People & Stories

'If you ever get asked to dine in a dungeon, do it!' – Trafalgar Unlocked Award winner Leith's story

Recently updated on July 4th, 2023 at 03:58 pm

Our Trafalgar Unlocked Awards has now closed. After combing through over 10,000 incredible entries, we’ve announced the lucky winners. Each of these winners will be joining us with their travel companion on a 12-day trip to the Balkans this June. 

One of the lucky winners was Leith, who shared this story as part of her entry in the Trafalgar Unlocked Awards: 

My story begins just outside of Bergen in Norway…on a beautiful farm owned by the Ovre-Eide Family. This was the destination for our “Be My Guest” Dinner on our “Scenic Scandinavia and it’s Fjords” trip with Trafalgar in May 2019. The farm has been worked by the same family for five generations. My husband David and I were two of the lucky twelve that had the privilege of dining down in their 500 year old meat and food cellar! If you are ever asked to volunteer to “dine in the dungeon” do it! You just might be pleasantly surprised! It was truly special. We both came away saying “what an absolutely amazing, once in a lifetime experience!” Thank you to the Ovre-Eide Family for making our visit to your home so memorable.

We sat down with Leith to find out more about how it feels to be one of our winners and who she’s taking with her on the Balkans trip. Leith also shares more about her incredible experiences in Scandinavia and why it’s important to travel. 

GET INSPIRED BY: Balkan Delight

Leith and David selfie image in front of the Abba Museum sign. David is wearing a black cap and glasses; Leith has blonde hair and glasses

How does it feel to be one of the lucky winners?

It took me a while to process that I was in fact a Trafalgar Unlocked Award winner! What an honour and a privilege to be chosen to receive this amazing prize and trip of a lifetime! Thank you so much Trafalgar!

RELATED CONTENT: Experts tells us why the Balkans should be on your list of places to visit

Have you ever been to the Balkans?

I have never been to the beautiful Balkans, so I am really looking forward to discovering this new and exciting destination!

GET INSPIRED BY: Balkan Adventure

Selfie image of Leith and David standing in front of a river in a mountainous landscape, with log cabins in the background. David is wearing a black cap and sunglasses; Leith is also wearing sunglasses

Who will you take with you on your Trafalgar trip to the Balkans?

I will take my gorgeous husband David on the Trafalgar trip to the Balkans. He is my best friend, my plus one and my forever travel buddy! We love planning our trips and while exploring this amazing world we are making memories together.

What are you most excited to see and do during the Balkans Trafalgar trip?

I think that the Trafalgar Balkans Delight trip will be exactly that – a delight! I am most excited to explore and discover the Balkans as I’ve heard it is amazing! I’m looking forward to sharing this experience with my husband David and the other Trafalgar Unlocked Award Winners.

RELATED CONTENT: Beyond Dubrovnik and Sarajevo: 10 off-the-radar Balkan towns to explore with Trafalgar

Image of Leith with Scandinavian locals, wearing traditional, brightly coloured dresses

You talk about your Scenic Scandinavia and its Fjords trip in your Trafalgar Unlocked Awards entry. Why did you choose this Trafalgar trip? 

Our Scenic Scandinavia and its Fjords trip in 2019… all I can say is wow! My husband David has always wanted to go to Scandinavia and 2019 was a year of celebration for us as we celebrated our 30th Wedding Anniversary, my 50th Birthday and David’s 60th Birthday, so we thought what a great way to celebrate these special milestones! We did our research and found that Trafalgar had the best itinerary for what we wanted to see in this stunning part of the world.

RELATED CONTENT: These are the most breathtaking sights in Scandinavia

Image of Leith and David standing in front of one of Norway's fjords; the tops of the peaks on both sides of the fjord are covered in snow; sun is illuminating their faces

What are some of your best memories from this trip?

The whole trip was amazing from beginning to end! From Nyhavn in Copenhagen Denmark to Norway’s National Day in Bergen, the majestic fjords in Geirangerfjord to celebrating my 50th Birthday with a visit to the ABBA The Museum in Stockholm, Sweden. I also love the Be My Guest dinners and experiences that are part of Trafalgar Itineraries. Being welcomed into someone’s home, sharing a meal, and hearing about their everyday life is fascinating.

RELATED CONTENT: Sensational spots to visit in each Scandinavian capital city

Leith at the ABBA Museum

Can you tell us more about what it was like to meet the Øvre-Eide family on their farm and dine in their 500-year-old cellar?

On our Be My Guest dinner just outside of Bergen on a beautiful working farm, we met the Øvre-Eide Family. Their farm has been worked for five generations by the same family. The Øvre-Eide family were delightful and their farm was a picture postcard! They were so welcoming and showed us around the farm and we even got to meet some of their gorgeous animals! 

Before dinner, we were asked the question “Who would like to dine in a dungeon?”. My hand went straight up! I wasn’t going to miss out on this! My sense of adventure got the better of me and the “not knowing” was exciting! My husband David and I were two of the lucky twelve that had the privilege of dining down in their 500-year-old meat and food cellar. If you ever get asked to volunteer to dine in a dungeon, do it! You just might be pleasantly surprised. We both came away saying “What an absolutely amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience!”

RELATED CONTENT: Make it at home – Be My Guest host Arild’s apple tarts

Leith and David at the Ovre-Eide family's dining in a dungeon experience

Why is it so important for you to travel and experience new places and cultures?

I believe that travel opens our eyes to a vast range of new cultures and experiences. As Saint Augustine once said, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” This quote really struck me when I first discovered it. So we travel and drink in every single experience, destination, and culture and in doing this, we make memories to treasure for a lifetime.

RELATED CONTENT: 9 Be My Guest experiences about cultural diversity

What is your all-time favorite travel destination or Trafalgar trip?

I would have to say that Scandinavia is my all-time favourite travel destination so far!

lush Scandinavian field with red house and goats

How many Trafalgar trips have you taken?

In the October/November of 2014, we embarked on a Costsaver trip called European Cavalcade. This was for 18 days and we like to call it our “taster trip” to see a little of everything. In May 2019, we went on our 14-day Trafalgar Scenic Scandinavia and its Fjords trip. In April 2019, we also embarked on an 11-day Insight Vacations trip called Country Roads of Bavaria, Switzerland and Austria. All our trips have been amazing with adventures and new discoveries at every turn!

RELATED CONTENT: How to apply the Scandinavian lifestyle to travel

What is your favorite thing about traveling with Trafalgar?

Travelling with Trafalgar is seamless. Everything is organised for you and the only thing you need to worry about is putting your luggage outside your door and getting on the coach on travel days. That’s the sort of holiday I love!

Selfie image of Leith and David in Bergen, taken from the top of a hill, with the city and fjord in the background

Where else is on your bucket list? Where are you heading next (besides the Balkans!)?

Oh wow! Where do I start?! Our next travel adventure will hopefully be Egypt. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been fascinated with Egypt and my husband David loves history so it will be the perfect destination. Also, on our ever-growing bucket list are the Italian Lakes, The Greek Islands, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland.

Thanks Trafalgar, for this opportunity to share my story and love of travel with you. We are very much looking forward to our Balkans trip and all the wonderful discoveries we will make while exploring this new and exciting part of the world. See you on the Trafalgar Coach!

Congratulations to Leith on being a lucky Trafalgar Unlocked Award winner and thank you for sharing your story. You can read more stories from our Trafalgar Unlocked Awards winners on our blog.

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