Italy – Verona

The thing with this road trip was that we hadn’t really looked up each place before going there. We wanted to be spontaneous and see whatever we stumbled upon, with exeption for the occasional google of the must sees.

So when we arrived in Verona we didn’t know where to go or what to see. The first thing we did was to park the car and go for lunch on the east side of the river. It was a quiet area without any tourists. Not much to see and hard to find a restaurant close to the river.

After lunch we walked into the old city (west of the river) in search of the balcony of Romeos Juliette. I guess we weren’t the first nor the last ones looking for it since it was very well signed. Arriving at the balcony there were of course lots and lots of people there, just like any other famous tourist attraction. We had a brief look at it and then walked away from the fuss.

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We walked around until we reached the Northern part back at the other side of the river. As we were walking we saw these monuments high up on the hill. We found the entrance, it was cheap enough to enter, so we did. Man! it was a long walk up and a lot of stairs to climb, but boy was it worth it. The view from up there was amazing!

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Italy – Milano/Lake Garda

Me and my boyfriend had planned this trip since last year. We didn’t have the time nor the money to go then so we were extra excited about this now! All we knew was that we wanted to roadtrip in Italy. I had never been to Italy before so I wanted to see it all. Johan (the lucky guys name) had already been to some places so we tried to plan the trip around that.

We never fully decided on a fix trip but just wanted to, kind of, go with the flow. This is how it ended up!

 

We wanted to go to San Marino as well but decided only two days before heading there that it would be too stressful and too many hours on the road that we rather spend in a city.

 

We arrived at the Milano airport in the afternoon and went straight to get the car. We used Hertz since it’s a big company and we were a bit worried about the whole renting a car thing (too many horror stories). Unfortunately, we weren’t the only ones thinking about renting with Hertz, we got the keys to a white Fiat 500 about 2 hours later. Finally! We were on our way!

The first thing on our list was Milano. None of us felt the need to stay there for a longer time since we hadn’t herd any good about the city, more like the opposite.

It was a beautiful day and we found an underground garage quite easily, so there we were, off to explore the city!

I really liked the city, Johan really liked the city! We could not understand why people had told us it was a dull place. We saw the huge cathedral that was so impressive, the wonderful mall right next to it with all of the luxurious brands you could think of. People everywhere and not just tourists. Italian people, Italian people everywhere and oh my did they dress amazing. I felt like a little hobo girl walking around in plain shorts and t-shirt.

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Walking around a corner we found this huge line to an ice-cream shop, this was of course the first place we hade one out of many gelatos.

The time ran away from us way too quickly in this city. We had made reservations for the night by Lake Garda in the small town of Sirmione, so that’s where we headed next, but I definitely want to come back here again!

It was a short drive, an hour or so to the lake. When we started to enter the town it was all perfectly cut lawns, yachts and sailing boats everywhere. The hotel we were staying at was located on the inside on the city walls, which meant we had to drive over the plazas and narrow walking streets. We blessed the tiny car we were driving.

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The hotel was amazing! The cutest little hotel with flowers crawling up the wall. The room was spacious with a terrace towards the lake. It couldn’t have been a better start to this two week journey we were about to enter.

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When we were all settled in, it was time for dinner. We walked down to the main square where most of the restaurants are located. I can’t even describe it with words, nor will a picture ever reflect what we saw that night. It was the most pittoresk town I had ever seen. It looked like Disney Land but in real life, and not in a new and fake way, but in an old and genuine one.

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The next morning we had a lovely breakfast made from the cute couple running the hotel. We took a last walk around the area before it was time to leave. Unfortunately it was too cold to swim in the lake but we found a big fortress to explore instead.

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Checking out heading towards –> Verona!

~M

 

Murcia

My parents have a summer house in Mil Palmeras, Spain, where I have spent every summer since I was five. Naturally I’ve made some friends over there especially one girl. She lives in Murcia so I decided to go visit her, something I’ve done a lot of times before.

I arrived at Alicante airport 1.30 a.m. The flight was delayed from 12.00. My friend came to pick me up in her car since the city is an hour away and at this hour there are no busses going. We talked so much in the car I didn’t even notice the time pass. The only ones on the road was us and trailers. We passed out as soon as we came home.

– Thursday

We woke up had some quick breakfast at home and then headed out. It was over 20 degrees outside so I was super happy walking around in a t-shirt. We did the typical tapas jumping as we always do when I come to visit. We started out with a place located on Plaza Romeo. We ordered tinto de verano to drink which is like a sparkling sangria. To that, fried aubergine with honey, a bicicleta which is Russian salad on a bread stick. It was the typical Spanish ambience, families out eating together. Everyone talking really loud, the sun shining. Man I love this city!

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If you ever visit Spain there are some tapas you just have to try!

 

 

  • Bicicleta
  • Calamares a la romana
  • Croqueta
  • Empanada
  • Montadito de lomo a la placha (my favorite)
  • Torta de carne (Typical Murcia)

– Friday

We woke up early and drove to the beach. From Murcia it takes about 40 min to get to the beach Mil Palmeras where we got to know each other. It was a perfect day, not a cloud in the sky. I decided to take a dip as the Swedish person I am. I even managed to get Luzma in the cold water but she wouldn’t dip herself entirely like me.

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We topped the day off with Paella at the beach restaurant, so good!

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When we got back to the city we had a quick shower got dressed and went out for drinks. Nightlife in Murcia is never disappointing.

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The perfect quick getaway!

~M

Sälen

Wednesday 15.00

Every year for a week my family goes up north in Sweden to ski. We go to this skiing region called Hundfjället located in Sälen. Since I’m working I decided to go half a week, so me and my sister took the bus up. We went with the company Swebus and it took almost 8 hours from stockholm, including 45 min stop for dinner.

Since we’ve been going to the same place for more than 10 years I convinced my family to go over to Norway one day to ski in Trysil, that is just located an hour away from Hundfjället.

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Thursday 08.45

We woke up early to have a good breakfast before leaving for Trysil. Since we’re 8 people, it took us longer than expected to get ready.
The trip didn’t take too long and it was easy to find. As we arrived I saw right away that these were mountains and that Hundfjället were hills. It had a cute little village at the foot of the mountains were we decided to meet to have lunch later.

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We took the anchar lift up to start with. It was so long, when I thought it was over, we went over a hill and it was just as much more to go. I loved it! We were also lucky with the weather, sunshine the whole day!

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If I have to say something negative, it was the Moguls, there were too many of them.

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The rest of the week we just stayed in Hundfjället skiing every day. The slopes there are very family-friendly. We noticed though how short the slopes really are compared to Trysil. But oh well. On Friday it was such good weather that we decided to stay out having lunch on the restaurant on the slope. It’s more of a small grill place where we had hamburgers in the sun. That same day the lifts were open until late so i went home to change into my snowboard. Man those boots are more comfortable that the skiing boots. I haven’t gone snowboarding in a while so i fell a lot. It was powelder snow so at least it didn’t hurt. 

Saturday is the last skiing day so we tried to get out early. This time not so good weather unfortunately. We skied for a while they headed to the waffle lodge located not that far from the slopes. Far enough to have to change into walking boots though. It’s a tradition to always go there for a waffle with whipped cream and jam. So good!


On the walk back from the lodge everyone joined in on a snowball fight that ended with laughter and wet faces.

We have been thinking a lot about buying new equipment. There is a sports store right next to the slope where you can borrow skis, you’re thinking about buying, for a couple of hours  so that’s what we did. I didn’t feel a huge difference from the ones I own so I wasn’t very into buying new ones. I don’t know, maybe next season.

Sunday time to wake up pack the car and go back home to Stockholm! 

09.50

Budapest Day Three

Sunday 06.35

We woke up early since my flight was at 12.50. We got ready and headed straight to the bus stop next to the hotel. We took bus number 74 and the ride took 14 min, after a 5 min walk we had arrived at the thermal bath Széchenyi. The entrance cost around 6000HUF (17€) including a borrowed towel. We got a private booth to get changed in, when we were done they came and locked the door for us.

We did not bring flip-flops, something I really recommend!

First we walked into an indoor pool with high ceiling. There was only elder people in there who looked at us as we came in, maybe because we were so young, or because of me walking around with a gopro. It was nice in there but we decided to keep on walking. I don’t know how many rooms with different pools we passed until we came to the outdoor part. There was a big pool, with a fountain in the middle. It was beautiful out there. The water was hot and it was about 8 degrees in the air, so fog came out of the water surface. We really enjoyed our time there and I recommend paying a visit to this relaxing place. At around 9 o’clock we felt that we were done. As we left there was already a lot of people entering.

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For our way back we decided to walk. We took a detour through Andrássy Út and passed some big soldier statues on the way. We also stopped for a coffee which was so cheap out here, around 500HUF (1.5€).

When we got back to the hotel we decided to have breakfast there, we would not have time for anything else. It cost 5000HUF (15€) per person which was the most expensive meal we had. Unfortunately, the hotel started to clean up before the end time of the breakfast, so it wasn’t a very nice ambience but the food was okay.

I ordered a taxi with the hotel, they followed me out and opened the door for me. It was a fixed price 8000HUF (30€).

Sunday 11.04

~M

 Budapest Day Two

Saturday 10.05

We did not book the hotel with breakfast since I love to explore other countries culture in food. So we walked out the hotel and started looking. Without knowing where we were headed, we stumbled across this cute little breakfast café called Geròczy. I ordered a hungarian omelette with coffee and of course mimosa (I’m on vacation!). It was really nice and again, not very expensive for a brunch (maybe 8000HUF (22€) in total).

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After the breakfast we walked down the shopping street Váci Utka. I didn’t think it was much to see to be honest. It’s a shopping street like any other. Reminded a little bit about Ströget in Copenhagen but less exiting. The positive thing about it was that it lead down to the Market Hall Nagycsarnok. This was interesting and different. We didn’t spend a lot of time in there though, just walked around for a bit.

There was a lot of tuorism people outside selling tickets for busses and boat rides. We talked to a couple and decided to buy tickets to the 19 o’clock boat tour on the river. It’s already dark by then so it felt better than taking the 22 o’clock one, since it lasts for two hours (1.5h at 22). Two drinks, one glass of sparkling wine and a glass of wine or beer, was included in the price 5000HUF (17€).

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When we were done being typical tourists we headed down to take the tram number 2 which is know as one of the most beautiful tram rides in the world. We bought 2 tickets for 1000HUF (3€) (it was cheaper but if you don’t pay exact, the machine keeps the change). The tram ride was very popular, we had to stand and it was full of people. Sure, the view was nice, but it wasn’t a view that had to be seen from the tram. Walking would have been just as fine. The boat ride would pass there as well.

We got off the tram one station before the parliament to be able to walk by the monument “The Shoes”. It was very moving to stand in the exact spot where jews during the second world war had been lined up for execution, where they had been told to take their shoes off just before they got shot and fell into the Donube river.

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It was so windy there by the river side so we hurried towards The Parliament. It was huge! We just kept on walking and walking and it felt like it would never end. This building is majestetic. One of the most impressive buildings I’ve seen, and I’ve seen a lot.

From there we walked over the chain bridge towards the buda side of the city. The line to take the cable car up was so long we decided just to walk up. It was a steep hill but it didn’t take us that long. Once up, a beautiful view waited us over the river and the bridges. The castle was nice, like a castle. We walked around to the other side of it and walked along a parkway with an allé.

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By this time I was so hungry I just wanted to get down from the hill and go have some lunch. I was dedicated to try gulasch soup when in Hungary. Eventually we found a cute little sailers restaurant. The soup was not like we make it at home but it was really good!

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Budapest Day One

Friday 15.40

The flight took about two hours, not too bad. I had already decided on taking a taxi since I had read it was cheap.

From the airport to the Pest side of the city, the taxi cost me 7000HUF (24€) and it took about 40 min because of the traffic. There is a special desk outside the airport where you “book” your taxi, I got mine right away though. I guess it’s just for security reasons, to be sure it’s a reliable taxi company.

I stayed at The Continental Hotel located in the old Jewish Ghetto from the second world war. It was very classy, when I arrived in my cab they politely opened the door for me welcoming me to the hotel. The room was fresh with a normal sized bathroom, big bed and a huge window. I was very pleased.

My boyfriend waited for me at the hotel since he came straight from Prague. He had made dinner reservations at a nice restaurant recommended by the hotel. We headed there straight away to make it to our 20.30 o’clock.

It was a short walk to Restaurant Aszú Étterem. They took our coats at the door and showed us in. It was a large room with a high ceiling, linnen cloths and live music, at the same time not a strict dresscode.

We asked the waiter what he recommended and he was very proud of the hungarian meat, so oviously that’s what I ordered. I was not let down, the meat was tender and it came with a side of mashed potatoes and apples. The best of all, it wasn’t more expensive than a regular dinner here in Sweden. I really recommend going to a nicer restaurant here in Budapest, it’s worth the money!

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On the way in search for some bars we passed the Szent Istvan Bazilika, it was beautiful the way it was lit at night.

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The staff at the hotel had aslo mensioned “ruin bars”, so that was our main target in the search for a drink. We found a cool bar with a Mexican theme, a lot of peaple, cheap beer 500HUF (1.5€) and a good ambiance. It was a bit tricky to find, so keep your eyes open. There are supposed to be a lot more than the one we found.

We stayed out for a bit, found a passage full of different bars, and also turists. The last bar was a Tiki bar with a polynesian theme and smoking drinks.

 

Saturday 00:24
~M