Though of the day

Can’t wait for our Lake District retreat. Cozy cottage, hills, lakes and down time. Its been a year since our last “digital detox” in Scotland and I’m looking forward to some fresh air and relaxation! 

We have a few adventures coming up that I’m looking forward to writing about plus I’m planning on having a go at some iteninary posts too!! Watch this space. 

Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour, bookshops and performers

As part of my Christmas present my in-laws got me a Gin Parlour Experience in London which involved drinking gin. Which everyone knows is one of my favourite activities. As it involved gin we needed to stay in London which meant we were going to make a weekend of it! I’ve written about our day at London Zoo so here is a round-up of the rest of our time.

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Given that gin was the order of the day I was very excited!

Before we got to the zoo we headed to a bookshop I’d read about that specialised in travel literature. The Marylebone store of Daunt Books was the closest to the zoo, I was glad we made the trip. It actually ended up being the first of two travel bookshops we stopped at but it was the prettier of the two. Filled from top to bottom with travel books, new and second hand it was a travellers paradise.

DSC_0007DSC_0009My dream one day is to have a huge travel book collection but today neither of us wanted to carry anything heavy so reluctantly we left without our body weight in books.

To get to the zoo we walked by through Regent’s Park which was lovely, if not a little covered in Saturday morning runners!

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London Zoo!

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As part of my Christmas present my in-laws got me a Gin Parlour Experience in London which involved drinking gin. Which everyone knows is one of my favourite activities. As it involved gin we needed to stay in London which meant we were going to make a weekend of it! More on the Gin Experience and our weekend in general to follow but I decided to put a whole post together on London Zoo!

I love going to zoos, I enjoy seeing the animals but more so I enjoy hearing about the different conservation efforts. We were blown away by Vancouver Aquarium and hadn’t been anywhere since so I had high expectations.

London Zoo is set in the north of Regents Park in Central London, a 10 minute walk from Camden Town. Entrance to the zoo is expensive…like £30 per adult ticket expensive. However! If you travel to London by train and have a ticket (or the reservation coupon) plus a downloaded voucher from 241 London241 London you can get in 241! Which if you’re as good at maths as me meant we only paid half price! Bonus!!!!

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Sweden Day 7 & 8 – Our Last Days in Sweden

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Day 7 – our last real day 

Our last full day in Sweden was spent much like the previous day with relaxation, beer and an open fire. We had a late breakfast and did some packing before heading out for some cross country skiing around lunch time.

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I had never been cross country skiing – or normal downhill skiing for that matter – so I was a little apprehensive to say the least. I shouldn’t have worried too much as it was so enjoyable.

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The guide we had was great, after kitting up he took us to a flat patch of ground so we could get used to being on the skis. They are different to downhill ski’s as only your toe’s are connected, which I quite liked but I imagine it’s odd if you’re used to normal skiing.

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Sweden Day 6 – Lazy Days and Sky Stations

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Our next two days in Sweden were pretty low key. We spent most of our time curled up in the hotel lounge by the fire with books, hot chocolate and more beer. It was pure bliss if I’m honest. Sure I am up for seeing as much as possible while you’re away but sometimes it is just as good and rewarding to sit down, look out of the window and just while the hours away.

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Sunrise is late this far north. This was about 9:30am 

The hotel lounge was also super cosy which made it very difficult to pull yourself away. We did however decide it was a good idea to take the short walk up to the hotel’s Aurora viewing platform. It was a struggle to get there to say the least. The “walk” took us up a very steep path to the top of the hill in deep snow.

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Sweden Day 5 – Trains, Snow Suits and Northern Lights

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As our tour was a Great Rail Journey it was about time we boarded another (and our final) train taking us from Kiruna even further north to Bjorkliden. A fairly leisurely morning we made it to the station about 20 minutes before the train was due to leave however it was unfortunately delayed. By an hour. As mainland European trains go it was unusual for it to be late and we were informed it didn’t happen often. Which in some ways was a little annoying. We spent the hour in the waiting room reading before finding our seats once the trained pulled into the station.

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Beautiful morning sky

On our way to the seat we had to walk through the dog compartment….a place on the train where you’re dogs can roam free and sit on the seats. Not really my cup of tea but I can see the benefit.

As with our train from Lulea to Kiruna this train was nothing to write home amount. It was a much shorter trip but we had a window to gaze out of. Not that you could see much more than lots of snow!

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Sweden Day 4 – Ice Hotels, Reindeer Feeding and Green Lights

Sorry for the slight post gap – catch up with days 1, 2 and 3!

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We had a lazy morning before our afternoon and evening excursions which was nice as it meant a lie in! Always a plus in my book. Our cabins were wonderful, I wish I took a picture of them but it was super homey.

After breakfast we decided we would have a wander around and a play in the snow! It was a beautiful morning (as most of them were) so we took a walk down to the Aurora Viewing platform which was basically just a platform in a clearing but it made for some good pictures. The snow was pretty deep so it was an experience for me!

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Sweden Day 3 – Trains, Cabins and Coffee Cheese

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Our next day in Sweden began with what became an almost constant, beautiful light, a big positive for the short daylight hours at this time of year. When there is light is wonderful.

Today was our first train ride of the trip taking us from Lulea to Kiruna. Kiruna is the biggest town in the Lapland area and is essentially a mining town as it’s home to one of the biggest iron ore mines in Europe.

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The interesting thing about Kiruna is that the town is actually sinking into the mine. They are having to relocate the whole town a few kilometres away to prevent the mine giving way. The whole move (as you would expect) is being paid for by the mining companies which just goes to show the amount of money they must be making!

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