route! They did! I would recommend this blue route over the red route! Scrabbling under and over rocks and jumping through waterfalls much more fun route!

After heading back down from the Glacier and picking a few blueberries along the way I made it back to the Kayak just in time as the tide had come all the way up to the reeds and the front of the kayak was surrounded by water! Great timing as I didn’t fancy a swim back! I’ve seen the amount of Jellyfish these places hold! Thousands!!

The Kayak back seemed to go a lot quicker than the way there, probably cause I just spent the whole time reliving the beauty I had just seen!

I just touched a f***ing glacier!!!!

This traveller has a blog : Wake up to the World

credit photo : Georgina Mckimm

 

Life is simple

A moment lived in Norway by Georgina Mckimm, a traveller from United Kingdom

On February 22nd 2016 I moved into my VW Caddy and have been living in it ever since. One Van and No Plan is literally what it says on the tin! I live in my van (Callie the Caddy) and just take each day as it comes. Check out what I have learnt and experience along the way!

Edition 7 – Lofoten, Norway – EAT – SLEEP – EXPLORE

As you drive into Lofoten you are instantly hit by the sheer beauty of the place, you are turning corners and you can’t help but drop your jaw. You come to the end of a tunnel and as you exit the word WOW, just falls out of your mouth. There was a moment where tears just rolled down my cheeks! Had the utter beauty of this place literally brought me to tears, or was it the fact that I was listening to Adele?

These roads just didn’t feel real, nature is just truly breathtaking. Something surely can’t be this beautiful? It just went on for miles and miles. Picking a spot to park became so challenging as there was just way too many choices. Being surrounded by this much pure beauty really puts life into perspective, it’s simple – EAT – SLEEP – EXPLORE!

And that’s exactly what happened:

Whether it was adventuring around beautiful fjords, climbing up cliff edges, rock hopping through forests, discovering mini beaches at the bottom of mountains or kayaking around the Arctic circle in a bikini, (yes the Arctic circle packs some heat!). All while casually being accompanied by the occasional lion mane jellyfish floating along side!

Being here was like being totally at one with nature, cooking on open fires, collecting wood, drinking water from the most beautiful waterfalls and showering out in the open with the most amazing views. I just had not idea life could be lived like this, so simple but yet so fulfilling. Really got into the ease of kayaking for leisure and food, making fires for heat and cooking. Everything I was doing had purpose and pleasure.

Being here really got me thinking, what do we actually need? When you take away all the comforts of life and you really pin it back to what you actually need to survive? The basics would be:

Food
Water
Shelter
A very wise and influential guy once told me, that if a cave man was to be dropped into today’s society he would die within 17 seconds! The noise, the amount of people, the buildings and the technology in our society would be too much for the caveman to take in. This really got me thinking, WOW he is right it would. If you sit in nature, in the middle of nowhere what are you surrounded by? The sounds of nature, the wind, water flowing down rivers, animals rustling in bushes and birds flying overhead, the only noise pollution is the magical sounds of nature. Now if you imagine going from that and only ever knowing that, then being dropped into the middle of London or New York, you can begin to understand how you would only survive for 17second. Your brain would not be able to take it all in.

On this trip, I have been privileged enough to discover some real hidden gems in the mountains, woods and along the coast. Where I’ve been able to sit, chill and listen to nothing but the sound of nature. It really makes you think, all the things society offers is there to help you create more time for yourself, but does it actually work or is it just a distraction of your time?
TV, games consoles, laptops, phones and Internet, don’t get me wrong I’m not saying I could live without some theses things. But do they actual benefit us in anyway?

When you strip back to nature again, scrambling up waterfalls to take a bath, running around a forest collecting wood to build a fire, exploring the unwandered tracks of the mountains and forging for food. It made me think how lazy my life was before, turning on the heating, driving to a shop that is a 5 minutes walk away, sticking something in the oven.

I found this way of living far more fun and rewarding. Yes, it 100% took me longer to build a fire and cook on it, than sticking something in the oven. But when you free up your time you to experiment with these things, you being to see how simple life is. Learning how to build a fire by trial and error or actually communicating with the locals to find out what berries are okay to pick and eat rather than googling it just the natural way of learning. It’s more memorable, thus making us more likely to be able to retain the knowledge.

This trip has not only brought be back to nature but it has also taught me so much about myself. When you have just done a 12 miles hike, you are tired, want to sleep but you have to walk down to the waterfall to collect 10 litres of water and carry it back before it’s something I would have been like, na we can just get some at the next place. But the next place might not have water so you hike down to the waterfall to collect it as water is vital for survival.
I’m not saying I’m going to live this way for the rest of my life, but just having the chance to experience this I have learnt so much about what I actually need in my life, what I have wasted in the past and the way I will begin to look at things moving forward.

I would 100% recommend taking a few day or longer to get back to nature!

Do it and let us know how you find the experience.

This traveller has a blog : Wake up to the World

credit photo : Georgina Mckimm

 

What is the Wandurlust Life all about?

A moment lived in Holland by Lauren Baratt, a traveller from United Kingdom

This post is designed to give you a taste of what a wanderlust life is actually about past the words and the deep quotes. The aim is to inspire you through real life stories and photos to try something new and possibly see something that could end up changing your perspective on adventure and life.

Personally for me, Norway has given me the biggest taste of a ‘Wanderlust Life’. The country itself is beautiful and around each corner a new adventure is waiting for you. The countryside allows you to live off the land if you know how to use it. Throughout my time travelling. I have learnt and got more effective and efficient when it comes to living off the land. Within the Efjord, I scrambled to the top of a waterfall and took a ‘bath’ within one of the pools naturally created there. This was all whilst having an incredible view overlooking the stunning Efjord in front of me and a mountain behind me. The water was coming from the snow which had recently melted off the mountain so it was freezing cold (you can imagine on the nip on) but also really refreshing at the same time.

The day after a short drive down the road we came across the Sagfjorden. There were a number of small islands a short distance off the shore so we decided to kayak out to these. On the way around I found out that these islands were completely owned by the birds after being dive bombed by seagulls and the whole Norwegian bird life (that’s what it felt like). Docking up on to a less bird populated island for a little adventure and of course a photo opportunity, I found mussels on the sea bed which we collected for dinner the next day. On the way back to the main land though a few pilot whales just decided to pop up out of the water. I got super excited and started screaming to George who had already made it back to the main land in some high squeal pitch I never knew I was capable of making.

Having cleaned and soaked the mussels overnight they were ready to eat. It took about 4 hours to clean the mussels and it definitely was not the most pleasant of tasks I have completed. Tonight though we were cooking in an awe-inspiring place. Next to whirlpools. The Saltstraumen in Norway has the world’s strongest tidal current so four times a day when the tide goes in or out you can see whirlpools. Click here for whirlpool timetable. Although the whirlpools are absolutely better when the tide goes out. Witnessing the strength of nature unquestionably an astonishing thing to witness. What I enjoyed the most were the seagulls who would just float around on the whirlpools… the little things in life hey!!

So a wanderlust life, what exactly is it? Well for me a wanderlust life is a life where no plans are created. You go with the flow. Make the most of the nature around you, becoming resourceful and using it to your benefit. Not to destroy it. A life where you never know what adventure awaits around the corner. The really beauty of a Wanderlust life is that you need to discover what exactly it is for you…

This traveller has a blog : The adventure diary

credit photo : wikimedia.org

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Joik

A moment lived in Norway by Christie, a traveller from USA

Have you ever sung in the shower before? How did you feel? For me, I feel like I’m not trying to impress anyone. I am just singing because there is something I need to get out of my system. It’s pure expression of how I’m feeling and in a way, who I am. Now imagine you had some watching you, listening to you as you sung in the shower (let’s say for this you are wearing a bathing suit). That is the closest description I can think of to describe a ‘joik.’
Let me back up. In mid March 2016 I went on a solo trip to Tromsø, Norway, an island town with a population of 70,000 in the arctic circle. I stayed at a little bed and breakfast on the side of hill overlooking the city below. I ate waffles every morning (and on some evenings). My mission was to see the Northern Lights, get a selfie with some reindeer, and go skiing in fjords. Well, fortunately enough I did get to do all of those things, but I brought back with more with me than just a selfie while visiting the reindeer.

The sun was shining and the temperature was just above freezing when I arrived at the Sami reindeer farm in the fjords of nearby Tromsø. The Sami I should explain, are the indigenous people of Lapland -the arctic region of Finland, Sweden, and Norway. They have their own language, and own unique culture. For years they have been a nomadic society, living from the land and on the reindeer, letting nothing go to waste. Most Sami people these days have normal jobs and houses like any other person, but 10% are still reindeer herders. For them, it’s not a necessity, but a lifestyle they’re endeavouring to preserve against the tide of the 21st century.

The farm was a field covered in snow, surrounded by water and the mountains of the fjords. After feeding the reindeer, taking a short sleigh ride, and of course getting many selfies. The group of visitors strolled into the lavvu (a kind of Sami tipi) to warm up and sample some reindeer stew. The in the center of the lavvu was a roaring fire with steaming kettles hung over it by iron rods. Surrounding the fire were wooden benches strewn with reindeer pelts. When we were seated, Eidnár (a tall young man with big fuzzy fur hat) and Jaská (a slightly older woman with fiery red hair) joined us. Both were wearing their traditional bright blue Sami clothing,

After explaining some Sami history Eidnár started to talk about joiking. Every Sami has their own individual joik, or song. One might compare to yodelling or a native American chant, with no ending. By listening to someone’s joik, you can tell what kind of person they are. Some have happy, boisterous joiks, others have longing, soft joiks. To share your joik with someone is to honor them, and it is equally an honor to hear it. Eidnár soon announced that he would share his joik with us. But asked that we not take any videos. This joik was for inside this lavvu only he said, not for the internet or youtube. He sang for a minute or two, with his hand clutching his chest and his eyes closed. It was like he had shared a deep part of himself with us.

Soon after we left the farm, and I had some time to reflect on the experience. The cynical side of me thought maybe this guy Eidnár just didn’t like the idea of a video of him singing floating around cyberspace. Then I considered more carefully and realized maybe he genuinely thought of his joik for us a private moment, one that he wanted to keep to himself. We are a part of this world where everyone posts everything on the internet. Whether it’s the moment you get engaged to be married, the meal you just ate, or a selfie with a reindeer trying to show off how adventurous you are. Maybe we shouldn’t share everything. Maybe when we share our most cherished moments with everyone, a part of what makes them special, because they are just ours, gets taken away. We live in a world where you can google anyone and in a few minutes know their life story. Maybe it’s time to add a little mystery to things again. So when people ask you “how was your trip to that exotic place?” you can tell them a story they don’t already know.

credit photo : Christie

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