Unmissable things to do in Oslo, Norway

Perched on a semicircle of fjords, Oslo is the picturesque and vibrant capital of Norway.

Oslo is known for its Viking history, modern architecture and outdoor activities it is hardly surprising that Oslo was consistently voted one of the highest ranked large European cities for quality of life of its residents.

If you're planning a trip to Oslo, then the following tips will make sure it is especially memorable for you.

Akershus fortress and castle 

With a commanding position on a cliff in the harbour, the Akershus castle has stood in place since the 1300's, later becoming fortified in 1592.

Open between 6am and 9pm each day, entrance is free to the fortress to walk around the grounds and admire the views. If you are so inclined you can sit with your legs over the edge of the fortress and admire the view across the fjords. My Travelling Buddy was happy to do this but my cowardice for heights is well documented (among our other travel fails!) so I chose to stick to the lower, le…

The Viking Ship Museum, Oslo

It could be argued that Norway's most infamous exports are the Vikings. These ferocious warriors made their way across the seas to Europe and further afield, initially to trade and later to raid and conquer between 793AD and 1066AD.

There is evidence that the Vikings used many different types of ships - from long ship war vessels to small rowing boats for transporting live stock. The most incredible thing about this is, the evidence still exists- you can visit the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo and see three preserved Viking Ships!

How to get to the Viking Ship Museum

The Viking Ship Museum commands pride of place on Bygdoy, also known as the Museum Islands, in the Oslo fjords.

There are three options for making your way to the Viking Ship Museum:

1. Driving: parking is available behind the museum although you should expect to pay in the Summer months.

2. Public Bus: bus 30 can be taken from outside Oslo Central Station towards Bygdoy, a journey of approximately 20 minutes.

3. Ferry…

Travel Fails and What We Learnt From Them

At some point, everyone has experienced a travel fail, whether it's a missed flight or a foreign language faux pas. We found that we were experiencing so many fails (luckily of the minor variety) that we started to keep a note of the things we learnt from them.

Here is a small selection of the cleaner stories for you, to show that travel is not all glamour and Instagram shots!

The time we tried to photograph parrots at Kennett River, Australia

"Go to Kennett River" they said, "it'll be fun" they said, "the parrots are really friendly and you'll get great photos" they said......

The unfortunate thing about wildlife, as anyone who has tried to photograph it well knows, is that it does not work well under direction. We learnt quite quickly that parrots will happily have a row with each other whilst scrabbling all over you, and will bite your ears if they think you might be hiding something worth eating!

Despite taking a parrot directly to the fa…

Ethical Dog Sledding Tours in Riga, Latvia

Riga is a gem of a destination and Latvia is entirely ready to show you an amazing winter wonderland break. As part of that, dog sledding is on offer. That leads to an uncomfortable question- how can you tell if your dog sledding tour is ethical and responsible?

The key here is research. Take your time to find out whether the animal attraction you want to give your money too is ethical. There are boundless resources online, but if you are still in doubt, ask questions. Contact the tour providers, the sled dogs kennels, check previous reviews from other travellers. If you are still unsure at that point, take your money elsewhere- better not to undertake the activity at all than to fund something harmful to animals, because we all know we are suckers for animals!

Some things to consider when deciding on a tour operator for dog sledding are:
How are the dogs kept? Dogs need to be kept in clean, dry and warm conditions. Avoid paying money to any attraction that has dirty kennels or has d…

Riga: the Latvian capital in 3 days

Riga is the cosmopolitan capital of Latvia, a tiny Baltic state with less than 2 million residents.
What Latvia may lack in size it makes up in beautiful architecture, incredible landscapes and a compact capital city which feels like it was made for budget friendly long weekend city breaks.

We travelled to Latvia in December for the added bonus of Christmas markets and mulled black balsam to help keep out the chill!

In order to cram as much into a limited time span as possible, we recommend this three day itinerary.

Day One

When you arrive in Riga the chances are you will jump on one of the shuttle buses from the airport and trundle into Riga. If you get off of the shuttle in the Old Town then you have the perfect start to your weekend.
St Peters Church
For 9 Euros per adult you can access the Church itself which holds exhibitions (a fabulous photography exhibition was on while we visited) and to the 72m tall tower. The viewing platform around the tower provides a spectacular view of …

How to Spend 8 Action Packed Days in Kenya

Kenya is an incredible country- beautifully diverse landscapes, breathtaking wildlife and fantastic people. With so much to cram in to your time in the country it can be hard to know where to start. To take the stress out of planning, here is a suggested 8 day itinerary to make sure the time poor can be the experience rich!

Day 1 - arrive in Nairobi

You've probably had a long and exhausting flight to reach Kenya, so when you arrive you might be keen to relax and take a nap. No time I'm afraid, because the first 24 hours of this suggested itinerary take you to Giraffe Manor.

Enjoy being fully immersed in the conservation of the endangered Rothschild giraffes that make Giraffe Manor their home, and be ready to be enchanted when you see these long legged beasts galloping around the grounds.

I could wax lyrical about Giraffe Manor all day, but to save you the time you can read the full review here.

Day 2 - Lake Nakuru National Park

An early start will see you leaving Giraffe Manor…