WELCOME TO MY WORLD
A little glimpse into my daily life
Hi beautiful people! Firstly, a little sorry from me for being slightly delayed in posting my blog posts.
Since we stepped off the plane in Oslo at the start of March, we have covered over 3000km around Norway and Finland via all sorts of transport, in planes, cars, and boats, and have had very little time to actually sit down and write (and sleep)! I am currently writing this post from our new hotel in Finland. Fergus & I just finished 4 1/2 hours drive, and we have been up since 6am this morning shooting for another hotel and doing ice fishing, so we can feel the tiredness creep up on us.
BUT, back to today’s post. I have been so excited to share more about my dream stay at Manshausen. It was no doubt one of the most unique hotel experiences of my life. There’s tons of reasons why I loved it so much, so let’s get started.. Today’s post is all about our most beautiful first stop on the trip to the breathtaking island of Manshausen.
As you may have seen from my last post, Manshausen is located just off the coast of Nordskot West cost top of Norway, and is a small island owned by the famous Norwegian explorer Børge Ousland – the first person in the world to do a solo crossing of Antartica! How cool is that!?
It was once a very famous trading port for Norway, and now is made up of 7 wonderful design cabins on the small island which focus on glass to take in the stunning views of the Grøtøya Strait waters and mountains. You are literally blown away when you first walk into the amazing rooms, and can understand why they have won over 15 awards for design! It’s also sustainable and eco friendly.
The design of the cabins is very simple and elegant. The inside is made of beautiful wood which intentionally blends in with the nature of the island and make you focus on the gorgeous view.
So, after driving for a long 4 hours from the nearest airport of Bodø with plenty of sing a long tunes on the stereo, we all made it to Nordskot and our lovely host Jesper is there waiting for us with his small passenger boat to take us to the island.
As we speak to him on the boat, we find out that the island is actually run by Jesper and his lovely wife Astrid, who manage all aspects of the resort and most importantly, all the home made cooking!
Jesper was the warmest and kindest man from the first moment we met him, and I found out he was also Danish too. The world is so small at times isn’t it?
After a short 10 minute (but freezing) boat ride, we make it to the island as the sun is setting, and due to the instant beauty, immediately we forget the long journey from Edinburgh to get here.
Through work, Fergus and I have been given the opportunity to travel to some lovely destinations and visit some really interesting places, but for us, Manshausen has genuinely been a location that we have constantly spoken to our close friends Elvin and Bulent about visiting. When the chance arose, Jesper and Astrid were so accommodating and we jumped at the opportunity!
So, after settling in, we were welcomed with a home made artichoke soup for our first night, and headed back to our cabins to be greeted by the amazing Aurora Borealis for the first times in our lives.
I must admit, we didn’t know what to do with ourselves when we first saw it, as we danced around the room staring at the sky and laughing – it was one of the most magical experiences of our lives. Fergus and I both love photography, so we did our best to try and capture it, and I actually think we got a few amazing photographs of it!
The next day, we had the island to ourselves for some amazing exploration, and with blue skies and a home made breakfast in our stomachs, we found some amazing spots for a picnic whilst meeting some of the other cute guys and girls staying here.
Another magical day for us, and we finished the evening with a beautiful and traditional bonfire with freshly cooked Danish(!) style hot dogs.
Just as we were getting our second helpings – it was so yummy – the whole sky lit up with magnetic pulses and what was an amazing Aurora display. It changed colour lots of times and even swirled around like a Danish pastry. I have never seen a group of people fall silent so quickly as all of our words were taken away.
We could go to bed with a full stomach and happy to have seen the strongest Northern Lights we could ever wish for, in both green and purple!
On our last full day, we were taken into the Grøtøya Strait for some fishing, as it’s really well known for Cod and Halibut fish. Sadly, it was not our lucky day, and the fish were a bit lazy, but Fergus did manage to catch something….. some seaweed! Haha. You guys should have seen his happy face when he thought he caught a fish, and his laughing disappointment when he saw the sad seaweed hanging in front of him. I will never forget that! He was a little disappointed, but we all joked that he was able to cook the seaweed later for dinner.
On the way home, we saw a couple of beautiful sea eagles which once again took our breath away at the beauty of nature, and made us realise how close to the elements we were here.
Back on land and before our long trip North to Lofoten the next day, we were able to sit and enjoy some down time with Jesper and Astrid in the main house, which was a converted from it’s original style of the 1800s. We heard all about how everyone at Manshausen wanted to be Climate Neutral in 5 years, with no emissions, and how they source all of the purely organic food for the meals from all around Norway. Truly interesting, and within 3 days we certainly felt part of the Manshausen family.
I also have to show you how very delicious our everyday breakfast was! I have been dreaming of this every day since we left Manshausen. Every meal you eat in the stunning and super cosy main house. All meals are homemade – even the bread are made on the very old tradition where the yeast stays in the wooden resting baskets. Astrid told me all about it, it was super inspiring. You start to understand how the bread can taste so fresh, homemade and delicious. Yup, I was sold, and I know how much my mother would have adored it too!
As a girl who grew up outdoors, the start to our Scandinavia adventure was truly special, and we absolutely loved every moment in this tranquil paradise under the Northern Lights.
What really set the place apart was the feeling of being at home, with the warm, home cooked meals, the hygge vibe, and the regular interaction with the hosts.
Also, the friendly and humble nature of all of the staff and everyone we met.
The hotel doesn’t try to be something that it is not, and stays true to the nature it is surrounded by. It’s absolutely worth every penny it costs and every minute it takes to reach here, and you will honestly leave feeling truly refreshed.
We sure did, and next up is Lofoten, which has always been on our bucketlist!
I hope you have enjoyed catching up with our adventure so far. It really has been an amazing break for both Fergus and I, away from the busy cities and crazy work schedules, but filling our days outdoors with friends and the great people we have met along the way.