Thursday, August 20, 2015

Scandinavian tour - Part 3 (Stockholm)

Hej hej!

I'm back in Spain already and due to WiFi issues I wasn't able to write absolutely anything. But back to the story... 

We left Helsinki and caught a 5 am bus to Torku, where we caught the ferry to Stockholm at 9 am. It was a 11h trip (ferry only!) but it didn't feel that long as we had our own room with 4 beds (berths?) where we could catch some shut-eye. We also went up to the bar deck and played cards, ate and watched the beautiful views from the huge windows on the boat. 

We finally got there!

That first afternoon we went straight to our AirBnb apartment, which is located in the district of Rissne (15-20 mins away by metro from the centre) and it was the most amazing apartment ever! If any of you are ever interested to visit Stockholm, let me tell you that Linda is the most amazing host and even if it's not in the dead centre of the city, you get to see how Swedish people really live.

Anyhow, on our first day (I don't count the day we got there, because we crashed the minute we got to the apartment) we visited the infamous Skansen Museum. I think this is an ideal choice if you have kids, as you can see lots of animals that are typical of Scandinavia and still get to see how people used to live throughout the ages in Sweden.

Reindeeeeeeeeeeers <3

Wolves! Wolves! *read this in a child's excited voice*

After visiting Skansen, we walked around and just decided to chill and have something to eat by the sea.

Hi mum!

So our first day was getting to grips with Stockholm and walking around. Falling in love, basically.

Can we speak about how beautiful this place is? 
We checked this one out on our 2nd day, after visiting the Vasa Museum (just 5 mins walking from this restaurant). The Vasa Museum (or Vasamuseet in Swedish) is all about the Vasa galley, which sank in 1628 as it was being inaugurated, and everything surrounding the mystery of why it sank in the first place.

The galley in question. (Quite impossible to fit into one picture, sorry guys!)

We then decided to visit the Old City and the Palace (where the Swedish royals currently live), which was full of colourful + cute houses... my favourite part of Stockholm!

My brother, dad + I! 

Although our stay was too short, I can definitely say that I've fallen in love with Stockholm and I see myself coming back here... and maybe staying? 

Much love


P.S. Next/last part coming soon: Oslo + Norway! 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Scandinavian tour - Part 2 (Helsinki)


Well, after our eventful and rainy 24h in St Petersburg, we finally got to Helsinki. We stayed at Citykoti Apartments, which I can recommend as for cleanliness and location, although price-wise, I still prefer good old AirBnb! (as you can see, they aren't paying me to say this)

Anyhow... we got there late midday and it had started raining (oh, that damn rain AGAIN), so we decided to catch a bite inside the train station and that's when we figured out the huge price difference between Russia and Finland (not that we were surprised, though!) Take into account that Finland has euros, which makes it easier for us europeans (eurozone, of course) to visit this country, in comparison to other scandinavian countries!

After leaving our stuff in the apartment, we decided to go for a walk around the port and see this amazing cloudy yet beautiful sunset. And since our lives basically revolve around food, we had a beer on a café that overlooked the sea. But then we decided that we could also have a pizza and a salad while we were at it, since it was such a cool place... and all those excuses we say just to keep eating!

The next day we decided to go visit a much recommended place: Suomennlina Fortress. (please forgive me if I write the name incorrectly! I have checked though, but one can never know...) It's such a great little island (very close to Helsinki by ferry) to spend the day at, especially in summer, when it's sunny and colourful, even if it was still windy as hell and quite cold anyway (I was OK with my short-sleeved T-shirt though!)


Yup, windy as hell!

When we caught our ferry on the way back to Helsinki, we ate lunch at the Market Square (at the market, obvs haha) and then we went to check out two things: 1) the Senate Square

Yikes! (still, it was the best photo of the 4 of us in this Square)

2) The views up in the Torni Hotel (the last floor is a café where you can go have something to eat, a coffee or -even if it sounds terrible- just go up to take a picture and come back down!)

Not a great great panorama photo, but whatever! It was free! FREE!
(I kind of feel guilty though haha)

All in all, Helsinki (and Finland in general) was a great surprise for me, even if it's a much calmer version of Stockholm, so if you like having a slow life, it's your perfect city. If you're more of a party, let's go on adventures everyday kind of person, I think you're going to love my Stockholm post (ST - Part 3, coming soon!)
Maria :)


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Scandinavian tour - Part 1 (St Petersburg)

Hei! (Hello in finnish)

It's been 4 full days of adventure since we left Spain for greener (and cooler) pastures and I have to say, I'm in love with Scandinavia already.

We started off on a bad note, since we were supposed to leave on tuesday for St Petersburg but due to overbooking in our flight, we lost a full day and had to catch the next flight (24h later than expected). Therefore, we only had 24h in St Petersburg, when we initially expected to have 2 days, and we had to miss a couple of important things that we wanted to check out (like the Peter and Paul Fortress)

First of all, we checked out the Hermitage Museum. It's an extremely impressive building, and it's full of great art and very weird and cool objects (like the infamous golden bird clock). However, just for the building, it's worth it to go inside and check out the different royal rooms.


 Blog, meet my brother!
After that, we went to see the Church of the Savior on Blood, which just for the exterior is completely worth seeing. It's the church where the Tsar Alexander was taken after a bomb exploded just outside and he was mortally wounded. The inside is completely decorated with colourful mosaics depicting religious scenes, and it's way more impressive and beautiful than any fresco on other churches.
So basically, it was a whole 24h of adventure (take into account we arrived at 6am that same morning!) and rain :) just what I expected from a russian summer!
The next morning we caught a train to Helsinki (Finland), which lasts only 4h and was super comfortable. Thank the gods for our Airbnb hostess, who helped us call a taxi when we were running late!
On to Helsinki... (See you in part 2!)
Maria :)
P.S. If you want to check out my Instagram (@mdemaria), you will be a tad more updated!