Travel Story: Very Naked Swimming Team

My three weeks of traveling around eastern Europe are unfortunately over and I’m ready to share the first story from my trip. This story is about odd roommates I had during the last night I spend in Bratislava: men’s swimming team with a habit of walking around without anything else except their tight underwear! Yes, you did read that sentence correctly. During those 24 hours, I probably saw more naked bodies than my brain could handle. I just love travel!

So, here is a funny travel story of how I survived 24 hours in a small room with 8 half naked swimmers. Enjoy!

Travel blog: Bratislava as solo female

It all started when I returned earlier than usually from getting lost around the town of Bratislava. I had been on a free walking tour and my legs were literally killing me so all I wanted was a nice evening drinking tea and watching Netflix in my hostel bed. This lazy travel evening just didn’t go as planned. I walked to my floor and there was odd smell like I had just arrived in a swimming hall but I just thought that someone was cleaning. Wasn’t the oddest smell I have encountered on my travels… Nothing can be wrong in the afternoon in a hostel, right?

Then I opened my hostel dorm’s door and expected to see the empty room like every other day. My mouth was probably hanging open because there in front of me was about eight dudes jumping around only in their underwear. Okay, maybe I am lying. Only two of them were in their underwear while the rest of the boys had jeans on but no shirts. For a few seconds, I just stood there but was woken up from my trance quickly after they greeted me happily in unison. Yep, in unison…

It took me about five seconds to grab my computer and run out of the room. Even my brave traveler personality wasn’t expecting something like this to happen. My relaxed movie night was totally destroyed because there was no way I was going back to the hostel room while they were there hanging out nakedly. Those boys were literally sitting in front of my bed so, me trying to watch a movie there would have been more than awkward. And even if I’m true adventurer I tend to do anything to escape awkward travel situations.

Like it hadn’t been clear from our first encounter I quickly realized that these boys truly didn’t have any restrictions. They were walking to the hostel showers and back using only small towels. They also showered together in the small shower stalls. There was a lot of screaming and laughing coming from the shower rooms. I don’t even wanna know what happened there and if I believe the faces of my fellow hostel guests neither did they.

Travel Blog: Dog graffiti in Bratislava

This is also the point where I decided that they must be swimming team or in fact, my friend suggested so. They didn’t have a problem being almost naked, they looked exactly like swimmers, there was that odd swimming hall smell from earlier and let’s not even talk about the showering thing. Definitely men’s swimming team! What they did in the backpackers’ hostel I have no idea…

However, I wasn’t the only person sharing the dorm room with them even if I was the one who “got most of them”. Meaning that all the beds next to and above of mine were taken by them. There was also one Australian girl sharing the hostel room with us. When she returned back from the city about half an hour after me I wasn’t ready to warn this innocent traveler. She had opened the door to our hell (or heaven?).

The girl just stood there, like I had, staring inside not knowing what to do. After finally going inside she came out of the room even faster than I had. With the scandalized look, she sat next to me and neither of us knew what to say. Two female travelers too afraid to use their own room because of some half-naked dudes. After we ended up laughing too much for the situation we were stuck in (aka the best travel story ever to blog about!) she left back to see the city while I continued eating. We were totally in trouble with our new hostel roommates.

I had time to watch one full movie on Netflix before the swimming team left our room fully dressed looking like they were going to bar. For a few hours, I was able to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. Then the hell broke again.

Travel Blog: Hostel room in Bratislava

The boys were back. And so was the chaos. Let’s just say that I saw a lot of butts. For some reason, a few of them went back to the showers and the rest of them jumped around my bed. In the end, I decided to escape the awkward moments by playing dead. It may sound stupid but playing dead is the best way to escape any situation for those who live a lot in hostels or travel around the world. Just face the wall and close your eyes. Maybe even put headphones on. Everyone thinks you are sleeping and you don’t have to be part of any social encounters. Maybe I’m just too awkward traveler?

My morning didn’t differ a lot from the night before. Swimmers woke up before sunrise, some of them earlier than others because they wanted to shower, surprise, surprise… Usually, I am the hostel roommate who isn’t disturbed by anything but a bunch of naked guys screaming at each other at six am almost made me snap. They were slapping each others’ butts with towels and wrestling only a few centimeters from my bed. Heaven or hell for a female solo traveler? I will let you decide…

For a moment I considered asking them to let me sleep but it would have been too embarrassing. So, I turned to face the wall and put my lifesaving headphones on. I woke up again just before the check-out time but the swimming team had already disappeared like they were just one big messy dream in my tired traveler’s brain. If I didn’t have my panicky messages for my friends as a prove, I would probably think that it was all just my imagination.

Travel Blog: girl travelers in Bratislava

Why do I always get the odd ones to room with? Maybe I should write another post full of small stories about my hostel roommates? Would anyone be interested in reading that? I haven’t even told you about the time I shared a room with men having a bachelor party or when one nice man taught me how to learn Japanese Hiraganas in Germany. There’s just too many travel stories to share!

Like always all comments are more than welcome and thanks to everyone who has waited patiently even if I have been depressingly inactive lately. I won’t promise anything but hopefully, my blogging motivation has returned.

With love,

Lost Viivi

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Photo Diary: First Time In Bremen

Hello all fellow travelers (and random friends and family)! I am again back with Photo Diary series because I am just too lazy to start writing that real travel diary of my trip. No worries, I will get there eventually. Because I don’t have anything else ready, here is collection of photos from my recent trip to Bremen with random thoughts. And yes, this Bremen diary is named my first time there because I will definitely return to this pretty city.

Travel Blog: Bremen

Bremen was interesting destination for me because maybe for the first time in my life I had decided to travel to destination that didn’t seem very interesting for me after doing some research on the internet. Bremen seemed colorless city with a few pricey attractions. Oh how wrong was I… It took me only one walk through the city from city center to my hostel to realize that in fact Bremen is one of the most colorful cities I have seen in my life.

Travel Blog: Bremen

I was lucky because during my stay in Bremen it was sunny and hot. Good change after Finland’s long and unusually cold spring. I literally left Finland after it had been snowing and wasn’t ready for this heatwave. But I can’t complain. It was green and fresh everywhere. Colorful flowers and a lot of birds. The park and its idyllic river circling around Bremen become quickly my favorite thing in this modern city. Perfect place to relax after long touristy day around Bremen.

Travel Blog: Bremen

One thing I love about traveling is meeting amazing new people. Bremen didn’t disappoint me here. I got new friends in hostel. Someone even accidentally made me breakfast even if I hadn’t paid for it. So, I basically ate secretly under the table while talking with them. A little bit of action for my holiday and well free breakfast.

Travel Diary: Bremen

This cafe was like straight from my dreams. Pastel colors, pretty cupcakes and clerk that didn’t fit in at all. He was dressed in black and seemed too rock for the girlish dream cafe. What would be more perfect combination? So, if you happen to be visiting Bremen i recommend Coockies Cupcakes.

Travel Blog: Bremen

This photo is again from the park I mentioned earlier. It gave me a little bit of the Netherlands vibe even if i have never visited that country. Interesting things was that for some reason I didn’t see this windmill in any Bremen guide I read before leaving for my trip. Why is that?

Travel Blog: Bremen

And then I want to speak about the amazing cool area I fell in love with that later one revealed to be the famous area for drugs and prostitution. Well, at day time it was cool to visit (??). East side of the older city centre and artistic Schnoor is situated this area full of small alleys, unknown galleries and colorful street art. Basically everything I love.

Travel Blog: Bremen

Like you can see from the photo above this area was almost empty at day time. I was wondering why I didn’t see any tourists like in everywhere else but all travel destinations have these ‘secret’ places where you never meet other travelers. Then on my last evening/night in Bremen we went to eat with group from my hostel. We returned quite late trough this area and one of us told that this area was famous from its nightlife. And more specifically nightlife full of drugs and prostitution. So, not place to for nice evening walk alone but definitely place to check out during day.

Travel Blog: Bremen

In contrast to that area full of graffiti Bremen has its well-known old town. Fountains, statues and shops full of souvenirs of Bremen Town Musicians.

Travel Blog: Bremen

This photo is from the huge market from old town. It may not be very clear but in the right bottom corner you can see man doing huge bubbles. He was there every day with his dogs and bowl of soap. Cool job, am I right?

Travel Blog: Bremen

Germany and Finland have one thing in common and it is beer. Unfortunately I have never liked alcoholic drinks so I couldn’t test any of these terrace restaurants serving huge selection of different beers.

Travel Blog: Bremen

This photo is from Schnoor. One of the interesting areas in Bremen. Small alleys, galleries, cafes and shops full of handicrafts. Surprisingly I didn’t like it that much. It was highly recommended everywhere on internet but it just didn’t have charming enough feeling for me. A little bit boring place.

Travel Blog: Bremen

Somehow my travels are always full of odd meetings with too friendly birds. Even in Bremen I got almost attacked by badass ducks who were just too interested about my snacks.

Travel Blog: Bremen

And this was my Bremen photo diary. I think my photo editing skills are radically decreasing but at least I am trying. So, have you ever visited Bremen? Or some other place in Germany? Like always all comments are more than welcome.

Oh right, I would also remind you to follow my FACEBOOK page to get notification of my new posts and some extra photos and stories! I would be forever thankful. Or if you want to see more photos follow my depressingly inactive INSTAGRAM.

With love,

Lost Viivi 

Bucket list: Golden Pavilion

Today I’m going to introduce yet another Wanderlust Wednesday place based in Japan. This golden pavilion is mainly on my must recommended bucket list attractions because of its photogenic looks but also because of the amazing experience I had visiting there. Kinkakuji aka Golden Pavilion is one of those places you shouldn’t miss when visiting Kyoto!

So let me make sure you will fall in love with Kyoto’s Golden Pavilion and add it to your Japan bucket list! It may seem too expensive to visit and there isn’t a lot of things to see. However, if you want to brag in social media using amazing photos from your Japan trip this golden temple is the must place to go in Kyoto. The selfies and photos you can take when visiting Kyoto’s Kinkakuji are just simply breathtaking.

Golden temple autumn Kyoto

Golden Pavilion

Other Names: Kinkakuji

Where? Kyoto, Japan

How to get there? Direct buses leave from Kyoto Station

When to go? I think the prettiest time of the year to visit Kinkakuji is when there are autumn leaves. However, this Kyoto’s Golden Pavilion is worth to see all year round. Kinkakuji is open from 9AM to 5PM. Go early so you have enough time to get charmed by Japan’s golden wonder.

How much does it cost? 400 yen

Why should you add Kinkakuji to your Japan bucket list?

Like I mentioned already Kyoto’s Kinkakuji Temple is the right place to take your best travel shots. Or well probably just that one photo with you standing in front of the water and golden building. Finding Instagram photos spots in Kyoto won’t be hard but Kinkakuji is definitely one of the best photo spots. If you are lucky there are no photobombing tourists next to you.

I could keep making fun of the Golden Pavilion because of the insane amount of tourists visiting there. However, Kyoto’s Kinkakuji did impress me. I would not recommend it as a thing to add on your Japan bucket list if it was just for that one selfie. I have to admit that I had never seen anything quite like Kinkakuji. Beautiful gold pavilion. Isn’t that enough of reason to visit this Kyoto’s tourist hot spot?

kinkakuji3

My Visit to See Kinkakuji in Kyoto

I had some challenges trying to find the entrance. There was huge construction site between the bus stop and line for Kinkakuji. Finally, I found the right place following group of students. The closer I got the more students I saw. Apparently, there was field trip going on.

I walked confidently to buy my ticket, saw how much it costs and ran away in panic. 400 yen to see one building. Why would anyone pay that much? With that money, I would pay dinner of the day. I didn’t know what to do so I kept walking back and forth among the students.

kinkakuji2

In the end, I decided it was just money and walked again confidently to buy my ticket to Kinkakuji and went through the entrance. There was a lot of tourists and I was starting to regret my decision. Until I saw the Golden Pavilion. How can one building be so beautiful?

I took some photos and probably appear in dozen holiday photos others have taken. It was crowded in the perfect photo spot and guards were making sure no one stood on the walking path but rather in the photography area. That one not so perfect selfie with Kinkakuji was quickly taken and I walked ahead.

There was some other buildings and things to see but nothing would be worthy of mention after seeing the main sight. In the end, there was some small shops (and a lot of free food samples…)

kinkakuji_forest
The other things to see in the area were nothing when compared with the golden building.

It was a hot day so after exiting the park I bought ice cream from vending machine. I had just eaten it and decided to leave when a group of students (probably under ten years old but I’m really bad at guessing ages) approached me. Behind them stood their teacher who smiled warmly at me.

“Hello, can we ask questions from you?” one of the students finally dared to ask me. Their teacher explained that they were English language students and had this mission to ask one tourist things about them. Of course, I agreed.

kinkakuji

They asked shyly about my name, nationality and other things. I gave Moomin pins for them because I used to always carry them with me in the case I met someone special. After they had asked all the questions I, of course, got sticker decorated business cards from them. So Japanese and extremely cute that I had to keep myself from laughing.

It was a fun experience and I got really surprised how good English they spoke. Perfect ending for my Kinkakuji visit.

My second time visiting Kyoto’s Kinkakuji

After visiting Kyoto for the first time in 2015 I couldn’t get this beautiful city out of my head. It wasn’t surprising for anyone when I decided to return to Japan for the second trip in 2018. The only difference was that this time my cousin and sister were sticking along because apparently, my stories of Japan, Kyoto, and Kinkakuji had made them curious.

And so we ended up visiting the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto for their first time and for my second. Let me tell you that even after seeing it already once the charm of Kyoto’s Kinkakuji hadn’t faded. Would I pay for the ticket again? Yes, probably. Visiting Kinkakuji won’t take a lot of time out of your day in Kyoto but at the same time, it’s one of those places everyone should add on their Japan bucket lists or must to do things in Kyoto.

I even learned new things this time around! When you walk the path through Kinkakuji garden there are these “cups” and statues where people throw money for good luck. Definitely must to do when visiting Kinkakuji, however, it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Like always feel free to comment below your thoughts. What are some of your favorite destinations on your Japan bucket list? Or maybe Kinkakuji in Kyoto is one of them?

Wanderlust Wednesday: Kinkakuji/Golden Pavilion
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Have wonderful adventures!
Lost Viivi