Tag Archives: student travel

Travel Journal: Lapland

Do you guys get goosebumps just by remembering an amazing landscape, or simple an amazing experience? Well, this is how I feel right now. I don’t even know where to begin. This year I went on a trip to Lapland with my friends, all the way across the arctic circle, and this is definitely the best way to start the year. So let me begin by sharing with you guys what was my trip about.

Day 1: “1,700 km”

We started our journey from Gothenburg where we took a morning train to Stockholm, this was our meeting point with the rest of the group (have I mention how much I like trains in Europe? It’s the best way to move around and appreciate the landscape at the same time!). From Stockholm we got in a bus to begin the 14-ish hours journey to Kiruna. So yes, basically the first day we were trapped in a bus for 14-ish hours, but contrary to what you might be thinking, it was actually ok. We played Monopoly in the iPad (in my opinion the best 5 EU invested).

Day 2: “Northernmost town in Sweden”

After what it seemed an endless bus ride, we arrive to Kiruna, the northernmost town in Sweden, where we checked-in the hostel and immediately went to the breakfast buffet. After a having frukost (breakfast in Swedish) we took a walk aroun the town. Kiruna is known for being a mining town, so everything is settled around the iron mine.

At mid day we went on for the combi tour (dog sledge and snow mobile), and let me tell you… it was THE most exciting thing i’ve ever done in the past years. I didn’t wanted to think much about the dog sledge before going to the tour because I didn’t want to build a high expectation and be dissapointed after, but it was impossible not to think about it, at the end it was AMAZING, I was so excited that I wanted to buy 13 dogs and move around Gothenburg in a dog sledge (how cool would that be?). Im going off track now, so…yes…we splited into groups of 3 and each group hopped in a dog sledge to begin the tour, after 30 minutes we meet the rest of the group to swap from dog sledge to snow mobiles and viceversa.

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Zamba Husky Dog Sledge

Wait, before we swapped we obviously had FIKA! Going through the snow in a dog sledge means that you will move through the air faster, so this will make the thermal feeling way worse, and now imagine having -14 degrees air in your face. After 30 minutes I could  feel how my ears were about to fall off my head. So we drank coffee and tea and had muffins in this place.

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After the snow mobile tour we headed back to the hostel to have a couple of drinks before going to the New Year’s dinner. We had dinner in Scandic Ferrum Hotel in Kiruna and then off course we went to the club (probably the only club in Kiruna), I don’t have pictures of this part but you guys can imagine what happens if you put students in a club after a few drinks.

Day 3: “Let’s go further north

9:00 – alarm sounds *hits snooze*

9:16 – alarm sounds again, and now I know that it’s time to wake up, take a shower, pack our things and hop in the bus again. This time we were heading the ice hotel! The ice hotel is in the outskirts of Kiruna, so it was pointless removing all the layers. Just outside the town center  (like 1 km… kidding, it was more like 16 km) the ice hotel is located, in here we took a tour were the guide explained how the hotel is built, how it started, and so on. After the tour we got free time to explore the ice hotel.

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Before moving on to our next destination, we stopped by Rensjön where we visited a Sami family, in there they explained us how they live, their traditions, and everything about reindeers.

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Abisko was our next destination, where we stayed in Abisko Turistation STF Hostel, an amazing place in the middle of nature, a resort with cabins, a hotel and the hostel. A tourist meeting point for everyone interested in what Lapland has to offer. We arrive to the hostel around 17:00 so we went straight to the kitchen to cook something to dinner (we forgot the food we bought in the hostel in Kiruna, so we literally had bread with sauce for lunch).

Afterwards, we went to a tipi to have some marshmallows and glogg (hot wine with spices, popular in Sweden during the winter).

Tipi Abisko

Day 4: “Crossing the border

I’ve never considered myself a morning person, probably I will never be one. But something weird happens when I’m traveling, somehow I wake up much more easily. On the 4th day we went to Narvik, a town close to the border between Sweden and Norway, on our way to Narvik we saw even more amazing landscapes, and you know what they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words“.

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After a long day we returned to Abisko, where we had dinner and then we went to the sauna, we basically turned the sauna into a party. We got to see the auroras but I didn’t had my camera with me, they were amazing!

Day 5: “-22 degrees”

Final day. You might have heard that in Sweden there’s only a few hours of sunlight during the winter, it’s true…but It’s not as dark as you might think. Anyway, we decided to explore the area where the sauna was located, mainly because during the night we couldn’t see much. On our way to the sauna we found this spot.

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1.2 km later we reached the sauna, and behind the sauna a lake with steam coming out of the water surface, it kinda looked like one of those crime thriller scenes, the ones you can imagine when you read any Nordic thriller.

Sauna Abisko Turistation

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We packed everything on the bus and started our journey back, after 15 hours we were back in Stockholm.

This was the perfect way of ending a year and starting a new one, with a lot of new experiences and very good memories. I’m looking forward to explore more places in 2017.


#AndrésInGöteborg

48 hrs Gothenburg on a budget

Gothenburg is the best city in Sweden. I am completely bias in saying this. But hey I love this city! The aim of this blog-post is to guide you on a tour of Gothenburg on a student budget.

First, you need to:

  • Purchase a Gothenburg City Card that for approx. SEK 335 during low season (October – April). OR to be super budget friendly buy a 3-day unlimited tram/bus card from Vasstrafik for approx. SEK 170
Gothenburg City Card

Credit: Ivanna Read

  • Download the Vasstrafik app available for android and iPhone
  • Wear some comfortable sneakers, a backpack and carry a selfie stick/tripod at your discretion
  • Carry a bottle of water

KeyBold and Italic represents those who have a Gothenburg City Card

Gothenburg Tour – Day 1

8:00 a.m.

You’ve probably arrived at Goteborg Central Station.

First agenda should be a selfie at the central station and a short walk around the buildings that surround it.

Gothenburg Central Station

8:15 a.m.

Walk to Nordstan Shopping mall which is located 5 minutes from the Station. Visit the Tourist Information Center and get a free map of the city and a Vasstrafik map which will come in handy. If you haven’t bought your Vasstrafik or Goteborg City card, you can purchase them at the Vasstrafik shop also located within the mall. Alternatively you can walk if your in for some extreme exercise.

8:30 a.m.

Start with a short walk to the Alfie Atkins Cultural center at Slussgatan 1, it’s great if you have children.

Walk to the statue of Gustav Adolf II at Gustav Adolfs torg. This is a statue that is central to Gothenburg and depicts Gustav II Adolf saying here is where Gothenburg shall be built.

Gustav Adolf

9:00 a.m.

Stroll down Avenyn which is the main street of Gothenburg. If you begin at Gustav Adolf torg and work your way up, you shall pass Stora Teatern and several other wonderful buildings. Hop onto the Paddan boat tour at Kungsportsplatsen. It takes about 50 minutes. You may also choose to use the hop off and hop on bus also located at Kungsportsplatsen that takes you to several places on this post.

Credit: Göran Assner/imagebank.sweden.se

At the end of Avenyn is the Poseidon Statue. Pop into the Gothenburg Museum of Art at Götaplatsen.

Gothenburg tour

10:30 a.m.

Take a bus 52 to Korsvägen. There you will see the Gothia Towers, Liseberg and the Universeum which all present great photo ops. If you’re lucky you may be allowed to go to the top of Gothia Towers. The view from Gothenburg is amazing from up there. Visit Liseberg Amusement park (Liseberg gardens during summer) and Universeum.

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2:00 p.m.

Grab some lunch at Universeum/Liseberg or walk to Burger King and grab something to go at Örgrytevägen 5.

3:00 p.m.

Take the Ringlinien train back to Brunnsparken from the Liseberg stop. Hop onto tram 2 or 4 and head to Brunnsparken. Head over to the Goteborg City museum located at Norra Hamngatan 12. You can also head to the museum and take some great pictures.

5:00 p.m.

Take tram 3,7 or 5 at Brunnsparken and drop off at Valand. Walk down the street and see the main administration block of Gothenburg University. As the campuses are spread across the city, this building acts as a main focal point for the University.

Gothenburg University

Walk over to Yaki-Da on Storgatan 47 for their after-work special which includes bottomless pizza with your first drink purchase until 10:00 p.m. Other places that offer after-work include King’s head. Various cafes and restaurants across the city also offer after-work specials.

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Gothenburg Tour – Day 2

9:00 a.m.

I bet you had a great night at Yaki-da. So we start at 9:00 a.m. Take a bus/tram from your location to Lilla Bomen. Take the ferry called “Älvsnabben” that runs between Lilla Bommen and Lindholmspiren which is the Chalmers University stop at Lindholmen Science Park. Walk around campus and see buildings such as the ‘green’ Kuggen (Swedish for cogwheel) building which is quite beautiful.

Ferry

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10:30 a.m.

Take the”Älvsnabben” ferry back to Lilla Bomen

11:00 a.m.

Take bus 25 from Lilla Bomen to Pilgatan. Walk through Haga district. View art installations, beautiful wooden houses and stop by the numerous cafes for some lunch or a quick bite. Haga in known as the hippie district in Gothenburg and it does not disappoint. Pass by Feskekôrka.

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2:00 p.m.

Walk to Järntorget (iron square) and take the tram 1 to Botaniska Trädgården. Admission is free to the Botanical Gardens but they charge SEK 20 for admission to the greenhouses.

4:00 p.m.

Take tram 1 or 2 to Linnéplatsen. Visit the Slottsskogen Garden if you still have some extra time. Admission is free. Head back to Centralstation on a Blå bus or tram 1 or 2.

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5:00 p.m.

Goodbye! You’ll be heading back to your city from here. I hope you enjoyed Gothenburg!

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From Sweden with Love

NB:*At the time of publication of this blog, I had only visited 4 cities in Sweden”

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Featured image: Per Pixel Petersson/imagebank.sweden.se