Wanderlust by Jona

Travel. Wanderlust. Blog. Photographer. Amanda Jona. Explore. Adventure. World. Traveller

Introducing Swedish Passport

Sunrises offer new beginnings, and here I am at a new beginning with Swedish Passport!
At the end of last year, I decided to leave my old lifestyle blog behind and start a new blog which only focuses on travels and that was when Wanderlust by Jona was born. I decided to stay on my old blog platform since I was comfortable with it and if I'm being honest with you, I got a lot off exposure from it since my posts often got shared with its members. Unfortunately, that exposure slowly started to fade away and instead my traffic came from other places like Instagram and Pinterest. This was when I started to feel trapped by all the things I wasn't able to do on my platform instead of enjoying the things it did for me.
Because of this, I have decided to leave the blogging at a platform days behind me and instead start to host my own blog. I honestly thought it would be hard and confusing, but after spending some time during the summer trying it out I found out that it's not that complicated. Importing all materials from this blog was made with just a click and even though there's still a lot of things that need to be fixed (like links in the post and the fact that it's not even close to being user friendly on a phone yet) I want to welcome you to the new and improved travel blog Swedish Passport.
So why do I change the name when I change the way I blog? Mainly because I find it as a natural thing to do since I'm not happy with the name Wanderlust by Jona. I've had too many people who haven't been able to spell it, pronounce it and even understand it so I hope that rebranding my social media accounts (again, I know...) to an easier name to remember will just give it a little extra boost.
For those who follow me through Bloglovin', you'll be automatically transferred in a couple of days, but for those of you who don't, I want to welcome you to the new and improved travel blog, Swedish Passport.

Travel Throwback Thursday: Paris 2005

In 2005 every child's dream came true for me - I got to visit Disneyland.
I went to the one in Paris with my family and we stayed at one of the hotels close to the park and pretty much lived on Disneyland our whole vacation. I have to say that my memories from this trip are sort of a blur (just like the scanned photos in this post, haha) which might be because I was nine years old or due to the fact that I went to Disneyland in Florida four years after this and I might have got them both mixed up. The one thing I clearly remembered though was that me and my brother (who was five at the time) walked around the park and collected autographs from all the Disney characters. Such a weird thing to do really, but every kid did it ;)
The reason why I write about this trip today is that it was my brothers birthday last week, and he got a trip to Disneyland as a gift! So in October, the two of us are going back to Disneyland and we will also have a day to explore Paris which I'm extremely excited about.

Travel Diary: Gotland day 8

Day 8 on Gotland was our last one.
We started the day by cleaning out the apartment we had rented, meaning that we had to say goodbye to this beautiful balcony view:
When the keys had been returned we drove into Visby and had some lunch at my favorite restaurant in the entire world: Crêperie & Logi, or "Creperiet". Creperiet serves crepes (shocking, I know!) and they are just incredibly delicious! I think I've tried every single crepe on the menu by now, and this time I choose a dessert one with ice cream, banana, and meringues. Such a healthy and balanced lunch, I know ;)
After the lunch, we strolled around Visby for a while before it was time to get on the boat which was taking us back to the mainland.

Travel Diary: Gotland day 5, 6 & 7

Let's continue with my Gotland updates!
I got home over a month ago so it's time to speed this up, haha. I'm actually going back there this weekend, but until then, here is how day 5,6 and 7 looked like during my latest trip there:
DAY 5 & 6
I'm combining day 5 and 6 since I ended up with an empty memory card from both of these days, haha. We spent day 5 at the same beach as we had spent day 2 (I even had the same pizza for lunch!) so if you want to see how that looked you can have a look at this post. Day 6 was spent at Stangmalmen where the competition Stångaspelen took place which is often called "Gotland Olympics" since it's the biggest competition for sports with heritage from Gotland. I'm competing in the sport varpa, but this day I only stayed on the sideline and cheered for my parents and boyfriend who competed as a team. Okay, I did not cheer that much since I apparently was very tired and spent most of the day sleeping in my chair, haha. 
On day 7 I teamed up with my boyfriend and we competed together at Stångaspelen in varpa and if I remember it correctly, we ended up in fourth place. After the competition was done, we all went to Visby where we first had some dinner at a restaurant called Trädgårn'. I had the vegetarian alternative of the day which was some really delicious falafel and salad.
After dinner, we went for a walk inside Visby. I know that I say this pretty much all the time, but I am going to buy a house and live in Visby one day. Such a pretty city. We walked through Almedalen, past the harbor and up to the ruins St. Hans and St. Per in the beautiful evening light.
On our way back home to the apartment, we stopped on one of my favorite places right outside Visby to watch the sunset, Högklint. It's a cliff with a stunning view over the ocean which got quite magical as the sun was setting and turned the whole place pink.

Travel Diary: Gotland day 4

Let's travel back in time a bit to my fourth day on Gotland!
Time really flies because it was actually over a month ago I was there (!!) so I think it's really time to start to blog about everything I did - especially since I'm going back to Gotland in two weeks, haha. This is what our fourth day on the island looked like!
We started off by visiting the "capital" of Gotland, Visby since my boyfriend had been bad at packing and needed a new shirt, haha. We took a stroll down the main shopping street Adelsgatan, he found a shirt and I got to photograph some more in my favorite town on earth.
After that, we drove to Krusmyntagården which sells more spices than you can imagine and some homemade products like soap and body lotion. We also took a stroll in their garden which offers a big variety of flowers and a cute little café.
We continued our drive to Överstekvarn Chili, which basically sold a lot of chilies. They had spices, taco sauce, and even sauce to put on your ice cream containing chili. Let's just say that if you like to cook spicy food - this is the place for you.
Somewhere around here, we stopped for lunch at a random place which offered the most boring taco buffé imaginable. We left there quite quick and instead had our eyes set on a place my boyfriend had heard about - Rute Stenugnsbageri. It's a really cute café/bakery totally in my style with a large greenhouse that you could sit in and since we´re Swedish we obviously had to stop and have some "fika", haha. 
Next to Rute Stenugnsbageri was a place called Rute Magazinet which sold interior in every style and price tag imaginable which we also visited.
We had some time to spare and didn't really know where to go next, but one of our friends who is born and raised on Gotland always say that I have to visit the beach Vitviken and since it was close by - we drove there. The beach itself was beautiful (really smooth sand!) but it was quite windy and actually got quite cold so we didn't go for a swim and instead we took a spontaneous visit to a couple of friends who lives nearby.
After chatting with our friends for an hour or so, we drove to Bäl where the Gotland band Smaklösa had a concert. They play humoristic music with text mostly about Gotland and my family always try to see them live every time we visit Gotland. Another friend from Gotland joined us and we sat on a picnic blanket, ate cinnamon rolls and listened to some really bad but entertaining music. 
Read more from Gotland

Travel Diary: Leksand

I know this blog only contains Travel Diaries right now, but here comes one more!
I hope that you find this kind of posts interesting because I still have a lot left from this summer, haha. This weekend I traveled to the middle of Sweden to a place called Leksand in Dalarna county. This might actually be the only place that I travel to every year, and even stay at the same hotel most of the time! Me and my family have visited Leksand at the end of the summer as long as I can remember to participate in a varpa competition there. This year was not an exception and we stayed at the hotel Moskogen where you have your own little cottage in the woods. We spent all weekend competing and came in fourth place twice and third place once.
I ended up coming home without a single photo on my cameras memory card and thought that I could cheat and take some older photos to this post but realized that I actually never have photographed the town, haha. I have a theory that I only get inspired to photograph when I experience something new and this might really be the case here. At least I brought my newest toy this year, my drone, and photographed some photos from above since I haven't been able to to that before. You know, new things and all ;)

Travel Diary: Crete Day 3 & 4

Our third and fourth day on Crete pretty much looked like day one.
We spent the days close to our hotel, swapping between laying on the beach and by the pool. I know that most full time working people think that's an amazing way to spend the day, but I get restless way to quickly. I mean, I can lay on my back and read at home - when I travel I want to explore as much as I possibly can. With that said, I'm still really good at adjusting and make the best out of the situation and ended up playing a lot of volleyball, tennis, taking long walks by the beach, swimming around with float toys and teaching my boyfriend's nieces how to swim.
I ended up photographing about two photos during the day, but I photographed a lot more during the evenings since they weren't looking that similar.
On our third day, we chose to have dinner pretty close to the hotel at Marem Restaurant. I had gotten tired of pizza and french fries since that had been pretty much the only vegetarian alternatives on the restaurants we had been on, but this day I "found out" that most of the appetizers were vegetarian and it worked fine ordering two or three as a main course instead. I got all vegetarian food, I got more food than the ones ordering a full meal and I paid less than them. Such a win-win-situation, haha! This night I had tzatziki, halloumi and a delicious thing with aubergines and feta cheese. 
After dinner, we decided to head down to the beach and bumped into a bunch of kittens who were fed with pasta bolognese. Stray cats and dogs are really common in all of Greece and this was actually the first place we saw that actively fed them.
When we got to the beach we stayed and watched the sunset and some of us decided to go on a spontaneous swim in the ocean. This was actually the only sunset we actively watched since we managed to eat dinner at that time every other night during our stay.
Our fourth night on Crete was spent inside Rethymnon, the city we were living just outside off. Some wanted to go shopping before dinner and since it's honestly impossible for 12 people to go shopping together without half the party waiting outside we all split up.
Me and my boyfriend tried to walk as far away from the tourist streets as possible to discover the “real” Rethymnon and walked into some really run down areas. Outside every other door, there were an older Greek sitting outside on a chair, just watching the people going by as an evening activity. I don't know why, but I found that just so charming!
Our meeting point was a big square called Mikrasiaton Square were I decided to send up my drone while we were waiting for the others to arrive. Apparently, my drone managed to summon every kid within a five-mile radius because suddenly the whole square was filled with kids who run after the drone and I had problems landing it again, haha! We had to wait for the others to arrive so we could make a circle/human shield around the drone while it was landing.
Then we had dinner at a restaurant in the middle of Rethymnon which our hotel had recommended us and said that we would get a 10% discount if we mentioned our hotel's name to the waiter - which we didn't get, haha. It was still a quite cozy restaurant.
Read more from Crete

Travel Diary: Crete Day 2

Our second day on Crete was filled with adventures from early morning to late evening.
Me and my boyfriend shared our hotel room with two of his siblings and all of us woke up early and decided to take a morning walk since the breakfast didn't open until 8 am. We started off by walking on the beach and got to a more luxurious area than the one we were staying in which had some really nice sunbeds and cabanas by the ocean which I obviously had to stop and take some photos of, haha.
We walked through the city on our way back to our hotel which pretty much just offered hotels, restaurants, mini markets. It felt like such a typical area that has no charm on its own and is just made for charter tourists that want to lay on the beach all day with a drink in their hand. In other words - not a place for me that likes to explore the area I travel to. I only took photos of some abandoned and run down buildings since they at least have some personality, haha!

After breakfast, some of us decided to rent a car to head out and explore Crete outside the tourist bubble. We early on decided to name our car "Sleepy Gonzales - the slowest car in all Greece" with inspiration from Speedy Gonzales - the fastest mouse in all Mexico since it was SO SLOW. I have a theory that the woman at the rental agency gave us a car with zero acceleration because my boyfriend's brother asked "What happens if I crash?" when they talked about insurance, haha.
Our first stop of the road trip was Rethymnon where we parked the car and explored the city by foot. The town had a lot more charm and history than the area that we were living in but still felt like such a touristy place. I knew that Crete was a popular place for tourists and that Greece has had a major economic crisis, but I still wasn't expecting to bump into more Scandinavians than Greeks.
Anyway, we spent a couple of hours walking around at 34°c and I even bought a hat since my sunglasses made my face too sweaty, haha. We walked by the marina, Fortezza Castle and through the Old Town, having some milkshakes and lunch on the way before getting back to the car again.
With full on AC we got back on the road again with a destination on the south side of the island as our goal. I really recommend getting out of the cities on Crete because the island offers so many spectacular landscapes. We stopped at a place I after some time on Google Maps think was Canyon Kotsifou and tried to take some photos of the massive mountains.
We had asked the women at the car rental agency about her best places on Crete and she had shown us a really cool beach on the south side of the Island which was our goal of the day to reach. I thought she said Plakiás and my boyfriend thought she said Preveli, so we headed for Plakiás first just to find out I was wrong, haha. We got out of the car either way to see the beach but quickly went back to drive to Preveli instead.
Preveli Beach is only reachable either by boat or by hiking a mountain, so we parked our car at the top and started the hike down. The special thing about Preveli is that there's a river floating out in the ocean, surrounded by palm trees. It looked quite spectacular from above but was honestly a disappointment from the ground. So many tourists had found this "Secret Beach", the 15-20 minutes long hike down in almost 35°c heat was exhausting, and it was too windy to fly my drone in the area which I had been looking forward doing, haha.
We spent about an hour in the ocean to gather strength to do the climb back up again.
Once back at the hotel we met up with the rest of the travel party again and went out to have some dinner all 12 of us. I felt nostalgic and ordered a children's drink called Mickey Mouse (just like the ones I drank back on Kos in 2002!) and after that, it was a power failure so the chef wore a headlamp so he could see what he was doing in the kitchen and we ate our food in the dark, haha.
The power got back just in time for us to leave the restaurant, which actually was quite unfortunate because we were planning on spending the rest on the evening on the beach to watch the blood moon and a little less light pollution would have been nice so we could have seen more stars. I came prepared with a tripod and a telelens and managed to capture not only the moon but also the planet Mars in the same photo #naturephotographeroftheyear, haha.
After that, I fell asleep quite quickly.
Read more from Crete

Travel Diary: Hillared

Having a hard time keeping track of where I am?
Well, I do. I always end up traveling a lot during summer and this summer has not been an exception. I went from Gotland (more post from that coming soon!) to Sunne and then I traveled to Crete (more posts is on its way!) and now I'm back home again (before my next trip on Friday) after spending some time in Hillared on the west coast of Sweden. At least I'm going to have a lot of blog material in the autumn with everything I don't have time to post straight away, haha.
Anyway. After my trip to Crete, I landed in Gothenburg instead of my hometown Stockholm because me and my boyfriend was going to spend some more time with his family in Hillared. All of them was on the Crete-trip, but there's a big difference in hanging out on a trip abroad than it is staying over at someone's house for a couple of days, and since we probably won't visit them again until Christmas we wanted as much quality time as possible. Most of the time we just spent time in their garden, playing with both dogs and nieces, eating great food and playing card games - which might explain why I only took a handful of photos during our four days in Hillared. It was a trip with complete relaxation.
One day we also went into the biggest city nearby, Borås, where we went to an outlet called Åhaga Outlet who sells clothes and interior from brands like NA-KD, Ellos, StayHard, Gina Tricot, Esprit and more. We were there during their last opening weekend so it was 50% off on everything - but I still only managed to find two knitted shirts, haha. Apparently believed I needed that this summer which has been the warmest one in many many years ;)

Travel Diary: Crete Day 1

I'm back in Sweden again after a week on the Greek island Crete.
I was there with my boyfriend's siblings and their families so we were a travel party with a total of 10 adults and 2 kids, which obviously comes with both pros and cons. Cozy to hang out everyone together since we all live in different parts of Sweden, but difficult to accommodate 12 peoples different wants, needs, and expectations. I've traveled in big groups before so I decided early on to lower all my expectations and just go with the flow - and ended up with a vacation with a mix of laying on the beach and exploring the island.
Here is what our first day looked like!
We got to Crete in the afternoon of the 26 of July and we pretty much just dropped our bags at our hotel called Hotel Bueno and walked straight to the beach 100 meters away. There where a thunderstorm up in the mountains so I ended up going back and forth into the ocean every time there was a bang even though the lightning was kilometers away, haha. Better safe than sorry!
After some time in the ocean, we decided to try out one of our hotels three pools. This pool was located on the beach and had a little bar with some food and drinks, and I obviously had a milkshake.
For dinner, we just went next doors to a restaurant called Myli which had a really cute outdoor area with windmills and fountains. I ate a really delicious dish with aborigines and Cretan feta and some banana split for dessert before going back to the hotel, falling asleep pretty much as soon as I put my head on the pillow.

Travel Throwback Thursday: Kos & Bodrum 2002

I have just landed on Crete, and what fits better than a Travel Throwback Thursday on the last time I was in Greece?
In 2002 my family and my cousins family traveled together to the Greek island Kos. I was about 6 years old at the time so let's say that my memories from this trip aren't many but I do remember all the decorations we got in the drinks at the bar by the hotel pool - mostly because I brought all of them back home and saved for a couple of years, haha. Other than hanging by the pool I remember that we took a boat to Bodrum in Turkey one day, rented bikes and cycled around the island and explored some ancient ruins.
I just love to do these really old travel throwbacks since it gives me a reason to look in all our old photo albums and laugh at funny photos. I mean can we just point out that my fashion sense back then was flawless, just look at that pink shirt with rats on it, haha! So while you have a look at this week's Travel Throwback Thursday, I'll be busy exploring Greece for the first time with a somehow adult consciousness and eat halloumi and tzatziki until I explode!
See ya!
Lazy days by the pool
Left: Got my hair braided in Bodrum Right: Me and my brother that for some reason pose with a policeman with a gun. Mum, dad - what the fuck?
Apparently a really fun dinner with hats?
Western Archaeological Zone (according to Google, anyway)
 Me and my cousin just having some drinks by the pool and look pissed about it, haha!

Travel Diary: Sunne

I'll take a break from my Gotland-updates to write about this weekend which I spent in Sunne.
Sunne is a small town in Värmland with around 5 000 citizens and is probably most famous for the writer Selma Lagerlöf who lived there and won a Nobel price in literature 1909. The town is located next to the lake Fryken so you pretty much always see water.
I honestly didn't get a great feeling about Sunne, but I might not be the best person to ask anyway since all my focus was on competing in the Swedish championship in a sport called varpa and not to explore the town. I was there for four days and only took like 30 photos which are extremely low in my standards, haha. Anyway, here is my travel diary from my time in Sunne!
I had a fever the day we drove to Sunne from Stockholm, but I somehow managed to survive the car ride and got to Sunne in the afternoon of July 19 were we checked in at Hotell Frykenstrand before heading out in the central parts of Sunne to find some dinner. We looked at Google Maps and choose the best-rated restaurant in the area which honestly looked quite shabby at first, but the food was surprisingly good! We got back to the hotel quite late but I still had time to find out that they had a hot chocolate machine in the reception of the hotel which became my sore throats best friend during the weekend, haha.
This was the first day of the Swedish championships which offered an individual discipline which I had chosen not to enter because I only wanted to compete in the team discipline. A really good decision in retrospect since I wasn't feeling well from my cold that day and instead spent my morning in the hotel's breakfast buffet eating pretty much everything for four hours. I'm doing a university course in tourism this summer so I also had time to write on an essay instead of following the others to the site of the competition so I was quite pleased.
My mum managed to qualify for the final so I got picked up after lunch anyway to go out and cheer for her - AND SHE WON! We wanted to celebrate by going to a nice restaurant in Sunne but ended up at an even more shabby one than the night before were either food or service where any good so we headed back to the hotel and spent the evening at their terrace with a view over the lake instead.
This was my first day of the competition, and I did not take a single photo until the evening! I still wasn't feeling well so let's just say that I was happy to have a Swedish champion in my team (aka my mom) that could take the biggest burden, haha. We managed to qualify from the group stage to the final the next day and we celebrated by going to a party at Selma Spa which the Swedish Varpa Federation was hosting. 
Final day. I had the worst cough imaginable but at least I felt healthier than the days prior so I could contribute a lot more to the team - and actually took the final point that made us win the gold medal and the title as Swedish champions! Such a weird feeling though to be able to call yourself best in Sweden at something, haha.

Travel Diary: Gotland day 3

Our third day on Gotland was just as hot as the day prior which only had one solution: Beach day!
We usually keep away from the beach in Tofta since it's the most famous one on Gotland and is often crammed with people, but I had found a place called Surflogiet on Instagram which is located on Tofta beach and really wanted to go there - and so we did. We got there around 10 am and to our surprise, had the whole beach almost to ourselves. 
Surflogiet is a combined hotel/activity center/café that I really need to write a separate post about (I have so many more photos!) but let's just say that you easily can occupy yourself with activities all day without getting bored! Their café opens at 11:30 am so by then it had started to drop in some more people, but not the masses that we had expected. Surflogiet is located far down south on the beach so my guess is that the masses haven't found it yet and stay closer to Tofta Beach Club further north.
We spent all day at the beach and ate halloumi burgers and sweet potato fries for lunch at the café.
In the afternoon we drove into Visby to have some dinner (I had another halloumi burger, haha!) and pick up my boyfriend at the airport since he came to Gotland later than us due to work. We also had ice cream at Galssmagasinet in Visby which has over 260 different flavors of ice cream and is a must when you're in Visby!
On our way back from Visby to the apartment, we drove past a paddock with a lot of sheep that had the most magical light ever so I obviously had to stop and take some photos. I bumped into a woman that was somehow connected to the sheep and she told me a lot of stories about them. Apparently, the owner to the sheep was a Swedish champion in sheep shearing and I was more impressed by the fact that there are actually people competing in cutting wool than the fact that he had won, haha!
Me and my boyfriend celebrated six years together this day and as an anniversary gift, I wanted to take some new photos of us. Right before sunset we took the camera and tripod to the ocean and photographed until the sun was gone and the mosquitos came out and tried to eat us.
Read more from Gotland
Travel Diary Day 1 & 2

Travel Diary: Gotland day 1 & 2

Time really flies. 
I got home this Sunday after spending a week on my beloved island Gotland and now I'm repacking my bag because I'm traveling to a city in Sweden called Sunne tomorrow morning. Had an amazing time on Gotland and I have a lot of photos and stories to share so I’ll just kick it of straight away! Here is my Gotland travel diary, day 1 and 2!
Me and my family got to Gotland in the afternoon of July 8 and started buying groceries at a local store before heading to the place we were going to stay, an apartment hotel in Mulde. We have actually stayed in one of their cottages before but that was like 10 years ago so I obviously needed to get out and explore the area. I bought a drone the day prior so I needed to take it for a test flight in the forest.
Even though it was cloudy, our second day at Gotland was extremely hot so we drove to a beach called Nisseviken and spent most of the day there. The water was way too cold to swim in according to me (even though there were a lot of (crazy) people in the water!) so I spent my day laying on a towel, reading.
There is a restaurant next to the beach in Nisseviken which was just the cutest with a sort of Carribean feel to it. I ate a pizza with beetroot, honey, and goat cheese and it might have been the best pizza I've ever had. SO DELICIOUS!
After we felt done at the beach we drove to a to a town on the east side that we hadn't been to before (which is really uncommon since we have been pretty much everywhere on Gotland) called Ronehamn. Ronehamn itself wasn't that interesting, to be honest, but we stopped to stretch out legs at a quite well known Bed & Breakfast called Gula Hönan which has the cutest garden that I obviously had to take some photos off.
Then my camera apparently stayed inside my backpack the rest of the evening which we spent half asleep at the couch in our apartment where we had yogurt for dinner since we all were tired after a day at the beach, haha! The last picture I took that day was on the intense sunset, why I didn't send the drone up to photograph, I'll never know.

15 Reasons Why You Should Visit Gotland this Summer

I'm currently located in one of my favourite places in the world - the island Gotland.
My "Swedish Summer" just isn't complete before I've visited the island and walked the cobbled streets in Visby, driven on the roads with flowers on the side and witnessed the fields that go on for miles and miles. Not to mention the fact that it's an Island which means that the ocean is never far away. I might not update the blog quite frequently this week, but check out my insta-stories where I post daily from Gotland. My name is @wanderlustbyjona on Instagram.
It's really easy to get to Gotland from Sweden's capital Stockholm. Either you fly from Bromma airport to Visby airport (which only takes about 30 minutes) or you use public transportation from Stockholm to the town Nynäshamn and take a boat from there which takes 3 hours.
So why should you visit Gotland then? Let me explain!

Roma 2014

My favourite shop in the world, which is located in Visby! They make their own tea and I think that I’ve tried about every single one of their flavours. My favourite ones are currently ”Munkblandning” and ”Jubileumsblandning”.

The low tempo
This might only be in perspective to living in Stockholm, but the tempo on Gotland is really slow and everyone just let everything take it’s time and do not stress everywhere.

Hoburgen 2013 

The accent
You might only really enjoy this if you understand Swedish and can hear the different accents but gosh how cosy the accent on Gotland is! Even though I sound horrible when I try to mimic it, I can’t help doing it pretty much all the time. 

1900 sunshine hours
Did you know that Gotland usually has the most sunshine hours during summertime in Sweden with its 1900 hours of sun? Well, now you do!
Fröjel 2015 

More lambs than people
Yes, it’s true, there are more sheep on Gotland than people, but they for some reason call sheep for lamb, and lamb for ”lammungar” which can translate to  ”lamb children”. Don’t ask me why because I don’t get it either.
The Visby world heritage site
Remind me to write a proper post just about Visby, because it’s just such a beautiful town with heritage from medieval times and a great wall surrounding the town. Just spend a day or two walking the cobbled streets and discovering flower covered alleys could make anyone fall in love with this town.
 Visby 2014

All the cute cafés, museum and stores along the road
The best way of exploring Gotland must be with a road trip where you just can stop whenever it suits you because the most beautiful cafés, museum and stores are not located in a city somewhere, they are located along the many roads.

Nisseviken 2018

Church Ruins
You should know by know that I’m a sucker for ruins, and Gotland is filled with them! For some reason, there are about a 100 churches on Gotland, and a couple of them have been abandoned throughout the years, leaving beautiful ruins for dorks like me to explore.
One of the most famous things with Gotland is all of the ”raukar” which is basically very old stone formations. Some areas filled with raukar on Gotland are Folhammar and Hoburgen and in the second one, there's a rauk shaped like a man.
Folhammar 2013 

All the nature reserves
Gotland offers a lot of nature reserves to explore either by foot or by bike so bring a good pair of walking shoes and go out and explore!
800km coastline
Let’s just say that you're never far away from the ocean when you're on Gotland, and there are a lot of beautiful beaches and viewpoints facing the ocean.
Högklint 2014 

Flea markets
You don't have to drive far to spot a sign that says "Loppis" which means that there's a flea market nearby. Some are just a table on a yard somewhere while others can be a big building filled with great bargains.
Creperie & Logi
This is a restaurant in Visby that I have to visit every time I’m on Gotland since they serve the most delicious crêpes imaginable. Go for the dessert ones with berries and ice cream!
 Creperie & Logi 2015 

Travel Diary: Hammersta

Earlier this week, me and my friend Annie went on a quite spontaneous trip to Hammersta nature reserve.
Our original idea was to visit an island in the Stockholm archipelago named Huvudskär which only is accessible by boat like two times every week during summer. Unfortunately, there was a big power failure in Stockholm that day which knocked out the public transportation so much that we missed the only boat to Huvudskär that day with about two hours, haha. Since we were already dressed for adventure we simply looked at a map and took a bus to the closest green spot which was Hammersta nature reserve. 
We were not sure about what to expect when the bus dropped us off in the middle of nowhere but we started to walk along an asphalted road into a forest.
The asphalted road continued for a long time, but then we got to a big paddock with cows. This was the first interesting thing we had seen in the half an hour since we got off the bus which lead to us spending a lot of time photographing the cows, haha. The calves were just so cute!
Since our original idea was to stay on a small island all day we pretty much were set on spending some time by the ocean which was harder to find than we imagined. After an even longer time on the asphalted road, we finally found a good spot with a view over the ocean where we took a lunch break.
We got pretty tired of walking on the asphalted road so we tried to find some smaller paths to follow - which only ended with us either being lost in the forest or walking inside the fenced paddocks for cows so we got back on the asphalted road that after a while turned into a graveled path which was a lot nicer to walk on but still quite tedious since everything looked pretty much the same.
Then we found a sign pointing to an old castle ruin which honestly wasn't that spectacular, but after hiking for two hours with quite some uninteresting views (and most of the time on an asphalted road!) I suddenly thought the ruin was the best place on earth, haha. Perspectives.
After spending some time at the ruin we almost didn't find our way out of the nature reserve since there was a lot of private roads which belonged to a farmhouse. The only way out seemed to be walking between two paddocks with horses, so that's what we did.
Straight after the farmhouse, we got back to the big road where we had got off the bus so we had circled around all of Hammersta nature reserve in about three hours. The nature reserve honesty wasn't that exciting and I would probably never have visited it if it weren't for the circumstances, but every place I visit can't be a jackpot. I got to be outside for a couple of hours, leave all stress from the everyday life inside the city and have a nice time with Annie. What more do you need, really?

Old Town Square - Prague, Czech Republic

Old Town Square is a historic square in the Old Town quarter of Prague.
I think most tourists visit this square since it’s the location of the medieval astronomical clock on the Old Town Hall which was installed in 1410 and still is fully functional! Every hour the figures flanking the clock are set into motion which tourist crowd around, but it’s honestly not that spectacular. If you’re in the area when the time is right, yeah, go and see it, but I would not recommend waiting 30-40 minutes to see it move (like a lot of people do!).
Besides the astronomical clock, there is a lot to see at Old Town Square. There are some beautiful buildings in that area and some churches with gothic architecture (if you’re an architecture nerd as me, haha) and there are usually a bunch of street performers at the square to be entertained by. Otherwise, the square is crammed with food trucks and restaurants to eat at, and there are a lot of guided tours starting at Old Town Square. 
Quick facts about Old Town Square
Name: Staroměstské náměstí
Entrance fee: No entrance fee
Location: Staroměstské náměstí, Prague
Who should visit?
People with an interest in history and architecture, or someone who just want to see all the famous tourist attractions.
My rating: 
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Travel Throwback Thursday: Dublin 2011

I always mention Dublin as one of my favorite cities in the world - even though I only been there once and that was in 2011.
I really want to go back there one day but in the same time, I don't since I'm afraid that I have built up most of the magic in my head and will just get disappointed if I go back, haha. I went to Dublin for about a week with my family back in the autumn of 2011 and fell in love with the city - with everything from the architecture to the people and that is what I want to look back at in today's Travel Throwback Thursday.
We stayed at a hotel I don't remember the name of, in the central parts of Dublin, but I do remember the hotel rooms! We were first placed in a super tiny room with a view of the street that was really busy even during night time so none of us slept the first night. In the morning, we went to the reception and asked to change room, and instead got placed in a big room with 5m headroom, a fireplace and a view over the courtyard. Since we stayed so local we spent our days exploring the inner city of Dublin by foot and by a hop-on-hop-off-bus and visited cites like the old prison Kilmainham Gaol, the brewery Guinness and a wax museum. Let's just say that we could have skipped the wax museum, but I loved to visit Kilmainham Gaol (who doesn't want to learn more about torture and murder during a vacation, haha) and even though I don't drink alcohol I still thought it was interesting to see how the beer was made at Guinness - and to visit the bar at the top of the brewery with a panoramic view of the city.
After writing this post, I just feel more certain that I have to book a trip back to Dublin pretty soon, haha. I would also love to explore more of the beautiful nature in Ireland! In the meantime, here are some pictures from my last visit:
View from Guinness brewery
Thought this was so funny because it really does rain a lot in Dublin
Left: Kilmainham Gaol II Right: A concierge at a random doorway
View from Guinness brewery
Gosh, wish I had been documenting more during my travels back than, but I think this building was a part of the University? Or something completely different. Love the architecture though!
 A leprechaun at the wax museum

Arthur's Seat - Edinburgh, Scotland

One of the best things I did during my visit to Edinburgh back in November was to climb Arthur's Seat. 
Arthur's Seat is the main peak of a group of hills right outside the central city of Edinburgh. There are some interesting stories about this hill, including being the location of the legendary castle Camelot with King Arthur and the whole hill itself being a sleeping giant, but one certain fact is that it's an extinct volcano that erupted about 350 million years ago.
We climbed the hill just before sunset so we could witness the beautiful panoramic view of Edinburgh in magical, golden light - and let's just say that we weren't disappointed. We started off on the north side next to Palace of Holyroodhouse and got to the peak Salisbury Crags after about 30 minutes with some photo stops on the way. We never made it to the highest peak (which is the "real" Arthur's Seat) since we wanted to get down before it got dark, haha, but the whole area was really beautiful and if I have had more time in Edinburgh I would totally have explored more of it.
The trails are really easy to follow and not that steep which makes it accessible for anyone of reasonable fitness, kids included.
Read more about my trip to Edinburgh
Quick facts about Arthur's Seat
Area: Holyrood Park
Highest Peak: Arthur's Seat
Entrance fee: None
Permits needed: None
Elevation: 251 m (Arthur's Seat)
Location: Edinburgh EH8 8AL, Edinburgh
Who should visit?
People who don't mind walking and want a stunning view of Edinburgh, or want an outdoor activity in nature close to the city.
My rating: 
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Travel Diary: Björnö

Me and my friend Annie took a trip to the peninsula Björnö in the Stockholm archipelago yesterday.
None of us have been to Björnö (which has been a nature reserve since 1983) before so we had a lot to explore! We took the bus from Slussen in the central parts of Stockholm to get there which took a little less than an hour which makes it a perfect destination if you want to get out of the city for a couple of hours. The weather report said that it was going to rain but we manage to be outside all day without a single drop of rain! So lucky! I, by the way, wore a waterproof hiking jacket all day but brought my pink raincoat in my backpack so I could wear it for some photos, talk about dedication ;)
When we got to Björnö, we quickly decided to start off exploring the south side of the island since it's the part with a view of the ocean and walked pass Björnö Torp, Grytbergsudden, and Småängsviken.
Then we came to Småängen which had an enclosure with a lot of sheep! You are allowed to enter the enclosure as long as you show respect to the animals, and they quickly accepted us and wanted to cuddle.
After spending some time with the sheep we continued our hike on the south side of the island. I had seen a photo of a cool cliff on Google before getting to Björnö that I wanted to find and felt certain it should be somewhere around Småängsuddarna. It wasn't, but we got to see some other really beautiful views.

Somewhere around Ramsviken and Norrvik on the east side of the peninsula we left the cliffs by the ocean and walked a lot in the forest which felt almost magical, I was just waiting on a unicorn or something to appear, haha. I can't be the only one who thought this forest felt magical, because someone had made some "magical creatures" out of different materials you can find in a forest and placed them around the trees. Must be a really fun way to get kids out in nature!
We took the big road back to the entrance of the nature reserve since I still hadn't found my cool cliff and thought that it maybe was next to the beach Torpesand - and this time, I was right. It was a lot smaller than I had imagined but after five hours of hiking, it honestly didn't matter, haha. We stayed there for a while, ate cinnamon rolls and looked at the ocean before we headed back to the bus that took us back into the city.

Vigeland Sculpture Park - Oslo, Norway

One of Oslo's most beloved tourist attraction is Vigeland Sculpture Park.
The Sculpture Park, located in Frogner Park consists more than 200 sculptures made by the same artist - Gustav Vigeland (1869–1943). The sculptures portray naked humans in a variety of poses and situations - some more unnatural than others and all of them tells a different story. Let's just say that you can spend quite some time here without getting bored since there is a lot to look at!
If the weather is good, bring a picnic and enjoy the big open space of Frogner Park.
Read more about my trip to Oslo
Quick facts about Vigeland Sculpture Park
Name: Vigelandsanlegget
Built: Started 1924
Entrance fee: None
Location: Frogner Park, Oslo
Who should visit?
I honestly think that everyone can find something that interests them with the variety of weird poses - you don't have to be particularly interested in art to enjoy this.
My rating: 
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Travel Throwback Thursday: Rhodes 1996

I had to dig deep into the family photo albums to find photos to this week's Travel Throwback Thursday!
I was only one month old when I was on an airplane for the first time and traveled to relatives in northern Sweden, but my first time abroad was in October 1996 when I went to the Greek island Rhodes. As you can imagine, I have zero memories of this trip, but I often get reminded of it since I was eleven months old at the time and took my first steps there. I always talk about how rewarding it is to travel and experience new places, so it's sort of poetical that I actually learned to walk in another country, haha.
I've been back to Greece once since 1996 (Kos, 2002) and I'm actually going to the Greek Island Crete this summer so I will finally experience Greece with a somehow adult consciousness! I'm really looking forward to hanging out on some beautiful beaches and eat halloumi and tzatziki until I explode ;)
Me playing at the poolside at the hotel
Left: an Unknown street on Rhodes, but look how cute I am in my little hat! Haha ;)
Right: Me and my mother in front of what I after some time on Google believe is Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes
(which by the way must be the longest name of a castle ever!)
 Obviously knew already then how awesome it is to sleep in a lounger

10 Reasons Why I'm Happy I Was Born in Sweden

Happy National Day of Sweden! 🇸🇪 
We Swedes are extremely bad at celebrating our national day, most of us do not even know why we have one. It might not be so odd since June 6 only been Swedens national day since 1983, and a public holiday since 2005 which might explain why we still haven't got the hang of it. I think we have to look at our neighbors Norway to see how a proper national day should be celebrated ;)
I would still like to take this opportunity and write a post about my wonderful home country since I think it deserves some extra love and celebration today. I know that I complain a lot about Sweden during the winter months and make fun of how stiff we are to strangers, but I would never wish that I've been born somewhere else.
Here are 10 reasons why I'm happy I was born in Sweden:
1. You can travel to 176 countries without a visa with a Swedish passport
Only people from Germany can travel to more countries than us (177, to be exact).
2. Education in Sweden is completely free
We also get free food when we're there and a grant every month.
3. Same-sex marriage is legal in Sweden
And same-sex couples are also allowed to adopt.
4. Swedes are bilingual since we learn both Swedish and English in school from a young age
We also put subtitles on English movies and TV-shows instead of dub them like many other European countries do.
5. Sweden has a day in October where we celebrate the cinnamon roll
Enough said.
6. Sweden has a feminist government and takes gender equality seriously
According to the European Institute for Gender Equality, Sweden has the best gender equality in Europe. 
7. Everyone is allowed to have 5 weeks of vacation each year
Of these, you are entitled to a four-week continuous vacation during June-August.
8. Sweden has "Allemansrätten" which is the right of public access to nature
This means that everyone has the right to camp and roam freely in nature as well as pick wild berries, flowers etc.
9. 99% of Swedens waste gets recycled
We take climate change seriously and every household recycles their own waste.
10. Sweden has a good reputation abroad
Just being a Swede have solved a lot of problems while I've been traveling.
"Sweden has it all: high-quality exports, a tolerant society, low crime, beautiful cities to visit, a high standard of living, a mild climate, and a strong sense of business. Sweden received the highest marks among all countries for perception of an effective government and ranked second among respondents for appealing environment and its advanced economy. It is seen by many as safe and welcoming." - Business Sweden

How to Photograph at the Beach

The beach-bag is packed and you stand there with the camera in your hand thinking whether you should pack it or not.
We have all been there. It is scary bringing something valuable to the beach, there are sand, water and the potential danger of someone stealing your camera while you're in the water. A lot of things can go wrong, and therefore I put together a small list of things I usually think about when taking the camera to the beach. The camera is made to be used, so don't be afraid to use it!
Buy an UV-filter
An UV-filter is a transparent filter that attaches to the front of the lens, which serves as a protection against both dirt and scratches. They usually cost around 10-50 euros depending on quality and size, but I promise that it is a lot cheaper to replace a scratchy UV-filter than a scratchy lens.
Keep in mind how you keep the camera at the beach
I pretty much always have my camera in my waterproof camera bag that looks like a regular handbag. I have absolutely no facts about this, but at least in my mind, the risk of theft increases if you use a classic camera bag since it becomes quite obvious what's inside. A waterproof bag is also a golden investment since you never have to worry about the camera getting wet as long as it's in the bag.
Stick to one lens
The absolute dumbest thing you can do at the beach is to change the lens. The risk of getting sand in both the camera house and the lens is huge, so I usually decide on one lens before I go to the beach, and then stick with that lens.
Clean the camera immediately when you get home
Do not leave the camera in the bag until the next time you use it, it is worth the time cleaning it immediately so no dirt gets stuck somewhere. I have bought a cleaning kit with everything I need and I recommend you do the same.
Get an insurance
Let's face it, there are a lot of things you can do to prevent bad things to happen, but unfortunately, you can never prepare for everything. Better safe than sorry, so make sure you get an insurance that covers everything if something happens to the camera so you don't have to stand there without one. 
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Travel Throwback Thursday: Rome 2016

In today's Travel Throwback Thursday, we're looking back on when I visited Rome in 2016.
I actually get reminded of this trip every day since me and my boyfriend got painted by a street artist in one of the piazzas and that painting is the first thing you see when you enter our apartment. We were there in February together with my family and enjoyed the warm weather and beautiful city. I keep on mentioning it all the time, but I just love to look at stunning buildings, and Rome was filled with them! We visited some of the main tourist attractions like Forum Romanum, Colosseum, Castel Sant'Angelo, Fontana di Trevi, the Spanish Stairs and more piazzas then I could have counted. We also spent one day in the worlds smallest country Vatican City which is located in Rome, but that deserves a completely different travel throwback! 
I think we were there for five days and I ate pizza and pasta every day, haha! Nothing beats Italian food ;)
 Castel Sant'Angelo

Damstredet & Telthusbakken - Oslo, Norway

One of the things that were on my Bucket List for Oslo was Damstredet & Telthusbakken
They are two streets north of the central parts of Oslo in an area called Gamle Aker. The special thing about these streets is there charming and picturesque wooden houses from the 1700s and the 1800s which are still well reserved. The streets are often mentioned together since they are located pretty close to each other, you can walk between them on a small trail called Kjærlighetsstien ("The Love Trail") through the allotment garden area Egebergløkka - something I would recommend doing.
Read more about my trip to Oslo
Travel Diary Day 1 - Travel Diary Day 2 - Travel Diary Day 3
We visited Damstredet first which is only a 160 meters long street but we stayed there for quite some time because I wanted to photograph every inch of it, haha. The street is cobbled and runs between Akersveien and Fredensborgveien.
Most of Telthusbakken was closed due to construction while we were there which was sort of a disappointment since I've seen so many beautiful photos of this street with the medieval church Gamle Aker Kirke in the background. The street is usually 260 meters long and at the end of the street, one of the houses have unfortunately burnt down a couple of years ago.
Quick facts about Damstredet & Telthusbakken
Name: Damstredet & Telthusbakken
Built: During the 17th and 18th century
Entrance fee: None. There are people still living in the houses so show some respect!
Location: Damstredet & Telthusbakken, Oslo
Who should visit?
People with an interest in architecture and history. Other people might not find it as fascinating.
My rating: 

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Momondo Open World Awards 2018

Last week I was invited to Momodo Open World Awards, a gala for travel-influencers.

I was there because of all you wonderful people that comments on my blog posts and likes my photos on Instagram, it was because of you I was one of the ten finalists in the category "Photography". So I would just like to start off by saying a big THANK YOU to all of you who voted for me! You voted me into the final where a jury decided the winner, and I did not win my category but I honestly didn't mind at all. Who cares if the jury choose another influencer as the winner - I already feel like a winner with all of the support I've gotten from you guys over the last couple of weeks. THANK YOU! ❤
Open World Award was founded by the hotel and travel search site Momondo to celebrate influencers who inspire to discover more and break down cultural barriers that separate people. I brought my boyfriend as my plus one and the event was held in a beautifully decorated place called Skyddsrummet in Stockholm where we started off with mingle and drinks followed by a dinner buffé. 
After that, it was time for the Award Show. There were four different categories with two winners in each, one where the jury had looked at the whole channel as a collected work and one where they had just looked at a single post. The jury consisted of travel profiles in different areas, like the producer Harald Broström, the travel journalist Johanna Jackson, the Influencer duo Swedish Nomad and Alien Chris, and Isabella Knudsen who have been working with both Red Cross and Amnesty International.
After some technical malfunction, all of the eight awards had been handed out. As I mentioned earlier I walked away without one but still felt like a winner since I think the great honour was getting voted to the final by you guys ❤ There was an afterparty after the award show but we were not in the mood for partying and left quite early. I just wanted to get home and take of the devil made things called "high heels", haha. I do not even know why I bother with them, I'm more of a sneakers or hiking boots kind of girl ;)

Check out the winners in the four different categories:

Single Post: Lydias Planet
Collected Work: Discovering the planet

Single Post: Ola Cedell
Collected Work: Everyday Explorers

Single Post: Where is Alice
Collected Work: LifeInMotion

Single Post: pwgfreestyle
Collected Work: Finally Lost 

Travel Throwback Thursday: Tallinn 2012

It's already Thursday again and today we look back on my one day visit in Tallinn 2012.
I went to Tallinn on a cruise together with my mother, brother, and grandmother so we only had a couple of hours in the Estonian capital. We spent most of the time just walking around looking at cute houses (my favorite activity when I visit a new city, haha!). Unfortunately I wasn't as good at documenting my travels back then as I am now, but I remember that we visited a little shop where you could buy things that were used in World War II (which I now even question, is that even legal to do or should those things be at a museum? Haha!) and a church tower with an amazing view over Tallinn - which I would guess was St. Olav's Church after spending some time on Google Maps ;) Here is what my trip to Tallinn in 2012 looked like:

Travel Diary: Oslo day 3

Our third day in Oslo was also our last.
Since we had such troubles finding a good breakfast restaurant the two days prior, we decided to just go downstairs to the local grocery store and buy some bread and yoghurt to eat in our apartment. After breakfast, we packed our bags and left the key to head out and enjoy our last couple of hours in Oslo.
I wanted to start the day with visiting the Opera House again since I had taken a reflection shot of myself that didn't turn out the way I wanted it to since there were too many tourists and construction work in the background (see the photo in this post) and wanted to take a new one. It appeared to be even harder this time since the sun came from a different angle so I had to give up my cool photo idea and take some other photos instead, haha.
We spent quite some time at the Opera House and sat down and watched the water for a while. There is an interesting sculpture in the water next to the Opera House called "Hun Ligger" (Translated to "She Lies") with is made of glass and changes all the time depending on the sun.
We had lunch at a pizza buffé next to the Central Station before getting on the train that was taking us back to Stockholm. Unfortunately this train, just like the one to Oslo, was also delayed and we think the air condition was broken in our carriage since felt like a sauna compared to the other carriages. Lovely, haha.
Well, we did get money back as a compensation for the delayed trains, I made it home in time to watch the final of Eurovision Song Contest and I can pat myself on the shoulder since I made a more environmentally friendly choice by taking the train instead of flying so I think it all worked out in the end.
Always stay positive!
Read more about my trip to Oslo

Travel Diary: Oslo day 2

I'm back home again but I still have two more days in Oslo to write about!
On our second day in the Norwegian capital, we started the day with localising a breakfast restaurant I had seen on Instagram, which turned out to be a huge disappointment. Let's make "Don't' judge a place by it's Instagram photos" the new "Don't judge a book by its cover", haha. Instead, we ended up at a small café in a shopping mall where we also spent some time after breakfast due to heavy rain.
When the rain had cleared a bit we headed up to Damstredet, a cobbled street with wooden houses from the first half of the 19th century which I obviously adored!
A trip to Damstredet isn't complete without also visiting the street Telthusbakken which is just around the corner and also has a lot of super cute houses. We walked between the two streets on a small trail called Kjærlighetsstien which can be translated into "The Love Trail".
After that, we walked over the bridge Åmotbrua over the river Akerselva to get to the area Grünerløkka.
We walked back to the central parts of the city and had a burger for lunch before entering Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel. We took the elevator to the top floor and had an amazing view over the city and talked about having dinner at their restaurant later, but walked away pretty fast when we saw the prices on the menu, haha! Oslo is known to be an expensive city, and I have to say that people do not exaggerate when they talk about it. Oslo IS expensive.
The view from the terrace at our apartment wasn't that bad either so we spent some time there to rest our feet after a long day of walking. The sun also came out after a cloudy morning so we had a really good time there!
Since we had ruled out dinner at Radisson we looked at the map to find a good dinner restaurant close by and found the area Sørenga just across a bridge from where we were staying.
We had been a bit disappointed at almost every meal in Oslo, but we got happy when we saw everything Sørenga had to offer! This is totally the place to go if you're looking for a restaurant in Oslo! We ended up at the Italian restaurant Cargo and sat there all evening, enjoying the sun and the view over the water - there were even people taking a dip in the water! Such a lovely evening!