Three weeks in Northern and Southeast Europe

After spending all week shopping in London, it was time to move on. Stockholm!

Basically my Stockholm plan was messed up by the London train system. The weather was great when I got here, clear, sunny and beautiful scenery everywhere. It was still bright until 10pm, but I was too tired to go anywhere, just got some food from the 7 eleven then went to bed.

After breakfast we started our long walking day… our first destination was Stadshuset(city hall), then walk through the bridge to the old town center, after lunch we kept walking across the bridge to walk along the river, we had drinks and strawberry on the way, and it is so beautiful everywhere, we feel we are just walking in the pictures.

Stockholm Vivian Stockholm
Vivian Stockholm Swedish Meat Balls
 Stockholm Horses  stockholm

Finally we ended up with visiting Vasa museum before it closed then we get into a park, sit by the river watching sunset among beautiful buildings…also where you can access Skansen, it is a nice museum where you can see all the old swedish houses but it is closed at that moment, so we took a tram to go back to the hotel and I stopped by the shopping mall and the center station to get my ticket for Norway.

The weather is chilly when the sun goes down…night is coming, lights are shinning, party people everywhere on the street…

After only spending 1 day in Stockholm (unfortunately) I took the train to Oslo, Norway. Leaving the blue sunny Stockholm weather behind me, I arrived to an overcast rainy Oslo. Being in Oslo not long after the horrific bombing and shootings, there were flowers and candles laid out in most corners of the city.

We visited the relatively new award winning Opera house, then walked around. Finally we get to the sculptures parks and sit on the grass to enjoy Noway sunset! It is fully of Naked people here… statues! This turned out to be good fun, taking silly pictures with all the different naked statues, and the main attraction… the tower of naked people.

Vivian with a naked statue Naked people tower
Naked People Vivian in the Naked Park

After hanging out with naked people, we thought it was time to check out Norway’s famous Fjords, so we got ticket before going back to the hotel, then went on a train trip called “Norway in a Nutshell” to Bergen, Norway the next day!

The Oslo to Bergen train journey is always featured near the top of most scenic train rides, and rightly so. The first leg on the trip was from Oslo to Myrdal. The scenery was breathtaking for most of the 4 hours.

Fjords Norway Norway Fjords

From Myrdal we took the Flam Railway, this train drops over 800m at a very steep grade, the scenery on this train is even more unbeleivable then the last. It makes one stop at a gorgeous waterfall for everyone to get out and have a chance at taking some pictures:)

Train Bergan Flam Railway waterfall

Once we reached the bottom, we got off the Flam Railway and took the ferry and then another bus and train (all with spectacular scenery) to reach our final destination…Bergen.

Vivian Fjords Voss

When we arrived in Bergen we wandered around the city, it is quite small, but very beautiful, with a lot of old cobblestone streets and little shops.

We walked to Bryggen, the oldest area of Bergen and has lots of buildings which are colorfully painted and are now heritage listed. We ate at the Seafood restaurant at Bryggen, Enhjor Ningen which has a unicorn sign in the front.

Dinner Bergan Whale
Bergen Norway Bryggen
Vivian with moose Bergen View

From Bergen it was back to Oslo, on 1 long train journey, the next day we went to the airport to fly to Berlin, but when arriving at the airport we realised there are 3 airports in Oslo, and we were at the wrong one. So we had to change our plan and fly to Copenhagen, Denmark instead.

The Cyclists rule the streets in Copenhagen, so we thought we should hire a bike and join them! It is a great way to get around and see Copenhagen, very easy and enjoyable.

Vivian on a bike Im on a bike

Copenhagen was the home of the famous Fairy tale writer Hans Christian Anderson, so we went on the search to find his most famous “The Littler Mermaid”. We fought the crowd to get some pictures in front of the Mermaid Statue that sits at the waters edge. Also visited the Hans Christian Anderson museum, to find out the history of this amazing story teller.

Vivian the beautiful Mermaid

The Little Mermaid :)

Vivian with Anderson

Hans Christian Anderson

One thing I didn’t know about Copenhagen is that it has this place called Freetown Christiania, I had no idea what it was, just knew it was a small city inside of Copenhagen that supported itself. So we took a look and got a surprise when we got there, it is like a hippy town, everyone is high and vendors selling Marijuanna everywhere on the street in open daylight.

We found out that this place has its own laws, and has over 850 residents living inside, just be careful don’t take any pictures.

Copenhagen is the home of Prince Frederik and Princess Mary, they live in the Amalienborg Palace through the winter. The palace is made up of four identical classicizing palace façades. We rode our bikes through the courtyards to take a quick look in the afternoon, it was so nice to have bikes so easy to get around.

Strøget is a car free shopping street, we spent quite a bit of time shopping here and eating our way through the crepes shops. We had lunch at Nyhavn, a choice of many pubs along the quay in Nyhavn, was a nice place to enjoy the afternoon sun and take a rest from all the days biking.

Copenhagen Shopping Street

Shopping Street;)

Vivian at Copenhagen

Nyhavn

The next country on the list, Prague, Czech Republic, I heard many recommendations to go to Prague, that it was a really beautiful city, and cheap!

We arrived Prague in the evening, the next day we walked into the the city center, walking around Prague’s old streets is an experience in itself. The first thing we did was walk in to the Old Town square and saw the most famous clock in the world, we arrived just on time to see the clock work its magic ;)

Clock in Prague vivian in prague

We went up the clock tower which was totally worth it, gorgeous 360 degree view of Prague.

Vivian in Tower View of Prague
Prague City Prague View

We stopped for a quick lunch in the Old town Square Markets, definitely a must, where all the local fast cuisine is sold. Made our way to Prague Castle, crossing over Charles bridge, the bridge is full of different vendors and street performances.

The next day we took a train to go and visit the bone Church, a church made from Human Bones, scary!

Vivian at Bone Church Skulls in Bone Church

The Church is inside a medieval town called Kutna Hora, from the outside the church looked like any other church, but when we went inside, everything.. everything, was made from bones, all the decorations, the chandeliers…

Bone Chandelier Inside the Bone Church

After our day with the human bones, we returned to Prague, and caught an overnight train to Budapest, Hungary. The train was more comfortable then what we were expecting, so slept all the way ;)

We woke up to a really really nice day in Bupdapest, checked in then went straight to the famous Baths, we decided to to go Szechenyi Baths, they were the first thermal baths on the Pest side. They have a few inside baths and 2 outdoor pools/baths. Swimming around the gorgeous dommed ceilings and ancient feeling, makes it awesome place to relax all day. We went from bath to bath, sun baked, and got a massage to finish my Budapest Bath experience.

Thermal Baths Vivian Swimming

Budapest has a lot of nice restaurants, in a street nearby Oktogon Metro station, the specialty here is Beef Goulash, we tried a couple good ones. We ate at the eco cafe every morning for breakfast, they sell all types of organic foods and great coffee.

The next day after lunch, we checked out some shops on the way to the Hungarian State Opera House, the Opera House is a beautiful Renaissance style, various opera and ballet performances take place there. We did a tour to find out more history, and at the end there was a mini Opera performance.

Vivian Chain Bridge Budapest Boat

Vivian Budapest view

Later that day, we took ourselves over the other side of Budapest, across the Chain Bridge to the castle Hill, we planned to go to the Faust Wine cellar to do some wine tasting but it was the owners birthday and was closed :< so we went to the House of Hungarian wines instead. After drinking lots of wine, I was feeling drunk and making lots of fun pictures on the way back across the other side.

Vivian Tower Budapest Building
Vivian on the grass Vivian looking beautiful

After Budapest, we caught the train to Vienna arriving in the evening, just time to have dinner and check in. In the morning we went for a walk through the city and met some guys selling Orchestra tickets to see a show at the the Famous Golden Hall.

We made our way to Hofburg Castle the former palace of the Habsburg emperors contains the imperial apartments of Empress Sissi and Franz. We also saw the imperial crown, weapons, armory and their very large Silver and Porcelain collection. It was interesting how long Sissi spent making up everyday, just for her hair it took 2-4 hours each day, she used this time to learn foreign languages.Vvian at Vienna
The next day we went to have a look at the Spanish Riding School, unfortunately we missed the performance, so we took the guided tour instead. All the Horses are males, and no females are allowed in the school, because they will cause too much trouble, just the same as human beings.

We took the metro out of town a few stops to see Schonbrunn(the summer royal residence and the most important cultural monument in the city). This is a really beautiful place, there are amazing parks and unique beauty. The Hasburgs really knew how to live in style.

Vivian - ViennaVivian Garden

That night we watched the show at the Golden Hall that we purchased on our first day in Vienna, the Golden Hall, said to be the “Golden Sound in the Golden Hall”. The beautifully orante auditorium combined with its exquisite sound truly makes it a great night out. After the show, we went to eat the famous Chocolate Cake “The Original Sacher-Torte”.

Vienna Golden Hall Chocolate Cake
Prater Vienna Vienna View

We took the train to Vienna’s Amusement Park “Prater” went on a scary ride, then to UNO city, walked through the park to the Danube Tower the tallest free standing structure in Austria at 252m high. We saw views of Vienna City and the out skirting suburbs. when we get down, it is sunset time again we laid in the park below the tower,enjoyed the peaceful afternoon before heading to dinner.

After dinner we got back to our hotel and took a taxi to the airport, heading back to London. it is the end of this Europe trip, what will be next?!!!  See the coming blog soon!

 

Advertisements

10 Days in Philippines

Boracay Beach Philippines

Boracay Island

In July I went to Manila and Boracay, Philippines spent 2 days in Manila shopping/eating and then Boracay to swim and soak up the sun…

In Manila we stayed at the New world hotel which is across the road from the Greenbelt shopping mall, did some shopping and ate a lot of seafood!

We checked out some of the Bars like Cafe Havana and some other ones close by.

Crab in greenbelt

mmm Crab.. ;)

Crab in Manila

More....

Manila seems very chaotic and unorganized and everyone tries to make money out of you by getting you an expensive taxi. Another strange thing I noticed was that every shopping center and even some small shops have security checks at the entrances.

Also did some shopping at Divisoria 168 shopping place, because the taxi driver said it’s the most famous shopping place in Manila!!! this place is so dirty, crowded with Tuk Tuks and mostly cheap stuff, but I found an awesome green bag that was very useful for the rest of the trip!

Divisoria 168 shopping

Divisoria 168 Shopping Place

We stayed in the Boracay Beach Club Hotel and the Monarco Suites, spent most of our time sun baking and swimming. Also canoeing under the rain! One time we canoed back under the storm, it felt like we were in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean…only more scary since our boat was so tiny and we couldn’t see anything around.

Sunbaking at Boracay

Relaxing in sun :)

Canoeing in Boracay

Canoeing ;)

In Monarco Suites we canoed around the very glassy water, then into a cave, the cave was a peaceful harbor when it is raining heavily outside, the water is so clear, cool and it is the perfect place for us to park our boat, we really enjoyed swimming there.

Vivian in cave near monarco suites

Hiding from the storm

Vivian on boracay beach

Having fun on beach

Other than having fun in the water, walking around the tropical garden, running up and down the hill is also an enjoyable exercise.

Vivian in red dress boracay Beauty at Boracay

Everyone loves breakfast facing the beach in the morning, enjoy lovely french toast and pancakes with breathtaking scenery. We did the same every morning.

 Baking in the sun  Vivian at the pool

We got lucky with the weather for being the wet season, there were a couple of rainy days still. When not sun baking and swimming in the crystal clear water, we enjoyed some activities, sailing, buggy driving around boracay island, helmet diving, and zorb balling down a grass hill…

Vivian on sailing boat boracay

Sailing boat boracay

Beautiful girl jumping in Boracay

Sunset in Boracay

One of the days we went Island hopping, first snorkeling and after to Crystal cove. Crystal Cove is an isolated island about 30minutes boat ride from Boracay shore. It is surrounded by crystal green water, has native huts and island statues, but the main attraction are its two caves. We walked down into the caves and crawled through to have a swim in the hidden water hole.

Vivian at crystal cove island

Vivian at crystal cove cave Crystal Cove Island

All the activities are sold by all the local vendors, when first arriving it is quite annoying, all of them asking us if we want to do this and do that, and with high prices. We eventually just blocked them out and ignored them, these guys were great for taking photos of us though:)

With all the activities we needed energy, so I ate lots of  crepes and drank a lot of shakes.

Crepes at boracay

 

:)Hmmm getting tired now and need to sleep soon, there are still a lot more memories… already starting to miss it… when will be my next beach vacation?