I travel, I shoot

Hongkong | Around the city in 2 days

Less than a year living in Sweden and we were on our way again to visit the Philippines! We could have went all the way straight but we thought that it could be fun to visit at least one Asian county before Cebu so we decided to stay in Hongkong for 3 nights. Travel time wise there was not much of a difference, we still had to endure 20+ hours of flying and waiting to get to Hongkong from Sweden. When we arrived, we immediately bought the octopus card for it is apparently very useful in Hongkong and the remaining balance can be refunded after the trip for a fee of 9%. We took A21 bus from the airport going to our hotel and we were told by the driver that our stop has passed when we asked so we went down and started walking with our luggage. Along the way, a lot of foreign people (non Chinese) were offering us a room to stay and they were everywhere in Nathan road. After going through what felt like a maze, we finally reached our hotel.

What we did:

We played lost tourists as usual. We had 2 full days in Hongkong and as always we do not have a detailed itinerary of the trip. We set 1 or 2 places to visit and we are done, the main goal is always just to get a feel of the city we are visiting, try local food and not be stressed with a piece of paper.

“It is in getting lost that we sometimes see the beautiful unknowns.” – #thegumbschstravel

The first day was wet. It was raining and not just raindrops but it was as if somebody was pouring buckets of water from the sky. We went out for breakfast and was a bit disappointed because of the heavy rain but to make the most out of the situation we thought we do indoor activities instead. After breakfast we bought a tram card day pass and headed to the Central. We were walking around the mall called Landmark and were feeling poor with all the branded and expensive boutiques we passed by. We checked the window and noticed that the rain has stopped. Since the tram peak was walking distance (everything is if you have the time) from where we were we took the chance.

  1. Took the tram to Victoria Peak – We were lining like everyone else to the ticket counter to buy the ticket only to be told to go directly to the entrance because we had the octopus card. We proceeded to the entrance, tapped the card and took the tram all the way up. Half of our view was covered by fog though, I bet it looks a lot better on a sunny day.  

  2. Walked to the Avenue of the Stars – Our hotel was not too far from the Avenue of the stars so it was easier to visit. We managed to be here before and during the dark sky. 

  3. Rode the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car – I am scared of heights, just looking at the cable car and imagining myself in there makes my heart beat faster and my knees shake. I was not so convinced of the idea but the assurance from my ex boyfriend that it will be fine because the cars are from an Austrian company (yes this is true) helped me get over the fear by an inch. We took a one way ticket just in case I chicken out after the first ride. It was not bad, not at all. In fact, I enjoyed the cable car I can ride it again!  

  4. Climbed 268 steps to get up close and personal with the Big Buddha – It was not too high but I still had to take a few stops to catch my breath. After the Big Buddha, we took the bus going to the tram station and it was fun to try another route going back. 

     

  5. Shopped for my new iPad – I have always wanted to buy a newer one for my 2nd hand iPad mini before was getting slower for my games and it only had 16GB of memory. I have checked out stores in Sweden and was only aiming for a 32GB because it was affordable for me but decided to buy it when we are back from the holiday. When I checked the apple store in Hongkong, the amount it costs to buy a 128GB iPad is the same as that of a 32GB in Sweden so of course I took the chance. Apparently, it is tax free there that’s why it was a lot cheaperIMG_5684
  6. Wandered around the streets of Hongkong and got lot lost a few times – This is why we do not have an itinerary, we end up getting lost anyway :P.
    Hongkongs skyscrapers are fun at the same time scary to look at for someone who has fear of heights like me. It seemed like there is always a tall building everywhere we looked.
     

Where we stayed:

We stayed at Butterfly on Prat for 3 reasons:

  1. Good reviews online.
  2. Reasonable rate.
  3. Location.

Review: We love the hotel. Should we decide to go back we will stay here again. They did not have the breakfast option but it is not much of a deal for they are located to where a lot of food shops are.

Butterfly on Prat has:

  • Friendly staff.
  • Beautiful, clean rooms.
  • Close proximity to a lot of restaurants and small eateries.
  • Close proximity to the tram stop.
  • Close proximity to the bus stop going to the airport.
  • A mobile phone with internet for their guests to use in going around the city.

 

Where we ate:

In this trip, never in a fancy restaurant. Food in Hongkong can be expensive but it can also be affordable if you aim for the cheaper places like we did. We loved our food and we did not have to pay too much. Dimsum is heaven!

 

I travel, I shoot

Gothenburg | Botanical Garden

I have never been to the Botanical Garden so we decided to pay it a visit. It was cherry blossoms season and I saw a lot of posts in instagram taken from the garden so I found another good reason to go.

Pay the entrance

There is nobody by the gate to collect the entrance fee so one can easily ignore it and get in for free, but how selfish is it to only enjoy the place and not help in maintaining it. Drop the money or swish it away!

DSCF6043

Appreciate the flowers

Twenty kronor entrance fee and we got so much more than what we paid for and expected. The garden was blooming! We were greeted by flowers in the entrance and everywhere else and it was fascinating to see tulips from the ground and not wrapped in a paper or in a bouquet like how I normally saw them in the flower shops back home.

Never miss the viewpoint

There are signs inside the garden including directions going to the viewpoint. It is not too high but you will walk on rocks to reach the top. It could get slippery when wet so watch out. From the viewpoint you could see the city including the fountain from Slottskogen if it is on. The view from here is spectacular because you will see that a huge part of the city is still green. This is one of the many reasons why I love Gothenburg.

Walk around

Walk and take pictures, the garden is beautiful and clean.

Rest, nap or play

A normal view in Gothenburg on a sunny, warm day is people in the parks or gardens having picnics or just hanging around enjoying the sun. The Botanical Garden is not an exemption, a lot of people go here just to relax under a tree or have a picnic while the warmth lasts.

Har du besökt botaniska trädgården? Vad tycker du? (Have you visited the botanical garden? What do you think?)

I travel, I shoot

Gothenburg | A bit of Hisingen

Hisingen is one of Sweden’s biggest islands and it is connected to Gothenburg centrum by a bridge. The closest I have ever been to the island was when I went to Backaplan, an area with quite a lot of shops and I was there to shop of course. I have never explored it that much for it has always been out of way for me when going home, so one sunny yet windy Saturday I dragged my husband to get to see a bit of Hisingen.

Take the boat!

Instead of taking the tram or bus we decided to take the boat that stops at Lilla Bommen. The boat ticket is the same cost as the tram and it is like a DIY hop on hop off only that we only hopped off twice. The good thing about being in the boat is you get to see the side of Gothenburg city from the ocean, a different yet beautiful perspective. I suggest going to the boat’s open area normally on top so you get a good view and take better pictures. You can also take your bike to the island if you want, the boats have a place for them.

Walk around!

Since it is an island, there are pedestrian lanes by the ocean and there is nothing better than exploring the area by foot. You feel the wind and smell the ocean while walking around and you can stop anytime and maybe sit down and worship the sun or just relax.

If you have not been in this part, it will be a good idea to do so. Something to explore on a free day.

Jag kommer tillbaka här snart! (I will come back here soon!)

I travel, I shoot

Gothenburg | Saltholmen

Sunny day on a red day Thursday so we decided to head over to Saltholmen to be a little close to the ocean, to smell the salty air and enjoy the warmth of the sun. Saltholmen is tram 11’s end stop and you can take it from the central station. As expected, the tram is packed and we were standing for a good 30 minutes from Järntorget. It is also the gateway to the different islands in Gothenburg, there are boats going to the archipelagos where people have their summer houses as well so you can imagine it can be really tight and warm inside tram 11 on a sunny day. Saltholmen can also be reached by bike because there is a bike lane all the way through, this is probably something I can do with friends during summer.

When we reached the Saltholmen tram stop we did take a boat to the islands for it was not part of the plan and we have to meet our friend for lunch. We only explored the area and relaxed a bit by the ocean. We walked around passing by the different docked yachts and drooled over them. We stayed there for maybe 90 minutes just walking around, relaxing and of course taking pictures. Saltholmen is easy to go to and cheap, you only need a tram ticket to get there.

Väl värt ett besök! (Well worth a visit!)

I live, I share, I travel, I shoot

Gothenburg | Cherry Blossoms

When I hear cherry blossoms I think of Japan mainly because when I see pictures of this beautiful tree it is always taken in Japan. This association has then changed when I first laid my eyes on a cherry blossom tree close to where we live and was told by my father in law that there are a lot more in Järntorget! What a relief, I don’t have to go to Japan! 😛

If you live in Gothenburg don’t miss the cherry blossom trees at Järntorget, they are beautiful!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

I travel, I shoot

Halland | Fjärås Bräcka + Tjolöholm

‘Staycation’ is probably the perfect term to use every time I stay over my in-laws place for it does feel like a vacation. Both cook restaurant like food, looks good and tastes even better. Jättegott! I sleep as long as I want, I get fika and when the weather is not so bad my father-in-law drives me around the county for me to explore and take photographs. I am their favorite daughter-in-law, they only have one son.

This Easter, I decided to have another staycation since my husband works anyway. Kungsbacka is about 30 minutes train ride from Gothenburg city so it isn’t that far actually. I arrived on a Friday and as always I was greeted with delicious food on the table. This time around, both of them only speak Swedish to me for they assumed that I already have the skills. I was focusing too much and trying to understand what they say.  I have never been too exhausted since I arrived in Sweden but it helped build the confidence!

On Saturday, we drove to Fjärås Bräcka to see if the flowers called Backsippa (Pasque flower) have bloomed yet. Unfortunately they have not. It is maybe because the weather is still cold and not spring like. Close to the area lies the biggest lake in Halland county called Lygnern. This is the largest lake in the Halland Country and serves as source of drinking water for Kungsbacka.

DSCF5936
Lygnern lake

This road by the lake is closed for cars.DSCF5935

Ponds of drinking water. The water here is pumped from the lake and filtered with pipes underground. From the ponds the water sinks down through and when the filtering process is done it is then pumped up to the households.

DSCF5941
Ponds of drinking water

142 steps down. This was used in the old times by travelling people, there used to be a railway station below the long staircase.

DSCF5934

The Kolera Cemetery. Residents of Fjärås who died during an epidemic in 1834 are buried here.

DSCF5953
Kolera cemetery

Li grave-field is Halland’s largest grave field.

DSCF5958
Li Grave field

After Fjärås, we drove to Tjolöholm to see more of the area other than the castle.

 

The Tjolöholm church was built in 1903-04. It has been unused for 40 years and was reopened in 1994.

DSCF5976
Tjolöholm church

The workers village are filled with red houses, a typical Swedish house in the old times. Today, these are available for rent.

DSCF5974
The workers village

A cottage located beside the castle’s former main gates.

DSCF5966
Fairy tale cottage – The gate house
DSCF5968
The gate

I am missing the red leaves on the wall, they did not survive the winter.

DSCF5986
The castle

DSCF5983

There were quite a lot of people at Tjolöholm slott because of Easter so after going around we drove back home and guess what was waiting for me? A delicious lunch! #spoileddaugherinlaw

 

 

I live, I share, I travel, I shoot

Gothenburg | Statue Walk

I found these mini cards in the hotel with short, precise information about the tourist spots in Gothenburg and I think it’s a great idea to have them hanging in hotels. Some of the cards offers discounts to city activities as well so it is perfect for tourists. I have 2 favorite mini cards, one is the statue walk and the other is the sculpture walk. Each walk is estimated to be completed in 1.5 hours if you follow the map. Today, I dragged my husband to do the statue walk and my plan was to take the trams to make it fast and easy but my husband refused to. ‘No cheating, we walk because it is a statue walk for a reason’, he said. I walk slow and stop a lot to take other pictures, so after 2.5 hours we were done, an hour more than it it supposed to. It is not entirely spring weather in Sweden yet so it was cloudy and foggy during the walk. The good thing though is I can skip the layers of clothes and use a thinner coat, it is not freezing outside anymore.

DSCF5824
The mini card for the tour.

So here it is, the famous statues in Gothenburg.

  1. Gustav II Adolf’s Statue. Bengt Erland Fogelberg (1854).
    Address: Gustaf Adolf’s Torg (On the Square)DSCF5760
  2. Skärgårdsfiskare (The Fishers) Svenrobert Lundquist (2003/04).
    Address: Fisktorget vid Feskekörka (at the “Fish Church”)DSCF5773
  3. Karl IX:s Ryttarstaty (Horse Statue) John Börjeson (1904).
    Address: KungsportsplatsenDSCF5777
  4. John Ericsson Statue. Ingel Fallstedt (1899).
    Address: At the northern end of Kungsportsavenyn (between Nya Allen and Parkgatan)DSCF5779
  5. Karin Boye Statue. Peter Linde (1987).
    Address: In front of the City Library (Stadsbiblioteket)DSCF5785
  6. Poseidon med brunnskar. Carl Miles (1931)
    Address: At GötaplatsenDSCF5787
  7. Danserskorna (The Dancers). Carl Miles (1952)
    Address: Göteborg’s Konsthall (the Art Gallery)DSCF5793
  8. Vingarna (The Wings), Carl Miles (1916/1940)
    Address: At the Göteborg’s Art Museum on GötaplatsenDSCF5803
  9. När Vänskapsbanden knytes (Friendship). Wälino Aaltonen (1955)
    Address: Näckrosdammen (The pond)DSCF5804
  10. Ingo – the Champ. Peter Linde (2011)
    Address: In front of the arena Nya UlleviDSCF5810
  11. Gunnar Gren Statue. Jan Steen (1993)
    Address: In front of the arena Gamla UlleviDSCF5817
  12. Evert Taube Statue. Eino Hanski (1996)
    Address: Jussi Björlings Plats next to the OperaDSCF5713