Year in review – 2015

Back to where it all began.

2015 saw the first of our European adventures and the start our 4 day holidays. With only the two holidays abroad this year, first to Norway and then to Sweden, the second part of the year was spent in Edinburgh and Cornwall.

For these two holidays, and many afterwards, you will hear me continually say ‘We enjoyed travelling to x’ and the simple truth is, we did. There has, to date, not been one place we have regretted going to or not found interesting. I apologise now that it will pop up in blogs from time to time but I will try and either use better adjectives or refrain from the phrase.

It was actually Nicks idea to have a summary if you will and I hope to use these end of year posts to try and explain more thoroughly just what it was that made those places great from my ramblings. At the bottom of this blog you will find my own ratings system for each place we have visited.

So, first up is Oslo, Norway. Being our first holiday together it will always stay in our memories and will cast a rose tint over the simple fact we didn’t see everything we wanted due to me being unwell. Our hotel will always be a big factor to why we enjoyed our trip, not only was it so effortlessly stylish but the staff were so friendly and helpful. It must have made an impression as we always make a point to check for a Radisson Blu wherever we plan to travel.

It is still also the hotel room we compare others too and the only place we have ordered room service as we just couldn’t venture out the first night. A simple hotdog and ice cream were so well presented that it picked up our spirits when we thought the holiday would be a bust.

When I did start feeling better the atmosphere was great, much like other Scandinavian countries, there is just something about them. The style of houses and buildings as well as their friendliness is so welcoming.

One drawback I suppose would be that on Sundays most of the shops were shut, so for us, who had planned to save ‘tat’ shopping as Nick likes to call it, for the last day we were greeted by empty streets. To be fair the tourists shops were mostly open and just closed early. Gothenburg was much the same in regards to shops, only this time we were prepared.

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Which leads me nicely onto another one of our favourite places we have visited (with the fact I saw moose being just a tiny part of that). I cannot speak higher of Gothenburg, just walking across the bridge to head to the main street we could imagine ourselves living there. We loved everything from the beautiful parks and restaurants to the small coffee shops for a short hot chocolate and cafe pit stop.

We stayed in a Scandic, which to be fair, we probably would choose elsewhere should we go back. The hotel itself was lovely and quirky but it was the location which was more the issue, after a night in town we would walk back past the station and up a long ‘out of the way’ road. This road was very dark and bit dodgy looking, we opted to take the main road up and cut across for the remaining nights. But looking back this would be the only part I would change, the proximity to everything was perfect even if the location wasn’t.

Liseberg was just around the corner and everything was at easy reach, with a travel card and Gothenburg was your oyster. Universeum, just up from Liseberg, we are still yet to find a better and more thought out museum. From the exhibits to the giant rainforest INSIDE the building and 7 floors of interactive themed rooms.

Overall, our stay in Gothenburg was near on perfect, with many places to see and go we weren’t left with much downtime apart from when we would stop in Trädgårdsföreningen for a quick sit down. This in itself was not a bad thing as it meant we were clearly enjoying our time and not having to think ‘now what can we do’.

In summary 2015 was a good year which kickstarted our European travelling and pushed us to beat 2 holidays in one year, which at the time seemed quite an achievement. Roll on 2016 and we had nothing to worry about.

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Rating

After each end of year blog I will break down each place and rate them out of 10 for a number of factors to make a quick way to compare places we visit. These will be:

  • Overall cost – How expensive was it to travel there? How expensive was the hotel? Cost of food?
    • 1/10 cheap as chips to 10/10 needing to remortgage.
  • Hotel – Was it good value for money? Was it clean? View from the window? Quality? Look of the room? Friendliness of staff?
    • 1/10 awful to 10/10 perfect.
  • Attractions/Museums – Quality of the museum? Interesting? Quantity of places to see? Entry price?
    • 1/10 Bored to tears to 10/10 couldn’t pack more in if we tried.

Oslo, Norway

  • Overall cost – 8/10

Overall I feel we would have spent a lot more had we spent less time indoors when I unwell. The actual attractions were well priced but food and drinks were very expensive. As Nick likes to say we found a coke for around £2.50/£3.00 and we would stock up as they were a bargain compared. Flights were a great price and we did splurge on the hotel. 

  • Hotel – 9/10

Our hotel is as I have said before one of the best we have stayed in both in terms of look and friendliness of the staff. Breakfast was amazing and the biggest spread of hot food, pastries, bread, yoghurts and fruit.

  • Attractions / Museums – 6/10

With the palace, opera house and many viking related museums around there was plenty to do but some were a little further from the centre.

Gothenburg, Sweden

  • Overall cost – 7/10

Compared to Norway Gothenburg was slightly better value, food was still the most expensive part, but attractions were well priced. Flights again were bargain prices when we booked and so we could spend a little more on the hotel.

  • Hotel – 6/10

Our hotel was good, room was slightly on the smaller side and our first had a door to a conjoining one. Staff quickly moved us and were very helpful although the trains next door were loud. The style of the hotel was very well presented and quirky. 

  • Attractions / Museums – 9/10

So many parks to explore and all close by or quick ride away. The Universeum and Liseberg on their own would rate a 10, but I have been reserved to not peak too early on!


 

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