Travel

Saving Money in Stockholm!

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Sightseeing in Europe is really fun, educational, but often pricey. Every city features its own “Pass” or “Card” that you can purchase at the airport, or any tourism center, and it basically grants you access to X attractions for X price.

When deciding on whether to purchase a Card for the city you are in, you need to do a little research. Check out online before you go, where the Card allows you access and what kind of access it allows you. Also, you need to plan realistically what you are interested in visiting, what is feasible in the time you are there, and pricing out those options versus the price of the ticket you are purchasing. Most of the Cards grant you public transportation access, but not always, so be sure to read the small details!

For the Record, Stockholm is definitely a city to purchase their Card! We purchased a 72 hour card for 895SEK (approx. $110USD) per person. Sounds pricey, but once we got there, we didn’t spend another dollar on any attraction, and all of our bus and metro transportation as paid for which definitely made travel much easier! Read more about the Stockholm Card pricing here.

See a few photos of our adventures below:

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Just for fun, we documented the price of each attraction we visited as if we had to pay it. We wanted to see how far our money went! See our findings below:

Attraction Price(SEK) per person
Royal Palace 150
Royal Treasury 150
Armory 100
Nobel Museum 100
Vasamusseet 130
Spirit Museum 100
Drottingholm 120
Aquarium 120
Skansen Open Air Museum 130
Canal Tour 185
City Hall 130
Coronation Cathedral 40
TOTAL PRICE 1415

Overall, we saved 520SEK, approximately $65USD each, AND this is not including the amount we would have paid for transportation, which we estimated to be about $60USD for both of us. All in all, we saved about $95USD per person, we were thrilled!!

Now, if you’re going to visit Stockholm and want to use the Stockholm Card, visit before December 31, 2015–after this day the card will be discontinued–I guess it was discovered what a great deal it was!! Ha 🙂

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Wonderful Windsor

We recently stayed at a beautiful little Airbnb right outside of London, in Windsor. We fell in love with the quaint little town and really got used to the beauty of Windsor! Our host was a wonderful woman who was so friendly and full of British humor. She chatted with us about everything from the Windsor Castle being “the only important castle” (ha!) to the Last Night of the Proms (which by the way, we had no idea the UK did such a cool little event, why doesn’t America have this?!?!) We had tea and coffee with her and she really gave us a true English experience 😉

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While we weren’t drinking tea in the Sitting Room, we were exploring Windsor (and of course London). Some things you must do in Windsor:

  • The Windsor Castle (beautiful!) but go early, the queue gets very long by the time it opens at 10:00. (see the queue below!!)IMG_5662
  • See the changing of the guard, it happens every other day, and they march right down the middle of High Street. It is a big deal, roads are closed and people stand watching on either side of High Street to catch a view. It is opposite of the Buckingham Palace’s schedule. It usually takes place around 11:30 with streets closing around 10:45.IMG_3900
  • Any of the parks/gardens, there are a few optionsIMG_5627
  • We heard the following were wonderful as well: St. George’s Chapel, Windsor and Eton Brewery, Theatre Royal, Horse Stables (the following is a photo taken from the outside on High Street)IMG_5651

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AND of course, there is a beautiful little pedestrian-only street right off of High Street with a slew of restaurants and great shopping! On our last night, exhausted from walking around London, we ate at a little Italian restaurant called Carluccio’s. Highly recommend. It was very intimate and romantic, yet delicious and filling. It also has a separate deli shop that is open during the day.

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Transportation to London is a breeze. You would take the rail from Windsor to London, with one easy change in between. The rail from Windsor Central Station is a direct route, only stopping in Windsor and Slough. Simply take the rail to Slough, then change platforms (we went to London Paddington) and simply hop on the Paddington rail! It will take you to Paddington, and from there you can go anywhere. This is the simplest route, although there are many options. For the two of us, it was approximately $25USD, not bad for a full day in London 🙂 If you are going from London Paddington to Windsor for the day, it would be the reverse (at Slough, hop onto the Windsor Central Station rail).

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Eiffel Tower…

…You must go in the evening, grab a bottle of wine and a snack and enjoy the view from the lawn! Bring a blanket (dew will definitely make the ground damp!) and some plastic wine cups are clutch! We found ours at a sports/camping store in Copenhagen but most stores sell plastic wine cups. 

TIP: At 8:00pm the tower starts sparkling for 5 minutes! It does this every hour on the hour through the evening so you must see this, it’s stunning!!!!

Thank you @dillieanddallie (www.dillieanddallie.com) for the advice!😊
   
    
    
   
 

Bryggen, Bergen – Don’t get a parking ticket!

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While visiting Bryggen, Bergen, Norway, we parked our car in this beautiful little side street where we thought we had access to street parking….problem is the sign was very unclear and resulted in us getting a parking ticket. No big deal we thought, so we put it away and opted to pay online once we got back to Denmark (this is a very common way to pay tickets in the States). Mind you, we left our car for approximately 20 minutes, we only walked around the block! (photos of Bryggen attached)!

Back in Denmark, we went to pay our ticket online only to find out this is not possible, at all. There are 2 options: 1) Pay via wire transfer or 2) Dispute the fine. We, of course, just wanted to pay the 300kr (approx. 35USD) and move on, it was not enough to stress about.

So, we attempted to wire money through our bank, but had no luck as there is a $50 transfer minimum and another $40 fee to do so. Then we noticed the account numbers on the ticket are for the Norwegian bank, DNB, but when we went to a branch here in Copenhagen we were told these only exist in Norway. Also, we tried Forex (similar to Western Union) and also had no luck due to the type of account it is. With these option nixed, we got creative and were starting to become desperate, we were afraid we would have to go back to Norway to pay the ticket (at least it’s not far from Denmark!).

Then, we discovered TransferWise. We discovered that you can easily transfer funds directly from your bank to the account you wish to send the funds to, there are no minimums and the fees are minuscule! We tried it, and it worked! We transferred our $35 and paid under a $5 fee! We were ecstatic!!!

TransferWise saved the day! If you ever find yourself in a similar predicament or need to transfer funds for personal matters anywhere across the globe, just download their app or go to their website to wire the funds. It is so easy and will relieve the stress! 🙂

More photos of Bryggen below…. 😉

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A Fjord Paradise

I’m usually a sucker for warm climates [meaning the closer to the Equator the better], palm trees, tropical alcoholic drinks, sunglasses and a bottle of SPF. But, I must say Norway threw me for a loop! We expected to see glaciers, pretty cool considering we’d never seen glaciers before, and of course fjords. But, we weren’t prepared for what we found when we landed in Kaupanger.

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Kaupanger is a relentlessly tiny town in Middle-of-No-Where, Norway. It’s population is mostly of families who have lived there for generations and it’s main “claim to fame” is the ferry that stops by on its way to the larger nearby town of Sogndal. Very different than what we’re used to, we had practically only seen this in movies. IMG_3359

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Intrigued, we stayed at a charming little home (read: boathouse) located right ON the water in the tiny town of Kaupanger (pictured below)….IMG_5595 IMG_3322

The home offered the most perfect view of the fjord and came complete with a balcony ON the water where we could sit and gaze off in the distance while eating our post-dinner ice cream 🙂 We are such romantics ❤

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By the end of the few days we were there, I was already pining to go back, it’s actually still an inner battle I’m still fighting…WHO AM I for wanting to go back to this cold, mountainous, fjord region…and WHY?!?! Then I look at the pictures, and oh yeah….that’s why 😉

London in Photos

Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.

-Samuel Johnson


Photos of our recent trip to London, my new love ❤

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Icetrolls: Norway

When we were booking our trips around Europe, Norway originally wasn’t one of them. However, we watched an episode of Rick Steves’ Europe featuring Norway and we instantly fell in love. We began our research on attractions and stumbled across Icetroll, a company that offers many different glacier hiking, kayaking, rafting, etc. tours. We knew we HAD to do this. So, we booked the Icetroll tour that featured kayaking and glacier hiking. Hands down, best adventure we’ve ever had.

View of Norwegian countryside on way to Icetroll

View of Norwegian countryside on way to Icetroll

With glaciers diminishing more and more each day, we knew this would be such an exceptional experience, something that people of the future may not get to experience.

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Carlos leading the way

We arrived at our meeting point at 10:00 and met our tour guide, Carlos, and our group of 2 other couples (one from Poland and one from Arizona). We began our hike to the lake, then we kayaked over to the glacier. Once at the glacier we hiked to the ice and learned how to lace our crampons (the spike glacier shoes) and off we went. Overall we hiked for about 6 hours, then we kayaked back to our starting point. We got back around 16:00.

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The tour offered many amazing views and a fun experience that I am not sure we will ever be able to recreate. The entire tour cost about $230, and was arguably the best couple hundred dollars we have ever spent!

If you are on the western side of Norway, this is definitely something you should get around to doing. You will be exhausted after the trip, but very rewarding!!! Find more info at http://www.icetroll.com 🙂

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Our New Home – Copenhagen, Denmark

It has been exactly 2 weeks since we landed in our new home of Copenhagen, Denmark (wow! time flies..) While we have spent this time adjusting to our new way of life, we have had some amazing adventures already.

Our first few days we spent exploring the city center and getting acclimated. The weather wasn’t too bad for a Copenhagen standard (a little misty and rainy at times) so we made the most of it and set out exploring! Among the many attractions, places, and things we have done so far here in Copenhagen I have listed 3 below, but the list could go on!

1) Christianborg Slot – a must-see, Slot is the Danish term for Castle. This is the home of the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative Branches of the Danish government. This is the only place in the world where you can find all three branches of government housed under the same roof!

You may ask, why should i see it? Well, that’s because you can take a free climb to the top, and see a beautiful 360 city-scape of Copenhagen. If you look in the first photo below, you can see the gold spheres at the top of the peak, right under that is where you can view the city. The tour is unguided and you do not need tickets.

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2) City Canal Tours – Copenhagen is a major port city, so by taking a canal tour you can view all of the main attractions, for around 20USD! The tour is about 45 minutes long and each attraction is explained to you along with a mini history lesson.

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3) The Little Mermaid Statue – another top attraction, she is known to be “The most photographed woman in all of Denmark” 🙂

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Who We Are and Why We’re Here…

Welcome!!

We are an engaged couple who came across the opportunity to move abroad in Denmark, so we jumped at what most would call the “Opportunity of A Lifetime”. To make the most of this exciting venture, we decided to document our travels and use our creative juices to share our lives with friends, family, and social media—so, here we are!

We live on the East and West coasts of the U.S. and are new residents of Denmark. We will be traveling all over Europe (and other various locations) so we will share our photos, thoughts, tips, and miscellaneous interests with you.

Below are a few photos of us!

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Thank you for visiting our page, much more to come. Enjoy our blog!!!