Weekend in Berlin

November 11th, 2008 by UFO in Traveling

People from the ESN (Erasmus Student Network) organized for us a trip to Berlin, the capital city of Germany. It was quite a large trip, over 130 people attended. On Friday morning (6.45, so maybe it still is night) we sat down into the buses and started our 10 hour journey. Along the way we stopped at the border shop to buy some stuff. The prices were much lower than in Odense, so many people bought a lot of beer and/or other kind of alcohol.

After the arrival to Berlin we checked in to the hostel next to the zoo train station. It was a very good spot, because it is situated almost in the centre of the city. Then we went to the city. At first we walked to the Victory Column, then we continued to the Brandenburg Gate. There we split up, everybody was very hungry. Our small group (me, Ignas, Rob and Christian) finally ended in McDonald's at the Alexander Platz (it is really not near, check the map).

Our next stop was a near pub. I do not remember its name, but I remember that they were brewing their own beer. It was very good, we drank about 13 litres of it :-P. On the way home we took a train, so it was much more comfortable than walking.

To wake up the next morning was very terrible experience, but after breakfast I was more or less all right. On that day we were walking about the city. We saw many interesting places like Potsdamer Platz, Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Checkpoint Charlie and some other. We also visited the Berlin TV tower. It was really a magnificent view from that, although the weather was a little foggy.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Sunday was the day we were supposed to leave. When we arrived to the assembly point, only one bus instead of two was there. Couple minutes passed and we got to know that the second bus was stuck on the ferry and was not coming. So the driver of the other bus made some calls and after a half hour we sat down into the „Berlin City Tour“ bus. Unfortunately, this bus could not cross the Danish border, so we needed to change, but that was just a little detail.

I really enjoyed the weekend in Berlin and I am looking forward to similar trips.


Back to Odense

October 20th, 2008 by UFO in Traveling

I am finally back in Odense. The journey has been quite long, 11 hours in total. I traveled its first part (Lappeenranta → Helsinki) in Pendolino train. Actually, it was two Pendolino trains in one, but still it was not enough for all the people. I tried to buy a seat reservation, but the train was hopelessly full.

Pendolino trains in Finland is better comparing to the Czech Republic. It is not only used as the eye candy, but as the fast mean of transport. On tracks between Lahti and Helsinki we went at speed of 220 km/h, that is something Czech railways can only dream of.

I flew with this, Embraer E-170

Rest of the journey was more or less all right. At the Copenhagen airport I just ran into the first train I saw and than discovered that it is a right one :-).

During the week holiday I traveled over 2100 km by trains and 1850 km by planes. I really liked it and I think it is not my last visit to Finland.

Lappeenranta, Helsinki, Lahti

October 19th, 2008 by UFO in Traveling

On Thursday I was just relaxing and did not want to travel anywhere, so I stayed in Lappeenranta. After we woke up, we decided to have only a little breakfast and take a walk along the lake to the university for lunch. The weather was not so good for taking marvellous pictures, but at least it was not raining. When we finished our lunch, Pavel stayed in school for some lectures or laboratories and I walked to the lake again to enjoy the nature.

Pavel in the forest near Lappeenranta lake

On that day I went to sleep relatively early, because I wanted to take a train to Helsinki at 8:35. As I sat down in the train, I fell asleep and woke up at the Helsinki main station. What a pleasant journey :-). In the city I walked a lot around the centre. I also visited the National museum and took the boat to the fortress of Suomenlinna.

Helsinki cathedral

The last city I visited during my trip to Finland was Lahti. I traveled there because I was interested to see the ski jumps. Again, I walked slowly around the centre and went to see the harbour. I did also a little bit hiking in the hills near the ski jumps area.

Ski jumps in Lahti


Visit to Joensuu

October 15th, 2008 by UFO in Traveling

Just after noon, I took a InterCity train to Joensuu. After two and half hours long ride (and enjoying the view Finnish nature) I was finally there.

I had three hours until my return train departure. The city centre is not so large, so I needed just two hours to walk everywhere, had lunch at „Mr. Bob coffee“ :-) and do some shopping.

It was a really nice trip, although spending 5 hours in a train was a little bit tiring.


Photos: Dinner

October 14th, 2008 by UFO in Traveling

Today in the evening we had a little dinner with a dessert. I made some photos, so here they are.


Journey to Finland

October 14th, 2008 by UFO in Traveling

The holiday just began, so I decided to spend it by visiting my friend Pavel in Lappeenranta, Finland. On Monday morning, just before 6 o'clock, I left Réka's place (thank you again for keeping me there :-D) and began my journey.

At the train station I encountered a small problem, the ticket machine rejected to accept my credit card. After a few tries I hardly find 20 kr in coins to buy at least a ticket for half of the way. When I was changing to the metro I bought the ticket for the other half. At the airport everything was all right, I was just tired.

When I arrived to Helsinki airport, I went directly to the baggage claim. I was very lucky, because my baggage was among the first that came out of the conveyor belt. They didn't care so much about proper handling, so my suitcase looked like they tossed it out of the airplane just before landing. At least, it was not lost :-D.

My next stop was Tikkurila station, the closest station to the airport. I came to the ticket office and said that I would like to buy a InterRail ticket for Finland. She just looked me and said: „Noo, we don't sell it here, go to Helsinki.“ Ok, fine. So I went to Helsinki and I knew that I need to be very quick, otherwise I would not catch the train to Lappeenranta. Fortunately I managed to buy it and catch the train with a large time reserve (between 4 and 5 minutes :-D).

Pavel at Lappeenranta train station

When I got off the train and met Pavel, I decided to take a bus instead the long walk. The problem with buses is, that they will not stop unless you push the stop button. But that is quite difficult if you do not know where exactly you should get off. Pavel had a bicycle, so I needed to go alone. When the bus came, he explained everything to the driver and told him to notify me when my station is near.

Just after Pavel left, the driver changed with another one. What a nice surprise! I tried to describe it to the new one more or less the same way as I had heard before. The driver said: „fine, I will tell you.“ But that never happened and when I asked how far it was, she just responded: „Oh, I forgot about you, but I am going back in a while and I will tell you for sure this time“. At least I had a great opportunity to do sightseeing and take a nice shortcut through the terminus station. On the way back I saw Pavel on the bike, he was waving at me. I interpreted it in a way that I should got off on the next station. Wrong again :-). Then I just stopped and did not move, I did not want to be lost more than I had been. When Pavel found me, we just laughed to my traveling luck while walking to the dormitory for another 15 minutes.

Anyway, I came to Lappeenranta at the right time, because in the evening there was a „Swiss party“. Bunch of Swiss people were making a lot of specialties. It took place in a cottage near the lake. There was many people to meet. The food was just delicious, the beer was drinkable. We even went to warm up to the sauna and then jump to the cold lake that had around 5 degrees. I really enjoyed the evening and I am looking forward what will happen in the rest of the week.


Trouble with Finnair

September 2nd, 2008 by UFO in Traveling

In the middle of October I am going to pay a visit to my friend Pavel to Lappeenranta, Finland. Yesterday I tried to book and pay for the flight tickets from Copenhagen to Helsinki on the Finnair's site. Everything seemed fine, but after a while I received both email and sms that my credit card payment cannot be processed and I should contact Finnair help desk or my reservation will be automatically cancelled in 24 hours.

I didn't want to call there, so I waited a day and tried again today. Again at first it seemed fine, no sms or no email with description of faliure. But after several minutes, I was in the exact position as I was yesterday. So I said to myself I would call the help desk.

I bought, for the first time, a €10 skype credit (with a credit card Finnair wasn't able to accept :-D) and made a call. After approximately three minutes long talk with some Finnish woman I finally achieved something… to cancel my reservation.

I was really pi**ed off, so I decided to try it another way, through Czech company „Královna“. Under five minutes I had my ticket, booked and paid for. The price was a little bit higher (+€5), but at least it was without any problems.

Now I am only looking forward to this trip.

Trip to Sweden

August 18th, 2008 by UFO in Denmark, EILC, Traveling

Yesterday we took a journey to Sweden. It was very spontaneous, we decided to do so during the breakfast. So after we finished eating, we packed our things and headed towards Malmö (by two cars, ten people).

Oresund bridge was really spectacular! It definitely is a masterpiece among the bridge constructions. Its only drawback is the price for passage, cost for one car is 260 kr. (one-way).

Our first stop was Malmö. We just walked throughout the city streets and looked at the stuff served at stands there. Since we had not any Swedish money, we just looked and smelled all the delicious things. After we were tired of walking, we sat down into Burger King and had very healthy lunch.

After the lunch we drove do Trelleborg. We just stopped there to see the beach and then continued along the coast to Ystad.

Ystad is a small, but quite beautiful town. We enjoyed our stroll there and bought some food in local „Jednota“ (coop) store. I was very suprised when I found out that they sold Staropramen (as a Czech premium beer), but for 12,50 kr. per 0,33 liter bottle.

In the evening we stopped at some beach for a while and then headed back home. It was a very nice day.