Sunday, 22 March 2015

Pirates Of The Baltic Sea: Trip To Stockholm| emmainlapland


So I went on a cruise trip to Stockholm last week and I wanted to make a little blog about my adventures as a pirate!

The cruise left from Helsinki which meant that living in Lapland, we had a long trip south before boarding the ship. We took a bus down which left at 1.30am on Sunday morning, arriving at 11.30am the same day. It was a long trip, but as it was through the night, it didn't seem so bad. 

When we arrived in Helsinki we received goody bags that included lots of fun things such a T-Shirt and patches for our overalls. If I haven't said before, we all have overalls that most students in finland have. They are coloured according to your faculty (mine are blue for erasmus) and you collect patches from participating in different events that you sew on to said overalls. The more patches you have, the more awesome you appear :3

We had a couple of hours to spend in Helsinki before getting on the boat so we spent most of that outside enjoying the warm sun that we never see in Rovaniemi and drinking pre-cruise cider. 

The cruise was called Pirates of The Baltic Sea (because we were sailing through the Baltics in order to get to Sweden) and so naturally we dressed up as pirates and drank copious amounts of duty free alcohol. Naturally. 


On an empty stomach, lack of sleep and alcohol, I was in bed by 11pm. But that was a good thing because I woke up hangover free in the beautiful and stunning city of Stockholm. 

When we arrived we were told to get the subway to the city centre. This was harder than it looked and we ended up walking half the way as we got terribly lost. 

However, once in the centre, the city was magical. Gorgeous architecture and too many souvenir shops - my idea of heaven. We walked around and took tourist photos of all the sites, had a tea break and spent too much money on souvenir tack. I loved it. We then went for lunch at Pizza Hut and headed back to the cruise. Our time in Stockholm was short but the main purpose I think was more the cruise than the destination. Plus we saw everything we wanted to see. 

Once back on board the ship, I suddenly realised I was knackered and the onset of a delayed hangover set in. I could not handle anther day of drinking but I did make sure I played some bingo before having an early night!  

The next day we left Helsinki at 11am and spent the next 12-13 hours on the longest journey of my life. It felt much longer than before because it was during the day, but I had done this trip before when returning from St Petersberg so I didn't anticipate how awful this particular journey home would be. It seemed to last forever but I did have a cheeky Hesburger so it wasn't all bad. Plus, we got to see a pretty epic aurora on the way too. It was quite spectacular and made up for the awful journey. 

All in all, it was a successful trip and I would love to go back... Perhaps by plane, to Stockholm. 

As a quick update of my week, I also got elected to be an Executive Officer for he student Union of my home university! The same day I had a 4 hour exam which I passed with flying colours and went bowling with friends. I also drank fancy tea, watched reindeer racing and went to sauna at least 3 times. I also found Irn Bru in a little nut/pick and mix shop in town. I'm not happy about it though because I go home next week for Easter. I could have done with this 7 hangovers ago.

However, a braw week if I do say so. 

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

Monday, 2 March 2015

Dinner Parties Crazy | emmainlapland

Hei everyone!

So, I haven't done anything overly exciting recently that I've felt requires blogging about, however I have been to quite a few dinner parties recently and so I've made the concious decision to write on big blog about them all.

Firstly, we had the German dinner party hosted by my lovely German friend Anneke! This was the beginning of a long line of dinner parties to come and the food was delicious. It was at this dinner party that we learned a game called Kems that is a French card game that involves working with a team mate attempting to get "kems" which is when you have 4 of the same cards. It is an aggressive game that involves ruining friendships and creating enemies. We love this game.

It consisted of a locally famous sauce made from several herbs and cream, served with boiled eggs and potatoes!

Secondly, we had the Scottish dinner party for Burns night! This of course consisted of traditional haggis neeps and tatties followed by some homemade shortbread. I think it went down well.

We then had a Turkish dinner party that conisted of some delicious chicken, salad and the most amazing potatoes you will ever have! This of course resulted in a game of Kems but this time we had two extra players which created a lot more tension and a lot more fun.

Following this was the French dinner party. Now if this was come dine with me, the French would probably have won the thousand pounds because this three course meal was incredible! To start we had salad and crips then for main a creamy chicken with rice and vegetarian ratatoulie. For dessert we ate milk chocolate cups filled with lemon moose and chocolate and raspberry cake. DELICIOUS!

Of course a few card games insued but mostly we spent our evening playing "Who am I?" where you have a post it note on your forehead and have to guess who you are. Too much fun!

The next dinner party was an Italian themed dinner that was also delicious. Here we had a German/French pizza dish to start followed by anchovie pasta or vegetarian rissotto. I opted for risotto because anchovies make my skin crawl. Although I hear from the fish lovers that the pasta was amazing.

We played many games this evening too, but perhaps the most hilarous one was a game where you hit your opponent on the head with a teaspoon in your mouth. For some reason I couldn't understand why my opponent was hitting my head harder than I was hitting hers. It wasn't until later that I discovered this was because a third person was hitting me on the head with his hand. It doesn't sound as funny written down as it really was, but honestly, we were all in tears laughing.

Most recently we had a sushi party. Now I'm not a fish person, nor am I a seaweed person or a sushi person in general so I made special fried rice for everyone and helped to prepare the sushi. It looked amazing though and we were all very pleased with how nice it was and I hear from reliable sources that it tasted as good as it looked.

Thanks for reading guys!

I promise to write a new blog soon because I actually had a semi exciting weekend!

Until then, moi moi!

Emma x

Monday, 26 January 2015

Husky Sledging! | emmainlapland


Yes, I know, this is late. I've just been so bloody lazy with writing my blog recently! 

I think I said I would do a little one about what I got up to over christmas but I've changed my mind. In short, I ate my weight in food and drank alcohol whilst spending as much time as possible with all my loved ones before I came back to Rovaniemi. 

This blog shall update you on my trip getting here, and the first two weeks back in Lapland - enjoy! 

My best friend joined me on my travels back to Finland and so together we set off on the gruelling adventure that it is getting here. 

Our first stop was Copenhagen in which we had 6 hours or so to kill. In that time we ventured out to see the little mermaid statue and a trip to McDonalds. We also ended up in a Guiness world records museum which was pretty cool! 

From Copenhagen we flew to Helsinki. Helsinki was an overnight stop, a stop I made on the way home. I knew what I was getting myself into but my friend didn't and so she kind of struggled spending the night in the airport. 

Early the following morning we left for Rovamiemi! When we arrived there it was still dark - as to be expected, but also incredibly cold. Colder than I remember it being. 

We quickly hopped in a taxi and came home for a well deserved nap. That day wasn't spent doing much, mainly just recovering from our journey here. 

The next day was my friend's birthday. We had a big breakfast before heading into town for shopping and food. I forced my friend to try reindeer - she wasn't impressed. 

That night I invited some of my erasmus friends round for drinks before we headed into the city centre. It was a great night that as all great nights should end, ended in a drunken trip to McDonalds! 

The next day I somehow managed to get myself to uni for 9am! It wasn't without a struggle of course and so when I got home I accidentally napped for 4 hours! In the evening we went to sauna and as far as I can remember we just spent it chilling. 

The following day was also more relaxed. We went into town for more shopping and went to a Mexican restaurant for dinner. 

But the following day was anything but relaxed because we went husky sledging!! 

This day is literally up there as one of the best days of my life. Hands down. 

We got picked up by the company who we booked our trip with at 8am, we then went to the shop to get overalls, boots and all the snow gear we could ever possibly need to wear. Then they took us to the husky farm. 

We were given instructions on what to do - how to work the sledge and control the dogs etc then we were set free! Well, free-ish. We followed a snowmobile as  6 dogs pulled us along a 20km snow trail.  It was amazing. 

After our amazing trip we then went to Santa's village which was magical as always! We even met santa (this will be my third meeting with santa - im keen I know). My friend didn't really enjoy santa, she said it creeped her out but I loved it! 

The next day was spent preparing for my friends departure. This mainly consisted of us reading our books and lying about chilling. She left really early the following day. 

I speant the next week getting back into the swing of things. I went to classes, caught up with friends, drank too much alcohol and went to the sauna. All in all, a successful start back to my life in Lapland! 

My hair froze!!

Thanks for reading guys! I will try and blog more often!! 

Moi moi ❤️

Emma x

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Sorry it's late | emmainlapland

Awwwwwrite people! (I've been in Scotland too long)

This post is just a quick one to apologise for my lack of blogging in the past month or so. I've been home for a month now and I just haven't had a lot of spare time even to myself, let alone to blog.

I travel back to the beautiful land of fin on Monday and shall be spending a lengthy journey to get there so I plan on writing a couple of blogs in that time - one about the end of my first semester in Lapland and another about my Christmas holiday back home.

See you all then!

Emma x

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Trip to Helsinki/Tallinn | emmainlapland

Hei guys!

I'm really sorry that it's taken me so long to finally sit down and write this. I've been pretty busy and if I'm totally honest, I've been lazy too. But, here is my blog update for my adventure to Helsinki and Tallinn!

We (me and two of my friends) left Rovaniemi pretty early in the morning to fly down to Helsinki. It's a much shorter fight than I remember it being, but last time I travelled to Helsinki, I did so by bus (never again!) and so perhaps that's where my misconceptions came from.

Once in Helsinki, we headed for a coffee then split up. One of my friends was meeting her brother who was travelling from Scotland, and so me and my other friend headed to where we were staying for the trip. Later on we headed back into the city centre to meet another friend who was catching a later flight, however, we were early in going to meet her so a couple of cocktails ensued first.

Once the five of us had met up again, we went out for a pint and some dinner at a nice place called Stones. The pints, we rather quickly realised, were disgustingly expensive.  It took a while for me to get over the price of everything in Helsinki as for me, Rovaniemi was expensive, but pints were sometimes three or four euros more expensive in Helsinki!

In any case, we did eventually get over that as we moved on to a pub with pool tables. What we didn't realise about the pool tables is that you got charged every hour you played... oops, and so from there, we swiftly left and found a karaoke bar. We were all split about where to go and so in the end, my friend and her brother went elsewhere whilst we stayed and actually participated in the karaoke.

The thing about karaoke in Finland is that it's a really big deal and so more or less everyone could sing and could sing well. Then myself and my friends had a go... we can't sing. But we did try.

Our night ended there as we were up bright and early the next morning to go to the zoo! If I'm honest, the zoo was a bit of a let down, which wasn't helped by the crappy overcast weather. The tigers and lions etc looked sad and all the bears were hibernating. However, the zoo did eventually redeem itself with an impressive tropical area which had monkeys, snakes and fish.

We ended up splitting up again and so me and two of my friends headed to the natural history museum which in my opinion was far more exciting than zoo. Plus, there giraffes here... what more could one want??

We then headed to Hesburger which in my opinion is the best fast food burger type place ever! And then we did a spot of shopping before going to yet another bar. Once we had all met up again, we went for cocktails in the tallest building in Helsinki. The building was a hotel called Torni and had the best toilet in the world (so long as you weren't afraid of heights).

We left the evening like that as we were up early again the next day to head to Tallinn in Estonia.

We got the boat from Helsinki harbour to Tallinn which took about two hours. Tallinn was an incredibly beautiful place and I would definitely go back for more time. We only had seven hours or so there and so the first thing we did was hit the souvenir shops. We then took a trip to all the churches and cathedrals as well as climbing some strange old building that was laughably old and dark, but had a great view. We then hit the pubs... it had to be done.

In the first pub we had cocktails, the second was a Scottish bar that had Irn Bru! We ended up having one too many vodka Irn Bru's as well as a deep fried mars bar. We then rushed out to have some food (and cocktails) before catching our boat back to Helsinki.

The boat ride home was less than fun as alcohol and waves just don't mix. However, we did play 'how many things can you balance on a sleeping person' and saw an appropriate sign once arriving back in Finland, so it wasn't so bad.

The next day, our last full day, was reserved for going on a 'sightseeing' pub crawl. First though, we wanted to be 'cultivated' as my friend would say, and so we headed to an art gallery before the drinking commenced. The gallery itself was quite good but it was mainly dedicated to one man, who's name I can't recall, and so it was a bit tedious in the end. Still worth it though. I didn't know that we weren't supposed to take photos here and so I do have a few cheeky snaps from the gallery as well as a bathroom selfie... I couldn't help myself.

We then went for lunch at a sushi buffet. I don't like sushi but there was plenty chicken, beef and noodles for me that I was happy. We then began our pub crawl. The idea was that between each pub there will be something of interest to see. By the time we hit the second pub, we gave up on sightseeing and concentrated on the over-priced alcohol

It turns out that I took a lot less photos on this pub trip than I had realised. In any case, it was a fun and successful evening and a great end to a brilliant trip.

The following day we returned back to sunny Lapland and embraced the bitter cold weather and the snow.

This trip was well over a week ago now and I have done a few things in this time but not enough to warrant an entire blog post about it. But to quickly fill you in, I have been at uni most days, went to the Santa parade, drank Golgi with gin and wrote Christmas cards, had about 38810961 sauna trips and got horrendously drunk at a 'fin-ternational' party.

I'm going to Oulu at the end of the week so expect another update in the near future.

Until then, thanks for reading!

Emma x