by Alan Riedel, November 2014

A few weeks ago I was lucky to take part in a familiarisation trip of Dubai, Copenhagen and Norway. Our hosts Tempo holidays and Ben Tours did an excellent job and I’m happy to share some of the highlights of the trip.

Dubai is an exciting place for a first time visitor; it’s easy to see why so many Australians are now choosing to have a few days here to break up the flights to Europe. We started with a walk through the gold and spice souks, Dubai museum and the old town. It’s definitely a side of Dubai worth visiting to escape the malls and high rises. One of the highlights was the four wheel driving tour we did outside of Dubai through the desert and sand dunes. A lot of fun and definitely worth doing.

The next day we arrived in Oslo with some time to explore the city. I wasn’t sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised. Oslo has many parks and outdoor areas and is very easy to get around.

A visit to the Viking ship museum and the Vigeland sculpture park should be on everyone’s “to do” list.

The next 3 days was spent travelling by train, bus and ferry on what they call “Norway in a Nutshell”. Unfortunately due to the worst flooding the area has seen in 100 years, we weren’t able to go on the Flam railway which is one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world.  The scenery was still spectacular and getting to see the Fjords on a perfectly sunny day was one to remember. Flam was also where I had my favourite meal of the trip at the Aegir brewery. It was a true Viking feast with a sample of 5 traditional meals and beers to match.

We arrived in Bergen which was my favourite city of the trip. The colourful houses, cobble streets and the harbour were great to walk around and explore for a few days. We were also lucky enough to be invited aboard one of the Hurtigruten ships for an inspection and dinner before it set sail up Norwegian coast. If you are planning a trip on a Hurtigruten ship then make sure you stay a few days in Bergen before or after as it has a lot to offer.

Our last stop before heading home was Copenhagen. And lucky for us it was just in time for the Christmas markets. Tivoli gardens was lit up with thousands of Christmas lights, the only thing missing was snow. We enjoyed a glass of Glogg (mulled wine) and took in the Christmas atmosphere.  The next day was spent exploring the city by canal boat, which is a great way to get around and see the sites. Before we knew it, it was time to fly home and left us feeling like we needed a few more days to really experience the area.

A big thank you to Kyle and Lucy our hosts from Tempo and Emirates who put together an excellent itinerary.