Last I left you we had just seen some amazing Norwegian Waterfalls on the way to Gudvangen. Why were we headed to this small village in Aurland, Sogn og Fjordane? To visit the Viking Village of course!
The Viking Village is nestled between the Kjelfossen (one of the tallest waterfalls in Norway, 755 metres) and the spectacular Nærøyfjord. During the Viking period, Gudvangen was an important place for trade and it’s name translates to a ‘place of the gods’. So this is a fitting location to step back in time and experience the Viking way of life.
Before we visited the Viking Village, we took some photos on the Nærøyfjord. It is the most majestic fjord. The water is so clear and catches the shades of green from the mountains that dominate the landscape.
Continue reading “Norwegian Road Trip Day 1: Viking Village (part 2)”
Today I will bring you along on our road trip in Norway. If you have been following along you know that last we were last in Bergen. We only had three days to fit in as many stops as we could and make it back to Bergen to fly out. Most guides from Bergen recommend driving out to Flåm and driving same direction back. I thought it would be better to do a round trip, so that we would see more. I couldn’t find a guide that recommend a round route, so we kinda made our own and booked our accommodations to correspond with our stops.
The map below shows the general direction with some of the major stops. This route is totally doable in 3 days, even with a screaming toddler in the car. Some of these stretches are a bit long, which is because the mountainous terrain and the fjords that take longer to navigate. Many of the water crossings require a river ferry, which can take time and do require a fee. However this gave us unforgettable scenic views and made the drive definitely more interesting as the landscape was constantly changing. FIY, we paid about $80 AUD in toll for these 3 days and there aren’t many signs for speed limits, despite the speeding camera.
Continue reading “Norwegian Road Trip Day 1: Waterfalls (part 1)”
The second half our of time in Bergen was spent visiting some of the sites outside of the city centre. By the time we eventually received our hire car it was the afternoon, but it was just as well, as it would have taken longer to get to the first two designations on foot or by public transport. So the highlights of our afternoon in Bergen include the Old Bergen Museum, Fantoft Stave Church, Fløyen and a delicious dinner at Pingvinen. We did return to Bergen a few days later before flying out so I included the lunch we had from a great little Norwegian burger joint, Søstrene Hagelin at the end of this post.
Continue reading “Bergen: historic trader town (part 2)”
This months Colouring Heaven magazine released in Australia is the Misfits Special (issue 35). It showcases the art of White Stag aka Terra Bidlespacher. I wasn’t sure if I was going to keep buying this magazine every month, but when I saw this issue I really liked the quirky artwork and wanted to see how I would go colouring this style. I really enjoyed it, so I have brought you another colouring book review for today.
White Stag aka Terra Bidlespacher is an American artists, based in Pennsylvania. She is known for her lowbrow, pop surreal, gothic fantasy art. Her unique style is characterised by the strange and cute girls and creatures, in scenes that are both intriguing, creepy and sometimes humorous. Her artwork mainly features she misfits characters painted in acrylic, but she also does drawings using ink and graphite. She has produced a series of Misfits colouring books with featured her original artworks. There are currently 10 full size colouring books and two mini colouring books. Most of these colouring books explore different themes, including aliens, zombies, unicorns and halloween. For more information of where to purchase White Stag’s colouring books see the end of this post.
I don’t currently have any of White Stag’s colouring books in my collection, so I was very happy to see her work featured in this months Colouring Heaven magazine. The issue features a compilation of 40 designs taken from White Stag’s colouring books, so there is quite a variety in themes of themes, styles and characters. The issue itself is the same format as always, matt cover (that you can colour), 40 line drawings on single sided thin-medium paper, with titles for each picture. This issue only has the names of the artworks and no other information about each work. I appreciate this anyway, as I can google the original artwork to glean inspiration for backgrounds, colours, textures and light sources. This issue also features some Christmas themed pictures, so I will be sure to return to this book in the future.
For this issue I coloured three pictures and used a varieties of mediums, including water soluble materials. I also made a video flip through, which is up on my Youtube channel, along with more video of colouring book flip through with completed pictures. You can also see more Colouring Book Reviews and my Colouring Galleries and my Misfits Special Gallery on this blog.
Continue reading “Book Review: Colouring Heaven Misfits Special”
After the enjoying the breathtaking views on the Bergensbanen train from Oslo, we arrived to the beautiful coastal city of Bergen. Since we arrived in the evening, we only allocated the following day to explore Bergen before heading off a road trip. We tried to fit in as much as we could without spending too much. Did I mention how expensive Norway is? This is partly why we allocated only one day to Bergen, being a very popular tourist stop. Unfortunately, we were here on a Sunday which is the worst day to visit if you like to shop. All of the shops were closed (except for the tourist shops), as well as some of the cafes. Despite this we did fill our day with lots of site seeing. I have so many photos to show you that I have had to write two posts for Bergen. The highlights from the first half of the day include amazing Norwegian pastries at Godt Brod Floyen, exploring Bryggen (old town), visiting the Bergen Fortress and a delicious lunch at the famous Fisketorget (Fish Market).
Before I go on I will tell you a bit about the must-see Norwegian city. Bergen is located in Hordaland, facing the fjord of Byfjorden. It is the second largest city and is known as the ‘city of seven mountains’. It was founded by King Olav Kyrre in 1070, but trading in the area goes back to the 1020s. It was the largest city until Christiania (Oslo) surpassed it in the 1830s. Today it still maintains its old town character and is a major tourist stops for tourist and cruise ships. Indeed it is an expensive city, however its a great place to visit on the way to see the amazing fjords in this region.
Continue reading “Bergen: historic trader town (part 1)”
Our last day in Oslo was just really a half day since we had to travel to Bergen in the afternoon. I hate travelling during the day since it feels like such a waste, but with a kid it does make it easier. I tried to fit in a some shopping in Bogstadveien and a visit to the University Botanic Gardens before our epic train ride to Bergen on the Bergensbanen rail! If you would like to see the amazing landscapes I captured on our journey, scroll down towards the end of this post.
Continue reading “Oslo: botanic gardens & the Bergensbanen rail (day 3)”
The most recent Colouring Heaven magazine issue to be released in Australia was the Anime Special. I really loved the artwork in this book and after colouring a few images I thought I may as well do a little review as well.
Colouring Heaven Anime Special is Issue 34 and it was released in Australia at the beginning of July this year. In the UK it came out a couple of months ago, so I was already looking forward to this one. The artwork in this issue is exclusive designs by the Singaporean artist Desti from Collateral Damage Studios (Singaporean based studio). According to Colouring Heaven, she is a self taught artist and was influenced growing up by Japanese anime and manga. She was recruited by CDS and was commissioned to create designs for Colouring Heaven, which feature both traditional themes of manga and some recurring characters from the studio. You can find Desti’s artwork on her Instagram, Pixiv and Deviantart accounts.
This issue is the same format as the other Colouring Heaven magazine issues. There are 40 line drawings on single sided paper, with titles for each and a little blurb for most. The paper is white thin-medium quality, which takes pencils very well. So as for this issue, it features beautiful anime girls and explores a variety of themes. The designs feature Japanese iconic styles (ei. Lolita), special occasions and festivals (e.i. Valentines day, Tsukimi ), folklore characters (ei. Yuko-onna, Kitsune), Anime archetypes (Meido) and there is even an anime Alice in Wonderland. Typical of Colouring Heaven, most of the pictures have a little blurb explaining the concepts behind the line art. I really appreciated this in this issue, since I am not well verse in anime or Japanese culture. It was not just educational to learn about the festivals, fashion and folklore, but helpful to identify different characters.
All in all I am very happy with the Anime Special issue. The art work is gorgeous and well thought out. I did find it challenging to colour anime but it was fun to try something new and learn about a different cultural genre. I only coloured three pictures so far from this issue, but I see myself coming back to this book for Christmas, Valentines and Easter or just add some colour to this beautiful pictures.
I have made a flip through video of this book and have included below large photos of each of the three images I coloured.
Continue reading “Book Review: Colouring Heaven Anime Special”
On our second day in Oslo we had a big day jam packed full of free cultural and heritage sites. There’s actually quite a lot you can do for free in Oslo, which you can enjoy all year round. Some of the highlights of day two include the Royal Palace and tranquil Slottsparken, the amazing art work at the City Hall, the historic Akershus Fortress, and the marvellous Opera House. I originally planned to also fit in the Free East Side Walking Tour (currently not on offer) in the afternoon, but I don’t think we could have possibly done it. My legs were still swollen from the flight and Octavia made it clear she was not going to be content to sit and be quiet. All in all I think we did pretty well and we also ate pretty well too.
Continue reading “Oslo: Cultural and heritage sites (day 2)”
Today I have to show you all my new books that I have accumulated since my recent holiday. I knew I was going to be coming back with at least a few books, but I didn’t expect to pick up a few more since I got back. Nevertheless I am very excited to start colouring these ones as well as the last from my last colouring book haul.
Continue reading “5# Colouring Update”
During our first big day in Oslo we visited the Norsk Folkemuseum. Since I have so many photos and info to share about this museum I had to dedicate an entire post to it. I’m not sure if it will interest you, but since I’m studying museum studies and a history buff I wanted to document my visit. This was the first open-air museum that I have ever visited, however on this trip I saw quiet a few. I really enjoyed each one and the different ways they presented their rich cultural history. The Norsk Folkemuseum was probably one of my favourites for its large scale representation of Norwegian history, the visible interiors and towns people.
The Norsk Folkemuseum illustrates how people across Norway lived from 1500s until today. The open-air museum is a recreates the old town of Oslo and the Norwegian country side. Buildings from across the country have been brought and place in a life-size diorama to demonstrate the different cultural experiences of the Norwegian people. Throughout the open-air museum there are hosts dressed in traditional clothing. They welcome you into the homes, offer a wealth of information and make the whole experience more authentic. During the summer season many of the buildings are open, with visible interiors and activities. There are special theme days where the museum also offers folk music, dancing, handicrafts and baking. So if you planning your visit it would be worth checking out their calendar. The Norsk Folkemuseum also offers indoor permanent and temporary exhibitions, which feature many national treasures and artefacts. There are also a couple of places you can get something to eat, so you can really take your time and make a day of it.
If your in Oslo and have a 3-5 hours to spare I really recommend visiting the Norsk Folkemuseum. The museum gives you quiet a broad representation of Norwegian cultural history. The open-air museum is just enormous and is lovely to walk through and take in the cultural difference in the different regions. One of the stand out features for me was also the Stave Church, which has been well-preserved and was probably the best one I seen. The indoor exhibitions also cover quiet a lot of different topics to further give you a greater appreciation for Norwegian culture.
Continue reading “Oslo: Norsk Folkemuseum”
Our first stop on our Nordic Adventure began in Oslo, Norway. This metropolitan city is the largest city and capital of Norway. It is known as a cosmopolitan hub for its architecture, arts scene, museums, great restaurants and fashion. We spent a couple of days in Oslo and it’s a city I could see myself living or revisiting.
Oslo has so many amazing museums, sites and public parks. With only a couple of days and a toddler in toe, we had to be picky to what we could see and do. Another consideration we had is that Norway has such a strong currency, making this the most expensive country we have ever visited. On the plus side, the public transport is really accessible and pretty cheap and can be purchased from 7/11. We decided against buying the Oslo pass, for this reason and also because we would not been able to see everything on offer in such a short time frame. However, we did get to see quiet a bit, so this destination needs at least 3 posts. Some of the highlights in this post includes breakfast pastries at Backstube, Frogner Park, Vigeland Park, Karl Johans Gate, Grünerløkka and dinner at Mathallen Food Hall.
Continue reading “Oslo: Norwegian metropolis (day 1)”
I officially returned to Australia at the end of June after three weeks of travelling in Nordic Europe. It’s taken me a little bit to get over the jet lag since I was living in the lands of the midnight sun, with an 8 hour difference to my home timezone. I was only averaging about 4-5 hours sleep which is normal for me when I travel, since I am always on such a high. However, after having a child, my sleep isn’t as important as someone else, so I am not able to bounce back as quickly and get cankles from the aeroplane. The joys of age and responsibility. So anyway I am finally feeling like myself again the past couple of days.
Continue reading “6# Life Update: home again, birthday and transit eats”