A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about walking

Day 1 in Winchester

Exploring Winchester

overcast 45 °F

The plane ride was good, a picnic with complimentary wine and cheese and crackers that I’d brought were a great way to start the flight.
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After customs, we found the location of our bus ride to Winchester then found some Italian coffee to pass the 3 hours we had to wait. The bus ride would have been interesting if we would not have kept falling asleep.

We arrived in downtown Winchester, hopped into a cab and went to our hotel. We wanted to go to dinner in downtown Winchester but couldn’t find the wherewithal to leave so ate at the hotel restaurant. This was actually a good choice as the food was good and gluten-free.

The buffet breakfast had lots of choices so we could fill up on food that would last for several hours. We then hopped the city bus just outside of the hotel on the main road and went into the town.

We didn’t have a plan for today, just go to the Visitor’s Center again, and then go to the Winchester Cathedral. After that, we wanted to see the Great Hall if we had time or walk around the Christmas market or go where the spirit moved.
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We went to Winchester and found the Cathedral and found a tour guide, this is free with an entry ticket. Our guide was actually from the states but has lived in the UK for many years. She gave us a great introduction to the site. After the hour+ tour, we went back and looked at 1 part of an original bible. The book was of interest to us because of its age.

http://www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk/our-heritage/cathedral-treasures/the-winchester-bible-details/

I wanted to see Jane Austen’s memorial and burial site. I have loved Jane Austen for many years and have read and reread her books.
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Having spent several hours at the Cathedral we were getting hungry. The guides had told us about a pub that they thought was great so we tried to find it. Instead, we got lost and ended back at the Visitor’s Center. I’m suspecting that they were getting tired of our questions, but they gave us another map with the location of the pub circled on it. The person helping also has Celiac and she located safe restaurants on the map for us.

We started walking but were distracted by a farmers market, then saw a grocery store and remembered that we had forgotten a corkscrew for the wine we brought. While we were in the store we remembered that we also wanted to buy more wine. Well no corkscrew or decent wine, but they directed us across the street. And by then we remembered that we also needed a 3-prong adaptor to charge my laptop.

We went across the street but didn’t find any decent wine or any corkscrews. And after searching at yet another store thought that we’d look for the adaptor. That was yet another runaround but finally found both a corkscrew and adaptor.

Finally, we found the restaurant we’d been looking for only to find that there wouldn’t be a table free for the evening. We went out of the restaurant but didn’t know where to go, we hadn’t eaten since breakfast and I wasn’t doing well at all. A man stopped and asked if we were lost and I answered that we hadn’t eaten since breakfast, we couldn’t eat at the place recommended and we had no idea where we needed to go. He pointed out a street with lots of restaurants (one recommended by the visitors center earlier but we’d forgotten). We went up the street and popped into a pub.
I ordered food at the bar only to find that we needed a table number (I forgot all about that) so we had to cancel the order and find a table in the very full pub. We found us a table, ordered our food which turned out to be very good and very inexpensive.

We finished up at the pub and got back to Winchester Cathedral in time for Evensong. We like these services as there is music in these wonderful cathedrals for no charge.
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After the service, we were freezing cold (it was cold all day) so we had another cup of mulled wine then ran to catch our bus. Alas, we’d missed it and the next bus wasn’t going to arrive for another 40 min. We found another pub and had a “spot of tea”.

Finally, after a long day of running around, we made it back to our room. After some wine and cheese, we were done.

Tomorrow is another day!

Posted by Miss Chris 02:52 Archived in England Tagged winchester walking travel winchester_cathedral international_travel Comments (0)

An Anniversary to Remember

What an amazing anniversary trip to Finland

overcast 3 °F

I love the breakfast here; smoked salmon, herring, veggies and coffee. We will try more of these breakfasts at home

We had to get out for our reindeer safari at 10am so we had to eat breakfast sooner than later. We found that we were sharing the safari with 4 other people. The others were parents with 2 kids, a 7 and a 2-year old.

Our guide arrived, dressed in the garb of his people. We learned that he is part of the Sami, an indigenous group, located in the Lapland area. They are known for raising reindeer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sami_people

The guide introduced us to a bit of his life. The reindeer belong to him and he is so kind to them, they are really like his children. He pets them, smiles and speaks so kindly to each reindeer. The ride itself was so beautiful, quiet except for the sled going over the snow.
We each had a reindeer skin to sit on which kept us really warm. Then nice wool blankets to cover with.

Each sled had a reindeer to pull it but all were attached to each other in a long line. The reindeer behind us kept coming over to Dale’s side and tried to lick Dale’s face on a couple of occasions. The reindeer in front is a leader in the group and the other reindeer let it eat meals first. It knew the way and would sometimes run, sometimes walk, sometimes slow way down to put his nose in the snow or grab a bit of snow.
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After our ride, we were invited into the guide’s tepee. This is a place where he likes to sleep in during summer months. He built a fire, served coffee, tea, and cakes, and then played a couple of songs of his people.

We had a sleigh ride scheduled for 9:45pm. We arrived at the reception desk and met our guide, then walked to the barn. The guide handed us a basket that contained a small bottle of champagne, lots of chocolates and 2 traditional wood cups. He said that we could have the champagne when we wanted.

The snow was so beautiful in the dark. Again, it was so quiet except for our sled, and again we sat on the reindeer skins.

We saw some lights in the distance, which we assumed were a house. Instead, they were lights from candles, a sort of Finnish farolito, in the snow. The guide had dug a hole then built up a wall of snow around the edge, with a hole one side leaving the top open. There were several of these candle holders. There was also a table, covered with snow, and candles. In the back, there was the structure of a tepee, only the wood, no covering.
We set our basket on the snow covered table, poured our champagne, ate some chocolate and took photos with the big camera on the tripod.

Wow, what an end to our trip!!! This has been an amazing journey.

Posted by Miss Chris 16:34 Archived in Finland Tagged snow walking finland outdoors reindeer winter_in_finland kaksluttanen sleigh_ride Comments (0)

Finally, The Glass Igloo

We made it to the glass igloo in the Arctic Circle

overcast 3 °F

We wanted to take the early bus up to Kakslauttanen, the resort that was the original purpose of this trip. There is no train north, hence the bus ride. We left our room by 7:15 and walked to the bus station, about a 20-minute walk. It was cold and dark but beautiful and invigorating.

The bus arrived and 2 women took a turn driving the 4-hour drive over snow-covered roads. Some roads were only snow but the women were pros. It appeared to us that the bus was partly city bus, for the outlying areas. And by outlying, there was nothing around for miles, then a little pullout with a sign with a bus symbol.

A couple of times, the route took a turn to the right, off of the main road, and the road was just snow covered. It went off thru the forest then by a few houses and then joined the main road.

We made it to Kakslauttanen by early afternoon but our room wasn’t ready. Also, I’d selected a couple of activities, but for whatever reason, the final info didn’t make it to the desk. We’d wanted to go on a Reindeer Safari in the morning and a sleigh ride in the evening. The lady at the desk said that we could go on the Reindeer Safari in the morning but the sleigh ride had to be requested 1 week prior. I had requested but since the request had not gotten thru we said we’d go on a sleigh ride, sharing it with other people.
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The lady talked on the phone then came back. Because they knew this was our anniversary, they had arranged a sleigh ride for just the 2 of us. It would be for Friday night, our anniversary.

We got to our igloo, only to find 2 small bottles of champagne and 2 stems, a large bar of chocolate and a smaller bar of chocolate truffle, along with a note. What a nice touch.
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The glass igloo is small, just 2 twin beds in the center, and a small cabinet around the edge on 2 sides. A small bathroom with opaque glass is on one side of the entry door and a shelf on the other side of the entry. No TV, no internet, just the sky above and snow on the ground.
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We had a drink in the igloo bar, Lapland Coffee, this is coffee with cloudberry liqueur. Cloudberries are only found in Lapland. They are very small and not easy to gather. We did buy some of the liqueur but drank it.
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We will buy more to take home. And maybe we will share with friends.

Posted by Miss Chris 17:24 Archived in Finland Tagged nature walking finland outdoors winter_in_finland glass_igloo kakslauttanen Comments (0)

Rovaniemi, Another Day

Another day in Lapland

overcast 5 °F

We got our bearings and were able to walk all over. We started by walking down to a Coffee Shop by the Square for coffee and some pastry, then back to the room to leave off my laptop. IMG_20161214_091023065.jpgIMG_20161214_112104893.jpg

We decided to go to the museum 1st, the museum on prehistory and Arctic Circle. This was only a few blocks from our hostel.
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The museum is amazing and so informative on the area. We spent our morning on just the history of the people.

We left the museum by 1pm because we wanted to go to a restaurant that was known for its food. Unfortunately, the restaurant was closed, we could see that they were setting up for a party.

Dale then found a restaurant known for being romantic. Sure enough, it was a lovely restaurant, beautiful wood paneling with beveled glass to separate sections. After servings of Salmon Soup, we shared dinners of Arctic Char and Reindeer steaks. All was well.
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Posted by Miss Chris 19:10 Archived in Finland Tagged walking finland outdoors rovaniemi winter_in_finland Comments (0)

Rovaniemi, Lapland, The Land of Santa

overcast 20 °F

We’ve been spoiled with having our own sauna, eating fish and veggies for breakfast and fast quiet trains.

One last train ride, to Rovaniemi. But first a walk down to the Baltic to see the sunrise and maybe shoot some photos. I didn’t carry my tripod but think that photos came out ok. It wasn’t easy to work with the polarizer while wearing heavy gloves, so it looks like some photos have dark corners.
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The 3+hour train ride became lots closer to 4 when a locomotive broke down. We cooled our heels drinking coffee, while the train sat on the track.
We got into Rovaniemi and took a cab to the Santa Claus Hotel where we had to check in. The lady at the desk said that we could walk to our hotel, which turned out to be a hostel. It was about ½ mile away.
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We walked thru the square where the Christmas Market is then started up the hill. We walked and then walked some more. Finally, it seemed like we were walking into an area of apartments.

We stopped at a grocery store and the clerk was sure we’d passed the hostel. I googled the hostel and sure enough, we’d walked ½ mile too far. At least we got to walk downhill.

We were starving and after dumping our stuff started walking to a restaurant recommended by the hotel clerk. When we couldn’t find the restaurant, we went into one recommended by some people walking down the street. (They were looking for a grocery store) The restaurant was completely packed with no tables open for the evening.
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Finally, we went back to the Santa Claus Hotel and ate a nice meal at their restaurant. What a day!

Posted by Miss Chris 04:23 Archived in Finland Tagged snow walking finland outdoors rovaniemi winter_in_finland Comments (0)

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