April 29, 2019

Cruise to Copenhagen: DFDS Crown Seaways Experience

Few years ago, I’ve learned that I can ride a Ferry from Oslo to Copenhagen or vice versa so I already took note of it. So when we’re planning for Copenhagen - Stockholm and Oslo Trip, I suggested it to my mom so at least we can experience riding a ship even for one night. In my mind, it is better than riding a plane, train or bus because we can move around. One more thing, the cheapest way to go to Copenhagen or Oslo is by Ferry.

Booking is easy, just go to DFDS Seaways website and purchase a ticket. You can ride the ferry with or without a vehicle. They have different destinations not only Oslo to Copenhagen to Oslo route. They are sailing to Norway, Denmark, France, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Sweden, Lithuania, Estonia, Germany, and Belgium.


The price of the ticket depends on the cabin that you will choose; Standard Cabin, Sea View Cabin or Premium Cabin. The price may vary too depending on the season or date but during our trip, the lowest price of the cabin is ₤83 good for 4 persons. We chose the Seaview Cabin for ₤119 because I want to have a window so I can see the view.

My mom booked our ticket and we got a better price because she used Norwegian Kroner as currency. She only paid NOK996 for our cabin without breakfast. When I learned that, I told her to book all our transportation ticket and I will just pay na lang so I can save for the foreign exchange currency fee. Hehehe!

Elverum to Oslo via Nettbus 

We stayed in my sister’s house for four days in Elverum so we need to travel back to Oslo to ride the Ferry to Copenhagen Denmark. We have two options, bus or train and we chose the bus so no more transfer. The price of the ticket varies too so it is better to buy your ticket in advance. Just check their website so you will have an idea which is cheaper. My sister is the one who booked our ticket back to Elverum, I think 3 weeks prior to our trip kasi magmamahal pa daw pag malapit na.

Oslo to Elverum via NSB Train NOK650 (2 adults and 1 kid)
Elverum to Oslo via Nettbus NOK637 (2 adults and 1 kid)

From my sister’s place, we just walked all the way to the bus stop. There is no waiting shed so you can just go there few minutes before the schedule para hindi matagal ang tayo. The bus is on time. We put our luggage and my mom showed our ticket to the bus driver. Free wifi on the bus but I decided to take a nap for our 2 hours bus ride. Travel Time: 11:30 to 13:25


Oslo to Copenhagen via DFDS Crown Seaways 

15:15 - Check-in
15:45 - Boarding
16:30 - Departure

From Oslo Bus Terminal, we walked to DFDS Ferry Terminal, it is a long walk. We reached the port after 50 minutes including our quick snack at 7-11.


Upon entering the Ferry Terminal, you will see a lot of Self-Check-In kiosks and the staff told my mom to use the kiosk but when we used it, there was a note that we need assistance. My mom went back to the counter. The staff who told us to use the kiosk, siya din naman pala ang magprocess ng check-in namin. Nagpabalik-balik pa kami.



I’m not sure if it is because we have Philippines Passport so we can’t use the self-check-in kiosk. Anyway, they gave us our boarding card which serves us our key card too. Then we proceeded to Boarding Area. The staff checked our passport, Schengen visa and boarding card.


For foot passengers, you can check-in as early as 11AM but boarding time is 3:45PM but we are lucky because our room is already ready at 2:25PM so we went straight to our room.

4 Beds - Seaview Cabin 

As expected the room is small, it had 4 beds and 1 small bathroom. Pillows, blanket, and towels are already provided. For toiletries, they only provide liquid hand soap and toilet paper. And because of the limited space, it is hard to open our luggage so it is better to put your stuff on your hand-carry.






Travel time is 17 hours and 15 minutes. Most of the time, we just stayed inside our cabin but there are so many things that you can do inside the ship. There are restaurants where you can eat and drink, duty-free shops, and there are entertainment rooms too, some are free and some have a fee like the swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi, and cosmetic massage. There are also events or activities that you can join but we chose to sleep.







Restaurants and Cafes 

Sjø (A la carte Restaurant)
Explorers (Steakhouse)
7 Seas (Buffet Restaurant)
Little Italy (Italian Restaurant)
Blue Riband (Banquet)
Espresso House (Coffee Bar)

Bars 

Mermaid Bar
Sky Bar
Sky Club
Navigator’s Bar
Red+White
Columbus Club

Entertainment and Facilities 

Commodore De Luxe Lounge
Conference Center
Conference
Sea Shops
Amusement Games
Bubble Zone
Wellness Relax Centre

Overall, I did not have any regrets in choosing DFDS Seaways, we enjoyed our cruise experience even for one night. If ever we go back to Europe, I will check other cruising destinations.

Watch the video here.




DFDS Oslo Port Office 
Open from 9am - 5pm.
Akershusstranda 31, 0150 Oslo, Norway

Read: Day 1 in Copenhagen
Day 2 in Copenhagen
Day 3 in Copenhagen
Day 4 in Copenhagen

April 27, 2019

Avengers: Endgame

Since March, we’ve been seeing the trailer of Avengers: Endgame so my son was excited to watch it but the excitement was gone when my husband told him.

Hubby: Ethan, wala ka sa April, I will watch Avengers.
Ethan: No, you can’t do that. It’s a family movie. 

Fast forward to Avenger: Endgame showing

Hubby: I thought it’s a family movie, why did you watch Avengers?
Ethan: I’m with mommy.

We don’t normally watch a movie because I find it expensive so most of the time, hihintayin na lang namin sa TV but there are times that we splurge too. I can’t remember if we watched the Avengers movie in the theater but one thing for sure, after my son watched Avengers (2012), he became a fan. So my husband and son watched The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) in the cinema and we watched the Avengers: Infinity War last year.


I’ve said before na bitin yung Infinity War so I really want to watch the Avengers: Endgame. In addition, ito na yung last Avengers movie so I don’t want to miss it too. We’re supposed to watch the Avengers: Endgame on the first day but the first showing which is 17:15 is already sold out, the next schedule is 20:45. Masyado ng late ang tapos so mapupuyat kami, lol.

So we checked the movie schedule and I was surprised when I saw the schedule, hindi siya everyday na may palabas and kung meron man one per day lang.

April 24, 2019 - 17:15 and 20:45
April 25, 2019 - 19:30
April 26, 2019 - 19:00
April 28, 2019 - 16:15
April 30, 2019 - 18:00

I’m not sure kung ganito rin sa city but in my mom’s place since konti lang daw population sa Norway, ganun lang talaga ang schedule nila. We agreed to watch on Friday and we did not reserve any ticket. We arrived 20 minutes before 7PM and dun pa lang kami bumili ng ticket, so good thing there are still available seats, hindi nga lang kami magkatabi ng nanay ko and front seats na kaming mag-ina.


Since the movie is 3 hours, I told my son na bawal umihi ha so wag ka gaano uminom. Natawa na lang ko kasi hindi niya na ininom softdrinks niya hanggang matapos movie. The movie is long but we did not feel it, parang gusto ko pa nga ng mas mahaba. I felt sad sa ending ng movie, masakit sa puso but what can I do, ganun talaga.



This was our first time to watch a movie abroad and good thing my mom treated us. Kahit never pa siya nakawatch ng Avengers movie so I don’t know kung nakarelate ba siya. Hehehe! We left the movie house past 10PM and for the first time nakita ko rin na padilim ang sky.


April 26, 2019

Day Trip in Elverum Norway

My sister lives in Elverum which is 2 hours away from Oslo, the capital of Norway. So when we planned to revisit Norway, I did not book Manila to Trondheim anymore because we can stay in my sister's house before we start our Copenhagen - Stockholm - Oslo Trip. Elverum is a city and municipality in Hedmark county. It is named after the old Norse “Alfarheimr” which means river and farm. The population is less than 15,000.

I don’t have any itinerary for Elverum Trip because, in my mind, we are there to visit and to recover from jetlag. But since we are already there, my mom decided to visit some tourist spots. If ever you are planning to visit Elverum, you can visit the Norwegian Forest Museum, Glomdal Museum, Elverum Church, Elverum Park, and Glomma River.


Among the list, we were able to visit 3 tourist spots. Anyway, we started our tour after breakfast. We left the house at 9:30AM and we just walked all the way to the Glomma River, more or less 20 minutes walk.

Glomma River 





Glomma River is the longest river in Norway. Total length is 621 kilometers from Aursund to Oslofjord. It used to be the log-floating river but now they already transport those logs through trucks. The river is really long, we saw four bridges during our walking tour. I even saw some love locks in one of the bridges. There is also a bridge that connects Glomdal Museum and Norwegian Forest Museum. Some parts of the river are still frozen.

Glomdal Museum 




From Glomma River, we went straight to Glomdal Museum. If you want to save money, avail the joint ticket for Glomdal Museum and Forest Museum which we did. Glomdal Museum is one of the largest open-air museum in Norway. I think this is our first open-air museum, most of the time kasi nasa isang building lang yung museum na napupuntahan namin. But this museum is so huge where they displays different buildings and living tradition in Østerladen and Solør. You can see the different houses, cottage, farm house, or establishments that was used in the past four centuries.

Norwegian Forest Museum 



From Glomdal Museum, we crossed the bridge to Norwegian Forest Museum which is about 20 minutes walk. The Norwegian Forest Museum is one of the largest museums in Norway and it presents the history of hunting, trapping, forestry, and fishing industry. You can see different animals here and there are also workshops where you can join. This museum is huge too but we stayed most of the time inside the building since we’re freezing outside already.


From here, we walked about 30 minutes to reach home, it was a long walk but better than taking a taxi. Hehehe! It was tiring but we enjoyed our museum trip, it is nice to know the history of Norway and Elverum. And because of this, we did not go out anymore the following day so we could reserve our energy for our next trip. In my future posts, I will create a separate post for each museum and hopefully, I can upload the videos on YouTube.

Glomdal Museum 
Museumsvegen 15, 2406 Elverum

Norwegian Forest Musem 
Soloervegen 151, 2407 Elverum

April 25, 2019

Here Comes the Sun

Few weeks ago, the snow welcomed us in Oslo and Elverum and we’re freezing. But the cold never bothered us anyway. In fact, we’re still happy that we were able to experience snow again. When we went to Copenhagen, Denmark, we also experienced snowfall but as days go by, the temperature kept on increasing so when we went back to Oslo, Norway, we no longer need thick jackets.


Spring is here and it is really hard to predict the weather. My Facebook memories reminded me that two years ago, we’re still wearing thick jackets and there was still snowfall until the first week of May but now the temperature ranges from 11C to 19C, it hit 20C last Tuesday so off we went to the beach.


My mom’s friend invited us to visit their house and my mom suggested to have a picnic at the beach. It was just 10 minutes drive from my mom’s place and it’s been two decades already since my last visit. This is the same place where we picked mussels during my first visit in Norway. We were not able to experience it during our second visit and this year too because it is no longer in season. But I’m happy to be back and this time with my son.

Two decades ago
Living in the Philippines, I have a different version of a beach trip so when my mom said that we’re going to the beach, natatawa na lang talaga ko. As if we can swim sa lamig ng tubig, even the temperature is 20C, parang ice pa rin ang tubig. Hehehe! But of course, here in Norway, people take advantage of good weather, marami ka na makikita na nakat-shirt at shorts at nakabilad sa araw niyan pero sa totoo lang, Baguio feel pa ang lamig pero sa kanila, mainit na yun.



The beach is just few minutes walk from the house of my mom’s friend. They are lucky to have this beach near their place, hindi ka na lalayo and the most important thing is, this is FREE. So we had picnic, we brought our own food to share. And one thing you will notice on our photo is the container of our food, lagayan ng ice cream and biscuit, pinoy na pinoy. Save the environment and reuse the container.




At 7PM, off we went home at lumalamig na rin ang hangin. I haven’t experienced sunset here in Norway because the sun sets past 9PM pa and tulog na ko nun. Hehehe! Anyway, if you are not into beach you can also visit Sjøgata and Kjeungskajaer Lighthouse, it is within the Uthaug area too.

Easter Monday in Norway

I haven’t posted anything for the last two weeks because our family went to Elverum, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Oslo for two weeks vacation. Honestly, I have so many travel stories to share but I don’t know where I’m going to start. But before I share our Scandinavian trip, let me start with Easter Monday.


Yes, you’ve read it right “Easter Monday” (Påskedag), if you remember this post, I mentioned that Norway has 5 days Holy Week holiday so from Thursday to Monday, there are no work, school classes and expect that malls, supermarkets, banks and even the majority of the restaurants are closed. There are also changes in transportation schedule so it is hard to travel during Holy Week. Some stores are open for limited hours during Black Saturday.



When in Norway, you will notice that every Easter, they will also decorate their homes. Yellow is the color of Easter and you will see a lot of chickens, Easter Eggs and Easter bunnies. Kids receive Easter Eggs filled with candies, chocolates or small treats. My son was able to decorate his own Easter Eggs when we went to Glomdal Museum in Elverum. My aunt also gave him Kinder Surprise Eggs.


Since Monday is still a holiday, my aunt invited us for dinner. My uncle prepared Turkey, Potato, Salad, Bacon Wrapper, Fresh Orange Juice and Ice Cream for dessert. I noticed some Easter decorations too like chickens, bunnies, and eggs. The weather was good so we enjoyed our Easter Monday celebration but part of me was worried too because of the earthquake in the Philippines.



P.S. 

While preparing for Easter Monday dinner, my husband and my friend messaged me that there was an earthquake in the Philippines. And I when I opened my social media account, I’ve seen a lot of status about earthquake but what caught my attention is the photos and videos of Clark International Airport. Nagoosebumps ako because few weeks ago, nasa Clark Airport din kami and day before the earthquake happened, my husband arrived at Clark Airport.


I remember, I even suggested to my husband to stay in the hotel na lang near the airport so hindi siya mapagod pauwi kasi for sure traffic sa Pilipinas at Easter Sunday so uwian ng mga tao. But my husband wanted to go home na, buti na lang hindi niya ko sinunod so wala na siya sa Pampanga nung nag-earthquake. I was thankful for God’s protection, my husband, family and friends are all safe naman. Nakakaparanoid whenever I see the photos of CIA, I can’t imagine kung ano gagawin ko if we were there, yung time kasi ng earthquake, yun din ang time na waiting for boarding or waiting for baggage kami.

April 11, 2019

Qatar Airways Flight Experience

We all know that going to Europe is not cheap but there is nothing impossible if you want to fulfill your Europe Dream. Yes, you can still find affordable airfare to Europe especially if you are going off-peak season. When we went to Norway two years ago, there is no cheap plane ticket because we bought our ticket 5 weeks before our trip. In addition, there is no seat sale from Manila to Trondheim flight.


This year, we applied for our Schengen Visa in January and we got our visa/passport after 5 days. Then we went to the Philippine Travel Tour Expo and look for cheap airline tickets. There was seat sale but the price varies too, it depends on your travel date. Since we are leaving during summer vacation, the price is a little bit higher. We inquired for Manila - Oslo - Manila and Clark - Oslo - Clark flight and we decided to book the latter. We only inquired at Qatar Airways and Emirates because other airlines do not offer Oslo flight. Qatar Airways is much cheaper and they also provide Free Shuttle Bus from Trinoma to Clark Airport. 

Read: Biyaheng Europe: Manila Philippines to Elverum Norway

Fast forward to our trip, off we went to Clark International Airport. Checking-in was smooth and the flight is on time. This was our first flight with Qatar Airways and so far we are happy with our first experience. They have free 30 minutes wi-fi but I couldn’t connect.


Clark to Oslo 

Clark for Doha 10 hrs and 5 min
Layover 1h and 55 min
Doha to Oslo 6h and 45 min

Qatar Airways provided a travel kit, the kit includes socks, eye mask, earplug, toothbrush, and toothpaste. There is already a pillow, blanket, and headset on our chair. And of course, we have our own flight entertainment to keep us busy for our 10 hours flight. Aside from that, my son has his own travel kit too na wala sa Philippine Airlines or Thai Airways.



Qatar Airways provided a menu too so we know what to eat and drink. They have more options too compared to other airlines that we have tried. For our 10 hours flight, we have two meals. I appreciate the menu because it gives me an idea on what beverage is available for Economy Class flight, so hindi lang pala softdrinks or juice ang pwede. Madami naman pala choices.


Clark to Doha Menu

Main Meal

Appetizer: Macaroni Salad
Main:
Fried Milk Fish with Bistek Sauce (Steamed Rice, Pumpkin, Pak Choy and Caramelized Onion)
Grilled Chicken with Tarragon Herb Sauce (Roast Potato, sauteed green Peas, and Carrot)
Penne Pasta with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
Dessert: Jackfruit Rice Pudding

Hot Snack 

Appetizer: Garbanzo salad with tomato and cucumber
Main:
Chicken Adobo with Steamed Rice (garlic, carrot)
Fried Milk Fish with Tomato Basil Sauce (buttered potato, pumpkin, and broccoli florets)
Stir-Fried Asian Style Vegetables with Glass Noodles
Dessert: Macapuno Fruit Salad

Beverages 

Wines: Red wine, White wine
Spirits: Gin, Whisky, Vodka
Beer: Heineken Cognac
Liqueur: Brandy, Baileys Original Irish Cream
Cold Beverages: A selection of soft drinks, ginger ale, soda water, tonic water, a selection of juices, still water
Tea and Coffee: Freshly brewed Ceylon Tea, coffee



Child’s Meal 

Before our flight, I ordered for Child’s Meal so my son has his own food. They serve the kid’s meal first and they have more foods than adults. What nice about their kid’s meal, they have their own snack box that we can take home. So if you have babies, toddlers or kids, don’t forget to pre-book child’s meal, I just modify my booking online. No extra charges for that. If you fail to order, the staff will just ask you to choose from the menu so they can serve it ahead of time pero same lang siya sa adult meal.



Hamad International Airport 

After ten hours, we landed at Hamad International Airport in Doha Qatar. Disembarking is quite slow because we need to take the bus. From the time we landed, it took us more or less 30 minutes before we reach the airport building. I think we were one of the last passengers who rode the bus. It was the longest bus ride that I’ve experienced inside the airport.


Upon arrival at the airport building, we went straight to transfer gates, pag-akyat pa lang ng escalator, nandun na agad yung screening. Since we are in a hurry, we forgot that my son has 2 Tetra pack juices in his bag (from kid’s meal) and it is not allowed because the liquid content is 200ml. The airport staff said, we can drink the juice but I decided to leave it to avoid the cause of delay. Nawalan tuloy kami ng drinks while waiting at the boarding gate. Hehehe!


Qatar Airport is beautiful, too bad that we were not able to explore the airport since we only have limited layover. They have a train inside the airport, we rode the train to reach our boarding gate. By the time that we reached the boarding gate, hindi pa man kami nakakapahinga ng matagal, boarding na agad. We took the bus again to reach the airplane, so umikot lang kami. Airplane - Bus - Train - Bus - Airplane. Sobrang bilis ng layover namin.


Doha to Oslo 

Boarding is on time but the plane took off after 30 minutes, good thing that we still arrived on time at Oslo Airport and we were able to catch our train to Elverum. For our 6 hours flight, we have a travel kit again. But we did not receive any flight entertainment for my son, I don’t know if they have that since wala kasi ko nakita na binigyan na kids or I should ask for it. Anyway, they gave us again the menu and I was surprised, 2 meals pa rin sa 6 hours flight.

Doha to Oslo Menu 

Light Snack 
Savory Pastry Breakfast

Main 

Scrambled Eggs with Breakfast Sausage (fried potato cubes and tomato wedges)
Sweet Pancakes with strawberry compote
Paratha with Pindi Chana Chole (spinach croquette)

Accompaniments 

Seasonal Fresh Fruit Fruit Yogurt

Beverage: same choices





One thing I noticed, marami Filipino flight attendant sa Qatar Airways so mas masaya kasi hindi na nosebleed if we need to ask anything.

Read: Flight from Oslo to Clark via Qatar Airways