5 Easter Travel Destinations in Europe

April and Easter are here! This may be one of my favorite times of the year. Its spring, you can find tasty chocolate eggs from every shop and who wouldn’t love Easter? This holiday is celebrated differently around the year so today I decided to share 5 funny Easter travel destinations with you. Enjoy!

 

5. London, UK

Big ben and Telephone box London

What would be Easter without egg hunt? One of the biggest and most popular egg hunts happens every year in London. Download app and run around the city trying to find eggs with The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt. In addition to egg hunting London has also other activities that do it one of the best Easter travel destinations. There is fireworks, performances around the city and a lot of events for families.

 

4. Small villages of Malta

cross
Photo from: unsplash

Malta has its own traditional ways of spending Easter that is why it is one of the most interesting Easter travel destinations in Europe. Good Friday is the start of everything when villagers dress-up as biblical characters and praise God. Religious statues, that have been carried out of churches, are important part of this ritual and mood is quite sorrow.

On Sunday locals celebrate risen Christ with festival like events. There is singing, dancing and partying. In the end they carry statues back to churches. However, don’t worry! Even if Easter in Malta seems very religious they also have delicious chocolate eggs for children (and for older chocolate lovers). Even if you are not religious person Malta is definitely THE Easter travel destination everyone should try once in their lives.

 

3. Any city in Finland

Travel Year 2016 Helsinki

Of course I should mention my lovely home country… In Finland Easter Sunday is like Halloween. May sound funny but that’s the truth. In fact we don’t have that many ‘trick-or-treaters’ on Halloween but on Easter we have even more people doing something similar.

Finnish kids dress-up as different characters (traditionally as witches but nowadays I see more of superheroes and other famous characters) and they decorate branches with colorful feathers and ribbons. Then on Easter Sunday they go from door to door and change their branches to chocolates, Easter eggs and money. This changing process goes usually kids waving their branches while saying:

“Virvon varvon tuoreeks terveeks tulevaks vuodeks. Vitsa sulle palkka mulle.”

After that they get candy. So, if you visit Finland during Easter time you may see (almost) real witches going around the streets. Also don’t forget to taste our traditional Easter dessert Mämmi (yeah, yeah, I know it looks like poop but some of us Finns really like it!)

 

2. Colmar, France

easter
Photo from: unsplash

Colmar is known as one of the best Easter destinations in Europe because it has two huge Easter markets. Citizens also celebrate spring at Easter time so there is colorful decorations and happy people everywhere. Usually Easter in Comar starts with families’ own egg hunts at home but after that everyone gets together around the town to different Easter events. There is everything from traditional exhibitions to ‘Eierpicke’ egg fight and from egg race to colorful markets.

 

1. Vatican and Rome, Italy

candles
Photo from: unsplash

First place in my Easter travel destinations list goes to Vatican and Rome because of pope. There is several events around these cities during Easter that are lead by pope. And who wouldn’t like to pope at least once in their life time? Most of these events are free but also crowded. Maybe the most popular event is however pope’s mass on Palm Sunday in Saint Peter’s Square, Vatican. If you decide to do Easter traveling to Rome that is must thing to do.

Another important and impressive event is on Good Friday. Huge Via Crucis cross burns against the dark sky. Pope is also present in this event giving his blessing but so are big crowds of tourists and believers. Easter celebration end at Monday to beautiful fireworks and partying.

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Happy early Easter for all you travelers reading this! What kind of traditions does your country have for Easter? Or what are your favorite Easter travel destinations? Like always all comments are welcome and I would like to know what you think.

Also this is my first time writing about places where I have never been before. What do you think? Do you want more posts like this that I have written solely doing research? Well, I had fun writing this so whatever you think I will probably do more of these (subject recommendations are always welcome too…)

With love,

Viivi Severina

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Photo Diary: First Year Blogging

Hello everyone!
I want to start this post with announcement: my posting day has officially changed to Saturday. Yes, I know this was long waited thing because I literally publish my posts always day late… I have other cool things coming soon but I will talk about them more next Saturday so wait for that.

When I plan new posts from scratch I usually first look trough my photo albums to remember what I haven’t yet shared with you. This morning wasn’t exception. I have quite many photo diaries I have yet to show you but then I realized there is many photos I can’t add to any new photo diary but I think are worth of sharing. And this is how this “My Travel Year 2016” photo compilation was born. I hope you will enjoy these random photos that sum up my travel year 2016!

travel blogger: Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour

I got often asked to publish more photos of me, the blogger behind everything written on this site. So, here you go… Me (that lost white hoodie person) getting amazed by Diagon Alley in London on Warner Bros. Studio Tour. Have I ever mentioned how much I love Harry Potter?

Cute Bichon Frise Hiding

Here is my dog doing what she always does: sleeping in place where I’m definitely going to crush her… I have camouflage dog!

Big ben and Telephone box London

I still haven’t published a few London post I meant to. I’m still working on Madame Tussauds photo diary and Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour review. Hopefully you get to read them some time soon but no promises.

Finland summer, lake, forest, blue sky

Here is the necessary Finnish summer photo. This year my summer holiday was full of odd travels around my beloved home country. This photo is from Lapland when I travelled there to university entrance exams (plot twist: I didn’t get in that school so I am not living in Lapland right now).

Science Centre Pilke, Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland

This is another photo from my trip to Lapland: Science Centre Pilke in Rovaniemi. I have this museum card that gives me free entrance to many Finnish museums. Pilke was one of those museums so I decided to visit it. There was literally no one else than me and two employees. I liked the museum but it was more for kids than for people of my age… Well, at least that explains why the two workers were looking me so oddly when I bought ticket from them.

Finland summer Finnish ducks

Ducks! This photo is taken from my family’s summer cottage. I spend too much time trying to take perfect photos of these birds while they just chilled on our yard.

sick dog

This photo was taken by my mum when our dog had to go to surgery earlier this year. No worries, she is okay now. But look how poor little puppy she looks like! Even if she is already older lady.

scouts

More memories from my odd summer holiday… Camping in forest with “a few” other people is something I will never say no to!

infinity room yayoi kusama

2016 was year of cool museums for me. I went to see many different modern art exhibitions around Europe: London, Finland and Sweden. I still don’t get how some people hate museums… Look at he photo above, who wouldn’t think that art is kind of cool?!

me

I know that first photo of me wasn’t “real” photo so here is me standing like tourist I am next to Big Ben. I don’t understand why there is never good photos of me travelling… Maybe I’m too busy of experiencing everything to really pose for photos!

sunrise beach  red sneakers sea

I’m happy I had time to go and enjoy sunrise and sunset couple of times this year. Even if that time I took this photo I realized the sun was rising from the wrong way so I could see it properly. But at least I was able to enjoy the beach and sea.

Be happy and travel the world

You may know that I started in new school this year. One thing that I have found kind of funny (but cool) are these inspiring quotes around the school’s toilet. But you know even if I find them funny it doesn’t mean they are not giving out good message. So today I want to give you one life advice (I learned in my school’s toilet…)

“Be so happy that when others look at you they become happy too!”

I hope you are having amazing start for this new year!
With love,

Viivi Severina

Photo Diary: My New Home

Hello everyone!

How are you? I hope you have had amazing adventures lately because I have only been exploring this new city I’m now living in. And I’m sorry if nothing in this post makes sense because I have currently fever and flu.

Today I’m going to share few photos from my new home town. So like usually there is photos and captions for them. In addition to those I will be talking about something else between the photos. (My blogs future… Almost serious stuff…) Now let’s begin!

 

trainstation
I want to start with this train station photo. It starts to be too familiar building for me because when I want to go see my family and friends I need to take three hours long train journey. Tiring but fortunately I have traveller’s mind and can handle long transportation times.

I have been super busy lately and not only because of my new life as full time student. If you know the site Fiverr I just recently started to earn some extra money there. (Takes unexpectedly a lot of time!)  Like you may have realized there hasn’t been many post to this blog and I have been quite stressed to come up with some easy to write ideas.

Before I promised to publish new bucket list destination every Wanderlust Wednesday but now I have to eat my words and just promise to publish something interesting every Wanderlust Friday. (That doesn’t rhyme like with Wednesday… Maybe Fearless Travel Friday?)

hostelroom
Unfortunately this majestic place isn’t my home. But it is from hostel room I lived in my first week here in Kokkola. I recommend Villa Carleborg for everyone. 

So now you can expect new post every Friday. Next week I am going to finally publish that long waited Tallinn travel diary that has been waiting in my drafts folder for too long. I’m also planning a lot of weekend trips in the future so wait patiently for those travel diaries.

busstop
This photo is my closest bus stop. Oddly I haven’t seen any buses here in my first moth. Is there even any of them?

Another thing I wanted to talk about today is my YouTube channel. No, I don’t have one yet but if you have been following me long enough you may know that at one point I promised to start making videos when I get 1 000 readers.

Honestly I though it would take at least year to get so many readers but somehow it has only taken a few months. Thank you everyone who likes to read my blog! And especially the people commenting! It always makes my day when someone drops comment for my text.

kokkola2
This is Kokkola’s public living room or something like that. It’s full of art and you can leave your own piece there or just sit down and enjoy what others have done. 

Yeah, but now back to the YouTube subject. Is there any videos you would like to see? I have many ideas myself but I would love to get tips what you would like to watch me doing. Also I will probably make two channels.

One channel for travel videos I can then share here with my blog posts. And another one for random videos about literally anything. I will inform you more here in my blog when I get to the point where I have enough time to really make the channels. (Maybe next weekend?)

church
Local church in sunset.

 

I think this was everything I had to say today. Thanks for reading and I hope you liked the photos!

And by the way you can also follow me in Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. I try to be active there but I’m a lot better blogger than I am with social media.

streetart
And today’s photo diary is going to end in this photo of local street art. I totally love it and will take better photos of it for you later on. See you again next Friday!

 

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.

IMG_8292
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

Surviving Finland: Music

One of the Finnish stereotypes is heavy music. I mean it is kind of true. We have heavy metal bands more towards person than anywhere in the world. We won Eurovision with hard music and Lordi. It’s normal to see people in band shirts and men with long hair.

Even if the stereotype is kind of true Finnish music is a lot more. Not everyone likes metal, rock or even music at all. Currently rap has taken over Finland and a sad music is always fitting to listen in our dark country. We have many kind of music here and today I am going to introduce some genres for you with sample songs!

 

Let’s sing melancholichally and cry together girls

This used to be one of Finland’s biggest music genres but rap has taken over. Don’t get me wrong we still have many beautiful sad songs singed by desperate women but now we have at least as many rapping strong females.

The example is older song from well-known Finnish artist Jenni Vartiainen. The song literally tells about her ex putting their sex tapes to the internet. Sometimes Finnish hit songs have quite special lyrics but it doesn’t mean it can’t be a sad and melancholic. Vartiainen is perfect example for this music genre.

 

The strong independent girls

Don’t let the tender female voices lead you on because in Finland we have some power ladies. And I say some I mean a whole lot of amazing powerful singers/rappers. The video I recommend you to watch is from Sini Sabotage and presents perfectly the powerful women of Finland.

Just as extra mention this is the song I listen when feeling home sick. When I am trying to sleep on the other side of the world this definitely makes me feel better. This is from far the songs you would except from Finland put this was a huge when it was released. Rhythmic and strong.

 

Rapping about money, girls and odd hairstyles (???)

Rap has always been on Finland but recently rap artists are grown one of our biggest celebrities. When I was young one of the popular artists was rapper Pikku G (nowadays disappeared, probably somewhere not so luxurious…) and teen were totally in love with him. There is list of current rappers: JVG, Nikke Ankara, Prinssi Jusuf and Elastinen.

The one I am going to put as example is Cheek. He is the most popular rapper (and maybe person) in Finland. Our first artist to have Olympia stadium concert and loved by everyone. This video (even if Cheek’s) has other important and famous Finnish artists.

 

The old Idols stars

Our music scene is quite small so same artistes come and go. We had idols contests in years 2003-2013 and many singers have gotten known by it. The music video is from Antti Tuisku, who came to third in our first ever Idols, was forgotten for a long time. Last year he made huge comeback with different style and has charmed out whole gray land with the happy go go songs.

 

The “I don’t even know what our children listen” genre

This first band above is called Hevisaurus (means something like heavy metal dinosaur) and has been quite popular for sometime. Yes our children listen heavy too. Do you have problems with it?

The second children’s song is from Titinalle. This bear has been known for forever. I can sing sll the older songs (I know because I just singed along while trying to find the video to show you). The video looks old because it is old (like it was once VHS old…) This used to be my favorite song so don’t even think of dissing it! (Who can guess about what this song is?)

The third children’s artists I want to mention are called Ella and Aleksi (in Finnish Ella ja Aleksi). This duo has song called Kakkaa Lumella (meaning poo on the snow) and the song tells just about the thing its name is about…Ella and Aleksi is older music and is something I listened when I was child.

 

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Surviving finland heavy metal music

There would be a lot more music genres to explain and introduce but I’m fearing all these videos will slow my blog down. Tell me if you want to get more Finnish music recommendations! If someone wants I will come up way of linking the videos without slowing my blog. (Google please help me…)

I hope you learned something new today about Finnish music and maybe even enjoyed some of the songs (???). I’m sorry you can’t understand the lyrics but to tell you the truth many of our songs have the most absurd lyrics.

For those who have followed me after my last Surviving Finland post. Firstly thank you for reading my blog! I would have never guessed so many people decide to read what I have to say and where I am traveling. Secondly this post is part of my series telling about my home country Finland. Don’t take anything too seriously!

More Surviving Finland posts you can find from HERE.

With pride for her home,

Viivi Severina