Travel Diary: Bremen

My Bremen-London-Brighton trip is already over but I enjoyed every moment on the road. I am again a little late but today I want to share with you my days in Bremen. Are you ready for another probably boring travel adventure? I hope you enjoy!

Day 1: Wait, Bremen is COOL?!

After reading things from internet and seeing some photos of Bremen I truly thought it would be just city I was passing by quickly to get somewhere else. The photos I saw looked so dull and gray. Why didn’t I find any photos of colorful street art, charming tiny alleys or beautiful parks when researching? Apparently many people travel to Bremen because it is cheap but this city doesn’t get as much recognition as it should.

I really want to return there because I liked the feeling of being traveler in Bremen but two full days were quite enough to see the major attractions. If anyone is now planning Bremen trip, I recommend staying for a weekend. It seems like perfect European weekend gateway destination. However, for longer time it may be a little boring if you don’t decide to do day trips to cities close by like Hamburg.

Travel Blog: Bremen

But now back to my first day! This trip started totally differently than my travels usually do. No early wake up or long way to the airport. I had evening flight from Tampere to Bremen. My flight only costed 30€ and it is one of the reasons I decided to go in the first place. I am all for the cheap trips and budget traveling.

My dad drove me to the airport and I may have been a little surprised of the size of Tampere’s airport. I knew it was small but never thought THAT SMALL. Surprisingly I have lived my whole life near Tampere but have never visited our own airport! In addition to being amazed by the small size of the airport I soon noticed that I had to share my flight with too exited group of teens on field trip. Fortunately, they didn’t sit next to me on the plane even if Ryanair gives the seats to you randomly.

Travel Blog Flying

Instead I got very talkative man next to me. One of the first things he told me was that he got parachute in his bag right above us so if we crashed he was ready to save me. I didn’t know should I feel comfortable or even more scared. And he never made clear if it was normal thing for him to fly with parachute or if he was going to use it in the destination. You never know about people you meet during traveling.

After my short flight I arrived to Bremen’s airport and literally walked trough the customs without any slow downs. The place seemed dead. There was only people from our flight, a few staff members and no one else. Then outside of the airport I was totally in trouble. Everyone, remember to research how to get from airport to your accommodation before you are in foreigner country without internet! 

Travel Blog: Bremen

Fortunately, I wasn’t alone. Next to me was this Asian girl who later told me that she studied in Finland and she was here to meet her boyfriend. We tried to find the tram together and then she even taught me how to buy right tram tickets (not as easy as it sounds like). She seemed nice but I lost her after getting on the tram.

My problems continued in the tram but once again I had nice people who were able to help me. I don’t know why but in Bremen’s tram your ticket won’t fit in the ticket machine where you should mark it. Who the heck has designed thing like that? Friendly group of local boys fortunately shoved me the logical solution: fold your ticket. I would have never figured out that by myself!

Like I said before, I wasn’t expecting a much from Bremen. Maybe that’s why it was love in the first sight. I stepped out of the tram in city centre. Old buildings all around me, students laughing and running over the tram tracks, trams passing by in lines. The last straw for me to be amazed was weather. You know that moment before storm when everything looks so fresh and vibrant. Sun is still shining but you can see dark clouds in the horizon.

Travel Blog: Bremen

I started walking to the direction I believed was right one (probably the first and last time in my life when I was right!) I had to walk past old buildings and old bridge. Then between two sides of the amazing park going through whole Bremen. And lastly to the area full of graffiti and artsy cafes. Later on I will tell you that this artsy area I totally fell in love with wasn’t as nice as I believed but first let’s talk about my hostel.

My hostel was nice and cozy. I got my key and basic information easily before going towards my new room for the next three nights. I scored lower bed but had to take bed that was in place where you will literally see everyone when they come to or leave the room. As shy person that’s good and bad thing. Why? Well, it is the easiest way to make friends in hostel. Just greet them with smile. However, after a while it will get tiring to not have your own hiding place.

Travel Blog: Bremen

It took a few hours and one trip to close-by convenience store (I may have bought too big bag of candies that took over my backpack and that I still have somewhere even if I gave them as souvenirs for my family and friends…) before I began meeting people in the hostel. There was a lot of people who had been on same plane as me. Finns talking everywhere. Surprisingly, I didn’t make friends with any of them but rather talked a little with some German guests. Pro tip for any traveler meeting Finns. We usually want to talk but we are just super quiet and don’t want to disturb anyone so you have to talk for us first.

Day 2: My Inner Science Nerd

I woke up late. Like breakfast was already over late but that’s wasn’t really problem for me because that food was expensive. However it was problem for a older hostel guest who was staying in same dorm room with me. He kept telling me that I should go to eat because breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I have no idea how the old hostel guests always want to take care of me. I feel like there is always someone who gets worried for my bad eating habits or wild adventures.

pink_cafe_bremenAfter my late start for the day I walked towards the closest metro stop. On my way I bought some food and ate it on the go. My tram trip was towards Universum Bremen museum. I love science museums but usually skip them while traveling because of the high prices. Visiting Universum was one of the best decisions I did in Bremen. That place was amazing! I can totally recommend.

16 euros (11 euros if you are student) sounds high but with that price you could stay the whole day in this interactive museum. Definitely better place if you have friends with you because then you can truly embarrass yourself while trying all the thing. For solo travelers this is quicker stop but still fun way to spent your one extra day in Bremen.

Bremen museums Universum

Only bad side was that it’s not the easiest place to find. I may have jumped of the tram like two kilometers too early. There is so many stops that have similar names. And then I couldn’t of course wait for the next tram because it would have been embarrassing! So, I did what any awkward traveler who is too scared to take public transportation would have done. I walked.

When you come to the Universum building, you will recognize it from the whale like shape. However the main door isn’t in that building but on another one across the street. This museum has three parts. The first building with changing exhibitions and lobby. Whale looking building with the interactive exhibitions. And lastly outside area with adventure park. All of them are worth of checking out but I would use most of you time in the interactive area.

Universum museum BremenHere is small list of my favorite things in Universum:

  • Playing with small artificial tornado. It was like normal tornado but a lot smaller and you were allowed to touch it.
  • Dark labyrinth. There was room where you couldn’t see anything and then you had to walk towards trough all these strange rooms. There was sounds, weird materials, soft floor, different objects, smell and all kind of things expect sense of seeing.
  • Intelligent computers. I totally fell for the computer area. There was all kind of tests for you and computers who knew things. Well, at least they tried to know things. This one computer was meant to tell your age, gender and current emotion if you stood in front of its camera. Wanna guess what it told about me? Apparently I am middle-aged angry man… Yeah, so correct…
  • Aquariums and turtles! As person who used to study animals you can totally charm me with just showing me some animals. Aquariums and turtles have always interested me. I could spend hours just looking at them.

This list was just short example of things you can find from Universum. The interactive area has four floors so there is a lot of things to try.

Universum_park

Maybe the funniest thing during my visit here was that I had expected children and maybe teens but the museum was full of old ladies, a few romantic couples and me. So, I can recommend this for people of any age. Everyone I saw was having a lot of fun.

After taking another tram trip back to the city center I meant to go back to my hostel and rest for a while. Didn’t go as planned. When I exited the tram the old narrow streets just attracted me too much. I had to go and adventure a little more.

I can’t really say anything about the old city expect that it is worth of visit. Aesthetically appealing would be the right term. Especially when it’s sunny. So, I spent a few hours just walking around and visiting small shops. Then I ended up to newer part of the center and shopping small. That took even more of my time!

Travel Blog: Bremen

Bremen has a lot of shops selling cards with cool texts. I of course had to buy one travel themed card but later on was disappointed… Why? My mom told me that they sell exactly same card in her shop… She takes all the joy out of my travel shopping. Every time I find something cool I realize that I could get the same thing from my mom’s shop.

After walking all day my feet were literally dead. Wearing high-heel sneakers wasn’t probably the best possible choice. But hey at least those shoes look super nice? I returned to my hostel and felt wanted just to sleep. Instead of sleeping I went on my computer because as basic member of my age group day without computer would be impossible. Also I had some writing jobs to do and after traveling too much this year every penny counts.

I am happy that I decided to surf around the internet for a while because one of my roommates happened to leave the room with his computer in his hands. Surprisingly we had exactly same computers and having something identical with your hostel roommate means that you are automatically new best friends. We talked a little but then he had to work and I had to work and we decided to talk more later on.

Travel Blog: Bremen

I knew that I should rest for a while but my feet took me out of the hostel. I ended up visiting the close-by art museum. I have always loved art so I have nothing to complain about. Except well I may have accidentally interrupted some kind of art therapy yoga class. The last room of this museum had big windows and it was huge open space. There was art on the walls and a few sculptures on the floor but about five people in the middle of the room made me freeze.

One of the five was walking around and speaking while the rest of them had their eyes closed and stood in odd positions. For a moment I didn’t know if I should exit or just keep going. You never know in these modern art galleries if people are doing something important or if they are performing art as part of the exhibition. I think that one person who was walking around saw the horror in my eyes because he smiled and motioned me to continue my way around the museum.

Travel Blog: Bremen

Do I even have to say that I left that last room too quickly? I don’t even care that I paid to see the exhibition. That situation was too awkward for me to worry about lost money.

After the frightening museum experience I decided to walk a little bit around the are full of pretty graffiti before returning to my hostel for the second time on that evening. This time I stayed, spend some time in the common room and then went to bed too late.

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Have you ever visited Bremen? Or have you had anyone interesting sitting next to you in plane? All comments are welcome like always! And sorry for my blogging silence. I have had total lost of inspiration but I think I am slowly getting over it. Thanks for all the old and new people who are reading my blog. I will come back soon with another as boring and long travel article.

Have an amazing day!
With love,

Viivi Severina

Travel Diary: Crazy Cruise to Stockholm

It has been a few weeks and I am already missing traveling… So, it is time to start writing about my trip as travel diary. Today we are going to start from the beginning. (You can also read this kind of funny story how I booked my trip.)  My first day went by on board of cruise ship from Finland to Sweden. And after that I spent three days in Stockholm before flying to Poland.

I hope you will enjoy these stories! (And like always beware, long boring stories ahead…)

Day 1: Day cruise and strange people

I think the tittle says everything. My hypothesis is that only crazy people do day cruises. Or I just happen to have bad luck and meet all the not so normal ones. If you know me you also know that I have bad luck when traveling. This early morning at 2 am when I left my home wasn’t exception. I was stupid and didn’t look outside before going. But for my defense it had been good weather when I went shopping the morning before.

Travel Diary: cruise ship and seaI was wearing my green sneakers and leather jacket. Not the best choice when you have to walk in snow storm. There was snow everywhere and when at last I reached the train station I probably looked like snowman. And then because of the snow my train was of course late. Don’t get me wrong… It was one of the most beautiful moment I have had this winter! Warm street lights around me. Quiet atmosphere that is only possible in Finland’s cities. And of course clean pure white snow all around me. But it was also scary. I prefer not standing alone in empty train station in the middle of night.

When my train finally arrived I was still only one waiting for it. However even if people from Kokkola don’t like night trains other people do. My train was full and there was a lot of tourists. Finland’s Lapland is popular travel destination for those wanting to see northern lights or meet Santa Claus.

I shared my row with three German travelers who tried to sleep and failed miserably. I didn’t even try. Sleeping in trains has always been hard for me (except when I fall in sleep accidentally and almost miss my station…)

Travel Diary: Stockholm, MariehamnAfter too many hours of listening to music and dreaming about my future adventures I finally arrived to Turku’s bay. I was able to find my cruise ship without getting lost (okay… I just followed a few other people exiting the train). After doing check-in and other official things I boarded my ship. Next obstacle I had was to find perfect spot where I could sit the next ten hours. I walked around until I saw girl with huge bag sleeping in small sofa. I put my things down and opened my computer ready to watch Netflix to the table next to her. It seemed like good safe place to spend time.

It took me about two minutes to realize that Netflix, Youtube and other sites playing videos were banned when using the ship’s internet. (Viking Line please fix this… I would have had better day if I just could have watched some movies.) Because I had nothing to do I ended up staring outside of the window for my first hour on board. Fortunately Finnish islands are beautiful.

Soon after the ship left bay these two older ladies decided to share the table with me. I am not stalker but I could not hear them talking. The subject was “Tom of Finland” movie that had just come out (no pun intended here). One of the ladies had went to see it and was totally in love while the other lady didn’t understand why her friend would go to see movie about gays. Their conversation was so much fun to listen. Two friends bickering about their views of this world.

Half way to Sweden! I need sleep 🇸🇪☕️💤 #travel #cruise #wanderlust #blogger

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At some point I got bored to sitting next to the window and entertaining myself with people watching (once again not stalking just observing!). I decided to visit the deck and take some photos. Once again, not so good decision. Winter, sea and wind don’t go together that well. It was quite warm and sun was shining beautifully BUT there was slippery ice everywhere. Me and a few tourists all tried to take some photos while not falling and breaking our bones. I survived but I saw some skillful flips performed by the tourists.

Disclaimer! If you don’t live in northern countries, use winter shoes at winter time. Only locals can master the skill of walking on ice with sneakers or other slippery summer shoes.

When I came back inside my spot was taken and I had to find new one. This time I was in more public place that means more crazy people trying to make contact with me. For some reason I have always been people magnet. Where ever I go someone starts to talk with me! I don’t get it because I definitely look like someone who doesn’t want to answer for you. My huge headphones should tell enough…

So it didn’t take long before some crazy things started to happen. Apparently I had taken the same ship with some kind of biker gang. And now they were causing problems in the restaurant next to me. First there was one guard running towards the restaurant, then second, third and in the end there was bunch of guards running back and worth in front of me.

stockholm cruise sea

First thug they took out seemed peaceful even if he was wearing all leather and all black. The second one they walked out of the restaurant and in front of me seemed also peaceful but well… let’s just say that I would have gone without him showing his ass for me when they walked past me. I think the guards agreed with me.

After that incident my cruise was not so eventful if we don’t count in some intoxicated Finns, fighting boys and children trying to kill me several times. No really I have no idea what those children had against me. One stole my eyeglasses while his mum just laughed and another one kicked my computer so hard it flew to ground.

Then there was this one girl who sat in front of me and kept staring my every move. It was so disturbing that I decided to find new place to sit in but when I stood up she stood up too and when I started walking she followed me. In the end I just walked back to the same place I had earlier left. This time this small girl who had followed me (where the heck were her parents??) started to dance and sing around for no reason. I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry.

When the ship finally arrived to Stockholm I was so ready leave all that madness. I walked towards the doors, saw that same biker gang there and knew right away that there was going to be problems. I wasn’t wrong. They kept picking a fight with guards and everyone else in front of the still closed doors. Because of them it took some extra time before they agreed to open the doors.

At this point I was ready to run away but it is not so easy to do. There was breaking alcohol bags everywhere and people picking up their rolling bottles and cans. One bag broke in front of me in escalator and it was almost impossible to jump over them and jump over the man picking them up. I have no idea how I survived to the over-prices bus I had earlier booked so I could get close to my hostel.

You may think that this unfortunately day was already over for me and I just walked safely to my hostel but if you have read my blog before you know that is not possible. I got lost… I exited my bus at central train station, had no idea where to go and did the wrong thin (walking aimlessly until I found my hostel). Fortunately I had guessed this would happen and booked hostel with 24 hours check-in.

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After being awake for almost whole day, running away from crazy people in cruise and getting lost I was dead. Being dead and having handsome receptionist isn’t good mix. Half of what he said went over my head. (He had cute eyes, okay! I didn’t have time to listen to useless things like where my room was going to be…) So after getting my key and somehow finding stairs towards the rooms I thought that I had finally done it. WRONG.

Between me and my rooms door there was locked inner door. I had no idea how to open it. There wasn’t lock or any way to open it. I used maybe 5 minutes just standing there hoping that someone would open the door. Finally someone walked past me and I asked him how the heck use that damn door. It was surprisingly easy but I hope there had been some kind of introductions. I had to use my key to pad that was on the other side of the room between two elevators.

Surprise surprise my key didn’t work. I was ready to cry but I decided to walk back down bravely and ask new key from that cute eyed receptionist. He said that many people don’t know how to use the door but gave me new key. I walked back up, tried again and… my key didn’t work. Then fortunately someone opened that door and I get in the corridor and one step closer to my room. I found my room tried to open the door and of course it didn’t work.

sweden_photo

At this point I decided to check my room number one last time before going back down to embarrass myself because I couldn’t use normal door. I stared my key for a few minutes and didn’t know should I cry or laugh. This whole time I had been in totally wrong floor. No wonder it didn’t work. After that I found my room without much problems and got inside.

If this doesn’t feel too embarrassing for you, I would like to mention that there was security camera pointing to the door I first tried to open and towards the corridor. So the workers probably got good laughs when I desperately tried to get in wrong room and then run to the right place tail between my legs.

I liked the room and hostel even if I didn’t have a lot time to look at it because I just wanted to sleep. All the beds in my dorm were full but no one was in the room. I was ready to sleep but I still had one problem. This is the problem I still have in hostel even after living three months in them in Japan. Do I shut the lights or do I not shut the light in dorm room? Feel free to tell your opinion in this matter because – even if it sounds stupid – it is always problem for me.

stockholm_graffiti

I closed the lights and it was the last wrong decision I did that day. You may have once again thought that this post and my catastrophic day was finally over. However I still succeeded to get myself in embarrassing situation. I had almost fallen asleep when someone entered the room. They went to toilet and I continued my sleeping. Then they went to their own bed that was under mine.

For moment it was quiet and I tried to sleep despite the lights he had put on. After that moment he started to sing. I am 100% sure that he had no idea I was in the room. So for about a hour I listened him singing, watching movies and talking too loudly in phone. All this while I tried not to move because I had no idea what to do and it would have been super awkward to tell him that I had been there the whole time.

Then I was saved by another of my roommates coming back. I was so ready to sleep at this point so it took just a few second after that from me to fall asleep.

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And so ends my first story from this trip. All comments are welcome like always. Do you have any crazy cruise ship stories? Or maybe embarrassing hostel stories?
With love,

Viivi Severina

 

Travel Diary: London pt. 2

Hello there and welcome back to read about my London adventure! If you haven’t read the first part you can find it from here: Travel Diary: London Also if you are wondering where the day 3 disappeared it will have its own post later on.

Why? Because otherwise this post would have been too long and I really want to dedicate whole post for Harry Potter studio tour and Madame Tussauds museum. But now let’s continue the story! (And btw thank to my sister who took that crazy bird photo… She is fearless!)

Day 4: Natural History and Shopping

I recommend living in hotels with breakfast because finding something to eat sound easier than it is in reality. Once again buying breakfast was causing us unbelievably huge problems. You would think it’s easy to find breakfast cafe from London but that’s total fantasy. We walked the whole few kilometers to the Natural History Museum without finding any cafe for us to eat.

Hyde Park Afternoon Walk
No breakfast here…

First we went through the security check where they didn’t check us properly like too often in these situations. Apparently Finns or our lost selves don’t seem dangerous enough to need proper security checks. After that we continued our mission to find breakfast and managed to find the most unhealthy but tasty looking chocolate cake I have ever seen. Of course we bought pieces of it for us to have as breakfast.

I have few words about the free Natural History museum. Dinosaurs, mind games and huge whale. Yep, that sums up our morning. Besides us there was a lot of school classes. When we left the museum we even accidentally walked in one of the school groups and got some wondering looks from the teacher.

Natural History Museum London

After surviving out of the museum (we didn’t go to every exhibition because it would have taken the whole day!) it was time to go shopping. We went to a few shops but in the end did most of our shopping in the Primark. Don’t judge me, I’m student and live on my own so shop full of cheap clothes is like a heaven.

I bought two more pairs of the jeans I had bought the last time. Even if those jeans made me looks like a smurf after I took them off. That feature is still part of them. I don’t know if I should be worried of them leaving ugly blue color to my skin? Well, at least the jeans only cost like 7€.

Animals in Natural History Museum London

But yeah that was our fourth day. The evening went planning our last day, buying some bubble tea and starting the impossible packing. I had totally forgotten how much I loved bubble tea. I even bought matcha one because it’s one of the foods I can’t get from Finland and I think I can’t live without!

Day 5: Hard Rock Cafe and Touristy Things

We didn’t have a lot of plans for our fifth day but ended up doing a lot. Our first stop was breakfast at Hard Rock Cafe. We had been arguing (well not arguing but just being indecisive together) should we use the metro or walk through Hyde Park. We ended up doing the last one and it was good decision!

Hyde Park Crazy Birds and Tourists
Thanks for my sister who took this photo. I would have never been brave enough to be so close to the birds! And I should be the animal carer of this family…

We saw more birds on our way and even crazier tourists trying to hug and befriend the birds. (You shouldn’t do this. Bad for the animals and unhealthy for you..) 

When we finally found the Hard Rock Cafe it was closer us than we had tought. The staffs were kind and place amazing so definitely recommend for everyone to go when in London! It was meant to be our breakfast but we both ordered cauliflower burger. It was vegetarian dish where the hamburger steak was replaced by cauliflower. I would eat all my burgers like that if it was possible.

Hard Rock Cafe London Vege

At this point it didn’t even matter that our breakfast was so fulfilling because we had eaten odd breakfasts everyday. Bento box, Fish & Chips and chocolate cake to name some of our crazy breakfast choices. But hey, we were on vacation so no reason to eat reasonably.

After the fulfilling meal we continued towards Buckingham palace and the royal shop we had promised to visit for our mom. Luck was on our side because once again the walk was shorter than we had expected. And on when we arrived to the palaces gates there was someone (probably important person) exiting the palace in horse carriage. So cool!

After the palace gates experience and realizing there was nothing to buy in the royal shop (just normal more expensive souvenirs) we decided to continue our walk. Next destination Big Ben!  I know we already went there once but my sister had forgotten her polaroid camera so we had to return to take photo for her.

Big ben and Telephone box London

Once again good decision because this time we decided to be more touristy than on the first time and lined to take photos of us with Big Ben and red phone booth. It was so funny how people would pose with the booth and even more people line up to wait for their turn to take the photo. No way for anyone to really use those phones to call. Tourist takeover!

Surprisingly even after taking some photos and buying souvenirs from stall next to the Big Ben we had almost half of the day left. It was time to head to get some culture experiences and what would be better place for that than Tate Modern museum?

The museum was huge. I mean I had known there was many floors and exhibitions but it was bigger than I would have never imagined. In my opinion too much art to see in one day. I have always loved museum and modern art and this museum immediately rose to one of my favorite museum. And one important point to mention is that the museum was free to attend.

Tate modern museum London modern art

We even found one exhibition from Finnish artist. We were wondering out loud why would there be Finn’s works in this popular museum when behind us woman said in Finnish “Why not?” and disappeared as quickly as she had appeared. I never get used to other Finns leaving our beloved home country and making contact on odd places.

After the museum visit it was time to return back to our hotel. We packed our too full suitcases and tried to sleep early because the next morning it was time to leave.

 

Day 6: Time To Go Home

We woke up too early to make it to our plane. First we had to take metro to the train station and then find the right train. I thought we would have more problems but fortunately the trains station has prepared for tourist and there is huge signs to find the right track.

Metro London Cool

We arrived early to the airport but then suddenly we almost had to run to make it to our flight. The airport really is huge. And the plains to Finland leave from the farthes corner possible. No, I’m not even kidding. We had to walk trough the whole airport to get to our gate.

This time I sat next to my sister but it was causing some problems. We wanted to see the same movie so if one of us was ahead the other one got spoilers before hand. Can someone make the plane TV’s sync and show the movies at the same time? Let’s just go back to the time where everyone had to watch Brain Games from the shared tiny TV.

So there was my London travel diary. I hope you enjoyed my long boring commentary. Have you ever been to London? And maybe done some of the things we did?

I will write again next Friday with the story and review from Harry Potter tour and Madame Tussauds. Have an amazing weekend!

With love,

Viivi Severina

Travel Diary: London

5 days in London is far from enough. This city is full of places to see and things to experience. However 5 days is just enough to fall in love again with the lively city. London, I will return one day and hopefully that day will be sooner than later!

Day 1: To Harrods without sleep

plane

Our bus to the airport left 3am so I didn’t get any sleep before that. We flew with the new Finnair A350 airplane and the movie selection was too good (Now You See Me 2 is everything!!) for me to even try sleeping. My sleepless night plan however backfired right away in London… We got safely and without problems to our hotel where the staff informed us that our room would be ready in four hours. Too much time to kill for me who hadn’t slept and for my sister who just happened to be sick.

harrods2

We left the hotel with a map and no plan. Our first mission was to find food and then while having mini picnic in the Hyde Park we tried to plan our afternoon. The decisions was hard because both of us just wanted to go and sleep in the hotel. In the end we decided to visit the luxurious Harrods.

Maybe not our best decision…

If you haven’t visited Harrods let me tell you it is amazing fancy shop where you would imagine rich people shopping. Fortunately there was a lot of tourists beside us so our “travel day straight from plane” styles almost fitted in the huge department store.

harrods

I have three tips for visiting Harrods:

  1. Get lost. There is no way you can find all the sections, floors and places. There is so many rooms full of stuff that it just is impossible.
  2. Visit the food/tea/sweets floor. So beautiful!
  3. Get amazed by the toys they sell. It may sound funny to recommend Harrods’ kids’ floor but it is the dream of every human. Good looking girls and boys are showing how to use the different toys. There is anything kid can hope for.

So after a while my sister started to complain she was too tired (why is she always sick when we travel together?) so we returned to the hotel and surprisingly our room was ready almost hour in advance. It was time to rest for a while.

rainbow

At the evening I left my sister to sleep and went for evening walk in Hyde Park. I would walk around there forever. The funniest thing in that park are the animals (and people taking photos with them). When you approach the birds with your camera huge gang of different birds immediately come for you to find food. Scary and cool at the same time!

My nature photographer side went crazy so here is some Hyde Park photos:

love

birds

hydepark

hydepark2

hydepark3

 

Day 2: Super Tourists Bus Touring

What would holiday be without hop-on-hop-off bus tour? Because my sister was still sick we decided to take our first day easy and go around the city on bus. It wasn’t as easy as we tought it would be… But maybe didn’t come as surprise for you because a lot of things go like that with me.

 

In the bus company’s website it said their office is in Baddington station. Well it wasn’t. We went to the station, saw place with the bus company’s logos and went in. Then I told I want to buy the tickets but the clerk informed me we were in the wrong place. The ticket counter was outside the station “next to the subway. The fast food subway.” With those directions we found the right place.

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After that we bought the tickets, tried to find the bus stop and finally our touristy day was ready to began. First stop King’s Cross Station. Or the station known for its Harry Potter 9 3/4 platform. Our first mission was to find breakfast. Sounds easy but it’s not…

We went around the station trying to find something breakfasty (can your ever say it like that?). Somehow we ended up going to Japanese place and eating huge bento boxes. It was so good! I recommend. The restaurant name was Wasabi and they had restaurants all over London. Cheap and tasty.

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All those people lining up to take photo with fake platform 9 3/4.

Conveniently we were able to see the ‘Harry Potter take your own 9 3/4 platform photo here’ -place. It was our next thing to do. We waited for 20 minutes and the line hadn’t moved at all so we gave up. It was good decision because when we visited the Warner Bros. studios there was identical photography point.

So it was time to continue our bus tour. We saw many interesting buildings and drove around London. Next time we meant to drop of next to Tower of London but accidentally forgot so our next stop was London eye and Big Ben.

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Nothing eventful happened here. Just us taking some photos and looking all touristy, someone playing Star Wars songs with bagpipes and a lot of polices and protesters next to the Big Ben. After getting our cool photos we took the bus and continued towards the amazing shopping paradise called Oxford street.

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It was almost hour of sitting in the bus before we finally we on the right stop. At this point it has started to rain and we had to run towards the shops. The luck was on our side because we found Primark right away and were saved from the storm.

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Primark was heaven. Cheap and cool clothes. I bought fake leather jacket, cozy sweater and jeans (that will cause me problems later on…) After exiting the shop with too many bags it was already dark and we were almost dead. It was time to take metro back to our hotel.

 

Coming soon…

London diary pt. 2, review of Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour and additional photo diary for all the London photos I couldn’t fit to those posts. I release new post every Friday so I will write and publish them some time soon. And to end this posts here is some London photos from my Instagram:

 

Have you ever visited London and maybe the places I went into? And are you as in love with this city as I am?

I hope you will have a good weekend!
With love,

Viivi Severina

Travel Diary: City in 7 Hours

Like I left my last travel diary we had to wake up at 6 am and soon after leave our cabin and the cruise ship to explore rainy Tallinn. It was my first time to Estonia which is surprising because most of the Finns have visited there at least once.

So we woke up, left the ship and arrived before seven at morning to the Tallinn’s old town. That early wake up did something good. The old town looked abandoned and we didn’t see anyone at that hour. Perfect moment to take photos without disturbing tourists.

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For moment we took in the city and then our hunger grew so big we had to find the closest shop. Or we tried to find but got distracted by beautiful garden full of interesting art works. We walked past them and stopped to eat our breakfast cookies (because couldn’t find any shop). Of course right after that we did find the shop and went to buy our second breakfast.

We got some wondering looks from the local people when we went in and walked around aimlessly. We got even more odd looks when we bought chocolate cake. For our defense we were on holiday/adventure so eating something sweet before eight in the morning is acceptable! It was delicious (and cheap).

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So after enjoying our odd second breakfast sitting on deserted park we continued our walk. There was still no people when we walked past the tall walls of the old town and it’s deep moat (guarded by birds not crocodiles.) The longer we walked the more people we started to see. Park’s caretaker, homeless man under bridge, people hurrying to work but no other tourists yet.

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We walked up to the best observation spot in Tallinn (or so all the guide books say) and looked over the city. That may have been the moment I fell in love. I love old towns but Tallinn’s pastel colored buildings charmed me right away.

We visited some souvenir shops and wandered around without clear plan. No, we didn’t really plan anything before hand so our time went to thinking what to do next. Then we decided to stop by in the tourist information and almost took two hours long free walking tour. We however noticed that our time was ending too soon so no time for the tour.

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Then we exited the old town and went shopping because what would Tallinn trip be without huge bags of stuff to take home. We found lovely shop from Viru mall. The clothes were cheap, cool and funny. Everything I look out for when shopping.

It was starting to be dinner time so we walked back towards the old town to find restaurant. On our way we somehow ended up in Tallinn’s biggest bookshop. We both love books so rather than eating we spend over an hour getting lost between the shelves full of books.

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And so I bought some more stuff! I bought three notebooks that had inspiring travel text in them (one of them above). How would I have left those inspiring notebooks to the shelf? I’m always in need of more wanderlust notebooks.

One fun thing (well, for us but not for the people outside…) was huge rain starting right after we entered the bookstore. It had been sunny for a while but when we walled towards the shop here and there few water drops came down. We went inside the shop and the sky broke down. Mother nature loves me!

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So after the fierce book shopping we were super hungry and decided to finally hunt down some food. Finding restaurant wasn’t easy but in the end we sat down to the terrace of restaurant called Scheeli. (I recommend!)

All the other restaurants were full but in this one we were the only customers. We were joking about the food probably being bad or maybe the dishes were super tiny. Then the waiter gave us plates that didn’t look like the things we ordered and had only small amount of food in them.

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The small dish we were scared would be our 14 euros meal but ended up just being gift from the chef.

We were laughing awkwardly and for moment were scared that we had really paid for those small portions. Fortunately the waiter told us it was gift from the chef. And before our food we even got fresh bread.

The real food we ordered, succulent corn chicken with potato-carrot purée, mushroom fricassee, flat peas and cheese sauce (14 €), was amazing! The staff were nice and funny so I totally recommend this place if you ever visit Tallinn.

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Our real meal that was so good!

After all the hassle with food we only had a little time before our cruise would left back Finland. We went to buy some souvenir candies and walked back to the port. This time the mother nature decided to hate us because it started to rain and when we got back to the ship we (and all our things) were totally soaked.

And this basically was it. Maybe a little boring for you to read but super fun trip for me. My first time to Tallinn and new country to add on my list of places visited.

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I will be writing again next Friday and then we are going to be talking about using taxis abroad! I was recently contacted by website called ride.guru and I totally fell in love with their site (No, I’m not paid to say this. I just sincerely like the idea they have.) You have to thank them that I even got this idea of writing about taxis.

So basically I have always been scared of riding taxis but still done it few times when traveling. Next Friday I will be talking about some of my experiences and tips for adventurers who are scared of taxis like I am.

Until then with love,

Viivi Severina