Little old me and my travels.

Europe » Finland » Uusimaa February 9th 2019

I was pretty tired when I dragged myself from my bed. Idiot roommate decided to start a full blown conversation with another roommate when the latter returned from clubbing in the wee small hours. I don't really think she wanted to know the comings and goings of the people in the dorm during the night, but this bloke was intent on telling her. I filled myself up with coffee while eating my breakfast and then headed out to take another look around the city centre, this time in daylight. I made my way to Senate Square, which I had been to on my first night in Helsinki. I really wanted to go into the Helsinki Cathedral, but there was a funeral going on, so had to give it a miss. I noticed that the funeral car ... read more
Alexander II of Russia
Senate Square
Helsinki Cathedral

Europe » Finland » Uusimaa » Helsinki February 8th 2019

I was up super early to head to the ferry terminal. I was departing from a different one to that I had arrived in and it took a bit of finding. It didn't help that it was dark and that there weren't a lot of people about. I took a few wrong turns but got there in the end. The check-in process was super easy, just scan the QR code to get through to the departure area. They didn't even scan it again before boarding the ferry like the other company had. I was taking the Tallink ferry this time and it was almost three times the price of the one I had taken over to Tallinn, but the timings were a lot better, giving me more time to explore Helsinki. The ferry was a lot ... read more
Kyosti Kallio
The National Museum of Finland
The National Museum of Finland

Europe » Estonia » Tallinn February 7th 2019

My final day in Tallinn had arrived. I had been undecided about going to the KGB museum as it was rather expensive and the reviews online weren't too good. However, since it was winter and a lot of the tours that I had wanted to do out of the city weren't running, I felt that I could now justify the cost. The tour has to be booked and paid for in advance online. There are only two daily option in English and I went for the morning one at 11 am. Since I had some time before the tour, I went for a walk up Toompea as we had been there on the walking tour and I wanted to go back by myself. I took the direct route from my hostel and on the way I ... read more
Johan Pitka
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Toompea Castle

Europe » Estonia » Lääne-Virumaa February 6th 2019

The tour met at 10 in front of the tourist information centre. I totally scored on this tour as there were only two of us. Two more people were meant to join but they never turned up. I was rather happy that there were only two of us, as it would feel like a private tour but without the price tag of one. Our guide was really nice and told us a few things about the itinerary before we set off. We left the city and drove for a while into the suburbs. It kind of reminded me a little of my trip to North Korea, the soviet era apartment blocks, however there was a lot more traffic on the roads and advertisements for products that were familiar. We headed further away from the towns on ... read more
Jagala Waterfall
Jagala Waterfall
Jagala Waterfall

Europe » Estonia » Tallinn February 5th 2019

I can't decide whether I like that nothing seems to open until 10 am here. It does mean that I can get some extra sleep and take my time getting ready, but I also feel like if things were open earlier, I could see and do more each day. After a leisurely breakfast, I headed to the Old Town. I wanted to go to the Tallinn City Museum, but since it didn't open until 10 am I had to take my time on the walk. I had a bit of a walk around taking some pictures. Everything was covered with a light dusting of snow making it look really pretty. I wandered down a few backstreets, too, and found a really cute little alleyway. It was also home to 14-15th century tombstones from St. Catherine's Dominican ... read more
Freedom Square
Freedom Square
Old Town

Europe » Estonia » Tallinn February 4th 2019

I was going to take the tram from a stop that was apparently nearer to the hostel, but after speaking to the receptionist, I decided to head to the central station as there would be no ticket machine at the other stop. I trudge up to the station and when I tried to use the ticket machine I found out that it was card only, great! Then my card wouldn't work on the machine. Seriously, could anything else go wrong this morning. I headed into the station and found a convenience store that sold tickets, 2.90 euros, and then made my way back outside. I only had to wait couple of minutes for the tram and it was heaving when I got on. Monday morning rush hour in Helsinki. The journey to the ferry terminal took ... read more
Town Hall Square
Side Street
Town Hall

Europe » Finland » Uusimaa » Helsinki February 3rd 2019

Lunar/Chinese New Year means the opportunity to get out of China for a bit. I wouldn't have minded travelling in China, but probably left it too late to any train tickets and decent accommodation. Flights within Asia were almost as expensive as those to Europe and there wasn't really anywhere in Asia that I really had my heart set on visiting. Europe on the other hand, there were quite a few places I fancied. Finnair had a direct flight to Helsinki that left and arrived at a decent time, so I bit the bullet and got the credit card out. The flight was fine and only took about 8 hours. The food was a bit hit and miss, but the cabin crew were lovely. Walking through the airport was like a ghost town, I was unsure ... read more
Somewhere over Russia

Asia » China » Hubei » Wuhan November 27th 2018

Another day, another breakfast. My friend had wanted to take me for a soupy noodle dish that is popular here, but I nixed the idea as I am not a fan of soup noodles and had just eaten it the day before. Instead we returned to the hot dry noodles place and had another very filling and tasty bowl of those. We also got some shuijianbao, which are another type of dumpling and are a style that I really like. They are similar to xiaolongbao in that they have soup inside as well as meat, but the wrapper is thicker and breadier, more like a baozi. The way they are cooked is a combination of steaming and frying, which makes the tops fluffy and the bottoms crispy. Total yum! I think I have been spoilt with ... read more
Guiyuan Temple
Guiyuan Temple
Guiyuan Temple

Asia » China » Hubei » Wuhan November 26th 2018

Another day, another breakfast, and another excuse to try a new local breakfast food. Today, we were having doupi (豆皮), so we headed to the restaurant street where we'd had breakfast yesterday. My friend located the place that sold doupi and we ordered two different kinds; the regular one and the beef one. There was also a shrimp one, which I would have loved to have tried but my friend isn't big on fish and seafood. We timed our order perfectly as after we had been sitting down for a while, the queue was almost out the door. Doupi is a mixture of glutinous rice, pork, bamboo and other vegetables, which is cooked in a mixture that forms a skin around it. My explanation doesn't really describe doupi well and I wish I could explain it ... read more
Lao Tong Cheng
Jiqing Street

Asia » China » Hubei » Wuhan November 25th 2018

Breakfast, the most important meal of the day according to some and it is definitely an important meal in Wuhan. According to my friend, who lives here locals typically eat out for breakfast and even if they eat at home they don't prepare it themselves. Given the amount of restaurants and stalls selling breakfast, I could well believe it. After grabbing a quick coffee, we headed to Jiqing street about a 5-10 minute walk from where I was staying, which was lined with restaurants. I was excited to try 热干面 (reganmian), which translates to hot dry noodles. This dish is one of Wuhan's most famous and it sounded perfect for me as I like noodles, but not noodle soup. The restaurant we went to was called Cai Lin-Kee (蔡林记) and is a pretty popular place. The ... read more
Cai Lin-Kee
Hubei Provincial Museum
Hubei Provincial Museum

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