Ice Climbing in Europe’s Ice Climbing Capital: Rjukan, Norway

Ellie & I did some ice climbing in Rjukan, Norway, earlier this year, in mid-January. And we thoroughly enjoyed it. We booked the two-day climbing course and accommodation via SkyHook (£340 per person), with whom we had previously done some hiking on Mount Toubkal. FLIGHTS, ACCOMMODATION & TRANSPORT IN NORWAY NOT INCLUDED Several of the other participants came in groups. They were old friends, work buddies, and there was one other married couple. The flights from London and bus transport or rental car from Oslo to Rjukan and back had to be booked privately by all participants, which is fine, of course. Same with any additional accommodation in Rjukan & Oslo. INSURANCE NOT CHEAP We learned only afterwards, that insurance can be bought much cheaper than the £90 per person that we had spent. Mind you, though, it will never be cheap, and you can bet that the regular travel […]

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Snowshoeing in Rjukan, Norway

Ellie & I recently did some snowshoeing in Rjukan, Norway. We had arrived one and a half days early for our ice climbing beginners course, with some time to kill. For a long time we had been planning to give snowshoeing a try, but every time an opportunity seemed to arise, it never worked out. During our trip to Spitsbergen there was not enough snow. Another time, in Austria, the gear rental place didn’t have any snowshoes left for hire.     OLD SCHOOL We felt lucky when the Old School (Dale Skole) in Rjukan, the ski school cum hostel where we were staying, had two brand new pairs of snowshoes available. We paid the hiring fee of €25 per person, walked to the snow-covered hilly area behind the building, then put the snowshoes on.   OUR FIRST FEW STEPS A few minutes later we were casually walking around and […]

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Best Running Events in London, from 5K Fun Runs to Marathons & Ultras

During the last few years, everyone and their dog started running. There are now so many events out there, especially in a big city like London. It can be hard to choose an event that’s right for you. This blog post is designed to assist you in doing so. WHAT DOES “BEST RUNNING EVENTS” MEAN? While I haven’t done more than a tiny fraction of all available runs, I have done many dozen of them over the years. I also speak with a lot of other running enthusiasts. The events listed here are ones that either I have completed and enjoyed, or that people I trust have completed and enjoyed. WHAT DOES “IN LONDON” MEAN? For the distances up to marathon, “in London” means in almost all cases, that you can run the event without staying overnight, even if relying on public transport (and possibly a short taxi ride). Considering […]

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We are humbled & very happy to have been chosen as Brand Ambassadors by Optilabs

A little while ago, Ellie & I were chosen by our favourite sports glasses brand, Optilabs, to become their brand ambassadors, alongside several other sporty folk. We are humbled and very pleased to have been given this great opportunity to promote products that we have used and loved for years. Optilabs very kindly published the following article on their website, which we will herewith re-post:   OPTILABS’ ARTICLE, RE-POSTED IN FULL Ellie and Stefan started their well-known London travel, food, and adventure blog Berkeley Square Barbarian in March 2016. Less than a year into blogging, the married couple began to get invited by tour operators on short trips. Sailing, off-roading, rock-climbing in Portugal, and hiking and camel-riding in Morocco were some of their early experiences. Over the years, the adventures became more ambitious, including a one-week trip to Bhutan, promoting a local travel agency. “The short hike up to Tiger’s […]

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The Cheese Poem

I recently went through old, discarded notes of mine, and found this, ahem, ‘gem’ from my early writing career. I thought it would be unforgivable not to share it with you, dear reader.   THE CHEESE POEM   I dreamt I was a piece of cheese You’d think I’s shocked but I was pleased Was I a Brie or St Nectaire That part had not been clear I found myself on a platter besides a bruschetta Then I was gone, what remained Was the latter  

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