A Travellerspoint blog

Let it go~ let it go~

Part 1/3 of the Norway Trip

sunny -3 °C

So it was first week of my stay in Paris, and we went visiting places of interest throughout the week + going to Cergy for school admin matters and to meet new people. However, upon our 3rd day of arrival, we were told that school don't start until a week later.

I was like, OMG, I NEED TO GO SOMEWHERE THEN!

My housemates suggested that we should go around France on a road trip, but i din't want cause I thought of catching something more seasonal: the Northern Lights.

So when i told this to Matthew and JQ they thought it was pretty cool. Except that we got to check the prices as we were afraid it would cost a bomb since we only have like 4 days to decide.

I actually thought of going Tromso, but JQ told me about a friend who - something happened to him- and is going alone to Narvik and to Lofoten. I was actually hesitant at first, but upon hearing that the places he travels to are pretty nice, and that we can see Northern Lights, i was more willing to share cost with this unknown dude for our stay in Lofoten.

To cut the whole story short, we ended up booking our tickets 4 days before the flight and flew to Oslo from Beauvais airport with Ryan air for around 150+ euros.

We did not book accommodation prior to the trip because we had friends staying there or that our accommodation has already paid/taken care of by the unknown dude.

So for the first night in Oslo(we arrived like in the evening even though we traveled from afternoon), we slept stayed at BI University hostel. It was a short and freezing night, cause we did not turn on the heater. Thank God for Priscilla (Jin Quan's friend) as she was nice enough to lend the 3 guys a room to sleep in while she slept with Joanne, her hostel room buddy.

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Dinner at the Oslo central
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Dinner at a cafe: Cost a bomb but the salmon is good with the Hollandaise Sauce!

We left early the next day in a zombified state to go to the Oslo airport. It was WAY nearer than Rygge Airport definitely. The flight cost around 100+ euros return and we took Norwegian Air from Oslo to Narvik.

So on the plane, i was sleeping soundly until I woke up to see the plane flying above some strange yet beautiful mountain formation that I never seen before.
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Shortly after landing at Narvik airport(Evenes), it cost a whooping 40 SGD 1 way, around 200 NOK, to go Narvik city. The journey took around an hour but the bus driver did not ask us if we are going back to the airport, otherwise we could get it WAY cheaper, like 50 SGD for 2 ways. =.= Hence we ended up paying 80 SGD when we went back to the airport on the last day. HENCE PLS TAKE NOTE PEEPS, RMB TO BUY RETURN TICKETS!

The journey to Narvik was beautiful, and it was magical. JQ was like singing "let it go" but i din't understood why he kept singing it until about a month later, did i realize that the movie Frozen was depicted in Norway. LOL

Anyway, as i said earlier we had no accommodation in mind prior to the trip, we were thinking to check into one of the expensive hotels near Narvik central. However, JQ's mysterious friend is apparently a laojiao couch surfer, and somehow, he got us a couch to stay at a Chinese couch surf host's home. So we journeyed to Du Yuan's hostel, up a slippery hill and finally found her hostel about 1 hour ++ later. She was a pleasant Chinese lady, and was soooo ke qi. We offered to cook for her after buying some groceries nearby and we went up to the top of the ski mountain in Narvik, via a pretty "unstable"cable car, to view the entire Narvik city. From there we can see the fjord clearly and Narvik was indeed a freaking beautiful city(although we initially thought the place was quite laid back and technologically less advance since some of their buildings are really old).

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We later spent the night cooking and trying to sleep early as we were extremely tired from waking up super early 2 days in a row!

It was then, JQ's mysterious friend told JQ that there were northern light activity in the sky. We off the room lights, squint into the sky and saw some whitish, ghostly thingy floating in the night sky. I was thinking "What's that? Clouds?" And after awhile i realized it was the Northern lights!!

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And i am complaining why they take for me the pic with northern light so cui.... D:<

The 3 of us got soooo excited we geared up and brave the cold outside to look at it.

We took pictures in the dark and i think the Norwegian dude that passed by us sure think we r some country bumpkins.

After awhile we turned bored and cold, we went back in the warm hostel: hoping to see more Northern lights at Lofoten the next day~

Stay tune for the mysterious dude( whose travel experience is freaking zai )who brought us to Lofoten the next day in my next blog post! =D

Posted by chengyingfang 13:15 Archived in Norway Tagged narvik Comments (0)

Defining your overseas exchange

Exchange is one of the most defining times of your life depending on how you view it.

Its best for open minded, adventurous people who don't mind spending abit more just to have fun together.

If you are on a honeymoon exchange, or a solo king that wanna scrimp on everything under $12k, this blog is probably not for you. If you want to save in Europe, i would recommend you to do an exchange in Asia (maybe Thailand) or at most Korea, because living in Europe is really gonna kill you. Or maybe, you can heed the advice here:

http://tamblur.tumblr.com/post/74158883076?scmmusicplayer=adrianshum#sthash.ICMG4J6p.dpuf.

People commented that his way of living is quite cool and yolo, hmmm, wells, i would say that its not practical for a student exchanging in a country for a period of 5 to 6 months in Europe.

That aside, prior to your exchange please go do your research on the countries that you would like to visit - don't just look at pictures and go "oh i wanna go there cos that is where every one else is taking pictures at!".

Come on, have a mind of your own. Create the best exchange experience that is uniquely yours.

Financial issues? No problem!

Nonetheless, depending on your financial situation, you might need to settle for a less costly cities such as Prague, Budapest, Krakow or any East European countries. Food and living is much cheaper inn those countries!

"Let it go, let it go~~~"
And of course, if you love nature and scenery a lot, don't mind being in the cold for long(i am talking about -10 degree Celsius here and below), love adventure sports like skiing and don't mind spending a bomb cause you are freaking rich, then choose your exchange location to places like northern Norway, Sweden or Finland, or even Iceland. It will be one of the most beautiful memories you will have... until you get bored by the nature and pissed off by the cold. Norway and Iceland are pretty skilled in preparing their fish too (Artic Cod, Salmon and erm.. whale)

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Bonjour, Je m'appele Fang
Oh yes, if you love culture, food(bread, chicken, duck) and love french, Paris is where you will want to go. But don't expect the locals to be kind to you if you do not speak french - they are not being rude or asshole, its just their culture. But if you are able to, they will be more than willing to help you most of the time, if not all, so pick up french and you will love the artsy colorful city. Belgium is probably a cheaper alternative if you prefer a less hectic city lifestyle, prefers beer over wine, and loves cheap yet quality chocolate.
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Hungarian Dance no. 5, Turkey March ~
For musicians, Prague, Salzburg, Vienna and Berlin is where you want to be. HOWEVER, please do note that their concerts are often extremely expensive because listening to a concert is an elegant art of enjoyment. Nonetheless, you will be in for a treat if you can afford them. For cheaper alternatives, you can look for standing tickets from Vienna opera house that cost around 3 to 4 euros, or probably non famous philharmonic orchestras within the region that are priced way cheaper than their famous philharmonic counterparts.
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Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera
Musicals? London. Well, Paris do have as well, but I guess unless you know french pretty well, I think the selection of English-speaking musicals is much more in London than in Paris.

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"Danke"
For meat(wurst aka sausage) and beer lovers, it's obviously Germany you should visit, but do take note the individual cities are all very different in Germany. Munich has one of the best beer around(my opinion), and is more townish compared to Berlin. Berlin's curry wurst is one of the amazing stuff you would want to try, but the city is pretty dull in my opinion. I wanted to go Berlin for their philharmonic, but it turns out they weren't there the few days when I stayed there.

People, People, People!
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Places aside, to have a wonderful and fulfilling exchange, it might be good to have people who can/have/are
1) cook, not just spagetti but Singaporean dishes as well in case you get homesick
2) a DSLR and KNOWS HOW TO TAKE GOOD PICTURES
3) photoshop skills
4) resourceful and savvy to find all kinds of cheap deals for you to live like a King
5) easy going and adventurous people who wants to know more people fro different nationalities
6) play music and sing
7) Drive

As such, if your exchange cohort is big, you might have higher chances to go on an exchange with people having the above skills to make it more meaningful.

So long for now~!

Posted by chengyingfang 13:13 Tagged europe exchange firstpost Comments (0)

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