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Let’s wrap up 2018!

Where the he** time goes?!  I was just wrapping up 2017 and thinking about my next moves and stressing maybe bit about my jobs/weight/travel things and now it is that time again-  to wrap another year up!
2018- oh boy what a year that was! I would have never imagined to be able to travel that much- feel so lucky!!

Dream big and work hard and make things happen, right?!
Of course as I said I have had luck on my way, but I have always worked hard, saved where ever is possible to save and year 2018 was no exception.
Did those shifts at groceries and also looked for other places to work at, cos I didnt really enjoy doing those..
I loved my co-workers but I didnt have any passion to do those shifts and cos I was an extra worker I couldnt really plan anything cos I didnt know how much money would I get.
I was asked why dont I want to be listed on one place, but I didnt want to.
I did those shifts just get money but my goal was somewhere else, to work at the office / at the place where I can do different things, maybe work remote every now and then.
And I just got a job from biotech office for 5 months, someone there is going to finish her studies and they need someone to do her job.
So I was lucky to get the place so I dont have to worry about being fast to book the shifts or take 06:30 shitfs cos they ask me to.
I am not a morning person so waking up at 5 sucks.. so am super glad that I got the job (with flexible hours) and I hope thing goes smoothly there and let´s worry more in April when Ulla comes back (keep you thumbs up for me meanwhile 😉 )

This post is about my 2018 travels but you cant really travel without money so that´s why I wanted to share those things with you too.
And I have also had questions how I / we finance our travels so that answers that too= working hard, saving & doing it all over again.
Im ready to work hard, to have 2-3 jobs if I get to travel- like I did last summer.
Travel and travel related stuff are my passion so im ready to work my ass off for that.

My 2018 started as an extra worker (in two companies) and I worked through winter and spring doing those shifts. I was so busy with those so didnt really look for another job until the late spring when it looked  like there are not going to be enough hours for other than companies own workers. So I sent an application, got an interview and went there but felt uncomfortable during my interview and wanted to leave.. the next day the called me and said they want me to come and work for them.
They said I was so cool and wasnt nervous at the interview at all.
I wasnt because it didnt feel it was my place and didnt want to go there..
If I really want to have that place am super nervous. You know how that goes.
So after talking to my bf I told no to them and was hoping not to regret it..
I had my regret moments of course but I also had another oppoturnity that saved our summer holiday!
I got a summer job from some kinda electric company office and learnt a lot during those two months (about contracts, invoices, warehousestuff, custom etc.) Even though I was there only two months everyone made me welcome and took me in well.
After that we started our summer holiday- roadtrip 2018 and drove around East-Europe and Balkans for four weeks. That was insane, incredible and im missing back..

So now that you know my backround let’s  go and wrap up my 2018 travels!!


 TRAVEL  ABC  2018  BY  666PLACES

A  –  AVEZZANO
How many have you heard from Avezzano?!
Well I didnt know anything about it till my godchild Minttu told us she got accepted to do 3-4 months internship there. We googled the place and were thinking hmmm.. looking nice, mountains and everything, that is near Rome, would be awesome to visit her.
Some months before she went there we found out that my mom got a braintumour, we didnt know anything else but that and upcomingg operation that fall.
She said that if the surgery goes fine and she´ll be fine we need to go to Italy- that I must promise that.
And everything went well and so I flew to Italy with my mom and my other godchild Veera (that was her first flight and vacation ever). Minttu took us around in Rome but took us for a crazy hike in Avezzano as well.. She said those gorgeous mountains were close but it took hours from us to get there, just to find out that everything is closed and no busses or cabs goes cos siesta…
That was a hike from hell but view was nice and now we can laugh at this! 😀

B – BALATON, BIH + BANJA
Balaton, my sweet Lake!
There is no place like this, this is the place where I wanna go back, every year..
And we went there twice last summer and am already missing back!
We visited there first time 2015 and it was more like a place to stop cos needed to check if it is safe to travel to Serbia, meant to stay there for 1-2 nights and take off.. but we liked so much that we stayed for few extra nights and since that been coming back every year and also been dreaming to move there.
How funny is that!

Bih / Bosnia i Herzegovina
Another funny thing- Jani said that he will never go to Bosnia by car cos our car insurance is crazy there!! It is 3-4 times more than in Europe.
So we only meant to drive through that about 20 km coastline that belongs to Bosnia, visit Montenegro and come back the same way. But we ended up driving through Bosnia from south to north, over 500km. So never say never!!
Visited Sarajevo and Mostar on our first Balkan trip 2014 but it was plane/bus trip.
We were bit worried about our car since there were some rocky roads too…


Banja Luka

Capital city of Republic of Srpska and second largest city in BIH.
As I said we never meant to drive through Bosnia and am still surpised we did!!
We loved Banja so much that we stayed there for few extra nights.
It felt like home and it was hard to leave. Missing back!!!
Enough stuff to see, shopping places for me, BMW service, massage chairs, Jelen (beer) for Jani and black wine for me, delicious food and places to shoot- there is nothing else we need!!

C – CESIS, CHILLING,  CASTLES & CAVES
I have always wanted to go somewhere on my and on Janis birthday, but it is not easy with work/money.
Mine is on May and Jani said then that he has few extra holidays so we can go somewhere.
We were looking at Riga but prices were insane and Riga has become tourist trap.
We wanted to go to Latvia anyway and deciced to try Cesis. There is a car service that people we know use so they kinda recommended the city and so we decided to give it a try. What a gorgeous little town!!!
There happened to be Museum Night- big event in Latvia and there were a lot going on.
On the castle park there were bands playing till 2am, also handcrafts, food and dark local beer was found!
I also got a cake and bubbly drink from Jani, even though I had scratched our car a night before we meant to leave here. It was the night Team Finland lost the medal games to Switzerland.
But despite of the car and lost hockey game we had great time and am sure we will go back!
Cesis is like Riga in good old days!

Chill out
A picture is worth a thousand words!
I love to see and do a lot on our holidays, even though I have been there before, I just love wandering around, but it is also important to just relax, do nothing, chill out sometimes..
Just enjoy the moment and company (a huge thanks to Jani for taking this photo and everything else).
I bet most of you guess this pic is taken somewhere in South Europe or Aasia.
Many got so surprised when I posted this on facebook and said it’s taken on Jurmala Beach, Latvia..

Castles (and fortresses)
If I see some old castle or fortress I wanna visit them, it is interesting to explore and read about their history. I liked history at school but I suck with dates & all the right terms (glad we have Google nowdays).
These pictures are from Latvia, Spain and Italy.

Caves

We booked a half day boat trip from Kotor. Visited Lady of  The Rock & Mamula islands but also the abandoned submarine base Boka Kotorska, which was used in WW 2 as an ammuniation storage.
Those are vey smartly designed since it was hard to see from the Sea.
After this submarine base our captain took us to another cave for a swim and the water was so clear and warm, no one wanted to leave there!

D – DUBROVNIK
When people heard we are going to drive to Montenegro they said Dubrovnik is also a must to visit. It would have propably been interesting place to visit but not with 666€ / night!
That was the price for one night, for us2 and the car.
Even though that number would have matched this blog we said no..
Am sure you get great deals if you book months before and go without car, but we take book these one night stops just the day before or while driving so 666 it was!
So we just passed by Dubrovnik and took a look from the passing road to the city and deep blue sea.

E –  ESPAÑA
Espana, Spain- it was actually my first time ever to Spain and first times somewhere warm on winter.
I wanted to go back to Serbia on our winter holiday, cos I knew we are not going there on summer since the car insurance. Janis parents goes to Spain 1-2 times a year and every year they have asked us there too. Spain havent been on my top travel list ever (for no specific reason), so I wasnt super excited when we decided to go there, but come on, we only needed to pay our planetickets and me having too many shifts at work – it was a great decision. And I enjoyed my time there a lot, and would go back!!
So Spain really surprised us!!
It was different holiday, since we lived with his parents and son and spent 24/7 together with others.
But it was awesome since they had already rented a car and been there multiple times so they were great guides (muchas grazias!!)
We went to somewhere new everyday, based on Fuengirola/Calahonda we took daytrips to Mijas, Ronda, Istan, Nerja, Malaga, Marbella, Gibraltar…

F –  FIRST TIMES & FORUMS
I already mentioned Spain and Gibraltar but there were two other new countries: Italy & Montenegro.
New cities Cesis, Györ, Gothenburg, Banja Luka, Järvenpää, Kotor, Neum, Pecs, Rzeszow, Tihany and I guess few more since we drove around and were boating too here&there.
It was also first holiday abroad with Janis family and I havent been travelling with my mom either for over 20 years I think- 2018 I travelled twice with her; to Italy and to Sweden, where I also took a rental car – for the first time ever!! I also had Fish´n Chips for luch when we visited Gibraltar and that was my first time ever and I must say I loved it- muy bueno esp. with that green mint sauce!!
So it was pretty interesting year!!



FORUMS
Loyal customers since 2011 – till 2018
We found Forums on our first tript to Riga, 2011 and been staying there multiple times since then but Janis birthday trip on October was nothing we imagined and sorry but wont cheer for this hotel anymore.
We have stayed in double, economy etc rooms there before so when we saw there were only economy rooms left we decided to take it, we knew it just to be smaller than regular room but that´s no problem since we were staying only over the weekend..
But it was a problem: there were construction site right outside our room, so we couldnt keep window open to get fresh air and they had huge spot light etc.
They never mention that on their webpage, they even sent email right after reservation “welcoming us” , asking if there is anything to do etc.
We went back to reception to ask if we could change and pay the difference, but there were no rooms left. Receptionist said that they dont start to work too early on the morning and it is not even on our floor. Then we went back to our room and saw earplugs on our bed..

PS I wrote my review to Booking too but they reacted 20 days later apologized for the noise and said they pay great attention to the comments but I have been checking their page and there are still nothing about the renovation!! I just walked by the hotel on our X-mas trip and they are still renovating. I just looked at their hotel/room description from Booking and there is nothing about that- so I dont recommend you take economy room there if you go.

G – GIBRALTAR & GYÖR
Gibraltar was interesting place to visit, small (about 30 000 ppl) but pretty.
I was actually surprised about the place that it had lot to offer, I loved those parks, old walls, buildings, narrow streets, cafes and the vibe.
We booked the minibus and our guide took us up the hill, showing amazing view and of course those monkeys. I had seen pics and heard horror stories about those nasty monkeys but we had no problems with them since we respected our guides rules (unlike the other group bringing food etc outside the car and having the monkeys climbing on their kids).
I didnt know there is also airport and it looked bit scary to me and it is said that landings on winter can be uncomfortable since the strong crosswind.

Györ
We spent a night in Györ cos wanted to get closer to Balaton since we had booked apartment for week there, again. We could have stayed another night in Katowice, Poland but the staff at the hotel was super rude we wanted to leave as soon as possible.
There was Baroque Wedding- event on that weekend so we got to see some dance showns, plays and awesome old costumes. Györ old town was charming, food was good and ice cream portions huge!!
Great place to stop close to Slovakian border.


H –  HUNGARY & HAKUNILA
As told you before that Hungary was never our top destinations, till we got there first time..
And then we got crazy about this HUF -country!!
Especially the lake side, Balaton is awesome!!
2018 we spent 11 nights in Hungary, one night in Györ and one in Pecs, rest 9 we stayed at our fave city, next to Lake Balaton- so 1/3 of our holiday was spent in Hungary.
So no need to ask which is one of our fave countries..


Hakunila
Our neighbourhoods, not maybe the first choice to spend your day here, but now that they have cleaned the park up, it is actually nice place to go and have a walk with the dog, enjoy a picnic or visit the old house. They do some kind of ghost tours there since it said to be haunting there. I was interested to go for that tour on Halloween but we were in Riga then. They do those on Halloween weekend but on Easter too.

I – ISTAN & ITALY
Aww, Istan was so cute, sleepy & sunny village somewhere in the mountains.
As to Mijas, we did a day trip from Costa De Sol to Istan. If you are looking for small spanish place without all the tourist things- visit here. There isnt much to see or do but I liked it a lot cos of that.



Italy
My first time in Italy- I flew to Rome with my mom and my godchild on March.
We stayed in guesthouse next to Termini and took a train to Avezzano (to hell hike),but got time to wander around Rome too. Enjoyed pizza, pasta, cappuccinos, cakes and redwine, spent a day at the huge mall since it was raining a lot. And then walked some more cos there was a strike on our last day in Rome.
Rome was interesting, photolovers place but too touristy for me..

J – JURMALA
Jurmala was our first stop on our first Via Baltica roadtrip 2011 and we went back the following year for few nights and went for a coffee on some winter trips.
Since Riga was fully booked (out of our price range on our last summer holiday) we decided to go to Jurmala instead for those last days and it was perfect choice. Jurmala was still so charming!!
There were only few others, fabulous weather and most incredible sunsets!!
I still wish I had better (real) camera since the sunset on our last night was amazing-never seen like before!!
I thought I saw the best at Balaton / Balkan but nope- it was found in Jurmala (just take a look at the pics..)


K – KOTOR
Kotor, Montenegro was fine, road from Croatia to Mne was awesome, view was jawdropping..but it was still kinda disappointment.
We had nice apartment with terrace- offering a view to Kotor Bay..
Kotor didnt give me the feeling like I had with Banja or Balaton.
Didnt get the feeling I wanna go back, it was more like the opposite. I think it was our first night there when Jani said can we leave now?! We had booked and paid for 4 nights and that was too much.
Kotor was too much: too much traffic, too many people, so many cars, too hot, too expensive, bad food etc.
It was totally different from what I have read about and expected.
If we go back it wont be August, it´s gonna be late fall or early spring, since I would like to climb up to the top of the fortress and visit Cetinje- but I dont see us going there in near future (never say never though 😉 )

L – LIMMARED & LINNAVUORI
Limmared, Sweden- about an hour away from Gothenburg.
Small town where I spent summer holidays when I was a teenager, so it was about a time to go back..
It felt like time had stopped – nothing has changed, it felt weird, like I was taken back to 1996!
My grannys brother moved there in 60-70´s and there lives now cousins, their kids etc.
I travelled there with my mom and few other relatives to my uncles funeral. Im glad I got to meet him in Finland when he was fine some years ago since in past year or two he couldnt remember or regonize anyone. So it was sad but im glad I was able to go, since I got to see the house I spent some much time in past and I  got to meet my family there <3

Linnavuori
Hill Fort in East-Helsinki.
It was beautiful sunday in autumn and we wanted to go out for a walk, but outside our neighbourhood.
And so we ended up to Vartiokylä, near the place I grew up and took long walks with our dog back then. and ”climbed up” to this hill fort.
Jani had never visited there before and it wa s over 10 years from my last visit there too, so it was nice to go back. There isnt really much left but places like this are always interesting!

M – MIJAS, MONTENEGRO & MATKA (travel fair)
Another charming village (like Istan as well).
One of the first places we visited in Spain was Mijas / Mijas Pueblo- one of the top destinations in the area.
It was beautiful village, typical whitewashed Andalusian houses with shiny blue flower pots, narrow streets and multiple shops, cafes and attarctions.
Some churches, a chapel, more shops and observation point offering a breathtaking view the Sea.
You´ll also find oval shaped Bullring and attached a small museum about the bullfights and matadors outfits. I heard there is a chocolate factory and awesome hiking paths but didnt check those this time.
This is the place you find those Donkey taxis..



Montenegro
Since Serbia is our top-places (home-away-from -home Balkan) we kinda thought Montenegro is similar and a country we would enjoy too.
Montenegro means Black Mountains and those mountains we saw were stunning!!
We drove from Kotor to Republika Srpska through Mne and it was so gorgeous on mid- Montenegro that we almost stayed there.. Mountains, Adriatic coast (road), lakes and canyons were unbelievable but Kotor wasnt. I could see us going back to Tara and Durmitor sooner 😉




Matka- travel fair
This was actually my first time at Matka- travel fair as a blogger and it was awesome experience!!
I met other bloggers, found new blogs to read, talked with tour operators, travel ambassadors, worked at travel agency- Travellers desk, had new business cards and listened many presentations about the travels, business, future etc. and of course wanted to book a trip here, there & everywhere 😉

N – NEUM & NERJA
Before Montenegro we had to find a place to stay for one night and since Dubrovnik was over priced we went to Neum.  Yeah we didnt mean to stay in BIH cos the car insurance but Neum was over 600€ cheaper than Dubrovnik.. And Neum was a great surprise!
We got our car to monitored garage, had room with ac, hotel next to the beach, food, welcoming wine etc.
We were thinking to go back there but ”plans changed” and we drove to Banja.

Nerja
On our Spanish tour we visited also Nerja and those magnificent caves (Cuevas de Nerja).
Going underground and exploring the caves was incredible!!!
We also drove around the city and it felt cosy. Jani said that this looks like it would be nice to live there, so pretty and quiet and I joked that after few years we find ourselves living in Spain- even though we are more east-siders! Dont have good pics of Nerja, only cave and window pics so u have Google for some city pics 😉


O – OWN HOME & OWN CAR
Home sweet home! I had office job and my extra job last summer and was lucky to do so much but doing 55 hours a week, having one day off is still bit too much.
On my day off I just wanted to stay home, do nothing but am glad Jani took me out then and we drove to Järvenpää, Porvoo, Loviisa and some places in capital region for a walk, coffee, ice cream etc. but I had time to enjoy some bubble bath too 🙂
 


Own car
That is the best and must have.. Life would be so much different without a car, been there so I know.
Going to some shifts would be impossible, grocery shopping, moving stuff, going to visit people would be hard, and going to summer cottage or road trips would be impossible as well.. Hope there wouldnt be so high taxes and there woild be cheaper diesel too but dont think that happens here..

P – PECS
Pecs was another pleasant surprise and one of those cities I didnt know anything about before we went there. We booked a room from Pecs because it happened to have perfect location between Banja Luka and Balaton- where we wanted to go back before heading back north.
Pecs was beautiful, lively, friendly and a city of art and history.
Another homely town, even though it is not that big- it felt like a metropolis after Banja.

Q – QUALITY SILESIAN HOTEL
Disappointment. Quality and this hotel doesnt match. Receptionist was ok but staff at the restaurant not..
We had so rude service from the waiter (who shouldnt be working at customer at all)  so we didnt want to stay in Katowice more than that one night.
So we had dinner at McDonalds and breakfast- paninis and Mike Tyson energy drink for breakfast 😉


R – ROME, RONDA & RZESZOW
I put Rome, Montenegro and Paris together.. what is the fuss?!
Rome was nice, I liked wandering around and shooting those old stuff, spending time with my familymembers but I didnt fell in love with Rome (or Paris/Mne).
There is a lot to see, sometimes felt I was in different world but it was way too crowded and too much.
I went to Trevi too and threw a coin as everyone else – and found out later it means that I´ll be going back.. Well, I dont feel like I need to go back right away, I could go there some day to show those hovels and other stuff to Jani.. 😉



Ronda
Pueblo Blancos, charming white villages they say about Ronda.
It started to rain when we drove there but it stopped for awhile so it was grey and rainy the whole day but Ronda was still charming. So gorgeous that I felt bad leaving, wanted to stay a night over, explore the area more, but we had limited time and only one car so we couldnt stay.
Ronda is worth to visit. I loved the road there, breathtaking view, those bridges and other architecture..


Rzeszow
I still need to check how to write and pronounce the name right.. (–> ʐɛʂuf)
Spent there two nights, in a hotel. It was our first time there but I knew the city because we wanted to visit Lviv few years ago and checked from the maps best ways to go- road was closed then and we didnt go there then, but am hoping to get there in near future, as I want to back to Rzeszow too- which has stunning Old Town, huge mall, green parks, castle etc.

S – SUOMI – FINLAND
Well there are some nice places in Finland too but it is so expensive..
We travel much here or dont go out for dinner etc.  cos the high prices.
For example two small, basic coffees (from paper cups) and two ice cream balls were 16€ in Porvoo -so you can just imagine price tag for lunch/dinner.
Hotel room is double or triple the price we pay in East-Europe and then add gas, food, activities…
No thanks!
Janis parents have amazing summer cottage and a house (his father built) at Suomijärvi, near small village called Suomenniemi and we are lucky to get to visit there too.
Midsummer weekend is my favourite and we try to spend some other weekends there as well.
I wish I had one more week so could spend that there or remote job 😉 Place is gorgeous!!

T –  TATRA MOUNTAINS & TRAVEL MAPS
Tatras… 2015 we had to change plans and instead Bled we headed to Kosice (and Serbia or so we thought). Just a week before we left there were heavy rain and some road got closed so we had to take detour and we ended up driving through some shady camp/village and then through Tatras when sun was setting.
That´s the first time I (and Jani) felt scared on our trips. And we didnt want to take East Poland / Slovakian roads after that.. Now 3 years later we checked the real road should be open and all went smoothly. Maybe next year we take the same road..

Sygic Travel
We have TomTom & Google Maps, car navigator and also some papper maps.
Jani found this new app, Sygic Travel and bought the navi system for us.
I took also the travel app for me, you can find sightseens, restaurants, hotels etc.
Didnt really have to time to use it much before our big trip but it seems good!
It has great options like showing which lanes to take, cameras, traffic and even parking places!!
With this Sygic navigator we had few bumps in the road (like death roads and silly detours) but we made it and like it and have used it also in Finland and other trips to Latvia.  Pic is from our summer holiday.

U – UNBELIEVABLE SCENES
Even though Kotor wasnt my fave places- nature was super awesome there!!
We had already booked our Banja Luka hotel but almost cancel it cos mid-Montenegro was so incredible!!
If we would have chance to use internet I think we would have cancel / move it..
Durmitor and Tara area were stunning!!!!
Also Croatian coast, especially south parts offer jaw dropping views!! My fave roads for sure!!!

V – VATICAN CITY
On our Rome trip we visited also Vatican.
It was another rainy day but there were hundreds of peoplealready on morning- waiting..
We walked around bit, went to some shops, sent some postcards, had coffee and ice creams, walked some more and headed to Trevi & other sights.



W – WWW
I have been thinking to have/create my own page for awhile but there is still a lot to learn and Rantapallo has offered help for all bloggers here so it´s been easier. I had huge problems with those menu boxes and almost gave up but then I figured out what to do.
They also have some events, workshops etc. so it´s been nice too. I still have some problems with pics here, to find out what’s the right size but how to get rid off those huge caps between pictures.. anyone?!

X – X3
Dream! Dreams will come alive!!
Last Christmas it happened, we got a ”new” car X3- been talking about that for months before and almost bought one on summer 2017, glad we didnt then cos my work situation changed.
Later that year somebody wanted to buy our old car, we sold it and got Mr X!
We had few roadtrips to Latvia and Suomenniemi on that winter / spring before that almost 6000kms roadtrip last August. It is always nerve-racking to do such a long trip with ”new” vehicle but all went well!!
I love to drive this car – it moves great 😉

Y –  YOU & I
I didnt travel to any Y- cities this year but we did a lot of couple vacations, which I love the most!
On Valentines Day we spent time in Spain, had coffee & cake at Malaga castle, my birthday Jani took me to Latvia (check C) for a weekend and on his birthday we went back to Latvia..
Just to mention few awesome trips we made together <3



Z – ZZZ
We almost fell a sleep while waiting our coffees in Borås, Sweden.
We (and others) had to wait almost 30 minutes for our coffees. And no, am not kidding that was the situation at EspressoHouse there. Wanted to leave without the coffees but had already paid so we stayed and waited and waited and waited… Coffee was great when we finally got it but I dont know if I want to try Espressohouse again..

So that was my travel year 2018!!
Incredible, insane, wild, unbelievable, full of awesome – planned and unplanned adventures!
As family trips, roadtrips, surprise trips, long weekends, 4 weeks roadtrips, flying, walking, eating great (and bad) food, tasting awesome wines, taking thousands of photos and working hundreds of hours to get to do all those!! But as I said, I would do it again-just to get to travel of course 😉

I dont count countries am counting down the days till our next holiday!
But I have had questions about how many countries I have been to and I had no clue, so I put all together and result was 27. This year we travelled to 13 countries and some of them were new places  since we travelled to Montenegro and Republika Srpska on summer and Spain and Gibraltar just happened to happen as Italy.

 

Summer ABC

Let’s  Wrap  Up  Summer  2017

I did this ABC in finnish few weeks ago and
thought it would be fun also to do it in english, but much easier as well.
If you wonder why I say that, just take a look at Finnish alphabet with all å, ä, ö 🙂
And no, am not kidding!
We really have those letters & silly words like pääkallo (skull)  or ääliömäinen (moronic) or what about yötön yö (midnight sun). Am sure you got my point 😀

As I mentioned on my previous posts (here  &  here), I was working a lot.
Hard work really pays off. Got to see & do a lot during those 3,5 weeks, on August-September.
I think it’s about a time to wrap up this summer cos the fall is really here.
We even got our first snow in Finland (which I dont like too much) I would rather have this cool, bit rainy weather instead that snow & icy, yak…

But hey let’s go!  ⤵


A –  AINAZI
, AUSTRIA
On our roadtrips we usually have our first stop in Ainazi, just few kilometres away from Estonian border.
It feels like going home since Latvia is one of the fave countries & I call it home-away-from-home.
Sometimes we also grab a burger here, coffee is good too & gas is cheaper than in Finland.
We also do a little shopping here on our way back, cos those cheaper prices 😉
Plus you can find beautiful, not crowded, beaches near Ainazi!


Austria
We decided to drive from Maribor to Brno through Austria, since it just happened to be there and our navigator said it´s also the fastest route, so why not to check that out.
It was ok, saw some nice views here and there but nothing like I wanna go back, let’s stay here feelings.
And it was damn expensive, gas was über expensive, so was the coffee & ice cream..
So we noticed that was too west for us, lets hit the road & auf Wiedersehen!


B –  BALATON, BOOKING
Ooh Balaton! It feels like the holiday starts really here!! Cant wait to get back there!
One of the fave places for sure. Just missing back there & we love the Lake so much that we’ve actually been looking for places to live at there, just a dream now, but maybe in future?!
There is just something there, and we are not the only ones, our friends came there too and they have already  booked a place for next summer.
We ended up there by accident couple of years ago, just meant to drive through but we stayed for several days & been back 3-4 times since..
Amazing spots to visit & take pics, great shore line, love those sunsets & bar-street, there are also family friendly places, thermal spa’s etc.


B
stands for Booking.com
We found Booking on our first Via Baltica- holiday 2011 and been a heavy user since that.
On this summer tour we booked all but one place using the app.
I love it, it is easy to use, simple & fast.
We have had some (small) issues, like this summer with one place in Poland (check Z) but am still a fan 😉
I love writing those reviews and read those, even if am not going anywhere I love to check out different places. Girl can dream right 😉

If you havent used Booking yet – I have something for you.
If you use this link to book your hotel/apartment/hostel, you will get 15 € on your credit card after your holiday for next stay & I will receive the same.


C – CROATIA
Lovely Croatia!
We visited Zagreb (capital city) last year, it was ok but didnt really want to go back.
It was nice so dont get me wrong, but there was just something missing.
Jani suggested we should visit Croatian coastline, since he has been there, but over 30 or so years ago.
I was like ok, let’s go, wasnt super excited, but am glad we went, since happened the same than with Hungary: I fell in love with that coastline, small villages, food & amazing sunsets (well hello)!




D – DIESEL, DRIVING LICENCE
As I mentioned before gas is cheaper outside our country (I prefer those eastern countries for also things like these).

We have had this diesel car for two yrs now, had old petrol car before.
And had one very close call- situation this spring in Estonia.
We needed to get more gas and Jani accidentally put petrol in our car, luckily it was only like 8 litres & our gas tank was empty.
After a panic, google searches,  several sms’s and few more calls, we decided to try his buddies tips and push the car back & filled it up with diesel. And it worked!!
But I suggest you dont try this, if you dont know what you’e doing..
We had luck cos it was only 8 litres until he realized & all went well, our car has been running perfect!

Driving licence Woohoo!!!
I have been dreaming for years to get a licence and get to drive.
And this summer my dream came true. I got my licence one day before our summer day & was so excited!
But I didnt drive there.
I didnt want to cos the traffic is wild there & that damn manual transmission..
And to be honest Jani wouldnt let me, even if I would have wanted, cos that crazy traffic and that damn transmission system.. 😀

E-  EXTRANET, EUROPARK, E67
Finished my school on June and couldnt really work on school months (but I loved it though cos I was able to just focus on my studies instead stressing out about money too).
After I graduated, I was working full-time in Loviisa on weekdays and was able to do extra work on weekends. Thanks Kati for giving me those shifts again!
I was also lucky to work with Minttu (my goddaughter) & some other great buddies!


Europark
= Shopping Center in Maribor.
Huge place with plenty of shops & great deals!
I dont go shopping in Finland that much, it’s too expensive!
I do visit grocery every now & then cos I have to, but I buy pretty much all my clothes, shoes, make-up etc. abroad, as I did now as well ☺


E67- Via Baltica!
I dont know how many times we have driven up and down this road, I have lost count..
One my fave roads, even though taken that road tens of times 😀
You can read my stories  here  and  here!


F-  FORINTS, FOOD
I say florint.. Been to Hungary many times so how hard could it be??
Forint is the currency of Hungary. The forint’s name comes from the city of  Florence, where gold coins were minted from 1252 called  fiorino d’oro or florentinus (Wikipedia tells), so maybe I get that florint from there?!
Forints and dinars (RSD) are great, I feel so rich when I have my wallet filled up with those currency..


Food..
I remember somebody wrote that she lose weight on holiday, cos there are different food than back home, so she wont eat.. Whaat??
I try to avoid carbs home, but not on holiday.
It really works, I feel better & have more energy + of course wanna look good in pics (kidding!).
On holiday I love to eat & drink what ever I want and the food is usually so delicious, if I wouldnt watch what I eat at home I would be huge.. Just look what they serve there.
No drooling on my page pls ?



G –  GOOGLE & GOOGLE MAPS
I use Google a lot, searching for places to eat at, events, sightseens etc.  well dont we all nowdays?! 😉
I still remember those presentations at school when we didnt have computers and had to go to the library for the encyclopedia. Oh those days! So easy & quick now!

We have TomTom but it doesnt always get us where we should go to.
Sometimes it offers weird detours, sometimes those detours have really been time-saving and good ones, sometimes we have ended up driving small field roads in Poland in the dark or through the gypsy neighbourhood in Slovakia.
And the address system isnt that user-friendly anymore, trying to find out the right address/place is sometimes really frustrating. So we use also Google Maps.
Google offline maps are great too, esp. outside EU-countries cos the data costs a lot.
Just remember to download the map before your trip & learn how to use those map-systems!
It seems I navigate the best without any map.. 😀
Here you can see our route this summer, close to 5000km’s (by Jani) ?

H  – HUNGARY, HAUNTED HOUSES
Hungary is gorgeous! And as might have mentioned, I would like to live there..


Haunted houses were part of our summer holiday, not once but twice.
We both loved our apartment in Sibenik but got some strange feelings there, heard some weird noises and
few bizarre things happened.
We didnt talk about those until we were driving away, so it wasnt just somebody said something and you start to sense the same. Nothing bad happened though & we are thinking to go back next year if possible 🙂

During these years Riga has become more popular, so rooms been sold out (checked from Booking and hotels pages) as it was now too, but then we saw an apartment free & took it.
Another haunted place, no wonder it was free 😀
We heard the story from our friends (owners of Karjala Bar) later the day.
But before the that, we saw some people on the street taking pictures of the building.
Our hostess was in such a hurry too.
Hmm.. maybe that explains that ”locals doesnt want to go there” stories heheh 🙂
We were also told there are ”haunted house”- walking tours in Riga, that would have been fun, unlike the first night there 😀


I – IPHONE, INSTAGRAM
I
dont remember any place we went to starting with letter I, so  I will put my phone & pics here.
Those are my things!
I didnt want iPhone back then, wanted to stick with my old Nokia but when I got Jani’s old phone I fell in love! I have upgraded from iPhone 4 to few 5’s and am looking for a new one now 😉

Instagram
– well once upon a time I thought am not going to have iPhone, use facebook much and not going to have Instagram. Oh well 🙂
I created IG profile a year ago but started to use it more just this winter and I love it!!
Love taking pictures and I love to look others pics & hear their stories.
You can check & follow me (and our trips)  HERE




J –  JELEN
Am not biggest beer fan, I rather have something else to drink so if am telling you I like Jelen –
it’s a lot to say! We visited Serbian Beerfest couple of years ago and enjoyed!!
Great place to taste different beers, even though you are not a beer-fan.
Or maybe it is just we have bad beer in Finland?! 😉
Jelen is one of  Jani’s fave beer & he was happily surprised when our friends (who we seem to meet more on the road than here) gave him one, when we met at Balaton on August.
They made their Romanian/Bosnian/Serbian tour before Hungary (with 2 small kids, huh!).
If you didnt know Jelen means deer, and we saw those a lot in Poland.
When we tried to look for our place in Zwardon, we noticed eyes glowing in the dark, in the woods &
were like what the he..?!
Realized they were deers and few of them came to check our car close, probably wondering who were the idiots in the mountains after midnight on weekend.. 😉


K –  KARJALA BAR, KRKA
Found Karjala Bar on our first winter trip to Latvia and since that we visited’em every time we hit the town.
Hawa & Jana (Finn-Latvian couple) own the place and you always feel so welcome there!
You get there good finnish traditional food, nice desserts, some finnish (but also local) beer & they have good collection of liquids 😉 And they really take good care of their customers!
I got to ”warn” you though if you go there on friday/saturday they have karaoke there, the place is crowded. But you get to see some interesting shows esp. from the karaoke hostess, she is amazing!!
Almost forgot, you can see all finnish hockey games there (world champ’s, olympics) & KHL!


Krka-
when we were in Sibenik we wanted to visit Krka as well.
So we booked a day trip there & I got my boat ride finally 🙂
They told us it is end of season but oh my, it was crowded (the pic dont tell the truth)!!
Nice place but way too many people. I wonder what it is like on high season..


L –  LATVIA
Of course ?
Latvia is my fave places among Hungary & Serbia (Croatia made to my list this year cos the coastline).
Visited Latvia first time 2011 and since that been there many times, must be 20 + times!
Riga is the top destination but been in other places too.
There is just something that keep us going back there, over & over again.


M –  MARIBOR, MUSIC, MIDSUMMER
Another ”Balaton” destination, meaning we wanted to go back!
I really like Maribor: small town, not too many tourists, you can just wander around & enjoy the days.
Maribor is very beautiful, has nice attractions, great shopping places + karting, good food (especially that salmon pasta- letter F) & excellent wines!!
They also have very good & fast BMW service, which we luckily didnt need this time!



Music
I miss our old car not because it was thirsty but because those sounds!
Last holiday we had with that car, we didnt even finish one album, just opened our windows and listened to the engine! Now we have a diesel car & Spotify..
KISS is great to listen in the car, love the energetic sound!
Led Zeppelin is also in with many albums.
I cant stand any sleepy kind of music, Jani loves to listen jazz sometimes and it is really not my thing 😉


Midsummer – pretty much the only weekend I dont take any work on summer.
Midsummer in the city is not my thing, had enough of those.
I just wanna leave the city and go to Jani’s parents summer house.
It is a heaven on earth. Three days there & I feel like a new person & ”ready” to work my as* off again 😉


N –  NOT AGAIN
Last year we stayed in Ostrava & this year we went to Brno.. Mistake!
It was first time I was ”counting the hours” and was happy to leave the place & Jani said the same.
We stayed in Brno 2 nights and we both were thinking if we had booked 3 nights we would have left earlier.
I dont know how to explain, but I just didnt like it there.
Cool thing was this underground exhibition & our check out 😉


O –  ODESA
One of my dreams came true (again), I was asked to go to Ukraine, as a tourleader, yaiks!!
Kiev- Pervomajsk- Odesa- Kiev. Nervous but hell yeah!!
I thought Odesa would be more like all about the beach – kinda city, but the beach was like 30 minutes away and the place we visited was more like made for tourists, amusemet park, lots of bars, shops, restaurants and new, huge apartment building facing the Sea.
I loved the Black Sea though and it was so hot there, even it was just May.
We also visited those catacombs and it was very interesting!
Odesa is beautiful, there are a lot to see, cheap to shop & eat, people are nice & friendly!


P –  PHOBIA, PRIPYAT
Phobia
I have a fear of flying, but I do jump on the plane every now & then.
Am scared but still excited to go, you know what I mean.
I would miss so many great places & opportunities if I would not fly, so I just need to force myself to go and hope for the best.
I think I have done pretty good job since I have been to Serbia & twice to Ukraine this year 😉


Pripyat – Part of our Kiev trip we also visited Chernobyl and Pripyat.
It was interesting, sad, spooky.. Impossible to explain.



Q-  QUE PASA?!
There is a town somewhere in Lithuania, called Panevezys (hard to pronounce it, right?!)
If you have been on Via Baltica, you have probably seen this motel or those planes at least.
Been taking pictures of those fighter planes, but never stayed over a night, till this summer.
Usually we drive to north Poland for the first night, but we were able to leave earlier on Friday so this motel was at the right place then 🙂
We didnt book the room in advance cos we checked from Booking app the situation & price.
Yes, there were rooms available but the receptionist spoke lithuanian, russian, spanish and just little bit english. We can only english and few words of spanish/russian so our conversations were bit funny, but we managed to have a room for lower price & got also some drinks.
It was dark when we got there,but this is what we saw from our balcony the following morning!! Qreat! 😉


R –  RIGA, ROAD TRIP
Riga – my love! Home-away-from-home.
Last year places in Old Town were sold out, so it was great to get there on this summer holiday,
even though we spent our Easter holiday there as well. Already missing back (letter L)!
Ice hockey, sushi, burgers, those streets, shopping..


Road trips!
Highlight of the year is our summer holiday for sure! 3 weeks or sometimes 4 weeks (if lucky) on the road!
Am a huge road trip fan. It’s the best way to travel!!
You get to see so much more, meet new people, visit different places, weird places and also funky roads..
Like these in Croatia!



S –  SO MANY
Suwalki, Sibenik, Senj,  Skradin, Siofok.. As I said so many & am not sure if I mentioned all..

Suwalki – often our first night stand but this year we stayed in that Fighter Motel (check P).
But we stayed here 2 nights on our way back home.
I dont know how but my home is marked to be in Suwalki on GoogleMap, that is hilarious!!
Suwalki is a nice spot, great mall, very cheap to shop some more, because they’re smart and have own currency, zlotys.. There is also karting plaza and other stuff to do. Check W for more!

Sibenik– I wasnt too rapted to visit Croatia again, but am glad we went there.
Charming small town, ended up staying there one extra night cos like it so much..
Sibenik stole a piece of my heart & we are planing to go back next year if possible..


Senj – on our way back North we ended up to this cute, coastline village.
Perfect place just to relax and do nothing really..
There is a castle+museum, stunning sunsets, watersport & Tesla charger 😉
If you need a lot of things to do and people around, this is not your place!


T –  TRAFFIC, TOLLS
In past, Poland has really been high on the crazy traffic list & after our first trip there 2011, Jani said he doesnt want to go back ever again, but we went back 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017..
It feels like it has got better! I never thought I would say so but yeah, it is actually a nice country 😀
Well, there are still some crazy-drivers, going 180km’s, overtaking from right etc. but it’s getting better and now the title ”crazy traffic” goes to Austria/Czechia and Lithuania 😀

TOLLS – I prefer Vignettes’s, at least they are faster and you know excatly how much you need to pay.
Most expensive road tolls we paid on this trip & had most traffic jams where in Croatia cos those toll’s.
There should be more toll booths or something! Locals can buy e-tolls but still.
Luckily we left the coastline & headed to Slovenia before Sunday.
I wish they would take vignettes as well, but I dont think so, they get more money now.
Sometimes roads are good, sometimes they are in not too good condition and leave people wondering where the money goes?!
You can choose avoid roadtolls/paid roads, but dont wanna try that anymore, it would probably be like an old field road for horses 😀

U –  UKRAINE
I was asked to go, not once but twice, to Ukraine, as a tour leader.
It was another dream come true, get to travel on my birthday- even though it wasnt any holiday but still!!
I didnt expect to like Ukraine that much, but I did and I do wanna go back..


V –  VIGNETTE
Vignette –  ” a licence to drive”.
Some say roadtolls are easier since you cant miss the payment, but I prefer vignettes cos it is just one payment you do & that’s it!
But yeah, you need to be careful when crossing the border esp. Czechia/ Slovakia, it is easy to miss!!
Many countries has e-vignettes now days, has probably something to do with environment things, but you still get a sticker at some countries.
We had our last year stickers on our windscreen, oops!
I hope the camera caught the right one & we dont get any fine afterwards 😀

W – WINE, WIGRY
Wine –
Maribor and Stara Trta, world’s oldest wine.
Well, didnt taste that but enjoyed some glasses of wallet-friendly wines there!
I didnt even drink wine in my past (had bad experience when I was a teenager 😉 ) and now am having wine at restaurants with my dinner & buying some to home..
Enjoyed a glas of white wine in Piramida’s and have visited Wine Festival as well.
Am I getting old??


Wigry – check also S as Suwalki.
Our fave spot in north Poland is actually located in Wigry (part of Suwalki region).
Very nice, quiet area, surrounded by a huge National Park & some lakes.
There are lots of hiking and cycle routes. People also visit the monastery next to the Lake.
If we had more holiday, I would like to go there, go for a hike & explore the Park area for few days.


X- X3
Just before we left, we went to see X3. My dream is X6 but cant really afford one 😉
Even though I wanted to have that X, am so glad we didnt buy it, cos things went south with my workplace (bad-behaving boss) and we also got to test this car more!
Everything went great with this 1-serier but am not gonna lie, I wish we had that X – when we were in the mountain..
But as I said nothing got broken, we got where we wanted to go.
And everything was great on it’s annual inspection, we had right after this road trip.
So this one has really proven himself


Y-  YOU SHOULD..
You should go on a road trip. At least once!
After you have one, you gonna probably realize you wanna ride the roads more, than just fly to your destination.. Of course depends where you are & how much time you have 🙂


Z –  ZWARDON
That deer place.. Our plan was to drive from Panevezys to south Poland.
Booked a room from a mountain hotel, near Slovakian border, just to get some place to sleep at.
Mistake! We never found the place.
We drove up and down those friggin hills, had navigator, google map, iphone map & even those coordinates but nope..
We tried to call them multiple times, emailed, called to Booking’s customers service & tried to call that place few more times. No answer.
This was 11:20-11:30pm and check in should have been till midnight..
More calls & mails & driving till midnight and then we gave up.
I emailed to Booking that we couldnt find the place & they didnt answer the phone or mails, so now what?!
The next day we got an email from Booking, saying we did a no show & they gonna charge us that 20€.. dziękuję (thanks)!

I sent them feedback about those calls/emails but only answer we got was ”they waited us and will charge the room price” jep, jep..
So even it was only 20€,  it annoys me since their ”service” sucks.
I was told I can not write a review either cos we didnt stay there.
I said I want to write about how difficult it was to find the place & few things how they could do better in customer servive, but no.
So I am going to publish my reviews about the other places too, and will have few words to say about this place too.

ZZZZ – sleeping
Since we didnt find that Zwardon place, we were pissed of and tired for driving whole day, so we just decided to sleep in the car.
We drove to Slovakia & found 24/7 gas-station/cafe & slept there.
Didnt have any blankets or pillows (as we used to have) so I just was just hiding under my jacket & was glad we have tinted windows   ???
It is not X but multi-function car, after this trip I dont think I wanna get rid of this anymore 😉


So this was my summer 2017 ?

How was yours?!
If you have a similar post or gonna make one, let me know / link it here, it would be fun to read those!


PS     You´ll find me also on Facebook!
And more pics on Instagram ➡    666places

Feel free to like, make some nice comments or follow me there!  ?


 

My crazy year so far..

Hello world again- am back!!

Well I wasnt really gone, but my last real post was on Midsummer so it feels and it was ages ago!
I know people say they have been busy and I sure have, but it shouldnt be any excuse.
But excuse me anyway 🙂

As mentioned I did that pic-challenge on June. And it really was a challenge.
I started it on Midsummer weekend but was struggling with those pics & spacing for many weekends.
So it took forever and it is still a mess.
But what I´ve seen others have the same issue so am just gonna leave it that way..

Now you think I have been busy with that and things like those??
Not really – I wish 😛

I graduated on June from my lovely school with title of Travel Agent.
I was able to choose between that and event management (some prefer service provider) which means for example planning tours and related events for people.
Travel Agent doesnt sound as sexy as that provider but since I have already studied Entertainment Business and worked years at Booking Agency and Artist Management and had pretty much that title, I thought it is better to choose the non-sexy one 😀

I didnt really like studying when I was younger and at one point I said I will never go back to school and thought my friends crazy when they did so.
At the age of 29 I went back to school (entertainment business) and 2016, I started this. So never say never!
Those two decisions has been the best I made so far.

Loved going to this school but hated 6am wake ups, I didnt much enjoy travelling to school for about 2-2,5 hrs one way, but I made such a great friends there and I learnt a lot!!
AND during my internship I had a chance to travel to Ukraine as a tourleader. That was awesome!!
First we flew to Kiev and went by a car to Odessa and took a night-train back. What a trip!
I will tell about that on another post though.


Because that Ukraine trip went well (even though I was super nervous first) & I got good feedback, I was recently asked to do Trans-Mongolian tour as well but I couldnt go. That sucks.
It would have been right after my summer holiday, less than a week or so and been already off the work for 3,5 weeks made it impossible.
I wanted to go so bad- you can just imagine.
Taking Trans-Mongolian or Siberian Train has been my dream for years.
I hope I can make it sooner than later.

A week from this I got another call from the Travel Agency (Traveller), if I would be willing to take a group to Kiev & Chernobyl. Hell yeah!!
That´s only 5 days trip and bit later than Mongolian would have been.
Havent got the plane ticket yet but keeping my thumbs up that will happen!!
Never been to Chernobyl but I really liked Ukraine & told JP (Jani) that we have to go there, he would like Ukraine am sure.

Beside those I have been working my a** off, literally!! In several ways.
I dont remember when I had last full weekend off.
It was probably that Midsummer weekend- I just wanna go to the summer cottage and relax, so I dont take any shifts then.


Before I went to school I was working at the Booking Agency as mentioned somewhere.
Did my internship there as well (2010) and after finished my school I started to work there full time.
Then the economy got bad and I was able to do only part-time there & did the other half at groceries.

That was pretty challenging; waking up, going to work, finish there and go to another place, go home and get some sleep.. and next day the same shit.
I was lucky though cos the grocery manager let me to chose the shifts first so I was able to do all the weekends shifts = save money & travel!

As the late winter came I decided to take no stress about anything- even though I was little panicking what would our summer holiday this year be then..
I enjoyed my time at Traveller, so I stayed there 3 extra months and did my whole internship there.
Later the spring I was talking to Kati (the shop manager) & she said she´d be happy to have me there full-time for the summer summer & I was also thinking to do some shifts at the Agency.
Then my dad surprised us totally.
He started to talk about buying a lunch place and asking if I was willing to work for him.
I thought he was just talking but he actually bought a place and so my ”plans” changed again..

So I´ve been working at that lunch-cafe-restaurant/gas-station place since I finished my school.
Not a dream job obviosuly, cos I just wanna take pics & travel 😀
But it has still been nice.
That place is in Loviisa, 90 km from where I live so that takes like almost 200 kms joyrney everyday.
Sounds crazy, right?!

Let´s compare: it took more than 2 hrs one way when I went to school, in capital region by public transport.
This place is 90 km away, only about 40 mins by car. If you have a car, as I do but not a license -yet..
Luckily most of the days we (me & my goddaughter) got a ride from my dad on June.
Now that he´s been at their summer cottage me and Minttuneeded to take a bus and it takes more than 2 hours from Helsinki + the joyrney to Helsinki & all the traffic jams.. Oh my!! It was more like more than 5 hrs a day just getting there&back.
The good thing taking a bus is having a lot of time just to scroll on Instagram & the bad thing, maybe you can already guess?? My finger got sore for all the freaking likes 😀
So in a nutshell.. been to Loviisa every weekdays & weekends at the grocery. But that is not all..

Beside those two jobs I started driving school, right after Midsummer.
A dream for years came finally true!! I was so happy but nervous too!!
Staff in Loviisa were shocked cos Minttu & I didnt have a driving license and were pretty much in shock!!
Well, didnt really needed before and it´s so damn expensive.


I once kinda had the money but then my hand got injured and I couldnt work and I had to move out from my apartment cos the owners needed it back and without a job it was hard to get one.
Although all those shitty things happened I was lucky since I was never on the streets thanks to my lovely family & afterwards thinking am glad all that happened since I dont think without those I would have not met Jani!

Then I was thinking to get the license when I was working full time- (this might sound strange to some) but I also wanted to travel! Cos I wasnt able to work for several years, I wasnt able to travel a lot (I got a chance to visit the States though but that´s different thing).
So ”needed” to choose between driving license or a holiday and to be honest those holidays are pretty much the only time we can really see each others and be together with JP cos many shifts.
So I chose to travel.
I dont regret it though, we have been to so many great places (and few not so great), done great road trips, even flew couple of times and experienced a lot!!


But now the license is a must thing.
Am working so far away and am able to work full time and I got my paychecks without any struggling so I took a loan for that driving school.
I dont take loans for holidays or pay them with credit cards, we travel if we have the money so I am ready to work like crazy if I get to travel.
I can take shifts 7 days a week but I need my holidays / that goal.
I think most of you can relate to that..??

So summa summarum I finished my driving school, got the license even though he said it was a tough decision and he made me to promise I will go with Jani first and learn to use that stick better before I go to work by myself. I was struggling with that a lot!!
That even came to my dreams!! Damn stick!!
Great news is I got a text message a day before we left to our summer holiday- the goal I was working my as** off- that I can go and pick up my driving license!
And finally, at the age of 30 something I got the license!! Am super happy & excited!!

I meant to write and finish this post before our holiday but there were so many things to do (excuse me one more time)- like if I had any free time after driving school I was exercising, we have crosstrainer at home so I was doing that every day as well!
Project number 66 to lose some weight I think 😀
Beside that my brother went to army and parents travelled to Sweden & Norway so we got their crazy dog. So holiday was really needed after those 4 weeks he was staying with us. Imagine a dog flipping out so bad when going out that he tries to bang his head through the door, and screaming help when you tell him no & stop him not to rush.. I have a video somewhere am sure..
But now we are somewhere in Europe and unfortunately we need to get back home next week..

Will tell you more about this holiday on another post.
But I´ve been to my fave place Balaton,
enjoyed tasty Mojitos while watching those amazing sunsets, met friends from Finland there, went to Croatia (which wasnt a top choise then), fell in love with the coast line & tuna steak, climbed up to winehill in Maribor & had a class or two their sparkling wines.. Just few things to mention.


Our route has been so far this:
Estonia- Latvia-Lithuania-Poland- Slovakia- Hungary- Croatia- Austria-Czechia and tomorrow we will drive through Poland, probably visit Suwalki (our fave pit stop) & then head to Riga for those last days.
Riga is like a second home to us and it is always great to go there.
You can check my travel (+ some other) pics on Instagram!
Am posting Road Trip 2017 pics little late cos I had huge problems with Icloud for days and was so sure I lost all my great pictures but now it is working and I can find & post them again! What a relief!!
Those pics you can find here: https://www.instagram.com/666places

Hope you all enjoyed your summer! ✌