Gdansk and Final Farewell

We arrived in Gdansk Airport and collected my bag from the luggage carriers. We then booked an Uber to take us into Gdansk centre to meet up with 2 of Alfie’s friends. The Uber taxi met us outside the arrivals area and only cost £6 equivalent between us for a 25 minute journey which was cheap compared to Uber in the UK! Alfie’s friends had told us they were sat at a café on ‘Long Street’ in Gdansk centre. We soon found them and joined for a drink before going to check in to our apartment.

We all had our bags with us, and walked the long distance to the address we had been given for the apartment. We had agreed with the owner to have a 1pm check in (due to some great ‘Genius’ bonuses on Alfie’s Booking.com account), however when we arrived at the given address it was already 1:15pm and no one was around. We went into what we thought was the building, and found it to be slightly derelict so hoped it wasn’t there! We called and realised that the owner had forgotten, and thought we were checking in at 3pm. Within 15 minutes, someone came over with the keys and led us to the correct entrance and building next door. This one had a security code on the main door to the flats, making us feel a lot safer! When we entered the apartment, it was big in size and was beautiful. It was made up of 4 rooms: an entrance hall/kitchen (with sofa bed), the bathroom, a lounge area with sofa beds, and a double bedroom.

They decided to put the TV on for a bit, and as Alfie and I hadn’t slept properly in nearly 48 hours, I fell asleep sat on one of the sofas, for quite a long time! When I woke up, they told me that we were going back into the main city to get some food, as we hadn’t eaten for nearly 24 hours either. We ended up eating pizzas in a restaurant called ‘Long Street 52’ which was really nice and so much cheaper than what we’d got used to in Scandinavia and Malta!

We then went and found a bar along the canal side, which had a live DJ (who looked so happy to be doing his job…)! I ordered a ‘strawberry woo woo’, which unexpectedly came in a margarita glass, whilst the 3 lads ordered a beer each!


After a drink, we headed back to the apartment, only stopping along the way to buy some coffee, milk and cereal for the apartment from a store, as well as stopping by a pharmacy for me to buy some antihistamine tablets. When we got back, the lads watched the TV and went to buy beer, crisps and Tetley tea whilst I ended up falling asleep on the double bed (which Alfie and I had claimed), not even waking up when Alfie’s other friend arrived at the apartment!

When I woke up, we decided to head into Gdansk to a couple of bars whilst we waited for my friend’s delayed plain to arrive. We started off in a bar with heaters and blankets; however, the waitress told us we only had time for one drink, as they were due to be closing. We then headed to an underground bar which specialised in ales. After a couple of drinks each (or none in my case), we then headed back to the apartment, especially as I was starting to fall asleep again.

We sat watching the TV waiting for my friend to arrive…However, her RyanAir flight from Birmingham Airport was delayed by nearly 3 hours. This meant staying awake until after 2am, although it was really great to see her when she finally arrived, although she was very tired like the rest of us! We all decided to call it a night!

The next day, we all had a slight lie in, however, we wanted to go and explore. We decided to head out for a late breakfast (AKA brunch). We found a restaurant with an extensive menu of breakfasts and pastas. Two of Alfie’s friends ate a dish called “Good morning Gdansk” whilst the rest of us opted for their pasta dishes. We finished there just in time for the Gdansk Free Walking Tour.

The walking tour guide (who we all found to be a great woman) focussed on the history of Gdansk, including a tour of the old town, as well as visiting St.Mary’s church (which is the largest brick church in the world) and the largest medieval crane in Europe, along with the war events in Gdansk and the events during the communist time, ending at the Old Post Office (the location of one of the first acts in World War II).


We then went back to the apartment, and headed out on an adventure to find a hill. On the way, we weren’t entirely sure where we were going, however a kind man stopped and gave us directions which was helpful! The hill had a statue on it, and opened up some good views over Gdansk (depending on which way you looked – look the wrong way and all you see is cranes). The view was made better due to a rainbow lighting up the sky!


After a short while exploring, we all decided we were getting hungry, so we headed back into Gdansk to find somewhere for dinner. We ended up in a restaurant called ‘Kos’. I ordered the most beautiful Pork tenderloin which came with baked potatoes (or what we call roast potatoes), whilst some of the others had a Polish traditional dish of pierogi (Polish dumplings).

After our food, we ended up in an unusual cocktail bar/microbrewery called Cooltura. I ordered a ‘sex on the beach’ cocktail, and everyone else had a beer. We then decided to head back to the apartment, drink canned beers and play Scattergories (if you’ve never played, I highly recommend), before calling it a day!

On Tuesday, we woke up early with the aim of going to the World War Two museum, as on a Tuesday the museum has free entry. However, when we got to the museum, the queue weaved around the museum and up the stairs, and someone informed us that once the maximum capacity is fulfilled, it works as a “one in one out” system, meaning we could be stood there for up to 4 hours in the queue. Thus, we decided to not bother, otherwise we would be using up 4 hours of our day just stood in a queue. Instead, we went back to the apartment to grab some things, before ordering Uber’s to take us to the beach.

When we arrived at the beach it started to rain which was not ideal at all. When it cleared we walked over the sand to the water (the Baltic Sea), where one of Alfie’s friends decided he would go for a very cold swim, whilst the rest of us just decided to watch. For lunch, we sat in a bar (inside a large gazebo) and ordered various food items. Alfie and I shared a rather disgusting, ketchup dominated pizza…all I can say is I’m glad it was only cheap. We decided to leave the beach and order taxis back to the apartment.

In the afternoon, we went to the Amber Museum (which was linked with a torture museum/prison tower) and then went to the Golden Wasser restaurant/café. I had a baileys hot chocolate and wow it was good. 


From there we walked 405 steps up the tower in St Mary’s Church; however, the lads walked so fast that when we reached the top, my friend and I felt like we’d run a marathon! Despite this, the views from the top were pretty amazing…until it started absolutely bucketing it down with rain!


After this, one of Alfie’s friends led us to a cocktail bar, which advertised on the window that it had board games. I ordered a cosmopolitan cocktail, and one of Alfie’s friends requested the pack of UNO cards. We all enjoyed a couple of cocktails and a few games of UNO I think! We decided though, it was definitely time for dinner!

We went to another restaurant, where once again I had an amazing meal…however, all of our chosen dishes were covered in cress. Their chef clearly has a thing for a bit of cress! Once we’d all finished eating, I called my mum…or at least I tried. Unfortunately, at the end of Malta I gained a sore throat, so by Tuesday in Gdansk, I had no voice at all. For the people stuck with me in Gdansk, this was probably a blessing; however, my mum definitely struggled to hear what I was saying!

After dinner, we headed back to the same cocktail bar again…but this time we played Scrabble instead. However, the game they had was Polish scrabble, so we had to use slight artistic licence on English words and Polish letters…it was a very interesting but fun game! We then headed back to the apartment, watched TV and the others drank beers, before we all headed to bed.

On Wednesday morning, we all woke up reasonably early, in order to pack, tidy and clean ready to depart the apartment before check-out time. Once again, we went out for breakfast/brunch, this time back at ‘Long Street 52’ where a few of us had eaten previously. They had a good range of breakfast choices, but in the end we all chose the same meal which was: 2 fried eggs, 2 pieces of bacon, 2 white sausages, 2 pieces of toast, a pot of beans, and slices of cheese and ham (I asked for it without the beans…).  However, what made the dish even better value for money, was that the price included a choice of either coffee, beer or a shot of vodka!

After eating breakfast, we decided to go on the big wheel. We must have gone around it about 4 times before they stopped the wheel! There were some amazing views over Gdansk in some directions, however in other directions all that could be seen were cranes and building work!

We then headed for more drinks at the Golden Wasser café again. This time I opted for a plain hot chocolate, but it was still as good as the time before. The only thing that ruined the experience this time round, was the waitress: she was extremely rude to everyone she was serving. I understand we all have bad days, but there’s no need to take it out on polite customers!

After a short while hanging around in Gdansk, we all walked one of Alfie’s friends to the bus station ready for his bus to Krakow! When we said goodbye to him, we booked Uber’s to take the rest of us to the airport. When we arrived at the airport we were too early for check-in, so we found some chairs for a couple of hours. Usually check-in is supposed to open 2-3 hours before your flight, however ours was the last flight out for that day and they didn’t open our check in until nearly 90 minutes before departure time. Myself and my friend checked in my bag and then we swiftly worked through security before finding a shop to buy some food for the plane.

Once on the plane, we all found our chairs (mine in the middle of the plane compared to everyone else’s at the front…thank you RyanAir)! However, I was not on my own for long…The window seat next to me was supposed to be occupied by a woman with her baby, however children are not allowed in the emergency exit chairs. Luckily, the flight attendant swapped her with Alfie so I had some good company! Eventually, we arrived at Stanstead Airport, thus indicating the end of our travels.

I am very sad to be home and back in the real world doing University work and realising my bank hates me. I also walk around now in England expecting to hear lots of languages; it’s disappointing only getting to hear mainly the English language when I’d got so used to a good variety! However, I have had the most amazing Summer travelling with Alfie, seeing new places, meeting new people, and exploring Poland with some amazing friends.  Alfie and I were both in agreement that Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen were 3 of our favourite places in Scandinavia, each having so many different things to see but also being pretty at the same time! I would also definitely go back to Malta and Poland, and would recommend anyone to give them a visit if they get the chance!

I want to thank the friends who joined us in Poland and ended our travels in the best way possible, making some amazing memories! Another thank you goes to my parents for supporting our travels, but also for helping me fund them…! And my final thank you: I can’t thank Alfie enough for putting up with me, looking after me and being amazing company during our time away. It definitely would not have been the same without him!

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”  Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

This is not goodbye…it’s see you later!

Alfie’s YouTube (New videos will appear soon):

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCNi-_VpAMEED2XkeTuFvZuQ

Instagram’s:
@nwilttravel

@travelwithalfie

 

 

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Stockholm (Round 2: Part 2) and Oslo!

So on Tuesday we decided to check out the metro station’s as they feature some amazing artefacts, art work and underground treasures that you wouldn’t expect to find – it even features a ceiling painted like a piano above the travelator! Surprisingly, TripAdvisor lists it as one of it’s things to see and do, and it even features as a whole organised Free Walking Tour(although you would need to buy a metro pass/ticket)! The subway system itself is said to be the world’s longest art exhibition, with over 90 of the 100 subway stations being decorated! We mainly focused on Kungsträdgården which looks like an archeological excavation, and includes the remains of Stockholm Makalös Palace. -Keep an eye out for Alfie’s YouTube video about ‘Kungsträdgården’ to see some highlights of our trip! 

When we’d finished in the metro stations, we headed to Gamla Stan to find somewhere to have lunch; as we decided it would be nice to have a meal out on our last full day in Stockholm and even Sweden! However, on the way we stumbled across the changing of the guards ceremony, which occurs every day at 12 noon. In Stockholm this is a huge thing with all the new guards riding horses and even the brass band were on horse-back (I admire them for playing a trumpet and staying on a moving horse)! We followed them through into the square of the Royal Palace and watched the parade, amongst thousands of eager tourist spectators with selfie sticks! – Alfie’s ‘Changing of the Guard’ video will be posted in the next few days on his channel, so keep an eye out! 

We found a restaurant in ‘Järntorget’ (The Iron Square), where their ‘Today’s Specials’ seemed reasonably priced. We both ordered a lasagne, whilst Alfie drank a beer, and I drank the locals favourite ‘Aperol Spritz’. We’d noticed everyone drinking these during our time in Sweden and Finland so I decided to see what all the fuss was about. After a bit of research (thanks Google), I found out it is a wine-based cocktail, made out of Prosecco, Aperol and Soda Water. It happens to mainly be drunk as an aperitif in Italy: however, the Scandinavians have really grown to love it! Our dinner was absolutely delicious, although possibly too small for the price!

We then decided to go for a walk around and find something for pudding! We ended up in a small, quiet little sweet/ice cream shop, that was also very cheap! I ordered a lemon curd ice cream scoop and a scoop of chocolate ice cream…they were absolutely heavenly – England definitely needs to up it’s ice cream game! We then decided to head back to the AirBnb and sort our things out ready for our departure Wednesday morning!

So Wednesday, we spend a lot of the day on a train heading to Oslo! We accidentally ended up spending most of the journey watching Gordon Ramsey’s Costa Del Nightmares, which kept us thoroughly entertained! The train was actually a very pleasant one, with plenty of leg room, internet, electricity points and rather nice toilets! 

Eventually we arrived in Oslo! We then managed to get lost trying to find the bus to our next AirBnb host. Really we didn’t have to get the bus, but it would have been a half hour walk with extremely heavy bags, so a bus was definitely preferable! However, we finally found the bus, and made it to our AirBnb!

The host greeted us and showed us our room and where everything is. Their place is absolutely beautiful and so clean…and our room even has a balcony!! We then went and bought food for dinner and cooked, at past 9pm! We were definitely then ready for bed.

Today, we had some breakfast (sat on our balcony in the sun…) and then headed out to explore what Oslo has to offer! We firstly decided to check out the area surrounding our AirBnb, Grünerløkka. It is known as the hipster/vintage/bohemian area and we could definitely see why! There are lots of vintage boutiques, coffee shops, graffiti/street art, and even a huge chandelier is hanging outside of the nightclub Blå! We decided to stop for a drink, and chose a retro coffee house. Inside every wall was covered in retro and vintage signs, as well as old items! I ordered a peppermint chocolate milkshake, whilst Alfie had an ice latte, which definitely had plenty of coffee in it!

When we left there, we decided to find the main centre of Oslo and the waterside area. We walked through the old town and found the Akershus Fortress. This Provided us with some beautiful views of the surrounding islands and fjords, as well as of a huge cruise ship! After spending some time wandering the grounds, we decided to head into the main centre.

It started to rain quite heavily, so we dived into a shopping centre and explored what they had to offer, before jumping into a second shopping centre! In the second one, we found a supermarket that had some beautiful bakery goods, so we decided to buy some; and as a bonus it was 3 for 35NOK! We ate our cake/doughnut and then decided to call it a day. On the way back to the apartment, it decided to absolutely bucket it down with rain, which wasn’t ideal! We managed to stop off in a supermarket and buy some food for dinner, and also managed to chat to the guy serving us at the checkout, who asked us all about our travels!  

We have now met the host’s boyfriend, whom she lives with and he chatted to us about our day and what we plan to do in Stockholm. We have now had dinner and will probably watch something before we head to bed ready for the next few busy days in Oslo!!

Alfie’s “7 Things to do in Stockholm” playlist:

Alfie’s YouTube channel:

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCNi-_VpAMEED2XkeTuFvZuQ

Our Instagram accounts for daily updates:

@nwilttravel

@travelwithalfie

Stockholm: Round 2 – part 1!

We decided that in Stockholm it was best to buy an SL Access Card and pay for a 7 day pass to be added to the card, as we were well aware that we were going to have to get the metro into the city every day; so for 335 SEK (32.17 – incuding 20 SEK for the Access Card that can be topped up again in the next 3 years) we were free to use the Stockholm SL transport! I would recomend this pass to anyone visiting Stockholm, even for just a short time as they offer different length passes, whether it be 24 hours or 7 days!

After buying our pass, we got the T18 metro line to our next AirBnb hosts place! We managed to find their flat, and the host showed us around, even telling us that he’d provided us with a few basic bits of food for breakfast (we were very grateful!)! He then told us he was leaving for a couple of hours and would then be leaving for potentially the duration of our stay, to visit his mother, son and dog elsewhere. 

We decided to nap as we hadn’t slept properly for 24 hours or something horrible! Luckily we had already picked up food for dinner when we were in Umea, so when we woke up, all we had to do was cook the food. We had pasta and then decided to head to bed to rest up ready for the following days explorations.

So day 1 back in Stockholm: We found out there was a free festival called Putte I Parken, hosting some of Sweden’s popular music talents, so we decided to drop by and see what it had to offer. By the time we’d woken up and got into Stockholm, we managed to catch a duo called “Good Harvest” and we were not disappointed! Taking their inspiration from the likes of Joni Mitchel, they had a sort of Simon and Garfunkel and First Aid Kit vibe, with beautiful harmonies and a folk sort of sound – as you can tell, I was very impressed (I would definitely recomend giving them a listen – link at the bottom!).

When they had finished, we left and headed back to the flat, with very much the intentions of going back to the festival in the evening for Friday nights headline band. However, when we got back we gave the band a listen, and decided we were not interested. Instead, we had dinner and decided to call it a night after watching a bit of TV. 

On Saturday, after another relaxed morning, we managed to join a Free Walking Tour Group around Gamla Stan. I would definitely usually reccomend free walking tours in cities as they are really interesting and give a good brief insight walking around; however, there were so many people on this one that most of the time we couldn’t hear what the tour guide was saying! In the end we decided to leave the group and go souvenir hunting and ice cream eating (I thoroughly recomend marzipan, texan fudge, or hazelnut bueno ice creams)! 

Once again we came back to the flat, ate dinner, watched TV and slept…As you can tell, our evenings are very exciting! 

So Sunday, we decided to visit the ABBA Museum!! (much to Alfie’s delight…)! To do this, we had to get the metro to T-Centrum, another metro to Kungsträdgården, and then a tram to Gröna Lund! We arrived, had no trouble paying to get In, and then had to find the actual museum entrance within, which was hard when there was a big German tour group trying to sort their audio guides out! When we finally managed to get in, both of us were extremely happy to see the Eurovision museum area first! This featured lots of contestant and winners costumes (including Johnny Logan, Lena, Bobby Socks and Lordi and Måns Zelmerlöw), a karaoke area, lots of video and sound clips and an interactive quiz! We did give the quiz a go, and I feel like we did fairly well considering our ages! Then came the ABBA museum!

In the ABBA museum (which they needed to sign post slightly better, as we went in by the wrong entrance), there were lots of costumes, original items, interactive quizzes and activities, a stage people could dance/sing on, dress up areas and dance floors! It’s fair to say my mum would have loved it even more than I did! It is definitely a must-see in Stockholm! In the gift shop, I decided to buy a small gift and souvenir to take home for the family (mum mainly of course). I did search for items with the song title ‘Slipping Through My Fingers’ because that song makes Mum and I cry every single time we hear it, however at no prevail, I ended up buying something else instead (sorry, that’s a surprise for my parents!)! 

When we left, we went for a wonder around, and found Djurgården, so we decided to go back the next day! We then took a scenic walk along the waters edge, before stopping for a nice ice cream (with toffee sauce on, of course!) sat by the water! After this short break we decided to get the metro back to the flat and call it a day. 

Monday, we had breakfast, and made a picnic before heading back out to Djurgården again. Here, we had a picnic overlooking the water and boats. We then went for a walk around Djurgården: however, there’s not much to see unless you visit Skansen or the various museums! So we decided to head back to Gamla Stan and pick up some souvenirs and a drink. My parents will be delighted to know that I bought a mini Swedish stein, and a soft toy moose…I couldn’t resist it! We then went for a drink (an expensive one)…I asked for a cocktail and I swear it was more rum than anything else! 

We have now spent the evening with Alfie editing videos (he is creating a mini series called ‘7 Things to Do in Stockholm – I will link part 1 below), whilst watching the TV, before our last full day in Stockholm of our travels begins tomorrow!

Good Harvest:

https://m.youtube.com/user/goodharvestmusic

Alfie’s ‘7 Things to Do In Stockholm’ series (part 1): 

Our instagram’s:

@nwilttravel

@travelwithalfie

Oulu, Jyväskylä, Vaasa and Umea: Travel, travel, travel, travel…

We left Oulu at 5am on Sunday morning, with a long walk from our AirBnb’s place to the bus station. Luckily we then knew where we were going. 

We arrived in Jyväskylä at 10:20am, where luckily our next AirBnb host had said we could go straight to his rather than hanging around with our bags. However, yet again,the host hadn’t quite been accurate about their location, so it was another long walk!! When we arrived, his room mate and her boyfriend (we assume) were there to welcome us and show us around. They left the house and we followed shortly behind to find a store/supermarket to buy food for dinner from…The slight issue with that was their flat was in the middle of nowhere in relation to the city, so we found all the supermarkets were closed on a sunday, or had shut down entirely. So, we took another long walk into the city. Just outside the supermarket, they were setting up for a World Ralley HQ site, so there were racing cars for Hyundai, Ford, Toyota etc! If we would have known, we would have tried to coincide our trip to Jyväskylä with the World Rally event.

In the supermarket, we bought pesto, chicken nuggets, hot dog sausages, cheese, juice, chocolate, biscuits, cappucino sachets, and macaroni pasta! So we headed straight back to the flat to put the items away, which very helpfully, the room mate had made us some space in the fridge. When we got back, for some reason, we couldn’t get the key to work in the door. Luckily, someone let us in, who happened to be the room mate’s sister. She was really friendly, and asked us where we’re from and also tried to help us get the wifi working (at no result) and offered us help with where things were to use in the kitchen. 

When she left, we made chocolate cappucinnos and ended up napping (which we seem to be doing a lot of). When we woke up, we showered and made dinner before falling asleep really early…once again, we really needed our sleep!

Monday morning, we allowed ourselves to have a bit of a lie in, before walking into Jyväskylä for the day. We explored and then found a really nice coffee shop (as recomended to us by tripadviser). I had a hot chocolate (which really wasn’t very nice) and Alfie had a macchiato, however the highlight definitely had to be the cakes. We both had their signature chocolate mousse cake, and wow it was good…and a good job it was so nice at the price! 

We then wondered and came across a woodland park which had the stadium in, as well as the Natural History Museum with a nice clock tower, which unfortunately was closed when we passed. However, we still spent some time resting in the park before wondering around a bit more. Wondering eventually ended up with us in another supermarket (as usual), buying garlic bread, doughnuts and our favourite Finnish pastry of all, Pirkka Lihapasteija (we think it’s like a sausage roll but with more flavourings plus rice – if any one knows exactly what it is, please comment below!!). We sat and ate these by the waterside, making the most of the pastries as they will most likely be the last of our trip, as our time In Finland was soon to end. 

We slowly headed back and, yet again, ended up napping, eating dinner and showering. The only difference this time was that we also had to pack our bags before going to bed for the night.

After another reasonably early start, we made our way into Jyväskylä ready to collect our next bus, to Vaasa with a connection at Seinajoki, where we had 5 minutes to get off the first bus, collect our stuff and get onto another bus. 

When we arrived in Vaasa, we had to kill some time, so we started off by exploring the market in the main square. Yet again, we ended up getting a coffee in a small little cafe, where I watched them make our drinks using powder and a kettle…Very fancy…! From there we went and sat down for a while before finding somewhere for dinner. We decided to opt for a pizza place called Koti Pizza that originated in Vaasa, and buy two takeaway pizzas for us to eat before catching a transfer bus to the ferry port. 

Once we had checked in, we got onto the ferry and made our way straight to the bar where there was an abundance of chairs free, because everyone else was queuing for the various food outlets. I ordered a mocktail and Alfie ordered a beer and then a man with a few guitars and a harmonica started performing which added to the atmosphere of the bar. Another mocktail and beer later and the ferry was starting to dock. 

We got off and had to catch another transfer bus into Umeå Central where we had absolutely no idea where we were getting off…We made a good guess though and only had a 5 minute walk then to the hotel (yes we decided to get some luxury for one night). Our room was a standard, nice hotel room, which we ended up falling straight asleep in!

Yesterday morning, we woke up and went down for our buffer breakfast which even included bacon, pancakes and eggs…a much better selection than the Stockholm ship! I even had my first cup of tea since our travels started! Once we were ready, we headed back to our room. Luckily, we had requested a longer check out because of our next bus not departing until after 8pm, so we didn’t have to leave our room until 1pm. This allowed Alfie to upload his next video (link at the bottom) and for me to shower and pack the final bits. 

When we left, we found the main square where an act was performing as part of Umeå Live, so we sat and listened for a while before finding somewhere to have a coffee. We ended up having vanilla latte’s at ‘Wayne’s Coffee’. After ‘Wayne’s Coffee’, we went to explore and found a sunny grass area where loads of people were eating picnics and sun bathing, so we decided to join them and pass the time for a while. 

After ‘catching some rays’ for a while, we headed to a supermarket to pick up some food for the overnight bus journey, before once again sitting to listen more musicians as part of the Umeå Live event. By this point, a big crowd had joined the front of the stage and were singing along…Unfortunately for us, all the lyrics were in Finnish and we didn’t know the songs, but we did appreciate the sound of the music!

We decided to have dinner in ‘MAX’ as an alternative to McDonalds, and by recomendation of one of my friends. I throughouly enjoyed my chicken and bacon burger, however Alfie had to be more selective of his choices due to allergies, so he wasn’t quite so impressed! 

After dinner we went back to the square and chilled out for a short while before finding the bus station to catch our night bus to Stockholm. 

We arrived back in Sweden, in Stockholm this morning, just after 5am, with very little sleep! We’ve spent the morning sat in the central train station, people watching, and also drinking coffee’s in Espresso House. Our next AirBnb host has kindly let us check in at 12 so we will soon be heading there.

Alfie’s latest Travel Video:

https://youtu.be/1UHFhCjKqfc

Or view all of his videos in one playlist!:

Our Instagram’s for more photos: 

@travelwithalfie

@nwilttravel

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

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