Travel Diary (Day 18) – Hurtigruten Day 3

Day 18 – Sunday 7/10 – Welcome to the Arctic!

IMG_2653At midnight the night before, we had been given the advice that there were in fact going to be passing over the Arctic Circle sometime in the morning, there was the option to place a bet of the exact time this would happen and if you won, you could receive a prize.

We awoke at 7:32am and found ourselves passing the Arctic Circle, our gorgeous MS Kong Harald blasting her horns as we did so. It was something really beautiful to be a part of. It is a lot to take in, being a girl from Australia crossing the arctic circle on a ship! Here are some pics of the incredible views we had as this occurred.

 

This invisible line is situated at 66 degrees 33 minutes north and marks the border to the Arctic Region. However, the exact position does change, as of today it is 66°33′47.4″ north of the equator. It is the most northerly of the five major circles of latitude. It marks the northernmost point where the noon sun is visible on the December solstice and the southernmost point where the centre of the midnight sun is visible on the June solstice. Sadly the Arctic Circle is drifting northwards at a speed of 15 metres per year.

After our beautiful crossing of the Arctic Circle we headed off to breakfast and then came back up onto the deck for Hurtigruten’s Arctic Circle Ceremony on deck, an Arctic Baptism if you will. This happened at 10am. We were taken through one of the most fun and well-thought-out activities ran by the Hurtigruten expedition crew. We were all taken out onto the deck and there was a presentation with our expedition crew leader (who was fantastic by the way) and her warm, yet fierce welcoming of Norde, who appeared on deck and looked suspiciously like our other expedition crew member? Though his feet looked like mine, so I am sure he was the real deal.

 

We had read about the Arctic Baptism and thought about the icy-cold water being slipped down the back of our jackets, but it really is not until you are on that deck, freezing your butts off that you realise exactly how cold the entire thing is going to be.

ea5adcd4-7a50-4ea9-a885-3dda08d7966cWe weren’t there to muck around and there was no way we weren’t going to participate. We held back ten or so minutes to avoid the football scrum which any activity aboard the Hurtigruten managed to be before it was our turn. I am next to certain the Captain/Norde’s eyes lit up when they saw Grant and that ladle went to the bottom of that soup pot and was given the most impressive stir.

Sitting through it is fun, honestly, how many times does anyone pass through the Arctic Circle and have the opportunity to join in something so fun? If you weren’t awake before hand, you certainly were afterwards, I am pretty sure Grant and I were picking ice out of our clothes for the next hour or so! Thank you to the staff for the shot of cloudberry wine and of course the champagne, it certainly made it better!

Grant had way more poured down the back of his jacket and it was hilarious, we all knew who was behind the mask and I think they knew we were pretty good sports so it was actually pretty fun!

Our cold activities for the day were not over, we were excited to be docking in Bordø and to go on the Salstraumen rib boat adventure.

Salstraumen is a small strait with one of the strongest tidal currents in the world and is located in the municipality of Bodø in Norway. The Saltstraumen pushes up to 400,000,000 cubic metres of seawater through a 3-kilometre long and 150-metre wide strait every six hours and creates whirlpools. We had obviously booked this trip ahead of time and there is no way to tell where the tides will be at when you visit the area.Jules Verne wrote about Salstraumen in his novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Edgar Allen Poe has also written about the whirlpools in A Descent into the Maelstrom and it was even described by Herman Melville’s character Captain Ahab in Moby Dick.

Our rib boat safari took around half an hour to get to the Saltstraumen, being in that gorgeous Norwegian water going past sea eagles and the landscape (and of course, rainbows which we hd become accustomed to in Norway!) was beautiful. Beautiful and freezing, as if Norway was not cold enough, throwing yourself on a boat moving at top-speed was amazing!

We also saw parts of the Caledonian Fold Belt which is one of the world’s oldest mountain ranges dating back more than 250 million years. As we made it back to the terminal it started to hail/snow? Which as direct hits to the face was both painful and hilarious. When we arrived back to the port, the Captain of the MS Kong Harald was making it quite clear that we had gone over in time, so it was a quick change and back onto the ship.

There was one couple who seemed quite annoyed that the mans pressed slacks (I am not making this up) were wet and wasn’t the outfit meant to be waterproof? The largest man I have ever seen, who was hanging the outfits up laughed the best and loudest laugh I had ever heard and said “No, not at all! Embrace your inner viking!”.

It was time to continue on up the coast, hands-down one of my favourite days on the ship.

Courtney Gaye Signature copy

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

 

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Travel Diary (Day 17) – Hurtigruten Day 2

Day 17 – Saturday 6/10

This morning we awoke with our love of Norway burning deep in our hearts. Here we were in a country and along a coastline with history we had researched and heard of for years (we both have Nordic heritage). Did you know that the oldest human skeleton ever discovered in Norway has been carbon dated back to 6,600 BC?!

Although expensive, we were so glad to have paid for a room with a window. In my previous post I did say we did not have 100% visibility but what we did have was absolutely divine. The coastline, the mountains, the fjords. It’s all just absolutely magical.

We woke and made it to breakfast (another scrum of pushy and arrogant activity despite the beautiful hospitality of our staff), before we were to leave the boat for our Trondheim tour. A saving grace? Different bus tours for English and Deutsch speaking passengers. So the tourists who had decided that they were UFC breakfast buffet champions, were in-fact on another bus. #win.

Once it was time to meet down at the point for those of us who had paid tours to make, we again had to wait for those who did NOT have tours booked who of course shoved and pushed their way to the front. Hot tip: Just don’t be a dick. Wait your turn. Be polite to the beautiful staff looking after us. Don’t be a dick. Stop staring. Say please / hello / thank-you. Oh, and stop being a dick.

We made it to our bus and it was time for our Trondheim tour, inclusive of the amazing Nidaros Cathedral! This cathedral was astonishing and we lucked out with our guide within the Cathedral. The way this woman led her tour had us completely captivated and I fell in love with her instantly. There were no cameras inside of the Cathedral, which is pretty standard given those who are attending for prayer should not be disturbed by old Bob who has his flash on and is snapping a bunch of over-exposed rubbish pictures.

Now, the Nidaros Cathedral has an amazing history, I hope you will enjoy the next facts as much as I did!

  • It is built over the burial site of King Olav II of Norway and Saint Olav, the King of Norway, who became the patron saint of the nation, and it is the traditional location for the consecration of the new Kings of Norway.
  • It was built over a period of 230 years, from 1070 to 1300 but all works have continued until 2001.
  • It was taken from the Catholic Church by the Church of Norway in 1537 (and this was after a turmoil of the 16th century Protestant Reformation).
  • Norwegian Christian Faith was extremely influenced by continental Europe, the Holy Roman Empire and German Confederation.
  • Nidaros is the northernmost medieval cathedral in the world.

If you do get the opportunity I would definitely recommend a visit. I only wish I had more time in Trondheim, or that I had not fallen asleep on the tour after the Cathedral tour!

Tonight was our first night on the Hurtigruten where we had an arranged table for dinner and we were seated with two lovely ladies from Adelaide, so it is always nice to meet someone from home when you are away.

Dinner was phenomenal and I seriously was flirting with the possibility of becoming part-fish, if I continued to eat the amount I was each day! Cannot best that Norwegian salmon though, not at all!

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

Travel Diary (Day 15) – Sogndal – Bergen

Day 15 – 4/10

Well, sadly our time in Norway had come to an end. It was time to wave goodbye to our gorgeous Air BnB boathouse loft and head back to Bergen. Now on any other holiday and in literally any non-Scandinavian country we would have taken our time, we would have just paid the extra day. We however were renting a car in Norway and therefore there was absolutely zero chance we would be returning our car a minute past 11:30, because quite frankly we didn’t have the money to spare!

Grant woke us up at 6am and we were on the road by 6:30am, heading back to Bergen. Being the Wife of the year I consider myself to be, I very solemnly swore to remain awake and alert with Grant for the four hour journey (in the dark and in the rain). I then woke up in Njardarheimr in Gudvangen, which was around two hours into our journey. Bad Wife. Also, can I just say how confusing it is to wake up after sleeping to see two traditionally Viking dressed persons at the service station?

However this was not the most shocking part about the service station. Oh no, not at all. Pop quiz for all of you playing at home. How much would you expect 3/4 of a tank of diesel for a VW Polo? Did you guess $120 AUD? No?! Weird! Neither did we. I think we only cried for the next 40km.

Once we made it back to Bergen, it was apparent that the beautiful weather we had been experiencing was long gone, it was absolutely bucketing down. So rather than wrangling all of our luggage in the rain in a cab, Grant dropped me at the Hurtigruten terminal and took the hire car back and then he cabbed it back to me.

Now. What happened next may or may not be a miscommunication, but it kind of set the tone for the rest of that day. We were aware that you could do a bag-drop at 1pm (thank god!) and could check-in from 3:30pm and get onto the ship. So, we cooled our heals in the coffee shop at the terminal, excited to know that technically it was our last out of pocket expense for food for the next week (we had paid for the full-board package oh our journey (this does NOT include alcohol). We dropped our bags at 1pm and asked what we needed to do to check-in. Now, our recollection of these instructions were that we could get our tickets and then at 3:30pm we could go upstairs and board. Pretty clear right?

So off we skip, into town to try and see more of Bergen than we had the other day. Except it was hammering down rain, which we don’t mind, but it can really kill your strolling around town vibe! We went to the Irish pub we had seen, except they don’t open until 5pm and quite frankly, I am not sure the Irish are aware of this. Surely it’s against Irish law?! The barkeep (I am positive that’s not the term, but ah well) kindly told us (with judgement in his eyes) that no, we could not drink there but thankfully there was a coffee shop around the corner where we could get a meal.

We found a booth at said coffee shop, saw a sign for ale, reminded one another of the dietary blessing that is a stout that it’s magical liquid is basically a steak and two eggs and that technically we were eating.

Guinness was not available but we found Murphy’s Irish Stout and promptly ordered several pints of this. We FaceTimed the kids which is always really nice when we are travelling and let them know that we would be on a ship for the next week so reception might be poor. We then took a walk around the old fishing village and checked out a few stores.

Bergen was founded in 1070AD and was the capital of Norway for many years. A central point for Norwegian travel it holds the beautiful history UNESCO-listed Bryggen district, which is dated back to the 14th century. When we stopped in at one of the sweet little gift shops down an incredibly old alley, we learned that the Norwegians take great pride in their manhole covers on their roads, and in fact each municipality has a different plate with intricate designs on them.

We had an hour to spare before we could get onto the ship and so we found a local supermarket, bought two rather large beers and drank them like uncouth backstreet bandits. It was pouring and we had a few stouts under our belts. Not my proudest moment but hey, that’s travel for you babe!

Now is the time to bring back into focus the aforementioned ‘miscommunication’ at the check-in counter, because it’s a doozy. We make our way upstairs, the lovely lady tells us that check-in has been moved to 4pm. No matter. That’s just another half hour wait. We see downstairs that there is easily 200 people waiting to do their bag drop and check-in. Oh my god we think, thank god we did that earlier. That line looks horrendous.

So 4pm rolls around, we’ve got the jump on hundreds of people and then it happens. We find out that yes, we’ve done a bag drop but no, we aren’t checked in. Wait, what?!

So downstairs we go, beaten. Devastated. Horrified. We were now at the back of the line of hundreds of people who, and I mean absolutely no disrespect here, but people who in the event of any emergency are not winning that hate v. Tortoise race. Ever.

An hour and a half later we get to the front. We check-in. We’ve had at least 15 comments on our age, our lack of luggage, our height and our age. Great.

Hurtigruten is not marketed as a seniors cruise, so let’s get that out of the way. It’s an incredible, educational and adventure trip up and down the coast of Norway and guess what? We had every right to be there with ever other person and we had certainly paid for it!

All of that aside we finally made our way onto the ship and even though they advise your rooms are not available until 6pm we figured if the room opened we could go in and drop our belongings. I think we may have been the reason it was announced over the speaker that you were not permitted into your rooms until 6pm. Sorry Hurtigruten. Also when we made our booking we had requested and paid for a room with unobstructed views. Trust me when I say the price difference is noticeable. So when we first boarded and saw large life boats sitting outside our room, our hearts sank. However when we had a peek into our room we saw that for the most part we could see outside of our window. Not whilst in bed though, we could only see the lifeboats. So that was disappointing but not the end of the trip.

Once we were allowed into our rooms we unpacked, found the laundry – washed our clothes and got ready for dinner. Our dinner spot for the first night was beautiful, the food was amazing and our early night to bed, in the comfiest bed we had had all trip was welcomed.

It was time to start our Hurtigruten voyage!

Travel Diary (Day 12) – Bergen to Sogndal

Day 12 – Monday 1/10 – Bergen – Sogndal

We woke up this morning in beautiful sunny Bergen, completely taken away with what an incredible location our hotel was. We were staying right near the fish markets and it’s location to the harbour made us wish we were staying for longer!

Our hotel came with a free breakfast and everything you could possibly want was available to us. I will never say no to a free breakfast, I’ll pretty much load up on as much food as I can to survive the day. Also, given the price of pretty much everything up here I’m inclined to shove pastries in my pockets (but haven’t….yet).

After a quick walk around Bryggen, several coffees and a forty-five minute battle with Lycamobile via phone / text / app and website to get G’s up and running. Here’s a tip, play dumb when someone rude as hell in an airport sells you a Sim and Credit, and ask them to top it up for you. Otherwise you are going to end up with a useless little plastic SIM card.

We ended up seating ourselves at a coffee shop, feeding off of the free WiFi and managed to get Grants sim working for 100NKK, which was around $20 Australian. Also, the credit that comes with SIM cards in Europe is crazy! He know has 60gig, which I doubt he would use in a year. I on the other hand, Ashe dutiful Wife will make light work of it!

We headed back to our hotel, I packed our bags and Grant caught a cab to the Hertz to pick our car up and drive it back. He was back with a zippy little VW within the hour, we did a small grocery shop and hit the road.

Our nav told us it would be four hours out to Søgndal and it was already passed lunch so we legged it. We drove straight through Flåm by accident and decided to keep going, with the hope we could see the area on our way home. Originally when we made our travel plans we had intended on doing the Norway in a Nutshell journey, but the price was obscene and still incredibly limiting without your own transport, so we scrapped that and decided to make our own way.

We had time to stop and see the incredible Borgund Stave Church, this place is absolutely incredible and was completed in the 12th Century.

Our little hire-car did the job and before we knew it we had made it to the Manheller-Fodnes ferry, which only costs around $20AUD to get across to the otherside. The efficiency of these barges are amazing. Once we crossed the fjord we were faced with two tunnels, one of which was 24km long! Which is a crazy long tunnel to drive through.

As we drove into Sogndal, we knew we had made the right choice, on heading in-land for a while, just our Air BnB in the loft above a boat-shed. We arrived quite late so we did a quick shop (just basics but honestly, the price of Norway is crippling!).

Sogndal is a municipality in Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway. It is a beautiful little town on the northern shore of the Sognefjorden and has a population of just under eight thousand people. Your three star hotel averages around 200 euro’s, thankfully we had managed to score our Air BnB for three nights for under $600.

We settled in with some wine, some Netflix and an early night, we wanted to make sure we made the absolute most of our time in the area!

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

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

Hypoxi – my honest review

Do you remember the first time you didn’t like your body? When you first started to pick apart all the parts and pieces which make you, you? I do. I was 14, I guess I need to be thankful that it was not before this, which I am positive our next generation are acutely aware of at a much earlier age.

At 32, I think I have given most methods a try. In terms of diets I have tried Atkins, Ketogenic, Weight Watchers, Mediterranean, BodyTrim, Lite & Easy, Clever Guts, calorie counting and weighing my food to the gram. With exercise I have had the gym memberships, gone to classes, been involved in boot-camp, bought the heart-rate monitor, running, swimming, HIIT, fat-burning cardio – the lot.

Not in an obsessive way of course, just little lifestyle changes from time to time. Sometimes I successfully kept the weight off for a while and then due to bad practice would put it all back on again (my fault).

I am finding the weight harder to shift, it is more stubborn, it is dense and with a risk for intracranial hypertension – I need to be both mindful and aware of my BMI. Around 4 months ago I was so sick of going to the gym, that I stopped going. My bike tyres kept blowing out, so I stopped riding to work and quite frankly the mornings were cool and dark, so early morning exercise was out of the question (again, this is all my own doing).

My girl friend in Sydney runs her own Hypoxi clinic and for a few years she has told me about the benefits. My best friend and MOH two years ago went through a Hypoxi program prior to my wedding and had great results. I am coming up to the completion of my eight week program and with many of my girl friends asking for a blog post and an update, here it is!

What is Hypoxi?

Hypoxi is a low-impact exercise that promotes quick and targeted results (fat + cellulite)sessions. With advanced vacuum and compression technology (and nutrition) Hypoxi activates your body’s natural system to burn specific areas of fat and cellulite.

Who is Hypoxi?

Hypoxi was developed by a sports scientist, Dr Norbert Egger and his interest in shifting the problem areas for women resulted in the development of Hypoxi, which made it’s way to Australia in 2005.

How do I Hypoxi?

Lucky for all of us, Hypoxi provides a free initial session for anyone and everyone, during this session your local Coach will assess your requirements and objectives and explain Hypoxi. There are many studios, find your closest one here.

When do I HYPOXI?

There are some independent studies to read, which you best believe I poured over before I decided to try it out – link is here.

Hypoxi is a low-impact exercise that promotes quick and targeted results in just 30 minute sessions. Science is backing this one and being the ever-cautious research nut that I am, it took me a few months before I decided to try it out.

Thankfully there is a free session available to all, which gives you the chance to speak with your local franchised, discuss your wants, needs and expectations and also try it out.

I approached the Bulimba clinic pretty nervously, I feel most vulnerable talking about and showing my body to others. I prefer to hide in the corner of the gym, or go for walks in the dark. It’s just how I am. So it took courage for me to claim my free session and head in.

I could not have been welcomed more warmly than I was by Bec, Although I was suspicious of being presented with unachievable projected goals or a price-list that would make me cry, it could not have ben any different.

Bec is personable, friendly and logical. Having Bec be a part of my journey was wonderful addition to what would turn out to be an incredibly effective and enjoyable experience.

I purchased the eight week program, rolled my ankle pretty severely after week three and then needed a month off. So sadly my results were altered I would imagine because of this. Despite this, I couldn’t be happier with the results! So, my measurements after the eight week program!

I have lost 1.5cm from my waist (which is the smallest part of me, so pretty impressive!)

I have lost 9.5cm from my stomach.

From my hips I have dropped 6.5cm and from my bottom I have lost 5cm!

Safe to say I adore Hypoxi, I love my early morning sessions with Bec at the Bulimba clinic and I have one more week to go in my pre-purchased pack. Unfortunately I rolled my ankle half way through and needed three weeks off, however I still saw results I am beyond happy with.

nd I felt as though I was supported and encouraged in a totally judgement-free zone. Having my measurements taken was pretty daunting and distressing to a point. Have you ever just thought “How did I get here?”. Anyways, the trick is to not get too hung up on that and keep on moving forward.

Things to remember and to abide to, honestly I trialled following and not following these and the differences week-to-week were really noticeable!

  • do NOT consume food for two hours after your session and avoid carbs for a further 4-6 hours. Failing to follow this will result in burning your food, rather than your stubborn food.
  • no alcohol after your session and overall try to limit your alcohol consumption
  • no caffeine for two hours after your session
  • keep your water up – 2L per day if you can
  • avoid fruit immediately after your session also
  • in general try to stick to foods with less then 10mg per 100mg of carbs

The machines I used included the L250 trainer and the HypoxDermology (HD) suit, otherwise known as my sleep-time. This contraption rejuvenates the skin, improving its tone and texture and is modeled on the ancient Chinese practice of cupping. There are some complexities when getting into the suit. First of all, I am 5″9, so everything is long and I am tall, I also pack a bun on-top of my head that nearly requires its own separate hat – I am now at a stage where I can manoeuvre that bad-boy into the suit expertly (although I still forget to bring my arms down to a height which is appropriate for Bec to help me, sorry Bec). I go in this for half an hour before my thirty minute L250 session.So, if you are thinking of it giving it a go, you won’t be disappointed. Here are my before and after pictures. Which I’m not super comfortable sharing but for anyone like me who was searching high and low for independent reviews, then I hope this helps!

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

Travel Diary (Day 8)- Faroe Islands

Day 9 – Friday 28/9

Waking up and knowing that you are heading to a magical land you stumbled across through Pinterest five years ago, is to say the least, a little overwhelming.

As excited as we both were, we really had no idea what our expectations should be or what we would be coming across. We knew that the weather for most of our trip was likely to be rain-filled, windy and cold. So to some degree we were prepared for that (side note: jeans, as fond as Aussies are of them, are not technically wet/warm-weather pants), other than that we had no idea what would be awaiting us.

We caught a cab from our hostel to the Copenhagen Central train station, as neither of us really felt like hauling our packs there. Once we were at the station it was all pretty straight-forward and just like that, we were on our journey to Vágar Airport, Faroe Islands. The flight was only two hours, Atlantic Airways has movies available on their internal and free Wi-Fi which is always appreciated! I made a terrible choice and watched a movie about an elderly couple, one of whom has Alzheimer’s and the other terminal cancer. Grant watched a comedy and his thoughts were “why are you crying? Always go dumb with the movie Courtney. Always”. I’ll admit it, there was far too much crying on that plane.

As our plane came in for landing and we spotted many of the Faroe Islands our of our window, we were nearly jumping from our seats. Flying into the Faroes is other-worldly, it is honestly like nothing you have ever seen before. Or in our case, will ever see again.

Getting off the plane was easy, getting the keys to our hire car was easy – there was just one problem. My international sim did not work there. Grant had bought a SIM card at the Copenhagen airport as well as the top-up credit, with the assurance (yet disdain) that it would work by the cashier. Yet here we were, in the Faroes with absolutely no reception. Thankfully I managed to feed offa servo’s Wi-Fi as G bought us very bizarre drinks (my request admittedly) which tasted like Guinness cola soda (but in a bad way, not a good way). So after a few back and forthcoming we found our Air BnB in Tórshavn.

Our Air BnB absolutely blew away any expectations we had, it was gorgeous, local to everything and had anything you could possibly need. Relief. Pure relief after our bare-as-bones hostel stay the two nights before.

It was a converted area on the bottom floor of our hosts home. We had a separate bedroom, laundry, wet room, tv with Apple TV and a courtyard. The kitchen was fully equipped and it just felt like home. For three nights we paid around $600 Australian and our host had left some local fruit and biscuits and locally brewed beer as well. It was just lovely.

It was getting on in the day so we went and spent a small fortune on a grocery shop, came home, had a few drinks and watched tv. The little comforts. We also started planning our Faroe Island attack for the next couple of days.

I was still coughing and generally being gross (seriously a holiday tradition of mine is to be a germ-riddled pain in the arse. So Grant slept in the lounge room, which is so unfair for him. He’s such a gentleman, honestly if it was me I would have kicked me out to the lounge room.

It was hard to believe we were finally here, this little place we had only dreamt of, changed our plans for and squirrelled away an extra amount of money which would make your eyes water to get there!

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

Travel Diary (Day 6) – Paris to Copenhagen

Day 6 – Tuesday 25/9

Today was the day we were to say aurevoir to Paris, as sad as it was we were incredibly excited to start the next leg of our adventure. Initially the morning did not start out well. We may or may not have over-indulged in the red wine on our dinner cruise the night before. So to wake up, pack our bags and get out and going was much harder than it should be.

Once we were packed and loaded to the high-heavens (why the hell have I packed so many things?!!), it was time to head to the metro station. Naturally the metro we needed had serious delays so we thought about catching the local bus. Then we realised that I’m horribly poor planning we didn’t have any cash to buy tickets (because, idiots). So we walked 500m the WRONG way, because our internet is deadset out to ruin our lives (seems dramatic, but remember = wine flu), then we turned around and walked the other way. Then we got off at the right stop to catch the bus that goes directly to the airport. Of course on the wrong side of the Arc de Triomphe, which meant legging it the other way. Then we horribly, terribly, inexcusably asked the bus driver if we were at the wrong one. This question caused the type of offence you would think would occur if you kicked someone’s dog or spat on their bus. He yelled at us in French and indicated we should basically piss off. To be fair, G spoke French really well when he asked the question. So, go figure. Maybe he had wine flu as well (or was an a-hole). The next bus driver was lovely and told us to move one bus stop down (old mate cranky pants had told us to walk around the corner, so he’s a jerk).

Regardless, we made it to the airport and might I say, these European airports have got this check-in situation SORTED. For someone who likes a smooth check-in, having the ability to pretty much do the entire thing on my own – is total travel bliss. Charles de Gaulle airport is really cool, it reminds me of a museum, all of these different tunnels and escalators weaving in and out from each other.

Once we got to our gate, I awkwardly made myself the table mate of a man who was sort of kind of hogging all the power-points. It must have been interesting watching this non-French speaking human pull out around 12 cables and plug in every single digital appliance known to man and get to charging!

G came back with chocolate croissants the size of our heads and two gigantic coffees. Hello wine-flu cure! Our flight from Paris to Copenhagen was around two hours. Luggage pick-up was cruiser and we were out of the airport within half an hour. What’s crazy is this whole non-boarded situation, it seems such a waste having to buy a 50-something page Passport only to get two stamps!

We bought a two-day travel pass for our stay, because we knew it was the best value for money. We had so many grand plans for Copenhagen, such limited time BUT, I was quickly crashing from some germ I had picked up from somewhere. We caught a Taxi to our hotel as Uber does not exist in Copenhagen (how reliant on Uber’s we have become for clear instructions, despite any language complexities!). Once we made it to our accomodation, we quickly found out what the meaning of a hostel is. Upon check in, we paid for a laundry room card, were given a couple of bags of sheets and towels and we were on our way. The view was spectacular, but after our luscious stays in Paris, the bare-bones hostel style was somewhat shocking. Once the bed was made, I was out. I slept from 3pm until the next day. So poor G was left to his own divides. Props to him though, he went out and wandered and got a feel for the place. I’m just sorry I missed it. My body desperately needed that sleep though. Apparently I slept/snored and tossed around like a demon-possessed freak for the night, but I think it helped.

Unfortunately, I did not really make the best of our time in Copenhagen for day one, but we made it, illness sometimes happens when you travel, and with a month ahead of us, I needed to just miss our a bit and let my body do its thing.

We made it to Copenhagen!

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 go-to movies to make my heart happy <3

I absolutely LOVE throwing myself into a movie, tv series, book, music – you name it, if it offers me some form of escapism, or if I am hungover, or if I just do not want to leave the house – then I am in! I have 100’s of favourite movies, but here are ten which, without fail, are the movie version of chicken-soup-for-my-soul.

In no particular order, here is my list of my favourites – enjoy! P.S These are normally enjoyed with tea and or wine ;).

Overboard (1987)

This is a movie which I watched with my sister and my mother so many times, we have lost count. It’s hilarious. Goldie Hawn a snooty heiress who ends up with amnesia and becomes the ‘Wife’ of the Carpenter (Kurt Russell) she mocked? Amazing. If you re-watch it now, I guess you could say ‘kidnapping’ and ‘criminal’ and ‘immoral’ but I just think it is 1987 at its finest. Also seeing as I am constantly being asked when I am having a baby I like to quote this exact movie ‘if I have a baby, I won’t be the baby’ ;).

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

Steve Martin’s epic journey to get home to his family for Thanksgiving, trailing along with the ever-annoying, but loveable John Candy. It is another movie that reminds you that kindness costs nothing. It is a comedy, and I remember laughing with my entire family watching this one, but it also gives me all the feels. Despite its age, the core of the story remains ever-relevant.

Mrs Doubtfire (1993)

Hellooooo! I watched this movie probably 4 or 5 times every year when I was a kid. It was my first exposure to divorce, Robin Wiliams’ extraordinary talent, San Francisco, cross-dressing and Pierce Brosnan playing a skeazy d*ckwad. I love this movie, I still watch this movie and I cry every time I think about poor Robin and the pain such an amazing man experienced throughout his life. Also the sentence ‘the whole time!?’ is a staple in our household.

Practical Magic (1998)

I definitely seem to love the movies with lost love, not sure why! Is that morbid? I don’t know. I love Practical Magic, it came out when I was about 15 and excuse the pun, but it was completely bewitching. It was also scary when I first watched it – it did however remind me that love is real and one day I would have it <3. I love Sandra Bullock and I cannot help but love ‘our’ Nic. It also reminds you to stand up for yourself, not to give into bullying and to have your families back x

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

Heath Ledger. Kat’s Teen angst. A powerful female character who was not the most popular chick in school and who was well-read. Heath Ledger. That scene with Joey doing the exact same pose for underwear and swimsuits at Bogey Lowenstein’s party. Oh my god. The poem, the end scene, the kiss at the paintball. Just stop. 14 year old me could barely handle the excitement of this movie (and 31 year old me is still the same level of excited). This movie always makes me feeling ‘just whelmed’ :).

Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)

This movie has won no particular accolades, many people have not even seen it. I remember borrowing it from Video Ezy in one of my manic Friday afternoon 10 for $10. However, from the first time I saw it – I loved it and I still love it to this day. Diane Lane is Frances, a writer who goes through a marriage break-down and impulsively buys and restores a tuscan villa on a holiday. Uplifting, inspiring, girl-power, you can do it on your own. I absolutely Love it. If anything, this movie taught me that I had to love myself before I could love someone else.

Love Actually (2003)

Liam Neeson, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Bill Nighy, Colin Firth? A little boy finding love and chasing after it with conviction even just after his Mum has died? Billy-Bob Thornton playing a sleazy American President? An entire village in Portugal thinking Jamie is there to kill Aurelia? What isn’t to love? It is a staple Christmas-time movie and to be honest, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love Love Actually, because, love, actually is all around ❤

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)

Who doesn’t love Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey as Benjamin Barry and Andie Anderson in this movie? All of the feelings! Special mention to Kathryn Hahn for being her usual hilarious self in this one as love-clueless Michelle. I like this movie because it embarrasses men and women – shows us how ridiculous we both can be! Also, Princess Sophia, making men curl their toes in embarrassment for years! Which couple hasn’t had the love-fern fight?

The Upside of Anger (2005)

Joan Allen is a woman whom I absolutely adore, and in this movie my love affair with her only grew. When Terry’s husband leaves her and her four daughters, her life is flipped on its head. Terry needs to draw strength to support her family and each one of their unique lives. It is gritty, it has some dark moments but it is feel-good. I do think its an adequate portrayal of a family filled with head-strong and very different women. Kevin Costner is brilliant in this as well and even though the movie is hardly all sparkles and sunflowers, it is a feel-good movie that I just keeping come back to.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Again – empowering! Also Meryl Streep (there is no Meryl Streep I do not love!) Emily Blunt (the most adorable English rose in Hollywood if you ask me). Stanley Tucci, the thought of being exposed to all of that fashion! Ruthless behaviour, demanding Boss. Sign me up! It’s glossy and not a true portrayal of probably any real-life situation but I don’t care. I love it and it makes me happy.

P.S I Love You (2007)

Ireland, Gerard Butler, the ultimate acts of love – even beyond the grave, a family rallying together to support a woman who has lost the love of her life. I love this movie. It makes me bawl my eyes out, it makes me remember why I love who I love and to let them know. Every, damned, time. The book is amazing and although I am not the biggest fan of Ms Swank’s, I absolutely adored the movie.

Tell me, what is your go-to movie, to perk yourself back up?

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 am not paid any sponsorships at all, 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

x C x