A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Solotravels

Amsterdam

Canals, naked people, more!

overcast 20 °C

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The place where so many stags and stagettes, crazy euro-trips and open-minded hippys begin or end up. As crazy as Amsterdams reputaion is, its not all about the party and sex, and there numerous places where you can go to put to rest your craving for old town feel and lushes, lavish parks. Walking down the lesser known streets of Amsterdam you come accross a lot of those well-known "coffee-shops", yes, but you also get to see a little bit of what the old town (like what Anne Frank describes in her diary) used to look like. Also, if your keen on spotting out all those lovely parks I mentioned check out Vondel Park and I can definitely state you will not be disapointed.
However since you are in Amsterdam, you might as well go and see its more known attractions as they are quite mind-boggling. The red light district at night is a gong show! Stags everywhere oggling the women behind the red (and purple and blue) lights. You can go to the sex kino also and watch live porno shows, I opted out of this one, but hey whatever floats your boat. There are also an abundance of bars and clubs on the main and side roads of the district and I can say that some of them are actually quite fun and not ALL about sex. During the day time check out Anne Franks house, or a canal boat tour which both be worth your time! If you have got some spare time go and lounge by one of the canals or in a retaurant/coffeeshop and people watch. We also visited he sex-museum which was a litle full-on in some areas but quite humerous to see. It was a great trip for me and if your not to scared of high-numbered groups of people, or open nakedness then I am sure you would/will have a great time too!

Posted by Solotravels 13:48 Archived in Netherlands Tagged amsterdam Comments (0)

Sweden

lushes trees, old towns, and a whole lot of water.

sunny 24 °C

The old town, Stockholm, Sweden.

The old town, Stockholm, Sweden.

As I have been here in Germany I have accumulated a few good friends, and in turn have increased my knowledge of certain places in the world and definitely opened up a lot more doors for travel. In that category is my dear swedish friend whom I met through another english speaking au-pair here in Deutschland. We became good friends quite quickly but it semed so quickly that she was packing up and returning to Sweden. So we made an arrangement for me (and my friend who came to visit me from Canada at the time) to go and stay with her for a few days.
We were lucky in having some-what of a "tour guide" and got to see and visit alot of places the normal traveller wouldn't have. We arrived in the afternoon on a Saturday to Skavsta Airport, and were immediately driven into Eskilstuna where our accomodations were. Eskilstuna is a wonderful town, which I would reccomend visiting if you have a few days to spare after or before visiting Stockholm. There is alot of history there (as there is almost everywhere in Sweden, and most places in Europe), and many things to enjoy doing and seeing. We went first to a shopping centre in the centre of the town, which was right by the river. As saunas are a very large tradition over there (they were invented in Finland if my knowledge is correct), alot of houses have them. We enjoyed a nice swim and sauna at her brothers house. The next day we were off to Stockholm by train (there is a train that runs every hour from the train station in Eskilstuna straight to Stockholm, which takes about an hour to an hour and a half). We walked through the shopping streets first as those are a must see, filled with people of every ethnicity, shopping in different stores for every age. We then went down to Gamla Stan (first checking out the parliament building and castle) which is also absolutely spectacular! The buildings are all old and arranged in a flat order. You can see many cool shops down the roads and alleyways. We then headed to the sea to sit for a while and enjoy the scenery. We headed home later in the evening filld with astonishment and excitement over what we had just seen, and honestly for anyone travelling in Europe and thinking Sweden isn't anything important to see, you're sorely mistaken. The next day we spent on her brothers boat, travelling through an island spotted lake. We visited a small town on the other end which I am sorry to say I have forgotten the name of. However, beautiful it was.
All in all, the trip was wonderful and I am so happy to say I have been there, and seen Stockholm land of the vikings and Ikea. Hopefully I can go there again one day, and visit some new untouched corners.

Posted by Solotravels 13:19 Archived in Sweden Tagged stockholm Comments (0)

Hafengeburtstag!

People, Party, Alcohol, and a Carnival.

sunny 24 °C

Hafengeburtstag

Hafengeburtstag

For anyone who likes a good party with a LOT of people, the Hafengeburtstag is for you. What Hafengeburtstag is, is a big birthday party for the Harbor in Hamburg. Quite literally. Hafengeburtstag actually translates to Harbor Birthday. It happens every year the weekend of May 6th. It is pretty exceptional and if you are travelling around Germany at this point it is definitely something worth checking out. There are games and rides, just like a carnival. Slushies, Candy, and a whole lot of food. Most importantly though, there is alcohol...and alot of it.

During the day it is a nice place for a family to go to, as long as you keep a close eye on your kids, as they may end up getting engulfed in the massive sea of people. They have got a ton of performers and live music, and if your children like kiddie games like throwing darts and balloons, or trying to get a ring around a bottle top, I assure you, you will have a bunch of fun. As long as your not Claustrophobic, Enochlophobic, Ochlophobic, or even the slightest bit Anthropophobic you should be fine.

At night however there are more people between the ages of 19-40. I would say no kids out at this time, but dont hesitate to call the babysitter and have a good time. Everyone heads out for fireworks, carnival food, and live music. Do not expect everyone or even most people to be coherent though, people drinking all day, in the sun, and continuing into the night adds up to crowds of falling down "blau" people. I had the lovely experience of watching not one but 3 people be taken away by paramedics because they had passed out. It also doesn't help that the bridge where all the homeless people hang out under is located directly beside the party. Luckily they are all harmless and won't attack you or try and push drugs on you like in other places (a.k.a. Vancouver).

It's all in good fun, and I would say it is a must-do for anyone around.

Anyways, those are my two bits. Have a lovely day filled with wonder and laughter. ----Mariah

Posted by Solotravels 03:54 Archived in Germany Tagged hamburg Comments (0)

Pisa!

Pizza, Gelato, and a whole lot of Pasta.

sunny 23 °C

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pisa 180

Italy, definitely one place I will be going back to, to live. Maybe not in Pisa but somewhere in that lovely land, it will happen. After visiting Pisa for only a few days I have decided that Italy will be my next destination choice for being an Au Pair. The streets are lined with markets everywhere, with fresh fruit and vegetables. Everything is in walking distance (I have heard this of other cities in Italy too). Tha language sounds like a constant flow of poetry, and the people are oh so friendly!
I can understand why people have always said, Italian men are the most..um.. "friendly" of the bunch. They have no problem whistling at you, or following you, or doing very romantic pelvic thrusts in the air in your direction. Charming really. There is no shame in their game either as some have no problem telling you, their "size" if you catch my drift. Yeah, cute eh? Regardless of that though they dont pose any real threat, if you tell them a firm no, and don't acknowledge them any further they leave you alone. It's all in fun and games.
Unfortunately other then the Leaning Tower and Baptisery, there isn't so much to see if you are only there for the historical monuments. The people I went with weren't so impressed with it as I was. They were looking forward to unstoppable excitement, unfortunately if you dont make fun for yourself (and this goes for any place) your not going to have any, and thats kind of what happened. I however had a blast. I loved the set up of Italy, it is so the type of place I would love to live in. The only downside is it has that sewer-ish smell, which for anyone who has ever been to San Francisco, knows what I am talking about.
As far as the parties go, I mean Pisa is more of a big quick stop city. They have pretty big gatherings in the Piazza Garibaldi, which is just on the other side of one of the bridges over the Fiume Arno. Other then that they have a Disco close to Via del Carmine Rd. Thats all we really heard about and saw. However it is the type of place that is just fun to get drunk and walk around for ages at night.
They also have a bus tour here, DO NOT TAKE IT!, I wasn't too keen on doing it from the beginning but got suckered into it, and regretted spending that 15 euros more then anything (esp. because I was a broke ass already). Seriously walk every where you get a way better feel of everything and there is no reason why you shouldn't.
The first 2 nights we stayed in Walking Street Hostel, if you are a young traveller looking to meet people, stay in a lovely place, and want to be in the middle of EVERYTHING stay here! It was great, they had really nice friendly staff, clean spacious rooms, and if you stay in the 8 bedroom dorm like we did, you get to sleep next to 300 year old glass windows. Sounds like a strange thing to praise but they were pretty cool. The 3rd night we stayed at a place called hostel station pisa, if you want a place that you can walk to the airport from, this is it. Thats about the only praise I would give this place however, the beds were damp when we got there. The guy who owns the place was a bit of a creep-show, and it was in the middle of a somewhat sketchy area. I can't say I felt to comfortable here.
Other then that my trip was awesome! I loved almost every minute of it! It's great having everything in walking distance! Oh and the food, well the food was amazing, that's all I can really say about it. The pizzas and Gelati were the best part! You can ofcourse find that stuff anywhere. IT was delicious!

Those are my two bits! Have a day full of wonder and laughing---- Mariah!

Posted by Solotravels 05:46 Archived in Italy Tagged pisa Comments (0)

London

My experience in one of the most famous places in the world.

overcast 4 °C

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London, probably the most awe-inspiring places I have been yet. If it wasn't the beautiful architecture, history, or accents, it was just seeing all the different people from different areas of the world coming together to experience this beautiful place.
Some people say it is too crowded for their liking, or its just not their style. I honestly don't know how someone could think that way about it. You get to see buildings and masterpieces thousands of years old. You get to experience culture and history, thats been around for a hell of a lot longer then you have.
If you are scared of people then yes, you probably don't want to go here, but I wouldn't say throw that idea away. Just wait for the winter months. I went in February, and yes it was busy, but not crowded, like some people lead you to believe. I only got to say for 2 nights as I had to come back to work the following Monday, but I got to see mostly everything I wanted.
The first day we bought passes for the bus tour. Sounds hokey, I know, but it was the best thing I could have done for the amound of time we had allotted to this trip. You buy a ticket for about 25 euros and you get to do this hop-on hop-off tour around all of London. We were lucky, and at the time we had gone they had special going on for getting 2 days on this tour for the price of 1. I am pretty sure they do this "special" often however so dont wory to much about it. It was so much easier getting from one place to another, and we got to see everything you would want too, being there. It also allowed us a free boat tour by the London Bridge which was also very cool.
The first night we stayed in a hostel called Clink78, and I would definitely reccomend it there. The staff were super friendly, the beds were clean, and they had good parties at night, and breakfast in the morning. It was a bit crowded the next morning while everyone was heading out, but that was because there were 2 big school groups there. The only real downside to the place were the bathrooms. There was a unisex toilet close to our room which was a bit dirty, and the boys and girls toilets in the other area were also quite crowded and dirty. Other then that it was a great hostel!
The second night we stayed in a bed & breakfast, which is close to the airport. I am pretty sure it was called the Stansted lodge. I do not reccomend this place at all. They say it is very close to the Stansted Airport but we had to pay 15 pounds for a cab there. It was completely empty when we got there aside from the owner, and he seemed a bit creepy himself. Needless to say I am happy I wasn't travelling alone to this place.. They also advertise having free shuttle to the airport in the mornings. There is no shuttle, it is the owner who drives you there in the morning. He was 20 minutes late, but luckily for us we made the plane just in time.
Unfortunately we didn't get to go out either nights do to early flights and being super tired, But we walked past the party in Clink78 seemed to be awesome. We met lots of cool people here as well as there are so many people from around the world!
Tips and Advice: If you don't have so much time, do the bus tour, it is so worth it. Also, I would say if you are travelling alone (esp. as a female) make sure to stay in at night, as I think it could be quite frightening going out alone.
All in all it was a wondeful trip that I will remember forever! Don't miss out on this city!

Those are my two bits. Have a day full of wonder and laughing!---- Mariah!

Posted by Solotravels 05:30 Archived in England Tagged london Comments (1)

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