Tag archives for traveling

The Little Mermaid

When I was a little younger, I used to wake up bright and early on Saturday mornings, rush down the stairs, dash into the lounge, where my Mum and Dad would be sitting enjoying a hot cup of Indian masala chai on our very comfy brown sofas. I would perch myself next to my Dad and a few minutes later we’d be watching “my programmes”. When I say “my programmes” I mean children’s Saturday morning TV! And what fun it was! One of my favourite cartoons was The Little Mermaid! I don’t know exactly what it was about The Little Mermaid, in fact I could certainly watch it now on Saturday morning’s with my own cup of tea! It just let my imagination run free!

Nyhavn in Copenhagen. Hans Christian Andersen author of The Little Mermaid lived in a number of these houses during his lifetime. Photo: Naieya Madhvani.

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Things that make me smile…

A smile: a simple body feature, very rarely on a persons face forever, but whenever seen, a smile has a simple ability to brighten up even the darkest room, it’s infectious,  it’s easy, it even uses fewer muscles than frowning! There really is no reason not to smile, at least most of the time.

Smile. Photo: Olle Nordell.

So what makes me smile! So much! Where to start! Well I’m currently laughing as I’m trying to write this so I’m definitely in the right mood! Something is making me smile/laugh! But what? Well I just blew a kiss to a friend, who sent it back, and then I sent it back and now we don’t know how to stop this…ahhh to feel like a child again!

Whilst I’ve been here in Sweden, I’ve smiled a lot! So much so that my friends and family have remarked on how happy I look! And I have to say, maybe I’m biased but I do smile a lot or at least try to and I’ve had so many reasons to smile here!

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Norwegian wood

The clock of the train station was pointing at 8 and 14.

I was shivering in the morning fog:

“Why is she always late?!”

“Only six minutes before the train leaves…” Hugo stated.

Morgane dragged deeply on her cigarette: “She’s gonna be just on time”.

That’s when we saw Claudia running with her suitcase and making signs at us:

“Sorry, sorry, I’m here, I made it!”

Relieved, we got on the train. Morgane opened her Coke light and cheered us:

“So guys, we’re finally going to Norway!”



We were planning this trip for a long time.

Oslo is only 6 hours away from Stockholm by train and we had several free days in the beginning of May.

Our friends told us it was boring, our parents said it was expensive, the weather forecast told us it was going to be cold.

Well, we still wanted to go there.


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Happy campers

I told you my first camping experience was in Gotland but technically speaking my first night in a tent in my life was on the 15th of May in the Swedish archipelago.


So that’s the thing. It was the beginning of May and coincidently my birthday and I really wanted to go camping. May seems like the perfect time to go to the archipelago. It’s almost June, it’s supposed to be warm and we could even go swimming.


Which island to chose in the archipelago? In fact, there are dozens and dozens of islands. So we just decided to go to the one our friend told us about.

It happened to be the island called Utö: far enough to say we went to the real archipelago, close enough to Stockholm to go just for one night.


As I had never NEVER camped nor slept in a tent before (not in the backyard, not at a festival, not in a forest), the first thing to do was to pack. As my professional camper friend advised: all you need is a sleeping bag, a spare pair of socks and something in case you get upset (if the tent gets wet, or the weather is bad, or you forget the matches…), so I brought some chocolate.


The whole trip to Utö takes more than one hour and a half. First you have to take the community train (pendeltåg) from the central station towards Nynäshamn and get off at Västerhaninge, then you take the bus 846 from Västerhaninge station towards Årsta and get off at Årsta brygga and only then a ferry from Årsta brygga towards Utö.

On the ferry to Utö! May 2012. Photo by Nathalia Mikhalkov.

On the ferry to Utö! May 2012. Photo by Nathalia Mikhalkov.


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Good morning, Gotland.

We were walking in the dark blue. The sky was almost black but the horizon in front of us it was still purple and orange. 1 a.m. Salty air. I was walking a little behind my friends with my heavy back pack trying to guess what this city looks like. “Here!” One of my friends in front shouted. We stopped and started to build the tents.   Waking up on the next morning with the eyes still closed I heard the waves murmur. I pulled my sleepy head out of the tent and half-opened my eyes. White beach. Rocks. Turquoise water. Good morning, Gotland.

White and blue. Gotland, June 2012. Photo by Nathalia Mikhalkov.

White and blue. Gotland, June 2012. Photo by Nathalia Mikhalkov.

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