Top 10 unforgettable places (by Elsa)

Now that the dust starts to settle, I start to see more clearly the places that have marked me the most. When it comes to the order of them I ranked the list the first time on the plane back to Stavanger but since then whenever I rank them again they switch places sometimes. But I still include the same ones in my top 10 and they have one thing in common: given the chance I would definitely go back in an instant.

Cape Town – definitely a wonderful surprise. From the mountains, to the white sand and blue water beaches, to the wine farms and delicious tastings, this was an amazing place to be. Add the chance to be at the most southern point in Africa (part of the old glory days from Portugal), the view from the Table Mountain, the V&A waterfont and the beautiful African penguins and this is a difficult combination to beat!

San Francisco – I always thought I would like SF and it did not disappoint. The European feel of the city, the outgoing people, the great weather and the views around the bay are the things I miss the most, together with the cute sea lions πŸ™‚ Continue reading

Airbnb – a very honest opinion

Airbnb is a great business idea and we have used it extensively in several places in the USA andΒ in Canada. In many cities it was actually the only way for us to find affordable accommodation at central locations, e.g. Washington, Nashville or San Francisco.

But the experiences are very variable and honestly you never know what you are going to get. Simple things like “does the room have a lock?”, “how many rooms are being rented in the same apartment?”, Β “how many bathrooms?”, “why I honestly rent this room”, “how much interaction I really expect to have with my guests” or “do I live here or just rent all the rooms separately on Airbnb?” would go a long way to clear up what’s going to happen.

We find it quite uncomfortable when people rent several rooms in the same house without informing, especially if there only one bathroom and no locks for each room. We never felt any real danger but still… Many rooms are also seriously overpriced for what they offer. And the worse is when the owner lives in the same place but is so uncomfortable with receiving strangers that he tries to avoid contact almost. Then we feel super uncomfortable too. It’s ok to be honest and say you need the money and do it for that reason, we also just need a room sometimes πŸ™‚ Continue reading

San Francisco – European vibe and gorgeous views of the Bay area

San Francisco had a special vibe to it, almost a feeling of being in Europe but still in the USA. Maybe it was the bridge and the hills that reminded us of Lisbon or maybe it was the chance to walk everywhere (great cardio by the way!) instead of driving, which is definitely not a given in many US cities. As many locals said, it is an expensive city to live in especially regarding housing due to the tech firms in close proximity. The hotel prices were just crazy so we decided in favor of airbnb once more and ended up with a modest room with a great view of one of the bridges.Β 

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There is of course much to do, as always, too much to fit in just a few days. SF has many different neighborhoods, and people seem to be very aware of the differences between them. If you ever decide to move there take your time to pick yours before really settling in. We also noticed people exercised outside a lot and it was a very dog friendly city. This of course warms my heart and pushed SF higher on my list of favorite cities in the world. Continue reading