Lunch at Kauppatori, Helsinki

It’s our first day of holiday and the sun is shining, it’s the perfect day for a visit to Suomenlinna, the little island in front of Helsinki and a UNESCO world heritage site. We leave the hotel headed to the harbour to take the boat that will bring us there in about 20 minutes, I was feeling very excited about the idea of spending an whole day out, walking and cycling in the nature, but as soon as we approached the harbour my attention was totally caught by something completely different: the Kauppatori (which is the Finnish for the Market Square). I was still determined to visit Suomenlinna first though, so I had to wait a few hours to go and explore the market properly (but I promise that the temptation to stop just there and dive into the food was really huge!).

What is nice about this market is that you can actually stop there and have some warm delicious food! It’s (obviously) mainly fish, so if you are not a fish lover you might not understand all my enthusiasm and might not enjoy the experience fully. On the other hand, if you do love fish, then you’d better go there soon!

I tried an amazing salmon and dill soup, then (more) salmon cooked with cream and potatoes, then some mixed fried fish/calamari/prawn…mmmh mouthwatering! All of this sitting in front of the sea and ended with some fresh cherries also from the market.

The day went on and we had a lovely walk in the city (so extremely tidy and clean), but this is a food blog, so I should stop here and leave you with a few pictures! 🙂

Salmon and veg

Salmon and veg

Fish, veg and dill soup!

Fish, veg and dill soup!

Something you should not miss: the Fringe Festival!

I just came back from an amazing trip to Edinburgh…I had never been there before and I am glad we picked this part of the year to visit it. I really loved the city (and the way Scottish people pronounce Edinburgh!), but what was even better was the great atmosphere created by the Fringe Festival. It was amazing to see the Royal Mile full of all kind of artists: I enjoyed the biggest part of the performances and I was amazed to see so many talented young people at the same time and in the same place.

If you have never been there, I strongly suggest you to go and to spend at least 3-4 days in the city. You should certainly spend sometime visiting the hot spots of the city, but what you really need to do is going for a walk in the Royal Mile, enjoying the street performances, talk to the artists and get as many fliers as possible and then choose the performances you want to watch.

Trust me, there is something for every taste! Just be open minded and ready to fully jump in the festival extravaganza.

Here there are a few videos to give you an idea of what you should expect:

This guy is one of the very best performers of the whole festival. He’s Adam Kadabra, you can also find him on Facebook:

If you are a fan of Britain Got Talent you will certainly recognize them 🙂

Still not convinced? Check this out then! 🙂

Thomas Cook photo competition!

I was going through some photos looking for an inspiring one..and I found this picture taken last December in Bavaria.

Neuschwanstein Castle

This is the Neuschwanstein Castle wrapped into a thick mist which gives it a magical look.
The castle was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria at the end of the XIX century, as a homage to Richard Wagner and intended as a personal refuge for the king. I really like the fact that the project was drafted by a stage designer and only in a second time reviewed by an architect.

Walt Disney’s logo is inspired to it, as well as the Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.

The castle is incredibly beautiful and walking through its huge rooms will make you feel like you are living in a fairy tale.

I entered the Flythomascook Photography Competition:

Flythomascook Photography Competition

 

Amsterdam Zeeburg Camping – ever slept in a Wagonette?

I was just going through some pictures and I bumped into these ones taken last September in Amsterdam:

Wagonette!

 

Wagonette!

 

I love camping, sleeping in a tent on the grass..but as soon as I saw these wagonettes I just fell in love with them and I had to try them!
I was in Amsterdam for work and after a week wearing heels and business suits I had the extreme need of a couple of informal and relaxing days..the Zeeburg camping was just the perfect place.

It is not centrally located, but still very easy to reach by tram from the main station.
The camping is by the sea and far away from the traffic and noise..the staff is super friendly and there is a nice buffet for the breakfast.

The wagonettes are just super uber cool! they are equipped with bunk bed, desk, chairs and a heater..unfortunately I don’t have any picture of the inside, but trust me, they are so cozy and comfortable! I loved them and I felt so extremely relaxed when I left!

Give it a try and let me know what you think!
http://www.campingzeeburg.nl/

 

Boutique Hostels: affordable luxury

Hotel Vs. Hostel: there was a time when a simple “s” could make a big difference in terms of comfort, style and services, but this is not the case anymore.

Forget about stereotypes: hostels are not anymore those simple, modest places for skint students and on budget travellers.
It’s been a couple of years now since the first “Boutique Hostels” have started to make their way through the hospitality industry and trust me..they are far away from the common idea we all have about hostels.

As defined by the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, boutique hostels are “high end” accommodations for backpapers, offering “high tech” options and all kind of comforts at an affordable price.

If you want to have an idea of this new hostel concept, here it is a list of some of the most famous ones:

  1. The New York Broadway Hotel and Hostel, Manhattan: you will be comfortably sleeping next to Central Park for about 20€ at night.
  2. Plug-Inn Boutique Hostel, Parigi: stylish and modern in the heart of Montmartre. The price per night is slightly higher than the previous one (30€ for a bed, 80€ for a double room) but it includes breakfast, wifi, towels, bed linen and an ensuite bathroom.
  3. YHA London Central, Londra: it has been awarded as the best London hostel for 3 years! 30€ per bed and you will be sleeping in Soho!
  4. Lub D Hostel, Bangkok: very welcoming name (Lub D means “sleep well” in Thai) and ideal for solo female travelers thanks to its ladies only section. Comfy and safe area, equipped with lovely lounge area with screens to enjoy movie nights. Price: only 15€ per night!
  5.  St Kilda Base, Melbourne: colorful and comfy, welcome drinks, disco bar and free pancakes on Mondays! Prices from 24€ per night.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your backpack and start travelling..and relaxing!