April 25, 2017

Things to do in Austrått Norway

Austrått is located in Ørland Norway which is just a few minutes drive from Brekstad. It is a nice place to visit because you can see the old manor, fort, grove and beach. The best part is, it is free.

Things to do in Austrått Norway 


Austråttlunden 

Austråttlunden is a protected woodland area in Austrått where you can see the different variety of rare plants and wildlife. If you are lucky, you can see moose, deer and different kinds of birds.


Inside the grove, you can see the famous world’s northernmost wild oak tree. They say that the tree is hundreds of years old already. I went inside the oak tree when I first visited the place so I persuaded my son to go inside too. He was scared at first because he thought that there are squirrels or termites inside the tree.



This place popular for walking and running, it is about 3 km if you will go around the Austråttlunden. But we have a kid in tow so we did not walk that far. We went to the fort after taking pictures of the oak tree.


Austrått Fort 

Austrått Fort was built by German Wehrmacht in 1942 to protect the Tronheimsfjord during World War II. Inside the fort, you will see the Triple gun turret that weighs 800 tons. The gun turret last firing was in 1953 and it became a museum in 1991.



Norwegians protect and preserve this fort so the site is still in good condition. As you can see, there is a tarpaulin that covers the gun turret to protect it from the winter season. Again, I was not able to see the interiors of the gun turret because it is only open during summer season. You can see the five-storey cannon tower and Fosen War Historical Collections starting June of the year.



It is nice to be back and this time with my family. We took photos on the same spot where my siblings and I took photos several years ago.



Austråttborgen 

Austråttborgen or Austrått Manor is found in the municipality of Ørland, Sør-Trondelag Norway. Austrått has been the residence of many noblemen/noblewomen and officials since the 10th century. The Austrått Manor it is one of the oldest Norwegians manors, it was built in 1656 by Norwegian Chancellor named Ove Bjelke. The manor is a national property since 1919.


Some people like my mom, called this Austrått castle, inside the manor is a chapel where my aunt got married. We were not able to see the interior but the manor is open for public tours during the summer season.

Austrått Pyramid 


Beside the Austråttborgen is a pyramid with a plaque.

Austrått Beach 



There is also a small beach after the Austråttborgen where you can relax or even swim during summer months. We touched the water and it is really cold.

Watch the video here.


April 24, 2017

Bruholmen Friluftsomrade Norway

Bruholmen Friluftsomrade is located in Brekstad Norway, it is considered a recreational area where you can do different activities like walking, running, biking, kiting and any activities that you will enjoy. 

This is the top view, photo source
It is a relaxing place because you can see farm, fjord, pine trees and islet. If the weather is nice, some families have a picnic here. During low tide, you can pick crabs or shells. You can also swim during summer months (June to August) but I haven’t tried that since the water is still too cold for me.




Just looking at the Trondheimsfjord view is already comforting, you can see different ferry boats sailing in the area. You can also do bird watching, it is nice to see different birds flying around. No need to go to the zoo because you can see birds and animals for free.  




My mom is lucky that this is just a few minutes walk away from her home. I can see part of this view from our room. The place is FREE too. On our third day, even the temperature is below zero degrees, we still went out to walk, as you can see roads are slippery because some parts have ice. My son enjoyed stepping on the icy spots, just to crack the ice. 

Watch the video here




Even the weather is not nice, my mom still walks here and that’s what we did on Day 13. It is cold, windy and rainy but she convinced us to walk outside. Living in a four seasons country, you have to force yourself to walk even the weather is cold or else, manghihina ka sa bahay. 



I will update this post when the plants and trees started to bloom.


April 23, 2017

Day 3 Bruholmen Friluftsomrade + Brekstad + Austrått Fort Norway

My mom was back in Norway so she started touring us within the area. Yes, nauna kami dumating sa nanay ko. Hehehe! So for the first two days, we just stayed in the house and we waited for our tour guide which is my mom. 

Bruholmen Friluftsomrade

I did not plan anything for this summer trip, I just let my mom decides where we are going since she lives in Norway for about 28 years so she knows the place. On our third day, after eating our breakfast off we went to Bruholmen Friluftsomrade or Bruholmen in short. 



She lives in the county so she is lucky that this place is just a few minutes walk from her home. The place is good for walking, running, relaxing or sometimes if the weather is nice you can also have a picnic here with your family. You can see farm, pine trees and fjord.

Read: Bruholmen Friluftsomrade



Brekstad 

After our morning walk, we took a bath and off we went to Brekstad for errands and grocery. My son was surprised because he learned that my mom can really drive a car. When we told him that Wowa drives a car in Norway, he doesn’t believe immediately because my mom is not driving whenever she visits the Philippines. To see is to believe. Hehehe! 



Life here in Brekstad is very simple, you can go to different places in just a few minutes because there is no traffic. Workplace, banks, supermarket and many more are within the area. 





Malls are not that big but I was surprised when I saw the malls here because it is now big compared to the malls that I’ve seen before. We bought overall clothes for my son since we will be going to Røros for our Easter Staycation. Since it Spring time, we had a hard time looking for thick overall, so even my son doesn't like the color, we bought it. :)





Lunch with Family + Cemetery

It’s my aunt’s second death anniversary so my mom prepared simple lunch for the family and off we went to the cemetery.



Cemetery here in Norway is beside the church. 



Austrått Fort 

Since the weather is nice we took advantage of it and we went straight to Austrått Fort. The fort was constructed by the German Wehrmacht to protect the Trondheimsfjord during World War II. I will create a separate post for this. Day 3 was a long day for us,



First Snowfall Experience

Living in a tropical country for so many years, there is no doubt that one of the reasons why my son wanted to visit Norway is to experience snow. My first snowfall experience was on our way to Norway too. We’re boarding the airplane in Frankfurt Germany when the snow begins to fall.



Unfortunately, I don’t have a souvenir picture because I don’t have my own camera that time. I was glad that we experienced snow again during our first week in Norway so my mom was able to take a picture. 

When we’re planning to visit Norway, I wanted to book our ticket as early as last week of March but unfortunately, our school calendar is up to the first week of April. I was thinking baka too late na kasi Spring na so I was really praying hard that my two boys will also experience snow. 





Fast forward to our trip, because of jet lag, we were already up at 1AM and we ate breakfast as early as 5:30AM. We were so happy when we saw the snow. excited the kami lumabas. Yehey, the weather forecast is accurate. 



Even though the weather is so cold and we were freezing, we went out to experience snow. I felt that it was also my first time, I was so happy to see my two boys enjoying their first snow experience. We don’t care if neighbors will think that we are crazy at nagpapakabasa kami sa snow. Hehehe! When my mom saw the pictures and videos, she said, kulang daw suot namin. Sa sobrang excited namin kahit di complete basta may jacket lumabas kami. Hehehe!

Click here for the video




God is so good because we experienced snow on our second day and until now, we still experience snowfall. But honestly, it is not easy to go out if the weather is so cold, it takes time to prepare. You need so many layers of clothing, gloves, scarf and bonnet just to protect yourself. This time, I'm not complaining, I'm enjoying the cold weather of Norway until it lasts. 

April 21, 2017

Trip to Norway

For the last few years, we’ve been planning to visit Norway but for some reasons, hindi kami natutuloy. Aside from budget, we also need to consider the vacation leave of my husband and my mom. It is not practical to go to Europe if we will only stay for one week. My mom needs to file vacation leaves too so she can pick us up at the airport and tour us around even just for few days.

Last year, my mom asked me if I want to visit Norway this summer, I got excited pero slight lang because I know I need to apply for a visa. Baka madeny kami at madisappoint ako. Hehehe! So after we got our visas and plane tickets, we started counting the days for our summer vacation trip.

Read: How to Apply Schengen Visa via VFS Global Norway

Traveling to Norway is not easy because you need patience. When we first went here, our flight + layover was 36 hours, hindi pa kasama diyan ang paghihintay namin sa NAIA at travel from Trondheim to my mom’s place. We rode 4 airplanes + 1 Ferry Boat.

Manila Philippines to Bangkok Thailand
Bangkok Thailand to Frankfurt Germany 
Frankfurt Germany to Oslo Norway 
Oslo Norway to Trondheim Norway
Ferry Boat from Trondheim to Brekstad 



After so many years, things change so now we only rode 3 airplanes + 1 Ferry Boat. Our flight + layover was down to 22 hours. I was having a hard time looking for cheap airfare because there was no more seat sale when we got the visas. My mom will take KLM flight but the fare is so expensive so I check other airlines. Good thing, I remember to check Thai Airways and we got a cheaper airfare compared to other airlines. We also took Thai Airways during our first trip to Norway.


Fast forward to our trip, sa sobrang excited namin, we were in NAIA 1 six hours before our flight so the long waiting started. After check-in, we stayed at Miascor Lounge while waiting for our boarding time.

Read: Glimpse of NAIA 1 
Glimpse of Miascor Lounge

Manila Philippines to Bangkok Thailand via Thai Airways 






Flight is at 8PM, we were very happy when we saw the seat monitor because for the past few trips we always ride Philippines Airlines and most of their airplanes have no seat monitor. Our sleeping time is 8PM but because of the in-flight entertainment, my son watched movies.


We had 2 hours and 40 minutes layover at Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Bangkok Airport is big so we immediately look for our boarding gate. We passed security check again, where we need to remove our shoes and gadgets from our handcarry luggage. Free wifi at the airport but I haven't tried.


Bangkok Thailand to Oslo Norway via Thai Airways

Since this is a long haul flight, I was expecting for travel kit but Thai Airways did not provide anything even for the kids. Bangkok Thailand to Oslo Norway is 11 hours and 30 minutes, it was my son’s first long haul flight and I was glad that he did not have any problem. He slept through the night while I was having a problem in sleeping so I watched 5 movies. Hehehe! Aside from movies, you can listen to music or play games.


We ate twice, one dinner and one breakfast.



Oslo Norway to Trondheim Norway via Scandinavian Airlines

After almost 12 hours in the air, we’re happy that we landed safely. We had 2 hours and 45 minutes layover. We need to pass immigration and the line was so long because they became more strict in checking because few days before our trip, there was a terrorist attack in Stockholm Sweden.

After that, we collected our luggage and check-in again. We had a hard time in checking-in. The line was long in check-in counter and we’re running late for our connecting flight so my husband tried the self check-in machine. We’ve experienced that when we rode Air Asia in Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. But the difference is, everything is self-service as in there are no staffs that will assist you.


We put the luggage tag and we dropped our luggage at the counter. We had problem with our luggage because it is over 23 kilos. Our baggage limit in Thai Airways in 30 kilos but when we reached Oslo, they only accept 23 kilos in self-check in counter so we had no choice but to remove some stuff in our check-in bag. Thank God for packing cubes, hinugot ko lang at nilagay sa hand-carry. Nagkaspace kami sa handcarry because we need to wear our jackets na. We’re freezing cold at Oslo, wala na kami sa Pilipinas.

We need to pass security check again, there was problem with my handcarry that they need to check it again. Ewan ko kung ano na naman nakita dun, hopia lang naman ang nandun. Hehehe! This is one thing that I don’t like in traveling, you need to pass security check over and over again. Minsan napaparanoid ako at baka malagyan ng kung anu-ano na hindi ko naman dala.



Another dilemma in traveling is the language, we did not hear any English translation when we are waiting at the boarding gate so nung nakita namin na nagtayuan na lahat at pumila, nakipila na rin kami. We just scanned our ticket to enter the gate. Finally, last plane na ito.



I was surprised when I learned that there is no more food and drinks, so parang budget airlines na rin pala ang Scandinavian Airlines. There is a menu where you can choose foods and drinks, they accept Danish Kroner, Norwegian Kroner and Euro. We did not order anything.


Trondheim to Brekstad 

After 1 hour, our plane landed and we collected our bags again. The travel was not yet over because we need to ride Ferry Boat. My stepdad fetched us at the airport and drove for 2 hours to Valset where we’re going to take the boat (RORO). Travel time is 30 minutes.





Finally after 33 hours since we left the house, we’re finally home. Our home away from home. On our way to the house, my son said “Mommy, Wowa’s house is really far”. Yes, it is really far but Norway is worth a visit.

Click here for the video