Welcome to yet another photo travel diary! This time we will visit Rome and I will share some photos from this trip I made with my mom a few weeks ago. This time I won’t add any text or explanations but just let the images tell you the story of our trip. Be prepared for too many photos of old buildings but also some sides of Rome you won’t see as often in travel diaries. Enjoy!
And there was some photos from my Rome trip. If you look at the closely, you can clearly see in what part of the trip my mum left back home and I was left behind alone to Rome. (I will give you tip: street art is my passion!) Have you ever visited Rome or do you maybe recognize any of the places seen in my photos? Like always all comments are more than welcome!
Hello there and welcome back to read about my London adventure! If you haven’t read the first part you can find it from here: Travel Diary: LondonAlso if you are wondering where the day 3 disappeared it will have its own post later on.
Why? Because otherwise this post would have been too long and I really want to dedicate whole post for Harry Potter studio tour and Madame Tussauds museum. But now let’s continue the story! (And btw thank to my sister who took that crazy bird photo… She is fearless!)
Day 4: Natural History and Shopping
I recommend living in hotels with breakfast because finding something to eat sound easier than it is in reality. Once again buying breakfast was causing us unbelievably huge problems. You would think it’s easy to find breakfast cafe from London but that’s total fantasy. We walked the whole few kilometers to the Natural History Museum without finding any cafe for us to eat.
First we went through the security check where they didn’t check us properly like too often in these situations. Apparently Finns or our lost selves don’t seem dangerous enough to need proper security checks. After that we continued our mission to find breakfast and managed to find the most unhealthy but tasty looking chocolate cake I have ever seen. Of course we bought pieces of it for us to have as breakfast.
I have few words about the free Natural History museum. Dinosaurs, mind games and huge whale. Yep, that sums up our morning. Besides us there was a lot of school classes. When we left the museum we even accidentally walked in one of the school groups and got some wondering looks from the teacher.
After surviving out of the museum (we didn’t go to every exhibition because it would have taken the whole day!) it was time to go shopping. We went to a few shops but in the end did most of our shopping in the Primark. Don’t judge me, I’m student and live on my own so shop full of cheap clothes is like a heaven.
I bought two more pairs of the jeans I had bought the last time. Even if those jeans made me looks like a smurf after I took them off. That feature is still part of them. I don’t know if I should be worried of them leaving ugly blue color to my skin? Well, at least the jeans only cost like 7€.
But yeah that was our fourth day. The evening went planning our last day, buying some bubble tea and starting the impossible packing. I had totally forgotten how much I loved bubble tea. I even bought matcha one because it’s one of the foods I can’t get from Finland and I think I can’t live without!
Day 5: Hard Rock Cafe and Touristy Things
We didn’t have a lot of plans for our fifth day but ended up doing a lot. Our first stop was breakfast at Hard Rock Cafe. We had been arguing (well not arguing but just being indecisive together) should we use the metro or walk through Hyde Park. We ended up doing the last one and it was good decision!
We saw more birds on our way and even crazier tourists trying to hug and befriend the birds. (You shouldn’t do this. Bad for the animals and unhealthy for you..)
When we finally found the Hard Rock Cafe it was closer us than we had tought. The staffs were kind and place amazing so definitely recommend for everyone to go when in London! It was meant to be our breakfast but we both ordered cauliflower burger. It was vegetarian dish where the hamburger steak was replaced by cauliflower. I would eat all my burgers like that if it was possible.
At this point it didn’t even matter that our breakfast was so fulfilling because we had eaten odd breakfasts everyday. Bento box, Fish & Chips and chocolate cake to name some of our crazy breakfast choices. But hey, we were on vacation so no reason to eat reasonably.
After the fulfilling meal we continued towards Buckingham palace and the royal shop we had promised to visit for our mom. Luck was on our side because once again the walk was shorter than we had expected. And on when we arrived to the palaces gates there was someone (probably important person) exiting the palace in horse carriage. So cool!
After the palace gates experience and realizing there was nothing to buy in the royal shop (just normal more expensive souvenirs) we decided to continue our walk. Next destination Big Ben! I know we already went there once but my sister had forgotten her polaroid camera so we had to return to take photo for her.
Once again good decision because this time we decided to be more touristy than on the first time and lined to take photos of us with Big Ben and red phone booth. It was so funny how people would pose with the booth and even more people line up to wait for their turn to take the photo. No way for anyone to really use those phones to call. Tourist takeover!
Surprisingly even after taking some photos and buying souvenirs from stall next to the Big Ben we had almost half of the day left. It was time to head to get some culture experiences and what would be better place for that than Tate Modern museum?
The museum was huge. I mean I had known there was many floors and exhibitions but it was bigger than I would have never imagined. In my opinion too much art to see in one day. I have always loved museum and modern art and this museum immediately rose to one of my favorite museum. And one important point to mention is that the museum was free to attend.
We even found one exhibition from Finnish artist. We were wondering out loud why would there be Finn’s works in this popular museum when behind us woman said in Finnish “Why not?” and disappeared as quickly as she had appeared. I never get used to other Finns leaving our beloved home country and making contact on odd places.
After the museum visit it was time to return back to our hotel. We packed our too full suitcases and tried to sleep early because the next morning it was time to leave.
Day 6: Time To Go Home
We woke up too early to make it to our plane. First we had to take metro to the train station and then find the right train. I thought we would have more problems but fortunately the trains station has prepared for tourist and there is huge signs to find the right track.
We arrived early to the airport but then suddenly we almost had to run to make it to our flight. The airport really is huge. And the plains to Finland leave from the farthes corner possible. No, I’m not even kidding. We had to walk trough the whole airport to get to our gate.
This time I sat next to my sister but it was causing some problems. We wanted to see the same movie so if one of us was ahead the other one got spoilers before hand. Can someone make the plane TV’s sync and show the movies at the same time? Let’s just go back to the time where everyone had to watch Brain Games from the shared tiny TV.
5 days in London is far from enough. This city is full of places to see and things to experience. However 5 days is just enough to fall in love again with the lively city. London, I will return one day and hopefully that day will be sooner than later!
Day 1: To Harrods without sleep
Our bus to the airport left 3am so I didn’t get any sleep before that. We flew with the new Finnair A350 airplane and the movie selection was too good (Now You See Me 2 is everything!!) for me to even try sleeping. My sleepless night plan however backfired right away in London… We got safely and without problems to our hotel where the staff informed us that our room would be ready in four hours. Too much time to kill for me who hadn’t slept and for my sister who just happened to be sick.
We left the hotel with a map and no plan. Our first mission was to find food and then while having mini picnic in the Hyde Park we tried to plan our afternoon. The decisions was hard because both of us just wanted to go and sleep in the hotel. In the end we decided to visit the luxurious Harrods.
Maybe not our best decision…
If you haven’t visited Harrods let me tell you it is amazing fancy shop where you would imagine rich people shopping. Fortunately there was a lot of tourists beside us so our “travel day straight from plane” styles almost fitted in the huge department store.
I have three tips for visiting Harrods:
Get lost. There is no way you can find all the sections, floors and places. There is so many rooms full of stuff that it just is impossible.
Visit the food/tea/sweets floor. So beautiful!
Get amazed by the toys they sell. It may sound funny to recommend Harrods’ kids’ floor but it is the dream of every human. Good looking girls and boys are showing how to use the different toys. There is anything kid can hope for.
So after a while my sister started to complain she was too tired (why is she always sick when we travel together?) so we returned to the hotel and surprisingly our room was ready almost hour in advance. It was time to rest for a while.
At the evening I left my sister to sleep and went for evening walk in Hyde Park. I would walk around there forever. The funniest thing in that park are the animals (and people taking photos with them). When you approach the birds with your camera huge gang of different birds immediately come for you to find food. Scary and cool at the same time!
My nature photographer side went crazy so here is some Hyde Park photos:
Day 2: Super Tourists Bus Touring
What would holiday be without hop-on-hop-off bus tour? Because my sister was still sick we decided to take our first day easy and go around the city on bus. It wasn’t as easy as we tought it would be… But maybe didn’t come as surprise for you because a lot of things go like that with me.
In the bus company’s website it said their office is in Baddington station. Well it wasn’t. We went to the station, saw place with the bus company’s logos and went in. Then I told I want to buy the tickets but the clerk informed me we were in the wrong place. The ticket counter was outside the station “next to the subway. The fast food subway.” With those directions we found the right place.
After that we bought the tickets, tried to find the bus stop and finally our touristy day was ready to began. First stop King’s Cross Station. Or the station known for its Harry Potter 9 3/4 platform. Our first mission was to find breakfast. Sounds easy but it’s not…
We went around the station trying to find something breakfasty (can your ever say it like that?). Somehow we ended up going to Japanese place and eating huge bento boxes. It was so good! I recommend. The restaurant name was Wasabi and they had restaurants all over London. Cheap and tasty.
Conveniently we were able to see the ‘Harry Potter take your own 9 3/4 platform photo here’ -place. It was our next thing to do. We waited for 20 minutes and the line hadn’t moved at all so we gave up. It was good decision because when we visited the Warner Bros. studios there was identical photography point.
So it was time to continue our bus tour. We saw many interesting buildings and drove around London. Next time we meant to drop of next to Tower of London but accidentally forgot so our next stop was London eye and Big Ben.
Nothing eventful happened here. Just us taking some photos and looking all touristy, someone playing Star Wars songs with bagpipes and a lot of polices and protesters next to the Big Ben. After getting our cool photos we took the bus and continued towards the amazing shopping paradise called Oxford street.
It was almost hour of sitting in the bus before we finally we on the right stop. At this point it has started to rain and we had to run towards the shops. The luck was on our side because we found Primark right away and were saved from the storm.
Primark was heaven. Cheap and cool clothes. I bought fake leather jacket, cozy sweater and jeans (that will cause me problems later on…) After exiting the shop with too many bags it was already dark and we were almost dead. It was time to take metro back to our hotel.
London diary pt. 2, review of Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour andadditional photo diary for all the London photos I couldn’t fit to those posts. I release new post every Friday so I will write and publish them some time soon. And to end this posts here is some London photos from my Instagram:
Walking unknown paths, not having map, getting scared of unfamiliar streets.
Some people would say I am crazy. And maybe that is why I keep most of my lost adventures secret from my loved ones. Traveling alone as twenty something girl looking all lost in country you have never visited before. Crazy? For me not.
It’s living. Having the feeling of something. Finding new places you would have never seen if you hadn’t taken the step towards scary and uncertain. Meeting people you would have never believed to know and finding unexpected friendships.
I used to live safely and never take the risks. My life was miserable and I didn’t know what was wrong with me. One quote changed my life. A couple of sentences that I chant in my head if I feel like going back to my safe but grim life.
“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” -Benjamin Mee, We Bought a Zoo
It took me twenty seconds to book my first three months solo trip to Japan.It took me twenty seconds to say yes when I was asked to come and visit people I didn’t even know properly to France. Twenty seconds insane courage to talk with stranger in train. (Later on because of her I got to see the local side of Tokyo.)
So when I go and don’t look my map. When I don’t know where I am or where should I go. I count the twenty seconds and follow the first idea coming to my mind. And then I go. Maybe I open the door of closest shop or take the small dirty looking back alley. I may be stupid doing it. I may even end up being scared for my life and safety. But never do I regret those twenty seconds.
I hope you will remember this later on in your life. Some decisions don’t need thorough thinking but bravery. Now ask yourself what you want to do with your life. 20 seconds what comes to your mind? For me it’s to travel and if you are reading my blog I bet for you it’s too. So another 20 seconds, don’t think too much and make your life your own.
. . .
I have been busy lately and got thrown to totally new environment without warning. So I thought this text was fitting one for me to publish now. It has been on my drafts folder for ages and I just haven’t found the right time for it to appear in my blog. No I needed reminder of that 20 seconds. It really helps.
This past week has been busy one for me. I have been traveling around Finland and even did cruise abroad. A lot of new places and experiences on short time so a lot of travel diaries to write for you.
Today I’m going to tell about weekend adventure I did with one of my best friends. The idea for this trip started a few weeks back but we only bought the tickets week before leaving. Our destination was Tallinn, Estonia, but first we decided to spend day in Finland’s capital city Helsinki.
Today’s diary is going to be shortly about that day in Helsinki. Enjoy!
Helsinki in Day
My mum drove us to the bus stop after nine in the Saturday morning and we had hour before our ride would leave. I had been bright like I’m every morning and decided not to take jacket with me. MISTAKE! We used the remaining hour to buy warm clothes from the super market close by.
The weather wasn’t on our side. It rained when we ran towards the bus and it rained the whole two hours ride to Helsinki. Rain became the norm of our trip. Whatever we decided to do the water was coming down from the sky. We didn’t let that dispirit us.
We had decided to start our day in Kiasma modern art museum. I have been there probably too many times and it’s one of my family’s yearly day trip destinations. My friend on the other hand had never visited this amazing museum.
I loved the exhibitions they had this time. Colorful and spectacular.
So after our daily dose of culture it was time to find something to eat. We of course decided pizza -eat as much as you can- buffet. No need for fancy meals because we were still in Finland.
Stomachs full we walked around in the rain. Saw some big attractions like Helsinki Cathedral. We even got lost in middle of running race in the bay area. The traffic was stopped and even trams weren’t moving. No idea what it was. All respect for the runners, I’m so lazy would never take part to event like that.
One of the amazing experiences we had happened in Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral. I have never seen Orthodox ceremony but ended going inside just in the middle of one. So interesting! It was more powerful and showy when compared to the Christian one I’m used to.
A little by little the black clouds were going away and the sun was starting to shine. What did we do? Went and bought ice creams! It’s Finn syndrome… Sun makes us crazy because we don’t see it enough.
We enjoyed the last sun beams and then walked towards the cruise terminal. Everything went fine in the boarding (odd because we had never done it by ourselves so I expected more problems!) we arrived to our cabin’s door safely and from there the “fun” began.
In the photo you can’t even see our cabin’s size. But basically it was made of toilet and living are. The toilet took over half of the cabin leaving just enough walking space for us. We had known it would be small but it’s size still surprised us… Fortunately it was going to be just one night so we survived.
After the shock and laughs for the situation we started to examine our “new home” more closely. That’s when I found information paper stating that we should leave our cabin before 6.45 at morning. Before seven!! Too early! Who the heck makes these cruise plans?
Because of the early wake up we then wanted to sleep early but next problem was waiting for us. The bottom bed was meant to come out from the sofa taking over half of the living area. We were pulling it with all our strengths but could not open it. We tried good five minutes and were going to give up and go to the reception for help. Then I magically pullet and pushed and can’t even remember how but it finally opened.
After all the hassle it was time to sleep. Reluctantly we put our clocks to wake us at six and tried to rest the remaining few hours in the wildly swinging boat.
Wait for my next travel diary to hear about the day we spend in Tallinn! Have you ever been in cheap cruise? I think starting from now I will only take day cruises to Tallinn…