Photo Diary: First Time In Bremen

Hello all fellow travelers (and random friends and family)! I am again back with Photo Diary series because I am just too lazy to start writing that real travel diary of my trip. No worries, I will get there eventually. Because I don’t have anything else ready, here is collection of photos from my recent trip to Bremen with random thoughts. And yes, this Bremen diary is named my first time there because I will definitely return to this pretty city.

Travel Blog: Bremen

Bremen was interesting destination for me because maybe for the first time in my life I had decided to travel to destination that didn’t seem very interesting for me after doing some research on the internet. Bremen seemed colorless city with a few pricey attractions. Oh how wrong was I… It took me only one walk through the city from city center to my hostel to realize that in fact Bremen is one of the most colorful cities I have seen in my life.

Travel Blog: Bremen

I was lucky because during my stay in Bremen it was sunny and hot. Good change after Finland’s long and unusually cold spring. I literally left Finland after it had been snowing and wasn’t ready for this heatwave. But I can’t complain. It was green and fresh everywhere. Colorful flowers and a lot of birds. The park and its idyllic river circling around Bremen become quickly my favorite thing in this modern city. Perfect place to relax after long touristy day around Bremen.

Travel Blog: Bremen

One thing I love about traveling is meeting amazing new people. Bremen didn’t disappoint me here. I got new friends in hostel. Someone even accidentally made me breakfast even if I hadn’t paid for it. So, I basically ate secretly under the table while talking with them. A little bit of action for my holiday and well free breakfast.

Travel Diary: Bremen

This cafe was like straight from my dreams. Pastel colors, pretty cupcakes and clerk that didn’t fit in at all. He was dressed in black and seemed too rock for the girlish dream cafe. What would be more perfect combination? So, if you happen to be visiting Bremen i recommend Coockies Cupcakes.

Travel Blog: Bremen

This photo is again from the park I mentioned earlier. It gave me a little bit of the Netherlands vibe even if i have never visited that country. Interesting things was that for some reason I didn’t see this windmill in any Bremen guide I read before leaving for my trip. Why is that?

Travel Blog: Bremen

And then I want to speak about the amazing cool area I fell in love with that later one revealed to be the famous area for drugs and prostitution. Well, at day time it was cool to visit (??). East side of the older city centre and artistic Schnoor is situated this area full of small alleys, unknown galleries and colorful street art. Basically everything I love.

Travel Blog: Bremen

Like you can see from the photo above this area was almost empty at day time. I was wondering why I didn’t see any tourists like in everywhere else but all travel destinations have these ‘secret’ places where you never meet other travelers. Then on my last evening/night in Bremen we went to eat with group from my hostel. We returned quite late trough this area and one of us told that this area was famous from its nightlife. And more specifically nightlife full of drugs and prostitution. So, not place to for nice evening walk alone but definitely place to check out during day.

Travel Blog: Bremen

In contrast to that area full of graffiti Bremen has its well-known old town. Fountains, statues and shops full of souvenirs of Bremen Town Musicians.

Travel Blog: Bremen

This photo is from the huge market from old town. It may not be very clear but in the right bottom corner you can see man doing huge bubbles. He was there every day with his dogs and bowl of soap. Cool job, am I right?

Travel Blog: Bremen

Germany and Finland have one thing in common and it is beer. Unfortunately I have never liked alcoholic drinks so I couldn’t test any of these terrace restaurants serving huge selection of different beers.

Travel Blog: Bremen

This photo is from Schnoor. One of the interesting areas in Bremen. Small alleys, galleries, cafes and shops full of handicrafts. Surprisingly I didn’t like it that much. It was highly recommended everywhere on internet but it just didn’t have charming enough feeling for me. A little bit boring place.

Travel Blog: Bremen

Somehow my travels are always full of odd meetings with too friendly birds. Even in Bremen I got almost attacked by badass ducks who were just too interested about my snacks.

Travel Blog: Bremen

And this was my Bremen photo diary. I think my photo editing skills are radically decreasing but at least I am trying. So, have you ever visited Bremen? Or some other place in Germany? Like always all comments are more than welcome.

Oh right, I would also remind you to follow my FACEBOOK page to get notification of my new posts and some extra photos and stories! I would be forever thankful. Or if you want to see more photos follow my depressingly inactive INSTAGRAM.

With love,

Lost Viivi 

10 Things To Do In Finland During Summer

I get quite often asked for things to do in Finland and especially things to do in Finland during summer. So as promised here is list of 10 things you should do during summer in Finland. Some of these are more specific while others can be done almost anywhere.

Before listing all the things I have in mind I just want to mention that if you have only time to do one thing in Finland you should just walk around the nature and enjoy our fresh aired green forests. These tips are mostly something we locals do during summers. Totally normal for us but something foreigners may not try without encouragement. Enjoy and all Finns feel free to share your own tips on comments!

 

10. Day trip to Suomenlinna

Travel Blog Things To Do In Finland

Suomenlinna (Finland’s castle) is sea fortress and small island that is part of Finland’s capital Helsinki. If you are looking for perfect day trip destination in Finland, Suomenlinna is just perfect in every way. Idyllic small city, historic castle (that isn’t really castle but hey at least it sounds cool!) and of course perfect picnic spots with sea view. Lucky ones may even wave for cruise ships sailing right next to the island or take part to interesting events happening during summer.

Suomenlinna has earned its place on our ’10 Things To Do In Finland During Summer’ list. In addition to beautiful walking trails and cool cafes you can find handful of museums. If history isn’t your thing I recommend visiting toy museums. It’s not too expensive and I live for the small cafe they have. Try their matcha tea, I would die for it!

 

9. Free tours around churches

Travel Blog: Things To Do In Finland

Finland has this thing called Roadside churches that are open every summer. Basically you can enter these churches freely during their opening times. There is usually guide who is ready to tell you about the church, Finnish culture and near by destinations. Even if you are not one to get interested about history, religion or things like that roadside churches are still fun places to take small break from your busy day.

I have myself worked in roadside church and I can tell you that it is definitely interesting place to visit. Finland has a little over 200 churches open every summer and visiting at least one of them is definitely must thing to do in Finland during summer. Because Christianity as religion has been in Finland for quite short time many of the roadside churches have many interesting stories (and not only religious ones) behind them.

 

8. Swim in lakes and visit Finnish sauna

Finland summer, lake, forest, blue sky

You may have heard about Finnish saunas aka hot steamy rooms we go to relax. You should add this experience to your must to do things in Finland during summer list. When during winter we like to visit sauna and roll in snow afterwards, summers are dedicated for days on the beach. Colorful water toys, swimming in the still chilly lake water and then warming up in sauna. What would be better way to spend summer day in Finland?

As visitor in Finland you should look for the closest public sauna you can find. You can find them almost every city in Finland. Go there bravely and if you don’t know what to do you can always ask help from locals. In Helsinki good choice is sauna restaurant Löyly standing next to the ocean.

 

7. Visit outdoor museum

Travel Blog: Finland

If you want short look to the way Finns used to live, local art or even have picnic among statues, find the closest outdoor museum. Because Finns love to spend our limited summer days outside outdoor and open-air museums are popular places to visit. In Helsinki Seurasaari Open-Air Museum is perfect example of traditional Finnish outdoor museum. Old buildings, people dressed in national costumes and of course cute animals. If statue parks are your thing, I have heard many good things about Parikkala’s Sculpture Park.

 

6. Colorful old towns

Travel Blog: Things To Do In Finland

If you have been reading my blog for some time now, you may have realized that I am totally in love with old towns and colorful cities. That’s why my top 10 things to do in Finland during summer list wouldn’t be complete without sunny trip to pastel colored old town. Don’t get me wrong. These are good places to visit even at winter time but during summer Finnish old towns come to life. Small cafes, art galleries and of course locals having fun. My favorite ones are in Kokkola, Naantali and Mariehamn.

 

5. Day trip to Moominworld

Travel Blog: Moomins

Moomins are adorable fairy tale characters from Finland. These cuddly and friendly characters are well known from cartoons and comics. Every Finn knows them but surprisingly in the last few years Moomins have taken over Asia and more specifically Japan. Tourists around the world come to see Moomins in Finland but also locals love these characters. Most of us grew up watching these magical stories.

From pretty Finnish seaside city, Naantali, you can find theme park dedicated for Moomins. Moominworld is popular among local families and tourists. Even if you have never before heard about Moomins it is definitely worth of visit and good place to get know something more of Finnish culture. Remember to take bikinis with you because they also have idyllic beach!

 

4. Hike around national park

camping

Nature and Finland walk hand in hand. There is only under 6 million of us but we have a lot of area. One of the best sides of Finnish national parks: you can go there, hike and use everything freely. Just respect the nature, don’t litter and keep on trails when asked to. All national parks in Finland have good hiking trails that are well taken care of. There is even outdoor toilets, places for campfires and shelters to sleep in.

So, how can you do your perfect overnight trip to Finnish nature? First get tent, or hammock, or just sleeping bag (because like I said there is shelters you can use for sleeping). Step two: go to internet, find the closest or the most interesting national park and get free map. And finally take bus or tax or lift to your destination. Then walk. That’s it. Easy, right?

 

3. Enjoy the sun with cold drink on terrace

drink_summer
Photo from Unsplash

Finns are known for heavy drinking but even if you are not one of those party animals drinking cold beer (or glass of fine wine) on sunny day while watching people passing by is almost perfect moment to have. It is something locals do. When it gets warm and days get longer every place from bars to restaurants and small cafes open their terraces. And at the same time those terraces get full of Finns enjoying our short summer warmth.

 

2. Crazy festivals

Travel Blog: Finland Festival

Because summers in Finland are short we love to enjoy them as well as we can. This is why visiting festival is one of my must to do things in Finland during summer. We have everything from music festivals with world class names to small village happenings with local musicians and events varying from family olympics to dance performances.

Maybe the most popular celebration of summer in Finland is for midsummer (juhannus). Midsummer fest is also event to celebrate our nightless night. Traditional ways to spent midsummer are burning a huge pile of branches, drinking and doing summer magic like try to find out your future husband through dream. Just find out from internet where the closest festival is and go. A little alcohol and warm summer day makes even us Finns friendly and talkative. You will fit in perfectly.

 

1. Enjoy peaceful Finnish summer cottage life

cottage_summer
Photo from Unsplash

Maybe the most Finnish thing you can do here during summer is to spend weekend living in cottage. You will get bonus points if the cottage is next to lake, has wooden sauna and no water toilet. It’s like escape from city to just be peacefully with yourself, your friends and family. You can play traditional Finnish summer games like Mölkky, boot throwing and of course board games. There is nothing as atmospheric as playing game of Uno in candle light chocolate as price while listening radio.

Other important cottage (in Finnish ‘Mökki’) activities are swimming and eating. Barbecues are normal things and especially eating sausages and as dessert traditional Finnish pancakes made on campfire. But in reality there is no rules for cottage life. Just enjoy and have fun with your closest ones.

 

Have you any summery things to do in Finland you would like to recommend? All comments are welcome like always. It’s already June so I just want to wish good summer and happy holiday for everyone! And thank you for 2 000 readers. I don’t know what your are still doing here but you are highly appreciated. This writing thing would be super boring without you. 🙂

With love,

Lost Viivi

Travel Plan: Bremen, London, Brighton & Rome

I may have made new travel plan that will make some people roll their eyes (sorry, mom and dad…). It is not bad plan but it includes a lot of traveling around and picking up the cheapest option. Also I would have had university entrance exams just now if I hadn’t decided to skip them.

Because this is travel blog but I have never really written anything about my trips before going I decided to start new blogging series: Travel Plans. Nothing extraordinary… Just me telling you about my plan beforehand and maybe asking some tips if anyone has visited the destinations I am going to.

Where did this plan start?

I knew that I want to travel either in May or June but about a week ago I hadn’t done any plans yet. Then I got promotional email from Ryanair saying that flight from Tampere (near the place where I live currently) to Bremen would be only 30€. How could I not buy that flight ticket? After that I had a small problem aka flights back to Finland were too expensive.

I was thinking and thinking until I found out that flights to London from Bremen were only 10€. Of course I had to go there then! But I just visited London and even if I love that city, I really wanted to experience something new. Buying train ticket to Brighton felt almost like a natural thing to do. I have wanted to visit that city for the longest time. I am not even sure why but it just seems like a place I would love.

After booking hostels to my destinations and travel tickets, I still had one big problem… No plan how could I come back to Finland. I am not going to lie. Never coming back may have crossed in my mind. However, I have university entrance exam at the end of May and my sister’s graduation party at June. There is no way I would skip those so I had to come up with non-expensive way of travel from UK to Finland. That’s not easy.

I had to do some planning, desperate searching and counting my budget for too many times before I finally found flight from London to Riga and from there to Helsinki. Not the most easiest one but cheap and the timing was perfect.

This plan was now ready but it doesn’t mean that I didn’t plan more travels during the current week. We have had been speaking about trip to Rome with my mom. After traveling a lot during the last two years I have finally collected enough Finnair points to get free lights to anywhere in Europe. Surprisingly there was also deal to get free lights using lesser points than usually. So, Rome here we come in August!

What to do in Bremen & Brighton?

I really don’t have idea what to do in Bremen but I have some ideas for Brighton. But I would like some tips if anyone knows something about these cities. If I have understood correctly Bremen is quite artsy city with not so many things to do except walking around the city. And then there is of course a few museums I want to visit. After watching some photos it looks similar to Poland’s Gdansk I visited earlier this year.

Then there is Brighton, one of my dream destinations. I have wanted to visit here for the longest time. Mostly because of the huge pier they have. But also because Brighton just seems like a city I would fit in and totally fall in love. It seems like city full of cute shops, cafes, street art and atmosphere. Oh, there is also the world’s oldest aquarium! 

I have also been searching some cool walking tours and events in both cities. For Brighton I have found maybe too many options (oh, my poor wallet…) but for Bremen no luck yet. Any recommendations?

 

Sorry for the odd post but today is Eurovision day so I didn’t have a lot of time to write! Like always all comments are welcome. Does anyone have any recommendations for Brighton, Bremen, London or maybe Rome? (Also thoughts about Eurovision are more than welcome. Anyone as big Eurovision freak as me?)

With love,

Viivi Severina

Photo Diary: Cherry Blossoms in Stockholm

Cherry blossoms are usually seen as Japanese thing but suprisingly you can see these beautiful pinkish flowers even in cold northern countries like Sweden. During our day trip to Stockholm a few weeks ago the most important thing we wanted to do was to see the popular cherry blossoms on Kungsträdgården.

Earlier today, I asked my sister if sharing post full of cherry blossom photo would be okay. She said no… Apparently this is boring idea. So, here is post full of only cherry blossom photos I took in Stockholm! I am always been kind of rebel and not so good at listening others’ opinions. I hope you enjoy.

Cherry Blossom Trees in Stockholm

Cherry Blossom Trees In Stockholm

We were scared that there wouldn’t be any cherry blossoms left because it was cold day in Stockholm (and it was even snowing at one point). Luckily for us half of the trees were still blossoming and we got to see these beautiful flowers.

Cherry Blossom Trees In Stockholm

Cherry Blossom Trees In Stockholm

We weren’t the only one who had came to central Stockholm to see cherry blossoms. Under the trees everyone from families to excited tourists were taking photos and admiring pink flowers.

Cherry Blossom Trees In Stockholm

Here I am looking totally lost and awkward like usually. But hey, we traveled to Stockholm to see these trees so at least I can share one photo of me with them.

Cherry Blossom Trees In Stockholm

cherryblossom_in_stockholm

I have to say that seeing a few cherry blossoms in Stockholm made me want to travel back to Japan. Maybe next spring? I love pink and pretty things so seeing even more cherry blossoms would be like a dream. Now I just have to plan this trip, right?

Cherry Blossom Trees In Stockholm

Cherry Blossom Trees In Stockholm

Have you ever seen cherry blossoms? Or what are your favorite beautiful travel spots? Feel free to comment anything like always.

With these cherry blossom photos from Stockholm it is good to start spring. It is snowing today in Finland but my summer holiday started yesterday. Because I don’t have school anymore before autumn I will have more time to write this blog. So, wait for better post next Wednesday! I will come up with something interesting.

With love,

Viivi Severina

10 Things To Do In Stockholm

Stockholm is interesting northern city divided to idyllic old town and modern city full of shops, culture and tourist attractions. For me the best 10 things to do in Stockholm would be mostly museums BUT I know not everyone is as art freak as I am so this list tries to contain also other things you can experience in Stockholm. I hope you enjoy and feel free to leave your own tips to the comments section.

(I will add more images afterwards because I am busy now…)

10. Skeppsholmen

Stockholm has many small islands and Skeppsholmen is one of them. Skeppsholmen is best known as home of interesting museums. Modern art museums Moderna Museet, Bergrummet museum in old tunnels, Asian art museum Östasiatiska museet and Arkitektur och designcentrum museum that has information about Swedish architecture.

In addition to these museums (most of them free) Skeppsholmen is beautiful island full of nature so I recommend walking around it. There is also old Af Chapman ship that works as hotel and restaurant. From its deck you can see beautiful view to central Stockholm.

 

9. Canal Walk

stockholm_city

Stockholm has several bridges and canals and that’s why walking among them is one of the must things to do in Stockholm. I recommend starting in front of Royal Palace where you can feed birds and take cool photos. Then continue your trip among the water. Another good place to start is from Stockholm City Hall and walk among Klara Sjö. It may be a little more remote but you get to see real Stockholm.

If walking isn’t for you, taking canal cruise is also good option. Sit in boat while sailing through beautiful Stockholm. However some of the smaller, more remote and in my opinion more beautiful canals may be better places to visit and offer you more authentic Stockholm experience.

 

8. Moderna Museet / Modern Art Museum

yayoi kusama moderna museet

I already mentioned this place when talking about Skeppsholmen island being one of the must things to do in Stockholm. However, Moderna Museet is definitely my favorite place in Stockholm and deserves its own recommendation section. (I think I would write its own post for this place if I wasn’t this lazy… Seriously, visit here even if you hate art!)

Moderna Museet has world class modern art exhibitions and in addition to that totally free huge permanent art collection. If you don’t want to pay to see art, consider at least giving quick visit to that free side of this museum. When you fall in love with it, because I surely know you will, visit their expensive changing exhibitions. I have seen everything from Yayoi Kusama’s colorful infinity rooms to Marina Abramovic’s questionable raw films. Definitely one of the best modern museums I have visited.

 

7. Kulturhuset

The name ‘Kulturhuset’ already tells why it’s on my ’10 Things To Do In Stockholm’ list. Who wouldn’t like culture? If I tell the truth I fell in love with Kulturhuset, because of its amazing rooftop cafe/restaurant. Those views are just amazing and one of the must things to do when you come to Stockholm. I always start my city trip from observation deck and Kulturhuset fits that purpose perfectly.

I have visited Kulturhuset every time I have went to Stockholm (and that’s a lot). However my solo travel to Stockholm earlier this year was the first time I did more than just had coffee at the rooftop cafe. Kulturhuset has huge tourist information center that is the best place to start your trip. They have a lot of free guides, maps and friendly staff that is always ready to help you. If you need free internet, they also have that.

In addition to these more touristy things, Kulturhuset has libraries and theater. If you have extra time, try visiting one of the libraries. It’s not just a normal books but real media center full of new experiences and interesting settings. Kulturhuset also arranges several design, art and fashion exhibitions every year.

 

6. Royal Palace

sweden sky and sea

Sweden is lead by royals so of course Royal Palace is one of the must things to do in Stockholm. I feel like bad tourist because I don’t have that much information about this place. I only saw changing of guards (one of the major things to see in Sweden) for the first time this year. So, I don’t have much to say except visit here or at least take some cool photos.

 

5. Djurgården

Djurgården or Kungliga Djurgården (Royal Park) is one of the island in central Stockholm. If you want to see nature in city, this place is for you. Its touristy place but also locals like to spend sunny summer days here. Walk around, drink coffee and enjoy fresh Swedish nature. Djurgården is easily accessed either by foot or by ferry from old town. There is also several museums like ABBA: The Museum, Vasa Museum, Thielska galleriet, Junibacken and Biological Museum.

One of the most popular museums (and the one I recommend for everyone coming from somewhere far away) is Skansen open-air museum. It has zoo and it displays traditional Swedish way of living. So, if you want to learn something about this Nordic country you have just visited, Skansen should definitely be on you must things to do in Stockholm list.

 

4. Fotografiska Museet / Photography Museum

I don’t know why I haven’t visited here before the trip I did to Sweden this year. This photography museum made its way to my favorite things to do in Stockholm right away after I stepped inside. Firstly, who doesn’t love photographs? Secondly, the atmospheres in different exhibitions were perfectly created with right lighting and correct layouts. I have nothing bad to say (except maybe the expensive admission but I can understand why…) This place is a little walk away from the most central area of Stockholm but it only fits well with the nature of this museum.

 

3. Stockholms Stadshus

Stockholms Stadshus (or in English Stockholm’s city hall) gets place three from my 10 Things To Do In Stockholm list because of the view you will see from its garden/yard. Old town and the colorful buildings reflect beautifully from the water and create perfect place to take photos for tourists and those loving photography. They also have interesting shop with cool souvenirs and you can visit the city hall itself.

 

2. Shopping

 

Stockholm is like northern shopping paradise. You can find everything from world-class brand stores to old small local vintage shops. My favorite is Gallerian shopping mall (that was apparently the first shopping mall in Stockholm’s central area and is still one of the most popular ones). You should also visit Åhlens because even if it may be a little expensive for traveler’s budget it definitely has its own charm. Newer place I haven’t had change to try but that I have heard a lot of good things about is Mall Of Scandinavia. It has many brand stores and is truly shopping PARADISE.

 

1. Gamla Stan / Old Town

sweden_photo

Like I have said million times: I love old towns. Stockholm’s Gamla Stan (Swedish term for old town) is one of my favorites. Narrow streets, colorful buildings and -of course- cute little cafes. They have nutella waffles everywhere so I recommend tasting those. I spent most of my time in local book shop but if you want to see something more touristy try Kungliga Slottet / Royal Palace and go see the changing of guards. Also royal shop near Royal Palace is something worth of seeing.

 

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I am traveling to Stockholm with my family this weekend so I thought now would be good time to publish this ’10 Things To Do In Stockholm’ article that has been waiting for too long. I mean I have traveled to Stockholm at least two times during the last year I have been writing this blog. So, do you have any new recommendations for me? All tips, tricks and opinions are welcome like always.

Have an amazing day!
With love,

Viivi Severina