Returning home is always as terrible and as exciting. After being away for a week or two your own country seems so different than before leaving. Safe and sound. You know all the streets and understand what people are saying. You know how to act, how to fit in. It is easy and for the first few days that makes going back home so amazing. After surviving somewhere else being back at home is like relaxation that holiday should have given for you.
However after those few days coming home excitement disappears. You are back at home. Nothing has changed. Everything is exactly same as before you left. So many things have changed inside of you but no one seems to realize. Your family keeps doing normal stuff, friends keep asking photos from your trip and neighbors probably didn’t even know that you were away. In the end you are left standing there feeling odd. It is like this city, this country, these same old circles aren’t enough anymore. You need something different.
You need new streets, new cities, new places to explore. You want to taste foods you have never seen before and that will probably make you regret later even looking towards them. You grave for new interesting people who can teach you so much about cultures and countries you have only read from school textbooks. You need adventure. In your heart is traveler who just wants to see as much as possible because our time in this planet is limited.
Watching all the photos you have taken and going back to all the new memories you have collected, just makes everything worse. “I would still be there…” If you just hadn’t taken the flight back. If you just had decided to escape your life. If miracle had happened and you would do whatever you want with your life. But then again, if you didn’t return back to home every now and then would this traveling thing feel as good? Would every new experience be as exciting as right now if you knew that you could have them endlessly whenever you want? Who knows…
Right now all we can do is to try to survive this after travel blues. Enjoy the few days back at home and then start planning new trip for another adventure. Because we are travelers and that’s what we do. Endless cycle of planning trips, traveling to new places and coming back.
Travel Rants are my series of random travel related thoughts and opinions. It is non-edited thoughts straight from my brain and heart. I just returned from my Bremen London trip so it was good timing to bring this post series back. Like always all comments are welcome! Have you ever felt like this? Or how do you cope with after travel blues?
So, I may have been lazy once again… If you are new here in my blog: Hello, I am the person who never follows her own schedules! But well because I have been busy (this not excuse, okay? I have really been busy) I can’t publish today the last part of my abandoned amusement park story time. I’m sorry everyone who has now waited for too long for me to finally finish it.
Right now I am in train going back home. Today I had crazy fun day in Helsinki. (And I even met up with fellow blogger for the first time! Thanks for Anub who was nice enough to not complain about my bad pronouncing or the terrible Finnish coldness.) So because I have nothing else to share with you today here is small photo diary from Helsinki. I hope you will enjoy it!
I admit that I still love this view even after seeing it one time too many. In moments like this I can kind of understand why people want to visit Finland. However that doesn’t mean I will stop making fun of my beloved home country and our non-existing tourist attractions.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t any snow in Helsinki. But even like this the city is beautiful and has its own charm. And we of course saw a lot of frozen places so maybe that makes up for all the missing snow? It’s not true Finnish experince if you haven’t almost fell over while walking on ice!
One of our day’s major things to do was visiting Suomenlinna sea fortress. It’s been over five years from my last time here and I didn’t even remember how much I used to love this place. Suddenly I even remembered that as child my dream used to be grow up and live my life in this tiny cozy island.
It took us a while to find the right restaurant (that may totally be my fault and it probably has something to do with my bad luck while travelling) but finding the place was totally worth it. I haven’t eaten falafel for so long time so our choice was the best possible.
Sun is setting in Finland guess what time it is! So if you don’t know northern countries have super short day’s at winter. So the sun was setting already at 3pm.
The last photo is me sharing my favorite Helsinki spot with you. I have always loves Senate Square. Now there was huge Christmas market but at other times of year you can meet funny tourists taking photos and just enjoy the beautiful view. I may have biased opinion about this matter so you shouldn’t probably believe my tip… I have had some of my best teen memories in this square. Being part of flashmob, meeting amazing people and doing crazy things.
I hope you are having an amazing weekend and that you are being more productive than I have lately been. And like always all comments are welcomed. Have you ever visited Helsinki? Or met fellow bloggers for fun travelling day?
So last time I ended my story to the point where I was deciding should I go to the abandoned amusement park with these people I have just met. In the end it wasn’t hard decision (sorry mum…). Of course I went in! You only live once or something like that…
I will again mention that you shouldn’t be like me. Later on this story I learn that visiting abandoned Japanese amusement park in fact is illegal and you will get in trouble. However I also learn that Japanese people and police are so kind and understanding. And I also may learn that there is something charming and special in abandoned places. It’s feeling I can’t even describe. So I hope you like this long boring story of me being totally lost like usually. Enjoy!
(In the first post I meantioned that I had lost almost all my abandoned amusement park photos. However, now I found a few photos more so I hope you will like them!)
Dreaming in Dreamland
So I was standing next to the abandoned amusement park and the couple I had just met stared me expectantly. After I answered for them all three of us approached cautiously the park’s gate. There was huge gap in the gate and we went inside without any problems.
My first look to the park made me breathless. Cute pastel houses, colorful plastic balls and eerie huge pink princess castle. It was perfect sight and I immediately knew I had done the right choice coming here. We started wandering around and checking what we could find. The couple was taking photos like professionals while I was just staring everything in awe.
After walking around for a while I decided it was time to part from that kind couple. After every minute I was feeling more and more like third wheel. After our goodbyes they continued towards the castle while I decided to wander deeper to the park. When their voices had faded to the distance I felt the scary “I’m all alone in this world” feeling hit me.
I couldn’t hear birds, traffic or anything except my own breathing and wind. I have never really experienced anything like that so I decided to enjoy every moment and thing there was to see. First I found old roller coaster loop. I think photo of this exact spot is in every abandoned places article/video there is in internet. I hope I had all my photos because it was beautiful. (I don’t know how the heck did I lose half of my abandoned amusement park photos…)
I just stood there staring in awe and not even wanting to continue. How would anything I saw be more beautiful than that? Sun was shining behind the roller coaster and the sky was blue without any clouds. Once again perfect day and perfect moment.
After that I saw so many beautiful sights that lose the count of them. Huge swimming pool and water park are with its colorful slides and small food stands. Abandoned cars just being there behind every corner. Building after building full of stuff. Park tickets, colorful props and dust covering everything except the foot prints wondering back and worth the floors.
It had been over hour at that point and I haven’t even seen half of the park. I saw some kind of pond and decided to take closer look to it. The ride was adventure and amazon themed. There was sinking colorful boats in the small lake. Then I turned to look the ride’s ticket booth and at the same second started to run and hided behind wall close by. My heart was beating too loudly and for moment I was sure this place was cursed.
I tried to glance the sight that had scared me almost to death. It still looked same. There was someone sitting in the ticket booth. Someone without head and looking like rotten body. After I had evened out my breathing I decided to take closer look. My reasoning side told me there was no way that it would be real body. My more imaginative and scared side was sure it must be zombie or cursed traveller.
I went closer and closer and soon realized theobvious truth. The scary headless zombie body was just prop or decoration for the ride. Someone had propably stolen its head and arranged it there to scare all the intruders like me. The whole situation was making me laugh and I was letting out the sigh of relief when weird noices broke the silence and made me jump back to my hiding spot.
After listening closely the weird noices seemed to be car driving by except I didn’t see anyone. Later on I will realize that it must have been the guard but at that moment I just tough there may be road close by. The noice was gone almost as fast as it had began and I was ready to continue my exploration.
I saw some more interesting thins: merry-go-round, more rides and another roller coaster. It was silent everywhere. Next spot I spend more time in was mirror house. Once again I was strugling with easy question: to go and adventure the inside or stay safely outside? The broken mirrors and messages left to the walls made the place look like scene from horror movie.
I had to jump over some broken pieces so I didn’t get wounds through my sneakers. I got totally lost. There was mirrors everywhere – some broken and some colored with spray paints. I kept walking around not understanding how would children’s amusement park have this place in it. Then I realised every now and then there was small arrows pointing the right way out.
After exiting the house of horror mirrows I continued towards the huge castle I had decided to visit last. I didn’t know how wrong the end of my happy day in abandoned amusement park would soon go! (Well, I had fun and can now laugh for the things that happened but at that time it was horrible…)
So well… I may have problem with writing too long stories… Because of that you have to wait until next week to read the ending of my story (and also the main point where I get caught by Japanese police…) I’m sorry, I’m bad at not sharing too much boring things. But I hope you enjoyed my story or at least the photos.
Hello everyone! And mum if you are reading this you should probably stop now. Because today after a long time I am going to share with you fun story/memory/warning example from my travels.This is going to be story of me getting in trouble with Japanese police, getting lost in abandoned amusement park and doing everything solo travellers shouldn’t do.
So be prepared once again for too long story from my crazy adventure! (I accidentally wrote so long story that I will publish it in two parts… Sorry, not sorry! And because I have mystically lost almost all my photos from this adventure enjoy the other Japan photos I have picked out for you. Enjoy… )
Finding Abandoned Dreamland
Even after spending two months in Japan I still hadn’t learned to not trust the free tourist maps. Deciding to visit Nara was kind of quick decision (someone told me about the cute deers and I wanted to go and see them right away!) so I didn’t have a lot of time to research things to do in the city. Then one person from my hostel showed me photos of small Kurokamiyamainari shrine with beautiful long torii walkaway. He even showed me the place from my Nara map I had gotten from Kyoto’s tourist office. It wouldn’t be that hard to find before going to see the deers, right?
When I got off from the train and continued exploring Nara towards the shrine I didn’t have clue that my day would soon turn to thrilling adventure. I kept walking around and at first everything went well I knew exactly where I was and the Nara around me was charming like Japanese cities usually. And then I was lost.
On my left side there was huge amusement park and on my right side huge parking lot. Neither of them was on my map. Because I’m good at getting lost this didn’t cause a lot of panic for me. Confidently I walked the road I thought would be right one and ended to the huge parking lot. I think it was that moment when I realized this must be Nara Dreamland the abandoned amusement park everyone is talking about.
Because I had no idea where I was and around me was just wild abandoned looking area I decided to sit down and eat the breakfast onigiris I had bought from the station. There I sat with my map looking totally lost when group of locals at my age appeared from the same road I had used. Because I wanted to find my way out of this frightening abandoned place I decided to approach them.
I didn’t get a lot of help. Apparently they weren’t as interested about shrines as I was. But we had a small conversation and they told me they were going to the abandoned huge amusement park next to us. They even asked if I wanted to come with them but I declined. I was left standing alone to the parking lot when they walked in from the huge hole in the main gate. They had probably done this several times before.
I really wanted to go with them but decided to just find the shrine and not do anything stupid. So I continued walking around until older man stopped me and asked if I need help. Another thing I had learned but forgotten while in Japan: don’t trust blindly the people helping you. That old man gave me advice and because of it I got even more lost and walked for three extra kilometers until I somehow found myself again from the same abandoned parking lot.
So there I was again standing on that parking lot staring the amusement park’s gate. Maybe I should go in? If you had been next to huge abandoned Disneyland looking amusement park and the gate open what would have you done? There was no way I would not go in. This was my adventure and even if I knew it was stupid I really wanted to go in.
Because I am coward I sat there once again eating and staring longingly towards the hole in the gate. Then I saw once again people coming towards the amusement park. I stood up to say hello (because I didn’t want to seem like suspicious person just staring at them). When they saw me they got totally spooked out. They hide behind one of the buildings close by and I was left there alone like an idiot.
For a moment they kept glaring me behind the building. (Maybe they tought I couldn’t see them?) And then they decided it was safe to come and say hi to me. We talked for a little and like I had guessed this American couple with design clothes and huge camera were headed to the amusement park next to us.
Once again I was asked to come and do something probably not so safe. (Abandoned places are full of death traps…) If you want to hear the rest of this story I will publish it next Friday. Then you will get to know if I really went in to the abandoned amusement park. (SPOILERS: Of course I did! I’m a little bit crazy like that.)
Have you ever been visited abandoned places? And what would you have done in situation like this?
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.