One of the biggest tourist booms in the last few years has happened in Iceland. No doubt thanks to the free stopover (via Icelandair) and the new discount airlines (like WOW air), almost everyone I talk to is planning, or has just gotten back from Iceland.
I first went to Iceland in 2014, thanks to a super cheap Groupon deal with Icelandair. Icelandair does have really good deals on their website, but the Groupon basically took that deal and made it irresistible. So after finding an unsuspecting co-worker to go with me, we were off on an adventure!
As I mentioned before, I took a bit of time out of my Stockholm trip to head over to Helsinki for a day with my friend. When I originally mentioned my intention to go to Finland for a day or two, my friend jumped at the idea, suggesting we take the infamous “Party Ferry” one way. Since her husband had to work during the week, it would just be the two of us on our “girls weekend” to Helsinki.
During the planning, I came across the last minute deals on the ferry website and it turns out that they had a round trip ticket for less than the one way ticket… So we booked a whole cabin to ourselves (on the lowest deck, but we weren’t planning on spending a lot of time in the room) for a grand total of $50 USD. Yes, $25 each to spend 2 nights on a “cruise” ship.
While planning my visit with my friend, we had discussed what there was to do around Stockholm and had compiled a decent list. Of course I was a bit wary of spending a whole week in one place, so I started looking for super cheap flights that we could take… long story short (details to come) we ended up heading to Finland in the middle of my stay.
But first, there was Stockholm! For those unfamiliar, Swedes love taking coffee breaks with friends in the afternoon. They actually have made up a term for sitting and chatting with friends while having a coffee and perhaps a snack: Fika. So of course, after meeting up with my friend at the train station and dropping of my bags, it was time for fika. We ended up heading to a nearby mall, as they just outside of the centre of town. We did a bit of wandering through the mall, grabbed some necessities (like some food and wine… and some more wine) and had a quiet evening at home with some board games. Continue reading
So if you remember from one of my previous posts (Stockholm for a Whole Week!) I had a trip planned to visit my friend in Stockholm; well I’ve finally gotten around to typing up our adventures!
Firstly, the trip over went fairly well. I made all my connections, got to check out a number of lounges and made it to Stockholm just under 24 hours later 🙂 My voyage started bright and early (well not really that bright) in Vancouver as I had booked a separate ticket down to SFO to start my international trip. Luckily I was upgraded on my SEA-SFO flight (thanks Alaska!) and got a few other surprise things (free Starbucks card!) which made this a great start to my trip.
Istanbul – November 2015
Continuing on from Rome, I was off on another airplane. After an amazing, albeit short, flight on Turkish Airways, I arrived in Istanbul.
Istanbul has always seemed like such an impossible place to go. I’m not sure why it’s seemed so much further away than the rest of Europe, but it has. Turkey has always seemed more foreign and mysterious to me, but I was glad to finally have the chance to explore a new country. I had 3 days to run around the city and see the sights, including going to a new continent!
Off to Rome – November 2015
After a lot of last minute switching, my trip to Europe ended up having a 23 hours in Rome. So after a stressful day and night, I got up early to head to YVR to catch a quick shuttle flight to SeaTac in a little prop plane (Dash 8). The flight was short and fairly uneventful, although the cloud cover coming in to Seattle was impressive and I felt like we were stuck in a cloud… But we eventually broke free and landed. After a fairly long layover in Seattle, where I visited both the United Club Lounge in Concourse A and The Club at the south terminal, it was time to head off to Frankfurt.
My original plan was to fly home from Melbourne via LAX. I was very excited because I’d manage to score a first class ticket on Qantas! Unfortunately, with my change in plans, I ended up having to cancel the ticket 😦 So instead, my flight home ended up taking me back through Japan on Japan Airlines (known as JAL), luckily in Business Class. the best part about it is that you get to skip the lines at the airport! Continue reading