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.

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.

photo-26-2-2017-14-31-25

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

 

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Photo Diary: Tallinn’s Christmas Market

Merry Christmas for everyone! I hope you are having amazing day spending this special time of year (and if you don’t celebrate Christmas have an amazing day whatever you are currently doing!)

To celebrate this beautiful day I have gathered photo compilation of my (and my sister’s) recent trip to Tallinn’s Christmas Market. The trip was present to my sister who hadn’t visited Tallinn properly before. We left home too early at one morning a few days ago and returned too late at the same evening. Day trips are fun but tiring so it wasn’t probably the best plan to do just before Christmas!

Leaving Helsinki to see Tallinn's Christmas Market

You may remember me telling earlier this year about my trip to Tallinn. This time our visit was shorter than that time even if I didn’t believe that would be possible. We spend only three hours in Tallinn and for that we had to travel the whole day. I think it was worth it but I don’t know if my sister (who got seasick) will agree with me.

In old town on our way to Tallinn's Christmas Market

I may have mentioned this a few times but my love for old colorful towns is endless. I could use months just walking around Tallinn and exploring all the small alleys and photographing every cure house I can find. This visit wasn’t exception to my previous one… I may have too many photos of random buildings!

Tallinn's old town and Christmas

There was a lot of people doing last moment Christmas shopping and running around hurriedly. I had meant to buy some presents too but ended up just buying shirt for myself. Well at least I bought something unlike my sister who didn’t got anything (this is unexpected because usually she is the shopper and I just get dragged along…)

Tallinn's Christmas Market

To tell the truth I was quite disappointed to the Tallinn’s Christmas market. It was beautiful, there was many happy looking people and all the bright lights charmed me. However it was smaller than I had excepted and after visiting a few Finnish Christmas markets this year I admit liking them more. Even if I didn’t like it that much I recommend one Christmas market visit per year for everyone! Just to get some Christmas spirit.

Tallinn's Christmas Market Train

I still have a lot of things to learn about photographing in darkness. But I’m happy enough with this photo so that means I’m getting better! My photo editing skills are also upgrading and that may have something to do with my sister showing me new editing apps. (She is the creative artist photographer of us). We had a few hours of nothing to do on our way to and back from Tallinn so she taught me many new things (like how to remove unwanted objects from photos.)

Tallinn's Christmas Market

Even if I didn’t buy anything from the Tallinn’s Christmas market walking around it was cozy. A lot of cute stuff and presents everywhere! I only have this photo from the market because I’m still too embarrassed to photograph things like this. Especially when the vendors are looking you angrily when you only take photos and don’t buy anything.

Tallinn's Old Town Quote

“Save The Camera Honey. Enjoy The View.”

 

How is your Christmas celebrations going? I hope everyone is doing well and having fun with their loved ones!
With love,

Viivi Severina

Travel Diary: Day In Stockholm Cruise

Hello everyone! Today you can read about my current family trip to Sweden. I have done this particular cruise for millions of times so for me writing about it sounds quite boring. However I know there is many people out there never heart about day in Stockholm cruises.

Basically the idea of this cruise is to spend one night in the ship, be seven hours in Stockholm and then spend second night on the cruise on your way back. Very popular thing in Finland and always as fun to go. I hope you enjoy my travel stories!

For those not having the patience to read check out my photo diary from this trip.

Day 1: Family Gambling Time!

The plan was leave at one pm so of course I hadn’t packed my things the night before. Bad idea? Probably. At least when I realized afterwards that I had taken three bras (for two nights trip) but no jacket or hoodie to go with my t-shirts. Don’t be like me and always pack your bags with time.

Ready to go and travel
Ready to go!

So after some panicking around the home my mom, little brother and sister were ready to leave. Don’t however think that getting to the cruise would be that easy! First my grandpa drove us 20 minutes to the train station from where we took the two hours journey to Helsinki. From Helsinki railway station we got tram to the harbor. Over four hours from home to the ship but totally worth it.

The funny thing in these cruises is the amount of Asian people growing every year. I mean when I was younger there was only Swedes and Finns but nowadays almost half of the people are Asian. But good for them if they have discovered the beauty of Baltic Sea. Until now it has been our well kept secret.

breezer on cruise
Drink that I did’t drink

To return back to my long story after boarding the ship it was time to find our cabins. My mom went to luxury when she bought our trip and we slept in two different cabins. Let me say no one would have survived if we had been in four person room. I love my family but spending two nights with them in small room would have made me crazy…

So if you are now wondering what the heck would we do on the cruise here is some of the activities…

  • Drinking. Embarrassing to admit but a whole lot of Finns go to the cruises (and lets not even mention the ones never leaving the ship in Sweden because of hangover…) I don’t drink but my mom like any great parent did buy me a breezer that my sister ended up drinking.

Sweets and food on cruise

  • Eating. We didn’t drink a lot but ate behalf of that. There is lunch and breakfast buffets in the ship. At the first day we went to the lunch buffet and I was ready to die for the full stomach afterwards. Sushi, ice cream, cakes, fries and just so much food I don’t even remember them all.
  • Gambling. The main activity we had on our first night was playing games to win money. Yep, gambling with family. The first night didn’t look that good in the playing for me and I went 5 euros to the minus (thanks mom for the money). However the idea isn’t get rich but rather have fun.
  • Tax free shopping. Perfumes, make-up, candies and alcohol.

Our mission at first evening was to buy Oreo Milka chocolate. Lats time we were on cruise it was my mom’s bright idea to buy it at the second night. That time the chocolate was all gone and we didn’t get it. This is something you can’t buy from Finland and its taste is from heaven.

 

 

Day 2: Museums, shopping and dead legs…

Between Finland and Sweden we have one hour time difference. So when my sisters clock wake us up and we started to wonder why my alarm didn’t went off we soon realized that we had woken up hour too early. Well I always receive the extra sleep with joy.

breakfast cruise silja line

Like I mentioned about the first day one of the most important part of cruise is eating. Breakfast isn’t exception. The tables are full of food for you to take and sometimes even too much options. (PS. Pancakes look good but after seeing the small children taking them by hand I decided to stay in the adult section.)

sweden sky and sea

So we ate and then was the time everyone has waited… We arrived to Stockholm and our seven hours long adventure began. That is quite short time to experience city so we had one destination in our minds. Mordena Museet. (For those who don’t understand Swedish or can’t reason the meaning: Modern art museum.) It was short bus trip and walking away from the bay so definitely recommend for everyone.

museum cool art

In the museum we first went to see Yayoi Kusama exhibition. Totally loved it. Colorful, photogenic and full of feminist/equality references. Those huge red balloons were just a start. After that came infinity rooms, bright colors and unusual pieces of art. Infinity rooms were my favorites (mirrors on walls, ceiling and floor. Makes it look like the room continues to the infinity.)

infinity room yayoi kusama
Look infinity room!

Funny story about problems taking the yellow photo and my shy personality. So we walked with my brother and sister to this small yellow room full of huge dots. In the middle of room there was a big box with small peeking hole in it. My sister looked in. My brother looked in. They were amazed. As good big sister I waited until they were ready, walked towards the hole and then group of small people were all around the box.

I lose my turn to group of kindergartens laughing and looking trough the hole. Great. I just left the room quietly while the kindergarten teacher ignored me and tried to make the kids calm down. Later I came back  to see what was inside the box and took that photo in awe.

urban outfitters sweden

After leaving the museum and walking towards the shopping areas we get a lot of complaining from my brother. Despite that we continued following my sister who is the fashionista of us. She had decided the shops we visited including Victoria’s Secret and Urban Outfitters. by first look Urban Outfitters looked like over priced teen shop but I fell in love. Guess what I bought! Lonely Planet’s Ultimately Travel List book.  It has 500 destinations long bucketlist of the most amazing travel destinations in world.

Silja Line terminal

After the shopping it was time to return to the ship. At this point my feet were hurting so much I was barely able to walk. I am still a little bit sick so walking so much wasn’t good idea. Fortunately my family (or at least my mom) was patient and walked slowly with me.

So we were back to our ship, half dead and half anticipating the coming evening. How did we start our return trip? Of course eating! If on the first night we had amazing buffet dinner now we had even more spectacular a la carte dinner in this Italian restaurant on board.

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The tasty food (but not very Italian?)

I don’t know what they use in that sauce but it was heaven. Usually the not so generous dishes get critic from me but this time it was blessing. I had enough space for the dessert. White chocolate cheese cake with berries. Once again HEAVEN.

So the eating went well and after some shopping the gaming machines called for us. If last night I lost today we had good forces on our side. I left the cruise with 28 euros richer.

One boy looked with jealously when I played with my sister. We had decided that from this game we would share the money with family. The boy told us he had lost 30 euros after we won 20. It was only 5 euros for everyone but even small money is money.

Now I am going to add one more thing to the list of things to do in cruise:

  • Enjoy the show. There is stage and dance floor next to the gambling are. Changing performances from Moomins disco to dance performances and drag shows are  presented here. Check out before your cruise who will perform when it’s your trips time.

band silja line cruise

The last thing we did this night was see the dance performance. To get places to sit we had to go there early. That meant looking intoxicated Finns jamming on dance floor and Asian tourists laughing for them. There was band playing and they were semi good.

Changing people danced to the music. No club dancing but rather tango etc. because whatever the music is people from Finland can do that. The show ended to the singer announcing we had birthday girl in the crowd and we should all sing for her. The older lady looked pissed of for her husband arranging this.

Once again the Japanese guys in front of us had fun laughing for the scene and shyly singing Finns. After that started the real dance show. Eurovision themed powerful and fun performance started of course with Lordi. If you don’t know what Lordi is, they are the only band that has made Finland to win Eurovision song contest.

sunset on the sea from Silja Line

After that it was time to do some backing and end our last night on the cruise.

 

 

Day 3: The last morning and crying sky

Another great breakfast and trip towards home. Once again I tried to walk towards the pancakes but then one pair of messy hands was trying to find the best pancake and I decided to just drink tea. Why I always end up drinking too many cups of tea when I travel?

siljalineship

Leaving the ship is always crazy. Two nights is enough time to put all your things around the cabin, lost pair of socks to small room and panic around the ship to get out. After that fiasco and trying to not crash with the other people running away from the ship we survived to the train station.

Train vr finland

Everything was still seeming sunny at this point but it quickly changed the closer we got our home town. Fortunately we didn’t get wet (a lot) but the weather has totally changed when compared to the perfect two days we had. Even the sky cried for our holiday’s end. (Or maybe not?)

 

Travel Diary: One Day Silja Line Cruise to Stockholm, Sweden
If you liked my post, feel free to share/pin this image!

 

So this was my travel diary. I hope you enjoyed it. And for those who have read my blog with sharp eyes and are interested if I did get in the university… No, I didn’t. Or I still have change if someone decides to not take their studying place. This means I will probably leave to explore the world at any moment (don’t tell my mom. She doesn’t know yet.)

Safe travel for everyone! With love,

Neidotta

Photo Diary: Day In Stockholm

Hello there and welcome to my blog! Like some of you may know I went to Sweden at the beginning of this week. I am going to publish travel diary about my trip but because I just happen to be lazy enjoy first these photos I took. (The real travel diary should be out some day next week. Sorry…)

So just to tell you more information before we start I went to day in Stockholm cruise with my family. Taking this cruise is quite normal in Finland and I have done it several times but every time it is as fun.

The cruise is three days long. First you spend evening and night in sea. The second day is spend in Stockholm and after that you return to the ship and spend another night there. I hope you enjoy the photos I took.

 

 

sunset on cruise
I have been on this same Silja Line ship so many times there isn’t a much to explore. However the scenery never disappoints.

 

siljalineship
Ship is ready. Welcome aboard!

 

Silja line ship
I’m totally in love with the Silja Line ships’ promenade street. Say whatever you want about our ship being small but I feel like in home here.

 

band silja line cruise
Listening band is always fun experience! Specially when some drunk Finns are dancing in front of you. The Asian guys next to us had fun time laughing to our fellow Finns.

 

sea cruise ship sweden
No complaining in our breakfast scenery. I would spend every morning like this.

 

sweden sky and sea
Finally in Sweden! It is so close to my home country but still so different. The building right is the Royal Palace. (Fun fact in Sweden it is called castle not palace even if there is nothing castle like in it.)

 

yayoi kusama moderna museet
Our main attraction in this trip was Moderna Museet and Yayoi Kusama exhibition. Here you see the self portrait of the artist.

 

infinity room yayoi kusama
Anyone else loving infinity rooms? Yayoi Kusama’s exhibition had several of them. I am in love.

 

Yayoi Kusama art colorful
Even my brother kind of liked it and stated that Sweden has better museums than Finland.

 

infinity room moderna museet
Another infinity room. This time with water and color changing balloons. This museum is definitely made for taking selfies.

 

victoria's secret stockholm
I’m not fashionista so for me find something from this girly shop was miracle. I am happy new owner of flowery toiletry bag.

 

colorful idyllic street in stockholm
Walking around all the alleys is something I want to do one day. Now it wasn’t possible because I was with my family. No getting lost with them…

 

Silja Line terminal
There’s our ship and Silja Line logo. Time to return home.

 

sweden island from cruise
Our last goodbyes to Sweden. I hope I will return soon. (PS. why are the islands here so idyllic and beautiful?)

 

sunset on the sea from Silja Line
If I would make one wish, it would be to see the sunset every day in new place…

 

 

Happy travels for everyone!

Viivi Severina