Europe · 40 Days · 84 Moments · June 2017

Nicola's Europe Loop 3: July: Scandinavia

7 August 2017

Denmark, Copenhagen Three hours stopover in Denmark's capital: passing Tivoli and Christiansborg, strolling through trendy Christiana, colourful Nyhavn, had a delicious porchetta sandwich from some charming italians, and visited the Botanical Garden and Ørstedsparken. Too short obviously!!

6 August 2017

Sweden, Malmö - Gay Pride
Sweden, Malmö - beach Malmö beach with old bådehuset, cormorans, Oresund bridge,and sudden change of weather. Within two minutes the black clouds were suddenly over the beach and opening their gates.

5 August 2017

Sweden, Malmö - lazy Saturday Mostly reading my novel at Slottsträdgården café, very beautiful café in the midst of an array of thematic gardens (had my first real smørrebröd there, dunno,eventually it is dark bread with stuff on top, things I would normally do at home, too, so...), continue the read in adjacent Kungsparken and after a stroll through gamla stan which was exploding with tourists found the probably best icecream in whole Sweden at Drottningtorget, Dolce Sicilia. I recommend dark chocolate with pear, perfect combination.
Sweden, Malmö - museums day (Malmöhus Slott) Today I learned about polka dots (dots on fabric were made possible industrially at the time when the polka dance was on, hence the connection), history of Roma (emerged from India and were started to be persecuted as falsely accused spies of Turkey), Swedish Danish history (Roskilde peace treaty), about textiles and what you can do with it in all shapes, and about hops (only came to Europe in the 8th century) All of this in one museum!! And I even spared the part about dinosaurs... Pic 1: sitting in a speaker bubble, some kind of round armchair version with speakers inside, nice concept

4 August 2017

Sweden, Malmö - Around the Central Train Station
Sweden, Malmö - city animals
Sweden, Malmö - Turning Torso and around
Sweden, Malmö - Gamla Stan & Co
Sweden, Malmö - Form/Design Center very cool place
Yay! 1st class ride from Kungsbacka to Malmö 2.5 hs for 380 SEK (about 38€) instead of 320 SEK (32€) in 2nd class. Decided that was worth the 6€ difference ((-:
Sweden, Åsa Åsa Jutegård is a cute B&B, in an old countryside farmers house. The weather didn't allow for outdoor activities but telling from what I saw from the bus and on the map it is a perfect quiet little spot close to the sea. Getting there by public transport is a bit cumbersome but doable. Train to Kungsbacka, then 30min by bus and another 20min walk. But I was lucky and got a ride for the last bit (-:

3 August 2017

Sweden, Göteborg, reflections on a rainy day * Sweden is somehow cosier than Norway, even in rain * On every bus or train there is one inconsolable crying baby * Cafés substitute steam baths on rainy days * Göteborg surely is a pretty city, just that I couldn't appreciate it as much through the rain curtain, but also it is far from beating Stockholm * Almost felt like a local after the lady from the Asian shop greeted me on the street on my second turn around the corner. Funnily she didn't speak (or read) English (I had had a question about a product in the shop) and spoke Swedish with me with a strong Asianwhatever accent. Great communication. But all smiles (-: * Go to Husaren Café in gamla stan and see if you manage to eat a cinnamon roll. They are pizza size there. Else I recommend their fruit pies!! * Ah yes, did I say it was almost literally raining cats and dogs today?

2 August 2017

Norway, Oslo Frogner Park & Holmenkollen

1 August 2017

Norway, island hopping in Oslo From Aker brygge (ferry port in downtown Oslo) take the ferries subsequently to Hovedøya, Bleikøya, Gressholmen/Rambergøya, Langøyene and many more.

31 July 2017

Norway, Lom The crossroads village in Jotunheimen National Park. Small but busy, super modern information center with beautiful photo exhibition, Norway's largest collection of minerals (quite impressive and free entrance), zip line over the river, open air museum with traditional houses (pic 1), stavskyrka from the 12th's century and a very good bakery.

30 July 2017

Norway, Jotunheimen National Park, Krossbu Hike up to the glacier (3.5hs total). Every hike is an adventure, guys! Today I saw a glacier, waterfalls, snow grouse/ ptarmigan (Norwegian: fjellrypa) in their summer dress, I had to climb down the rocks next to the waterfall and cross the ice cold river bare feet. Quite a challenge given that after three seconds in the water my toes felt completely numb and all the blood seemed to have rushed out from the head. I hope nobody saw or heard my, stumbling through the water with the slippery stones and cursing the world away... Glad once again I made it back in one piece. Tomorrow relax and travel day. PS: Krossbu hostel on pic 1

29 July 2017

Norway, Jotunheimen National Park II Hike from Sognefjellshytta to Bøvertun After escaping the falcons (see previous journi moment) I went on the hiking path I had planned on hitting with my short cut anyways. Much better marked though at times a little tricky as well, thus I was quite happy to meet a group of hikers on the way who at the end also gave me a ride back to my hostel. Happy smile eventually on my last pic (-; (4.5 hours hike)
Norway, Jotunheimen National Park I Hike from Krossbu to Sognefjellshytta This hike was supposed to go somewhere else... But after one hour happy climbing up and following the T signs or little stone piles I didn't see where the path went on. And that was the moment when a falcon (?)(pic 10) turned up. First I was so happy, yay picture time, but then he started shouting out high shrill cries, cruising over my head, calling yet another falcon over until I got them both cruising over me and hover above my head. Not funny. Even if you know they probably don't attack you. When you are out there alone and don't even find the path, not funny. I sat down under a rock to bore them off but they just sat down right in front watching and waiting. I then decided to zig zag down over rocks and snow fields to Sognefjellshytta which I had seen down there somewhere earlier. And then take up the hike from there. That was my scariest hike so far. Took only two hours luckily.

28 July 2017

No pics day. Just travelling. About 24 hours in a row: 5 hours ferry from Moskenes on Lofoten to Bodø on the Norwegian mainland. 3 hours waiting. 11 hours night train (seated! :-() from Bodø to Trondheim. 3 hours train ride from Trondheim to Otta. 1 hour bus from Otta to Lom. 3 hours waiting. 40min bus ride Lom to Krossbu tourist station and hostel where to start some hikes from in Jotunheimen national park.

27 July 2017

Bye bye Lofoten (Norway) Panorama from the ferry from Moskenes to Bodø
Norge, Lofoten Foggy morning Yttersand beach and Ramberg beach

26 July 2017

Norge, Lofoten, Fredvang Sauna at a lake

25 July 2017

Norge, Lofoten Fog crawling in over Lofoten in the evening
Norge, Lofoten - Reinebringen climb Very steep climb, not much of a hike, rather gravel ladder. Magnificent views (again!!) Thanks for the ride, the pics and the company Mark!

24 July 2017

Norge, Lofoten, Å - relaxing day Dinner at MarenAnna restaurant in Sørvågen (30min walk from Å) - highly recommendable!!
Norge, Lofoten, Å Shortly after midnight...

23 July 2017

Norge, Lofoten, Å Probably the most photographed town entrance, one letter village. The other pics are from the Tindstinden hike when I got off the path and discovered a beautiful river and lake by chance and got visit from a dragonfly.
Norge, Lofoten, climbing Tindstinden Starting from Å you walk 25min until the parking at Holmen, then walk up 10min to a lake and then it is a 90min climb (down it's about 60min). The second half gets really steep and a little scary at times. You walk on the crest and also on very narrow paths right at the precipice. See red marks on the pics... I actually didn't mean to climb up to the top after the rope secured steep bit but then a girl coming down convinced me that the last bit is fairly easy and non-scary again. Proof: pics 7+8 from the top with views to both sides.

22 July 2017

Lofoten food
Norge, Lofoten, Kvalvika Beach Beach highlight on Lofoten. Only accessible by foot (1 hour climb over a mountain). Sheep walking on the beach, else not much. Quite some people camping there, too. Ultimate peace and beauty <3
Norge, Lofoten, Yttersand beach
Norge, Lofoten, Nusfjord It's like a museum village. You pay 50 NOK entrance (about 6€) and get to see a lot of old traditional work places (smithy, tran factory etc) and learn about stock fish production. Pic 6 is a work from design students and hides a a sauna which apparently can be rented. Next time I go there I definitely have to do that!!

21 July 2017

Selfie time... Trying out the self-timer ((-: at Lofoten, Norge
Lofoten, rocks behind Ballstad, Norge Most delightful hike (except for the climb over dust and gravel) on a hay meadow and rocks. Sun all day, clear skies, mountain chains in the distance, glittery water, sheep with little bells, sea gulls, birds of prey. Some tourists also but endurable (-; pics 3/8/10: living on the edge... pic 5: piece of sheep wool I found on the way. Keeping it for the cold days (-;
Mountainshadowboxingyoga @Lofoten, Norge

20 July 2017

Norway, Lofoten islands, Ballstad Kræmmervika Rorbuer aka Vandrerhjem Ballstad Lovely cottages in an even more lovely setting. In pic 1 you see an array of red cottages, one is mine which I share with another person. All very modern and peaceful. Just a little cold (-;
Norway, Lofoten islands, bus ride On the way from Narvik to Leknes/Ballstad on Lofoten Picture 1 is Tjeldsund bridge, the most northern point I will reach on my trip. All the rest are Lofoten road pics from the bus.

19 July 2017

Sweden, Abisko - curiosities Pic 1: no space for proper veggies or fruit but half the supermarket filled with sweets (!!!) And we are not talking about a normal supermarket in a medium sized city. This is Abisko, containing of five houses and starting (or ending) place for all backpackers for the Kungsleden hike. Pic 2: Birch Pic 3: Wagon with ore being transported from Kiruna to Narvik. There are trains every half hour. And every 1000th wagon is gold (painted). I spotted one but didn't manage to get the camera out in time. Pic 4+5: Typical Sami huts, in this case both for storage purposes Pic 6: Abisko train station, the only big stone building here.
Sweden, Abisko National Park Selection of flora and fauna of the mountains of Northern Sweden. Don't know all the species, pic 8 is an ant's hill by the way. There were loads of them. And millions of small flowers in all colours and shapes. Actually there are courses on the flora held here regularly as it is among the most diverse. Supposedly you can also meet elks here as well as reindeer (poo pic), hermelins, otters, eagles and a lot of other animals. They didn't come by to shake hands though (yet).
Sweden Abisko National Park Hike part 3: following down the canyon to where it meets the Kungsleden trail and down the river into the lake at Abisko Tourist Station Side note: the cute little creek on pic 2 is actually my hiking path...
Sweden, Abisko National Park Hike part 2: from Paddus to the Canyon That bit looked easy since it meant just crossing over at the same level but since it had rained over the last days I found myself jumping from stone to any piece of solid or half solid something in order to cross the swampy parts or those with spontaneous streams without getting my shoes completely soaked. I managed. Thank you Meindl hiking boots, thank you long legs, thank you brain for your suggestions where to jump!
Sweden, Abisko National Park Hike part 1: up to Paddus, sacred Sami site

18 July 2017

Sweden, Abisko sunset Lapporten view from my window and view over the lake from the other window

17 July 2017

Sweden, Inlandsbanan Impressions from the train driver seat and the stops Crossing the polar circle Stop for dinner at a lake Reindeer wandering along and across the road
Sweden, Inlandsbanan From Östersund (7:15 am) to Gällivare (8:30 pm) Inlandsbanan is an old train with two wagons of 60 persons each. Inside very modern with inclinable seats, board bistro and USB plugs. It stops every 15-45min. Longer stops for lunch and dinner which can be ordered on the train also. Particularities about places and stops are announced in Swedish and English. Very informative pleasant ride. Would highly recommend to everybody! Even if you seem to only see forest and lakes most of the time you end up seeing very different things and places. Also, after only having seen fee scattered houses even at the stops the "bigger" places with asphalted roads, a hand full of cars and even stone houses seem huge and strangely out of place. All pics were taken during the ride from inside the train (except those of the train itself)

16 July 2017

Sweden, Åre A hike in the rain. 90min on route 231. Slipped several times in the mud and almost fell on my butt. Most of the time the conditions for sight and ground were as shown in the pictures. Today once again I was glad for having long legs... And getting warm from the 10 degrees rain at a pizza with reindeer meat, chanterelles (Pfifferlinge), lingonberry and horseradish. A little bit exotic for pizza but delicious!
Sweden, Åre The winter resort village was established as such around 1880, first wooden houses for leisure tourism were established from 1885 onwards. The first hotel was opened by a young lady. The first staircase lift was built in Åre. The funicular goes along 800m, every 20min, in parallel with the one from the other side, and it costs 60SEK, which is about 6.50€. What a change to the funicular in Kaunas (Lithuania) for 0.57€. Ok, was shorter but (-; Pics 2+3 show the only stone church building in Sweden mountain areas, pic 6 the former cabins of the cable car which goes to the mountain top.

15 July 2017

Sunset in Stockholm
Sweden, Stockholm The only street art I have seen in the whole city!!
Sweden, Stockholm Bike Tour II
Sweden, Stockholm Millesgården
Sweden Stockholm Bike Tour I

13 July 2017

Sweden, Söderköping surroundings Looking for hill graves, finding stunningly green meadows, young birch forest and rocks and rocks covered with moss. Not too sure where the hill graves hide though...

12 July 2017

Sweden, Gränna THE city of Polkagrisen, come watch admire. Here you see how it's done.
Young raven waiting patiently (and without success) for food in Hjo, Sweden
Sweden, Hjo Tiny little city at the lake, former Kurort/spa, with amazing wooden houses
Sweden, Göta canal, sluice at Forsvik One of the almost sixty sluices along the Göta canal which was built within 22 years (1810-1832) (9 years were expected) for about 9 instead of expected 1.5 million Swedish whatever the currency was back then. At Forsvik, with 3.5m it has the highest difference in water level.
Sweden, Perstorp, Hemma Hos Martha & Anders Lovely place in the countryside, 5min walk from the beach, all very clean and quality built. Spacious and well equipped kitchen, eco toilets, sauna option, yoga room, roosters announcing the day, lovely and helpful couple running the place. There is a bus stop a few hundred meters up the road but easier is to come by car.

11 July 2017

Sweden, Tiveden National Park Starting at the info point we first did the yellow tour (supposedly 2hours buy we did it in about 1 hour) and then the blue tour (supposedly 4.5 hours but we did it in 2 hours 15min), both with climbs on rocks, beautiful views at the different lakes, lush green, moss, fern, water lilies, forest and an absolute stillness (if it wasn't for us cracking branches on the ground)

10 July 2017

Sweden, Tived Sunset over the lake (no filters)
Sweden, Örebro Open (Air) Art
Sweden, Gripsholm Castle Amazing wall paintings and portraits!

9 July 2017

Sweden, ferry trip from Vaxholm to Grinda island and back to Stockholm city center. With Paul and Katrin. First ride with a very fast but super noisy boat and second ride with an old steamer, very cute, all wood (see pic 2)
Sweden, Grinda island, after rain Small paths on soft ground in the forest along the coast of the island - damp dreamwonderland of moss, fern, blueberries, lichens and pines. (with Paul and Katrin)
Sweden, Vaxholm Sweet little city 30min bus ride from Stockholm

7 July 2017

Sweden, Stockholm City stroll through Stockholm, from university campus along the city National Park, to the ferry port, along the water, to Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde, to the city center and back. Thank you, Paul!

6 July 2017

Ferries in Scandinavia: Viking Line and Tallink/Silja Line both operating most routes. I did Tallinn Helsinki (2h30), Turku Mariehamn (about 5hs) and Mariehamn Stockholm (see pics) (about 5hs). For the last trip I learned that you can book a place in a shared cabin. I was lucky and got it for myself. Bit weird anyway to sit in such a closed space without windows in the belly of such a big boat. If you don't book a cabin you get a deck place which allows you to roam freely on all decks and sit if you find a space. Mostly that is by the windows in the corridors or in one of the numerous restaurants or bars or if you are lucky in an outdoor or indoor spot on the sun deck. But beware of drunken people and those with trolleys full of booze... The ferry route between Stockholm and Mariehamn is marvelous because most of the time you are cruising between myriads of little islands.

5 July 2017

Cliffs @HavsVidden, Geta, Åland islands, Finland You get there by car or as in my case by bike. The place is a spa hotel with a jacuzzi on the rocks facing the sea, quite amazing. And a bunch of luxury huts sitting on the cliffs each and every one with spectacular views. No clue about the price. As a visitor you can visit the 180degree view restaurant and/or take a walk on the cliffs (about 30min), basically jumping from cliff to cliff. The best!!!
100th moment in this journi! Åland cycling trip Starting point Godby, passing the church in Palsböle, heading further NW direction Geta, ending at HavsVidden Spa Resort (for lunch snack of shrimp cocktail and Rosé for 25€) and a walk over the amazing cliffs there. See next journi moment... Side note: Cycling with a no gear bike and a dry chain is really shitty when it's windy PLUS uphills at times, especially when it's 25km to go. For the way back I hope for the wine swing (-;

4 July 2017

Suddenly I was in Sweden... er, still Finland, but Swedish language, but autonomous, own government, own post/stamps, not own currency (euro like in rest of Finland) - welcome to: Åland! Åland consists of some hundred islands, partly connected through bridges, partly through ferry, large parts just scattered around. Today I visited Eckerö island by bus from the main city of Åland, Mariehamn. 30min, 4.40€. Last bus around 6pm. No bus runs after that time to any place here actually. There is: wind, coastline, granite rocks (a lot of them), fisher villages, wooden huts, a fishery museum (slightly overpriced with 7€ for six rooms filled with old fishery stuff), the former post and toll house (now museum)(pic 10).

2 July 2017

Turku, Finland Apart from the medieval market Turku did not seem too interesting or special. Two blocks from the river you have quite some old and interesting buildings (pic 8) but for the rest I've seen it's huge streets, very wide, and big "modern" ugly buildings (pics 9+10). I couldn't resist and bought a new necklace (pic 7). Supporting local handicraft and designers.
Turku, Finland Medieval market Very nicely done. Lots of stalls where you could learn how to work wood, iron, horn, medieval games, drawing, use of weapons etc. And face painting obviously (-:

1 July 2017

Lupins special @Helsinki/Rastila/Porvoo
Porvoo, Finland 45min ride by bus from Helsinki (Kamppi). Buses go every 15min, 9€ one way. Porvoo is a beautiful little city dating back to the 14th century. The old part of town consists purely of coloured wooden houses, mostly light pastel colours except for the dark red dock houses. Every house hosts either a café restaurant or a handicraft design antique souvenir shop. Delicious luxury snack in between... (pic 10). Very pleasant for a short day trip. The piece of art (pic 8) hangs under a bridge and is called Junk 'n' Roses. Nice little details like skeletons sitting in shoes or inside a toilet sink. Roses for eyes in the skull. Swans on top.

30 June 2017

Helsinki, Finland Ferry excursion from Hakaniemi (two metro stops from the central train station) (5:00pm) to Vuossari (6:45pm) for 10€. This particular ferry goes twice a day. It is a lovely old boat and passes a lot of islands. If it wasn't for the chilly wind today I would have stayed on the "sun deck" the whole time. Lovely anyways!!!

29 June 2017

Sunset in Helsinki, Finland Probably the most beautiful day of the year! Sunshine all day, light breeze and about 18 degrees Celsius. Had a rosé wine on that busy terrace. Never mind the price and the plastic glass if you can sit right across the harbour <3
Suomenlinna I Island at 15min by ferry from Helsinki, Finland. Old fortress built by the Swedes in the 18th century. Beautiful place for a walk with lovely views to every side. Please note I sit on a canon on the first pic. Even if you can't really see it...
Suomenlinna II Island 15min by ferry from Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland City-Park-stroll on a sunny day!
Helsinki, Finland City stroll continued...
Helsinki, Finland Architecture I Different to what quite a lot of people told me I found Helsinki pretty pretty, lots of gorgeous buildings and façades, especially Kalevankatu street
Lunch! Found this very cool place by accident. Coconut café, in an old industrial building, with seats outside, 10€ for a lunch buffet of Asian Fusion Kitchen. Yummy! Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki, Finland Architecture II