Cologne

Visiting the Christmas Markets of Cologne

My trip to Cologne had two goals. The first one was to get some time off work and be able to work on my bachelor’s thesis in a different environment. The second one was as simple as the fact that I wanted to visit a Christmas market. My first goal led to that I did infact spend quite a lot of time working on my computer at the hostel but that was fine by me, you got to work hard to play hard right?

I arrived in Cologne late Friday morning. I was so excited for my first proper solo trip in a while. Last time I traveled alone was back in 2015 when I went to Paris by myself, but that time I met up with a friend during my trip. This time I was all alone. But being alone doesn’t scare me. I love being alone hence I decided to travel alone!

Read More: Everything You Need To Know About Solo Traveling

Cologne Germany
This is where I spent a lot of time writing and working. In “The Livingroom” as the hostel staff called it. Perfect calm working area!

I stayed at Hostel Die Wohngemeinschaft (which I can’t even pronounce haha…). The hostel is located in the Belgian quarters of the city and in walking distance from the city centre. It took me about 15-20 mins to walk to the cathedral and even less to the main shopping street. I really liked this neighborhood because of the variety of restaurants and the fact that it wasn’t in the middle of the city.

Christmas Markets in Cologne

After working for a while in the hostel livingroom it was time to head out and explore Cologne! First mission: find a Christmas market. Finding a Christmas market in Cologne is not hard. Let me tell you that! The main ones I visited was the Cathedral Christmas Market, Heavenue and the Harbour Christmas Market. The one I liked the most was the one at the harbour! It was a bit smaller and not as crowded as the Cathedral Christmas Market.

Christmas Market Cologne Germany
There are Christmas markets everywhere in Cologne! This was another one I stumbled across whilst I was out exploring.

The Christmas market at the Cathedral is very beautiful but oh lord it is crowded. I stopped by for some hot chocolate and to buy a Christmas gift for my grandmother and it was nice! But then I left as fast as I came. The Harbour Christmas market was a lot nicer, less crowded and I felt that that the vendors there were unique and selling things that haven’t been done a hundred times already! So if you are looking for a quiet, cute market with great food and unique vendors you should aim for the harbour.

Traveling alone in Cologne and visit all the Christmas markets really got me in to the Christmas spirit. Traveling alone in Cologne is a great idea overall! I would say it’s the perfect sized city if you are new to solo traveling. It’s easy to get around and people are so nice! I can definitely recommend that you visit during Christmas time since there are a lot of things to do around that time of year.

Read More: Things To Know Before You Visit Sweden

Christmas Cologne Germany
See! We even had a tiny bit of snow haha.

I can’t wait to go back to Germany again but maybe when it’s a bit warmer haha! And explore more cities in this beautiful country. I read loads of posts about Germany over at Sofias blog and I’m so excited now! I’ve been to Germany quite a few times as a child but I’ve not done any serious exploring there! It’s time for that now I think.

Cologne

And then there was a tree

I don’t have the space to host a Christmas tree in my apartment so whilst I was already heading south I decided to stop by my family’s house! They have the space and always put up a tree around this time of year. 

This year we decided to have a real Christmas tree since we’ve used a plastic one for the last twenty years and I already love it! Yes, it was a bit painful to decorate and yes we (my family) will have vacuum around it almost every day but still! It’s so much more beautiful and unique than our plastic tree. Here it is in it’s full glory! And yes, we have a fake fireplace on our TV haha. Isn’t it beautiful?

Tomorrow morning I’m off to Cologne to visit their yearly Christmas market and to explore Germany some more. I’m very excited and I’ve also decided to vlog my trip as well so you can look forward to that! I’ve been to Germany quite a few times before but never to Cologne but it’s always fun to explore new cities. 

The Garden Society Gothenburg Palm House Europe

Gothenburg Travel Diary: Day 2

On our second day in Gothenburg we woke up to some better weather and we headed straight down to breakfast at our HOTEL. We didn’t really have a plan for the day at this time but we got that sorted over the breakfast buffet. I follow a pretty strict diet when I’m at home, but when I’m on vacation I eat what I want. So I splurged on some pancakes, scrambled eggs, some cereal and some white bread with salmon and cheese. And some juice! I rarely drink juice but I love it!

Breakfast at Hotel Eggers Gothenburg

During breakfast we decided on three things we wanted to do during this day. Visit the palm house at the Garden Society, have a traditional Swedish Fika at Kafé Magasinet (since it was full when we tried to visit the day before) and eat dinner at Tacos & Tequila. You can already tell that this day involves a lot of food. A lot of delicious food. You are not ready.

The Garden Society of Gothenburg

After our delicious breakfast we got dressed and literally headed across the street. The Garden Society of Gothenburg was insanely close to our hotel. We located the giant palm house immediately and were both blown away. The Garden Society of Gothenburg is a park from 1842 and the palm house was built in 1878! In the palm house you can find plants like palms (of course), giant monsteras (like gigantic for real) and other tropical plants. If you’re in Gothenburg I definitely recommend that you visit this unique place.

The Garden Society Gothenburg Palm House

Kafé Magasinet

The palm house was a big success for us. It had been at least 2 hours since we had breakfast at this point so we did the most Swedish thing we could. We went for some classic Swedish fika. I had stumbled upon Kafé Magasinet on Instagram and added it to my bucket list. This time when we arrived there was a few empty chairs. A traditional chocolate ball and carrot cake to share was our fika of choice this day.And as you can tell by Sandras face; they were delicious. Kafé Magasinet is a café indoors but it feels like being outdoors. That did not make any sense. Just like the palm house its a glass building. So it’s filled with natural light but you have a more comfortable temperature than being outdoors. After spending several hours just sitting down and catching up it was shopping time!

We didn’t really shop much. But I did find some basic t-shirts, a blouse and a pair of earrings which were all on sale. If I’m a budget bitch that always shop in the sale-section? Yes, of course. We strolled around the streets of Gothenburg for a while and then headed back to our hotel for a necessary power nap.

Tacos & Tequila

Dinner time! We met up with a friend of ours and went to Tacos & Tequila. We had both tacos and tequila of course. I had some delicious fish tacos, Sandra had an enchilada and our friend had lamb tacos and we shared a nacho-bowl for starters. Tacos & Tequila has an awesome atmosphere and the food is absolutely amazing. I didn’t know tacos could be this good. The next time I go to Gothenburg I will make sure to eat here once again. This was definitely a favorite! Just as Kafé Magasinet I stumbled up on this place on Instagram and we were not disappointed. After having tasty tacos and some kind of drink with tequila we decided to leave and move on to a local pub. We had a fantastic evening!

Tacos from Tacos and Tequila in Gothenburg

Copenhagen

Copenhagen: One Day Itinerary

I jumped on the train to Copenhagen on Tuesday right before lunch. I arrived in Copenhagen at lunch time and right away met up with BELINDA, a fellow influencer but also childhood friend. We have basically known each other since I was born! It’s insane! We went for lunch at Tivoli Food Hall and we both ate at Glo. We had some really good salads there.

After lunch we defied the rain that was pouring down and walked around looking in cute shops and taking photos of every single building in Copenhagen. We took the metro to Belindas place and dried up for a few minutes before heading out again and this time our target was ice cream! Yes, ice cream in the pouring rain. And not only ice cream; VEGAN ice cream at Nice Copenhagen. I had “Brownilicious” which is vanilla ice cream, gluten free brownie chunks and peanut butter fudge. I had it as a sandwich with gluten free cookies! If that doesn’t make your mouth water I’m not sure you’re human haha.

NICE Copenhagen

After having a great time eating ice cream we decided to go to Glyptoteket (which I featured in my COPENHAGEN-GUIDE a while ago!) since it’s free on Tuesdays. Let’s just say we were not alone there… And we almost got kicked out as well. Belinda had a vitamin water-bottle with her and apparently that is strictly forbidden, but also because she accidentally put her hand on one of the statues whilst posing for a photo haha! So if you’re going; don’t bring drinks or touch anything!

Glyptoteket Copenhagen Glyptoteket Copenhagen

After our visit to Glyptoteket it was time to jump on the train back home to Sweden again. Belinda had some stuff planned and I was going back home to my family. All together we had a wonderful day despite the rain and I got to experience Copenhagen once again. Copenhagen is such a lovely city but I don’t visit enough. I only visit when I use their airport which is the closest airport to me haha! I’m moving more south in Sweden pretty soon and hopefully I will get to explore Denmark even more then, I am in matter of fact half-danish and should be visiting more often.

Europe

Mikaeli Marknad at Fredriksdal

Yesterday we visited Mikaeli Marknad (the Mikaeli Market) at Fredriksdal in Helsingborg. Every year in the end of September the market is hosted at the beautiful Fredriksdal. We didn’t go last year so it was nice to finally visit again. Fredriksdal is an open air museum and botanical garden in Helsingborg, Sweden. Visiting the Mikaeli Marknad is like traveling several years back in time.

Mikaeli Marknad Fredriksdal Helsingborg

As usual the market was filled with people and vendors. The vendors at Mikaeli Marknad sell locally produced produce such as spices, honey, flowers and root vegetables etc. This year we bought some spices, sea buckthorn-shots (non-alcoholic haha! It’s the kind you drink in the morning to keep you healthy.) and some food to eat whilst visiting.

Mikaeli Marknad Fredriksdal Helsingborg Mikaeli Marknad Fredriksdal Helsingborg

Mikaeli Marknad is a rather big event and last year there was about 10,000 visitors! This year there must have been at least as many. Even though it was a bit cold we sucked it up and had a great time anyway.

We had a great time and I can’t wait until next years market. Do you have any markets like this in your hometown? Tell me about it in the comments! Tomorrow I’m going to Copenhagen to meet up with Belinda, a fellow blogger and childhood friend. Can’t wait to finally meet up with her again!

Hotel Eggers Gothenburg Göteborg Europe

Hotel Eggers Gothenburg: Review

All opinions are my own, this post it not sponsored by Hotel Eggers or anyone else.

Walking through the doors and checking in to one of Swedens oldest hotels is a pretty impressive feeling. I’m not going to lie. When I’m booking somewhere to stay I’m looking for an experience, not just a place to sleep. And if you are the same; Hotel Eggers is perfect for you.

Hotel Eggers Gothenburg Göteborg

The Room

We checked in to room 392 at Hotel Eggers and were greeted with such a calm and lovely feeling. Dark walls and a green velvet bed frame is something I never would have picked out myself but something I did not know I loved. Our room was very clean so thank you to Larissa, whom was our cleaner. The atmosphere of the room was amazing and the only down side was that we did not have a great view. Our view was towards the courtyard of Hotel Eggers but since we did not specifically ask for a great view, I cannot really be mad about it. We were not there for the view anyway. A short summary of our room: our bed was amazing. It was the perfect kind of soft and was like sleeping on a cloud. The view sucked. But everything else was clean and nice!

Breakfast

Moving on to breakfast. The breakfast buffet was a good size but for me, a vegetarian (I have fish a couple of times a year), the options were not that big. So I ended up having the exact same breakfast two days in a row. On the menu was hot breakfasts as pancakes, bacon and scrambled eggs. But also cold breakfasts like bread and yoghurt. So there’s definitely room to eat different breakfasts, if you are not vegetarian. I would like to see more fruits on the buffet though! I like to feel fresh after breakfast and therefore like to eat fruits as a part of my diet. But all the foods we had were cooked perfectly and very tasty!

Breakfast at Hotel Eggers Gothenburg

Summary of Hotel Eggers

Our stay at Hotel Eggers was really pleasant and we felt very welcome! Our room was fantastic; from the decor to the cleaning. Breakfast was tasty but could be improved with more vegetarian and vegan options. Overall the staff were very lovely and they made everything for us to feel at home. If you are going to Gothenburg I would definitely recommend staying at Hotel Eggers for a special experience. I would love to go back soon and try the whole experience with trying their afternoon tea, lunch and dinner! Hotel Eggers definitely grew on me and I had one of my best hotel experiences in a long time.

And let us be honest, Hotel Eggers is perfect if you are a social media influencer since the decor is very beautiful and very different to other hotels. There is not a corner of this place that I did not photograph 😂Everywhere you look is picturesque and so special. Big thumbs up to Hotel Eggers for keeping the spirit of the hotel alive and you really feel like you are in a very old hotel. If you would like to see more pictures from trip to Gothenburg and our hotel stay; visit my Instagram where I have updated with several pictures!

Final rating: 4/5

Hotel Eggers Gothenburg Europe

Gothenburg Travel Diary: Day 1

My weekend in Gothenburg is sadly already over and I’m currently back home to my reality. Gothenburg treated me and Sandra very well and I already want to go back. We arrived in Gothenburg on Friday afternoon and walked straight to our hotel which was Hotel Eggers. We wanted an experience and not just feeling like our hotel was the place we went to just for sleeping. And Hotel Eggers delivered! What an experience! A hotel review will be up shortly because it deserves its own post.

Hotel Eggers Gothenburg

After we checked in to our amazing room we headed out on the town as the kids say. We went to meet up with fellow travel influencer Isabelle aka ThatSwedishTraveller for some pizza and beer at Brewers Beer Bar. Neither me or Sandra are big fans of beer so I had a glass of rosé wine and she had a cider. We ordered sourdough pizza and it was sooooo good! I’m not even exaggerating it was one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had. Mine was with cauliflower-sauce as a base instead of tomato sauce and then topped with four kinds of cheese, spinach, pea sprouts and garlic sauce. Sandra had one with some sort of ham, cheese and fresh tomato I think. Let’s just say that we were not disappointed.

READ MORE: Things To Know Before You Visit Sweden

Brewers Beer Bar Gothenburg

After our pizzas we headed to another pub to drink beer (cider for us weaklings). The plan was to have something to drink then head to an outdoor concert with Isabelle and her friend Amanda. But you know, we are rookies in Gothenburg. Gothenburg has a rumor about it that it always rains. We looked at the weather reports before hand and didn’t see any rain on the forecast so we didn’t bring raincoats. ROOKIE MISTAKE. It rained. The entire evening and night. So we decided to skip the concert and head back to the hotel for an early night. Sandra is my cousin and best friend and since we live so far away from each other we rarely get to hang out. So it was so nice just to hang out in our beautiful room and talk for the rest of the evening.

Sweden

Things To Know Before You Visit Sweden

IKEA, Abba, Spotify and northern lights are usually things that come to mind when you’re thinking about Sweden. But it is so much more than that and traveling to this beautiful country should be on your bucket list by now! Sweden has a population of about 10 million inhabitants and is a very long, skinny country, this is very important to remember for later. Sweden offers beautiful nature, interesting history and a variety of foods but there are some things you should know before visiting this interesting Scandinavian country.

At one of my favorite places down south; Kullaberg.

Getting around in Sweden

Whilst visiting getting around is easy. Sweden has a great railway-system that connects almost every major city in the country. The down side of traveling by train can be that it’s very expensive if you don’t book beforehand and it also takes quite a long time. SJ is the biggest railway company and where you can find tickets from all stations in Sweden. Taking the train from Malmö in the south to Kiruna in the north takes about 20hrs and you have to change trains a couple of time. But if you’re going from Gothenburg to Stockholm the train is definitely the way to go!

As I said earlier, Sweden is tall and skinny. Traveling from west to east is not a big deal, but north to south takes several hours. Another way to get around is by plane, this is what I recommend if you’re traveling from the south to the north or the other way around. BRA is the domestic flight operator in Sweden and is where you should look if you’re interested in flying domestic. Other ways of getting around are FlixBus or Nettbuss.

 

Accommodation

Sweden offers a wide variety of hotels, hostels, AirBnB’s and campgrounds. For finding hotels I recommend Sweden Hotels or Hotels.com. Hotels start from about 600 SEK a night for one adult. For finding hostels the best way is to look at the Swedish Tourist Association they own the majority of the hostels, mountain cabins and mountain stations in Sweden. Also SVIF offers a good amount of hostels. Hostelworld and hostels.com also work in Sweden. Hostels costs from about 200 SEK a night.

If you’re looking to camp in; you’re in luck! Sweden has a law called Allemansrätten, which basically means that you are allowed to camp almost everywhere in the forests. With exception of where there is a sign that says otherwise. But this should be taken with a grain of salt. Don’t camp next to someones house or ruin someones ground. Be respectful. If you want to camp in a camping with your RV or van the easiest way to find campsites are via Camping.

Another favorite; Söderåsen National Park

Eating & drinking

I’m going to be 100% honest with you here. It’s an expensive place to visit. If you’re staying for a longer period of time I recommend buying groceries and doing some cooking yourself if you can! Meats and cheese are especially expensive so eating a more plant based diet will benefit you. Different studies show that about 10% of the population are either vegetarian or vegan and a contributing factor can definitely be the expensive food. Eating out can be fun and the big cities offer a big variety of cuisine. What ever you what, Sweden probably has it!

Tipping in Sweden is not as common as it is abroad and most Swedes only tip once in a while and never when they’re eating lunch. But if you do want to tip between 5-10% is a good amount. If you are looking for a fun night out you should come prepared. Sweden adds a 25% tax to all alcoholic drinks so don’t be surprised if you end up paying 150-200 SEK for a long drink or 60-100 SEK for a glass of wine. Getting in to clubs also usually costs between 120-250 SEK per person. Beer is the cheapest drink to drink and if you like beer there are many exciting ones to try! On TripAdvisor you can find many good restaurants in Sweden.

 

Things to do

Sweden has many things to do no matter what season you visit. It is an amazing summer destination as well as a winter destination. In the summer there are several events that take place such as Medeltidsveckan (The Medieval Week) in Visby, the music festival Sweden Rock (amongst many other) and Midsummer! Other things to do in the summer are biking the Kattegatt-trail or learning more about the Swedish history by visiting a museum (many museums has free entry!). Another beautiful place worth visiting is the island of Öland. It’s an idyllic summer paradise, perfect for celebrating midsummer!

If you are brave enough you should visit in the winter time! Yes, it will be cold but you will have the time of your life. This country is literally a winter paradise. You can spot northern lights, ride a dog sled and hang out with reindeers. Remember earlier when I told you about Sweden being tall and skinny? If you want to experience these things you need to get up far north! Swedish Lapland offers all of the things mentioned above so if you’re looking for an unforgettable experience you should visit Lapland. If you’re feeling really brave you can even stay at the Ice Hotel while you’re at it. The north also offers som great skiing if you like an active vacation!

Last year I traveled north to the small village Lakavattnet

Hopefully this post helped you with your plans to visit this wonderful destination! If you have any other questions about Sweden I’m happy to answer them, just post them in the comments below. If you want more Sweden-related content head over to my Instagram where I regularly post pictures of things to do, places to visit and other Sweden content!

England

How Not to Move Abroad in Europe

In 2016 I graduated from high school and just a few days after graduation I packed a tiny bag and flew to Madrid and then onwards to Liverpool. Which I decided was my new home. My experience moving abroad was a disaster. Not the city of Liverpool, but my experience. So here I am today to tell you how not to move abroad in Europe so that you can learn from 18-year-old me and not make the same mistakes.

Me in my bedroom in Liverpool. Why did no one tell me that my hair was actually yellow?

Plan ahead

I wish I knew planning ahead actually can be a good thing. I have a tendency to dive head first into projects and not thinking about consequences, which can be a good quality sometimes. But it also gets me in all kinds of hard situations that I then have to solve in like 2 minutes. This was one of those situation. I had a living situation sorted out, but that was it. I had about $200 in my bank account and no source of income what so ever. Don’t think of me as a spoiled child because in my adult life I’ve always made my own money and I have not lived of my parents.

This is the building in which I failed my interview. I have walked by this building when visiting Liverpool later on, but it still gives me a feeling of failure and I try to avoid going to the docks when I visit.

Don’t procrastinate

Okay, so I just graduated after 12 years of school. I was tired. But as I mentioned earlier; I had no source of income. And I procrastinated finding one. I procrastinated searching for jobs and getting my National Insurance-number, so that I actually would be able to get a job (spoiler: I still don’t have it). So I did not make it easy for myself. Also remember that I was 18 and never had a “real” job before. Eventually I got a interview for an internship at a museum (which I obviously didn’t get) and after failing the interview SO HARD. I pretty much gave up on life. When I look back I feel sorry for myself.

 

Realize when things doesn’t work out

You can make it work. No doubt. But I just couldn’t. All trough high school I had been struggling with depression, anxiety and my senior year I was even on sick leave for the most of the year. And let me tell you; to move abroad to a new, foreign country did NOT make it better. So after about a month of panic attacks on the kitchen floor, crying myself to sleep, not having found a single friend and about $0 in my bank account. I gave up. I flew back home and saw myself as a failure for a very long time. I started studying at a university in a new city and tried to forget all about Liverpool and England. But today I’m proud that I tried and also proud that I took the decision to move back home and stop torture myself.

The neighborhood where I lived.

Try again

I am not yet at this stage but I will definitely move abroad again in the future. Maybe not in Liverpool but somewhere. I love adventure and I think I would manage much better now. I’m today healthy from my mental illnesses, have work experience and I’m a much more mature human being. So I have not given up. One day I will move out of the country again but I will be better prepared.

 

Some actual tips on moving abroad

  • Be active. Go to the local pub, talk to people and you will probably find friends for life!
  • You don’t have to work a traditional job. I wish I realized that I could work online when I was still in Liverpool. Then things probably had turned out different for me. This makes moving abroad easier!
  • Save up some “if everything goes to hell”-money before going. I didn’t do this and the fact that I had no money was constantly in the back of my head and made me get severe anxiety. I actually wouldn’t recommend to move abroad without some back up money.
  • Plan somethings ahead. I’m all about being spontaneous but when you’re making big life changing decisions, a back up plan can be a good option.
  • If you want to move abroad and not have to worry about all these things I just mentioned; trying going as an Au-Pair.
Europe

Rhodes: Top 3

I went to Greece. Again. This time to Rhodes. I just can’t help myself haha! I’m currently compiling a video of our trip to Rhodes but whilst you’re waiting I thought it would be fun to read about the highlights of my trip.

Snorkeling in St Paul’s Bay

This place was insane! And if you like snorkeling this is a must. Just past Lindos is this beautiful bay with a beach and some great snorkeling. I would argue that this was the best place we visited on Rhodes. We parked our car on the parking lot you can see just above the bay and then walked over to the beach in the bottom of the picture. Then we snorkeled out and around the cliffs separating the bay from the ocean. There were plenty of fish and the water was crystal clear! This is a must when I get the chance to visit Rhodes again.

St Pauls Bay, Rhodes is great for snorkelers and families.

Butterfly Valley, Rhodes

The butterfly valley is beautiful. We drove there and I imagine that it’s the best way of getting there. It’s about a 40 min drive from Rhodos town but definitely worth it. It is such a different place that the rest of the island and it almost felt like being back in Sweden haha. I recommend that you walk trough the valley and all the way up to the monastery on top of the hill. It has a great view! You should also come right when they open the valley since it’s crowded later in the day. The “boring” part of the valley is that there is only one type of butterfly but to me it does not matter since there are SO many of them!

Butterfly Valley is only a 40 min drive from Rhodes town.

Watching the sunset over Mandraki Harbour

The most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen.

This was insane my friends. Watching the sun set over Mandraki Harbour is a must. We were blessed with the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen. Everything was pink and orange. We ended the night with watching the blood moon (how cool?!) from the harbour, which is a once in a lifetime experience. But I can assure you, that the sunset is beautiful, blood moon or not haha!

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