Category: Travel

Harry Potter Studio Tour

Last weekend, Ingvild, Joanna and I  went to the Harry Potter studio tour just outside London. It was a fun experience and definitely worth the trip. We got there early and headed for the shop before our slot was opened. It was massive. I was prepared for how expensive it would be, but what surprised me the most was the poor quality of some of the things, such as the robes, however,  I wasn’t out to buy clothing but got a nice book about the makings of the films.

As our slot opened, we were greeted by enthusiastic guy #1 for a few minutes before he handed us over to enthusiastic guy #2 who lead us into the great hall.  For some reason I forgot to take a photo of the whole hall, maybe enthusiastic guy distracted me, there was a lot of yelling.

My favorite costumes.

In the next rooms there was props upon props, scene setting, costumes, masks and other amazing stuff. You’re really struck by all the effort that has been put into these films, when you see all the things that where made such as oil painting, resin sculptures, iron doors, statues, whole buildings, hand painted carpets and bricks, etc.  How amazing is it that the Chamber of secret doors actually moves in real life?

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Forget about Harry Potter, I want to know about this guy!

They had Weasley’s House, Dumbledore’s office, the potion classroom and Hagrid’s hut, all in wonderful detail and mechanics that was constantly moving and buttons to press to make things change, it’s like being a kid again.

I love Umbridge’s office, and the cat details on all her things, it’s overwhelmingly cute and creepy at the same time. I also find the ‘Magic is might,’ statue from the last films incredible, a really powerful imagery.

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The films must also have been the dream of a graphic designers, there was so much paper, books, wrappings, posters that was featured in the films!

In the middle of the tour there was a resting stop, were you could buy Butterbeers. I just missed my friends message telling me not to taste it, too late, it was quite sickeningly. Not as bad as it were when we tried to make it ourselves, it was pretty much ginger ale with cream, witch it had an aftertaste of penicillin..

Drunk on Butterbeer we got in the car and drove away.

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Loved Diagon Alley.

They also had concept art,  architect drawings, paper models, statue of the “Architect of Hogwarts.” and of course the massive Hogwarts model.

And among a hundred other things that was pretty much it! Recommended to all Harry Potter, fantasy or, special effects and movie enthusiasts, young and old alike!

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Just had to…







The annual visit to Katrine trip Helene in Sandefjord. Sun, bathing, games and Moonrise Kingdom~ Wish I could have stayed forever.  ♥

Romania part II

Second part of our trip.

We stayed in the town Braşov for about three days, visiting the sights nearby.

We caught this amazing folk dance festival with dancers from Romania, Turkey, Poland, Hungary and several other countries. Being slightly over the top interested in folk costumes, this was a visual present!

The next day, Our sightseeing started off with, the castle Bran, which in Stoker’s novel figures as Draculas castle, however I’m am not really sure who actually lived there, but it is now a museum of Queen Marie’s furniture collection and a few costumes.

The dancers were of course here today too.

Next was the castle Sinaia, a most amazing castle!

I want to live here! However there is a down side should you consider moving in.

Bevare of the bears!

We didn’t see any bears, no matter how optimistic I gazed into the forest, hoping for a little bear to roll out from between the trees. Even thought in Romania there’s the highest population of bears. It was probably for the best, I don’t think I would have managed to play dead long enought for it to go away anyways.

The only bear we saw, or former bear perhaps, who proably ended his days as dinner at this restaurant, who sells bear meat. I’ll have my cucumber salad thank you very much.

The last part of our trip went towards the Black Sea and Constanţa. We drove past the big city to a small beach area called Jupiter, consisting off beaches, restaurants, beach shops and a tiny fun fair.

It was not what I would call my kind of place, as my defenition of good times unfortunatly does not involve lying on the beach for hours and hours, day after day, frying in the sun and  being covered in sand. One day is enough for me at the beach. ^^

We spent alomst three days here, but we took evening trips to the bigger areas further to the south and further north, and we also whent back to Constanta the last day while the rest remained at the beach.

We drove all the way to the border of Bulgaria, were ther was a sea of sunflowers in the sunset, and that concludes our journey to Romania. Hope you all enjoyed the photographs.

Romania part I

A few days ago I returned from Romania with my family, were we had been staying for the last 12 days. My brother’s fiancée’s mother is from Romania and we took the trip with her family too see where she grew up. So our group of 8, drove from Bucuresti, over the transylvanian alps to the town of Brasov,  to Constanta and the Black Sea, and finaly returning back to Bucuresti the last day. (I’m sorry for any misspellings and mixed up names in advance.) Click on the pictures to see them full size!

The first hotel we stayed at was beautiful!

There was a lot of driving on this trip. It is quite exhausting, but then again, you get to see a lot more, and you can stop whenever and wherever you want. We saw a variety of different sceneries, towns and places, and the occasional stork

I found the trip over the mountains to be the most exicting and beautiful, however a bit dizzying with the heights and snaking roads up to the top. There was a lot of tourist shops on the way and now I have more supporting evidence for my housemates to claim I am indeed a representative of the moose population. They did in fact carry quite a a assorted range of furry hats, whichever strikes your fancy.

We stopped by a monastery and we had to wear these thick black garments to cover up our inapropriate tourist gear. However then the people in the monastery  was not reluctant to chat with us, as most tourists pretty much walk straight in withouth bothering to follow the guidelines.

I’d say, therefore  we where in for a stroke of luck. My brothers mother in-law loves to chat with everyone that comes our way,  we we happend to bumb into this munk who showed us around to the place where the munks lives and paints the icons.

It was really the most random thing,  he apparently was the only person on the moastary with the keys to the workshop, and he invited us to come up and see and even eat lunch with the other munks.

He showed us how he painted the pictures and let us photograph in the workshop, he was a most cheerful man and told a lot of jokes. The place was amazingly calm with cats resting in window stills and other monks were looking after the vegetable carden and bees was buzzing in the fruit trees.  After we said our goodbyes we joined the rest and the other tourists back at the monastary entrance.

On the road once again, and we’re stopping by the town Sighișoara where Prince Vlad where born.

As Prince Vlad was the inpsiration to Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, the vampire themes was quite heavy around town, with Vampire restaurants, vampire cafe selling vampire cofee..  The house of Dracula. Quite scary with that bright yellow and flower pots indeed.

I’ll post the last part of our trip tomorrow, hope you are enjoying our journey so far!

Rhapsody in Blue

Last Thursday I went to a whole new place! Any guesses?


Not to leave you in the dark for too long, I went with my class to America! New York  to be precise.

First impression was that everything was big and noisy, with lots of friendly (and talkative) people!

We stayed at the Herald Square hotel, which was perfect. Central locations, nice staff, big fluffy beds and a free coffee machine! Can’t ask for anything more really.

First thing we did after arriving was to go straig to Empire State building. and they had a King Kong plushie ♥

Since it was a late thursdag evening, there was no queuing! I’m always awestruck by city views, especially at night. It’s like the biggest jewelry box you’ll ever see. The Chrysler building is one of my favorites, love the Art Deco style. The wind was crazy thought, I felt I was going to be thrown over the fence at times. Tallest building I’ve been too so far! I’m not sure if I shall top that by going to Tokyo Sky Tree next year. oO The felt tall enought, kept swaying the rest of the evening.


Friday was the time for sightseeing. Our schedule took us to the garment distric and fashion avenue to visit the fabric shops!

We visited Mood and stayed there for a couple of hours. For those who are not familiar it’s a big fabric shop (seen in Project Runway) they had quite a lot of fabrics, found three fabrics, two for the next project and another just to make a scarf for myself. I was quite hyped up, but it’s just that nothing really beats Japan when it comes to fabrics. Why settle for 3 floors of fabric when you can have 8 floors of awesomeness! xD And you’ll get quality fabrics for a better price there too, still, everything is cheaper than Norway at any point.

There where other shops too, but they where scattered all around and not easy to find on that didn’t have sequin lycra only. xD

After that our teacher had arranged for us to talk to a furrier in his shop.

It was great hearing him talk how his made the fur and who he sold it too. Apparently he had worked and still does, work with huge designers all over the world such as Yves Saint Laurent. And he also makes hats, (He showed us a model he made for Queen Elisabeth and another for Kate Middleton) and the other girls got to try on coats and hats as much as they liked.

Though, I’m not comfortable with fur. Of course  making them is a difficult and intricate job and being in a fashion course where most is obsessing about the wonders of fur from time to time I have to remind my self that I’m against it.



After that we just took a walk around the area and ended up in Times Square. I just love how the police even has a little neon sign. It amused me so much that they were kinda just like I’ve seen on tv, standing at the corners eating donuts from the coffee shop. ^^


Started the day off trying to find the flea marked at Hell’s Kitchen where they had lot’s of lovely stuff. Then we where supposed do visit the designer shops at 5th avenue for inspiration and garment finishing “inspection.”

Plenty of posh stores with interesting window displays. It highly amused me when we went into Michael Kors and one of the staff approached me and announced that he just loved my bag!  Here’s a guy who sells bags to 500 punds, who loves my little River Island one! (and I thought he was going to ask me to leave.) That just made my day.

I love cities  with many contrasts, such as the colourful furry hat seller outseide Armani and  the curches  popping up now an then between the smooth glass skyscrapers.

We reached Central Park but the end of the day, exhaused. Me and Ingvild had a quiet evening just chilling out in the room with snacks and watching Modern Family, while everyone else marveled why we weren’t  going out  being the only ones who actually could do so legally. xD  “When life gives you lemonade, make lemons. Life will be all what?” Thaks Phil!

Sunday was the day for the Meatpacking district and Soho which was a cool place.

I loved the Highe line. Definetivly my favorite place in New York. I Could have spend half a day there in the serene atmosphere, I’m sure. We had a quick sweep throught China Town after some shopping in Soho. Then I was pretty much fed up with shopping and shops,  so i forced Ingvild to go towards Hudson River for a stroll. Beautiful. I would have loved to see it from the other side too. We walked by the river quite a while to see the sun go down, before taking a cab to time square and catch the Brodway musical Mamma Mia!

When I were on our way home after the show, we were suddenly surrounded by people on Times Square, apparently it was the end of Superbowl. And just when we where there the Giants won, and the crowd burst into excitment, it was incredible, (and a tad scary, what if they had lost, wouldn’t like to see the same guys get upset. xD ) Taxies stopped and jumped out, and the police put they’re sirens on. It was crazy, can’t believe we where there so see it all!


As most of the others wanted to do some more shopping witch I was sick off. So I whent on my own to see Kleinfeld, the bridal store that I’ve been seeing on the show Say Yes to the Dress ( I know, but I can’t help it. xD )  I was quite a walk. (Dear GPS 4 minutes is not the same as 25.) But it was worth just walking and taking in the different parts of the city.  You’ll have to have an appointment to go in thought, It would have been nice to look at the dresses thought and maybe I would have been hit by sudden stroke of luck and they would have taken me to see the people that make the dresses downstairs. 8D

Our teachers wanted us to have a last meal togheter at Hard Rock Cafe before we whent back home.


The last day, we quite impulsive ran off to see Brooklyn Bridge before we were supposed to leave the hotel at 2 O’clock in the afternoon. We didn’t manage to get up to the actual bridge. Everything was cut off because of the Giants parade which started 12 in the afternoon the same day, there was an insane amount of people, it was crazy! Hundreds of people showed up, it was fun to experience the atmosphere of such an event. Then we took a cab back to do some packing, before we had lunch at this wonderful little Korean bakery (Paris bakery) They had the the best cakes, croissans and yummy stuff I haven’t seen since Japan.  (Maybe it was a good thing we didn’t go there everyday…)They had the best strawberry short cake with youghurt cream! And the portions where perfect compared to the humoungus ones we’de seen so far. (Is it a muffin or a house? Can’t really tell.)

We didn’t get to see the statue of liberty, but there was a miniature outside a souvenir shop,  I’ll count that in! no?

That pretty much rounds up our trip to New York, short but intensive. I had a wonderful time, I quite liked it.   I wished we had more time and that I knew someone to take us around to the exiting places, we pretty much didn’t know where to go and we hadn’t had any time to do any research of where to go, but I think we did well.

Hope you enjoyed reading about our trip~