Books & Films, Travel

10 Films That Inspire Travel

It’s no secret that I’m big on films and watch more than the average number. As I grew up, so did my enthusiasm for travel grow and these films were part of what inspired me to want to visit new places and explore new cultures. You’ll notice that all of these flicks are from 2000 and onwards and that’s simply because, although I have watched quite a few older films in later years, these are the ones I fell in love with as a tween and teen. Here in no specific order are 10 films that inspire travel:

Ratatouille (2007, Walt Disney Pictures)
With gorgeous animation and French music all throughout this cute film about a rat who wants to be a chef is great fun for kids and parents alike. I put it on this list because 1,  Oh, J’taime Paris! And 2, I love it when children get play and learn to be adventurers through fiction, whether that be films or books or graphic novels.

Eat, Pray, Love (2010, Sony Pictures)
Set in Italy, India and Bali this journey explore all aspects of life. It’s spicy and a brilliant film for foodies looking for inspiration, while simultaneously showcasing some beautiful location and cultures. Admittedly a bit of a chick flick, but still inspirational!

Mamma Mia (2008, Universal Pictures)
Catchy ABBA music and a romantic Greek island –  what´s not to like? As a scandinavian I’m contractually obligated to love and know every ABBA song by heart, but this is just one of the many reasons I love Mamma Mia. I haven’t been to Greece yet, but the blue ocean, white and blue buildings and lovely cliffs would tempt anyone to go island jumping in the Greek isles!

Lord of The Rings Trilogy (2001, 2002, 2003, New Line Cinema)
Peter Jackson discovered and developed his love for long landscape shots and epic establishing shots in the LOTR trilogy. The three films were shot in New Zealand and as most of you know the local tourist economy is now thriving because of it. Previously undiscovered but these films made us want to see the breathtaking nature and magical sets for ourselves. The films are also about taking an epic journey and has a real traveller spirit feeling to them.

Blended (2014, Warner Bros. Pictures)
However unrealistic it may be that you get to go on a luxury holiday to Africa, and however (slightly) racist some of the stereotypes in this film are, it does have some lovely heartwarming moments and shows off some wonderful African nature and wildlife. Especially the scene where Drew Barrymores character hang glides behind a truck lets the audience see some amazing clips of the different, but stunning nature. It helps that this film is also genuinely funny!

Amélie (2001, UCG Fox)
This quirky French film is worth a watch if you don´t mind the subtitles. Set in Paris Amélie (played by Adrey Tautou) finds love by smiling to the world and wandering around this colorful city (it really is colourful – stunning visuals!) . The music is a little bit more like folk-music than in Ratatouille, but still the epitome of French.

Ps: I Love You (2007, Warner Bros. Pictures/Momentum Pictures)
The romantic film that makes every woman cry and every man roll his eyes. And also the film that showcases some beautiful  Irish music, nature and pub culture. I’ve visited Ireland before and though the film showcases a slightly understated version of Irish nature because of it’s everyday life focus, it is still impossibly green.

Up (2009, Walt Disney Pictures)
Ellie is a dreamer who wants to travel the world and her husband Carl flies away in a house strapped to balloons. Do I need to say more? Another film that makes kids want to travel, to go beyond their own comfort zones and encourages them to not stop dreaming even if their dreams seem far away. Heart warming ❤

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012, Fox Searchlight Pictures)
If you love the great classical actors who always represent the epitome of British culture, fun Bollywood music and sometimes awkward dramady jokes then this cute film is worth a watch! A group of British retirees head to India for their retirements, only to discover that they didn’t know everything about life and love after all. Lovely mix-mash of Indian culture and British humour.

Up in the Air (2009, Paramount Pictures)
This film is probably the one I´ve watched most recently, found on Netflix one lazy Sunday morning. It takes a while to get into it and sometimes it is downright odd, but there are humorous parts that makes up for the slow start. This film is on the list because I adore flying and like Clooney’s character I have a thing for collection frequent flyer miles just to collect them, though I mostly collect SAS points (Northern Norway hometown perks). Let yourself be inspired by the jet setter life 🙂

Let me know if you have any films that have inspired you to travel in the comments below! Xxx

Europe, France, Travel

France: Top 11 Things To See & Do in Paris

Bonjour! I’m currently sat at home enjoying my seriously high-brow meal of pasta and scrambled eggs trying to process the fact that EVERYTHING IS CHANGING OH  MY GOD HELP. UNIVERSITY IS HARD. Soooo this is not a long text about my experience, but rather a somewhat (hopefully) helpful list of the top 11 things I saw in Paris when I visited earlier this year. I spent the week of my birthday in Paris with my Mamma on our first girls trip in years and we had the best time together. Not only did we get to explore Paris and eat nutella  crêpes for every meal, but I also got to spend my actual birthday in Disneland Paris, fulfilling a lifelong dream. It was a magical, albeit slightly cold, trip. I considered writing a more descriptive blogpost about the experience, but decided that I couldn’t adequately portray it in words so here, in no particular order, are 11 Things I personally experienced in Paris that all tourists and travellers also should in a handy and short listicle form 🙂

1: Montmartre
Monmartre is a neighbourhood in Paris located on, and around, the highest point in the city. It’s considered an old artisan neighbourhood that during its glory days hosted many artists, craftsmen and musicians. In the Montmartre area the famous cabarets  Moulin Rouge and the old Le Chat Noir are located. The streets of Montmartre are full with artists selling their art, colourful buildings and the area has a very distinct feeling to it – colourful and exciting. There was just so much to look at that we spent an entire day exploring the culture, tasting chocolate from chocolatiers, visiting the Sacré-Cœur basilica and wandering the streets of this iconic area.

2: The  Sacré-Cœur Basilica

While wandering the cobblestone streets of Montmartre make sure to head to the very top of the hill and visit the La Basilique du Sacré-Cœur. This area in front of the basilica offers a brilliant view over Paris and for 8€ you can walk up to the top of the basilica, following some scarily narrow stairs to an amazing 360 degree view of Paris, including the Eiffel Tower. The visit to the top of the basilica was one of the highlights of the trip for me!

3:The Eiffel Tower

Now, I don’t really need to say anything about this staple in Paris, but I will say this: Get there early in the morning to avoid queuing for hours, visit all the levels (it is well worth the price), book your tickets online and go on a sunny day. We visited Paris during what has gone down in history as the most air-polluted week of 2015, which meant that while we got the perk of free public transport, we also experienced a lot smog and fog. The view from the tower was still beautiful and the construction awe-inspiring, but I am sure it would have been even more spectacular if we could see more of the city.

4: The Trocadero

While in the Eiffel Tower area why not head over to the Trocadero! I don’t really know how to describe what the Trocadero is exactly, but basically it’s this really cool building/fountain/garden area vis-a-vis the Tour De Eiffel that hosts a museum and the Paris Aquarium. The reason you should visit the Trocadero however is that  from the top of Trocadro you will find one of the best views in town of the Eiffel Tower  – especially beautiful  during the magical sunset hours.

5:The River Seine
When navigating the stunning architecture, narrow streets and  crowded markets there is one thing you can’t possibly miss: The Seine. Now, you may not think about the Seine when you cross it, but you will surely notice the bridges you will cross, often famous, often impressive architectural and historical monuments (Pont Alexandre II and Pont Neuf being two examples of this). If there is one thing you should do in Paris it’s walk the streets along the Seine and the weather is good, pack a little picnic and walk along the river and find a nice spot to sit and people watch. It won’t be difficult to find a little peace and quiet in a bustling city scene.

“There is but one Paris and however hard living may be here, and if it became worse and harder even—the French air clears up the brain and does good—a world of good.”

― Vincent van Gogh

6:Musee du Louvre

You can’t visit Paris and not head into a few of the world-known museums in the city. There are many to choose from, but the Musée du Louvre is one of the most popular ones. Even if you don’t want to go inside the museum itself, the building that hosts the museum and the glass pyramids outside are definitely worth viewing. The main museum area is located next to the Seine as well, so I recommend planning out a route along the Seine and see a couple of museums as well as the Notre-Dame while you are in the area.

7: The Notre-Dame Cathedral
The Notre Dame, famous for it’s gothic arcitecture and grandiose  windows, is also a must-see. The build started in the 1100s and was finished more than two centuries later and has since then been rebuilt and expanded regularly .You can queue to go to the top of the tower, but we opted to do that in the  Sacré-Cœur basilica instead and just popped into the Notre-Dame for a quick visit. However, during our little peak into the church we stumbled upon a service and though we couldn’t understand any of the prayers, we did enjoy the operatic singers immensely and had a lovely experience.

8:Quartier Latin
Speaking of amazing smells and adorable streets, ever heard of the latin quarter of Paris in the area around the Sorbonne Univeristy? Yum! Not too far away from Notre-Dame this lively neighborhood is packed to the brim with cute cafés, exciting food from all over the world, street markets and street artists. The cobblestone streets and eclectic buildings are reminiscent of its former bohemian golden age and  the latin quarter is also home to the famous Shakespeare and Company bookstore.  It doesn’t take much to get off the tourist path in this area either so set off some time to explore. Put your map in your backpack and get lost on purpose in this vibrant and authentic feeling part of Paris.

Transport tip: When in Paris get a weekly ticket or day tickets to the metro and the RER trains. This offers you free access to pretty much all of Paris and will be cheaper than taking taxis and easier to navigate than buses. With a RER train you can also travel cheaply to Versailles, Disneland Paris and a number of other places way outside of the city.

9:Arc de Triomphe
This one  we just sort of did to check it off the list. It’s exactly like it looks like in the photos. At the very top of Champs-Élysées (which you should also walk down)  this monument is worth taking a photo of, before heading down towards the more noteworthy Grand Palais and the Petite Palais.

10: Jardin du Luxembourg


11: Versailles
On one of our last days we visited the Chateau de Versailles. Travel like the locals do and take a metro train out to the outskirts of Versailles, enjoying lovely views of the French  countryside on your way.  Centuries of French history and famous figures have resided in the palace, most famously  Marie Antoinette who was the last Queen of the French, married to King Louis XVI, but centuries of French kings have put their mark on the palace and learning all about it was well worth the ticket price . From the moment you enter the property you sense the grandeur of it all, the golden gates inviting you into the palace and to an absolutely mind-blowing garden.  The Mirror Hall is also spectacular!

These are just some of the things we saw while touring the city of love, but there are so many museums to visit, catacombs, there’s a lovely aquarium, there’s Champs-Elysée and the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais, Mont Parnasse, Moulin Rouge and more!  We saw a lot in 5 days, but not nearly enough. I think you could live in Paris and never see all of it or discover all of it’s history. I want to go back and see all the things I haven’t seen at some point and I want to see more of France, maybe Nice and Marseille and the Borduox region eventually.

What other must-see things do you know of in Paris? Tips for my next trip are very welcome! Xxx

2015, Europe, France, Travel

Best 21st Birthday Ever In Disneyland Paris

As I mentioned in a previous post (before the Northern Norway Mini Adventure )I have been thinking about what I want to do travel wise during the first few months of 2016. I’ve been thinking about giving myself another city break for my 22nd birthday If I can afford it and considering my options on that front made me want to tell you guys about how I celebrated my 21st birthday.  Last year I was lucky enough  that I got to go to Paris with my Mamma!

We planned it so that I got to spend my actual birthday  in Disneyland Paris as well, which is a life long dream of mine. Any birthday really, and any Disney park. I just desperately wanted to visit one of the parks. It was a first  for me and while 21 might be a little too old to drag your Mum with you to the Merchandise Machine that is Disney… well, when the opportunity arose I couldn’t resist!

We bought tickets that included transport from Paris city centre in the morning and back in the evening and off we were! As it was in March it was low season and the tickets were cheaper than they are during the summer and in spring time, but it was aslo very very cold outside.

We had about 12 hours to spend in the park in addition to the transport time of almost two hours both ways, so it was a long day, but it was also an amazing day. If we had had the time I think we would have gone two days to give us more time to queue for rides and so on, but we had a packed schedule of sightseeing the city, visiting the Palace in Versaille and only stayed for a day in the park. Looking back I’m amazed at how much we managed to cram in. We visited every part of the park (Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, Discoveryland and Mainstreet U.S.A +  Studio 1) but I think my favourite was Adventureland, closely followed by Fantasyland.

In Frontierland we went on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster ride, which scared me to death, but also made me squeal with nervous excitement. I’m not big on roller coasters, but it was definitely worth the wait! Exploring caves and old shipwrecks and climbing to the top of a fake tree named La Cabane des Robinsons in Adventureland was definitely one of the highlights of the day for me as I’m an adventure fan. The pirates ship ride was also brilliant 🙂 I don’t reallly have to explain why I liked  Fantasyland do I? It was pink, had a Maze, and a giant princess castle. What more could a girl want?

Towards the end of the day we were both tired, I was cranky due to lack of food – popcorn doesn’t really do anything to fill you up 😛 We considered taking one of the local trains that run from outside the park back into the city, but as we knew it would be the only time either of us would probably go there we ended up buying yet another batch of popcorn and waited to watch the parade in the afternoon.  When it began we heard this song about 10 times:

I felt a bit sorry for the actors as it drove me crazy after the third time and they do this every day for months at the time. The kids were ecstactic however, and I could see that the artists were feeding off of the energy of the crowd – which there was a lot of!

All in all it was one of the longest, most tiring and most entertaining days I’ve had in a while. I’m sure I would have enjoyed it even more if I had been a child, but even as a (cough technically cough) grownup I had a blast. I didn’t have time to queue for a character meet-up, but spending the day with the woman who raised me and taught me to love Disney was more than enough. I wish they had more Frozen merch, however, but the park in Paris is very Ratatouille focused, for obvious reasons. I did make a little friend while browsing the teddy bear isle though! How cute is he?! Xxx