Best of Eastern Europe. And that’s official!

Romania – A blend of European history, with distinct reminders of a socialist past!

So apparently, you really didn’t like my previous post.

On Romania.

I won’t apologise for it!

When coming to The British Berliner, you expect a clear description of the places that I travel to, and my thoughts.

And that is exactly what I gave you!

I thought I made it crystal clear that my post, wasn’t about the Romanian people, who were perfectly alright. Nice and friendly.

It was about Romania – the country.

I said it didn’t tickle my fancy!

I stated that I simply wasn’t overwhelmed.

Or fascinated.

And sad to say.

I wasn’t even impressed.

I’m yet to find when it ever became a crime to like everywhere.

You just can’t!

And I’m a weird one ‘cos I didn’t like the following countries either:

Slovakia.

Singapore.

South Africa.

And.

The Dominican Republic.

I’m weird. I don’t like tropical beaches!

I don’t even like tropical beach destinations!

It just really isn’t my thing!

I know!

Me in the Philippines, but could this be a James Bond moment! ©Scott Herder – BoboandChiChi.com

Although I’ve had my share of the habitual sun-kissed photograph

I’m a happy to spend a day or two.

But certainly, not more!

I love mountains!

Mountains and valleys are more my thing you see…

Myself with ski leaders in Rokytnice nad Jizerou – Czech Republic

Hence the skiing!

But I wouldn’t say No to a water destination!
I’m not really a beach person as I prefer mountains and rivers or beach destinations that have more than the sea to recommend them! Me at the Grotto in the Algarve!

But I wouldn’t say No to the water.

But only the water mind.

Without the beach thingy.

Because, I really don’t like hot-weather beaches!

Should I be British or European? Can’t I be both!

I’m a great supporter for Europe, and even more so for Eastern Europe. I mean, you only have to scroll through this link to experience my love for the continent.

I will write about the rest of my trip to Romania.

Very soon!

If you’re here for the first time, join in the fun.

I know I will!

However, before we start, you might notice a tiny change on the blog. If you’re a new reader, you’ll see a Mail Chimp subscription pop-up, a cookie pop-up and updated information about the EU Privacy Policy or the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Eek!

There’s nothing to fear. As always, you’ll never receive any spam or weird emails from me, and you can unsubscribe without fear or favour absolutely any time you want to.

Phew!

So just so that we’re all perfectly clear, here’s the best of Eastern Europe!

TRAVEL THROUGH EUROPE!

Having a hotdog and beer, on a rainy day in Vienna, is more exciting than you think!

I live in Berlin.

In Germany.

And I travel a lot.

I do so because most of Europe is pretty much just around the corner, and because I can.

In fact, last year, I went to:

I was having a fine time flying all over Europe, thank you very much!
  • Holland
  • The Czech Republic
  • Austria
  • Croatia
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • England – twice!
  • Germany

This year, I started a new job so travel has been a little erratic and this blog has been a mess, ‘cos I’ve been living in hotels for the past 6 weeks, and the wi-fi has been absolutely horrendous.

Horrendous!!!

And coupled with early morning commuting at 03.15 in the morning in some places, let’s just say that Uber has been a godsend!

However, things have settled down, and I’m now on track.

Traditional Bergische waffles or Belgian waffles! 9 traditional things to eat & drink in Belgium. With mussels!

I’ve already been to

  • Belgium
  • Romania
  • Germany

And in the summer, I’ll be travelling to:

I love seafood and Sweden has a lot of it!
  • Sweden
  • Estonia
  • Latvia

And at the end of the year, I’ll be travelling to:

India
  • The Czech Republic
  • India!

Yay!

I very much enjoy travelling to Eastern Europe!

I’ve been going to the region for more than twenty (20) years, but judging by some of the comments that I get, some people think that I spent just 24 hours, and that I’ve only just passed through!

Some readers think I haven’t the slightest clue.

And some readers even think that like Queen Elizabeth I, I might actually be male!

So in no particular order, but just to whet your appetite, here’s where I consider, the best of Eastern Europe!

BEST OF EASTERN EUROPE. AND THAT’S OFFICIAL!

Croatian beer & Croatian coffee – Croatia – a basic guide to food!

Some people are confused as to what constitutes Eastern Europe, and I regularly get comments from the people who live there and complain that they don’t actually live in Eastern Europe, but Eastern – Central Europe, Central Europe, South-East Europe, and even as so far as to desribe themselves as Northern Europe, and the like!

But for simplicity’s sake, and because I have a BSc. (Hons.) Political Science, and two Master Degrees, I do actually know what I’m talking about so…

Eastern Europe is the Eastern part of the European continent!

Experts say that Eastern Europe is the region that historically has Greek, Byzantine, Eastern Orthodox, Russian, and Ottoman cultural influences.

Others say that Eastern Europe is the region that was created during the Cold War, are the former communist European states outside the Soviet Union, and are (including East Germany, and East Berlin, where I live) otherwise known as the Eastern Bloc!

POLAND:

Jesus in Warsaw.

THE CZECH REPUBLIC:

Myself as lovely as Prague!

SLOVENIA:

At Ljubljana Castle – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

CROATIA:

Croatian food is most delicious!

LATVIA:

The most popular international post so far was….Latvia!

HUNGARY:

My Hungarian goulash soup. Absolutely free of charge!

ESTONIA:

Tallinn Medieval Days. Kristina Õllek @Tallinn City Tourist Office & Convention Bureau

LITHUANIA:

Lithuanian soup.

SLOVAKIA:

BEST OF EASTERN EUROPE. AND THAT’S OFFICIAL!

Best of Eastern Europe. And that’s official!

This article is not sponsored, and all opinions are really, my very own!

Next week, the Romanian places that I did like!

And in a few weeks, I’ll be revealing my next summer trip!

Stay tuned.

Yay!

That’s it for now.

See you next week!

The symbol of the former Communist European states outside the Soviet Union – The Eastern Bloc!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

Best of Eastern Europe. And that’s official!

Have you ever been to Eastern Europe? Let me know in your comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

Advertisements

Have you ever been to Sweden? Hej!

Sweden, really needs no introduction!

OMG! What a week!

Last week was crazy with terrorism acts in London, yet again. But you know what, we’re not going to panic or let ordinary people scare us, we’re going to keep calm, and get on with things.

If you’ve been following me on Twitter and Facebook, you would have seen the brilliant photography and quips that I put up about both Sweden and Slovenia!

And if you’re just joining in, I’ll repeat the good news that I had.

I’m sure you don’t mind!

The Centre for British Studies – Humboldt Universität zu Berlin – Goodbye UK

I’m going to be one of a five (5) member academic discussion panel on Brexit, at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin!

I’m awfully excited and very proud to be asked.

It’s going to take place on 24.06.17 as part of the Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften, or the Long Night of Sciences at the Centre for British Studies, My discussion panel will be at 20:00 and the topic will be Brits in Berlin after Brexit, so if you’re in Berlin at this time, come and watch me, and hear me speak!

I was also featured as a guest blogger on the University of Chester Alumni website, and I’m going to be on the University of Chester’s official Case Study posters for postgraduate recruitment too!

Now isn’t that cool!

Book your hotel here!

The top 10 best interesting things to do in Stockholm. Because the winner takes it all!

If you’re just joining here’s what you missed:

Our Swedish boat sight-seeing guide in Stockholm – Sweden!

Sweden, otherwise known as the Kingdom of Sweden, really needs no introduction, and is a small Scandinavian country in Northern Europe.

It borders Norway to the west and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest, by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund.

Sweden is the third-largest country in the European Union with a whopping mass area of 450,295 square kilometres or 173,860 square miles, and a population of just 10 million people!

The capital city is Stockholm.

Book your hotel here! 

WHY GO TO STOCKHOLM?

Stockholm – Sweden.

I wanted to Visit Stockholm because I had never been to Sweden before, as the prices used to scare me to death. But really, it was rather wonderful, and if you’re careful and budget it just right, you’ll be fine.

Besides, there’s an ABBA Museum where you can sing and dance to your hearts delight. And who can say no to ABBA. I adore them so much that I actually cried!

I know.

Pathetic!

And I’m not the only one. There were scores of straight men, all singing and jiggling away.

What can I say?

It’s ABBA!

TAKE ME THERE?

Getting from anywhere in the world to Sweden, is easy-peasy!

Getting from anywhere in the world to Sweden, is easy-peasy.

You can fly, sail, drive, take the train in Europe, or if you’re looking for an adventure, or you’re on a tighter budget, you can use the bus-coach right here!

Obviously, you know me long enough to fear that I would never take the straight and easy path. It always has to be complicated, slightly weird and kooky to match!

Ha! Ha! Ha!

Yes, we did it.

We travelled from Berlin – Stockholm – Berlin entirely by coach-bus!

Victoria, you’re bonkers! Didn’t you say that you wouldn’t do this again!

I’m sorry.

What did you say now?

You heard me.

By bus!

Gulp!

I know you’re crazy Victoria, ‘cos the last time you took a 26 hour bus from Estonia – Berlin, didn’t you say that you would never do that again, and yet, here you are!

Doing it again!!!

Yep!

I was supposed to have flown to Sweden and cruised across the Baltic Sea!

Now I was originally supposed to be working with an entirely different company which would have meant flying to Sweden and cruising across the Baltic Sea. It would have included Finland too! However, the confirmation of our partnership was taking far longer than I expected, and so I decided to make my own arrangements while I still had a window open!

And when I saw the price of flights and trains, I almost had a heart-attack because the prices had inflated to the verge of €600 – €700 for two people. Remember, smart travel means that I do a lot of travelling either during public holidays, through the summer or at the weekends.

And that didn’t include the price of hotels.

In Sweden.

Gulp!

Book your hotel here!

The Stockholm Pass in Sweden!

I’m a clever girl so I put on my thinking cap. And voila! I was able to work something out with the lovely Stockholm Visitors Board team while I was at the ITB Berlin. They totally saved my bacon when I told them that I was planning to Visit Stockholm.

They not only offered me a complimentary Stockholm Pass, but also put me in contact with the Hobo award-winning design hotel that was just launched in March!

I’ll tell you a bit more about this further down below.

If you don’t feel up to being with the rabble, not a problem, use your fingers and go online to buy tickets instead!

Organising partnerships, marketing campaigns and the like takes time. Sometimes I’m enormously lucky, like the time when I contacted the wonderful Visit Amsterdam team who didn’t mind the fact that I was begging them for help on their private mobile phones on Boxing Day! And sometimes, I put my money where my mouth is, and get the damn tickets myself, before it’s too late!

And that’s exactly what I did!

Book FlixBus here!

WHAT IS FLIXBUS?

Travel through Europe via FlixBus!

FlixBus, previously known as MeinFernbus is a young German mobility provider that has been changing the way millions of people travel in Europe over the past 3 years. It’s a combination of a tech-startup, an e-commerce-platform and a transportation company, making FlixBus one of Europe’s largest intercity bus networks!

One of the reasons that I’ve put all my trust in FlixBus is because we’ve travelled with them from time to time over the years, and just recently, we used their services while we were in Croatia from Zagreb to Split to Dubrovnik!

You might have noticed that there’s an image of a Flixbus on the side of the panel. I’m so convinced that it’s all going to work out, that I’ve joined their affiliate programme so that you can join in the fun too. As usual, if you book your journey via my link, there is no extra cost to you, and I get a little percentage for my trouble.

It’s definitely going to be an adventure!

Book your hotel here!

WAS IT WORTH TRAVELLING WITH FLIXBUS?

Travelling with FlixBus to Sweden

Travelling with FlixBus across Germany, Sweden and Denmark, is certainly different from any other bus-coach company that I have either travelled with. And I’ve travelled with a lot LOL!

And was it worth travelling by bus-coach from Germany to Sweden?

Yes!

The bus-coach was comfortable and had free WiFi which sometimes worked, and sometimes didn’t. It also had a toilet on board and because there were fewer people, was fairly clean!

The seats were fairly wide and you could recline back quite well. Most importantly, each seat had its’ own individual socket, and you could eat your own snacks and refreshments, and buy tea, coffee and beer (as long as you’re over 16 of course)!

The journey from Berlin to Stockholm was 20 hours.

The onward travel to Sweden was quite awful!

Having said that, on the way to Sweden was quite awful.

Our FlixBus was a double-decker inter-city bus and was 40 minutes late.

It didn’t start well.

Now I’m used to travelling in a variety of ways, but the calibre of people that I saw left a lot to be desired and I began to get a little anxious that perhaps, I was too posh for this type of travel after all!

I almost regretted booking a ticket, and then I remembered that I also have another one. For Slovenia. Eek!

The gentleman in front of me began to have a telephone conference that absolutely everyone in the top-deck of the bus could hear!

It wasn’t particularly crowded so we could in fact, take double seats!

I was travelling with The Tall Young Gentleman, and even though he’s a tall mature-looking teenager, I usually like to stay close. Just in case!

And then the middle-aged gentleman in front of me began to have a telephone conference, that absolutely everyone in the top-deck of the bus could hear. He had headphones on and probably couldn’t distinguish it, but we thought it was endearing.

Until it wasn’t!

And then I saw a complete stranger put both his feet, on the TABLE of my son’s seat. While my son was sleeping!

It continued for quite some time, bearing in mind it was now after midnight…

Then it got all weird ‘cos I woke up with a jolt and saw this very same gentleman put both his feet on the table of my son’s seat. While my son was sleeping!

Ewwwwwww!

I politely requested that he remove his smelly feet away from my sprog.

Which he did, and then when he thought I wasn’t looking, put them back on again!

I told the security officer straight away as I cold see this getting ugly quite quickly!

He was eventually carted off by the Swedish authorities at the border!

Phew!

It was a 20 hour journey on the FlixBus & we were quite exhausted by the end of it!

On the way back to Berlin, the FlixBus journey was rather nice, smooth and very comfortable, but we were quite exhausted by the end of it.

Cost via FlixBus: Berlin – Stockholm – Berlin. Including the ferry cruise crossing Germany – Denmark – Germany – just €49.00 on a one-way single journey!

I don’t know about you. But I find that pretty amazing!

€49.00!!

After that, I asked if they would be interested in a working partnership.

They were!

Would I recommend it? Yes, but perhaps for a few hours less. It probably would have been more prudent, and far nicer to have gotten off at Copenhagen, and then to continue to Sweden a few days later! However, if you’re young, absolutely go ahead and do it!

IS SWEDEN GOING TO BE CROWDED?

Stockholm is a most fascinating city, that is why EVERYONE is here!

Nope!

With only 10 million people, it’s the largest country in the Nordic region, but only 932,917 people live in the capital city of Stockholm!

Moreover, with scandinavian prices being so high, you can be sure that it’s bot going to be the first destination that people think of when they travel!

WHAT IS SWEDEN LIKE?

Fantastic news! I’m travelling to Sweden & Slovenia by bus. Now isn’t that just awesome. Eek!

We were only there for three (3) days but Sweden was awesome.

It’s enormously clean, tidy, and orderly, and the people were friendly, relaxed, helpful, and full of smiles.

It’s a fascinating country packed with wonderful countryside, a most beautiful collection of thousands of islands, islets, and rocks that make up the archipelago in the Baltic Sea, a country of music, design, fashion art, and technology, with a rich history comprising of exciting architecture, museums, a medieval background, and is home to ABBA and the Nobel Prize!

It made an enviable impression on me.

I DON’T SPEAK SWEDISH!

Babies in Sweden, can speak English too!

No need to worry.

Everybody in each and every scandinavian country, speaks English.

They also speak German, Finnish, Danish, and possibly a million other languages too.

Having said that, there’s nothing wrong with learning a few basic words of Swedish, as a measure of respect!

AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

A hut in Sweden, can be quite romantic!

Not at all.

Unless you mean romantic huts in the woods with fireplaces, dark nights, jumps in the lakes, and joint morning saunas.

I’m British, I won’t be doing any of that!

Gulp!

I’M ON A BUDGET, BUT I’M LOOKING FOR A BIT MORE LUXURY AS I DON’T WANT TO ROUGH IT! WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Have you ever been to Sweden? Hej!

Ha! Ha!

You should forget about your budget right now!

Sweden is expensive.

Terribly expensive and sadly, there’s no getting around it!

However, have no fear, there are hostels that cater to the more budget conscious traveller, but I can’t tell you much about them as we weren’t in one of them!

Book your hostel or budget hotel here! 

The Hobo Hotel is a holistic experience for the urban traveller, with a touch of hippy trend!

Knowing that Swedish prices would turn my hair grey, I was delighted to be able to work in partnership with the Hobo award-winning design hotel that was just launched in March!

This original art design hotel is a creative outlet for urban farming and innovative tech installation and really is called Hobo!

Hobo is not a hostel, or a home for the homeless, but like the art design hipster-style boutique hotel that I went to in Taiwan, is an artistic hotel aimed at forming a holistic experience for the urban traveller, with a touch of hippy trend!

Book Hobo here or here!

Welcome to the Hobo Hotel & Stockholm – Sweden Victoria!

Hobo, is about a ten (10) minute walk from many historic and tourist attractions. It’s also right next door to TAK – a rooftop bar, and a few minutes from other bars, restaurants, and shops in one direction, and about a seven (7) minute walk to the sea!

Which ever way you go, you’re not far from the delights of a thriving nightlife!

We were in partnership with Visit Stockholm, and a result, they very kindly arranged a complimentary stay.

Thank you so much!

Wow!

As you enter the Hobo Hotel in Stockholm – Sweden, a warm smile awaits you, and a floral comfy technologically inspired clean, colourful, artistic space!

Hobo is set in a building from the 1970’s which has been renovated and made green-efficient. As you enter, a warm welcome smile awaits you, and a floral comfy technologically inspired clean, colourful, artistic space!

It has 201 rooms on seven (7) floors, in four (4) categories, a restaurant, bar, pop-up areas, and a chill-out area that also doubles as the restaurant, on two (2) other floors!

The bedrooms have a sort of minimalist German design, a modern décor, parquet floors, nice comfy beds, wide windows, speakers, technical toys, and a large flat-screen TV!

In bed with the Hobo Hotel in Stockholm – Sweden!

We were in one of the Hobo Superior Rooms which had a king-size bed (resulting in our son falling out at least once, as he forgot that I was also there with him!), a wide desk and a courtyard view. The room also contains a peg-filled wall, covered by gadgets you can borrow.

Our en-suite bathroom was very clean and had organic bathroom products which I loved, a hairdryer, a huge mirror, and plenty of fluffy towels. The bathroom wall was made of glass which had The Tall Young Gentleman in a panic, as the wall shutters didn’t close properly and we could see each other.

I spent a lot of time facing the window….!

And of course, most importantly, free fast Wi-Fi!

I could have done with a cup of tea, but the room didn’t have a fridge or a kettle!

Book Hobo here or here!

Breakfast at the Hobo Hotel in Stockholm-Sweden, was great!

Hobo also has a very nice breakfast which is not included in the price of the room.

There’s a variety of fresh-home-made organic Nordic food, so you grab yourself a tray, and pick any four (4) of your choice.

Breakfast at the Hobo Hotel in Stockholm-Sweden, was great!
Breakfast at the Hobo Hotel in Stockholm-Sweden, was great!

The breakfast was great!

There were rye sandwiches with caviar (yummy!), a variety of chia seeds, nuts, coconut milk, yoghurt, fruit, juices, and smoothies. Of course, I couldn’t actually eat most of the items on offer ‘cos of my nut allergy, but the staff were able to make me some nut-free yoghurt! Tea and coffee is complimentary, and you can have as much as you want!

OMG! All the sandwiches at the Hobo Hotel in Stockholm – Sweden were just so yummy!

Breakfast is 120 SEK or €12.30.

All this from €140.00 per night in the Hobo superior room, from €132.00 in the Hobo room, and from €115.00 in the Hobo Sleeper Rooms, not including breakfast. For two people, easily €70.00 a pop!

Awesome!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

Go by water in Sweden!

Sweden is pretty small and the transport possibilities are endless.

My recommendation. Use the water!

ANYTHING ELSE?

Don’t worry about the prices. Enjoy the moment!

MY VERDICT:

Even though my T-shirt says Croatia, I really was in Sweden!

I’ve got to go back!

WOULD I COME AGAIN?

Utterly!

Go visit Sweden!

See you next week!

Book your hotel here!

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO SWEDEN? HEJ!

Have you ever been to Sweden? Hej!
©Henrik Trygg

This article is part – sponsored, and even though I’m working in partnership with Visit Stockholm, the Hobo Hotel, and FlixBus, absolutely all opinions, and the wonderful time that I had, are my very own!

Thanks so much!

I’ll be there. Will you?

Have you ever been to Sweden? Hej!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

Have you ever been to Sweden? Hej!

Have you ever been to Sweden? Would you like to? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!