A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: ange.kay

Umea

sunny 3 °C

The good thing about my live-in caregiving job - is that I get week long breaks between assignments!
I was able to get cheap flights to Skelleftea (2hr bus from Umea) for only $80nzd return!
Umea is a beautiful university town in Northern Sweden. The autumn leaves are falling off and it is getting dark at 6pm already. I can't imagine what it will be like in the middle of winter - with only 3hrs daylight! I had a great week exploring the area - it is so peaceful and quiet compared to London!
Luckily, I came at a good time where James wasn't too busy with Uni. We spent most of the weekend walking around the beautiful lakes and islands!

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James' street and flat
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Umea Hospital - if only I could speak Swedish, then I could work here!
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The Umea University Design campus
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On Friday night, James' class had a potluck dinner where everyone had to bring something from their home country. I made Cheese Rolls and Lolly Cake. There was - Swedish stroganoff, pea soup, pancakes with lingonberries, cheese baskets with salty salmon; German potato pancakes, sourcream pizza; Turkish meatballs; Spanish ham and rubbed tomato bruchetta; and caramel pancakes from the Netherlands. Yum!
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Another Swedish meal with James' classmates:
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and a Swedish cinnamon bun - 'Kanelbullar'
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Posted by ange.kay 06:26 Archived in Sweden Comments (0)

Stockholm

sunny 5 °C

After a month trying to find my way in London - going from couch to couch, trying to open a UK bank account and having a tough start to live-in caregiving (who knew that a 25yo girl with a spinal injury could be so MEAN) - I finally got to meet up with James in Stockholm, Sweden.
I arrived a day early and spent the day walking along the waterfront and tried to get to the 2nd largest IKEA in the world (Largest is in South Korea??). I ended up at the wrong one, so I got some IKEA meatballs and went back to our AirBnb. I booked a cute little guest house/cabin outside of the city. It was great having a little kitchen, underfloor heating and the owners Netflix password!


James arrived late Friday night after a big week working on his first presentation - the 'Ultimate Digital Experience' of showering.
On Saturday we did a walking tour of the 'Old Town'. I never knew that Stockholm was made up of 14 main islands, and thousands of little ones.
On Sunday we took a boat tour around one of the islands admiring the beautiful fall colours.
Early Monday morning, we said our good-byes and James went back to Umea and me back to London.

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City Hall where the Nobel Peace Prizegiving is held
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The smallest statue in Sweden - The Boy looking at the Moon.
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Posted by ange.kay 05:23 Archived in Sweden Comments (0)

Zermatt

sunny 10 °C

The perfect ending to our 7 week adventure!
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We splurged on our last night, getting a hotel room with a balcony facing the famous Matterhorn Mountain! It was worth every penny. It was the 150th Anniversary of the first climbers to summit the Matterhorn; and then only 3 of the 7 survived the climb down- so after dark the climbers route was lit up by lanterns for a few minutes in remembrance of the climbers who didn’t survive.
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Hotel Ambiance - I just love the flower boxes everywhere! Our balcony was the one 2nd from the top.
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On our last day in Europe we got up to see the sunrise, had breakfast at our hotel and then took the gondolas up to the Matterhorn Glacial Paradise.
I think the photos speak for themselves – it was absolutely breath-taking. Certainly the most beautiful mountain range I’ve ever seen!
We wished we could have stayed longer, but I hope we will go back there someday!
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Cinema at the top of the mountain with heated capsules. We watched some great footage of search and rescue, and wildlife.
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Goats down the main street
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Cemetery for mountain climbers
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James really wanted to buy one of these 'tents' that they use on Everest...
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Chocolate Fondue
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We survived 49 days of Europe together!

Posted by ange.kay 02:05 Archived in Switzerland Comments (0)

Lucerne and Interlaken

sunny 21 °C

Lucerne

We didn’t realise that our hotel was miles out of town, plus an expensive train ticket from the city centre- so once we found the place, we only ventured out for dinner! In the morning we put our bags into a locker at the train station and did our own ‘self-guided’ walking tour.
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Chapel Bridge
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The Dam
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Musegg Wall and Towers
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Dying Lion of Lucerne Monument
Commemorating the Swiss Guards who were massacred during the French Revolution. Mark Twain described the wounded lion sculpture as being "the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world."
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Interlaken

Interlaken was not what we expected. We were imagining a mountain village, in between two lakes. We never saw the lakes, and the main street was just jam-packed with tour groups and the streets were lined with expensive watch stores and tacky souvenir shops! However, after the disappointing first impression – the following day we took a train and a few cable cars up to some nearby mountain villages (Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen), and we were impressed! We hiked around, seeing some beautiful mountains and waterfalls! We stayed until the last train, so that we would not have to go back to our crappy hostel (– crammed into our room like sardines, on creaky bunk beds!) until we really had to!
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Outdoor Cinema
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Best idea ever to bring Subway up the Mountain!
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Highest waterfall in Europe
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Posted by ange.kay 00:33 Archived in Switzerland Comments (0)

Geneva

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We meet my Aunt Jill, Uncle Kevin, cousin Liz and her boyfriend, Duncan in Geneva. They were there for a wedding so we were lucky they were able to squeeze in a day with us!
It was ridiculously hot and after trying to find a restaurant for brunch – we ended up just having beers for breakfast (missing our walking tour) and then waited until 11.30 when lunch was served. We went to a yummy Italian place on the waterfront for pizza and salads.
Afterwards, we went to the Patek Phillipe watch museum. These handmade watches are sold for $500,000+++ - they don’t even have price tags because if you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it! So it was interesting to see the history of the business and how they are made – some taking over a year to make.

Kids cooling off in the fountains at the United Nations headquarters!
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Dinner with the Bolejacks and their Californian friends Pam and John (also in Geneva for the wedding).
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Posted by ange.kay 15:23 Archived in Switzerland Comments (0)

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