A Travellerspoint blog

Good times in Berlin

Back up to Copenhagen...

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Well, everyone I talked to said Berlin is an amazing city so I had some pretty high expectations - and I'm happy to say they were more than met! Amazing city with a great vibe, great nightlife, and huge amounts of culture from museums to street performers to amazing artistic graffiti. The fact that it's also fairly inexpensive (as compared to Scandinavia) just helps with the overall impression.

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Did a free tour on my first day to get my bearings and then spent the next few days wandering around checking out the sights, visiting museums and monuments, enjoying coffee and beer.

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Really enjoyed my time in Berlin - thanks to Cat for planting the seed in my mind, and to Dave and my Mom for the suggestions on what to check out. Back in Copenhagen for a couple of days before I hop a flight back to Iceland.

I've updated my travel map to one big trip so it's a bit less messy when you look at it - check it out.

Posted by canuck_pat 01.26.2013 03:54 Archived in Germany Comments (2)

Achtung, auf Berlin!

Lots of trains to get from Bergen to Berlin...

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Across the 'roof of Norway' and the down the west coast of Sweden I go – all the way to Copenhagen, and then to Berlin.

Spent four days in Oslo and enjoyed it – despite the fact it's crazy expensive. Regular latte at a chain coffee shop is about $8 CDN, a burger (just the burger) at a place like The Hard Rock Cafe is about $35, and you're lucky if you can find a pint anywhere for under $! Wandered around checking out the major sights (Opera House, Royal Palace, old forts) and then a day hitting as many museums as I could. Hostel was in a good location near the train station but was overpriced, very basic, and had very little atmosphere.

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Took the train from Oslo over to Bergen on the west coast and saw some amazing scenery as the train goes from sea level up to 1000m and then back down again – through some alpine ski areas.

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Bergen is a very cool city that has an incredible location, and I think a better vibe than Oslo. Unfortunately it's no cheaper, but the hostel I was staying at had a proper kitchen so I was able to save some money that way. Took the tram up above the city and hiked around on the trails for an afternoon and got some great pictures of the city and the bay it's in.

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The next day I took an express ferry to the small village of Rosendal, about 2 hours south of Bergen. Not as clear and sunny that day but I was still able to see some pretty cool scenery and get some great pictures.

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The Oslo-Bergen train takes about 7 hours, so after a long day I stayed the night in Oslo again and then got an early morning train down to Gothenburg. From there another train down to Copenhagen where I spent the night before hopping another train to Berlin. There is a ferry from Oslo to Copenhagen but it's farily expensive and isn't really any faster, so the train it is. I was able to get a pretty good price for direct trains to and from Berlin, and hostels, groceries, beer are much cheaper there so I'm looking forward to it – never mind the history and things to see!

Was interesting to come back to the hostel in Copenhagen that I spent some time in previously and have 3 of the staff say 'Hey - you're back, how are you!' - kind of makes me feel a little more 'local'. :-)

Posted by canuck_pat 01.19.2013 11:52 Archived in Norway Comments (0)

North to Norway

Seems I'm bad luck for the home team...

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After a rather long night/day on the ferry (I was able to sleep this time - calm crossing), that had some amazing views in the morning:

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I arrived in Stockholm, and hoped onto a train to Gothenburg. It's Sweden's second largest city and seems very cool. I arrived in town and found my hostel after a 45 minute walk, dumped my gear, and headed out to see a Swedish Elite League hockey game. Very cool vibe (again), in a very cool arena, but unfortunately the home team lost 3-1. I've now been to three non-exhibition games, and in each case the home team has lost. I hope I'm not bad luck as it appears the NHL has finally got their act sorted out so I'll likely be able to see some Oilers games this spring - we should be kicking ass with all the practice a lot of our players have had!

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Spent most of the day wandering around in the rain checking out the old part of Gothenburg and seeing some museums in town. Based on what I've seen I'm really liking the city, and will likely spend another day or two here on my way back down to Copenhagen in a few weeks after my time in Norway.

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Posted by canuck_pat 01.09.2013 11:56 Archived in Sweden Comments (0)

Back to Sweden

From the KHL with love...

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Been spending a few days in Riga and have really been enjoying it. It is the biggest Baltic capital city, but I've been spending most of my time in the old town which feels similar to many others. Very cool place though with it's own feel and history.

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The bus ride down from Tallinn was only about 4 hours and I got checked into my hostel (The Blue Cow) which has to be one of the nicest I've stayed in so far. They really are going for a vibe like a comfortable friends place to help people relax and recharge, and it works!

Spent a couple of days hanging out with a German guy and seeing the city. Did a few free tours, checked out a bunch of museums, and a few pubs at night. Yesterday I went and checked out a KHL game which was a blast! Although the home team lost, the crowd was very much into the game and like in Malmo there was a whole 'home team' section with drums, singing etc. There were a few NHL players on both teams, but with the lockout ending I imagine they'll be headed back over to North America very soon.

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This evening I take the ferry back up to Stockholm - here's hoping for a calm crossing! It's an overnight journey, and once I arrive tomorrow morning I head right to the train station to head over to Gothenburg. I have a few days there (and probably another hockey game!) and then up to Oslo, Norway.

Posted by canuck_pat 01.07.2013 03:25 Archived in Latvia Comments (0)

Happy New Year!

On to Latvia...

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Happy New Year everyone!

Had a rocking time in Tallinn last night, but sure am a little slow moving today! I had to move over to another hostel in town as everywhere was full, but ended up going back over to the place I had been in previously to hang out with their really cool staff. After a few hours of drinking games we all headed over to Freedom Square to watch the fireworks at midnight. We stopped and set off some of our own on the way over, as was everyone else - there was stuff going off in pretty much every intersection and park in the old town!

From there back to the bar at the hostel where I was staying as it was one of the busiest places in town that wasn't charging cover. Hung out until about 3:30 or so and then called it a night. Bar was still going strong and there we people wandering back into the hostel until about 5:30 or so - some of whom are still asleep 12 hours later. :-)

Tomorrow I hop a bus down to Riga, Latvia for a few days to check it out and recuperate a bit. Going to try and catch a KHL game on Sunday, and then head back up to Stockholm on the ferry.

Hope you all had a good one and you'll see an update from Riga soon.

Posted by canuck_pat 01.01.2013 07:34 Archived in Estonia Comments (0)

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