Monday, 18 July 2022

Stockholm in three days Part 3- Stockholm City Library


Stockholm is a very beautiful city and full of history, If you like city breaks this place is a must visit. You can easily cover all the sites over three days and if you haven't read my Stockholm day 1 and Stockholm day 2, I highly recommend you check these posts out . I have covered how you can stay on a budget and explore the city without breaking the bank.

On our third and last day in Stockholm we had half a day to explore the city before making our way to the airport for our late afternoon flight. After breakfast we packed and checked out of out hostel. We were able to store our luggage at the hostel as we set off to explore more of Stockholm. 


Our first stop was the Observatorielunden a park very close to Drottninggatan. It is set upon the hill top, with an observatory that dates back to 1700 century. there is a cafeteria and ample seating so you can enjoy the calmness only a stones throw from the city centre. 


Not far from the Observatorielunden, only a short walk away is the famous Stockholm Central public library. You will wonder what is so special about it? 


The Stockholm Public Library was created by Gunnar Asplund. He was a world-famous architect and he designed this beautiful library, the design is called a Swedish Grace. 


The spiraling book shelves on several floors house thousands of literature. Just walking around these corridors and feeling the books is an experience in its self.


After the library we walked into town and stumbled across a flea market. We obviously had to stop and take a look.Those of you who know me I have prop obsession as I also write a food blog so the Flea market was a good find. I found some pretty vintage spoons to bring home.


All the sight seeing and walking makes you hungry. It was time for another fika, Swedish coffee and cake stop but we were very tempted by the amazing pancakes at Choijs Pancakes We gave in and ordered two pancakes. Greedily as we ploughed through them we had to admit defeat as neither of us could manage to finish our plates.

After a final look in the shops we had to collect our luggage and make way to the airport for our flight home. If we had had more time we would have loved to visit Vasa Museum, set up from the only 17th century ship that was salvaged. You can visit this museum together with entrance to the Vrak a museum about wrecks. For the ABBA fans, a visit to the ABBA Museum is a must and of course for those who like  photography the  the museum of Fotografiska, photography museum is another one not to miss. It is set in the custom house showcasing contemporary art.

Our three day city break to Stockholm was really enjoyable.There were many things we would have liked to do and places to visit which we hope we can do next time we go to Stockholm.

If you are planning on visiting Stockholm do check out all three posts below and also the vlogs about our trip.


Check out my Stockholm Day 1 and Stockholm day 2 and our vlogs below:

Stockholm in Three Days part 1

Stockholm in Three Days part 2

Vlogs 

Stockholm Day 1


Stockholm Day 2


Stockholm Day 3



Top tips for installing a garden fence




Finally in the UK we are getting some warm sunshine. It is the perfect opportunity to spend time outdoors in the garden. Vitamin D is really good for your health, body and mind. We love dining out doors and relish every opportunity to spend time in our garden. That's why its important to ensure that our garden is clean and tidy and well kept and that we have privacy too.



A home’s boundaries are an important thing to have to separate your space from your
neighbours, as well as creating a strong sense of security. While a hedge seems attractive
and a good solution, they can take up to several years to grow. A stone wall can also be a
good choice to surround your home, although it can become quite costly. Fence posts tend
to be the go-to solution as they can be found at affordable prices and installed in a matter of
days. Here are some tips on how to install a garden fence.

1. The first thing to scan the area that you’d like to install the fence in. Check for
anything that could be damaged whilst installing and figure out if you’ll need to
access someone else’s property to get the job done. There is no right or wrong time
to do it but avoiding very hot, cold or wet conditions are best.

2. Figure out the materials you may need to get the fence up securely. These could be
from tape measures, screws, drills, hammers, fence panels to even cement mix. Do a
good amount of research so you can get the work done quick.




3. Remove any rocks, plants or debris from the area you’re going to be installing the
fence in to ensure it sits well in the ground. Mark down an area with string to ensure
your fence is straight and not wonky which won’t be pleasant to the eye.

4. Dig holes deep enough to hold your fence up strong and follow that by marking out
positions and creating holes for the remaining fences.

5. Consider a gravel board to allow water to flow away instead of being soaked up by
the wood before lowering your fence into place. You may need assistance for this
part.

6. Secure your fence well and consider applying a protective paint to the fence to
ensure it stays in better condition for a longer period of time.



**Collaborative Post


Sunday, 17 July 2022

The benefits of piling foundations for your property


Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash

We have been recently searching for a new property but the property prices are really high for what we want. We have started to look at other options such as moving out of London to the suburbs as property is cheaper and also purchasing a smaller property that has ample land with a scope to extend. This option was recommended to us by our estate agent and we are seriously looking into it as it means we can initially move into a smaller property and when we can afford it we have the opportunity to extend. 

We thought this was an option to consider.  The agent gave us some information and details about property extensions and this is when we discovered about piling foundations.



What are Piles Foundation?

Piles foundations are long poles made from wood, concrete or steel. The art of piling dates back centuries when these poles were placed under homes to build a sturdy foundation. With the need for more housing becoming a bigger issue and the lack of strong land to build them on, piling foundations is becoming well needed. Here are some reasons why piling foundations for your property may be beneficial.

Why Use Piles Foundation?

Homes tend to be heavy and in consistent use. Many find a home and choose to live in them for a relatively long period of time which means having a home with a strong foundation is a necessity. Piling allows a high weight capacity and can allow foundations to hold extremely heavy buildings easily. Pilings are generally installed by professionals and are specified so that won’t be a concern. 

Many areas of land that could be homes to new buildings are made up of weak soil which doesn’t allow work to take place. However, with ground investigation being done, it can be determined what is needed to help this. Piling tends to be a great way to transform weak soil to be able to hold strong and weighted buildings.

They are a good way to create a neat piece of work as pile foundations are built deep in the ground and are not visible later on. Best of all, piling can be done anywhere, especially in areas that can’t really be drilled, which is why they are becoming a common method for building strong foundations. 

How easy is to Install Piling Foundation?

They can also be installed in any area in long lengths. This is great for someone who would potentially look at creating a new home from scratch in an area that may be difficult to build on. Lastly, the sizing for piling is pre-made in factories which make construction much faster and easier. 

We are happy to have learnt about this option and will definitely consider it as our property search continues.

*Collaborative Post


Thursday, 14 July 2022

Stockholm in three days Part 2- Stock Old Town and Gamla Stan


In my previous post you read all about my first day in Stockholm, the journey from the airport, checking in to our hostel and a tour of the hostel. Today I am going to share what we did on day two of our three day trip to Stockholm.

The hostel beds were really comfy and after a good nights sleep we were ready for an early start on our second day in Stockholm. We enjoyed a simple breakfast of cereals, fruits and tea after which we took a short leisurely walk from our hostel which is very conveniently located near the bus station to the old town. We had booked two walking tours with Nordic Freedom Walking Tours. The tours are approximately two hours long and are free to book, all they ask for is a donation at the end so that they can fund more tours for the tourists. The guides conduct the tours in several languages. This is a very inexpensive way to see Stockholm and take in some history if you are travelling on a budget.


We arrived at the meeting point for our first tour of Stockholm city. Our first stop was The House of Nobility. It is a corporation and a building that maintains records and acts as an interest group on behalf of the Swedish nobility. We walked past the The Parliament House, the Riksdag. It is located on nearly half of Helgeandsholmen, in the Gamla Stan district of central Stockholm. 


We also visited The Royal Palace of Stockholm, it is His Majesty The King's official residence and is also the setting for most of the monarchy's official receptions, open to the public year round. You can purchase tickets to view the inside. The palace has many interesting things to see. In addition to the Royal Apartments there are three museums: the Treasury with the regalia, the Tre Kronor Museum  and Gustav III's Museum of Antiquities.


During the walk, it was interesting to hear the guide narrate the story of Margaret Krook a well known artist, whose Statue is erected on the corner of the Royal Dramatic Theater at Nybroplan. There is a heated coil that runs through her body as she always insisted that statues are cold and she did not want a statue of hers that was cold, hence the heated coil was run through the statue erected in her memory after her death.

 


After our tour we were famished so we found a vegetarian/vegan restaurant called Hermitage. The cafeteria style restaurant offers a buffet system and the choice and variety of food was amazing. I would highly recommend it if you visit Stockholm. 

After a really delicious and filling lunch we decided to check out the shops. Most are Swedish style, very clean very modern and European. Sweden is not cheap so we limited our shopping to a few souvenirs only. 


After our lunch we joined our second walking tour of the old town Gamla Stan, the original city center. It is made up of Stadsholmen island and the islets of Riddarholmen, Helgeandsholmen and Strömsborg. The old town is packed with cafés, restaurants, tourist shops, studios, galleries and museums, including the Nobel Prize Museum and the Post Museum.


This walking tour was really enjoyable as there were lots of cobbled streets and very picturesque buildings. We walked down Swedens narrowest street Marten Trotzigs. They say that if you walk along it with your arms extended touching the walls on the right and the left and make a wish it is going to become real. 


We finished our walking tour at Stortorget public square. We enjoyed taking photos of Schantzska House and Seyfridtzska House the famous coloured buildings.



After our walking tour, we enjoyed a Fika which is very common in Sweden where you stop for a coffee and cake and enjoy a chat with your friends and watch the world go by.

Our walking tours in Stockholm were most enjoyable but also very tiring. After some relaxing back at out hostel we went out for an enjoyable dinner at Indian restaurant Saffran. Another good find so I would highly recommend a visit there is you visit Stockholm.


In the Next blog I will cover our Day three. Watch this space. If you missed my Stockholm day 1 you can read it here:

Stockholm in Three Days part 1

You can check out our vlogs here:


Sweden Stockholm Day 2: 

Stockholm City Tour for Free of the Old Town and Gamla Stan!


Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Scandic Hamburg Emporio

 


I recently attended the ReBoot22 Conference hosted by Traverse Events in Hamburg. The conference was all about creativity within your work, recharging ones energy to help you work better and being more productive. The conference spanned over four days Friday to Monday. On the Friday and Monday, we enjoyed days out to explore Hamburg which were arranged by Traverse. 



On the Saturday and Sunday, there were hands on lectures and practical sessions hosted by some amazing speakers on a variety of topics. The evenings were time to mingle and party at various different venues in and around Hamburg.

is the second largest city of Northern Germany and it is also one of Europe’s third largest ports. It is connected to the North Sea by the Elbe River and throughout Hamburg there are many rivers and canals and over 2500 bridges. It is a very green city with lots of parkland and open spaces.



Hamburg boasts a rich architectural heritage; the city is also home to iconic venues such as the Elbphilharmonie and Laeisszhalle concert halls. 



Their designs are simply stunning and the views from the roof top of the Elbphilharmonie  are spectacular.



Getting around Hamburg is easy; there is the Hamburg Metro which is an underground transport system known as U Bahn. It has 4 major lines that are colour coded and 91 stations.



There are plenty of hotels and hostels in Hamburg to suit all tastes and budgets. During my stay, I stayed at the Scandic Hamburg Emporio.



I found the Scandic Hamburg Emporio very centrally located and it is very close to the Gänsemarkt Station, this makes it the perfect place to stay if you want to explore Hamburg. The hotel has the option of bicycle rental in cooperation with Hamburg City Bicycles to allow you to get around Hamburg and explore by bike.



The hotel is very contemporary in design, but what I was totally impressed with was their commitment to sustainability. The Scandic Hamburg Emporio has taken various actions to make a difference. They have a water design theme around the hotel to show this and focus on taking measures to reduce water wastage. All the water is filtered, carbonated and chilled in the hotel to save 160 tons of CO² by eliminating transportation. Guests are encouraged to reuse towels where appropriate and additionally, in order to reduce unnecessary water waste and laundry costs, the restaurants do not use table cloths.



Scandic pays attention to the careful use of resources by using green energy from renewable sources. You will find that throughout the hotel, there is energy saving lighting and motion sensors which avoid unnecessary use of electricity.



The hotel decor is bright and airy; all the rooms are eco rooms which are very spacious and have real wood flooring, an ensuite shower and toilet. The rooms have a mini bar, kettle with tea and coffee making facilities and a fridge, therefore it is perfect to enjoy a drink whilst spending time in the room.  You will find everything you need in your room such as; a hair dryer, ironing board and iron and also shampoo and shower gel in refillable dispensers. All the rooms have bins with compartments for separating the waste for recycling.

At breakfast, there is a huge variety of food on offer.  The self-serve buffet has options of continental, cold and hot foods, together with cereals, breads, fruits and juices. The hotel sources seasonal and organic products and supports fair trade. 


I was really impressed that there was a gluten free section too and plant based milks and yoghurts for those guests with dietary needs. Sustainability does not stop there, I was amazed to learn that the oils as well as fats used in the hotel kitchens are converted to second-generation biodiesel via Refood and food waste is converted to biogas. 

 


During our stay we had the pleasure of having the free mini bar that was replenished daily and we also had the use of the living room on the seventh floor.The living room has a private work space and kitchen facilities with drinks and snacks available throughout the day. It was perfect for those guests that want peace and quiet to work or relax and get a bite to eat without having to go down to the main restaurant.



To continue their support in sustainability, in the ArtRooms on the 7th and 8th floors, guests use toilet paper from the non-profit company Goldeimer and support the sanitation projects and work of Viva con Agua with their purchase. Every Scandic hotel commits to supporting charitable projects each year.



The hotel has conference rooms with facilities for hosting meetings too. For those that enjoy their daily exercise, there is a well-equipped gym and sauna too.



The hotel is totally barrier free and braille is used in the lifts for those partially sighted guests. I am so glad I stayed at a hotel that is supporting sustainability in such a strong way and also ensuring that all the guests have a comfortable stay and are encouraged to support sustainability too.