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    Travel // 16 Things You Need to Know Before You Go to Stockholm, Sweden

    1. Stockholm Arlanda airport is fancy. Fancy as in plants
    everywhere, shiny shiny floors, it just puts most airports that I’ve been to,
    to shame.


    2. Be prepared to spend a lot of money, Stockholm is very
    expensive. We bought 2 half baguettes, a bottle of coke and a bottle of water
    and it came to £38. £38!!!!


    3. It’s cold. Although I went at the end of the summer so I
    would have thought it would be slightly chilly. No, it was freezing. As soon as
    we walked out of the airport the Baltic blast hit us in the face so take warm
    clothing/layers.

    Things You Need to Know Before You Go to Stockholm, Sweden

    4. It’s not all cashless. Before I went, I read too many blog
    posts about how you don’t need to take cash because nowhere accepts cash. That is not true. Yeah, the bigger
    restaurants such as Wagammas and Upper Crust, DON’T. But mostly everywhere else
    did. We didn’t take much cash with us because we were advised not too (but
    drama with the money we were given as it was out of date meant that we only had
    around £50 in cash anyway) but we managed to pay for most things on card and go
    to the cashpoint if need be. Obviously check with your bank provider to make
    sure you’re aware of any charges.


    5.  read before going to Sweden that alcohol is very expensive
    and you can only buy it in special supermarkets called Systembolaget. And yup, that’s
    right. I had one glass of wine and it cost £7.81. Yup.

    6. Uber is cheap. When we arrived at the airport, we were a
    little confused about how to get to our accommodation via public transport (we
    had, had a long day). Having read that taxis are unregulated so can charge
    whatever they want, we didn’t want to get one of those, so I checked Uber. The
    journey took 1 hour and it cost us £54. Now, living in Cardiff and getting home
    after a night out would cost me around £7 for a 5/10 minute journey. Madness.


    7. The rumours are true. There are beautiful tall, blonde haired blue eyed girls everywhere. Also hunks. Hunks everywhere.


    8. The metro / Tube was the best form of transport for us.
    Although we do tend to walk everywhere, but as we were staying just outside the
    centre we got the metro into where we needed to go. You could literally just
    hop on and hop off anywhere, which for me is the best way to explore.

    Things You Need to Know Before You Go to Stockholm, Sweden9. At the airport we were advised that we could buy a Travel
    Card/pass for £15 each and that would last for 72 hours and the time would
    start from the first time you use it. I would 100% recommend this card to
    anyone that visits Sweden. It can be used on the Metro and buses. It was
    brilliant and well worth the money.

    10. You have to go to Wayne’s Coffee. Its like starbucks, one of every corner. But seriously, I had this Spinach, Feta Pasty thing and it was amazing. So amazing, that I went back to the next day and the day after that. But enough about Wayne and his awsome feta pasty


    11. Stockholm is basically made up of islands that’s all
    connected by bridges. Sounds beautiful right? It is! You can
    walk/taxi/boat/metro from one to another.

    12. Everyone speaks English. Although it is nice to pick up the important
    words from the places I travel too, it does make my life so much easier when English
    is spoken.

    13. There is Wi-Fi everywhere. Although its 2017 and having no
    data when travelling out of the UK is no more, it’s always nice when there’s Wi-Fi.

    14. Did you know that Sweden has its own Royal family? Nope, me
    neither and they do and the kind lives at the Royal Palace in Gamla Stan so be
    sure to check it out!

    15. The delicacy in Sweden for me is Meatballs (IKEA RULES!) so I
    was so disappointed with the lack of meatballs. And I was also disappointed in
    how expensive is it to eat. I am a growing women, and I need a lot of food.

    16. If you like Amsterdam for its Bikes and lack of public
    transport in the built up areas then you will love Stockholm. There are bikes everywhere,
    cute ones with little baskets on to put your dogs in. 

    This is the second in the series of the ‘Things You Need to Know Before You go to’
    Have you been to Stockholm? And is there anything you would of like to known before you went?

     ♡

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    Book Club // The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

    ★★★★
    After getting stuck in that YouTube hole that I often find myself in, I found myself watching book reviews and this was one of them.  I’m not really a sci-fi kinda gal when it comes to books, but everyone was raving about it and to be fair the cover pulled me in.
    As this book is obviously set in space, and it’s a very heavily character based book Angry Planet starts off slow, and quite a difficult to read. But I stuck it out and I ended up loving it. By slow I mean, I couldn’t keep up with all the characters and their species and what planets they were from. But as with any book, you do eventually remember who/what they are.
    From the title of the book, you know exactly what it’s about but the concept behind it, is brilliant. The characters are different religions, it has interspecies relationships and also LGBT characters.
    I know Becky Chambers has another book called A Closed and Common Orbit which on my ‘to read’ list so keep your eyes peeled.
    Has anyone read this book? Did you love it/hate it? Let me know!

     
    Click the affiliate link here to get The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet for just £4.50 and free PP!
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    Travel

    My Favourite Travel Apps

    When travelling I tend to rely on my phone
    heavily for not getting lost/planning my itinerary and there has been many
    times that an app has saved me. So through my travels I have made a note of the
    apps/website that I use.

    My Favourite Travel Apps

    Sky
    Scanner (free) –
    Out of all the apps
    mentioned this is probably my most used one. If you have never used it before,
    it basically lets you search for flights from many airline companies, so you
    can see which one fits your needs and which one is the cheapest. They also have
    a really good feature, which you can search anytime/anywhere. So if you’re
    stuck for inspiration or on a budget. Check it out!

    AirBNB (free) – After using AirBnB for
    the first time a few years ago for a trip to London, I haven’t gone back to
    hotels since. The freedom you get with AirBnB is very appealing and suits my
    needs. I like to travel on a budget, so staying in a flat/house where there is
    a kitchen, helps me budget a lot. Every time I’ve stayed in a place, I have
    booked the entire place but in a few weeks, I will be staying in just a room
    with the host being there too. Not sure how I feel about it, but it does tend
    to be a lot cheaper, so I want to test it out.

    Google
    Translate (free) –
    Google Translate does not
    have the best feedback. I have heard a lot of bad things, but I have heard a
    lot of good things. I was in a foreign country and was having difficulty
    communicating, so I researched some apps that would be good for on the go.
    Google Translate lets you take a photo of what you want to translate, lets you
    speak and also lets you write. Although the translation may not be accurate if
    kind of gives you an understanding of what you’re looking for. I personally
    like the camera option, as this is great for sign posts, menus, maps and
    basically anything.

    Uber (free) – If you haven’t heard of
    Uber by now, have you been living under a rock? My personal experience with
    Uber is a bit…meh BUT that’s because Uber in my home city Cardiff is really
    expensive, because the demand is very high and there aren’t enough drivers. It
    recently got rolled out here so it’s still pretty new, so hopefully things will
    smooth out. Anyway, I have used Uber in London, and also in Amsterdam and they
    were both great and really cheap. If you’re stuck with public transport and don’t
    want to pay a fortune for a taxi, then Uber is your guy.

    Hostel
    Tonight (free) –
    Hostel tonight is great
    if you’re unsure on where you’re going to be on a day to day basis. Basically
    the apps finds all the hotels in your area that have rooms available for that
    night at a discounted price. So if you decide to hop to another city/location
    and have nowhere to stay then this app is for you.

    Deliveroo (free) – I’m not sure how many
    cities has the Deliveroo option, but I do know the majority of the U.K does,
    Amsterdam and Spain. Deliveroo acts as a taxi service for your food, and by
    that I mean you don’t ring up your local take away and get them to deliver it.
    You use their app, pick from the high end restaurants like Wagamamas, KFC,
    Pizza Express and many, many, many more and delivers it right to your door. It’s
    great. If you’re in a city and don’t fancy going out/don’t know where you’re
    going its really good. The only downside is that you have to pay by card and
    not cash.

    XE (free) – I use XE Currency not
    just when I’m travelling but also when I’m home. Whether that be for research
    for a planned adventure or buying things online from non UK stores. This app is
    great for accurate and up to date conversions, more importantly it works when
    you don’t have signal or on aeroplane mode.

    EasyJet (free) – Although I mainly book flights through Sky Scanner, if a flight is
    cheap/perfect time and the airline is EasyJet I will also ways book through the
    EasyJet app. The app acts as your boarding pass, you can check in and you can purchase
    your seats on there. It’s great! Sometimes I worry too much about where my
    passport is, so it’s nice not having to carry around a boarding pass too.

    Wriggle (free) – For me this is a new app,
    and I have only used this once in Bristol. For some, you won’t be able to use
    Wriggle but if you’re based in Cardiff, Bristol or Brighton then I would definitely
    recommend. Unlike Deliveroo, this app acts as a kind of groupon but for
    restaurants. It will have offers on there, for example 2x chai lattes & 2 x
    chocolate brownies for £6.95 instead of £10.50. The offers will only be on
    there for a certain amount of time (couple of hours), so you have to get in
    quick and are updates regularly. What I like most about it, is that it has all
    the little quirky and (sometimes) new places on there that I have never been to
    or heard of.

    Citymapper (free) – This is a new
    one for me. I had watched a video from Raya (rayawashere) and she mentioned this
    app so I downloaded it. During my recent trip to Sweden, we had just landed at
    the airport and as we had been awake for many, many hours we were pretty tired,
    so instead of faffing about with transport we decided to see if we could get an
    uber/taxi. I love this app, it’s great for knowing how to get from A to B in any
    form of transport and how much it’s going to cost. You can also book an Uber
    through it (which is what I did). This app has now been moved in my ‘Travel’
    folder on my phone to number 2. BUT there is a limitation on the app…it’s not
    in every city. I know they have London, Brussels, Manchester, Paris, Berlin,
    Milan and many more on there so check it out! If they don’t have the city your
    looking for you can also vote for it, and more than likely they will add it.

    Other

    Been (free) – This app is great to note down where you’ve been.
    It shows you on a map basis and it also tells you how much of the world you
    have seen and you can narrow it down to, World, Europe, Asia, North America,
    South America, Oceania, Antarctica and Africa.

    My Favourite Travel Apps
    What are your favouite apps?
    I’d love to discover some more!
                              ♡                                           
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    A Small Guide to Stockholm, Sweden

    A Small Guide to Stockholm, Sweden

    Recently I visited Stockholm, Sweden with my
    boyfriend. And we were there for 4 nights, 3 days. As we were only there for a
    short amount of time, we didn’t get to see all that Stockholm has to offer, so
    here is a guide of what we did during our time there. From being in Stockholm
    when the weather was getting cold, and daylight getting shorter, you can tell
    that being there in winter will be completely different to summer
    Where to stay – We stayed in an AirBnb (for me,
    this is the best option) in Hammarbyhojden which was a 15 minute walk from
    Globen Station which then a 20 minute metro journey to the centre of Stockholm.
    For many, this may seem quite far away but if you’re on a budget and don’t mind
    exploring further out of the centre then its great! For 4 nights, it costs us
    £240.
    A Small Guide to Stockholm, Sweden
    Food & drinks – For us this was the most
    expensive part of the trip. Before heading to Scandinavia, I did a lot of
    research of what to expect/do etc. And every single post mentioned how
    expensive it was. We did want to try lots of new things and walked past some
    pretty cool places, but as we were on a budget we didn’t be adventurous! There
    was one place that we went to quite a few times and that was Wayne’s Coffee, if
    you’re struggling to find one, google map it and there probably one around the
    corner. One of the nights, we had a Wagamamas and decided to treat ourselves to
    some alcohol. We ended up paying around £20 more than what we would of if we
    were in the UK. (Small glass of wine was just under £8 and a small bottle of
    beer was £7). I was sad that we didn’t try some Swedish meatballs, because IKEA
    but if you did want to try some there’s a restaurant in Sodermalm called
    Meatballs for the People which apparently is the best in Sweden, so check that
    out!
    A Small Guide to Stockholm, Sweden
    See & do – Before heading to Sweden as I do
    with every trip I go on, I go crazy on Pinterest looking for guides and blog
    posts, so I make list of the things I wanted to do/see whilst I was there and
    we ticked off everything (apart from going on a boat island hopping – the boyfriend
    doesn’t like boats).
    Gamla Stan – Also known as Old Town. It’s like a
    real life VSCO filter, everywhere you look are beautiful buildings and Scandinavian
    goodness. Its home to the Royal Palace, lots of churches and has so many cute
    little restaurants and historic buildings to visit, and if you’re looking for
    gifts for people back home, this is where you want to be. Every time I go away,
    I always buy a souvenir for my Nan (always) and at least 2 for myself, the
    cobbled streets are littered with little quirky shops. Gamla Stan is also home
    to the oldest restaurant in the entire world.
    A Small Guide to Stockholm, Sweden
    Skansen – Skansen was founded in 1891 which makes
    it the world’s first open air museum. Skansen is 75 acres of historic
    buildings, a zoo and gardens. We didn’t actually manage to go inside as it shut
    about 20 minutes before we got there, but the surrounding areas were beautiful
    and had an amazing museum (the building was insane). Entry £13/140SEK
    Sodermalm – Sodermalm is the Jordan of Amsterdam
    aka Hipsterville. There is a lot of regeneration work going on there at the moment,
    so it was a building site and the views weren’t as glorious as the pictures. We
    only stayed near the dock on Sodermalm near the photography museum,
    Fotografiska. But further in, there are loads of cool and quirky restaurants,
    and vintage shops/warehouses.
    A Small Guide to Stockholm, Sweden
    A Small Guide to Stockholm, Sweden
    Museums – We aren’t one for museums, but we have
    the ‘if we pass one, we’ll go in’ kinda vibe. As we were wondering around the
    Royal Palace we saw a sign for the Medieval Museum and took a gander. Museum
    was free entry (always good) and it was pretty cool and had lots of interactive
    bits. They didn’t have any of the torture weapons in there (boyfriends a fan)
    but it was interesting and good for a free entry museum. We didn’t go into
    anymore as most of them had an entry fee and only accepted cash.
    Royal palace – Located in Gamla Stan, the Royal
    Palace is home to the His Majesty the King and is used for most of the monarchy’s
    royal receptions. The Palace is surrounded by guards (saw a man get shouted at
    pretty aggressively for getting too close) but some of them were happy enough
    to have photos taken. Parts of the building itself is under refurbishment and
    will take a long time to finish, but it’s a beautiful building. You can go
    insane for a small fee and see the royal apartments and other bits.
    A Small Guide to Stockholm, Sweden
    Ice Hockey – If you aren’t a fan of Ice Hockey
    then this may not be for you but near Globen they have an arena called HOVET
    which is the ice rink (and also where we saw J COLE). We watched the local team
    called Djurgardens IF play against another Swedish team. The arena was massive
    and a lot bigger than the hockey arena we have in Cardiff, the atmosphere was
    insane, so if you are ever stuck for something to do in Stockholm, go watch
    some ice hockey (and for the ladies, you really wouldn’t want to miss good
    looking Swedish men fighting on  ice,
    right?)
    Nightlife – Sweden is well known for its EDM and
    DJ’s, and has a lot of famous nightclubs, but I’m a 20 something women going on
    60 so clubbing just isn’t my thing. We did struggle with things to do in the
    night, even after some research we just couldn’t find anything. But whenever I go
    to a new place, I feel like you never truly know what it’s like until you’ve experienced
    it at night. Walking through the streets didn’t feel safe but it didn’t feel
    unsafe either. We took a walk through Gamla Stan to the famous square and my
    gosh it was even prettier at night with all the little restaurants and music.
    In Gamla Stan they offer free/paid ghost walking
    tours, but we didn’t find out until it was too late L.
    SkyView – SkyView is part of the Ericson Globe which
    is located near Globen. It’s basically a ball on the side of the building that
    takes you up to the top to see the entirety of Stockholm. £14.50/150SEK for a
    30 minute journey.

     

    A Small Guide to Stockholm, Sweden
    A Small Guide to Stockholm, Sweden
    For more pictures please check out my instagram here / amyclements
    Also check out my Stockholm Travel Diary.
     ♡
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    Book Club // Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

    “I’ve always had this deep-down conviction that I’m not like everybody else, and there’s an amazingly exciting new life waiting for me just around the corner.”

    ★★★
    I’m going to be honest here, I didn’t actually read Can You Keep A Secret? but I listened to it. I was scrolling YouTube one day and came across some free audiobooks and this was one of them. Listening to audio books is a great way to get through boring admin days in work, and I just put my headphones in and get on with it.

    Emma Corrigan works in marketing, where she works with her boyfriend Connor, has a not so close relationship with her parents and she has a lot of secrets that she wouldn’t want anyone to know. Emma has a business trip in Scotland, and on the plane journey she spills all these secrets to a stranger. But is he?
    I enjoyed this book, it was an easy read and funny at times. I grew to like Emma as a character and defintely relate to her. The story line was very predictable, I knew what was going to happen within the first few chapters but I liked the few suprises throughout. I have read a few of Sophie Kinsella’s books and all are an easy read. Are there any that you would recommend?
     ♡

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    Fforest Farm, Cardigan.

    The last time I went camping was for a festival
    in the middle of Belgium, and I’m not sure how I survived as it was THAT cold,
    so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But when we arrived and saw the place, I
    completely relaxed and knew we would have the best time that weekend and my
    gosh, we did.
    The farm consisted
    of the main Lodge which had sofas, log fire, tables and chairs, and also a
    kitchen. The Lodge is where breakfast was served every morning. The breakfast
    catered to many dietary requirements (vegetarian and vegan). Having being very
    hungover on both mornings, having a full English breakfast was just a perfect
    way to get you through the day.

    Fforest Farm, Cardigan.


    Next to the main lodge was a barn, which was used
    for the banquet hall for the wedding, it was also used for the nibbles that was
    available in the early evening. Attached to the side of the barn was the
    smallest, cutest pub ever. The pub had a log fire with cute little sofas, it
    felt so homely and something out of a movie. The pub was open until 2am.

    Fforest Farm, Cardigan. Fforest Farm, Cardigan.

    Opposite the main lodge was a tipi covered in
    many, many fairy lights (a girls dreams). The tipi was where the main ceremony
    took place and outside that was an area where you can sit around a fire, and
    also a tea/coffee/hot chocolate station. On the first night, dinner/tea was
    provided (in the tea/coffee station) which was stone baked pizzas, soup and
    some glorious bread.

    Now onto the accommodation. When we were invited, that was a variety of
    options for where we wanted to stay.
    • Domes (sleeps 2 people or a family of 4)
    • Kata Cabins (sleeps 5 people)
    • Campshacks (sleeps up to 8 people)
    • Group Tents (sleeps up to 8 people)
    • Bell Tents (sleeps 5 people)

    As there were a lot of us going, we booked a Kata
    Cabin which sleeps 5 people. The Cabin, had a decking outdoor area, which some
    sun chairs, and then a tent which had a seating bench, bins, BBQ and tea/coffee
    facilities and then a tipi with the 5 beds and a fire in the middle. The Cabin
    was lovely, and a great size for even 5 people. Although it was a little chilly
    in the night if the fire went out (although alcohol helped me through the first
    night). There were 4/5 cabins in a row through the field and as we were in
    cabin 1 we were directed next to the shower/toilets and also a Vanity room.
    Which had an iron, plug sockets which were all used to get ready in. And the
    bride and groom were also very kind to supply us with lots of cocktails in a
    can!

    Fforest Farm, Cardigan.
    Fforest Farm, Cardigan.
    Fforest Farm, Cardigan.

    Altogether we paid £414 for 2
    nights. 
    (Split 5 ways it was £82.80). For
    that amount, we had 2 nights camping, food on Friday evening, Breakfast
    on Saturday, (food at the wedding) and then breakfast on Sunday. Which, to me
    was a bargain as the food was incredible the whole weekend.

    All in all the weekend was amazing, and one that won’t
    ever be forgotten.There’s even talk about going back next year in the
    summer. AND I have to mention this for all dog lovers out there, there are
    many, many dogs roaming around the site but mainly in the lodge so be prepared
    for some cute puppas.
    I made a short video of the weekend (but none of
    the wedding because alcohol). So please go check it out!
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    A taste of Luz, Portugal (photo diary)

    A few weeks ago myself, my boyfriend and a few friends flew to Luz, Portugal. Having never been to this country before I was excited to tick it off my list.
    Praia Da Luz, located around 6km from Lagos in Algarve. Luz originated from a small fishing village, bit was transformed into a tourist location when a few villas were built.
    A taste of Luz, Portugal

    A taste of Luz, Portugal
    A taste of Luz, Portugal

    My boyfriend’s family own a villa in Luz, Portugal. Having talked about it for a while, one night the flights were booked, villa booked and the countdown began.
    The flight from Cardiff took around 2 hours and 30 minutes and the transfer from Faro airport took an hour to Luz. Flights were £75 each and the villa was £50. This was the ultimate bargain mini break.

    A taste of Luz, Portugal
    A taste of Luz, Portugal
    A taste of Luz, Portugal
    A taste of Luz, Portugal
    The villa was located around a 10/15 minute walk from the centre of the town
    where everything you needed was. Supermarkets, restaurants, cafes, pubs, gift shops and everything else a village has.
    The beach wasn’t large, but the views were insane, where you could see the clifts and the sunsets are in my top
    5 of the best sunset’s I’ve ever seen.
    As we were only there for 3 full days, we didn’t have time to go over to the
    next village Burgau. Which apparently is just as beautiful, so we are saving
    that for next time. On the 3rd day, the other went on a boat trip to see the coves and the other coast lines, which looked beautiful and only around 25euros per person for around an hour and half on the water.
    As you can see Luz was beautilful, and we are planning to go back for some winter sun.
    I hope this has inspired you to take a trip to Portugal!
    A taste of Luz, Portugal
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