Stockholm, Turku and Helsinki: Non-stop Adventure!

On Sunday morning we woke up and headed down for breakfast on the boat; it was extremely busy! We managed to queue up and toast our bread, before I spread mine with butter and jam and Alfie covered his with cheese, and (what he thought was) pate. We poured glasses of apple juice and sat down on some free chairs with an elderly swedish gentleman who chatted to us about everything and anything (including Princess Diana, World War 2, how he worked on the boat when it was a cruise ship 30 years ago, his brother-in-law being from York, and whether Alfie and I have children of our own, urm…..)! Alfie then poured us some coffee which was way too strong for me to drink! When we got back to our room, we researched ‘Scandinavian breakfasts’ on Google…It turns out, what Alfie thought was pate was actually a fish spread like caviar (only not so posh), and that Scandinavians absolutely love to start their day with a strong coffee…I think I’ll stick to good old ‘Yorkshire Tea’!😂

After a quick shower, we headed into Stockholm and explored properly, noticing all of the building work going on – unfortunately it put us off a bit! A big marching band with an army escort went past us near the Royal Palace, past a lot of coach tours! We decided to try and find somewhere cheap for lunch, however after walking around the Old Town (Gamla Stan) too many times, at nearly 3pm we ended up at McDonalds with a Share Box, a Fanta and a Frozen Strawberry Lemonade (fast food seems to be the cheapest thing to eat in Scandinavia). 

We then decided to head back to the Old Town and bought ice cream’s with fresh hand-made cones (Alfie had salted caramel, whislt I had my favourite mint chocolate ice cream). It then started to rain so we hopped into the ‘Coop’ supermarket and bought some snacks to tide us over in the boat and on the ferry the next day. 

After quickly scouting out where we had to go for the ferry the next day (in the rain), we went back to the boat and had a drink in the sky bar. However, my heavenly cocktail essentially cost £11…no more cocktails for me in Scandinavia! 

By the time we got back to the room, we packed and then fell asleep as we had to be up at 6:15am in the morning.

On Monday morning, we woke up, quickly got ready and headed to breakfast for when it started at 6:30am. We quickly ate, collected our stuff from our room and checked out all before 6:45am ready for our ferry crossing to Turku. 

When we got onto the ferry cruise, our cabin room was so much nicer than the one in the hotel, we didn’t want to leave at the end of the 11 hours! After a few hours nap and showers, we went and found food for lunch. We went to a restaurant where I had a big beef burger with crispy bacon and lots of cheese and salad and some amazing chips (my brother definitely would have ordered the same thing) whilst Alfie ordered a mushroom and chorizo pasta…we both throroughly enjoyed our food!

After a quick walk around the boat, we went back to our cabin and watched some TV (couldn’t miss ‘Gordon Ramseys Kitchen Nightmares’…)! We then checked the entertainment schedule and decided to go to their nightclub bar/lounge and Alfie had a beer whilst I had a chocolate milkshake mocktail which was absolute heaven, whilst watching a live band! 

When it was time to leave the boat, we vacated our cabin and stood on a side deck watching all the islands whilst docking. We then had to get the bus into Turku centre, as instructed by our next AirBnb Host. We easily found his apartment and he met us outside. However, by the time we arrived we were very tired so we went to bed, especially as we’d lost an hour extra of our day (Finland are 2 hours ahead of the UK and 1 hour ahead of the other places we’ve visited), and had to be up at 5:30am!

When we woke up this morning, we met our AirBnb host outside the apartment just before 6am, as he had agreed to walk us to the bus station to catch our bus to Helsinki. When he left us, we carried on walking following his instructions, however, Alfie suddenly realised we’d left our folder in his AirBnb which had all our travel tickets/documents in it, as well as Alfie’s post cards. We finally managed to get through to the host and explained and he said he’d gone out of town on his bike but he would try to get it to us. We showed our ticket to the driver through Alfie’s emails and put our luggage on the bus, with 5 minutes spare before the bus was due to leave, when I saw a guy on a bike speeding towards us…it was our host! The guy had managed to get it to us! We were incredibly grateful!

When we arrived in Helsinki we had a few hours free before check in time, so the first thing we did was find a cafe and have a drink and cake. I ordered myself a hot chocolate, Alfie a salted caramel latte, and then we had a chocolate muffin each. We then went for a short walk and came across a small park, so we sat in the sun. What we’ve noticed though, is that many young girls in Scandinavia like to go to parks and sunbathe in bikinis’s – it’s not even overly warm!

After killing some time, we walked to our new AirBnb where the woman met us outside at check-in time. We dropped our stuff off in the room and waited for a storm to die down before going back into Helsinki. We then explored and found one of their beautiful cathedral’s, a big market, and an outdoor swimming pool with beautiful views out over the sea. We both fell in love with Helsinki, and would put it up there with our favourite places visited so far, along with Copenhagen! 

Before heading back to the AirBnb, we went to Lidl and bought dinner and snacks to cover a few days. We’ve now finished dinner and are watching a film before having a long well-deserved sleep!

Please check out: 

Alfie’s YouTube Travel Videos: 

Our Instagram accounts: @nwilttravel

@travelwithalfie

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Jonkoping and Stockholm: The Good, the Bad and the even Worse

So we finally made it to Jonkoping Central where we had to work out where our bus stop was to take us to the campsite. Luckily for us, the campsite owners had given us directions when we were communicating with them over email.
Once we were off the bus, we realised we had been dropped off on the edge of a 100km\hr speed limit highway in the middle of no where. However the campsite owner was right, you can see the signs for ‘Habo Camping’ from the bus stop. So, after an eery walk down a lane sourrounded by big pine trees, we made it! Alfie’s first camping trip experience had started.

Once we had checked In, we set up the tent (quite quickly and efficiently I must say) and attempted to set up the gas burner. To check I was doing this right, I facetimed my parents for reassurance….We then realised we’d not packed anything to light the burner with…! Luckily the campsite office were selling some nice lighters with a moose on and ‘SWEDEN’. When we finally lit the burner, we then remembered we didn’t have anything to drain the water from the pasta with so we had to gently pour the water out of the cooking container (without losing our valuable pasta). Unfortunately, the tinned meatballs we had bought at the station in Gothenburg were disgusting so we needed a Belvita cookie afterwards to get rid of the taste.

We then spent the evening sat in the wifi zone whilst Alfie uploaded his YouTube video (links at the end). The temperature did suddenly drop though so we decided to call it a night. Despite this, I don’t really recall sleeping much as I couldn’t get warm or comfortable…Mum and Dad’s caravan is definitely more my thing!

In the morning we went and collected some bread rolls we had ordered the previous day and ate them for breakfast. They were absolutely lovely! We decided, after realising how much walking we had done on previous days and how far it was into Jonkoping Centre, that we would just visit one of the beaches at Lake Vattern (Sweden’s 2nd biggest lake). The sun was shining and the views over the lake were absolutely beautiful!

When we got back we showered, realised we’ve somehow lost our shampoo (possibly in Gothenburg – How did we even manage that??🤔) and napped….accidentally! 

After a piece of flapjack, we headed over to the wifi zone where we ate Magnum ice creams and researched places we could stay in Oslo because camping life, we decided, is not for us (mainly me)! This was followed by more pasta, however we decided the pasta sauce we’d bought definitely needed more seasoning (not that we’re fussy or anything…).

In the evening, once again we headed to the wifi zone so that Alfie could edit another video! However once again it got very cold (16 degrees but I promise it felt colder) and so we headed back to the tent and got into our sleeping bags to warm up! Once again I don’t recall sleeping much but I must have done really!

This morning we woke up nice and early and packed up ready to catch the 9:25am bus into Jonkoping. We paid our debts to the campsite and then caught the bus followed by our first train of the day, to Nässjö. After half an hour on this train, we got off, and caught the next train taking us to Stockholm, where I managed to fit in a few mini naps on the train (camping cleary took it out of me).

We finally arrived in Stockholm where we had the difficult task of finding our boat hotel/hostel (M/S Birger Jarl) through all the building and road works going on! When we reached the boat there was a huge check-in queue due to only having one member of staff working as well as having to deal with a power cut. Finally Alfie got us our swipe cards for our room…where they’d only gone and given us the wrong room. It was supposed to be a twin room, but it had one bed and a sink (tripadviser reviews had said this would happen – we should have listened). So, of course we went and complained, and despite having paid for a twin room with communal/shared bathrooms, we now have a twin ensuite room with no window (really not as nice as it sounds).

We left our stuff in the room and decided to explore and find the rooftop deck Sky Bar. This was pretty easy to find by following the sound of music through the boat. Alfie ordered a beer and I suitably ordered a Koppaberg, and we sat listening to the DJ in the sun, watching a lot of very drunk middle aged people dancing at 5 in the afternoon.

This evening we decided to head into Stockholm Old Town and find dinner. We managed to find an Italian restaurant called Michaelangelos, where we both ate pizzas. 

After realising how bad our hostel is, and knowing we are supposed to come back here later in the month, but for 6 nights, we are now trying to frantically find a better place for us to stay next time! 2 nights is definitely long enough in a room without a window!

Alfie’s Travel Videos: https://youtu.be/2LwdjvFFK18

Goodbye Copenhagen, Hello Gothenburg

So our final day in Copenhagen was a quiet one. After spending the morning with our Airbnb host; chatting about camping, and people being pushed down stairs…we headed into Copenhagen on the bus for the final time (😪)…with an added extra gift of rain.When we reached Copenhagen we found a quiet coffee shop (Espresso House), which specialised in organic ingredients, and ordered a mocha and cappuccino whilst Alfie edited his first travel video for YouTube (Link available later tonight 🤞🏼 ).

Somehow for lunch we ended up back at Torvehallerne eating Croque-Monsieur which, despite being French and not Danish, was absolutely deicious!

From here we ended up in Denmark’s equivalent of the outdoor store “Field and Trek” to collect a gas cannister for our burner (which we have borrowed from my Dad for whilst we are camping). The shop assisstant was really friendly, and was even telling us that he’d just been to the Lake District and Manchester…however, he somehow managed to get lost and ended up in Liverpool instead!

We then found a souvenir store (typical tourists 🙄) where Alfie bought a post card for his placement school for next year. He aims to collect one from every place we go to.

Sadly, it was then time for us to take the bus out of Copenhagen and into Gothenburg! 

After a smooth bus journey we arrived at 9:55pm at Gothenburg Central, where our next AirBnb host was kindly waiting for us. She chatted to us and pointed key locations out whilst we waited for the local bus to take us to her flat. When we finally reached her apartment, she gave us a map and a list of things to do which was really useful! She then left…and we soon realised that she had no working TV signal or Wifi…so we went to bed.

This morning we got a bus (for free) into Gothenburg, where our first mission was to find Haga. Haga is known for it’s one street that has lots of cafes on it, mostly all selling coffee’s and cinammon buns. However, with heavy rucksacks, this seemed very far away! We were relieved once we finally arrived and could stop for a drink and some food. Despite Haga’s tourist attraction being the cinammon buns, we opted for a hot chocolate, espresso mocha and a slice of brownie. The brownie wasn’t what we would typically call a brownie…it was essentially chocolate cake with a thick fudge frosting on, but it was delicious!

On the way back into the centre we walked through a park along the waters edge, and decided to stop for half hour or so to rest our shoulders, take in the sun and to call my mum which was really nice to do.

We then continued on to find a beautiful area of water, boats and park land, before trying to find a supermarket to buy food for dinner. However, unlike UK cities which have a small superkmarket store, like Tesco Express or Sainsburys, Gothenburg didn’t appear to have a single small supermarket, only cafes! Once we reached the train station, as well as eating Pringles that we already had with us, we managed to buy some macaroni pasta and tinned meatballs for dinner as well as a fresh hot dog each to eat whilst we waited for our train.

As I write this we are travelling to Jonkoping on the train, past typical swedish views of big lakes and beautiful woodlands, overall making up a beautiful scenic view!

48 hours in Copenhagen

​Greetings from Copenhagen! (it sounds like I’m about to give the UK nil points from Denmark…!). 

After months of waiting, ‘The Grand Tour’ finally started with us safely arriving in Copenhagen Airport! We got our luggage and somehow managed to work out how to use the ticket machine to buy  metro tickets in order to get to the centre of Copenhagen. However, despite getting instructions from our AirBnb host on how to get to his place in Gentofte, we still managed to get ourselves lost…😌! We got the metro in the wrong direction (even after speaking to a friendly and helpful member of security staff in the train station who gave us directions and showed us how to buy tickets). Once we got on the metro which took us in the wrong direction, we realised we couldn’t turn around and get back to Copenhagen centre because of rail works! So…. we had to ask some MORE people for help! They told us to get a free bus to a place called Hellerup, and then get a train to Gentofte. 

Eventually, after a further 2 mile walk and a climb up 4 flights of stairs in the wrong building, we made it to the AirBnb! Needless to say we were exhausted! However our AirBnb host was really nice and welcoming!

After sorting ourselves out, we got a bus into Copenhagen centre (the correct one this time). The first thing we found was a really cool street food market called ‘Torvehallerne’ tucked around a corner in Norrebro, selling all sorts of foods, coffees and pastries. We then headed to Nyhaven, a must see in Copenhagen! It was absolutely beautiful and we would recommend it to anyone visiting Copenhagen; with it’s colourful buildings, al fresco dining (where all the restaurants supply blankets!!) and the peaceful street drinking. While in Nyhaven, we even saw the Japanese Prime Minister in his car with police escorts (someone thought it was Donald Trump)! 

After some more exploration, we decided to call it a day.

For dinner we decided it was easier to just buy pizzas from Aldi and have a quiet evening in the AirBnb. Although, despite being a geography student, on our way back, I did manage to get us lost trying to find the bus stop…definitely not my smartest moment! So after walking 12 miles in total, and eating 3 pizzas between us, it was definitely bed time!

So Day 2…we got the correct bus again today (miracle!) to Norrebro. We decided to go back to Torvehallerne and ordered coffees and mini pastries (they were absolutely adorable)! However, Alfie thought he had ordered a Chocolate roule pastry, but was left disappointed when he bit into it and realised it was date and cherry….😂. Turns out they had labelled the pastries wrong (he didnt find it too funny)…! 

By recomendation of my grandma (and her threat to Alfie telling him to take me there…), we decided to find ‘The Little Mermaid’. On the way to ‘The Little Mermaid’, we found a park called Rosenborg Castle Gardens which featured a beautiful castle and a Hans Christian Andersen statue…..as well as lots of topless men and women in bikinis despite the weather not being particulary hot! Whilst I was taking photos of the statue, a foreign guy asked me where the Hans Chrisitan Andersen burial is, so I must either look Danish or full of knowledge! 

We left these gardens and discovered the Royal Palace which was absolutely beautiful and surrounded by tourists! I did question why cars were allowed so close to the palace; although I wasnt complaining too much as one of them was a red Ferrari! Opposite was Amaliehaven, a really small but beautiful garden, featuring a big waterfall by the waterside. 

Carrying on we found the Gefion Fountain, the largest monument in Copenhagen, followed by ‘The Little Mermaid’ itself, surrounded by way too many tourists. I must admit, despite now being able to say I’ve seen it, it wasn’t quite as special as I expected it to be. After stopping for a picnic in the sun on our way back to the city centre, we sat and had a drink (an expensive one) at the Royal Theatre, where we sat on deck chairs by the water looking out over the Copenhagen Opera House.

 From there we headed to Freetown Christiania. However, we decided this wasn’t the right place for us! After we realised it was known for it’s selling of weed, and a worker warning Alfie not to film anything as some of the other workers would get angry (incase any selling of cannabis was seen), we swiftly left. 

After, we found a square that had some Jazz musicians playing as part of the Jazz music festival, so we sat and took in the atmosphere whilst Alfie rested a painful foot. From here we found dinner in a nice restaurant and were served by a smiley, friendly woman…confirming to us why Denmark is one of the happiest countries! The meal even worked out super cheap as we hadn’t realised it was 2 for 1 on meals on a Tuesday! 

Getting the bus back to our AirBnb, the bus driver lady thought that 32 DK (danish kroner) was 72 due to a language barrier buying our bus tickets, however was very apologetic about it when she realised her mistake. 

Once again our day has ended watching English and American TV ready for our journey to Gothenburg tomorrow evening. (Written 11th July)

The Start

Hi and welcome to the ‘This Way To Adventure’ blog!

I have decided to start this blog ready for my Summer adventures with my boyfriend, Alfie.

The whole idea came about when my original dissertation plan got thrown out of the window, and so I had a brain-wave that I could link my dissertation to my travels. From this it was decided that, in order to compare my travels to other travel books, it would be beneficial to write my experiences and adventures down on paper during the time we are away. This was when I decided, that in order for my family and friends to follow where we are as well, I could publish these experiences as a blog. Thus, This Way To Adventure began!

We embark on our grand tour (as my Dad has suitably named it) on the 10th July: starting in Copenhagen! From there we travel around Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway, working our way back to Copenhagen ready to fly out to Malta. In Malta we will be teaching with an English immersion camp called Angloville for 10 days. From Malta we will be flying to Gdansk, in Poland, where we will meet up with some friends for a few days before all flying back to the UK.

During the next couple of months keep an eye on this blog for new posts every few days and on mine and Alfie’s  Instagram’s (@nwilttravel and @travelwithalfie) for hopefully daily photos, internet permitting of course!

I hope you enjoy following our adventures as much as we will enjoy being on them!