Weird pictures vol 2 aka Italy

The second part of series “Weird pictures from…”.
This time we stop in Italy.

Long time no see. I am sorry for not keeping You up to date, but I had a little vacation at home and time just flies faster than I can write.

A little catch up will come soon, but in this post I would like to share some more funny pics I have taken on my trips. The last part of this series was made of pictures taken in England, so this time I would show you some other part of Europe.

Let’s make the first stop in Italy- one of my favorite places to travel to. I have been to Italy 3 times and without an exception, I have seen some weird stuff EVERY SINGLE TIME.

*Some of the pictures are taken with a phone (from “no camera period”) so quality might be not so good.

The first pictures is taken in Milan.

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Someone has really made an effort. I think it looks good.

This one is taken from Genova at the same trip.

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I have no idea how this kind of marketing should work, but…. I don’t think it is sending the right message. But what do I know, right!

I do have to say that Venice fascinates me. For me it is just so weird to think that you order yourself a boat for a ride, or you can literally fall in the water when missing a step on a street.

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I guess this is not very drunk-people friendly. so let’s learn how to swim, before visiting Venice, okay?!

THE symbol of Italy- motorbikes. You think that they are exaggerating in movies with the rollers. IMG_20151008_152101.jpg

Yeah, they are not. You can see on the backround some more bikes. They are in rows of 7 and literally parked so full that I cannot imagine getting one out right from the middle.

The next one is taken on my hiking trip through the Alps. In one of my favorite cities Verona.

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The thing was moving…. Is that not a bit too weird to be meant for kids? Okay, just me then.

I absolutely love the vibe of Verona but what is that?

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I understand the whole thing with romance and stuff…. but a love letter on a plaster?! A bit too much.

And last but not least- Livigno.

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Amazing place for doing sports and setting your goals up high. The greed of people is  real. Always wanting a bigger one.

That is it for today. I hope you enjoyed at least one of them because I had a lot of fun taking them. As this is dedicated to Italy let’s end it with an Italian note as well. I guess there is only one song to end this with. For good old times and people spending some amazing time in Sicily with me years ago! Buongiorno!

London, baby!

My weekend in London: crazy people, architecture and overly brave animals.

I don’t know where the time flies. It is already way too long since my last post. That means it’s time to let you know what I have been up to. I have been busy working, so nothing much to say about that. I did have a little city tour which I am going to review in a second.

As 1st of May was a day off, we decided to go to London. I wanted to go already sooner, but as we didn’t have that much time, then the guys were running around with knives, so…. we didn’t make it before May. One of my best friends from Erasmus is currently living in London so we had more than one reason to go.

We spent in London 2.5 days and in my opinion it is more than enough. We didn’t manage to see absolutely everything, but probably the most important things we did. And the last half a day we didn’t even look around, but just spent time with friends. So,  We had walked for about 2h when I felt, damn…. my kneepain is back and BIG TIME. Oh yeah, btw, I have been having terrible kneepain from time to time. It all started after my first hikes in mountains, so obviously it is related to just weak muscles and too much load at once. Lately I had the pain also at night and randomly during the day. It is damn difficult to diagnose yourself, but I think I found the main cause. Since then I have been actively training my muscles and dealing with the problem. I must say, haven’t had the pain after London. Yey!

Anyway. I had terrible knee pain the both 2 days walking around London. It started already in the beginning so we had to redo our plans as I wasn’t able to just walk anywhere. Our tour started with Tower Bridge. Hmm… I am in between with the feelings about it. I do liked it, but it wasn’t really as I expected it to be. As it is so hyped, I was expecting something…. special? It wasn’t though. It was pretty and all the people going crazy around it, but nothing shockingly beautiful. As it is a “must see”, then of course, you should visit it when in London.

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After Tower Bridge we started walking by the Thames river towards Big Ben. I must say, the way there goes so fast as there are so many “crazy” people doing their things. Like a circus without animals- sounds good, right?!

Like that musician.

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Like those people. Some of them more inspiring than others.

I guess when you have been reading  and seeing the pictures from something so many times that you have a certain imagination how it looks like, you are quite likely to have a little.. hmm how to say… reality check/disappointment when you see it in real life. It doesn’t apply to all of the things/places, but in my experience it does to buildings. So there it was, Big Ben…. and again I wasn’t sure if I love it or I have been taught to do so. I did like it more than Tower Bridge, though, but it for sure was not my favourite part of the city. You could really see the nice small details and all that makes it worth it to go there personally. Another place I was expecting to be wowed by was Trafalgar Square. Sounds fancy, right?! Well guess what…. it is nothing. There was literally nothing. I don’t know what I was expecting… but for sure it wasn’t nothing. I am sorry if I offended anyone who has been there and loved it…. I just didn’t- at all. Might be just my particular taste as for me it was a square like any other.

The day ended with meeting my Erasmus friend in the downtown and grabbing some beers. If you must know, the beer costed over 5 damn pounds…… Huh. We need a moment here. If you are used to 2pound beers in the pubs and suddenly they ask… double!! Yeah. After long day of walking, 1 beer was totally enough and after hearing the price, even more so. We walked around the center a bit and decided to have a dinner in Chinatown. If you imagine a big city like London, then you would expect quite a big  Chinatown as well. Well, it was just few streets. Which in my , to be honest, is super cool, because I don’t really fancy when they bring in foreign culture so much that you forget about the country you are in. So that was a nice surprise. We went to a Chinese restaurant where you have to pay 12 pounds each and can eat then as much as you like. Of course I tried everything…. which means later crawling out of the place, but still worth it. Food was okay, nothing wow, but I did try some new things, so I was pleased.

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On our way home we walked by Buckingham palace, which was the biggest disappointment of the trip. I didn’t even take my camera out, because there was literally nothing to take a picture of. That’s a shame as teachers in schools really hype it (for other reasons though). Again, I am sorry, if you really liked it.

The next day my lovely Erasmus friend came with us and showed us some places she thinks are worth to visit. So we went to Harrods. Tom didn’t enjoy that at all, but I LOVED it. I know it is just a mall, but it is so damn fancy that you could ride with the escalator all day long. Didn’t buy anything there, but we just walked around and visited a fancy toilet (weird, I know). Have you ever been in a toilet where there is a Chanel’s or Hugo Boss original perfume on the table for free usage? Yeah, me neither.

After this super expensive mall we decided to go to a natural environment again and visit some parks . We went through the Hyde park and then took some pictures in the Regent’s park. Again I guess I was expecting something….. different of  Hyde park. It was nice, made you forget about the fact you were in a big city, but that was it. It was just a field of grass. And as people are used to feed the birds and animals there, we met the most human-friendly squirrel. Usually they just escape as soon as they see you, but this one basically ate from your hand. The same applied to birds. The swans were holding a bit back, but if they showed food in their hands, they came really close. When it comes to bird feeding, then I don’t think it is good, though. Swans in the park were literally eating garbage, because they trust whatever they are given. So sad. The Regent’s park was a bit different. Instead of grass fields, there were flowers and fountains. For sure less natural than the Hyde park. I liked that one as well as I got some good pictures in there- that’s why.

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That crazy squirrel.

We finished our little city tour with having a bite in some street restaurant area. There were literally tens of different street retsaurant that were offering food from all kind of places in the world. There were some French cuisine, Indonesian food, Italian, Chinese, Caribbean.. you name it. I decided to try a French burger…. which I didn’t like, but as I did like the idea of the place so much, I wasn’t too sad about it. And it was sooooo many people that you could barely walk through it. In that situation I found myself discovering that I am out of that stage in my life when I enjoyed the crowds. I for sure don’t anymore. But from time to time it’s still nice to get out of home and comfortzone.

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Street food introducing the world.

That’s about it. That was LONDON. I still suggest to go, but in my opinion it doesn’t need more than few days. It has it’s nice big city life features. So if you are into that, this is a place to go!

P.S As always, check out my pics as well!

 

Easter in Wales

Easter roadtrip around South of Wales

It is so nice to be abroad at Easter, because unlike in Estonia, you get 4 days off. This time we decided to make a little roadtrip around South of Wales. Well at first we thought we are going to make it a hiking trip, but as the weather again didn’t want to cooperate at all, we hiked only on one day for few hours. So, i guess you cannot even call it a hike.

We started already on Thursday after my work, but as we arrived to Littledean so late, we stayed there for the night. After good sleep and rich breakfast we took our bags and hit the road towards Cardiff. As it was 3 of us this time, we had 2 tents. Well, let’s say my Estonian friend didn’t enjoy sleeping in the tent too much, as she was basically sleeping under rain. She had a tent that had just one lair which means all the humidity in the tent fell on her as soon she moved around in there. In the morning she woke up almost soaking wet. And probably it wouldn’t be a problem if the nights would have been warm… but they weren’t. I was fully dressed and in 2 sleeping bags, so I didn’t feel cold but I can imagine how bad sleeping in wet tent was. During the day the temperature didn’t rise much above +10. Yes, local people were wearing shorts and t-shirts, but that didn’t make me want to take my skiing jacket, gloves and hat off. I am such a warm lover, I cannot help it.

So the 2 cities i was really looking forward to visit were Cardiff and Swansea. Unfortunately, and I really feel it’s unfortunate, because I had such high hopes, I didn’t really like either of them. It was not bad, but nothing special either. I did like the little “port” in Swansea, I think it was lovely. Especially at night with all the lights. Rest of the city, on the other hand, nothing to see, really. How disappointing. In Cardiff we visited the castle, of course, which was okay, I guess. But that was about it. We made a 4-hour walk in the city and besides the castle… I don’t think I took my camera out even once. And that is a big thing. So I don’t know… not my kind of cities. And I guess in general I have to say that the cities/towns in there are for sure not the reason to go to Wales. So, I am not going to really talk about them.

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One of the few pics I took from Cardiff. Big door but small lock (if you try to look at the lock, then it’s normal door’s size). Apparently size doesn’t matter.

Rest of the trip we focused again on the coastline and searching for amazing views. In Rhossilli we even had a small 2-hour hike. Which turned out to be amazing. The sun came out, we even managed to take the jackets off for few hours, and burn our noses. As soon as i got out of the car, I smelled coconut. Of course there are no coconut trees, so I was super suspicious. The more I walked around, the more I was sure I can smell coconut. After pointing it out to my friend she agreed with me, but we couldn’t figure out what was it. An hour, or so, later Tom came and asked if we can smell coconut as well. He has quite bad nose, so now I was sure, that I am smelling it right. Apparently some yellow bushes were giving out the smell. And especially when you found a spot with no wind, you could smell the coconut so clearly. And I love coconut!

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Next stop was a nice small town St Davids. They have a huge cathedral there, which at Easter time is obviously full of people. I must say I am not very cathedral/church-person. I do like the architecture, but it is not that often that I take out my camera for that. In St Davids I did. And this time I didn’t even take pictures of the architecture, but I was amazed about some patterns they used on the floors/ceilings. That “interior lover” side of me came out instantly. I couldn’t get carried away too much as someone was practicing organ at the same time. I find clerical music a bit creepy in such big cathedrals anyway, so doing the same lines all over again several times didn’t help. Probably I am the only one.

Is it just me, or those patterns are really nice indeed?! My favourite is the floor (on left). And have you ever seen wooden ceiling in church??

Almost by accident, Tom found and amazing blue lagoon near Fishguard. It was very nice beach with an amazing view. But right behind the beach there was an artificial blue lagoon. If anyone of you has visited Rummu in Estonia, then this was something like that. The water was super cold, but sooooo blue that you couldn’t even believe it. Yeah, I took like 2000 pictures. I think it is so cute and mysterious that it was hidden right behind the little hill. Most of the people would probably just settle with the view from the beach, not even knowing what’s waiting behind the hill. That’s didactical, right?!

After the lagoon we drove further and stopped in few other small towns, but as I said before, it was really nothing special. If you want to see the beauty of South-Wales, you need go to the coast! Hopefully in summer we will have a chance to visit Snowdonia as well. I am so excited and cannot wait! If the weather would cooperate just a little more than so far…

That was my Easter weekend. We managed to make  a nice 1000km roundtrip (from the map small stops missing). Check out some extra pictures, as always, from “photography”.

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Time flies, soon it’s June and guess what, I AM COMING HOME! Yes, I really hope I will get the tickets and I can spend few days in Estonia. I miss my friends and family already, and as my little brother is about to graduate, I want to be there for him as well.  So all my Estonians, hopefully see you in June! If you want to meet up, let me know!

As my thoughts are already “flying over” Estonia, Curly Strings can have this post. One of their older, yet one of my favourite songs.

 

 

Memories from South-West of England

Roadtrip around South and South-West of England.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I couldn’t start the work before April so I had another week off. The car made it happily to England (ptuiptuiptui), so we decided to spend a week out of Reading. I searched out plenty of stuff, from which we by the end of the week didn’t manage to see any of. But I guess it is for the next time.

We started the trip by heading straight to South from Reading, hoping to see a sunset near Stonehenge. Unfortunately we didn’t make it on time, so it was already closed when we arrived. For my surprise they are asking money on the gates, and not little money. For an adult it costs 17 pounds to see the rocks…. Yes, 34 pounds to get in with your mate. That is overpriced for sure. As our plan was already ruined we decided to drive further and not wait until the morning when the gates open. We headed towards Salisbury and hoped to reach Poole by the end of the day. That night we ended up sleeping next to a cemetary near Poole. It was so creepy at first, but as we were both so tired, it didn’t really matter. In the morning and in sunlight we noticed a sign that there is a camping area in 100yards. Oeh…

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Yeah, You can say I have seen Stonehenge.

For the next day we planned a little hike in Dartmoor National Park. We asked from a village what places are worth to visit, packed our bags and started walking. We took with everything. And by everything I mean everything. We thought we are going to hike over the hills and hitchhike further for few days, but English weather said, hello NO, guys! SO, it was raining all the damn day, and the wind wanted to blow off our faces. So instead of hitchhiking further, we just walked down back to the car. I must say I was a little disappointed. I guess I am just already used to hiking in big mountains and suddenly few hundred meters is not enough.  And at that moment we decided that we are not going to make this trip a hitchhiking trip. We sat in the car and started looking for a place to park the car… again. This time we didn’t go too far. Found a little space next to a small road near Princetown.  When mentioning Princetown, I must say that the roads there are crazy! Not that its just up-and-down, but they have planted some bushes right next to the road so you cannot see on the sides. And what is more, most of the time you can fit on the road only 1 car. Why?!

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On our way over the hills. This time no cows, only sheep, who were so scared that escaped as soon as they noticed you coming.

The next day we were driving again towards Cornwall and the very South-West edge. In one small town local people suggested us to go to Tavistock to try local farmer’s food. After mentioning food we were already sitting in the car, speeding towards Tavistock. We ended up buying 2 types of cheese (blue cheese and hard cheese with garlic) and bread. We chose only the products that you could buy from there and nowhere else.  We wasted about 20 pounds on damn sandwich. BUT, we ate the sandwiches for like 3-4 days. The hard cheese is still left and in the fridge. So, if you divide it by the days, not that expensive after all.

From Tavistock back to the coast. Next stop was St Austell and little villages around it. Amazing coastline and amazing views! That part I recommend for sure. We took some chips from “fish and chips” in the port and enjoyed the view. It was a little rainy but the food makes it always better. And if you didn’t know, then “fish and chips” is a thing here. I think it is the most popular fast food as you can find it almost on every street. We ended up with the views in Land’s End. It is good that I can say I have been there, but I wouldn’t say you have missed anything if you haven’t. If you have visited any other coast in South of England, it is pretty much the same. I would maybe even say that the beaches before the very end were even prettier. One beach even had a little sand area, so from a distance really seamed like a paradise (check out the pic from photos). There was something like a window in the water (in Land’s End), but not sure if you can really call it a window. Surprising thing was that there are whales, sharks and dolphins swimming around. I checked the information written down for tourists and they mentioned different type of whales, sharks and dolphins. Unfortunately didn’t see any on that day. BUT, in Mevagissey I did notice a fin in the water, that from time to time just disappeared. I am not sure what was it, but I want to think it was a shark.

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Can you see it?! There is a fin in the water! On the right side in first third from up. Right?! It’s tiny, but it’s there!

From the very western point we started driving back towards Bristol. As this was the town I was supposed to meet one of my very best friends from Estonia. On the way we visited Appledore (and basically all the other small ones around there), Brigewater, and Bath. I must say I LOVED that small town Appledore. This kind of town is a place I would like to live in. As the weather was quite windy and  even a bit stormy, the sea was unbelievable. We were standing on some street right next to the sea and waves just kept jumping over the wall on the street. The waves were so big that surfers seemed like ants in them. And seeing the real surfing (without the kite)- damn, I think my bucket list just got longer. About Bridgwater I cannot say much. Didn’t really leave any impression.  But I had really high hopes for Bath, but I must say I didn’t like that one either. You know, sometimes you just don’t connect with the vibes of the place and that’s it. Bristol, on the other hand, I enjoyed a lot. Nice architecture, active nightlife, river- what else can you ask for. As we arrived already in the dark, I cannot give you any feedback of the town in sunlight. The night in Bristol was nice for sure. If you like partying and getting to know the city in that way, you should go!

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Nike tree in Bristol. Local people didn’t really know the reason why the trainers are hanging there either.

When we were already in Bristol, it came out my friend didn’t come there and is waiting for me in Littledean. My phone just keeps letting me down lately. I am not sure what’s the problem, but the messages are coming through like hours later. If I want my messages hours later I would just send a dove… Anyway, after walking around few hours we decided to drive for the night to Littledean and spend some time with my Estonian homie. I must say I loved that place. Really small, but so nice. She is living in a shared house there with an amazing view from the backyard. For the night we went to a little local pub to celebrate our reunion (as I haven’t seen her for 8-9 months). I don’t even remember when was the last time I was in a pub until they kicked you out. Probably in Erasmus. We had such a nice time.  The next day we walked around at her work (she’s working in a biodynamic garden in a some kind of centre). Again so peaceful, so nice. Had an amazing meal there (made by a lady from Nepal) and had to start driving back home right after.

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Deep, right?! When walking around in the garden that is full of small signs and interesting cute spiritual elements, it does make you feel calm and stress free.

On our way home we stopped in Gloucester as I insisted visiting the cathedral. As soon as I heard that all the scenes in Hogwarts’ corridors are filmed there, I wanted to go. I am not that big fan (as I haven’t really read any of the books), but I am a fan enough to want to see it. I must say, I wasn’t disappointed. I just wish people nowadays would spend as much time on details when building houses as they did back then. Just incredible.

And last, but not least Oxford. I must admit, so far my favourite city. I remember I had the same feeling in Bucharest when wherever you turn, the view is amazing. You can take a picture of any of the streets and it looks fabulous. While walking around the city center I even felt a bit bad not going to study there. Fortunately it is close to Reading, so I can go back for more pictures at any time.

That is about it for this time. I added a whole bunch of pictures from the trip in my photography section, so go check it out! I had 300 of them, so unfortunately I couldn’t upload all of them.

And everyone of you who is thinking now that you should go and check out some new cities/places,  MOVE!

 

 

The cost of travelling

How to keep your trips in budget!

Btw the featured picture is taken from a car on our way to the Alps. One South-Korean guy gave us a ride and I noticed that the coin he used as a key holder is very, very familiar. It is 1 Estonian Kroon that is not in use anymore. He said he got it from his parents. I must say my heart was melting when I saw it.  And the damn guy didn’t even know it was Estonian and not a valid money anymore.

Travelling in Europe is right now the only subject I can write about. I haven’t made it further than Palermo from the South, Saint Petersburg from the East and Reading from the West. As you can see, there is a lot to discover for me as well. Yet, I have somehow found time and opportunities to visit quite a lot when considering my age, fact that my parents are not superrich, nor with a traveller’s soul, and that I have not taken any time off from work, nor school, to spend it just for discovering the world. That means anyone can do it, and anyone with the interest should do it.

So, how have I managed it all? First, crab an opportunity when you see it! One of the best ways to travel during your studies is joining a program. I have  participated in projects for basic school students about the Baltic sea (so, the age is really not a limitation), Euroscola, and Comenius for highschool students, and last but not least Erasmus for university students. Few of my friends have participated in different projects like workshops as well and have been pleased. Most of the projects are paid for you or the amount you have to pay is really ridiculously small (usually around 30%), so just go and enjoy. And last but not least school trips. From time to time schools organise trips abroad with a bigger group that makes the price per person smaller. I joined my teachers and schoolmates on a trip to Russia, and I must say, I was very pleased. Yes, you cannot really walk around by yourself, nor party, but in Russia you  maybe don’t want that much anyway.

I have also spent all of my savings and vacations on travelling and  hitchhiking on the road. When it is about seeing the places, meeting the people and having an adventure, you don’t have to worry about living costs and transportation. The only thing to worry about is the food and it has been mostly the only expense we have had. What is more, you can even save some money on that. I like hitchhiking and this vagabond freedom that you get when travelling without guides, planned tours or packages. You never know where you end up sleeping, visiting or who you end up meeting (sometimes can be scary, but still totally worth it).

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An amazing thing invented is couchsurfing. Not only you don’t have to spend a single penny for an accommodation, but you can meet very interesting and nice people on your way. One time we were hosted by a woman in her 80s. I must say I had some doubts before arriving, but Tom said she seemed very nice and  all my fears faded when I met her. She was like a German grandmother I came to visit after long time. She cooked for us and provided us with anything you could ask for. And what is more, she had so many stories and life experience to share that you just sat there (with your champagne and strawberries) and listened with an admire. If you are scared of staying over at stranger’s, you can always look up for cheap accommodation on the internet. Another advantage here is when you have already some experience with a project/program. Trust me, you get a lot of new friends from tons of different places. People that you meet through those are always waiting for you to visit and happy to show you around.

Another way not to spend money on accommodation is a tent and a sleeping bag. When it comes to hiking it is, of course, essential, but people tend to forget that you can put up a tent almost anywhere (hidden of course as it is not allowed in quite many places). And if not, you can make yourself comfortable in your sleeping bag on the beach when looking at the stars before falling in the sweetest dream you have ever had (been there, done that). The only disadvantage is that you need to keep all of your worthy items close to you. I usually put it in my sleeping bag as I am too short too use the whole length of it anyway.

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When it comes to decreasing your expenses on transportation then as mentioned one thing is hitchhiking. Before going to Erasmus I had never hitchhiked, not even in Estonia. Always felt that it is dangerous. But when I saw the faces of my friends when coming back from a hitchhiking trip, I was instantly on the hell-yeah-let’s –do-it- mode. Now, when thinking back of all the drivers I have met, it still puts a smile on my face. Yes true, all of them are not exactly sugar pies, but I believe that kindness and positivity lay eggs. So treat the people like you would like to be treated. Once we got stuck on Romanian-Bulgarian border and it was already getting dark. It was actually exactly right after the crazy Romanian had dropped us off (you can read more about it in my earlier travel post). You can imagine the frustration we had when no one stopped (also can happen sometimes), and we were 40km far from the final destination on that day. Like out of nowhere one old guy stopped, fit all 4 of us in his small car and drove extra miles just to help us out. This kind of experiences make you want to be a better person and see the good in people.

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If you are in a rush and don’t have time for hitchhiking (or simply don’t want to stand on the road), don’t worry, there are few options left. First, you can pick up a blablacar. It is for sure cheaper than flight tickets (usually) or trains, so can help you to save some cash as well. For cheap flight tickets we probably need another post to cover all the sites and ways. The last but not least is walking/biking. If you don’t have a year off you probably don’t have time for walking around the world, but you should consider it when getting to know a city/town. Don’t hop on the first city bus, rent a bike or put on your sneakers, and get to know the city by yourself. Not only is it cheaper, but you can see exactly the places you are interested in. In many big cities there are rental bike “stations” where you put in few coins, and can ride it as long as you want. By the end of the day just need to take it back to one of the “stations”.

Now the most important thing, FOOD. I am that kind of person who wants to experience the very authentic local life. For that I insist going to a restaurant or a pub (not expensive ones of course) in the country at least once. First, you feel yourself like a worthy human being and you can enjoy an amazing meal that you probably would not get at home. If you want to do it cheap there are few thing to remember. First, don’t try to find a cheap place in the center of the town/city. Go on the suburban areas and I am quite sure you will find something nice, and what is more, affordable. That doesn’t usually apply for shops though. Small “village shops” tend, on the other hand, to be a bit pricier than supermarkets.

When travelling then most of the times we cook for ourselves on the camping gas, though. It is cheap and rather quick (dependent on the weather though). After a long time in the mountains or waiting on the road the taste of unseasoned pasta becomes so fantastic that you start thinking about cooking like this at home. Of course the amazing taste fades with the hunger and you will never eat it at home. One day, when I will be a pro in this, I will let you know how to cook like a master vagabond! Right now I settle with pasta, lentils, rice or oats.

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Another way to cut down on your expenses on food is dumpster diving. I must admit I have never done it myself, as most of the places I have visited are not that kind of areas where you could dumpster dive. I know people who have done it in Denmark and got really fresh and good stuff. Probably it will work better in more western countries, where you can find completely fine food already put on top of the bin, so you don’t even have to dive. But as you don’t want any kind of disease or a diarrhea, watch what you put in your mouth!

If you are one of those people who enjoy guided tours, but think it is way too expensive, I have a good news for you. In most of the big cities there are free city tours with a guide. These are walking tours, so be prepared, and put comfy shoes on. At the end of the day you can simply give the guide as much as you think the tour was worth. There are many sites you can look it up, like freetour, freewalkingtour, neweuropetours etc.

The tricky part in all of this is the time. That can be the most valuable expense.  When going hitchhiking during a vacation you have to consider the fact that you might not get a ride as fast as you would like. For avoiding your boss’ mad face on Tuesday morning take more time. Add a day at least at the end of the trip to spend just on getting to the airport at the right time, or getting the ride home at the right time. It will also not hurt to look up some public transport options in case you will be stuck on the road. Because, the thing is, you move on the road as fast as someone who is willing to take you. Sometimes it means that you are half a day ahead from the driver and you need to stand there and wait for him to catch you up. Some other times you get the ride fast but he needs to take care of things on the way, gets lost, or is just simply a slow driver. So, take time and enjoy your way (if you remember my experience with fighting the time).

As you can see it is not that difficult at all. If you have the money or time, it will be even easier. Be safe and discover the Earth!

The song for this post I was really choosing for days. When I remembered the FUN, I knew, this is it. I wanted to add a song that would be inspiring. This song makes me feel like I can accomplish anything and maybe it will make you feel the same. This is the song that finished my high school years, one long chapter in my life. I must admit the summer right after graduating was one of my best summers ever. All my friends from that time have still stuck together, even when life has happened. Love you guys, you inspire me!

Fighting the cows and time

As my trip to the Alps was just full of unfortunate events, I have few more to share with you! This time facing the cows and lack of time.

More scary moments

Like I said in the first post of “when things go wrong”, I have plenty of little situations where I have been really really scared or the things have gone the opposite direction from my expectations. We are back in the Alps! This post I will dedicate to my amazing vacation in the Alps and my amazing Tom who always manages to come out of difficulties. Yes, I know, I already told you about the little tears (khmm) I had in the mountains on that trip, but the ones I am going to talk about today are not related to my fear of heights at all. As the stories I have left from the Alps are rather long, you have to settle with only 2 this time.

So, the first scene coming to my mind is me and Tom sitting in a tent and being abused by 40 cows. Let’s make one thing clear- I am not afraid of cows… usually! Okay?! I am a peasant, I am not afraid of domestic animals. Yet, I find it scary when the whole herd of cows confine me.

I remember waking up in the tent in French mountains (Mont Cenis) and seeing a huge amount of cows like 200 meters from us drinking water and sunbathing. As usually we did our little morning routines and didn’t really notice that the cows started coming towards us. They were already about 10-15 meters from the tent when I popped my head out of the tent and pulled it right back as quickly as I could. I whispered to Tom that the cows are right next to the tent and are staring at us. Should we scare them away? Should we close the tent’s door? Should we just keep sitting quietly? We decided to close the door and see what happens. So, for you guys, who haven’t been in the mountains- mountain animals are not like you are used to at your home/neighbours. They are not coming to you when calling by the name, they are rather wild and unstable, I would say (okay probably not). Well, at least they are not coming when you call them! You can notice it anywhere as they have put up big signs- to not disturb or go near the animals. Yeah probably a precaution but makes you careful and slightly scared. And they are big! Especially when you are sitting down, they seem like giants!

So, there we were looking into each other eyes, being surrounded by 40 cows (god knows how easily disturbed/irritated). And then, as I was not expecting at all, they all started coming to smell our tent.  All, one by one. You could only smell the… bad smells, see the tongue coming under the door towards you, and hearing “water” pouring right next to you (only a thin fabric separating from getting hit by it). To be honest, I was terrified. Not that they will shit on our tent or start eating our food, but that one of them decides to take a little break and sit on us. That is not the way I want to die, okay?! So, every time they rubbed their bellies or asses against the tent, Tom made this really funny (like an old farmer) noise “Uoooooouh”. And they really did listen. It didn’t scare them away for long, but at least they didn’t want to sit on us. After like an hour of waiting quietly them to get bored, I just started packing my stuff, thinking that in a chance they all are at least few meters from the tent, I will run for good. Fortunately, as soon as we started moving in the tent, they got scared and went back where they came from. Yeah, I know, should have done it sooner, but you never know, how they react to a noise/your behaviour. One must be careful with them for sure. So, here is an advice- do not close the tent when 40 cows are about to come and lick it!

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Some of the original “bad girls”!

The second story is about hitchhiking and being on time. Everyone who knows me, also knows I am never late. I feel so bad when I am late that I am rather too early than late. I don’t know, I just hate it. But when hitchhiking you cannot do anything about it. The worse thing is when it happens when you literally cannot be late. On our way back from the Alps I experienced first time ever what is it like to not be picked up for a long time. So, we started coming from France rather early and hoped to have some extra time for Belgium/Netherlands. Well, that didn’t happen. We got stuck in Belgium for half a day. We arrived at one of the resting areas around 4-5pm and didn’t get the ride until the next morning. The worse part was that it was on a highway (scroll down to look it up on the map), so we couldn’t even take a public transport. We were literally stuck.  What is more, I had my plane leaving the next day (around noon) from Germany (260km to go).

Probably because of the current migration situation in Europe, as soon as it got dark, people were literally running away from you. I was carrying my backpack the whole time to show that I am a hiker not a terrorist. Unfortunately it didn’t help much. Until the next morning everyone was either full or just escaped before we could even ask anything. In the morning (it was already around 8am) we convinced one truck driver to take us further as I was soooooooooooo freaked out I am going to miss the flight (and therefore work on Monday as well). He took us further, but it was still not enough to get to the airport, because we were already behind from the schedule and he could drive only with 90p/h. He dropped us off in Maastrich (Netherlands) about 100km from the airport. So, we had to take a train in the Netherlands (omg, this damn thing is expensive!) I think we paid like over 30 euros for both tickects. And when you have been hitchhiking the whole trip, then suddenly 30 euros per 90km is A LOT. We kept calling to our friends in Estonia and Czech to check any other kind of possibilities to get to the airport (Düsseldorf Weeze). Not only that there were not enough options in public transport to choose from, but all of them did not match with my plane departure.

So there I was, an h before the gate closing, around 100 km from the airport and with no ticket. Yes, I was supposed to print it out like 2 days before the flight, but remember, I just came from the mountains?! So, we had like 5 minutes until the train’s departure when we had to find a way to get further from our final train stop to the airport, and print out my ticket somewhere. As always, my Prince Charming got everything done on time. He asked one hotel receptionist to print it out and she was willing to do it. For some money, of course (cause let’s be honest, 1 A4 is damn expensive to print out). I remember sitting on the train and bothering everyone with questions like do you have someone living nearby, or do you have a car, or do you know how to get to the airport from Venray. Again, no one did, of course (would have been too easy). We even called for a taxi…. Oh boy… We were ready to pay 50!!!!!! damn euros to drive 25km to the airport. I was about to faint when I heard the price. And can you imagine the damn royal taxi was late.. a lot. So we came off the train in Venray, I was already so late and still 25 km from the airport. Now what?! That’s it? That’s where it all ends? I was so desperate that I started literally begging people to give me a ride. After embarrassing myself in front of like 3 cars, one couple was willing to take me. We arrived in front of the airport exactly when the gate was supposed to be closing. In the car I took out all of the liquid things to waste as little time as possible. I was running like a lunatic, but can you imagine, I made it. I love you Ryanair for being late! I even had to wait a bit at the gate to get on the plane. This was literally the first time in my life I was thankful for someone/something being late.

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The way from the resting area to the airport. For zooming in check it on google maps.

As you can already see, I am afraid of many things. I don’t know why. I just have this one idea how the situation could go wrong/dangerous and it’s just stuck in my head, freaking me out. It is stressful and nerve racking but this kind of situations make you feel alive! So next time I try not to worry (that much), cause things always work out when they are supposed to! 😉

I like adding little melodies to my posts (hopefully you too). In order to not worry, there is only one song for it!

Not an ordinary hiker

It’s time to tell some stories again! Here you go, „Scary situations vol 2 aka mountains’ special”

This time the „critical” situations are not that critical but as I am terribly scared of heights, you can try to put yourself in my shoes (yeah, I know, a hiker with a fear of heights- that’s going to be fun).

So, the very first really high mountain experience I had was back in my Erasmus when we went alpine skiing with the people from our dormitory. Because, you know we don’t have any mountains in Estonia. Compared to those bad boys we don’t even have hills. It was my second alpine skiing time in general, so you can imagine how bad I was at it. If anyone of you has visited Vitosha (to see an additional information about the mountains, click on links) mountain in Bulgaria, then you know what I am talking about. Well, let’s say the tracks are not meant for beginners like me, especially when the beginner is afraid of heights. Yet, after the first slope I was so excited that I agreed to drive to the very top with the guys. Yeah, that was not good idea. So, the guys got bored of the top and decided to WALK up from unmarked hill to get on another track. Like in a movie it got suddenly really foggy, so not only we walked up with the damn skis in a snow reaching to my bellybutton, but we got completely lost. I was so tired after climbing that I couldn’t have even skied down on an easy slope. To make things worse, the side of the mountain we ended up with was full of rocks and as a beginner I didn’t even have a helmet. Just great! I tried to slowly ski down but as I felt the speed just getting up too fast, my legs being too tired to control the speed, and there were too many rocks to go around, I sat down, took my skis off, and slid down on my ass like a kid. After trying to stay alive for an h we got down on a normal track and that was the last one for on that day.

Another similar situation was when hitchhiking in Italy with Latvians. After never really been hiked in big mountains I faced the size of Dolomites and climbing up with a big bag first time in my life. The track started with quite large road and seemed like this is going to be doable even for me. After 10 min of walking I already took off my jacket as I felt like I am running a marathon. I must admit now that the beginnings are always the hardest for me. The first half an hour or sometimes even an hour just comes only with the blood taste in my mouth and lack of air even on not too high altitudes. The moment this climbing got a bit out of hands for me was when the nice large road ended and we faced just a huge amount of rubble. It is possible to climb it, but with a big bag and not proper shoes it is very, very slippery. What is more, the road just got narrower and narrower. At one point I was even wondering how is it legal to open a track like that for people like me. Facing my fear of heights and falling down from the 30cm path, I made it to the highest point of the track. The only thing I was thinking about back then was „well, now it is going to get easier”. I have never been that wrong. The whole way down was only on the rubble. You literally had to keep the balance with all of the muscles you had, every step feeling like this is going to be the last one. And guess what, it would have been just one long slide down, cause there was literally nothing to grab or hold on to. Through the sweat we still made it!! What is more, with no scratches!

(Sorry for the quality, I didn’t have my camera back then.)

The next one is not about really being in a danger or feeling scared of heights, but facing your weaknesses. In spring 2016 we went to Croatia with a car. Spent there amazing week, although I didn’t get exactly that „sunny trip” as I thought I will. Before I even start describing the situation, I must say that in our relationship Tom is the one who sets up all the trips and plans everything. So all the amazing places we have visited together is only thanks to him. As always, when possbile, we try to fit in the schedule at least one hike. This time we chose Paklenica. It was supposed to be an easy track up next to a little river and as easily back down- all together 4h. So, perfect for making nice pictures. After an h walking up the track started to disappear. We were supposed to follow red dots, but often you just didn’t see any so you kept going until you found one. After already climbing 4 hours I was getting tired. Probably this was my weakness point back then. The feeling when you just have to keep going even if you are not enjoying and you are tired and want to quit, is frustrating. As the guy at the gate already lied about the length, we had no idea how long is it really going to take, because the track just got worse and worse. After 5 hours of trying to keep my feet dry I gave up and started walking right in the cold river. The craziest part was when the water got so deep that you couldn’t even walk it anymore. Well, now what? Swimming in April? Somehow by climbing some ropes we got to the top 4h later than expected and spent the night there as it was already getting dark. It seemed like a nice place to put a tent up until the morning when the screaming wild pigs woke us up.

(Left one be like- playing hide and seek with the track’s marking.)

People say that by facing your fears you are going to get rid of them. Well, I am not sure how long or how many times you are supposed to stare them, because for me it ain’t working. The last short story is from my latest trip to the Alps.  As I mentioned before, Tom is the experienced hiker and trip planner, so I completely trust him in this and follow where ever he goes. When we took the trip to the Alps we had been together a year or so, but in a long distance, so there was still a lot of things we didn’t know about each other. Like me being scared of heights. We climbed the whole way from Lichtenstein to Austria. On the way there I broke one of my lenses. Great! You are in the mountains, you are scared of heights, and now you are blind as well. Fortunately I had my glasses with, but as I have never been a fan of glasses, they didn’t really fit me and I felt very uncomfortable. As they were moving with my head I just felt dizzy all the time. On the way to Austria Tom had planned 2 bigger mountains/tops to overcome and enjoy the view. The first one was again with some really bad path almost like in Dolomites. So now I was on the side of a mountain, being scared of heights, feeling dizzy from the glasses and slippery because of the rubble. After trying to overcome the fear and climb about 5 min I just stopped. My legs where shaking so hard that I thought I am going to fall down just because of that. My eyes filled with tears, so instead of seeing little, I saw nothing. I guess this was the time to tell my boyfriend, that I am actually really scared of heights. This time we didn’t go to that top and decided to go around and skip that one. I must say I was relieved. The top we had to take instead wasn’t any better, though. Yes, it wasn’t rubble like the previous one, but the rocks where so big that you really had to climb it. Before taking the top we met one grandmother with my-aged grandson, so we asked how the track is. The guy said it’s really easy, but grandmother corrected him right away: “well, not very easy, but it’s okay”. So when a grandmother can do it, then I can do it… right?! The closer we got to the top, the worse it got. Maybe they were mountain goats or something but this wasn’t easy for sure. With a big bag and a fear it seemed like the craziest thing I have ever done. So i was just facing the rock the whole time as I was too scared to look anywhere else. Again not too wide surfaces to step on so my legs started to shake again. Tom took my bag so now it was just my ass that I needed to get over the damn top. Of course, I did it. Very slowly, but I did it. When usually people feel unbeatable after overcoming their fears, I just felt I need to go down right that moment. I took out my camera, took few pictures of the Lünersee and started climbing down, because everything I could think about was to sit down on a plain surface. I don’t regret anything and I am so proud of myself. I did take one of my favourite pictures of the mountains, but back then I was really the most scared I have ever been.

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So everyone, get up and face your fears, because it is going to take more than just once!