Place 20 – Day 2: Shanghai – People’s Square & The Bund

We were planning to be up early for breakfast (must be up between 07:00 & 09:00) but we ignored the alarm and slept instead. We clearly needed it after our long travels. 

Once we woke up we needed to get some breakfast, so we headed to the Shanghai foodmall and found a steamed buns place. We had some pork steamed buns, which were different.

Once we finished our breakfast, we walked to People’s Square and into People’s Park. This is a huge park which has a theme park, a waterfall and just a wonderful calming atmosphere, which was nice as it took us away from the hustle and bustle!

Bamboo surrounding the park

It got very warm today, it was around 35-37°C but also with humidity so making it much warmer!

We finished walking around the park and then came back to the hotel for a little relax and shower (it’s so hot we shower 3 times a day!) then we went back out to find some dinner. 

We stopped at the Bund first and took some photos of the incredible building landscape which only gets better when dark!

We found a restaurant and just went in, which is not something we do very often, normally we check it out online first, so it was an interesting idea!

The food was not too bad and we looked fully like tourists not knowing the language as noone spoke English, so we were unsure what we would get, but we got beef noodles & rice & chicken, both were not too bad!

We finished our food and walked down to a waffle cone place which serves ice cream in waffles, so Kim was very excited about that! 

Kim looking excited for her waffle cone

We walked back to the Bund and managed to survive the hoards of people to take a photo of the Bund at night, which looks incredible!

After this, we walked back towards the hotel and thought we would treat ourselves with a drink for the room and found a 2.5l bottle of Sprite for just £0.70! 

Now we’re trying to book for future places and just relaxing. We plan to wake up on time for breakfast tomorrow, so we will see how that goes!

再見!
– Mr & Mrs Hale 

Place 20 – Day 1: Shanghai 🇨🇳 – China?! 

🇨🇳🇨🇳🇨🇳你好!🇨🇳🇨🇳🇨🇳
After our flight to Istanbul, we had a flight to Shanghai! This was about a 10 hour flight and after we were done with the first flight, we were unsure how ‘nice’ the plane would be. 

We were pleasantly surprised as we got onto the plane and it was lovely! A decent amount of leg room and also a large screen each with a plethora of films, music choices & TV Shows! We had 2 meals. We had a pasta dish with veg, a bread roll and other things. On both flights Curtis had a free whisky and Kim had wine & Coca Cola!

Our second meal was at breakfast near when we landed, which local time was actually around 14:00!

It wasn’t the best, to be honest, but the egg was egg flavour…

We got off the plane and headed to the 144 hour transit visa area and it was pretty simple. We got our visa and were on our way into China!

We were very hungry, so once we grabbed our bags we headed right to the hotel. We had to get on a high speed train (300 Kph) followed by a VERY FULL metro ride to People’s Square. It is incredibly hot and humid here. It is currently around 23:00 and it is 33°C, with a lot of humidity. 

So far, Shanghai looks awesome! Once we got to our hotel we had a shower and went out for food. We found a noodle place and ate some incredible braised beef with noodles and spring rolls, all for just £8!! Our drinks ( a Sprite and Cola-Cola) were just £0.30 each!

Photos will not be able to be uploaded to anywhere until we leave here, which is the 25th. 

再見!
– Mr & Mrs Hale 

Place 19 – Day 1: Istanbul 🇹🇷 – Transfer

🇹🇷🇹🇷🇹🇷Merhaba!🇹🇷🇹🇷🇹🇷

We had to leave the hostel by 12:00 today, so we left our bags there and made our way to town to get some lunch. 

We went to Pizza Hut and got the lunch buffet and made sure we ate plenty!

Once we finished eating, we headed back to the hostel to collect our bags and then had to catch the train to the airport. 

We got to the airport and attempted to check in our bags, which was entertaining and took longer than expected, due to visa misunderstandings, but all was sorted and we checked our bags!

We are flying to Istanbul and, although we technically aren’t there yet, that is where this blog is based as we will be there at around 22:30 as we leave here at 19:15. 

We then have another flight, a long one, to our next ‘proper’ location which leaves around 01:00, but all will be revealed as to where we are when we get there!

We are preparing for a long travel time and hopefully we will then be somewhere new which will be completely different to what we are used to, but we are very excited!

Güle Güle!

– Mr & Mrs Hale 

Place 18 – Day 3: Helsinki – Suomenlinna Fortress

Today we woke up even later than yesterday. We had breakfast and watched some TV beofre showering and heading out. 

The weather was a little wet all day today, but this was to stop our plans. 

Spending just 5€ each, we got a boat ticket to Suomenlinna Island to visit the fortress. 

The island is about 20 minutes away by boat and includes a fortress and some other things. 

We got to the island and went straight to the shop that was there to buy something for lunch. We settled on a 0.79¢ baguette which we ate whilst wondering around. 

We eventually found the fortress which was free of charge and had a look around. We were able to go inside the fortress and explore the dark insides. Some parts were so dark that we couldn’t even see eachother, which can be seen in the video below of Kim emerging from the darkness!

We walked around for a good few hours and walked on the outskirts of the fortress also, discovering a small rock covered beach. We walked along the rocks for a little bit, before arriving back at the port and waiting for the boat. 

The small beach
A wonderful view
The main courtyard of the fortress
Some cannons..
Some people actually live within the fortress walls. This is one residential area
A shot of a passageway inside the fortress

We arrived back in the centre of Helsinki at 17:00 and had to think about some dinner. We went to the supermarket but didn’t find anything we wanted, though we did find some stuff for sandwiches tomorrow.

We went to Subway to get some dinner and there was a good deal of 2 footlong subs, 2 bottled drinks and a free subway bag (for some reason) for 19.99€. that sounded good to us so we got that and came back to the room to relax and watch some TV. We watched one program and then fell asleep for a little bit, only to be woken up by remembering to do the blog! 

We are traveling again tomorrow, for a while, so we will update you when we can!

Moi moi! 

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 18 – Day 2: Helsinki – Confused Weather

We had no alarm set.for this morning, which was wonderful! We woke at 10:30 and had showers in the strage showers we have here…

We then needed to get some breakfast, so we went for a walk to a supermarket and bought a cake and some orange & mango juice, as well as picking up some cereal and milk for breakfast for the next couple of days.

The weather was rather hot and blue sky and then, all of a sudden, there was hard rain followed by large hailstones. It was a very strange view as there were black rain clouds in one part and then merged with that were blue skies! 

We did walk past a rather large cathedral though, which was very cool and looked very cool with the black cloud around it!

We took a walk around the market and the indoor old market area which is now a small set of food stores. This was nice and smelled wonderful!

After the market, we found somewhere to have some Finnish food, which was a Viking themed restaurant! 

The food was very nice and we got a set 3 course menu.

We got dried rye bread with melted butter before dinner

We had a salad for starter with a potato bread
Main course: Chicken with cheese on top with potato, a relish & a red wine sauce
A wonderful chocolate cake with raspberry sauce & lemon sorbet

Viking hats were available!

Once we finished our food, we walked a different way back to the hostel via the waterside which had a wooden structure which included a bar, swimming pool and sauna. We sat and looked at the view, which was a very nice one!
The view from the structure

We then came back to the hostel to relax and watch some TV.

Moi Moi!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 18 – Day 1: Helsinki 🇫🇮 – Car, Bus, Train (X2), Plane, Train & Tram!

🇫🇮🇫🇮🇫🇮 Hei! 🇫🇮🇫🇮🇫🇮

Our time at Sætre farm is over! 😔

We had an amazing time learning new skills that we didn’t know anything about, we managed to renovate a whole room, build fences and so much more! 

We felt like the family were our family or it felt like we were visiting friends. The atmosphere was excellent!

We started the day early and left for the bus stop, which Martin & Hege gratefully took us down to, which was kind! They both and Tarn, waited until the bus went and said goodbye which was really lovely!

We both had to get the bus to Kongsberg and Jana was also leaving so she had to do the same. We all sat in the café we used previously in Kongsberg station and had a drink whilst waiting for time to pass. Time did pass and we had to say another goodbye, this time to Jana, and we then got on the train to Oslo.

We had to change at Oslo central station and had 10 minutes to do so! We got the correct platform and train and had just a 20 minute ride to the airport. We got to the airport and sorted our bags, getting tags from the machine and using the self-bag drop machine, which made it much easier!

We then breezed through security and had about 1.5 hours to kill. We bought a couple of drinks and then took a wander to our gate and sat there. Shortly after, we started boarding and took off. The flight was nice and easy, especially for Kim who slept the whole time!

We landed in Helsinki and had to get to the centre. Paying just 10€ (by the way, Finland uses the Euro, which we didn’t know!) we caught another train to the centre, where we changed to a tram. We had a mild amount of entertainment as a drunk person was struggling, a lot, to get onto the tram, falling multiple times. Once a Finnish guy helped him on his way, he then started talking with us before he himself entered a tram, but not before saying ‘Peace & Love’ to us. What an interesting Finland experience we have had already.

We are now in our hostel, after checking in and going to the golden arches for some quick food. 

Our hostel had just 2 toilets and 3 showers per floor,per gender for 30 rooms (potential of 60 guests!!). The showers also have gaps in the glass so everyone will be able to see everything when we shower! This will be an interesting experience…

Heippa!

– Mr & Mrs Hale 

Place 17 – Day 13: Norefjord – Langedrag Nature Park 

Today we woke up at 07:00 to get ready to head out to Hege’s work which is a nature park up in the mountains!

We were lucky enough to get in early to the park and we were there for a good 8 hours!

Due to the park being in the mountain, it was a little windy and colder, but the weather was beautiful. The first thing we did was went into an enclosure which had horses and cows in. There were highland cows, including a lovely baby one and it was beautiful! 

Baby highland cow!
Adult Highland Cow

We then walked around the park, seeing many animals such as Reindeer, Arctic Foxes, Elk, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Boar and more!

Baby Horse!

We were able to see the sled dogs which were training and they seemed to be very aggressive but they really were not!

Sled dog

We attempted to get to a feeding show of the Elk, but we went to the wrong place but we still saw the elk!

The Elk

We walked around a bit more and then we went on a talk which was actually a lot longer than expected which took us to the end of the day! Before we went to this, we had a nice hot chocolate in the café.

We then went on the talk which was feeding for 2 types of wolves, lynx, reindeer & arctic fox. 

One of the pack of wolves were just fed from afar. We headed to the Lynx enclosure, which the guide went into to feed them! 

The Lynx

The guide then took us to the Reindeer enclosure which also had Arctic Foxes in there. We actually got to go into the enclosure and feed both animals!

Kim feeding an Arctic Fox
Kim feeding a reindeer

We went to the next wolf enclosure next, which was awesome as the guide went into the enclosure and got them to howl!

A wolf being friendly with the keeper

We had a nice busy day and now we’re going to be having a big Chinese buffet, all homemade as Martin & Hege lived in China!

Tomorrow, we unfortunately leave here as we are going to another place which will be revealed tomorrow. 

Ha det!

– Mr & Mrs Hale 

Place 17 – Day 12: Norefjord – Fence Completion, Moving Logs & Tractor Ride 

We had crêpes, made by Kim, for breakfast and then, at 10:15, we began with completing the fence we started on our first day. We had to stretch out fencing wire across the posts we had put in previously and then hammer in staples.

Kim figuring out the fencing

We did this for a couple of hours but got hungry, so we went in for lunch. Today’s lunch was spaghetti with veg and a tomato sauce (and coffee).

We went back out and completed our fence, with some parts being an absolute mission as trees were in the way, but we were able to complete it!

Part of the finished product

We then had to do the same as the other day and move some logs. We got them all into the trailer and we all then got to have a ride on the trailer on the back of the tractor! 
Trailer rides are pretty exciting!

Kim went in to make a wonderful roast dinner whilst Curtis & Jana were working with Martin to try and get the trailer detached from the tractor as it wasn’t working as expected! We eventually got it removed and then came inside after a long and heavy day for our wonderful roast dinner which is heavily deserved!

This was our last day of working here, as we leave on Monday. 

We have a day off tomorrow and we have a plan to go with Hege to her work, so it should be an interesting blog!

Ha det!

– Mr & Mrs Hale 

Place 17 – Day 11: Norefjord – Hay Drying Rack & Moving Logs

We were told we could sleep in until 10:00, which was lovely! We woke up and went in to make breakfast. Kim made crêpes again and Martin came back from London and was able to get crêpes too!

We relaxed for the morning and then when we started on making a hay drying rack which is a traditional Norwegian thing to create. This was basically some wooden sticks with wire across them. These took a few hours and then we walked down the road and Martin & Hege were cutting and moving large logs into a trailer.

Using the tractor, we clamped it onto the logs and carried it onto the trailer. Kim was using the rope and making sure that it was still flat.

Once we did this, Kim made pesto pasta and a side salad as well as a lemon drizzle cake which was great!

Ha det!

– Mr & Mrs Hale 

Place 17 – Day 10: Norefjord – Project Pallet-Bed

We had finished the room yesterday which was nice to see our hard work completed, though we did have some things to finish up!

We needed to get a temporary bed made, from pallets, as well as get a desk upstairs.

We got 1 pallet from this shop this morning and luckily had 3 others which we had to sand down. Curtis sanded them down, but they each took a long time and only 1.5 were completed by lunchtime!

We had leftovers for luncb, as well as coffee, of course, and then we we back outside to complete the sanding. 

Curtis looking beautiful in his face mask

Once they were sanded they were stained to give them a nicer colour and then we had to get them upstairs.

We opened a hatch and used a homemade pully system to get them up! We attached rope to them and pulled from the other end and sure enough they went up! 

We got those upstairs and they are ready to be put together as a temporary bed.

We then had to get a desk up, which we used the same system to do, but it was a little more difficult. We had to jimmy it around to get it through the gap but we managed to get it through.

We then went outside, with a beer, to enjoy the sun for a bit before relaxing.

Incedible view with the sun shining this evening!

Kim is going to make either a katsu curry (if possible) or breaded chicken pieces!

Ha det!

– Mr & Mrs Hale