Showing posts from February, 2018

6 Days of France

A few weeks ago, we found ourselves driving through the countryside of France. After landing in Calais, we drove immediately to Paris. I’ve always wanted to go to Paris, every since a childhood friend had gone and returned with a souvenir Eiffel Tower keychain for me. I’m pretty sure it’s one of those places that’s been so romantacized in my mind from all the movies and music, etc, etc that I could expect nothing less. For example, one of my favorite movies is Moulin Rouge, a movie about love set in the most romantic city in the world, and a musical to boot. So it may have been the cold February weather, but Paris didn’t end up giving me that warm “Parisian” air that I think I always expected.

Rather than deal with the infamously crazy Parisian traffic, we opted to park our car at the train station of the nearby town of Creil, and take the train into the city center. There, we rented an airbnb for one night located right next to the Eiffel Tower. While the airbnb location was phenomen…

First night of our Euro Van Life

We've finally left the comfort of friends to the solitude of vanlife. We spent the morning moving our things into the van, sorting out where things would live in our new home and generally wondering how we had so much stuff with minimal packing. We decided it must be all of our climbing things taking up all the space...

We then spent the afternoon in London (where I got to see Platform 9 and 3/4 FINALLY, but Phil was thoroughly unimpressed... he was especially disappointed at how far away the guards were at Buckingham Palace), and then we drove out to Dover. We had an early morning ferry ticket from Dover, UK to Calais, France, so we figured it made the most sense to sleep in the area so we could check in bright and early.

We were tipped off by the former owner of our van, to use the app, Park4Night, which tells you a bunch of places to park, how much it will be, facilities, reviews, etc. So we found a great place at the marina headlands next to the ferry port, and spent our first…

Norway: Preikestolen and Bergen

Our last week in Norway was spent in the southwest corner of the country. We left the Volda/Alesund area and took a well known/touristy ferry (a really big ferry, actually probably a mini cruise as it DID have a pool on it) to Bergen. Unfortunately it left at 1am, which left us stranded for a while in the ferry terminal as we waited from around 9:30pm until it came. This definitely left a lot of time to kill and some odd shenanigans to happen in the waiting rooms.

The MS Finnmaker was a midsized ship that typically takes tourists up along the west coast of Norway to some of its furthest northern tips, mostly in hopes of finding the Northern Lights. Sadly, we didn’t see them while we were in Volda, as the skies were never clear enough in the evenings, and Bergen would be too far south to see them.
The ferry ride was 13.5 hours, so we had booked a cabin to spend the night. As far as typical cruise type berths, this was not much different. We did pay for a small upgrade to have a TV, cof…

Norway: A story about a drone

Now before we left the USA, Phil was having serious thoughts about whether or not to purchase the little DJI Spark drone. I convinced him that the best places to get footage will likely be on this trip, so he decided to get it while we drove through New Hampshire (no tax!). We only managed to try it out once while in the states before leaving, as rules state you're not supposed to use it in populated areas. The rain in the UK also meant we didn't really have much opportunity for drone practice. Therefore, it wasn't until we arrived in Norway that we were able to try it out. Turns out, our friend Nils also had the DJI Phantom drone, so the two of them were constantly on the lookout for drone friendly weather.

On our way to Geiranger, we had some time to kill while waiting for the second ferry to Eidsdal. Since it wasn't snowing or raining, the boys decided it was a great time to try out the drones, while the girls practiced with the cameras. Since the Spark only has a f…