Thursday, April 27, 2017

The weekly rec(r)ap

Since the past week was all about getting the London posts up on the blog, I will have to do a quick recap on what actually has happened in the past week!

Now this past week has been in a way uneventful, but there have been many moments worth mentioning. Most of the pictures are in snap form, so even if you don't follow me on Snapchat, you now get to enjoy my Snapstory from the past seven days!

WED - SAT

  • On Wednesday I went out to Cocotang with Mathilde and her friend Mel and we met up with some other people at the club. I had a really great time with the girls and it was definitely the first time I was, aham, intoxicated here in Nottingham. I did end up going home quite early though, and thanks to lots of water and I good nights sleep, I had basically no hangover!
  • When you crave burritos, you make burritos. The only problem with making burritos for one person is that you will be eating burritos for a long time. I basically had burritos three times in 24 hours. No more burritos for me (for a while). 
  • Remember when a couple of weeks ago it was like 22 degrees and sunny? Those days are apparently over, and although I'm definitely glad that it's not as cold as Finland (where they had snow a couple of days ago), I'm hoping the weather will be better in March!
  • I also started writing my essays which are due in a couple of weeks time... after that I'm done with my classes at NTU.. what am I going to do with all my spare time?!
SUN



Who's a good boy?

On Sunday I was planning on staying in and continuing the essay writing, but the weather was so nice outside, so when Julia asked if anybody wanted to go to Sherwood Forest I definitely said yes! If you don't know Sherwood forest, it may sound familiar from the Robin Hood tales! It was about an hours bus ride from the city and there were a few touristy shops and a restaurant, it was just a pretty normal forest. But it was nice to get out in the woods for a change, especially when the weather was so nice! Plus there were so many dogs at the park, and one of them completely stole my heart! He came up to me and looked me in the eyes and just begged for attention! It really made me miss our dog at home :/
After a couple of hours we took the bus back to the city, and went to the Orange Tree for dinner and a pub quiz! The theme was St. George's day since it was St. George's day and well.. our team didn't do too well. But next time we'll hopefully have some more people with us!

MON - TODAY



  • Monday pretty much sucked. I started off the morning by spilling coffee on myself TWICE, and I was gonna have a presentation later that day. Luckily it wasn't very noticeable. When it was time for my seminar (and my presentation) I was the only one to show up. It was just me and the teacher. I mean I got some one-on-one tutoring, but still it feels a bit unfair that everybody else skipped while I did the work. When I got home I found out that basketball on Wednesday's had been cancelled, which is a total bummer. And then one of my neighbors was playing really loud music in the kitchen (which she has done several times before, even after I've asked her not to because the kitchen is right next to my room and I literally hear everything). luckily, the party moved to her room later on, but still, I was glad for Monday to be over.
  • This week has been pretty chill so I've had time to focus on my essays (one of which is almost done) and go to the gym.
  • The weather has been very strange - in the morning it will be sunny and then it will start to rain and one hour later sunny again. Global warming, anyone?
  • On Wednesday it happened again - I was once again the only one to show up to my seminar! And this was a different course too... now I'm contemplating whether people will show up to my seminar tomorrow? I'm done with being the only one there :D


Today I'm getting ready to leave to York for a couple of days which feels great, especially since this week has been a bit blaah. Like last night, I woke up at five because somebody was taking a shower and listening to music while they showered! Like I understand that sometimes you have to take and early shower, but be a decent human being and don't listen to music while you do it! People are sleeping, for God's sake!

I feel like there has been a lot of complaining going on in this post, but I do have some good news as well - We've probably found an apartment back in Finland! We haven't signed anything yet, so I will get back to you once it's all official. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

An evening with the Phantom

Before I get into the highlight of day 4, which was also our last full day in London, here's a recap of our afternoon at the British Museum!

Look, as a history minor I can fully appreciate different historic artifacts that can now be found in museums around the world, but the British Museum for me was a bit of a let down. The place was huge which meant that there was just so much to look at, and you felt as if you didn't really have time to fully observe anything properly. Plus it was super crowded, so if there was an object which was "a must see", it was surrounded by people. Maybe this has to do with our timing (since we were there during Easter and there are more people visiting during bank holidays?), but in all honesty I enjoyed the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum in Glasgow a lot more! But hey, it was free and now I can say that I went!




Wondering how they got this into the museum? Or did they build the museum around it? :D



Posing awkwardly in front of things vol. 1009087

The only thing more creepy than a mummified human is a mummified cat...

After a couple of hours in the museum we took the tube back to King's Cross and got a hot chocolate at the station. While we were there, we thought we could check out if we would be able to find the infamous platform 9 3/4 and we did - also surrounded by people. It looked like you had to queue for at least 30 minutes to get a picture, so we settled with taking a picture of the line instead!

In the evening it was time for the event that I had been looking forward to the most - we were seeing the Phantom of the Opera live at Her Majesty's Theater! I cannot tell you how excited I was. I have literally been in love with the musical ever since my music teacher showed us the movie in class when I was in 5th grade. Before heading to the theater we thought we'd have dinner at a restaurant near by, and settled for an Italian place called Assagetti. This was by far the biggest disappointment of our trip so far, and perhaps even the worst restaurant experience I've ever had! We both ordered a starter and a main course, since it was our last dinner in London, and we had reserved approximately 50 minutes for the dining, which we both thought would be enough time to still get to the theater in time, since it was just across the street. Eventually, it took about 10 minutes for the starters to come which is fine, but after that we waited for over 20 minutes for our main courses, and when they finally got to the table, they had prepared the wrong dish for André. At that point, we only had approximately 15 minutes to finish our meal, and we were both eating in quite a hurry because of it (obviously André had to settle for the wrong dish, since there was no time to make a new one). After we had payed we noticed that they even add a 12,5% tip automatically to the bill! It was truly disappointing, and I would advice anyone travelling in London NOT to eat at Assagetti!

The disappointing dining experience was however soon forgotten, when we finally got the tickets to the musical and took our seats. I had bought seats online for approximately 30 pounds per ticket which is a pretty good price, although we did have a restricted view. This didn't really matter too much, there were about 2 or 3 scenes which took place above us which we couldn't see, but other than that I had a pretty clear view. The more disturbing thing were the people who came in late, and the people who were whispering or coughing loudly... like have you never been taught manners?! Other than that the experience was great - I have to admit that I shed a few tears in the beginning of the show when the music started, because I realized my dream of seeing the Phantom was coming true! André also really enjoyed the play, and afterwards we both agreed that this was definitely one of the highlights of the trip!


In conclusion I would say that London was great and absolutely a city I think everyone can enjoy! I definitely want to go back some day because there is just so much to see and experience. For now I'm glad though that the London posts are done, and I can go back to blogging in real time!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

We went to a Zoo

I was trying to make a clever reference to the movie "We bought a Zoo" in case you missed it (a movie I've actually never seen...)

On day 3 in London we had planned a trip to the ZSL Zoo! Now I know that opinions on Zoo's have changed from for instance when I was young, and I know that a lot of people think that animals shouldn't be "kept in cages" for our pleasure or entertainment. And I fully understand that side, and in an ideal world, perhaps things would be different. What I will say is that the people working, at least at the Zoo's I have been too, do absolutely have a passion for taking care of these animals, and the profits made from the parks not only go into catering and caring for the animals, but also into the research and preservation of those species which are unfortunately in danger of becoming extinct. And that's definitely something I am willing to put money into. Ok, now let's get on with the cute animals!

In the morning we woke up a bit earlier to make sure that we would have enough time to walk through the park, so we just had a quick breakfast at Starbucks and took the tube to Camden. The park itself was a 15 minute walk from the tube station, but Camden seemed like a really cool area so it was nice to get to see a little bit of it. We had already purchased our tickets ahead of time, and since we got there at maybe 11, it wasn't too crowded. First thing we did was head towards the 'animal families' area, because at 12 they had lunchtime for otters! We also saw some meerkats which made me think of my brother because he always played a meerkat when he was little, and some monkeys! But the otters were my absolute favorites - they definitely knew they were getting food so they hurled up in a little cute pile and made the most adorable sounds. I also found out that otters sleep in piles. Doesn't sound too comfortable but must look really cute!



The park was very big, and they had lots of different animals such as tigers, lions, giraffes, kangaroos, different birds, monkeys, butterflies.. you name it. So instead of telling you about every animal I saw, I will let the pictures speak for themselves. 


Just me posing awkwardly, this is what happens when you travel with just one other person. My favorite is the last pictures, because the monkeys on the pictures are picking each others butts, and it reminds me of my friends Julle and Emppu. Love you girls!
Why did I pose with a pirana? Can't answer that question, actually.

The monkeys got walk around as they pleased in their enclosure. They were a lot nicer than the ones I saw on monkey beach in Thailand, which actually terrified me.

The minute I stepped into the reptile enclosure I knew it looked familiar, and then I saw that they had shot the snake scene from the first potter film at the Zoo. The rest of the time I pretty much walked around pretending to talk parsel and saying "Thankssssss"like the snake did in the scene. 
Ok, honestly, goats are the best animals. Like I am a goat person now. They are the queens of the universe. We don't deserve goats.

A little before the park was closing we started making our way back to the hotel, this time catching a train from another tube station a bit further away, since I had read that the Camden station was exit only between one and five (I'm so the mom of the group). It was a bit further away but on the way we walked though Regent's Park which was absolutely beautiful!

After taking this picture André said "Oh no, you looked away" and I taught him that sometimes girls do that on purpose in pictures, because it looks cool and artsy.




We ended the night with dinner at Steak & Co, a restaurant which has a specialty dish where you can prepare your own meat at the table. That seemed like too much for me and André, so I went with some ribs while he got half a chicken. The food was really good (although nothing beats Flanagan's ribs, sorryyyy) and the couple next to us was fun and we just had a great dinner all together!


Monday, April 24, 2017

Oxford Street

Day 2 of London was completely dedicated to shopping, and after breakfast at our favorite place Cappadocio we took the tube to Oxford Circus. Since me and André have very different tastes in clothing we decided to split up so that we both could actually spend our time shopping at the places we wanted to shop - besides, I actually prefer going shopping alone. I'm just more effective that way!

Ready to take on Oxford Street!

I never truly understood just how long Oxford Street really is - during the three hours or so that I spent walking up and down the street I must have passed at least 4 different River Islands.. we don't even have ONE in Finland! In the end I was very pleased with my shopping. I got two new pairs of pants (jeans because the ones I took with me where totally worn out, and really cool light pink pants that I had been eyeing for a while), new shoes, a top and two new dresses. And the best part is that almost everything I bought was on sale! And yes, it's basically a whole new wardrobe (and how will I fit everything in my suitcase home? Suggestions are welcome!).

After I was done I met up with André only to find out that he had bought n o t h i n g for himself! So after lunch we went to Mango together and he actually ended up buying a really nice bomber jacket. 


We were truly exhausted after Oxford Street, so once we got to our hotel we felt like never leaving the bed. But after some resting we finally managed to get up, and headed towards a restaurant called The Banana Tree which was about 15 minutes away from our hotel. The place was really cool and they served delicious fusion dishes of different asian foods. Stuffed with delicious food and still feeling pretty tired, we headed back to the hotel and spent the rest of the night - you guessed it - in bed!


Saturday, April 22, 2017

London Calling

F i n a l l y I get to tell you about London! It's not like there's anything that's been keeping me from writing, but I've actually been quite busy this week, it being the first week after the break and so on. 

Our trip to London was kind of like a birthday trip, since Andre's birthday was on the day we travelled to London, and mine was on the day we left London (which I already wrote about). So the first thing I did in the morning was obviously to sing for my wonderful boyfriend and hand him his gift - a new shirt and sunglasses (which he helped pick out, so it wasn't really a surprise). After some breakfast it was time to take the train to London. Luckily the train went straight to the King's Cross Station which was close to our hotel, so there was not a lot of walking with our bags involved. 

Our hotel (which had for some reason changed names since we booked from Tune to Point A) was very conveniently located close to the tube station, so it was really easy to travel to anywhere we wanted to go. All I had to do was to get an Oyster card, which could be very easily purchased from the ticket machines at the station. But if you own a card with contactless payment you can actually use that in the underground as well, which is very convenient because most people now do have cards like that (but not me, 'cause I'm old school (jk, I don't know why I don't have one))


Almost immediately we took the tube to Piccadilly Circus and decided it was best to get most of the sightseeing done the first day. So we hopped of at Piccadilly and walked down to the Thames, saw Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and The London Eye. It was really cool and London was so beautiful! I imagined it to be much more busy and kind of dirty, like most big cities are, but the streets (at least where we walked) had no trash and there was a very nice, sunny and mellow vibe in the city. I was definitely impressed, and me and André both were just so excited for the mini holiday to begin. 




The flower close to Westminster Abbey of course reminded of the horrible acts of terror that continue happening around the world. One message came through very clearly though - Love trumps hate!



After walking for a while we decided to sit down for dinner at an italian restaurant called Strada. My pasta was very good and I think André enjoyed his pizza as well, and the staff was very friendly so it was a very pleasant experience. Afterwards we figured we'd get some birthday cake to go instead of eating in the restaurant, and we had seen a nice looking bakery close by called Ole & Steen. We went in and I told them it was Andre's birthday, and they were actually kind enough to give us one piece of cake on the house! So a big shout out to the lovely man working at Ole & Steen, I think both me and André had a bit of a crush on him after he gave us free cake :D

When we got back to the hotel we put on our pajamas, watched TV and had cake in bed - a perfect ending to a perfect first day in London!