Hi guys! It's been a hot minute since I posted here but I'm trying to move my blog to my own platform but between working full-time and dying from the heat here in Sweden it's taking a while. But today I'm back with the first proper post from Kos. Finally! Kos was an amazing island and if you're looking for adventure I would recommend Kos! If you are planning to go to Kos soon (or in the future) this is the right post for you. Here are 10 things to do on the island of Kos!
1. RENT A BIKE
This is a must! Everyone rents a bike on Kos and you will understand why. The island is quite small and if you're staying in Kos town the easiest way to get around is by biking. There are bike roads all over Kos. So rent a bike and explore your surroundings! We payed €18 for the entire week.
2. THERMA BEACH
One of our favourite places to visit was Therma beach. Therma beach is a beach up in the mountains with hot springs! And amazing snorkelling! We didn't swim in the hot springs (because it was TOO HOT in the middle of summer) but we swam outside in the ocean. Because of the hot spring water running out into the ocean there's plenty of fish hunting for fish in the area so it's perfect if you like snorkelling. It is possible to bike there but beware that it's on the other side of a mountain and that you will have to bike over the mountain. We biked there and were fine but you can also take the local bus, rent a car or a buggy for the day.
3. TRY THE LOCAL FOOD
We tried to find as many restaurants as possible that were mostly visited by the locals instead of eating at the tourist restaurants. Our rule of thumb was: if they got pictures of the food on the menu. It's bad. We were right every single time. My favourites were Alla ki alla, Never on a sunday and Ali!
4. RENT A BUGGY FOR A DAY
One of the most fun things I have EVER done was driving a buggy around the island! It was so much fun. We rented the buggy for an entire day and drove to so many different locations that we would've missed otherwise. We checked out different small villages, beaches and we even drove up in the mountains. I believe we payed around €50-60 for the entire day + some gas. It was totally worth it!
5. GO TO ZIA
Zia is a small village up in the mountains and the view from up there is amazing. We were recommended to watch the sunset from up there but unfortunatley we didn't for various reasons, but I would believe it's stunning! From Zia you can also hike up even further in the mountains as there's a nature reserve. We were planning on hiking up but realised that it would be dangerous in the hot sun as it was almost 35°C during our week on the island. Pro tip: Go to Zia on a Sunday! There are no local buses or tourist buses to Zia during Sundays but everything is still open = no tourists and you will have the small town to yourselves!
6. SCUBA DIVE
I did my first ever scuba dive on Kos and began taking my certificate! So I will never not recommend it when I talk about Kos haha. Kos has a lot of wildlife and a lot to see. At one dive site we did not only see plenty of fish but also ceramics and antiquities from veeeeery long ago! So long ago that the authorities in Greece made it illegal to touch or swim near them. If you have the opportunity to scuba dive, I recommend that you do!
7. GO TO TURKEY
If you're staying in Kos town there are several daily ferries to Bodrum in Turkey! So why not make the most of your vacation and visit two countries at the same time. From Kos town to Bodrum it takes only 45 minutes. If I visit Kos again, I would totally do it! We were planning on going but ran into some major problems. I explain it more in the video below. Make sure to watch it so you don't make the same mistake...
Don't forget to pin this post so you can find it later!
I grew up in several places but the small town of Landskrona in south of Sweden with approximately 30,000 inhabitants is what I call my hometown. You might have grown up in a similar town and still live there or like me; moved away. I realised after I moved that I really don't know that much about my actual hometown. So everytime I go home to visit my parents I try to explore a bit. Right now I'm home for a couple of days before I head off to Greece so I decided to make the most of it and explore something new whilst I'm here. I can't be the only one that sucks at exploring my hometown, are you the same? So to boost your interest in your hometown here are five ways to be a tourist in your hometown.
#1 Visit the local museum
Almost every town has some sort of a museum with history of the said town. I have visited the local museum in my hometown several times and it has really given me more understanding of the history of my hometown. It also made me feel closer to my relatives and ancestors since I can now understand what it was like for them to grow up in the same town as me. Many local museums also have free entry!
#2 Go on a city tour
As I wrote in my guide to Copenhagen; I recommend everybody to go on a city tour. You might think that it sounds boring and that you already know everything about your city. But I bet you don't. Last summer me and my parents did a tour around the castle in Kalmar (where I live now) and even though I lived in Kalmar for quite some time now, I learned a lot! Next time I come home to visit I hope to have some more time to do a tour around my hometown.
#3 Stay at a local hotel
Have you ever stayed at a hotel in your hometown? Probably not. Get the whole tourist experience by acting like a tourist. Get a room or rent a local AirBnB even if it's just for a night!
#4 Get outdoors!
If you really want to be a tourist in your hometown you can't stay indoors. Get outdoors and do things that your hometown offers. Does your city have mountains or amazing nature? Go on a hike or rent a MTB and explore the surrondings for a day. It doesn't have to be expensive or in the city centre.
#5 Take photos
You can't be a real tourist in your hometown if you don't take cheesy tourist photos in front of tourist spots. Bring a friend and visit all of the tourist spots in your city. Don't miss out on them just because you happen to live in that city.
I hope this inspired you to get out and experience your hometown as a tourist! I know I'm definitely going to make a better effort to experience my hometown and my surroundings. I realised whilst looking on my harddrive for photos of Landskrona that I don't have a lot, I need to get out and shoot my hometown more often! It would be fun if you would like to share ways that you explore your hometown in the comments! Now I'm going to move on to packing my last things for Greece, can't wait to go. Hope you've had a great weekend!
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I did an Instagram-poll the other day (@strokeofadventure) and you seemed interested in knowing what I'm packing for my week on Kos, Greece. Can't believe it's almost time to go. But anyways let's get in to my suitcase. My suitcase is from Epic and my model is called Crate EX Wildblossom. I have the medium size and I really like it. It has a hard shell and fits everything I need. I haven't used it in a while though since I've only been on weekend trips the last year haha. It's nice to finally use it again. I couldn't get a picture of it for this post though since it's still at my relatives' house and I'm picking it up on Wednesday.
Let's be honest. You can't go to a greek island and not bring swimwear. So that's what I'm going to talk about first. I bought two new pieces of swimwear for this trip. The first one is a bikini top from Stadium and I think it's so pretty. I didn't buy the bikini bottoms because I didn't like the way they looked so I decided to pair them with a high waisted bottoms from H&M that I bought like two years ago...
The other piece of swimwear that I bought is this long sleeved swim suit from Boohoo. I rarely get a tan and I almost always burn in the sun so I thought that a long sleeved option would be nice to have when you're in the sun all day. Also I thought it looked awesome. It was very hard to show on camera since I forgot my tripod at my parents house 3 hours away from here. But check it out on the website for a better look!
Other than these two new pieces I'm bringing my high waisted black bottoms from H&M (similar here) and a plain back bikini set also from H&M several years ago. I'm also bringing cyclops and a snorkel which can be found here and a pair of flippers that can be found here.
Woho, my favourite part! I'm of course bringing way too much camera gear since that's just who I am haha. Besides my main camera, a Canon 6D, I'm bringing my GoPro Hero 5 Black that I haven't really had the chance to test out yet! I'm also bringing way too many accessories for the GoPro like a selfie stick, a floaty selfie stick, an arm strap etc. For my main camera I'm only bringing my 50mm f/1,4 since I'm too lazy to carry around my heavy wide angle lens haha. I'm also bringing my laptop and my external hard drive.
This means clothing, skin care and other things that I really don't care about haha. For clothing I'm only bringing t-shirts, shorts and a beach dress haha. I don't really care about fashion that much and this is not a fashion blog. Skin care and make up I'm more interested in and this is what I'm bringing.
1. Foreo Luna Play Plus - This I what I use to clean my face together with number 2. Your face feels so clean after using it and you can literally see all the dirt on the Foreo after scrubbing your face with it so it must be good!
2. Lumene Daily Cleansing Gel Cleaner - As you can see I've almost used all of this. I love Lumene and have been using their products for several years. It removes all dirt and makeup in just one wash so I'm impressed.
3. ACO Sun Spray - Sun screen!!! So important and since I burn very easily this is a must for me. This one is SPF 30.
4. Smashbox Photo Finish Primer - I love to use this both with and without foundation. When I'm just going to work or school I put a tiny bit of this on my nose and chin and my pores are gone with the wind. When I use it with foundation it makes the skin look so smooth!
6. Superdrug Naturally Radiant Cream - I ran out of face cream when I was in Edinburgh and I ran to Superdrug to buy the cheapest thing I could find. This was it. It's okay and it does what it supposed to do but it's nothing special.
7. Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer - I have been using this stuff for YEARS and I love it! It's SO cheap but still the best concealer I've ever used. I always buy several when I'm in the UK since you can't get them in Sweden haha.
But that is everything I'm bringing. I have a lot of extra space in my suit case and that's usually the case when I'm travelling. I always travel super light but that's just the way I like it! And I never pack my camera gear in my check-in bag. I always bring it in my hand luggage since I don't want to loose it if my bag is lost.
I hope you liked this post as it was really fun to write! Now I have to get back to studying for my finals so I can go to Greece with a good feeling.
On our third day in Gdansk we rised early and hopped on a train to Sopot! The sun was shining and it could not be a better day for a trip to the ocean side. It appeared as the entire of Poland thought the same thing as us and let's just say; we we're not alone in Sopot this day haha.
We started our trip to Sopot by visiting "The Crooked House" or Krzywy Domek which is its actual name. We sat down at the cafe and drank some coffee and tea. Fun story: I don't drink coffee, I hate it actually. But the lady in the cafe must've missunderstood me when I ordered a chai TEA latte. I didn't get anything with chai in it nor tea. It was some sort of coffee. I was too embarrassed to go back and complain so instead I poured 5 packages of sugar in it and then I was shaking for the rest of the day... 😂
After my horrible coffee experience we walked to the Sopot Pier! And as you can see, everyone else did too. But it didn't bother us that much. We still decided to walk out.
At the end of the pier there's a pole. And apparently you're supposed to touch it for good luck according to the locals. So of course I did. Kind of gross though, but I was fine, I brought hand sanitizer haha. My mum and her boyfriend decided not only to touch it but also to kiss infront of it. I think they muliplied their luck by a thousand percent, at least.
After hanging out with the entire polish population at the pier we found a sushi restaurant off the main street and it was so nice! The BEST vegetarian sushi I've ever had. We spent quite a while in this restaurant before it was time to head back to our hotel in Gdansk. This day, April 14th, is my mothers birthday so we had an entire evening planned in Gdansk. My mum got a spa treatment at the hotel as a birthday gift from Peter, her boyfriend. So meanwhile my mum was having the time of her life getting "the best massage ever" (quote from my mum) me and Peter went to the spa and hung out in the sauna. Then the four of us got ready for dinner and we found a really fancy restaurant called Piwna 47.
We didn't make a reservation but luckily they had one table left! So we sat down and had the best, and most expensive, dinner of our lives.
I had some amazing noodles and tofu and drank some amazing white wine. Everything about this place was amazing. Forgot to take a picture of the dessert, but believe me, it was amazing. Nothing could top this evening so after eating and drinking we decided to walk trough the Old Town back to our hotel where we ended the night. This has to be the best day in Poland out of all of our days. Beautiful weather and celebrating my mothers birthday in a beautiful part of the world. I can wait to go back to Poland and discover more of this country!
It's been about a month since I got back home from Poland and I've already booked another trip haha! For those who say that you can't afford to travel when you are a student: you are WRONG! I booked my next trip about a week ago and I've already announced it over on my Instagram (don't forget to follow me there!). But anyway; I'm going to Greece! To Kos more specifically! I've never been to Greece before so I'm so excited. We are leaving on the 7th of June and will be gone for a week!
Picture from when I visited Cyprus in 2014. This was the last time I visited a warm destination haha, since then I've only been on city weekends.
I can't wait to swim, snorkel and dive in the ocean again, it's been too long! Speaking of snorkeling and diving; I'm planning to take my diving certificate this summer/early autumn so that I can scuba dive on future adventures, how cool?! Does any of you got a scuba certificate? Apart from snorkeling I'm also very excited to try out my GoPro under water! I got a GoPro in September and haven't had the opportunity to try it out under water yet, so I'm really looking forward to that.
The second day in Gdansk started with one of my favorite things in the entire world; hotel breakfast! I already wrote about our hotel and the breakfast here if you’ve missed it. Anyway I started the day with some bread, scrambled eggs, a smoothie and a boiled egg. A great start to our second day.
After breakfast we got dressed and decided to visit Gdynia for the day. We were lazy tourists and got a taxi to Gdynia, if we only realized earlier how easy it is to travel by train in the Tri-City area… The first stop of the day was at Akwarium Gdyńskie. It is a relatively small aquarium in the port of Gdynia and I would say it is worth a visit. Hot tip: don’t go before lunch, that’s when all the school children are there…
The aquarium has both live animals and more educational exhibitions. Sadly the information in English was kind of bad and some parts didn’t even have information in English. On the top floor there was a exhibition about the Baltic sea and its pollution but there were no English information at all so that was a waste of time. But otherwise I really liked the aquarium!
After our trip to the aquarium we moved on to a shopping centre called Centrum Riviera. I’m not a shopping kind of gal’ so it wasn’t really for me. But we had some lunch and the most exciting thing of the entire visit was when I, out of no where, got a nosebleed all over my lunch. That was fun. Or not. After strolling around for a while we decided to take the train back to Gdańsk and it was so easy! I was thinking about writing a post transportation in the Tri-City area, would you want to read that?
We ended our day in the Gdańsk city centre where we drank some drinks at Mojito Cafe and walked along the waterfront until it was time to head back to the hotel.
During our trip to Gdansk we stayed at Hotel Almond Business & Spa and we were very satisfied. Hotel Almond Business & Spa is located cirka 600 metres from the Gdansk Old Town and is a 4-star hotel. I usually travel on a budget but since this trip was for my mothers 50th birthday we decided to get a more luxury hotel. I'm more of a hostel or B&B kind of girl but a 4-star hotel every once in a while is not that bad haha!
The rooms at Hotel Almond Business & Spa are modern and bright. According to me there's nothing worse than arriving to an hotel/hostel and realise that there are not enough window light or that the room is dark over all. We had a sofa bed in our room where I slept. All three of us decided that it would be better to spend our money on something else than a second room and since we traveled as a family, no one even cared. We only slept in the room, we didn't spend any other time there. Our room also had a stunning view over the river!
On to my favourite part; BREAKFAST! There's nothing better than a really nice hotel breakfast buffet and oh boy this was nice. Homemade smoothies, fruits, pancakes, bread, yoghurt and even some baked goods if that's what you prefer! The Hotel Almond Business & Spa's breakfast buffet had a great selection of both sweet and savory breakfasts and that's something that I believe is truly important. I also felt that the whole breakfast restaurant worked really well with the rest of the hotel. The style of the hotel is a bit industrial and I felt that they've incorprated that great but still kept it modern and bright.
This is the lobby and here you can see what I mean by industrial. This theme continues throughout the hotel and I think it's really nice. I'm a big fan of the more industrial style and I think that Hotel Almond Business & Spa looks super nice and worked with the style in every corner of the hotel!
It wouldn't be called Hotel Almond Business & Spa without a spa right? This is where my only complaints are. The spa was relatively small, which I don't mind but then it's even more important to keep it functioning. The pool was very nice and the saunas were great but the hot tub was not hot at all and it was filled with small pieces of gravel. The hot tub was therefore not very nice at all. Otherwise I really liked the spa. My mother got a treatment on her birthday and she chose some sort of massage with aroma therapy. I asked her and she said it was really good and before the treatment she filled out a form so that the massage therapist could adapt the massage to her.
Over all I'm very satisfied with our stay and I really recommend that you check out this hotel if you're going to Gdansk. It's just a five minute walk to the Old Town and very close to the train station where you can take the train to Sopot or Gdynia. It's a perfect location just by the river.
I'm back home in Sweden again after a lovely weekend-trip to Gdansk, Poland! I had never before visited Poland and was very pleasantly surprised by not only Gdansk but Poland as well. I thought I would do a blog post for each day as we visited other cities during our trip, that way it will be easier to find in the archive later. So here we go.
We flew from Malmö Airport on the 12th of April and the flight to Gdansk only took an hour! So an hour later we arrived at the airport in Gdansk and took a taxi to our hotel (review will be up shortly!). We stayed at Hotel Almond Business & SPA and it was so nice. Perfect walking distance to Gdansk Old Town and to the train station where we took the train the other days.
After checking in to our hotel we decided to explore Gdansk Old Town for the rest of the afternoon and oh my what a gorgeous town! The entire town is in pastel colours with the most beautiful houses I think I have ever seen! We walked around for a bit and found a restaurant to eat some lunch at. The weather was so nice and all three of us totally overdressed and was sweating the rest of the afternoon but it was so worth it.
After eating a light lunch we did what Swedes do best; we found a café for some fika. We drank some hot chocolates at a café called Pociąg Do and just sat down and relaxed. Our vacation was really starting! This trip was my mothers birthday-trip so we did everything she wanted to. She wanted to have a nice relaxing weekend so that's what we did! To end of the first day we walked back to our hotel and changed into our swimsuits and went down to the hotel spa.
After a few hours of swimming, hanging out in the saunas and sitting in the hot tub we went back up to our room and went to bed quite early so that we would be filled with energy for day two which was the first full day. I slept really good except that we had opened our window because of the heat and therefor heard so many sounds early in the morning haha, but that's my own fault!
Restaurants visited this day:
Mojito Caffe & Restaurant
Tourist attractions visited this day:
Żuraw – medieval port crane
Ulica Długa – the main street of Old Town
Złota Brama – the Golden Gate at the end of the main street
That was it for the first day! If you want to see more pictures from Gdansk head over to my Instagram; @strokeofadventure. Thank you for reading!
It's almost spring and for many that means some time off work (with all the holidays it brings)! It's probably been a while since you've had some time off so a weekend getaway this spring might be perfect for you. Therefor I made a list of 10 cities in Europe you should visit this spring. Spring can be an amazing time of year, summer is just around the corner and the weather is getting warmer all over Europe, it's the perfect time to explore a new city and a new country! This spring I'm going to Gdansk, Poland so that'll have to be my spring-vacation. Let's get into the list!
One of my absolute favorite cities ever! I had never even thought of visiting Liverpool before 2015, when my relative moved there. I thought Liverpool was only for soccer fans and I had no interest in that at all. But when I came to visit I fell in love with the city, I even loved it so much that I moved there in 2016. Liverpool for me has it all, it's a big city but it doesn't feel like a big city, which I really like. There's a beautiful walk to take by the Mersey, fantastic shopping and the locals are lovely. I would love to go back soon!
A beautiful spring day in Liverpool in March 2017.
I never thought about Marrakech before but recently it has been all over my Instagram-feed! And I'm obsessed! It looks absolutely beautiful with all the colors and patterns. I talked with my mother about Morocco a while ago and she told me she's been there in her 20's and I was so jealous. I had to dig our her photo albums and look at the pictures and even back then it looked amazing. I need to go soon! I wrote this blog post in the middle of the night and I just realised that Marrakech is not in Europe haha. But oh well, it made the list anyway!
I of course had to include my favourite city in Sweden, Gothenburg. Gothenburg during springtime is amazing with its open-air cafees, trams and just the over all happy feeling. I love Gothenburg because much like Liverpool it's a big city but it feels small. I haven't been there since the summer 2016 so it is really time to go again soon, hopefully this summer!
At the famous amusement park Liseberg in Gothenburg in June 2014!
Another city that my mother made me jealous about. She went there a couple of years ago and came back with amazing stories and it looked beautiful in her pictures. I've been to Austria several times before but only to skii so I really want to experience another part of the country. I think Easter and springtime is a perfect time to visit Vienna since it can be quite warm during the summer in the middle of a big city.
I had planned to go to Brussels this March but unfortunately it had to be postponed. But from what I've seen and heard it's amazing. Can't imagine anything better than strolling around Brussel eating both some Belgian chocolate AND a Belgian waffle haha. I'm ready to pack my bags for a long weekend in Brussels.
Germany! A country I've been to many times but never really seen a lot of. When you live in the south of Sweden you often drive to Germany for one single reason: to buy cheap alcohol. So I've been many times but I have never gotten the chance to explore it as much as I want to. Munich is on top of my list of cities to visit in Germany. Munich is famous for Oktoberfest (a huge beer-drinking party) that lasts for two weeks every year. But Munich is not all about beer but it's also a city with lots of culture!
Kaunas and I crossed paths when I was searching for trips for my mothers birthday (we finally decided on Gdansk, Poland and we're leaving on Thursday!!). Kaunas is located in Lithuania and the first city in Central and Eastern Europe as a UNESCOCity of Design. In 2022, Kaunas will be the European Capital of Culture, so needless to say it's a city to visit for those who are interested in culture and cultural heritage. Also, I've heard, that Lithuania is a great country to visit if you're interested in visiting a spa.
Ever since the fellow travel blogger Amanda wrote about her visit to Helsinki I really want to go! I have friends from Finland but it has never crossed my mind to actually go there. It's very close to Sweden so for me it's a perfect weekend trip. Helsinki is also filled with beautiful architechture and culture. As you might have noticed in this blog post that is something I really value when deciding on a destination haha. If you want to know more about Helsinki I recommend that you head over to Amandas blog and read her post about the city.
The old town of Tallinn was in 1997 placed on the UNESCOs World Heritage Site, so here we have another cultural city that I would like to explore! It's the capital of Estonia and a city with loads of activities such as biking, spas, markets and gardens etc. So it's a perfect city for a weekend this spring!
A super cultural city! With history all the way back to the antiquity! Can you tell I'm excited haha?! Lonely Planet writes "Sofia is no grand metropolis, but it's a largely modern, youthful city, with a scattering of onion-domed churches, Ottoman mosques and stubborn Red Army monuments that lend an eclectic, exotic feel." Does it not sound amazing? If you are looking for a trip filled with culture; Sofia is the city for you!
So, are you now excited to visit some cities in Europe this spring? I am for sure! I'm super excited to visit Poland this weekend since I've never been before! Hopefully, it will be great. I will of course update you on my trip when I get back. But if you want to follow along in real time; don't forget to follow me over on my instagram @strokeofadventure. Hope to see you over there!
Stroke of Adventure is a travel related blog, Instagram and YouTube-channel. Stroke of Adventure was founded with the purpose for me to share my adventures (both big and small), tips and other things related to travel.
SOA is written by me, Mie, and I'm a 20 y/o traveler, student and photographer from Sweden. You can read more about me if you click "About me" in the top menu.
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