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 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: Lost in Finnish Forest

So, when you are short of time (because I may have got invited suddenly to summer job interview) and you live in Finland there is one subject you can always write without any problems. Our beautiful forests. Where ever you go in Finland you can find forests. It is our tourists magnet and beloved part of our lives.

I could not imagine my life without small trips to isolated quiet forests. I have done something like this before but I don’t think there can ever be enough photos of Finnish beauty. I hope you can enjoy these winter photos from Finnish forest.

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Have you ever visited Finnish forest? Or has your home country/city a lot of nature? Like always all comments are welcome. (And you would make me the happiest person on this planet if you followed my new Facebook page.Thanks!)

Best regards,

Viivi Severina

Travel rant: Keep your eyes open

Happy one year and 1 500 readers for my blog! This is kind of crazy but I have never been able to keep up any blog for more than year so I am quite proud of myself (even if we have had some problems with this one too…) 

To celebrate this day I have finally done that long waited Facebook page. I would be forever thankful if you went and followed me there. I promise not to spam anyone’s Facebook walls but you will get to know about my newest post, hear some extra stories and of course see travel photos that don’t fit here in my blog.

My New Not Cool Facebook

But now we can return to today’s real subject… Keeping your eyes open for the extraordinary. You seem to love my Travel Rants and to tell the truth I love writing these the most. My writing style has always been a little bit random and in travel rants I can just write whatever is in my mind without thinking about it. So, what would be better way to spend my blogs one year birthday than ranting about travelling?

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Keep your eyes open

If I had to present today’s post in one sentence I would do it by telling you one of my favorite travel quotes.

“Traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.”
– G.K. Chesterton

Going to new place and not opening your eyes is the worst thing you can do if you ask my opinion. If you don’t see adventures behind every corner or changes in every conversation you have with the locals, your eyes are still closed. It may sound corny but I believe there is magic in the small streets of cities and thousands of untold stories behind all the people you will meet.

Keeping your eyes opens means seeing the change and taking it even if the odds aren’t on your favor. It means seeing the places tourists wouldn’t notice. That cute small coffee behind your hotel, those plainly normal areas of the city or free museums you can only find by coincidence. You shouldn’t be scared to go in places seeming closed or ‘too complicated’ for foreigner. 

Always listen locals whatever you are being touristy or adventuring around the destination. They know things you can’t find from the pages of guide book or from google’s endless search results. And it is not only the destinations they can share with you but also stories that will make your trip even more special. Usually locals will find you and you just have to keep your ears, eyes and mind open for them.

One of the best guided tours I got in Kyoto was from the person standing next to me in fully packed normal bus. There is kind people around the world so sooner or later you will meet someone who teaches you what it means to see the destination from the local point of view. And in the end that is the meaning behind keeping you eyes open, seeing the world in different ways you never before even knew existed. Seeing the small things that will make huge difference in your holiday if you just dare to grab them.

So what are the hidden things you have found/seen while traveling? Like always all comments are welcome!
With love,

Viivi Severina

Photo Diary: Kokkola, Finland

I never found time to publish this photo diary from last summer. I have now lived half year in Kokkola but when I took these photos it was my first proper visit to this Finnish summer city (and I had no idea I would soon live in this small city). Here is short photo travel around normal small city from Finland. Enjoy!

 

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bridge_finland

summer_finland

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I didn’t have any texts to write today (why am I always too busy?) so I hope you enjoyed the photos! I love the last one because I took it when I was totally lost. Those photos usually have the best memories for me… Also the photos are quite dark because it was stormy day so sorry for the bad quality!

Like always all comments are welcomed. Have you ever visited Finland? Or do you maybe live here?
With love,

Viivi Severina