• Europe,  Uncategorized

    3 Reasons Why Ibiza is the Ultimate Summer Destination

    Written by: Sheida

    Without exaggeration, one can easily say that Ibiza is the zenith during summertime. Party- and sun-worshipping people from all over the world flock to the Spanish hippe island, located on the east coast of Spain, to enjoy the vibrant nightlife and the world-class beach clubs. I (Sheida) have listed my top three reasons why Ibiza holds a strong second place (after our favorite city Cannes) as the ultimate summer destination.

    1.The Postcard Beaches

    The beaches in Ibiza, and especially in Formentera (the smallest of the Spanish Balearic Islands) are a reason alone why you should put Ibiza on your summer bucket list. With it’s lovely white sands and crystal clear turqouise water, Formentera looks just like something off a postcard from the Caribbiean. In other words, you don’t need to go to the other side of the globe to experience paradise – it takes no more than 40 minutes with a ferry from Ibiza town.

    ibiza formentera paradise beach

    2. The Day Parties

    Nothing beats those magical sunsets in the company of good friends, the house tunes and the rosé wine served in plastic cups. If you are into day parties and hanging out at beach clubs, Ibiza will be a dream destination! Three popular day parties you definitely should check out are:

    Blue Marlin Beach Club in Cala Jondal.

    This beach club is amazing! Everything from the vibe, the crowd, the setting to the music is on point. Be here on Sundays (their most popular day) and be prepared for one of your best and most memorable evenings on Ibiza. Every time I think back to my visit to Blue Marlin it brings a big smile to my face. There are way too many crazy memories to list here, but I all can say is that you should go there and create your own memories – you won’t regret it!

    blue marlin ibiza we are nodesblue marlin ibiza we are nodesblue marlin ibiza we are nodesMy travel company Lilian having a cooling mojito in the shade.

    Flower Power party at Destino Pacha Resort.

    Ibiza is really in the leading edge when it comes to creating over the top-parties, and Destino’s Flower Power party is no exception. During these magical evenings, the whole hotel resort transforms into a colorful hippie world with a market, performances, confetti rains and good old 60’s music which definitely gets you in the mood for dancing! Seeing Ibiza is a hippie island, your holiday to Ibiza won’t be complete until you’ve attended this party. And yes, you will probably be humming on “Let the Sun Shine” in true hippie style for the next couple of days…

    destino pacha ibiza flower party we are nodesHaving lunch at the Flower Power party. Can you spot our red fan? It’s a life saver during any party when the weather is hot.

    Pacha destino flower power we are nodesibiza destino pacha we are nodesPacha Destino Ibiza flower power we are node

    Ushuahia Pool party

    Ushuaia beach hotel can boast with the title of being the ultimate party hotel at Ibiza. Why? Because of their incredible pool area that turns into an open air club with the world’s best DJ’s behind the decks – every night of the week. Each day top DJ’s like Avicii, Armin van Buuren (my favorite house producer!), Nervo, Tiësto, David Guetta (etc.) host their own parties and bring a lot of guest DJ’s and artists with them which guarantees a great show! If you have a big vacation budget you can even book one of the hotel’s club rooms that are facing the pool area, basically allowing your balcony to be on the dance floor.

    ska%cc%88rmavbild-2016-11-19-kl-21-37-10Picture from my first visit to Ibiza in 2011, the same year that Ushuaia beach hotel opened. Now, 6 years later it’s still a hotspot in Ibiza. 

    3. The Chilled Vibe

    In Ibiza you take the day as it comes. You wake up at noon. Go to the beach. Eat lunch at four p.m. Go back to your hotel and have a long nap. Dinner is served at 11 p.m or even later if you prefer. And you don’t need to rush to the club because the party won’t start until 2 a.m anyways. Some might find it annoying or stressful that everything starts so late, but for the siesta-loving people like myself that need that extra hour of sleep and prefer eating long dinners, “the Spanish clock” is a match made in heaven. Perhaps this was why I enjoyed living in BCN so much (more about that trip in another blog post)?

    las salinas beach ibiza

    Is anyone headed to Ibiza this summer? Do you have any suggestions and tips to share?

    /Sheida

  • Europe,  Hotels

    Introducing Hotel Sadova: A brand new 4-star design hotel in Gdansk

    Written by Yasmin

    Every trip has its purpose. Sometimes accommodation is less significant (‘We’ll never be in the room anyway’), and sometimes the hotel becomes a very central part of the whole travel experience. For me (Yasmin), Hotel Sadova definitely was a part of shaping my Gdansk experience. The design hotel opened in June 2016, and is located 7 minutes from the city center. The hotel gave a fresh impression; combining industrial  and modern interior with facilities like an indoor pool, sauna and an attractive bar. Here’s a list of our favorite parts of the hotel!

    5 things we enjoyed about Hotel Sadova, Gdansk:

    1. Gin and Tonics at the Hotel Bar

    We established a little “vacation routine” (gotta love those!) of beginning every evening with a Gin and Tonic on Bombay Gin at the hotel bar, adjacent to the entrance and lobby. Mouthwatering! Give them a try if you’re ever around!

    Hotel Sadova Lounge We are NodesHotel Sadova Bar We are NodesHotel Sadova Lounge We are Nodes

    2. The indoor pool

    When I posted an image of the indoor pool on my Instagram, people joked about vampires and blood because of the dramatic colour. For everyone’s information, the pool actually shifts colours, so unfortunately (having just re-watched the two first seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer), there were no vampires in sight. The red colour was my favorite, though!

    Pool Hotel Sadova We are NodesFrom red…
    Hotel pool We are Nodes GdanskTo blue…
    Hotel Sadova Pool We are NodesTo green…

    Maybe it’s because of my event background, but I really love when venues put some effort into enhancing the esthetic touch and visual experience of facilities. With colour lightning and a contemporary art constellation in red, this indoor pool became so much more than just a fitness area. The hotel also offered a small gym for its sporty guests, and an infrared sauna (slightly too cool for me, but I guess those require less power and therefore are a better and more sustainable alternative). With a blizzard outside, we really enjoyed being able to escape the cold in the hotel’s relax area – and I wouldn’t mind having even longer opening hours for the pool (currently it closes at 9 pm).Gym Hotel Sadova We are Nodes

    3. Restaurant Papieroovka

    Second evening, we decided to try out the hotel’s own restaurant and explore their mixture of Polish and European cuisine. After eating appetizers, beef tartares (my favorite!), duck and meat, we were very happy with our decision!

    Restaurant Papieroovka We are Nodes 5Appetizer: Duck’s breast sous vide served with potato fondant, hazelnut powder and pear mousse.Restaurant Papieroovka We are Nodes 2 Restaurant Papieroovka We are Nodes 2Starter: Beef tartar with apple sauce and parmesan crisp with a glass of white Chardonnay was a great choice for starter. I’m a huge fan of beef tartars, and love to try new variations of them. The fruity elements were, for me, a new take on the classic dish.  Restaurant Papieroovka We are Nodes 5Maincourse: Duck with red cabbage puree, romanesco cauliflower, potato fondants and caramelised orange. 
    Restaurant Papieroovka We are Nodes 5

    4. The Breakfast Buffet

    Breakfasts are really my THING, so we spent at least 2 hours, eating, drinking coffee and reading books (yes, we do bring books to the breakfast) every day. Best part of vacation!

    Breakfast Hotel Sadova We are Nodes 2 Breakfast Hotel Sadova We are Nodes 2 Breakfast Hotel Sadova We are Nodes 2The backdrop for the breakfast buffet was very Instagram-friendly!
    Breakfast Hotel Sadova We are Nodes 2

    5. The Rooms

    The rooms were of high standard with a modern and elegant touch, including all necessities that one could need. The only thing that would made it better would be a better view – but that’s hardly a dealbreaker for me when I’m on a weekend trip. The rooms were overall a pleasure to stay in!

    Hotel Sadova Room We are Nodes 2Hotel Sadova Room We are Nodes 2Hotel Sadova Room We are Nodes 2 Hotel Sadova Room We are Nodes 2

    To sum up, it was a pleasure to experience Gdansk while staying at Hotel Sadova. As long as the price level in Poland is so much cheaper than in Sweden, I think it’s worth spending some extra money on both good food and accomondation. Hotel Sadova is a very new addition to the hotel market in Gdansk, and currently building its reputation, but I’m sure it will end up being one of the most popular hotels in the area. The staff were super friendly and had great English skills, which of course makes the hotel experience much better. Thank you for this time, Hotel Sadova!

    Read more about my Gdansk trip here: 3 Reasons to Visit Gdansk, Poland

    //Yasmin

  • Europe

    3 Reasons to Visit Gdansk, Poland

    Written by Yasmin

    “But why Gdansk?” was a frequent reaction when I (Yasmin) announced the plans for our weekend trip. The lot fell on Gdansk by chance, when my boyfriend and I were browsing through the offers on travel portal Travelbird. We found a deal that included flight tickets, two nights at a 4-star hotel, breakfast buffet and private transfer for only 1500 SEK per person – but more so, it was the possibility to experience a less classical weekend destination that made us click the BUY-button. Located one hour away from Stockholm by plane, Gdansk attracted us with great food for low-cost, and the opportunity to hang out and eat long hotel breakfasts at the newly opened design hotel Sadova.

    We are Nodes Gdansk Poland
    Join us as we visit one of Polen’s most popular cities and share 3 things you should not miss during your visit to Gdansk.

    1) The Christmas Lightning in Oliwa Park

    We are Nodes Oliwa Park Gdansk Poland

    The park is located about 15 minutes with car from Gdansk city center, so the easiest way to get there is by cab or Uber, although there supposedly is a tram station nearby. Oliwa Park is an absolute MUST if you’re in Gdansk during Christmas time. Our driver rolled his eyes when we asked him if he’d been there, “Yes, I have been there, my girlfriend forced me to go see the christmas lights”  (yeah yeah, use the good old ‘blame the girlfriend’-card), but I’m CONFIDENT that no one can enter this park without being completely amazed by their Christmas lightning, with the impressive “Wall of lights” being the park’s flagship!

    We are Nodes Oliwa Park Gdansk Poland We are Nodes Oliwa Park Gdansk PolandOliwaPark We are Nodes Gdansk

    2) Delicious meat with golden liqueur at Goldwasser

    We are Nodes Goldwasser Gdansk

    You know when you have had one of those amazing dinners that you instantly know you’ll end up talking about for a long time? As soon as we took the first bite of our Goldwasser’s Chateaubriand medium rare-steak, we immediately knew that this dinner would be one of those meals we’d look back at. We rounded off our fantastic dinner with their traditional 40-percent Goldwasser liqueur with real 23-carat gold flakes – a great ending to a really good restaurant experience! The prices are high in comparison to the normal price level in Poland, but the restaurant is a brilliant place to treat yourself while being in Gdansk.

    Address: Długie Pobrzeże 22, 22-100 Gdańsk, Polen
    Phone: +48 58 301 88 78
    Website: http://www.goldwasser.pl/en/

    Jadalnia Pod Zielonym SmokiemJadalnia Pod Zielonym SmokiemWe are Nodes Goldwasser Gdansk We are Nodes Goldwasser Gdansk We are Nodes Goldwasser Gdansk We are Nodes Goldwasser Gdansk Jadalnia Pod Zielonym SmokiemGoldwasser is a fancy restaurant with a fantastic decor and serviceminded staff, located next to the water. Jadalnia Pod Zielonym Smokiem Jadalnia Pod Zielonym Smokiem

    3) Polish dishes for cheap prices at Jadalnia Pod Zielonym Smokiem

    Jadalnia Pod Zielonym Smokiem We are Nodes

    Somewhat difficult to find (we walked by the restaurant twice!) because of its location on the basement floor on ul. Szeroka 125, BUT this restaurant (a highly recommended lunch spot) is well worth its Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence. This where you’ll find typical Polish dishes for very cheap prices (our lunch with drinks, soup and main courses for two persons cost less than 100 SEK/10 euros!) in a genuine and simple setting, which was exactly what we were looking for! Gdansk was pretty calm during our visit, but this restaurant was by far the most crowded one of all the ones we visited.

    Address: ul. Szeroka 125, Gdansk 80-835, Polen
    Phone: +48 510 071 991
    Website: http://www.zielonysmok.com.pl/

    Jadalnia Pod Zielonym Smokiem We are NodesJadalnia Pod Zielonym Smokiem We are NodesJadalnia Pod Zielonym Smokiem We are NodesJadalnia Pod Zielonym Smokiem We are Nodes

    Summary of Gdansk

    My first visit in Poland was Sopot two years ago, and even though the city itself was beautiful, my general impression of the service level was not positive. Gdansk, on the other hand, exceeded my expectations! Everyone were super friendly and helpful, and the wining and dining-experience alone makes it worth a visit.

    We are Nodes Gdansk Poland We are Nodes Gdansk Poland

    We were in Gdansk between Tuesday-Thursday, and during weekdays the city is very calm, i.e. nothing for people seeking vibrant nightlife. According to the locals, Sopot is a better choice for clubbing. The quietness of the city didn’t disturb us at all, but good for people to know in order to manage expectations. When (and not if) I return to Gdansk, I’d love to go right before the Holidays to experience the Christmas lightnings and get into the right Christmas spirit.

    Bunkier We are NodesClub Bunkier: During evenings, this preserved building from the Second World War, turns into a night club. Unfortunately, it was pretty calm during our visit in Gdansk. 

    Find holiday deals with Travelbird

    Other than the premiere to Gdansk, it was also the first time I traveled with Travelbird. With so many elements (flights, private transfer to and from the hotel, accommodation etc), we were a bit sceptical. We all know how some offers just sound too good to be true, but I must say I’m positively surprised with everything! It’s not the last time I travel with them.

    The flights are from Skavsta airport in Sweden (probably one of the most boring and soulless airports in the world), but my #travelhack is simply to make the 1,5 hour bus ride to the airport a part of the experience: Buy coffee, sandwiches, listen to podcasts, plan your trip, and the transport will pass in a heartbeat!

    Here’s a detailed blog post about our stay at the brand new design hotel Sadova. 

    //Yasmin

    Don’t forget to follow us on Bloglovin!

  • fairmont vier jahreszeiten hamburg
    Europe,  Restaurants,  Reviews

    Afternoon Tea At Fairmont Vier Jahreszeiten, Hamburg

    This trip was made in collaboration with Hamburg Tourism and NordicTB.

    With a couple of hours left until my flight back to Stockholm, I (Sheida) decided to go for a walk along the Alster Lake, followed by a traditional Afternoon Tea at the renowned Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten. Join us as we try their award-winning Afternoon Tea with one of Hamburg’s most well-read tea masters! 

    Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreseziten Afternoon Tea We are Nodes

    A Grand Luxery Hotel in the Heart of Hamburg

    Seeing it was Sunday, freezing, and most of the shops were closed, an afternoon spent in front of an open fire with a warming cup of tea felt like a good idea. During the walking tour the previous day (read our full Hamburg guide here), our guide Tomas Kaiser told us a lot about the coffee and tea export in Hamburg, so I was inspired to go for a tea- tasting or doing some sort of activity involving tea.

    After some research, my choice finally fell on a proper English Afternoon Tea at Fairmont Vier Jahreszeiten on Neuer Jungfernstieg 9-14. The Wohnhalle, where the Afternoon Tea is served daily between 2.00 pm-6.00 pm, has been awarded with the “Golden Teacup” twice for best regional tea culture amongst high-class gastronomic establishments. Surely, they must know their tea.

    Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreseziten Afternoon Tea We are NodesFairmont Hotel Vier Jahreseziten Afternoon Tea We are NodesDuring the holiday season Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten will impress you with their stunning Christmas decorations.

    Enter Fairmont Vier Jahreszeiten

    If you’ve been to a Fairmont Hotel before, you already know that they are breathtaking, but during Christmas time the atmosphere is magical – and Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Hamburg was by no means an exception!

    Since I was a bit early, the friendly staff where kind enough to give me a little private tour of the hotel while waiting for the clock to strike tea time. I was led through a common area into a beautiful hall where the staff were in the midst of preparing the final touches for the annual children’s Teddy Bear Tea, that was about to start later the same afternoon. Every Sunday starting from November 27th to December 19th (2.00 pm- 6 pm), Fairmont Vier Jahreszeiten hosts a “Afternoon Tea” for the children where they can enjoy a buffet, participate in various crafting activities, play with all the toys and expect a visit from Santa.

    I must admit, I wouldn’t mind staying there longer… just look at the beautiful floor to ceiling windows with the blue shimmering lights!

    Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreseziten Afternoon Tea We are Nodes Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreseziten Afternoon Tea We are NodesFairmont Hotel Vier Jahreseziten Afternoon Tea We are NodesFairmont Hotel Vier Jahreseziten Afternoon Tea We are Nodes

    Afternoon Tea – Christmas Edition

    At two o’ clock I was back in the Wohnhalle; comfortably seated in my armchair and ready for some tea. While overlooking the beautiful view of Inner Alster Lake, and listening to the pleasant sparkles from the fireplace closeby, I was already enjoying my visit. I had the pleasure to be served by a really service-minded, friendly and, above all, knowledgeable tea-master, who was a big reason for why my visit became so memorable and why I so warmly can recommend it to others.

    I decided to go for the traditional Queen Victoria Afternoon Tea (59 euro) which included scones with clotted cream, a variation of savouries, such as roast beef with truffle remoulade, salmon with horseradish, egg salad with cress, cucumber with cream cheese, cakes and biscuits created by created by Christoph Rüffers, head of Haerlin Restaurant and of course lots and lots of tea.

    Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreseziten Afternoon Tea We are NodesFairmont Hotel Vier Jahreseziten Afternoon Tea We are NodesFairmont Hotel Vier Jahreseziten Afternoon Tea We are NodesFairmont Hotel Vier Jahreseziten Afternoon Tea We are NodesThe beautiful tea-menu. I was recommended to try the Golden Assam tea.

    Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreseziten Afternoon Tea We are NodesFairmont Hotel Vier Jahreseziten Afternoon Tea We are NodesTo make the tea perfectly steeped the tea master uses a tea sand-timer. 3 minutes for black tea, and 2 minutes for green tea. 

    Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreseziten Afternoon Tea We are NodesScones with clotted cream and jam.

    Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreseziten Afternoon Tea We are NodesThe pastries are created by Christoph Rüffers, head of Haerlin Restaurant which is also located in the hotel (one of Germany’s leading gourmet restaurants and bearer of 2 Michelin stars). 

    Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreseziten Afternoon Tea We are NodesOpera-slice, poppy-fig-slice, blood orange mousse & chestnut biscuit and almond & cranberry cake.

    Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreseziten Afternoon Tea We are NodesAnd last but not least; the savouries! The salmon with horseradish and egg salad with cress were my favorites!

    More that’s going on at Fairmont Vier Jahreszeiten

    Gourmet Restaurant Haerlin has 2 Michelin Stars and has been awarded with several awards such as “German Restaurant of the Year”, “Hamburg’s Best Chef” and “Chef of the Year”.
    – In the autumn 2016, the hotel also opened the new design restaurant NIKKEI NINE that offers innovative Japanese cuisine with Peruvian elements.

    Reservations for Afternoon Tea at the Wohnhalle:
    Open Hours: Monday – Sunday from 2 pm – 6 pm.
    Price: 59 euro or 73 euro with a glass of champagne.

    Reservations for Children’s Teddy Bear Tea:
    T:
    +49 (0)40 34 94 3302
    E-mail: 
    gastronomie.hvj@fairmont.com
    Hours: (only in December) 2 pm-6 pm
    Price: Children over the age of three 50 eur, adults 65 euro, children under the age of three are free of charge.

    If you have any questions, or want to share your Fairmont-experiences, please drop us a comment! And don’t forget to check out our Hamburg video where Fairmont Vier Jahreszeiten is featured!

    #ChristmasInHamburg #HolyHamburg

  • Europe,  Restaurants

    Elegant Breakfast at Gretas in Haymarket by Scandic, Stockholm

    Written by Yasmin

    The opening of Haymarket by Scandic in Stockholm really made a splash in media. The renovation of the former department store PUB-huset was finished in May 2016, and when the doors finally opened, the public was welcomed to a brand new hotel with several cafés and restaurants in exquisite taste.

    Gretas Scandic Haymarket We are Nodes Gretas Scandic Haymarket We are Nodes Gretas Scandic Haymarket We are Nodes

    So close, but yet so far away…

    Recognize the feeling of having a special spot you walk by in your everyday life and never have the time to enter? Gretas, one of Haymarket by Scandic’s cafés, influenced by the 1920’s and decorated in pink colours in a glamorous setting, is THAT place for Sheida. So, once it was time for our “sister conference/ We are Nodes-planning”, she insisted that we should pick Gretas as our location for the day. Said and done, we were there a little before 9 on a Sunday morning (their opening hours is from 9 am on weekends, and 7.30 am on weekdays).

    Gretas Scandic Haymarket We are Nodes

    New favorite spot

    And here’s the verdict: There’s really nothing you can complain over at Gretas. We liked it all; Friendly staff, the well made and filling sandwiches that live up to their prices, the COFFEE, but most of all we enjoyed the the calm and elegant vibe. The central part of Stockholm has (in our opinion), always lacked a great café and breakfast spot, but enter Gretas – our new favorite breakfast place!Gretas Scandic Haymarket We are Nodes Toast on rye with Avocado with egg from Gotland “65” and cream cheese for 85 SEKToast on rye with Salmon and horseradish for 85 SEK

    It’s Champagne o’clock

    Once the clock starts being lunch time, more and more people find their way to Gretas, which is maybe why we prefer the early hours there (not sure if it’s a introvert trait or something…). However, before rounding off, we ordered in a glass of Champagne (140 SEK) to celebrate multiple personal victories (and also Sheida’s upcoming birthday!).

    We are Nodes Champagne Gretas Haymarket ScandicGretas Scandic Haymarket We are Nodes

    Breakfasts is our favorite meal of the day, so we’d love to hear about your breakfast spots in Stockholm! Where do you normally go out to eat breakfast?

    Want more Stockholm tips? Read our Stockholm guide here. 

    Gretas, Haymarket by Scandic

    Opening hours
    Cafe: Mon-Thu 07:00-20:00
    Fri 07:00-22:00
    Sat 09:00-22:00
    Sun 09:00-18:00
    Address: Hötorget 13-15
    111 57 Stockholm
    Contact info: Phone+46 8 517 26 700, Email: haymarket@scandichotels.com
    Website: https://www.scandichotels.com/hotels/sweden/stockholm/haymarket-by-scandic/restaurant-bar/gretas

  • Europe,  Germany

    The Ultimate Christmas Guide to Hamburg

    This trip was made in collaboration with Hamburg Tourism and NordicTB.

    After a jam-packed weekend full of Christmas markets, sightseeing, local delicacies, countless cups of Glühwein and what could be Germany’s best tea served by a tea-master (!), I (Sheida) must say that Hamburg has it all! From November 21st, Hamburg turns into a beautiful winter wonderland with numerous Christmas markets that will get you in the right Christmas spirit.

    Follow us as we explore Hamburg and learn more about Germany’s second largest city (that can brag with both having more canals than Venice and being the starting point for Beatles’ career). Here’s We are Nodes’ detailed guide for an unforgettable Christmas weekend in Hamburg.

    Day 1

    13:00 Check in at Reichshof Hotel Hamburg, Curio Collection by Hilton

    Our home for the weekend was Reichshof Hotel, the former Grand Hotel which was ideally located just a stones throw away from the central station and only twenty minutes with metro from the airport. Reichshof re-opened in 2015 after an extensive renovation and became the first European hotel to be a part of the Hilton Curio Collection, a selection of unique hotels. It’s the perfect hotel for business- and weekend travellers since it’s located in the middle of the buzzing city and has all the facilities and comfort needed for a person on the go!
    My company for the weekend. From left; travel bloggers Bettina, Marie, Anette, Evelina, me (Sheida) and Jessica from Hamburg Tourism.

    Although there is a new fresh feel to hotel since the renovation, the Reichshof Hotel has kept a lot of the original details from when the hotel first opened in 1910. Marble pillars, the elevator signs and parts of the chandeliers keep the hotel’s history alive and becomes a nice contrast to the newly added elements.

    Tel: +49 40 3702590
    Adress: Kirchenallee 34-36, 200 99 Hamburg
    Visit Website

    15:00 Harbour boat trip

    If the weather is on your side, starting your weekend in Hamburg with a harbour boat trip is a nice way to experience the city’s port – the second busiest port in Europe, also known as the Gateway to the World. Try the popular Fischbrötchen (fish sandwhich) for lunch before you hop on the boat (I promise, they taste better than they look like!). When you’re starting to get cold it is time to order your first (of many!) cups of warm Glühwein!

    In Germany they have both red and white Glühwein – my favorite was the white one! 

    Adress: Bei den St. Pauli- Landungsbrücken 2, 20359 Hamburg

    17:00 Santa Pauli Christmas Market

    Santa Pauli, located in Reeperbahn (Hamburg’s red light district) is an excellent stop for Glühwein #2. With a big flashing disco bowl, DJ’s playing music and booths full of local delicacies mixed with “adults only” souvenirs, this probably is the craziest Christmas Market you will ever visit! Hang out in front of the open fire, soak in the great atmosphere and eat one of my favorite things in the whole wide world: crêpes!

    Tip: Make sure to take out money before you visit the Christmas Markets, since most of the stalls only accept cash!


    Adress: Spielbudenplatz 22, 20359 Hamburg
    Opening Hours: Monday-Thursday 17-23, Friday 17-01 pm, Saturday-Sunday 13-01 pm.
    Metro: Santa Pauli

    19:00 Dinner at Altes Mädchen

    Finish your evening with a long dinner at brewhouse and restaurant Altes Mädschen on Lagerstraße. Try one of their 60 crafted beers from around the world, and order in the restaurant’s own takes on regional classics, such as schnitzels and sandwhiches baked in their own wooden oven!

    What’s really going on during a “bloggers dinner” – a representative from Hamburg Tourism giving us photo light so we can take pictures of the food.  

    Adress:  Lagerstraße 28b, 20357 Hamburg
    Phone: +49 40 800077750 
    Visit Website

    Day 2

    08:15 Breakfast at Slowman Restaurant, Reichshof Hotel

    During our guided tour of the hotel, I found out that the founder of the Reichshof Hotel, Anton-Emil Langer, used to be a kitchen director on a ocean liner. The Slowman Restaurant (where the breakfast and dinner is served) is therefore built in the style of a dining room of a luxury ocean liner. The Reichshof Hamburg has together with Yelp even held Titanic-themed dinners here with 6-course menus, offering samples from the original menu served on Titanic! How cool is that, I want to try it!

    11:00 Walking tour in Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District (UNESCO World Heritage)

    Taking a walking tour with an experienced guide turned out to be a great Saturday activity! Discovering a city by foot makes you get to know the city in a totally different way and with a guide, you’ll get to know interesting facts about the buildings you pass that you otherwise would miss. I didn’t think a walking tour would be on the top of my Hamburg-list, but our guide Tomas Kaiser made 3 hours fly by as he guided us through the Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District (which is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list) while sharing fun trivia about the city.

    The Speicherstadt is the world’s largest historic warehouse complex – everything from coffee, tea, cacao to Persian rugs are still being stored here!

    Evelina from Earthwanderess and me stopping to admire… decorative mushrooms. Photo credit: Supermarie.net 


    Book Hamburg-expert Tomas Kaiser as your own personal guide:
    +49 (0) 170 2327749 

    12:00 360° view over Hamburg at Elbhilharmonie

    Another one of the stops on our walking tour was Hamburg’s new concert hall Elbhilharmonie (one of the top 10 most expensive buildings in the world). The impressive building houses not only an magnificent concert hall, but also The Westin Hotel and exclusive apartments. The concert hall is not opening until 11 & 12 January 2017, but for a couple of euros you can already enter some of the open indoor spaces and get nice 360° view over Hamburg. 

    Adress: Platz der Deutschen Einheit 1
    Visit website

    14:00 Rathausmarkt Christmas Market

    Although Santa Pauli was my favorite Christmas Market out of the four I visited, the famous Rauthausmarkt Christmas Market, located in front of the Town Hall, is also a must! For the best experience, I would recommend a visit in the evening when the Christmas lights are turned on.

    If you’re in the mood for shopping, you have come to the right area – just around the corner you’ll have all the best shopping streets; Neuer Wall with all the designer brands, the Europa Passage mall and all the regular brands and stores.

    Adress: Rathausmarkt 1, 20095 Hamburg 
    Opening Hours: November 21st till December 23rd: Daily 11 am – 09 pm
    Friday & Saturday until 10 pm
    Metro: 
    S1/S3 station “Jungfernstieg” (exit: “Rathausmarkt”)

    18:00 Dinner at Empire Riverside Hotel

    After spending so many hours outside, it’s nice to sink back in a comfortable sofa and get something to eat. David’s lounge bar at the Empire Riverside hotel, close to the port, has the perfect hotel lounge vibe and great sushi and drinks. If you are in the mood to continue the evening, you don’t need to go far. Just take the elevator to the 20th floor and you’ll come straight into one of Hamburg’s hotspots, the popular skybar 20 Up’s bar.

    Adress: Bernhard-Nocht-Straße 97
    Phone: +49 (40) 31119 – 0
    Visit Website

    19:00 Dinner #2 at Santa Pauli

    With Santa Pauli only one metro stop away from the Empire Riverside Hotel, I just had to make a pit stop to the market to eat dinner number 2; some more crêpes before I made my way back to the hotel.

    20:00 Spa-time at Reichshof Hotel

    In the evening I weighed between two options – to go for a drink at the hotel bar 1910, or trying out the hotel’s spa facilities. Since I had both a fever and a cold earlier the same week, the sauna and “quiet room” together with German blogger Jule felt a little bit more tempting. We spent a good hour or two doing nothing – just like you are supposed to while on vacation.

    Day 3

    13:30 Afternoon Tea at Fairmont Hotel

    With a couple of hours until my flight back to Stockholm, I decided to go for a walk along the Aussenalster Lake, strolling through the Weisser Zauber Christmas market and having a cup of coffee at Starbucks, before going for a Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Hotel on Neuer Jungfernstieg 9-14. I was inspired to go for a tea- tasting or doing some sort of activity involving tea, after hearing so much about the tea- and coffee export during the walking tour the previous day.


    If you’ve been to a Fairmont Hotel before, you already know that it is breathtaking – but during Christmas time, it’s purely magical! If you’re not in a proper Christmas mood after visiting all the Christmas markets on our list, you most definitely will be after spending a couple of hours in the Wohnhalle, the hall where their Afternoon Tea is served. The Wohnhalle has been awarded twice with the “Golden Teacup”, for best regional tea culture – and I was told by the tea-master that their pastries are created by Christoph Rüffers, head of Haerlin Restaurant (one of Germany’s leading gourmet restaurants and bearer of 2 Michelin stars).

    During my visit I also got a short private tour of the hotel. The photo above was taken while the staff was preparing for the Children’s Christmas Afternoon Tea. More about tea-masters, private tours and Afternoon Tea in the next blog post! 

    Adress: Neuer Jungfernstieg 9-14, 20354 Hamburg
    Open Hours: Afternoon Tea is served in the Wohnhalle from 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    Reservations: +49 (0)40 34 94 33 17
    Visit Website 

    How to get around:

    The Discovery-ticket allows unlimited travel on public transport, the cost is 25 euros for a 3-day adult ticket. Buy the card online and print it in advance so that you can jump straight on the metro without queueing at the ticket machines at the airport.

    Do you have any questions or have you visited Hamburg and have any recommendations on what to do the next time we visit this lovely city? Drop us a comment!

    #ChristmasInHamburg #HolyHamburg

  • Events,  Uncategorized

    Winners of Newcomers 2016 award at Nordic Travelblog Event

    Written by Yasmin

    We want to thank Travel & Lifestyle Nordic for hosting the Nordic Travelblog Event at Hotel Sheraton Stockholm on December 2nd. Aside from wine tastings and a delicious buffet, all travel enthusiasts got to listen to inspiring sessions by TradetrackerGetty Images and representatives from destinations Murcia in Spain, Flanders, Florida Keys & Key West and Israel. Tel Aviv has been on my bucketlist for years, so it was super interesting to hear more about the unknown sides of the city, such as its growing startup scene. I love hearing about new areas where innovation and entrepreneurship is booming, and Tel Aviv could really grow into becoming a leading startup cluster in the future.

    Back to the evening, the gala night ended with an award ceremony and to our big surprise, we won the price for this year’s Newcomers! Wow! A huge thank you to the event organizers and Tallink for our price!

    With an extremely well written travel blog full of guides, inspiration and great photos, and a travel forum of their own, We are Nodes have brought something new and fresh to the Nordic travel community.

    diplomsheida-och-yasmin-tilles-we-are-nodes

    I missed my partner in crime and the other half of We are Nodes, a.k.a my sister Sheida (to the left on the photo above), during the evening though. She was in Hamburg for the #ChristmasInHamburg-campaign, but I texted her as soon as I found out and she became just as happy as me! A massive thank you to the organizers and sponsors of this evening,  and congratulations to all the other winners! 

    The Winners List

    The winners list is borrowed from Maria from Fantasy Dining, who I also had the pleasure to meet for the first time!

    nordic-travelblog-event-winner

  • Cassandra De Pecol-Expedition 196- We are Nodes Interview
    Destinations

    [Interview] Cassandra De Pecol is visiting every country in the world at the age of 27

    Cassandra De Pecol is only 27 years old, but will most likely become the fastest person to travel to all 196 countries on Earth. Her inspiring adventure started in July 2015 and is named Expedition 196, also the name of her website where you can find more information about her mission to be the first documented female to visit all 196 nations. Cassie is an ambassador for the International Institute of Peace Through Tourism and has spoken to more than 12,500 students and dignitaries across 33 countries so far. 

    We are Nodes got the honour to interview our fellow travel enthusiast Cassie De Pecol about her ambassador role, her traveling experiences and her plans for the future.

    Cassandra De Pecol-Expedition 196- We are Nodes Interview
    See more of Cassie’s wonderful photos on her Instagram. 

    What has been your favorite country so far?

    There’s not one country I don’t like. Turkey and Peru have always been two of my favorites because I lived in both, but there is nothing like your home country, because your home country is likely the one you’ve spent the most time in and know the most, and for me that’s the USA. They say home is where the heart is, and the more I travel, the more that’s becoming more real to me. Home is where family is, it’s where my safety net is, it’s where everything that I’m familiar with is, and my country is rich in nature, which is important to me.

    They say home is where the heart is, and the more I travel, the more that’s becoming more real to me. 

    Switzerland is my favorite for mountains, Bhutan for peace, Vanuatu for kindness, Tunisia for history, Peru for rainforests, Turkey for culture, New Zealand for landscapes, Mexico for food, Jordan is probably the gateway to my favorite region in the world, the Middle East.

    Your worst travel experience so far? 

    Probably being stuck in Somalia because Chase Ultimate Rewards cancelled my flight without telling me.

    How has traveling changed you?

    The goal has been to be as open minded as possible about people and places all around the world. I think there’s this huge divide among people based on anything from religion to ethnicity to gender, but in reality, we are all the same; we all have the same basic needs and we all just want to be happy. Once we realize this universal similarity, we’ll be able to be more open and understanding of one another.

    Cassandra De Pecol-Expedition 196- We are Nodes InterviewCassandra De Pecol-Expedition 196- We are Nodes InterviewCassandra De Pecol-Expedition 196- We are Nodes Interview

    What does your role as Ambassador for Peace entail?

    There are several elements to this Expedition. Spreading peace through tourism and economics is one of them, promoting sustainability is another, and advocating women’s rights and achievement is another. Then there’s the YouTube vlogs, which showcase the beauty of many of these nations that I visit. The educational documentary that I’m filming to be used in part with a tool-kit and book written with the students I’ve spoken to all over the world. I also promote my sponsors as well.

    People often say that there’s no way I can preach sustainability when I fly so much, and they’re right.

    I’m not saying that I’m a sustainable traveler, but I am working towards being one with each tree that I plant with the students on this Expedition (45 so far in 12 countries), collecting water samples to test for the presence of micro-plastics to send to Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, staying in and promoting sustainable/regenerative hotels, and most importantly, educating university students who are studying tourism, on the importance of responsible travel and incorporating or keeping in mind the elements of sustainable/regenerative hospitality and tourism. Many students I’ve spoken to have no idea what sustainability even means, so it’s my job to educate them on this and encourage them to support responsible tourism best practices when pursuing internships and throughout their careers.

    Cassandra De Pecol-Expedition 196- We are Nodes Interview

    Peace through Tourism can really be best understood by educating the students on how we can quantify peace through a series of criteria set fourth by the Institute for Economics and Peace. Once we understand this criteria, we can then work towards creating a more peaceful and united world.

    In regards to the tourism aspect of it, this is where I engage the Ministry and Mayors, where they also attend these keynote sessions and I present to them the ‘IIPT Credo of the Peaceful Traveler’ set fourth by the International Institute of Peace Through Tourism of which I’m endorsed. Together, we discuss how tourism can be a mediator between peace and conflict, and a way to further friendship among Nations as well as providing humanitarian assistance. For instance, a sustainable hotel partnering with Pack for a Purpose, where guests can bring educational supplies to then distribute to local schools in need in the area where they’re vacationing.

    Since starting my Expedition, I’ve spoken to over 12,500 students and dignitaries across 33 countries, and continue to be approached by the youth (both young women and young men) in regards to how they can pursue their dreams after listening to my talk.

    As a young woman myself, I like to think that I can set the standard for young women worldwide to pursue a quest or dream that is out of the norm or that everyone tells them they shouldn’t do.

    It’s my job to leave a legacy behind that positively influences future generations of innovators, entrepreneurs and trend setters, especially when it comes to women.

    Have you started thinking on upcoming projects after finishing Expedition 196?

    A major part of me wants to just devote myself towards humanitarian aid and putting all that I have into addressing #13 and #16 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals which is Climate Action and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, incorporating sustainable development. This is why I’m developing a Universal Student Internship Program to address these needs. On the agenda in addition to this program is an educational documentary that I’ve been filming in conjunction with a book series to be written in part with the university students who I’ve spoken to already. Money is of course a factor to ensure that I’m able to enhance our world through these humanitarian goals. And the initial plan is to continue to work with brands in their advertising campaign as well as have a show (a girl has got to dream, right!?).

    Anthony Bourdain has been an idol of mine since high school, and it’s always been a dream to follow in his footsteps with his TV career, but instead of focusing on food and travel, something else and travel. I’m also lining up speaking engagements, TEDx talks, and the like which will take me both stateside and international over the course of hopefully the long term. Also, my first full Ironman race!

    Cassandra De Pecol-Expedition 196- We are Nodes Interview Cassandra De Pecol-Expedition 196- We are Nodes Interview Cassandra De Pecol-Expedition 196- We are Nodes InterviewCassandra De Pecol-Expedition 196- We are Nodes Interview

    Have you encountered any challenges as a female solo traveler?

    Generally speaking, I’ve experienced so much hospitality from people but I don’t think that has anything to do with being a woman. I have, however had several terrible experiences where I experienced discrimination because I am a woman. When negative experiences happen to me, I don’t automatically think that it happened because I’m a woman. It’s really when I share these stories with others that they automatically assume that it happened because of my gender. Either way, the positive outweigh the negative on this Expedition, and overall I’ve had wonderful experiences.

    Cassandra De Pecol-Expedition 196- We are Nodes Interview

    Want to learn more about Expedition196? Make sure to follow Cassie’s adventure through her social media platforms: 
    Instagram:  @expedition_196
    Facebook:  Facebook.com/Expedition196
    Youtube:  Youtube.com/Expedition196
    Twitter: @cassiedepecol
    Snapchat: @cassiedepecol

  • Europe

    Next Stop: #ChristmasInHamburg With Hamburg Tourism

    In collaboration with Hamburg Tourism and Nordic TB

    We are excited to finally share the details of our upcoming trip – on December 2nd, Sheida from We are Nodes will explore the Christmas season in Hamburg together with Hamburg Tourism, Nordic TB and fellow Nordic Travel Bloggers: Earth Wanderness, Danish Adventurer, Travelling Munk and Supermarie.

    We will share our Hamburg experience on our social media channels using the hashtag #ChristmasInHamburg and #HolyHamburg. So if you want to know what we are up to – make sure to keep an eye on the hashtags! Our guess is that the weekend will contain a great deal of Christmas markets and other holiday festivities (we can’t wait until we get to see the full travel itinerary!).

    speicherstadt-und-elbphilharmonie-blue-port_lebowsky_080915
    Photo: www.mediaserver.hamburg.de / Dirk Rußmann, bsc Media

    Hamburg, get ready!

    We are particularly happy for the opportunity to participate in this campaign (read the official press release here) since Germany is a country that we only visited once before and are really curious to find out more about. The last time I (Sheida) was there was during Octoberfest 2013 in Munich which was a blast, so need I say that my expectations for Hamburg (Germany’s second largest city) are sky high?

    1375828_10151785656443355_556391029_n1043867_10151653233232742_1758386720_nOne happy bunch at Octoberfest 2013 (me in the middle). But this time, the beers will be exchanged to Glühwein (German mulled wine, popular during the Holiday season).

    Mission: To Explore the best Christmas Markets

    Both me and Yasmin love the Christmas season with everything that is included –  so I must admit that I have already started browsing through some photos on Instagram to get a glimpse of what the Christmas vibe in Hamburg will be like. Judging from the photos, it looks pretty spectacular! Hamburg is famous for its Holiday celebrations with numerous Christmas markets spread across the town. Rumour says that there will even be a big Christmas parade with elfs, reindeers and of course Santa Clause himself! Who can say no to that?

    Whether I will encounter with some elfs or not remains to be seen, but with Hamburg Tourism and Hamburg Marketing as our hosts, I’m sure that we will get to see the very best that Hamburg has to offer either way. Wir sehen uns in Hamburg!  See you in Hamburg!

    Europa, Deutschland, Hamburg,Zentrum, Innenstadt, Blick von der Petrikirche, Rathausplatz, Weihnachtsmarkt, Michel, Abendstimmung,
    Photo: www.mediaserver.hamburg.de / Jörg Modrow

    Follow Hamburg Tourism on:
    Facebook
    Instagram
    Visit Hamburg Twitter
    Mein Hamburg Twitter 

  • Central America,  Destinations,  Stockholm

    Our 2016 Travel Toplist

    Almost a year has flown by, and as we are soon entering the last month of 2016 we thought it would be a good idea to sum up 2016 with a list of our travel highlights. Enjoy!


    Favourite activity:
    Champagnetasting at Moët & Chandon, Champagne.
    Why?
    Because in less than an hour with the direct train from Paris, you will arrive in Épernay, the capital of Champagne. It’s the ultimate day trip and the perfect activity for champagne enthusiasts! The Möet & Chandon/Dom Pérignon champagne caves are over 28 km long, 30 metres deep and is likely to store over 1000.000 bottles. Pretty impressive!
    img_4869img_4881img_1849img_1820Read More about our Champagne tasting at the Moët & Chandon Champagne Cellars 

    Favourite restaurant experience:
    KONG, Paris.
    Why? 
    We love everything that has a great view and a great vibe – and Kong has both! The service was excellent, the food left us satisfied and as the evening progresses, the music gets louder and the lights go darker, making Kong the perfect restaurant to wine and dine at before a night out in the city of lights.img_4794img_1670Want more Paris-tips? Read ‘6 Amazing Places you Must Visit in Paris’

    Best Beach Hangout of 2016:
    Banana Beach in surfer’s paradise Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.
    Why?
    Santa Teresa is the place to be if you are into amazing sunsets, surfing and chill hangouts. Cool down under the palm trees while sipping on tropical drinks and watch surfers as they hit the waves. We can’t wait to go back and embrace the pura vida lifestyle again!
    img_4347img_1528Planning to go to Costa Rica this winter? Make sure to read our popular Costa Rica guide.

    Best Beach Club:
    Puro Beach, Palma.
    Why?
    With its excellent location on a secluded peninsula, 180°-view of the coast and a fantastic pool area, Puro Beach is without a doubt one of the best beach clubs we’ve been at. Just look at the pictures and you’ll understand why…
    img_2481-1img_2533img_2325img_2495img_2509
    Read our Swedish Palma Guide that we wrote for Travellink here, or in English here.

    Favorite Hotel:
    Van Der Valk, Schiphol, Amsterdam.
    Why?
    Because of the newly built “I Am Superior” rooms, were we were the first guests to get to sleep in the super comfy new Hypnos beds (which were voted bed of the year in 2012). Of course the friendly staff was a bonus!
    img_4925IMG_1956Read about our stay at Van Der Valk Schiphol here.

    Best Aperitivo:
    Cinc, in the artistic area Brera, Milan.
    Why?
    Because it was the first time after a long winter in Sweden that we were able to sit outside in the sun and enjoy an Aperol Spritz. In that moment the Italian phrase “questa è vita” (meaning: this is life) made perfect sense. Sun and friends is really all you need! 
    img_2126img_2136

    Best Airport Restaurant:
    Pontus in the Air, Stockholm Arlanda Airport.
    Why?
    After years and years of really poor selections of restaurants with good and price worthy food at airports (not only in Sweden, but in general), the opening of Pontus Frithiof’s restaurant Pontus in the Air probably was one of the best things that could happen. Finally a nice place to enjoy a good breakfast, lunch or dinner before a flight.
    img_2224img_2207img_2193Read about our lunch with Pontus Frithiof at Pontus in the Air here.

    Best Budget Restaurant:
    As Zebras Do Combro, Lisbon.
    Why?
    We nearly walked past this “Hole in the wall”-restaurant, but changed our minds just as we passed it and went back. And boy, are we glad we did, because the dinner at As Zebras Do Combro was a true highlight during our stay in Lisbon! Delicious food and wonderful serviceminded staff – if you’re ever in Lisbon, make sure to stop by this restaurant!
    img_3871img_3858Read our Lisbon Restaurant Guide here.


    2016 has been a great year so far, and we still have one more trip planned to Hamburg (#ChristmasInHamburg) in collaboration with TB Nordic, Hamburg Tourism and VisitHamburg in the beginning of December, so stay tuned!