Gaustatoppen hike

Last Sunday we went for the “usual” summer hike somewhere in Norway, this time it was Gaustatoppen which is the tallest mountain in Norway(1883 m, yeah, kinda disappointing, I know).
The cool thing about this mountain is that from the top, when it’s not cloudy,  you can see circa one sixth of Norway’s mainland, including the Oslo,(For reference it takes 2 and half hours drive to get from Oslo to Gaustatoppen).

To get to the top you have two options, either hiking up or taking the funicular: we obviously did the hike.
The hike is not among the most difficult, the complete round trip is circa 9.7 km and it takes no more than 5 hours. The way up is nothing but uphill, and the way down is only downhill. Bring with you some kind water repellent clothes, it’s still an “high” mountain and nothing will stop clouds from floating over it. Strongly suggest to use proper hiking shoes since the road is made out of stones and they can be pretty slippery sometimes.

Once on the top you can enjoy the view or a waffle/coffee at the cabin you will find up 🙂

The hike can be done in a single day.

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Dublin in 26 hours

I’ve recently been to Dublin to attend a SRE(Site Reliability Engineering) conference and I spent no more than 26 hours in the city.
Dublin  is quite fascinating, but the rest of Ireland is stunning! Like, really!

The old Dublin, the whole Temple bar area, is very nice and you are kinda surrounded by the Irish culture, but the new city centre is just not nice enough. If you are looking for some shopping then it’s ok, otherwise just stay stick in the old Dublin.

Where to stay:
I stayed at the Dean Hotel(http://deandublin.ie), very hipster and nice. 15 minutes walk to temple bar/city centre.


Where to eat:
I only had a couple of meals in Dublin, if we don’t count the ones I got at the airport or not he plane. I had a fatty breakfast at the roof bar of the restaurant, go there to get some food.


Then I had a dinner in the most rated restaurant in Dublin(based on trip advisor) in temple bar, DON’T  got there, the food is meh…totally not worth it!


What to do:


Well, I spent most of my time at the conference, as speaker and attendee, but I had the chance to enjoy the city. I ran, running is the best way to visit a city when you don’t have time…do it!

  

Copenhagen in an afternoon

I travel quite a lot for work and I had the chance to go to Copenhagen for a conference. I managed to get a free afternoon to have a walk in the city.
No public transportation/car/bike is required to enjoy this town, it’s quite small and can be explored by feet.

As any other Northern European Capital the pattern is the same:

  • old city-> lovely
  • nyhavn(new harbour)-> it actually is the old harbour and it’s lovely
  • new city->meh, not really to be seen
  • Royal family palace-> to be seen
  • Parliament-> ok to visit

   

  

  

  

  

  

  

“The little mermaid” statue has to be added to this list, the statue per se is not as wonderful as I expected, it’s a really small statue, but the story behind it is quite interesting. Also the park surrounding it is beautiful, especially in April when all the cherry trees are in flowers.

If you go to Copenhagen you want to:

  • have a beer->Karlsberg, also they have many micro-breweries, just pick one
  • enjoy at Tivoli-> amusement park in the city center
  • eat Japanese: I know it’s strange, but the Nordic cousine is not as juicy as any other cousines-> www.tokyorestaurant.dk this restaurant is the best Japanese in the nordics

San Francisco in a day

 

I consider myself a very lucky person, I have a job I love and that let me travel a lot.

Just last week I’ve been to California and New York to talk  to a couple of conferences. Since I was there for work I didn’t have much free time and I manage to get a single day for sightseeing.
Here’s my impressions:

SF is a great city, very laid back, the traffic is terrible though, really!

Where to (NOT) stay:
We stayed in an airbnb in Albany, the house was great, but the commute to get to SF was about 1 hour per way(we had to cross Bay bridge every day). Get yourself something on the island if you can.

What to do:
You need to have a car, public transportation is pretty bad.

Pier 39: it’s the touristic pier, full of shops and restaurants. Sea lions usually are there, totally amazing and worth seeing.

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Golden gate: stunning! Drive through it and get to thew point ov view where you can admire the bridge with the city and Alcatraz in teh backgorund. This is not a bridge, it’s a piece of art!

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Lombard street: the most zigzaged street in the world. Nice, but not very impressing, it’s way more scary to drive in the “hill” area where is super steep and when you get to the highest point of a road you get the sense you are going to fall down from a cliff.

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China town: it’s just a difference city. Food is great, make sure to eat dumpling and buy some tea 🙂

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Alcatraz: we didn’t manage to go there, book well in advance if you want to visit this former prison, it’s very difficult to get a ferry ticket to the island.

Puerto Rico in 7 days

Delightful! Norwegian flies direct to Puerto Rico, new route opened since November 2015, we tried it out. Seven days a Caribbean paradise, we spent 3 day in the south, 3 days on the east coast and the last day in the capital: San Juan.

South of the island:

where to stay: we booked a very nice airbnb in Guanica(https://www.airbnb.com/users/show/30006376) very recommended, the owner is very nice and so is the apartment.

what to do:

  • nice beach very close to the apartment, if you feel like chilling out.
  • Jauco: nice town close to Guanica, you can stop in on of their fast food to try out the “platano” and other typical food.
  • Guilligan’s island: amazing island covered with mangroves, if yo go there you can dive and see iguanas taking a walk very close to you.( ferries leaves from a restaurant(here the coordinates: 17.950019, -66.877336).
  • Cabo rojo, go and take a walk on the cliffs where there is also a wonderful lighthouse.

East of the island:

where to stay: use airbnb, the apartments are usually cleaned and people are very helpful. We spent 3 night in las croabas, close to the ferry and the seven seas beach.

what to do:

 

  • The seven seas beach; it’s considered one of the best in the world(honestly I find difficult to think of a bad beach in Puerto Rico).
  • La culebra island: GO THERE, it’s just breathless, wonderful island!
    Ferries leaves twice a day from Fajardo.
  • Bio-luminescent bay: from las croabas, close to the seven seas after the sunset, leave kayak expeditions. The guide will bring you to a lagoon where you can see this amazing phenomenon(if you donùt know what it is, look here.
  • Rain forest: super green! You can go there and hike a little bit, or just drive through if you prefer.

San Juan:

Go there and spend your money!! Spend the night in a nice hotel adn get ready to got to the casinos and have some(= a lot of) pina colada(s)–> priceless!
The old San Juan is also very nice and full of history.

MUST REMEMBER/DO:

  • rent a car
  • eat pinchos, mofongos and empanadillas
  • drink lemonades and pina coladas

 

Itinirari per una settimana di vacanza in Norvegia.

(se non vuoi leggere ma sei qui per le foto, sono in fondo al post)

Mettiamo subito le cose in chiaro: la Norvegia e’ stupenda. E’ stupenda se ti piacciono i paesaggi naturali, se ami stare all’aria aperta e non sei alla ricerca di citta’ con secoli di storia e monumenti migliori del Duomo di Milano.
La Norvegia e’ anche cara, tantissimo. Una notte in albergo costa non meno di 100€ per una doppia, ovviamente pranzo e cena NON inclusi. Una birra costa dai 10 ai 15€. Un pranzo non costa mai meno di 20/25€, neanche da McDonald. Insomma, se se Italiano e non sei miliardario, fare le vacanze in Norvegia pue’ essere molto costoso.
Ecco qui un paio di itinerari non eccessivamente cari, ma che permettono di visitare un sacco di posti famosi di questo fantastico paese.

Oslo ha 3 aeroporti:

  • Torp: dista a circa un’ora e mezza di pullman da Oslo centro, Il pullman costa circa 30€ a tratta.
  • Rygge: dista a circa 40 min di pullman dal Oslo centro, e’ raggiungibile anche in treno. Il biglietto del pullman costa circa 20€ a tratta.
  • Gardermoen: dista a 23 min di treno dal centro. I biglietti costano dai 10€ se si viaggia con NSB a 23€ se si viaggia con Flytoget

L’albergo meno caro di Oslo si chiama Anker Hotel, hanno anche appartamenti. Un’altra ottima soluzione sarebbe affittare camere da AirBnB, in linea di massima i Norvegesi sono persone di cui ci si puo’ fidare quindi e’ improbabile prendere fregature.

Se si viaggia in estate(da Maggio a Giugno):

      1. Giorno 1: arrivo ad Oslo nel pomeriggio.
      2. Giorno 2: Oslo.
      3. Giorno 3: treno per Bergen. Ci mette circa 6 ore di giorno e 8 di notte, altamente consigliato farlo di giorno per dei paesaggi mozzafiato.
      4. Giorno 4: Bergen.
      5. Giorno 5: pullman da Bergen a Stavanger.
      6. Giorno 6: Salita al Pulpit Rock, circa 2 ore a tratta. Rientro ad Oslo in aereo/pullman/treno.
      7. Giorno 7: rientro in Italia in mattinata(da Oslo).

Una settimana in inverno con Neve(da Dicembre a Febbraio):

  • Giorno 1: arrivo ad Oslo nel pomeriggio.
  • Giorno 2: Oslo.
  • Giorno 3: Oslo.
  • Giorno 4: macchina da Oslo ad Hemsedal(circa 4 ore di macchina). Hemsedal e’ una nota localita’ sciistica, molto famosa per l’after ski.
  • Giorno 5: Hemsedal.
  • Giorno 6: Hemsedal-Bergen(circa 4 ore di macchina).
  • Giorno 7: Bergen e rientro in Italia in la sera(da Bergen).

Questo e’ solo uno scheletro iniziale per capire cosa visitare, sono stata in tutte le localita’ consigliate, quindi se avete bisogno chiedete pure.
Qui un po’ di foto della Norvegia: https://www.facebook.com/arianna.aondio/media_set?set=a.10204900720306035.1073741827.1480933146&type=3