Briggs and Riley Explore 22″ Upright Carry-on – Travel Gear Review

Friday October 29, 2010 at 12:12 AM | 5 Comments

BRX Adventure Travel Gear

Briggs and Riley, 22" carry on, travel gear review, Nancy D. Brown, luggage

Briggs & Riley Explore 22″ Upright Carry-on Luggage Review

The phrase, “you get what you pay for” certainly applies to the Briggs and Riley BRX Explore 22″ Upright carry on. In fact, the phrase works for any Briggs and Riley luggage gear review. Briggs and Riley luggage is a little more expensive than your big box store brand. However, the “simple as that” warranty can not be beat in the luggage industry. More on the warranty at the end of the post.

BRX geared to adventure traveler

The BRX line is marketed to the upscale adventure traveler. Designed for durability and ease-of-use, Briggs and Riley travel gear is built to withstand the rigors of airline travel. At 7.5 pounds, the Briggs and Riley Explore makes my old Samsonite carry-on look like a portable safe – heavy and boxy.

Spacious, flat packing

The outside handle system allows for spacious, flat packing. I also like the sturdy handles on the top and side of the carry-on, as they make it easy to hoist the luggage into the overhead airline bin. I miss the elastic stretch bands on the compression panels. I can’t fit as many cloths under the compression panels as I can with my Briggs and Riley wheeled upright duffle bag.

Pocket Design

The expandable slash pocket on the outside of the Briggs and Riley Explore 22″ Carry-on was perfect to store my windbreaker, while the front zippered compartment can accommodate a 16″ laptop computer. The easy-access front pockets were perfect for holding boarding passes and reading materials for the flight. However, I had a problem with the placement of the interior zipper compartment on the top of the carry-on bag. While the zip pocket was easily accessible from the outside of the bag, items tended to fall out of the pocket – like my Canon camera charger – when not opened on a flat surface

Simple as that Briggs and Riley warranty

On a recently trip from Norway to San Francisco my Briggs and Riley duffle (yes, that’s how B&R spells duffel bag) performed like a champ. Unfortunately, my luggage was handled rather rough in the customs screening at San Francisco International Airport. My duffle bag skidded to the ground and a wheel axel came loose. I limped my Briggs and Riley bag home and immediately went on line to see how to repair my favorite piece of luggage. I located a Briggs and Riley Authorized Repair Center and drove to Moss Beach, California for some emergency triage. Simple as that – my duffle bag was repaired. The Briggs and Riley repair man even gave me a replacement wheel just in case. How simple was that?

The Briggs and Riley Explore 22″ Upright Carry-on retails for $290 and comes in three colors – Amber, Ocean and Slate.

PACKING TIP:

Make sure to include the address of your destination inside your luggage. If the outside luggage tag is lost, baggage handlers will know where to deliver your luggage should you become separated from your travel gear.

Related Posts:

Briggs and Riley Wheeled Upright Duffle Luggage Review

Lost Luggage Tips

Briggs and Riley supplied me with this luggage gear for review.

Things to See and Do in Norway on Hurtigruten Cruise Ship

Friday October 22, 2010 at 12:12 AM | 5 Comments

Sami natives, Finnmark, Norway, Nancy D. Brown, travel

Native Sami Couple in traditional costumes, Finnmark, Norway

Discover Authentic Norway on Hurtigruten Cruise Ship

If I close my eyes, I can still see visions of pink, red and orange streaks lighting up the Norwegian skyline. It was an August sunset in Bergen that I witnessed aboard Hurtigruten’s MS Midnatsol, my lodging during a six-night cruise along Norway’s west coast.

With its majestic Norwegian fjords and snow capped mountains, Norway is accessible by boat, car, train and plane. However, sailing is my preferred mode of transportation when it comes to discovering Norway. After all, Norwegian Viking ships sailed the North Sea long before Christopher Columbus discovered America.

Hurtigruten – Worlds Most Beautiful Voyage

If you require television, slot machines, craps tables and nightly entertainment resembling Hollywood productions, Norway’s Hurtigruten cruises are not for you. However, if you prefer daily access to stunning vistas, excursions to Trondheim’s Nidaros Cathedral, dining with Norwegian Vikings in Bode or bird watching in Honnigsvag, sailing with Hurtigruten  may be your ticket to discovering authentic Norway.

Take a horseback ride on a Fjord horse in Bergen, Norway

Hurtigruten – A Different Type of Cruising

Unlike super-sized cruise ships bedecked with water slides and climbing walls, Hurtigruten stakes its claim on Norway’s authentic beauty. The cruise typically begins in Bergen, Norway. Fly in early to visit the fish market, Hanseatic Wharf and Edvard Grieg Museum. Minutes from Bergen is the historic Øvre-Eide Farm. Take a carriage ride behind a fjord horse or go for a horseback ride on a Fjord horse.

Art Nouveau Alesund, Norway

Hurtigruten ships are working ships, and by that I mean that they carry cars and packages, as well as passengers. The Hurtigruten makes 34 ports of call and offers shore excursions in many of the ports. On my trip, I disembarked at the Art Nouveau town of Alesund and visited one of several museums, including the Sunnmøre Open Air Museum, with old Norwegian building replicas and a working Viking ship.  Further up the west coast, Trondheim is known for its Nidaros Cathedral and boasts the worlds only bicycle lift.

Adventure Seekers in Norway

Hurtigruten, MS Midnatsol, ship, Norway, Nancy D. Brown, travel

Hurtigruten’s MS Midnatsol – an authentic way to experience Norway

With the world’s largest population of sea eagles, Bodo is also known as the land of the midnight sun, as the sun doesn’t set during summer months. Take an inflatable rubber boat in search of these mighty birds and experience the Saltstraumen, the world’s most powerful tidal current.

It is near Bodo when the Hurtigruten crosses the Arctic Circle and passengers may volunteer to experience a different sort of baptism – see above video.

Samis and reindeer and bears – oh my!

Far in the reaches of Northern Norway, passengers may sip reindeer soup in Finnmark with Sami locals, participate in a Viking feast and see what life was once like in Tromsø at the Polar Museum, where natives hunted seals and Polar bears to survive the long, cold winters.

Vigeland Sculpture Garden, Oslo, Norway, Nancy D. Brown, travel

Vigeland Sculpture Garden in Oslo, Norway is not to be missed

O is for Oslo Opera House

As is the case with Bergen, allow extra time in bustling Oslo, Norway. The Oslo Opera House offers stunning acoustics and the Vigeland Sculpture Garden is not to be missed.

If You Go:

Hurtigruten (800) 323-7436

5100 NW 33rdAve. Suite 255, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33309

Related Posts:

Things to See and Do in Bergen, Norway

Things to See and Do in Alesund, Norway

Things to See and Do in Trondheim, Norway

Things to See and Do in Oslo, Norway

Are Cruise Ships Environmentally Friendly?

I was a guest of Hurtigruten and Innovation Norway. Article, YouTube video and photos by Nancy D. Brown. Fjord horse photo courtesy of Ovre-Eide Farm.

Things To Do on raveable

Best Things to Do in Alesund, Norway

Friday October 15, 2010 at 12:12 AM | 6 Comments

Mount Aksla, Alesund, Norway, Things to Do, Nancy D. Brown, travel

The first place I take a visitor to Alesund, Norway is to Mount Aksla Fjellstua viewpoint.

The first place I take a visitor from out of town is to Mount Aksla Fjellstua viewpoint.  The view of the town, islands and the majestic Sunnmore Alps further inland is fantastic. To get to Aksla you can either climb the 418 steps from the town park or drive up. In the summer season you can you can also go there in a sightseeing train.  

When I crave Alesund cuisine, I turn to one of the many fish restaurants for a delicious fish dish.

To escape work I go to the lighthouse at Alnes. It is located in a small fishing village on the island of Godoy just outside of Ålesund. Here you can hike up the mountain of Godøy, go wandering along the beach or just enjoy coffee and homemade cakes at the lighthouse.

For complete quiet, I can hide away at the many fjords, mountains and islands in Alesund.

If you come to Ålesund get your picture taken at Mount Aksla/ Fjellstua viewpoint, or by the picturesque Brosundet canal.

If you have to order one thing off the menu at Restaurant Sjøbua, get the “fisketallerken” fish-platter (a selection of fish).

Norwegian National Costume, Norway, heritage, Nancy D. Brown, travel

Norweigan National Costumes worn on special occasions

Ålesund is my one stop shop for Norwegian wool at Devold of Norway.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I go to Egon.

For a huge splurge, I go to Sjøbua Fish Restaurant, Maki Fish Restaurant, or XL Diner.

Photo ops in Alesund include Mount Aksla/Fjellstua viewpoint, Brosundet canal buildings and the Art Nouveau architecture with decorative and colorful ornamentation.

The best vantage points are taken by walking to the top of mount Aksla/ Fjellstua View point.

The most random thing about Ålesund is the Norwegian Food Festival.

In Ålesund an active day outdoors involves walking, hiking, fishing, kayaking, skiing, sailing and diving.

My favorite walking route is the Brosundet canal, Mount Aksla pathways and Sukkertoppen Mountain.

Alesund, Norway, Art Nouveau Museum, Nancy D. Brown, travel

Alesund, Norway's best museum is The Art Nouveau Centre

Ålesund’s best museum is The Art Nouveau Centre.

To find out what’s going on at night or on weekends, read  Sunnmørsposten.

In the summer you should attend Alesund Boat festival, Midsummerjazz , Sommerparty, or Jugendfest.

In the fall you should visit the Sunnmore Open Air Museum.

In the winter you should go skiing.

A hidden gem in Alesund is Molja, what we call the “old town.” The street where we still have some wooden buildings surviving the city fire.

For a great breakfast treat or espresso, go to the Invit Coffeebar, or Nomaden Espressobar.

Just outside of Ålesund you can visit the world famous UNESCO World Heritage site  – The Geirangerfjord.

The best way to see Alesund is to walk. Climb the 418 steps to Mount Aksla/Fjellstua or drive.

If you have kids, you won’t want to miss: Atlantic Sea Park (aquarium.)

Alesund, Norway, fisherman, Nancy D. Brown, travel

Fishing is an important industry to Alesund, Norway

What are your favorite things to do in Alesund, Norway?

Thanks to Bente Saxon and Visit Alesund for assistance with this post. You may also become a Facebook Fan of Alesund, Norway. I was a guest of Visit Norway. Article, YouTube video and photos by Nancy D. Brown

Related Posts:

Things to Do in Bergen, Norway

Things to Do in Oslo, Norway

Things to Do in Trondheim, Norway

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