Solo in Oslo: My thoughts and hotel recommendation

Last month I went on my first proper solo trip to Oslo, Norway. I can’t say that it was at the top of my list of places to visit; however, when I found flights for £5 each way over bank holiday, there was no way that I could let that opportunity fly by (no pun intended).

First thoughts

The first thing I noticed once arriving in Oslo (might I add in here that I was desperately hungry) was a burger for 360kr – £32 (accurate at the time of writing with an exchange rate of £1 : 11.03kr)

I mean, yeah I had heard that Oslo was extremely expensive but boy, I was not prepared for that at all. Although, my initial shock soon dissolved once I had left the airport, & came across more affordable prices. Surprisingly, I only spent a total £160 over the 5 days (yes, you guessed it – blog post/cost breakdown soon).

In addition to this, the cleanliness of the city also stood out & not just in terms of a visual standpoint; honestly, there is a noticeable difference in air quality from the moment you step off the plane. So it comes as no surprise to know that the EU have named Oslo as a European green capital, which is basically an award that acknowledges cities for their efforts in achieving high environmental standards.

Hotel: Comfort Xpress Youngstorget

Following the theme of environmentally friendly. The hotel I stayed in; ‘comfort xpress youngstorget‘ was (to my surprise) an eco friendly one, some of their initiatives include:

  • Not providing any plastic utensils: e.g Toothbrush holders, cups etc (they provide glass instead)
  • Cleaning your room every 4 days (unless requested otherwise)
  • Drinkable tap water (I don’t drink tap water, but I’ve understood that this is super important to the majority of travellers! If anyone knows of any sustainable water packaging companies please let me know so I can help save the planet too)
  • Recycling bins
  • Bikes to hire
  • No packaged toiletries (Shower gel is in bulk which reduces packaging)

Price: £290 for 5 nights

Majority of these initiatives are also cost effective, which means that it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to stay there! It’s good to note that the above price of £290 per night would be the same if you were traveling in a pair 🙂

The hotel itself had somewhat of a hostel vibe, or what I would imagine a hostel to be like anyway 😂. Upon entering, you are greeted by a couple of IPad’s that allow you to check yourself in, which in turn are overlooked by the main desk that doubles up as a ‘food checkout’ – situated next to the deli corner.

Deli Area

The rooms themselves were pretty small and basic, however I was upgraded (at no extra price) to a much bigger room once the staff became aware of how many nights I was staying for. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures as I kid you not, every time I stepped into that room I fell asleep.

Closing thoughts

This hotel is perfect for solo travellers as there are a number of places to meet new people & socialise. The upstairs lounge is effectively a co-working space, that has quite a number of people visiting each day. Downstairs, the ‘Grandma’s lounge’ has more of a chilled atmosphere; it comes equipped with a laundry area, a communal fridge and table tennis. I didn’t use any of these features, but I did grab a book and read for a couple of hours just to have a change of environment.

My all time favourite feature of the hotel would definitely have to be the rooftop area, which I annoyingly discovered on my last day. The views are absolutely mind blowing; paired with hammocks and various outdoor seating areas, it’s bound to be super busy in the summer.

24 hours in…Bologna, Italy

Hello guys, I hope everyone has had a great start to the week 🙂 I’m back at it again with another addition to the ’24 hours in’ series. If you follow me, you may have seen my first post ’24 hours in Lyon, France’ if not then you can find it here.

Much like my trip to Lyon, the purpose of this visit was for work. Although booking an afternoon flight meant that we were able to explore the city of bologna, before meeting our Italian colleagues in the office the next day.

Bologna is pretty unknown in terms of tourism. However, after experiencing the city in all it’s glory, I would definitely recommend you take a visit. Arriving in the city felt eerily similar to stepping onto the set of Game of Thrones. Not that I’ve ever been on the Game of Thrones set ( a girl can dream). Anyway lets get into the actual post.

Visit an exhibition/Museum

Regarded as one of the cultural districts of Italy, Bologna is home to an abundance of museums. There is bound to be an exhibition relevant to your interest/s at the time of your visit. If you’re into photography & art I would highly suggest you check out ‘Warhol & friends’ hosted in the Palazzo Albergati, which is running until June 30th.

Grab some gelato

Ok so you Can’t travel all the way to Italy and not have gelato, regardless of how cold your external environment is. I made that mistake on my trip to Milan back in 2017 & was determined not to play myself again. However, this trip definitely made up for it as we went to not 1 but 2 gelato places (both of which were amazing). Although, Cremeria Santo Stefano had many other flavours, most of which I had never heard of before. I decided to play it safe and order 2 scoops of mandarin (best decision ever). One thing to note is that Cremeria Santo Stefano’s menu is seasonal, so the mandarin may or may not be there in a few weeks.

A spot of sightseeing

Bologna is a small city. Pretty much everything is within walking distance, making it extremely easy to visit multiple places of interests in little time. One of the top attractions is Le Due Torri, which is said to be the tallest medieval tower. If you decide to climb the 498 steps, you are bound to get an amazing view of the city. Just round the corner you can find the Fountain of Neptune amongst a few naked women with water trickling from places they shouldn’t be haha.

Until next time

If you’ve reached this far, I want to thank you for reading 🙂 I hope that this post has been helpful in showing you a few gems of Bologna.

I’ll end with a couple of pictures that almost didn’t make it into this post.

24 hours in… Lyon, France

At the start of 2019, I was kind of bummed to be seeing the new year in on a plane. I jokingly thought to myself ‘start as you mean to go on …Whatever is happening now just sets the tone for the rest of the year’. And with that, I then decided that 2019 will be the year of travel.

A day later, walking into the office (as jet lagged as ever), I noticed a boarding pass on my desk… I was going to Lyon on an all expenses paid work trip.

Fast forward 6 days and I was at Gatwick (again) in a posh departure lounge that I managed to get in for free as none of the card machines were working.

Seeing as this was a work trip, we had very little time to explore the city. However, we managed to fit in a few things…

The Musée Miniature et Cinéma 

Situated in the ‘Maison des Avocats” (a UNESCO World Heritage building), lives the Musée Miniature et Cinéma. The museum is spilt into two categories, miniature and cinema. In the miniature section you can expect to find an abundance of miniature sets all created by European artists. The cinema section is filled with original props and costumes from highly popular films. You can explore the various different rooms on show here for hours. It took us around 2 hours to get around the entire museum at quite a fast pace.

The Ferris wheel – Place Bellecour 

Ok, so this is a bit of a seasonal one as the ferris wheel is only erected over the Christmas period. Although bitterly cold, the ferris offers amazing views of the city & lasts for around 15 minutes

French wine & nibbles

We ended our day in a traditional french restaurant which I can’t remember the name of. I think it was somewhat of an informal wine tasting restaurant that also served light food. I’m not much of a drinker so I stuck to one glass of wine & only managed to enjoy the olives amongst a spread of cheese & cured meats (yes, I’m Vegan)

Overall, Lyon was a short but enjoyable trip. It was quite hard to find food due to my dairy allergy, so if you do have dietary requirements, I would suggest using google to see what restaurants cater to you before venturing out

Things to do in: Grenada

Grenada, also known as the isle of spice is a small island in the Caribbean situated between Venezuela and St Lucia.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve visited the island. However, this is the first time that I’ve been able to explore the island and soak in the amazing history. There are so many things to do in Grenada, Some of which I will share with you in this post.

1. A trip to the chocolate factory

The Diamond Chocolate factory is one of the 2 chocolate factories on the island. Located in the parish of St Marks, the locally owned chocolate factory should definitely be on your list of places to visit. Not only do you get to tour the factory, you also get to taste all of their amazing flavours. The 60% Nutmeg is by far one of my favourites.

Did I mention that all of their products are vegan-friendly?

2. A relaxing beach day

BBC beach (Morne Rouge), is one of the smaller, quieter beaches in Grenada, perfect if you’re in need of a relaxing beach day. Grand Anse beach, on the other hand, is much more populated. Being the closest beach to the tourist ships, there is is an abundance of things to do here. From water excursions to restaurant hopping along the beach stretch, there’s bound to be something suited to all.

3. A dip in the sulfur springs

The sulfur springs are yet another way to relax on this beautiful island. I can’t remember the exact science behind how the sulfur mud & waters were formed (something to do with volcanos). But don’t let my lack of scientific knowledge put you off. This naturally occurring sulphur mud supposedly does wonders for the skin. You can apply and rinse off in the hot springs, or if you’re not up for it, you can always buy a bag of sulphur to take home & use as a face mask (like I did).

4. Take in the history at Fort Fedrick

Fort Fedrick was erected in 1779 by the French and still maintains a lot of the original features. Aside from all the history that awaits to be learnt, the fort also offers some amazing views of St Georges. An amazing place to catch the sunset too.

Anyway, that’s my list of 4 things to do in Grenada. Honestly, Grenada is such a beautiful country, and no I’m not just saying that because I’m from there (bias alert).

I’ll be adding more pictures to my photography page, feel free to check it out.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Christmas in Grenada

Some of you or may not have noticed that towards the end of the year I became extremely inactive, this was all for a good reason of course.

I was fortunate enough to spend the holidays in Grenada, amongst my family and best friend. Considering that nearly every family holiday takes place in Grenada, This was the first time that we’d be spending Christmas out there.

Unfortunately, I did get sick bang in the middle of the Holiday… I had a case of strep amongst an abundance of other things. I was not a pretty sight at all and I can say that pretty much everyone was fed up with my constant moaning.

Aside from being ill (just my luck ey) This trip was hands down the best I’ve been on. I was surrounded by love, friendship, beautiful scenery and let’s not forget the amazing weather. It was a great way to end the year and see the new one in.

A lot of reflection took place, which enabled me to see just how far I’ve come in the past year:

  1. I started this blog
  2. I left my job at pizza express and got an internship at a well known international company
  3. Got my mental health under control
  4. Travelled to Canada
  5. Purchased a new camera
  6. Started reading for fun again.

Although this may not seem like a lot, I feel as though I am already in such a better position than I was this time last year.

I also wanted to take the time to thank every single person who follows this blog and takes the time out to read, like & comment. It means so much to me ❤️I will definitely be doing a follow-up post about what we actually got up to whilst in Grenada & I might even put a little vlog together with the footage that I have, so stay tuned for that. For now, you can enjoy a selection of images (of me)  below 🙂