Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Top 5 Highlights From My Jaw-Droppingly Stunning Trip To Norway

Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway

Oslo 
You would expect Norway's capital city to be just that - a city. A bit prettier than London perhaps. But with sky-scrapers, cute corner shop cafes, stunning landmarks - all intertwined with a labyrinth of bustling streets, you can't help but feel the need to re-define the term 'city'. With its fusion of minimalist and futuristic architectural landscapes, parallel to its stunning scenery, Oslo is one heck of a visual feast.

Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway

 One of my highlights happened to be the world famous Oslo Opera House - which required two trips due to it's impeccable grandeur. A true beauty you need to marvel at from all angles.

Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway
Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway
Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway
Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway
Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway
Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway
Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway

A short drive away to the suburbs gives you a completely different edgy feel -with its unassuming art work sprawled across the back walls of council estates. Two minutes down the road, the gritty residential atmosphere is broken by the laughter and chaos of hipster-like pubs. Walk everywhere. The discoveries are surprising and so worth it.

Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway
Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway
Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway

Aker Brygge Harbour & Fjord Tour 
We met a man who was ever so lovely, but not so pleasant when it came to selling Norway's weather. In fact, he gave it some heat. 'You girls are lucky you came here this week - the sun is usually never out. And we put the UK's winters to shame.' We responded in an arrogant smile. And the surprising Scandinavian turn of weather had everyone rushing out to Oslo's glorious Aker Brygge to soak up the sun.

Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway
Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway
Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway

 A gorgeous stretch of buildings across the glistening waters of the Oslo fjords provided the perfect place for a spot of paddle boarding, a scenic ice-cream pit stop and a heartwarming sunset view.

Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway
Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway
Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway

The glistening blue waters and gorgeous sights also make the fjord tours extremely sought after all year round. Not wanting to miss out, we propelled ourselves onto an awaiting vessel and were sped across in the heat to marvel at our surroundings. Those Norwegians sure have a property fetish for outlandish houses high up in the mountains.

Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway
Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway
Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway
Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway

Train to Bergen
A six hour train would fill anyone with dread. Especially on the disease ridden ones you get in the UK - their only lacklustre job to transport you from one place to the next. But honestly I couldn't recommend a more joyful, arrestingly scenic experience than the train that took us from Oslo to Bergen.

Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway
Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway

Sinking into the plush seats where I went from lush green terrain to glistening snow-topped mountains, I was in complete awe. I could have easily done a few more hours. I think me and my friend only engaged in a few short conversations during the journey. Our thoughts were sent into overdrive - providing the narrative for our stunning surroundings.

Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway
Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway
Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway

Bergen Fjords
It's quite the immersive experience. You happily part ways with city life as you take the voyage deep across the glossy green waters from Gudvangen - a journey that manoeuvres through the picturesque Aurlandsfjord and also Nærøyfjord - one of the most narrow fjords in Europe and also listed on UNESCO's World Heritage List. Could I sell this to you more?

Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway
Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway
Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway
Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway
Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway

Flåm Railway to Myrddal
Our boat docked into the small-town Scandinavian town of Flåm - a scenic, wildly green, charmingly  nourished town that provided the perfect picture spot. However, even Flåm wouldn't compare to a journey on the famous Flåm Railway, an oasis for panoramic views which within an hour took us to another set of jaw-dropping snow capped mountains. IN AN HOUR. I have never felt so small against Mother Nature. Seeing different seasons in one day, truly shows you the grandeur of the world we live in.

Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway
Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway
Top 5 Highlights From My Stunning Trip To Norway

HAVE YOU BEEN TO NORWAY? LET ME KNOW YOUR EXPERIENCES! 




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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

My Running Journey So Far - Why It's Been More Difficult Than I Thought

My Running Journey So Far - Exercise, Fitness, Nutrition
This past weekend I set out on a run down at my local park. Gone where the days where it would just be me ploughing through the muddied terrain, the sharp cold working as yet another factor against my mission to be a vision gliding along in the distance.

Instead, I ran through lush fields of green, double taking at the hoards of people emerging from their homes to linger in Britain's dubious warm weather. It was the first time I properly the felt sunshine on my face this year, the first time I left my bulky hoodie at home, the first time I immediately saw my skin changing colour in the baking heat.
My Running Journey So Far - Exercise, Fitness, Nutrition
However, I wish I could have also said that it was the first time I felt like a 'runner' since embarking on this new form of activity in September of last year. But no. Instead of stopping every other minute to catch up with the bouts of freezing air that made it's way so ferociously down my wind-pipe, it was the piercing sun and the sudden heavy sweat that make it difficult for me to carry on.

Despite celebrating the actual process of going for a run, at the end it still felt like defeat. I've had months of practise but I still can't get the hold of it. I thought the initial wave of embarrassment at not lasting long enough would finally be a thing of the past - but the humiliation continues. Sometimes I feel like my legs aren't capable of holding all the weight on my body for such high energy impact. Even with the whole mind over matter thing, I envision myself gloriously crossing some sort of finish line, only to fall a few feet short.
My Running Journey So Far - Exercise, Fitness, Nutrition
I initially thought running was running. I didn't realise the mental foundation behind it. And I know the underlying emotional aspect goes for all sporting endeavours - but I have found it so much more difficult to combine mental and physical strength with this activity. I guess my mental state is weaker than I thought.

I started running because of the way I found my body drastically change after starting a job where I do shift work - going from days to nights to weekends. After successfully combating binge-eating a few years earlier, I found myself coming home from work at 3am and, without thinking, raiding the cupboards and fridge. My mid-section filled out, my cheeks puffed out. I started scaring myself into thinking that a few more pounds would take me up to a size 18, which I once was at my heaviest. I needed a change. Something to shake-up my body and make it listen. I shunned the tried and tested, money-consuming route of the gym and decided to beat the bullet by trying something I dreaded the thought of - running.
My Running Journey So Far - Exercise, Fitness, Nutrition
And it really hasn't been easy. I still struggle to fit it in my schedule. It doesn't help that I'm not programmed to be a happy-go-lucky person of the back. In fact I'm negative, miserable, wallow in self-pity, doubt and insecurity. And when I don't feel like running, I won't. When I have that craving, I'll do everything to satisfy it. I'm obsessive when it comes to all things disadvantageous, but not for quality things that serve a positive purpose. 

I watch many videos of people on their running journeys -  some even going on to run marathons and do incredible things with the endurance and skill they have. I have nothing but respect for them and hope to be like them one day. As for my running journey, there hasn't been much of a journey. It's all been a bit of a plateau. And I know - to all you reading this and chuckling at my attempts to validate why this has been difficult - I'm sure it's a combination of my binge-dieting, my sporadic exercise routine, lack of focus and determination - and if we're being extra harsh on myself, my laziness. But I hope that will change.
My Running Journey So Far - Exercise, Fitness, Nutrition
*Personal images and Unsplash used


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Tuesday, 7 March 2017

The Films That Defined My Childhood

There's nothing more satisfying than a movie you've seen a hundred times as a child... and would still casually watch today after a hard day's work. Many a time, alongside your friendly and familial memories, media sources also help carve out the key to your youth. There are certain films that I look back on and I think wow, I'm so lucky to have been a part of that celluloid experience - such as 1982's Poltergeist, which was waiting for me a few years before I was born. One of my first horror movies that I watched, understood and loved - ultimately paving my huge crush on the scarescome genre. 

Even when there's present day adaptations of my favourite classics, I run like a little girl to the cinema to see if it holds up. For that very moment, I shun my adult existence and embrace all things childish. So without further ado, here are those flicks that had me hooked on the world of entertainment.  

GODZILLA 1998
There's always something a little, dare I say it, wickedly thrilling when it comes to an otherworldly creature wrecking havoc on the human race. This classic infused the elements of adventure, adrenaline, love and heroism like no other - making it a favourite for a wide age range and a mammoth audience across the globe. Plus, who else had a little innocent crush on Matthew Broderick after this?

MATILDA 1996
Hands up who else wanted to be Matilda as a little kid?... And even now? I'm sure all of those arms are firmly up in the air. This tale of an intelligent little girl, who discovers some incredibly envy-inducing magical powers, which help her battle her egocentric parents and evil headmistress make up a large portion of my creativity today. True story - I once got in trouble for trying out the mixing and matching of lotions scene at a family friend's house. Safe to say, they weren't pleased. My bad. 

THE SIXTH SENSE 1999
I was so thankful to be introduced to this daringly unique takes on the horror genre so early on. It's films like this one that have my expectations for horror raised high and why I usually walk out of a lot of similar movies unimpressed. Needless to say, this flick called out to the darker psyche of myself - even as a child. The acting, the story line, the directing (Eurgh, M.Night.Shyamalan, you're a genius!) and the twist at the end were mind-blowing. Safe to say, the scene above, where a terrified Haley Joel Osment reveals he sees dead people, is one of the most remembered scenes in this genre's history. 

KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI 1998
This film happens to be an Indian classic. It made everyone laugh, cry, inspire and hope. Truth be told, I'm not big on Bollywood movies nowadays. The nineties and early noughties set such a high bar for me when it came to Indian movies, that the present day industry just doesn't hold up in comparison. And this is one of those gems that was faultless. Shah Rukh Khan is my life idol. If you aren't familiar with him, I strongly recommend watching his movies. It shows that charisma is everything. 

ALADDIN 1992
My ultimate favourite Disney spectacle. And the reason why I adored this so much was because they looked like me. I'm not saying I look like a princess, but other than Bollywood, on-screen projects with people of South Asian descent were few and far between. It felt incredible as a little girl to see that people of a darker skin-tone were internationally celebrated. 

JURASSIC PARK 1993
My FAVOURITE movie EVER! I feel like this is the movie that most defined my childhood. I even got a little teary eyed when I visited the Jurassic Park section at Universal Studios in Los Angeles last year. From the acting, adrenaline-enducing directing, the locations, the suspense and the musical score, the movie is untouchable. 

HUM HAIN RAHI PYAR KE 1993
As a child you can't go wrong with a feel good movie about cheeky children who want to cause mayhem. Once again, this Bollywood movie set the bar high for the industry in terms of its flawless acting and undeniable chemistry between icons Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla. Must have seen this movie a hundred times! 

TITANIC 1997
Probably not something you equate with childhood innocence. But this heartbreaking true tale of a ship going under was ultimately adapted as an epic love story. It taught me what romance should be like this and how someone's memory can live forever. Even back in 1997, I though the nude scenes were beautiful, the soundtrack gave me goosebumps and all the elements combined would make for an iconic movie for years to come.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE CHILDHOOD MOVIES?




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