ENGLAND

Its-a Mario Time!

Most of the time, when I’m super excited about anything, it turns out to be a big disappointment.  Never in a million years would I have guessed that the toboggan run that made me decide to go to Oslo was going to be better than I could have ever imagined as it was like a real life version of Mario Kart.  Mario Kart is the only way I can describe the awesomeness that is this toboggan run.  Yes, this is the game that made me spend summers inside and gave me a reason to hook up a Nintendo to the big screen (I’m going with perks of film school if you have any lingering questions about that comment).  Basically, the toboggan run in Oslo is a 2km sled run that is located next to the original bobsleigh run from the 1952 Olympic Games.  If you already have a sled, you get off at the last metro stop and go downhill as fast as humanly possible until you get to another metro stop visible from the run.  After that its a vicious cycle of hopping on and off the metro with a little tobogganing squished in  the middle.

Zooming ahead of the pack!

Zooming ahead of the pack!

If you’re a tourist like us, there’s a sled rental place that is located at the top of the run and the helmet is thrown in for free.  A word to the wise, it is a good idea to take advantage of this freebie as there is no controlling your sled or anything that is happening around you.  Throughout the time that I participated in this tobogganing ritual, I managed to take a sled to the back (massive bruise), hit another sled before flipping over my sled and his (badly bruised ankles, calves…well legs in general), hit a snowbank with my head, fell into deep snow where I thought I was going to get buried, and may have possibly lost my sled (I refuse to go into that sorted story).  My Aussie mate didn’t do much better as she broke a shoe, lost a glove, and has just as many deep bruises as I do.  Despite the aches and pains, this was an experience that was definitely worth it and just got better as nightfall approached.  As the sun went down, the run became a block of ice with deep bumps which allowed you to catch some decent air as you made your way down at top speeds.  Words cannot describe how amazing I thought this experience was and in my opinion, this is one of those things that everyone needs to try once in their lifetime!

 

 

 

Categories: england: london, NORWAY, norway: oslo | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

CouchSurfing – Best To Go In With Eyes Wide Open

THE BOX

 

 

By TheBOX featured Travel writer Sharen Ram

Maybe it’s my hippie sensibilities but I love the idea of  CouchSurfing.  I mean here’s a site where you find a community of people who are willing to host you in their homes, show you around, and offer you a local’s perspective on what’s cool and interesting.  And it’s free so what’s not to love right?  After all, the more I travel, the more I come to the realization that people make the place and my love of exploring a friend’s backyard with them knows no bounds.  I do have to admit that even though I’ve thought about CouchSurfing, I have yet to take the leap.  I think the saying is a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet but I’m still a little skeptical due to my magnetic like appeal to all weirdos out there.  As I don’t have a…

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The BOXCar

By TheBOX Car’s featured Travel writer Sharen Ram

While the majority of Canadians were off celebrating Turkey Day – there were 3 of us in Paris looking to go on a Nuit Blanche mission.  For those of you that don’t know, Nuit Blanche is an all-night arts festival that happens in about 120 cities all over the world at the beginning of October.   Paris was the chosen destination because it’s the city of origin for the event and since I’d already experienced and feel in love with Nuit Blanche in Toronto, it only seemed logical to make my way to where it all began.  There was no plans in place other than to fly to Paris and go with the flow but the expectation of having my mind blown was high.

Armed with newly purchased wellies and umbrellas to battle the elements, we set off on the streets of…

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Getting My Kicks on Route 11

THE BOX

By The BOXCar featured writer Sharen Ram
London Red Double-Decker Bus Route 11

 

When you think of iconic London images, the red double-decker buses are always top of mind.  What I find funny is that when people are looking to do the ultimate tourist thing of exploring the famous landmarks of the city by bus, they automatically turn to companies offering hop on-hop off bus services instead of using the red double-decker buses themselves.  Granted, these tour companies offer commentary and have an education by osmosis thing happening but in my humble opinion, there’s nothing that tops the cost-effective method of using the cities own buses to tour the famous landmarks and so this is exactly what I did.  As I was lacking the commentary that usually goes along with these tours, I decided it was only fitting to restrict my musical choice to all things British until my cheapo tour concluded.  Encase you were…

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Living The Life Of A Have-Not

THE BOX

Olympic Stadium London 2012

The view from our seats of the Olympic Stadium

By TheBOX Car’s featured Travel writer Sharen Ram

It was no fluke that I was in London during the end of the Olympics for the off-chance that I might be able to find a way into the Olympic Stadium for the closing ceremony without forking over an insane amount of dough.  Tickets were being released daily on the ticketing site but no amount of staring at a screen and hitting refresh got me the results I wanted.  I tried the site strictly for UK and EU residents (yes, I knew if I struck gold, someone I knew would have to grab the tickets for me but who cares!) and the one that was designated for Canadians which was a total bust as well.  Nothing I did worked and so I moved onto Plan B – get myself as close to Olympic…

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Categories: ENGLAND, england: london | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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