Brazil, South America, Travel, Uncategorized

2 Weeks in Rio De Janeiro Videoblog

I recently spent two wonderful weeks living with my Brazilian friend Laura and her family in Rio De Janeiro. We spent some time sightseeing, a couple of days relaxing on beaches and I got to see what live in Rio is like, living like a  Carioca.

 

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Denmark, Europe, Uncategorized

A Weekend in Copenhagen

 

Travel

Travel Preparations: Vaccinations

Yesterday I went to my local GP and got vaccinated in preparation for my upcoming trip to Brazil in March. If you are going abroad it is always worth checking if you might need to get any travel vaccinations. This especially if you are going to certain countries in Africa, Central & South East Asia and Central & South America where getting immunised is recommended.

Some common vaccines against serious diseases are Hepatitis A/B, Yellow Fever and Typhoid, most of which will be given for free at the NHS (UK). The same goes for top up vaccines like Polio/Tetanus/Diphtheria as well. For information about vaccinations based on countries read more at fitfortravel.nhs.uk.

I have seen that some American bloggers say they don’t get the vaccines due to cost, but as most of the vaccines protect you for many years, I would argue that it’s better to invest in vaccines than get unlucky and contract a serious disease abroad and then have to pay insane hospital bills and transport bills. Getting vaccinated is definitely a valuable investment.

More travel vaccination information:
UK:www.nhs.uk
US: www.cdc.gov/travel

Travel

Bucket List: 10 Places I Need To See Before I Die

Someone the other day asked me where I really want to go. What places I have to see at some point. The question got me thinking and after a little contemplating I think I’ve come up with a shortlist. It wasn’t easy, because there are so many places in the world I would like to see, but here are the 10 places that definitely makes it onto my bucket list.

  • Vietnam
    Vietnam has been on my radar for the past few years, but jumped up on the bucket list quite recently because I was browsing Contiki and read up on their Vietnam Experience. The trip has since then been in my head and I hope to go sooner rather than later!
  • Macchu Picchu, Peru
    Macchu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as one of the Seven New Wonders Of The World. I hope to walk the Macchu Picchu trek one day and take in the view, the ancient grounds and the long lost culture. I also want to visit the village of Cuzco and see Peru in general. Latin American  and Native American cultures fascinate me.
  • Hobbiton, New Zealand
    Now this one just calls to the inner fantasy nerd in me. New Zealand looks beautiful and good for an adventure, but mostly I want to go to learn how to dive and to see Hobbiton. I am a massive Lord Of the Rings and Tolkien fan and walking around in his world made tangible would be a dream come true.
  • The Great Wall of China
    Another of the Seven New Wonders Of The World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site is the Great Wall of China. Though a lot of the wall has disappeared over the years there are still man many miles left that are open to explore. This architectural and cultural giant is definitely on my to-see, or in this case, to-walk list!
  • Chichen  Itza, Mexico
    Chichen Itza is an old Mayan city, possible the oldest, and in it there are plenty of Mayan temples, pyramids and history. I would love to visit them and take in some Mayan history which in my opinion, together with the Incas and the Aztecs, have some of the most interesting histories in the world. Chichen Itza is one of the Seven New Wonders Of The World.
  • The Forbidden City, Beijing, China.
    Another bucket list place is the Forbidden City in Beijing. The Forbidden City was an imperial palace during the Ming Dynasty and now houses the palace museums, with countless artifacts from different emperors.
  • Dubronvik, Croatia
    Dubrovnik is the now famous location of King’s Landing in Game of Thrones, but it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site full of history and gorgeous architecture. I have to admit that Dubrovnik first showed up on my radar because of GoT, but after some research I think I’d love to visit it just because it looks so beautiful!
  • Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
    Egypt is one of the countries I really really want to visit in general and while I am there I would have to see the Pyramids of Giza and go on a tour or two to learn more about Egyptian history and culture. A river cruise on the Nile doesn’t sound too bad either 😉 The Pyramids of Giza are the oldest of the Seven New Wonders Of The World.
  • Marrakech, Morocco
    Another African country that I want to visit is Morocco and when I started to think about where I wanted to go Marrakech came to mind. In my post about my holiday in Tunisia I mentioned visiting the Berber town and loving it and Marrakech is a major city built on Berber traditions. I can’t wait to walk through the Medina (town market), smelling the spices, taking in the colours and getting aquatinted with yet another culture.
  • New York, USA
    Iconic New York also made it onto the list, mostly because it is one of the American cities I would like to visit the most. It doesn’t rank high up on the list, but it does make it because I would love to visit America. The fact that New York is full of tourist attractions also helps.

I have chosen a range of places where some are very likely  I will see and others are less likely, because I would love to cross some things off the list eventually. I don’t believe in just giving myself near-impossible goals and chose some that aren’t that impossible at all. From a travel point of view these are all possible, but it is going to take time and money to make it happen. Which places make it onto your top 10? 🙂

Source of header image: Hookedoneverything.com

Life, Uncategorized

Welcome to vikinggoesglobal.com!

Hello, again!

I’m sitting at Newcastle Airport about to board a flight to Copenhagen and then onwards to Stockholm where I will spend time with SwedishCar in a Christmasified city, but because I had a little time before my flight (as you do)  I thought I would explain the sudden change of name and the domain.

The Blog
I’ve been writing blogs on and off since I was about 13, ranging from book blogs, to geek lifestyle blogs to journal blogs to now this. A travel blog. I never imagined I would write a travel blog, but here I am. The Northern Norwegian, small town girl viking is going global.  I went abroad on my own (sort of) for the first time when I was 16 and a small group of students from my school got to go on a cultural exchange week. I stayed with a Hungarian family for a week all by myself and it was the scariest, but also most thrilling thing I had ever done.

When I was 18 I decided to leave my small town in Northern Norway and move to England to go to university and since then  a whole world has opened up. Cheap flights and trains led me to explore England & Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Sweden,  Paris, The Netherlands and Tunisia. In my two and a half years of living abroad I have travelled as much as money (I’m only a poor student after all) and time would allow and in the coming year I am going to travel further than I ever have when I go to Rio De Janeiro. 13 countries visited and counting more every year. It’s not an awful lot, but I am only 21 and it’s me doing what  I know to be one of the things that let me live a full life. Travel is becoming an integral part of who I am and what I value. I would rather have a passport full of stamps than a house full of things, as they say.  This viking girl is slowly, but surely,  going global and this blog is going to come along with me through all of it.

The Domain
I’ve never had a domain before. I’ve always wanted one and sometimes even been about to press the “buy” button to get one, but never committed to it. I’ve never known what my voice was. I’m not even sure I know now, but instead of giving up like I have done previously this time I am determined to keep practicing my writing and my thinking until I find it. I have a voice. I have a voice and it is a fierce one, but I haven’t really figured out how to express it. Practice makes perfect I guess and this time I am determined to find my creative voice and use it. We all have a voice, we just need to figure out how to channel it and hopefully this blog and making youtube videos is going to be the way for I channel mine.

In the coming week or so I will be trying out some new website designs. I will be testing out what works and doesn’t work, trying to decide what format I prefer. I hope you can excuse the chaotic situation on the blog until then and come along on this ride with me. It might be a bumpy one to begin with, but it is going to be so very very fun too.

Much love, Cathrine xxx

Books & Films, England, Youtube

Dreams Came True On The WB Studio Tour – The Making Of Harry Potter!

Earlier this year a dream came true when Kostas (a Greek friend of mine who takes amazing instagrams) and I decided to go down to London for a weekend to do the Warner Bros Studio Tour, aka HARRY POTTER EVERYTHING ERMAGERD HELP IT’S TOO MUCH. He hadn’t been to London for a long time so we spent  a day seeing the sights by taking the Tube around and popping up for cheeky selfies here and there. I’ve visited London quite a few times, but every time I go back it charms me a little more. A post of the what to see if you only have 24 hours in London coming on the blog soon-ish!


We opted to stay at the Covent Garden Travelodge Hotel, which came to about 30£ a night for the both of us, but gave us a bit more privacy than a hostel would have done. We booked our tickets to the studio tour through the Warner Bros website and our transport through Golden Tours well in advance and after getting on our bus on the day we were off!

After a pretty long bus tour that  showed informational videos about Leavesden and the studio we arrived and walked towards the building.  Seeing the big stone chess pieces outside and the Harry Potter Studio Tour sign made the butterflies spread throughout my stomach and for a minute I couldn’t believe I was there. For as long as I can remember I would watch the Behind-The-Scenes DVD bonus material and documentaries about how the films were made, desperately wanting to understand the magic. I  had dreamed of going to see the sets and now the day was here and I couldn’t believe it.

The experience started as soon as we were queuing to get inside, as Harry’s cupboard under the stairs was there for us to view. It was a little cupboard tangible and detailed. It was THERE. Right there in front of me.  I kept gawking at everything, wide eyed and  starstruck. As we walked into a little cinema and got to see introduction videos and little behind the scenes clip the butterflies stayed. And when the screen made way for the entrance to the Great Hall I marveled at the craftsmanship of it all.


We walked through the Great Hall and came into the big studio itself. Information, interactivity and complete fangirling came together and I felt like a hopeful little 11 year old again. It had been years since I considered myself a hardcore fan (the fanfic writing kind), but Harry Potter is what made me fall in love with reading and what made me fall in love with England and during the tour I fell back in love with it. Harry may not have been as cute as I thought he was when I was 13, but the magic was still there and the feeling of nostalgia was strong.

It’s difficult to imagine the detail that actually went into the films, even the many details you never see, especially in Dumbledores office and the Weasley Burrow. So many little things make up a set and many of them never even make it on screen, but still had to be hand crafted. The scale models, the concept art, the green screen techniques and the animatronic creatures were all amazing pieces of work within their own fields.  We got to wander through a scale model of Diagon Alley, complete with fully stocked shop windows and moving effects, which made my day, and then we got to the huge model of Hogwarts. Wow. I have no words and can only bow down to whoever created such a magnificent piece of art. Because there is no doubt that the Harry Potter films are art. People can argue “mindless entertainment” if they want, but they would be wrong. The stories J.K. created are beautifully complimented by artists within many many fields.

It was honestly one of the highlights of the year for me, but oh how I wish it was all real and that my letter from Hogwarts had arrived when it was promised. I bet I wasn’t the only heartbroken 11 year old who had to realise that she would forever be a muggle and realised it even more so when she found herself standing in front of 4 Privet Drive, wishing with all her might it was real and not imaginary.

I got a photo of myself in front of the Knight Bus and Privet Drive, got to walk through the wibbly-wobbly bridge from Deathly Hallows and drink Butterbeer, and even snagged a few goodies from the (arguably overpriced) gift shop. I did the whole tour, but I didn’t  wanted to leave.  I felt like I could have been there for hours upon hours, just wandering the sets and trying to keep my curious hands away from all the beautiful props.

We visited Leavesden before they had the Hogwarts Express set and they also have wonderful seasonal themes for the tours so I do think I have to go back sometime, but what an experience!  Have you been to the WB Studio Tour? What was our favourite part? 🙂 Xxx

Europe, Scotland

Scotland: Top 5 Things To See In Edinburgh

Because my base for the past couple of years has been Newcastle upon Tyne, a city in the northernmost corner of England, it doesn’t take long to get to Scotland and Edinburgh.  About 1,5 hours by train from Newcastle along a breathtaking coastline and you step off the train in the Scottish capital 🙂 Edinburgh is a gorgeous city with so much to offer, but here, in no particular order, are the top 5 things to see!

1: Arthur’s Seat

Arthur’s Seat is a 250 meter high hilltop right outside of Edinburgh city centre that offers amazing panoramic views of the city in every direction. The hike up to the top is easy enough that anyone can do it, but will still make you break a sweat if you want to change up the city break and get some fresh air and exercise! Don’t forget decent walking shoes!

2: Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is a historic and iconic fortress on Castle Rock (Game Of Thrones reference anyone?), probably most famously lived in by Mary Queen of Scots, but was home to Kings and Queens of Scotland for many many centuries before. If you visit  the castle today you can visit the National Scottish War Museum, the Mons Meg canon, The Great Hall, one of the oldest remaining religious structures in Scotland St.Margaret’s Chapel and much more. It’s a really lovely way to see some Scottish History as well as centuries of different architecture!

3: The Royal Mile

The Royal Mile is the nickname of a street that runs from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace and is approximately one Scots mile long. Walking along it will bring you past countless shops selling Tartan patterned clothes and souvenirs, some traditional pubs selling haggis of course, and more often than not buskers dressed in traditional Scottish Highland dress (Kilts and so on) playing bagpipes. It’s an absolute must-see if you’re in Edinburgh!

 

4: Edinburgh Old Town
IMG_7043 (1)The Royal Mile is part of a bigger area called the Old Town of Edinburgh, named so because of the preservation of so many medieval street plans and buildings. Edinburgh Old Town differs from old towns in other European countries however, because the transition from Old town to the more modern part of the city isn’t very clear. This is because the New Town area is built in a 1700s Georgian architecture  style and blends in with the old town in certain areas.  The areas of Old Town and New Town have been UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1995.

 

5: Calton Hill

Carlton Hill isn’t quite as high as Arthur’s Hill, but the view of Edinburgh is just as beautiful. What sets Calton Hill apart is probably the many monuments and beautiful memorials that scatters the hillside. Wonderful for a stroll or a picnic or a photo session, and offers a great alternative view of Edinburgh Castle!

Harry Potter Fan Bonus

If you, like me, have a soft spot for Harry Potter then you should definitely make sure to pop by  The Elephant House, the café that J.K. Rowling wrote much of the first few Harry Potter books. Her usual table in the café has a wonderful view towards Edinburgh Castle as well, so it’s well worth a visist!

I know there are many many other things to see in Edinburgh (a Zoo, the Edinburgh Dungeons and some wonderful national museums just to mention a few) but these are some of my favourite things to see in Edinburgh when I go. What are some of your favorite Edinburgh places? Xxx