Kiruna – Malmö

From my point of view, coming back from a trip and sleep from 3.30 pm to 5.30 a.m. the following day is sort of a symbol for the amount of knowledge, energy, experiences and people met throughout the journey. As I am asked about the beauty of the place I visit I am often confused on the answer I should give. What I feel, takes way more than a 5 rows typed chat on messenger or an international call where emotions are impossible to show because of the inability to show facial expressions. That answer is about a personal perception of the place, the people met at a jewelry or the ones sitting by you when drinking a coffee, talking about places and understanding each other’s jokes as you are from Italy and they are from France. It is to not longer feel alone, after starting to exchange some words with some Australians in what before was a very empty kitchen in the hostel you are sleeping at, to then walk with them in the midnight sun.

National Geographic tells aspiring writers that what they are looking for is not a description of what a specific place is or looks like, or which things one may look forward to check out from their bucket list. They mainly look for a “basic” and “simple” thing: to awake in the reader the desire and will to leave and travel, and to just visit that place. Personal experiences are the most important as they embody that human character which a dry list of monuments, attractions and museums, may fail to transmit.

No city other than Kiruna among the ones I have visited so far, better embodies the difference of feelings that the sentence “I am coming back, I promise”, carries from place to place, person to person. Nature leaves you speechless as sun never sets and your body is not longer able to understand how much energy you are actually eager for.

I will soon write more about the journey, and going to load a bunch of photos more 🙂

Brixton district in London – a pop “ghetto” area

There is always something you will never forget about your trip, and among them there is always something you are not going to talk about. I will tell you about one of the areas I have been exploring in London which I am never going to forget. You thought I would tell all my “secrets” to you people right? Sorry for disappointing you 😉


Let’s start to say that Brixton may be called by many as one of the most multicultural ghettos of London, located in the southern part of the city. Going out from the underground you will be in the middle of a unstoppable wave of people coming from all directions – which is actually not that different from the rest of all the streets in London – restaurants, shopping centers and street take aways, plus maybe different people singing outside the stop.

I was a bit curios about this interesting area and looked up some infos about it, among the others, here. Thanks to the little things I read so far, I could see how the almost abandoned district was once a rich area similar to that of the Swedish area Rosengård, where riots are happening and of which people are mostly aware and afraid of. The history of the Brixton district is a particular one, going from being a poor area, to one of development, then place of social riots and then again gaining a certain “respect”. By the way, Brixton got a population boost in the middle 1900s, but after it was bombed in WWII, living conditions for those who still were living there after the war were not acceptable. Social riots started and especially during 1981, Operation Swamp 81 led by the police aiming at lowering crime rates, permitted to arrest whoever was suspected of crime, leading to up to 1000 thousands arrests. Gentrification happened mostly from 1990s on, and in a few words, it has completely changed the aspect of this area, luckily still keeping the level of multiculturalism pretty high – most people living there are from the Caribbean. If you are curious about the term gentrification, you may be interested in reading this article “5 myths about gentrification“.

Even though I did not take that many photos as I thought I did, these three are more than representative of the place. The way from the metro stop to the market was surprising frightening beautiful attracting smelling tasty at the same time. People of all countries meeting in a way I am used to since I come from Italy, sitting on plastic chairs in front of their houses or shops, though immersed in a too poor situation than the one I had been used to from the previous days in London. Take away places formed by a little kitchen on the side of the street, as it was someone’s apartment kitchen, where you could see in through the open window and glimpse a big pan. For some reasons I felt I was in Thailand or India, even though I have never been there and the most population in Brixton did not come from neither those countries.

We went into the market, being welcomed by huge flags of every country in the world, mostly placed exactly close by the restaurants serving food from those countries. Going into the market, half of it – mostly the shops in the centre – were closed because of the night time, but restaurants and bars where open, creating the right atmosphere/balance (still looking for the right word for the Swedish “stämning” making you feel completely out of time and space, maybe on a dancing street in South America instead than a suburb in London. We heard some music and being the last night before traveling back to Sweden what do you think we did? We started dancing following this caribbean music, just in front of the stereo, in a street – between the 5th and the 1st avenue – where everyone was eating talking enjoying the music getting warm in a slightly chilly air of a September night. We danced starting from an empty dance floor that nothing was if not a cement path with a table by the closest wall, where we put our things and forgot the others. Funny as it gets, was to see a video of us dancing, published on the fb page of Brixton Market.

Little things about Brixton

In 2009, the Brixton pound was coined, in order to protect the variety of business and to higher the popularity of the area. I was really surprised by reading this, and wish I’d known about it before leaving from London!

Brixton is also the part of the city where David Bowie was born.

I will just say goodnight with a music video of the song “La Gozadera” putting together many countries of South America, showing flags and some streets which definitely made me think of the Brixton market. See you soon!

Camden Town and its markets

Definitely one of the most popular destinations in the huge city of London, Camden town found a chance to steal a piece of my heart as well. You could definitely decide to spend hours walking through it – I suggest though not to bring your wallet and just go around getting lost – to find places where you will come back “the next time”.

We decided to visit Camden market on Sunday, the day after a hilarious group of girls from Malmö university stepped – many for their first time – on the ground of Luton airport. Starting already from the arrival day, we have had a very tight schedule visiting numbers of organizations, both NGO and GO, offices where programs for integration, migration and much more are led, journalists, relevant people in the issue of multiculturalism, gender equality, respect and more.


A map with some of the places we visited on Sunday

Having Sunday as a day to recover after the tiring travel – we woke up at 2 a.m. in the morning to leave from Copenhagen at 7.00 a.m. we visited pretty much, from Camden Town to Soho for a Chinese dinner all together, stopping at Primrose hill to see the city from a different view. On the way we walked to Baker street and saw the door to the apartment of the Sherlock Holmes stories. On the right side of the map is the hostel Clink 78, ten minutes walk from the underground station King’s Cross/St.Pancras. A big hostel which I definitely recommend if you are thinking about visiting London, especially if you are a backpacker. The hostel has a bar where to meet people in a very easy way with music and very kind staff. You have breakfast included in the price – and a big kitchen place, plus two or more living rooms, with tv and computers. I hope you will like the photos, I will definitely write more in the next hours/days 🙂

After this week I almost cannot see myself without all the knowledge I earned in a so full week. Really tired right now and cannot promise “real” and interesting posts, but at least I will show the originality of Camden markets, still asking myself why I did not see a wave of “Swedish” hipsters stepping by all the little stores.

Following my love for multiculturalism I will soon tell you about the suburb of Brixton – which I always mixed with Brexit, which on its side was wrongly pronounced “breakfast” by some of us in the first days. Brixton may seem as the ghetto of London, though its difference and originality – which would be loved by those famous nordic “hipsters” -definitely attracts thousands of Londoners as well as tourists, offering clothes markets during day and food places during night. I would love to write more but I’ll see you later with a deeper story about this part of the city.


Get off. Walk. Watch. Mind the gap. Red. Smells. Scents. Go. Run. Left. Difference. Map. Gap. Second. Ready. Culture. Diversity. Equality? Respect? Silence. Seats.

Arrived in Malmö with the train from Copenaghen half a hour ago, got a drive from the boyfriend of the organizer of the trip – who was more energetic than thirty five teenagers would be after such a busy week we have experienced.

We all slept a very few hours after a night of fun between the multicultural area of Brixton and Soho.

Meeting people dancing on streets on African rithms eating different singing the same new steps colored drinks stopping again starting moving arms hips waist hair black surprise images excitement between the fifth and the first in a market of hidden restaurants stereos tacos origami faces rythm drums and flowing convincing people bored up down moon shining and dogs barking wood of a table where sitting if not dancing serious faces moving as in films loud music lower volume up again. Dance.

London ♡

Di matrimoni svedesi e balli antichi scandinavi

30 giugno

Diciamo che parlare di accento calabrese, liquore messo nelle pesche dolci al cioccolato e sensazione di stare al paese dei nonni non credo vada d’accordo con lo scrivere post in inglese, svedese o altra lingua diversa dall’italiano. Quindi eccomi qui scrivendo questo altro aggiornamento da un’isola super svedese ma della quale gli abitanti si ritengono molto patriottici (secondo la famiglia svedese – non delle Åland – di questa ragazza conosciuta martedì) e protettivi del territorio (non puoi comprare una casa o un terreno a meno che non sei cittadino delle isole Åland, il che vuol dire aver vissuto qui per almeno cinque anni)

Martedì 5 giugno

Sfrutto la mia insonnia dovuta all’eccitazione da primo lavoro e dall’ora in più di luce (come se non fosse già bastato vedere scendere il Sole alle 22,30 in Svezia – nel Värmland!). Come forse avevo anticipato e raccontato, lunedì scorso ho avuto un’introduzione al ristorante, e poi ho lavorato tre ore. Venerdì scorso (fino a ieri, lunedì) invece ho iniziato il mio orario regolare, dalle 16 alle 23 escludendo sabato, dato che dovevamo servire per un matrimonio, ho lavorato dalle 14,30 alle 01.30. Proprio di questo vorrei parlare!

Giovedì scorso, 30 giugno, ho seguito la famiglia con cui vivo ad una serata barbecue ad un camping vicino alla spiaggia, nel centro dell’arcipelago. Berit è stata organizzatrice e responsabile di un festival di danze popolari di vari paesi del nord, e questa serata è stata un raduno dei vari partecipanti. Musica tradizionale e danze tipiche soprattutto da tradizioni antiche danesi e norvegesi. Quando ce ne stavamo per andare io e Sofi, una delle sorelle della famiglia abbiamo cercato di farci spazio in un cerchio strettissimo di danzatori molto felici – ed alcuni molto ubriachi – provenienti da tutto il nord che ballavano e cantavano, a volte non conoscendo la lingua ma capendo comunque. tra le tante, Sinklars vísa è una delle due che abbiamo ballato. Ritmo regolare, molti versi e sempre due passi da ricordare, due a sinistra e uno a destra. La danza che vedete nel video è esattamente quella che abbiamo danzato noi! Davvero bello poter conoscere cose così nuove e diverse! La canzone è originaria della Norvegia, e le parole narrano la battaglia di Kringen avenuta nel 1612 ad Otta, in Norvegia . Qui trovate informazioni in inglese sulla battaglia – e qui in italiano anche in generale sulla guerra di Kalmar, mentre qui il testo completo in originale e la traduzione in inglese.


Per continuare, sabato c´è stato il matrimonio e anche quella giornata è stata una bella esperienza – ovvero assistere ad una festa di matrimonio svedese! Sicuramente molto diverso dai matrimoni italiani, la cena è statamolto tranquilla all’inizio, non c´è stata né musica né nessuno che ballava fino alle 23.00. La serata è stata piena di discorsi – gli svedesi sono molto attenti alle tradizioni, burocrazie e diplomazie varie in certe occasioni! e, sopresa sorpresa, giochi di gruppo! Una delle prime canzoni – che poi hanno anche accompagnato alcuni brindisi – diceva “chi gioca a calcio si alzi dalla sedia” “chi è fidanzato faccia una piroetta” e “chi ha figli faccia un inchino”. E ogni mezz’ora per qualche motivo sconosciuto a tutti noi camerieri, un gruppo di gente iniziava a correre intorno al tavolo passando dagli sposi e facendo qualcosa che mi è sfuggito dato che in quel momento cercavo di non essere colpita da questa carica di gente che correva e di rimanere in equilibrio con il mio vassoio pieno di bicchieri di cristallo 😀 Alle 23 la band ha iniziato a suonare e anche se eravamo molto stanchi la musica ha aiutato molto, anche se trattenersi dal ballare è stato difficilissimo per me! Sono stata fortunata ad essere stata mandata a casa all’uan e trenta perché alcuni sono ovviamente dovuti stare fino alla fine, ovvero alle 4,30!

Comunque…qui sotto potete sentire uno dei brani da brindisi che si cantano in Svezia, questo l’ho anche cantato con il coro dell’università di Karlstad!

Qui alle Åland è l’una di notte. Anche se l’insonnia ha fatto i suoi danni nelle scorse due notti, ora cerco di addormentarmi che domani sarà il mio secondo giorno di riposo e avrò una prima festa con i colleghi di lavoro a casa di una ragazza. Barbecue, sauna, e pallavolo…non suona male vero? All’ultimo minuto prima di andare a dormire sono anche riuscita ad organizzare un passaggio per l’andata e il ritorno…il non avere la patente si fa sentire qui al Nord! Soprattutto quando l’ultimo autobus passa alle 6 e il primo la mattina alle 7.

Perdonate gli errori sintattici se ci sono, ma sono abbastanza stanca e ormai non scrivo in italiano da molto tempo. Mi piace molto di più scrivere in inglese ma ciò esclude molti lettori dal leggere i post (compresi i miei nonni!) e quindi devo trattenermi e scrivere in italiano!

Ora vi saluto! A presto e buonanotte!

P.S. Credo che la confusione riguardo a dove le isole Åland si trovino sia ai massimi livelli tra i lettori dei miei post. E vi capisco! Quindi vi darò una breve spiegazione. Le Åland appartenevano in passato alla Svezia e poi per qualche casino storico di cui potete sicuramente leggere qui se volete 😀 le Åland sono mezze indipendenti, ma legate legislativamente e politicamente – anche se hanno un proprio governo e parlamento! – alla Finlandia, e culturalmente e linguisticamente alla Svezia! Confusione ancora eh? Insomma, in poche parole sono in Svezia!

E poi, mi sono appena resa conto di aver tralasciato alcune cose accennate nel primo paragrafo! Appena potrò ci ritornerò e scriverò tutto 😀

Where am I? Of foggy (is)lands, boat names and new dialects.

Monday, 27th June 2016

Try to imagine my face when, finally arrived on the island of Åland, in the harbor of Mariehamn, I was welcomed by a tall, thin, super kind and nice woman – I had been talking to her with e-mail in the last weeks – who met me in a very warm way and gave me a very warm hug. The trip has been a long one yesterday. I left the campus in Karlstad after having breakfast with some friends and at 8,45 my bus was leaving to the bus station. I then took the first bus to Stockholm, and here the adventure starts. A police car was in front of us and someone from the inside told the bus driver to stop. Thee “old uncle” as it was later called by the woman driving the bus, gave her a alcohol test and told her that the destination on the screen should not be blinking. Well, for such a stupid thing we waited for 20 minutes, and the bus company had to call the train company to ask if the train from Örebro which many where going to take, could stop and wait for the bus passengers. Well, when the woman who was driving the bus told us what had just happened, she was very anxious about the consequences and a bit angry…so at the end she got a warm applaude! Rain, warmth and heavy luggages when I changed the bus. Arrived in Stockholm I was very tired after some hours of sitting in the bus. I had lunch in the station, went around a lot, took a coffee, had videochat and calls, reda and wrote on my blog, spoke with someone at the very end. I then took the bus to the harbor which would take a hour to be reached. The funniest thing is that the boat is called Rosella! Super foggy had been already in Sweden, but on the way to the harbor and all the way to the island it was impossible to see anything, so you can really imagine how boring the journey was!

On the bus to the harbor the driver was also very funny, he took the microphone and said something like “well welcome onboard, just say that I would have really liked not to be working in the Midsummer weekend but this is life…well, let’s drive on this (“rondella” in Italian, can’t find the word since I don’t have internet) just once otherwise they get angry!

Differently from what I was expecting, nobody here speaks Swedish with a very strong accent (or is, actually, a dialect) and I actually missed the thing that they are not at all bilingual in the Åland island, but the first language is Swedish, and when they grow up they start with studying English and then Swedish. Berit is the name of the woman who came and pick me up, and since I will stay here for a month and I have already lived with a host-family for a long time, I definitely feel part of the family – as long as they tell me I can do so, and she did! Since we were going to pick up one of her children to another harbor at 1.00 a.m. (Finland is a hour more than Sweden) she drove me everywhere in the island to show me things a bit, even though unfortunately it was incredibly foggy, which was a nice experience anyway. Brit told me a lot about everything, including the thing that one-hundred-fifty folk dancers from Sweden will come in this week for the Nordic Fold Dance festival, and that she is managing a lot of things related to that. Moreover, they will eat on Thursday at Smakbyn, the restaurant where I will start to work today.

When we went and pick up the daughter at the harbor in the other side of the island, it was not at all cold but very very foggy – around 14°! I can just say that Berit is Finnish from the strong “r” she has sometimes, but the eldest daughter sounds completely Swedish!

It took a hour to go home after the harbor, so we were at home at 2.00 local time. The house is very nice and big! They have vegetables and fruits cultivation and the house is just in front of a forest and close to the water. The son works in a bike shop and we will have to try to find a bike for myself, since I am very short compared to the people here! So, this is gonna be funny as well! Berit showed me the house and when I went upstairs some animal skins where just hanged close to my bed! But I was so tired I got asleep very fast!
Berit’s husband I have heard works in the forest! and that really makes me feel of stories about trolls and fairies in the north, I know that’s stupid, but it just does!

I am totally surprised about how many things I have to tell after less then 5 hours awake here in Åland.

Funny thing? Meeting people from the Åland is making me feel very Swedish! And I guess many thinks that I am a Swede with Italian background!

Another funny one? The word “tatti” – my surname – means a kind of mushroom in Finnish!

They just asked me if I wanted to put something in the laundry starting now, that’s not really Italian is not it? I mean putting your clothes in almost strangers laundries, but as said, here in Scandinavia people really welcome you as a part of the family almost right away, then it stands to you to accept the invitation or not! So, I really got used to this and I like it!

Well, I got breakfast with porridge, strawberries, apple mousse and smashed raspberries! I will have a little lunch later, but first I will need to study the menu of the restaurant and got used with the different ways of preparing the table for new guests. If there will not be any new work shifts for me in this week, I will start to work on the 1st of July which is this coming Friday, and for the following three days, including serving at a wedding on Saturday the 2nd!

I will see you soon, and sorry to my family and friends if I cannot answer but I do not have internet, maybe I will not buy it either, since it is just for a month! Maybe I will just use a bit from the house’ internet to publish my posts 🙂

See you soon and have a nice start of the week!

Varmt och fuktigt

Sitter i centralstationen i Stockholm. En kopp kaffe bredvid mig och jag väntar att den ska kyla ner. Skjol och kort armat tröja gör mig inte känna mindre stressad och kallare än luften är. Regn och varmt har det varit under hela resan som jag började i morse från Karlstad till Stockholm. Trafik under sista delen från Västerås, och i början fick chaufforen stanna då destinationen blinkte på bussen och enligt polisen var inte det o helt ok, antagligen. Blev 20 minuter försenat men ankom i Stockholm ändå i tid.

Åt en macka på Subway och lugnade mig lite en stund innan jag gick och satt mig på stationen. Backpacking verkar vara top resstil just nu. Ser fram emot och göra en sånt trip igen, utan att boka tak över huvud eller annat.

Ska dricka min kaffe nu, och läsa Solstorm av Åsa Larsson. Kl.18 ska jag ta bussen som åker till hamnen och åka då båten till Mariehamn, på Åland. Där ska familjen där jag kommer att bo på en månad hämta mig.

Har introduktion imorgon på restaurangen och ska faktiskt ta mitt första passet imorgon. Märkte att på lördag blir det bröllop på restaurangen. Ser faktiskt fram emot att jobba den dag 🙂 😉

Ses snart och ha en bra söndag! 😉

Heading to Warsaw, Poland

12th April. Start of the trip, going to Gothenburg.

Metres of smoke from the coffee factory reflect the sun in a clear  Karlstad today. I am sitting on the train which in some minutes will leave to Gothenburg. Alarm clock at 5,45, but was too excited about the trip that I woke up at 4,15 by my own instead…good for me because otherwise I would have stressed too much to prepare…but you know what? I had not packed anything so I had the time to do it. We are leaving, of course I sit in the wrong direction back to the front…I will never remember about it!!!!

Kizunguzungu, All I want and a Swedish version of Hallelujah in my ears. Still ballerinas and black trousers regflecting the sun…love this Swedish Spring, cannot just get enough of it. No flowers though, leaves are going to appear in May or June…just light, sun and long days.

The travelling song in my ears. Worked at Bunkern last Friday. Incredible how Sweds can behave in so different ways when drunk…they can get very rude but at the same time very kind, open and funny! I was sure I would forget something and so it was! The mask I usually sleep with when it gets Spring and too lighty in the mornings. But we are still in April and Warsaw is a little souther than Sweden…so I should make it…

So! Why this notebook? This is my first travel/trip compeltely by myself…I have been looking forward to one of those for so long!!!

An acoustic version of Welcome Home by Radical Face.

Plans for today? Jumping off the train and going around a bit…find a park where to sit and enjoy the sun, and eat my boiled corn with tomatoes. Then I will probably visit the museum of the city and then get to the hostel which is 3 km from the central station.

As I was saying…well I have the plan of writing a little notebook for every country/place I will be visiting now on, filled with postcards, tickets, places with adresses (so that I can come back to those if I will ever go back to these places) and impressions of my journey. We are in Kil now, incredibly foggy right now…I will try to sleep for a while now…see you later!

Here again…I am sitting in front of the museum of world cultures in Gothenburg, some steps from the hostel where I will check in in a few hours. One of the exhibitions is called “Afghan tales”, and I look forward to get to know more about it. I sat a hour in a park near the river, read a little, enjoying the windy, sunny day, and eating my lunch. Both for having gotten up at 4,30 and for the sund shining for hours on my head, walking a lot (most of the times feeling very sure about my direction but at the same time not having a clue about it!), 2,5 hours on the train, I am definitely tired now. But I walked heading to the hostel, meeting a Pressbyrån, which you should definitely know about…it is the worst thing in the world if yu want to keep on a diet…I dreamed of coffee (and Pressbyrån makes it in my favourite way) since yesterday…and finally one with an “unmissable” kanelbulle (cinnamon bun) beside…you know what though? I guess here in Gothenburg they do not use the same coffee as in Karlstad (Löfbergs brand comes from KArlstad).

I love being around, and I enjoy not to be connected to Sweden in anyway if I want (just keep talking English instead)…and everyone will react in a much more oppen way than usual (the average Swedish loves to speak English, complains about his/her “bad” level, and is very shy to speak it). But as you Sweden is heading the ranking among the countries with the best second language English speakers. So, language relativism is a bluff? Not at all, choose a language and you will be treated, and feel, way differently! News of the day is that, for some unexplainable reason, I got accepted in the Sedish as a foreign language IV course…keep it or leave it? Being me, I just cannot refuse it…so next week is gonna be an even cooler one!!!

You know what? I am going inside now…need to see the museum.

Bet of this week? To show to my parents that you can actually get brown staying in the sun, even though you are not in Italy, and it is 9° outside! 😉


Before going inside the museum, I did actually got tanned on my face and my feet! (Ballerinas power!) The sun made me feel headache, but I cannot stop being outside, love the Spring here…Yeah…I repeat myself regarding this, I know…

The museum was very interesting. It is called Världskulturmuseum and it is located near the Universum, a giant museum with inside everything frm plants to butterflies and universum explanations…

I had been there during October 2013, on the first reunion weekend with STS, during my exchange year in Sweden. And it is amazing, I would really recommend it!!!. I read today that a 25 ms high tree from a tropical climate is growing there inside! Going back to the museum…

I went through the two exhibitions they have in this period. One called Afghan tales and one about gender equality and rights. Firstly, I  mistakenly went to another floor, where another exhibition was being built up…and it was pretty scaring actually: giant white spaces, nobody there, just three enormous screens with old photos, and a big panic of not being able to go out at first! But I am here safe and sound now!

Very nice photos in the Afghan tales exhibition…touching and well explained, both in Swedish and English. The other one about genders’ rights also made me think a lot and learn as much. Around 15.30 I started to look for the hostel and I setlled there . I relaxed for a while and then went out for a walk and to buy my dinner. I ate very early to be Italian! Now it is just 19,30 and I am already tired as a sloth! But I try to resist at least until 21 before sleeping! Tomorrow my bus from the train station to the airport leaves at 6,30 am and takes half an hour…so…waking up at 5.00 am!!! That’s why I’ll say goodbye and goodnight to you for today…tomorrow is going to be a long day!

The road to home

Bus to the station, then train heading home. Sitting on the bus writing on the phone. I wrote tens of pages in a diary just for the Poland trip, my first solo trip, and I will write  them down on the post in the following weeks.

Crazy to look forward to come back from a solo trip. Crazy even more to feel at home in a place that is not your original one. To miss the Swedish coffee when in Poland, and the extreme kindness of this super peaceful folk. Still cannot believe that this rainy cold day that welcomed me in Gothenburg is not making me sad. At the start before I left to Poland I thought that when I would come back I would probably miss the flight, looking on the screen for the one to Rome and not that to Gothenburg. But I did not, ‘cause I will live here at least three years more and it just completely stucked in my mind. And I like it.

This week I have two old courses and one new to which I was inexpectedly admitted even though I missed the subscription deadline. I look forward to experience those that will unfortunately be my last months in Karlstad.

I loved Poland and I am definitely going to travel more there. East Europe is definitely on my bucket list…especially for the extremely affordable expenses.

I drank a cup of coffee from pressbyrån…now we drive to the central station. Have to switch the phone down for a while. Coffee is waiting for me later on!

I will see you soon!

What a travel!

20th July 2015 I like the image Germans wanted to give to their country, as a really multicultural place, result of a complete integration. I said ”really multicultural” and with it I want to explain how this country has gone far dealing with a high number of immigrants. The hotel’s staff does not look foreigner, they maybe look darker than you would be used to think, they maybe have a strange accent. After have overcome the obstacle of running away from war, poverty, and man other abuses they established a family, built a future for their children as well as a present for themselves. Germany helped them doing this and now the country is full of 1st and 2nd generation immigrants, completely integrated.

You maybe wonder why am I talking about Germany…well, after have approached in Frankfurt after a Lufthansa flight of two hours and a late of 30 minutes I went to the gate to take the connection flight to Karlstad. The staff told me that the ticket was cancelled by BMI. So I saw all the passengers getting on the plane, which was actually going to fly, while one of the two women (the other one was very unkind to me!) made a ten of calls to try to rebook a seat in the same flight. This did not work out in time and the unkind woman only said “we have to close the gate”, “the gate is closing”, “the gate is closed”. So they sent me to the ticket counter of Lufthansa where I stayed in line from 7 p.m.  to 9.30 p.m. after have wrongly been in line in another place, for half an hour. They gave me the name of the hotel where I could stay the night, booked me the flight and gave me the ticket to retire the baggage. Half an hour to get the baggage and another half to get to the hotel by bus, not counting all the time I needed to find all the places where I needed to go.

The only pros of today are that it is not so cold, it is very warm actually, and that everyone really speak a perfect English. I went to the hotel and got dinner at 23. Once back to my room, I found out that the flight the following day was not at 9 a.m. as they told me but at 9.50. Of course I was really afraid and did not even know if they actually booked anything! I went down to the reception where they helped me with calling a 24h service. They ensured me that the time was 9.50 and that my flight was booked. I finally got to the room trying to sleep, of course with not a big result. Alarm at 5.15, and I slept until 5.55. At 6,20 I was on the bus, and I checked-in at 6.35. Security checks much more serious than in Rome, and now I am sitting in the waiting room of my gate. Every face I met since yesterday afternoon was hopeless, sleepless, angry and hungry!


I am finally home. I did not believe whether I would have make it or not. Being with my host-family again feels like I did not even stayed away for a year. The first meal I had in Sweden was “en korv med bred” what is a very healthy meal as you can guess, and as it always happens when I come to Sweden after long time. I did not have the chance to taste the German “bratwurst” but at least I tasted a brand new meal in Sweden. Well, when I will fly back to Rome I will have 3,40 hours in Frankfurt, so I already know what to do! Anyway… Once at home I was welcomed with a traditional fika, kladdkaka med grädde, kanelbullar, kaffe och äppelcider. Just after the first Swedish snack I think I reached and overcame the amount of sugars I usually get in in a week. We prepared dinner, which actually was not less than a traditional Swedish summer meal. Barbecue of meat and vegetables together with  potatosallad, tzatziki and some other sauces. Everything eat in the early evening outside in the garden, with the sun still brighting into your eyes while eating.


Now it is 21,45 and it is still very bright, we will have to wait until 23,30 to see the sky become nearly completely dark, and then to sleep. See you!

Appunti post ritorno

La sera, dopo il concerto a Santo Domingo de la Calzada, per capirci meglio nella chiesa “del gallo e della gallina”, siamo andati a mangiare, ormai distrutti in un posto molto carino, che è questo. Alla fine della cena abbiamo cantato un brano in spagnolo e poi siamo risaliti sul pullman diretti all’albergo, che apparteneva a delle suore cistercensi.

La mattina dopo di nuovo sveglia, per chi voleva un po’ più tardi ma io ne ho approfittato per scrivere il diario dato che il tempo non bastava mai! Scesa giù per fare colazione la suora mi ha chiesto se avessi dormito bene, molto lentamente scandendo le parole, io ormai sicura di sfoggiare le mie abilità linguistiche (che si riducono a una ventina di parole) ho detto “buenos dias, muy bien gracias, y usted?” e lei ha detto “ah ma allora parli spagnolo, brava!”, basta davvero poco, e soprattutto crederci! Abbiamo cantato un’altra messa per poi dirigerci di corsa verso l’aeroporto. La chiesa ospitava anche un convento di suore di clausura, e l’intero complesso fu fatto costruire da Carlo V d’Asburgo per la madre, conosciuta come Giovanna “la pazza”.

Ma una volta in pullman siamo stati fermati e portati in un posto per fare un “piccolo aperitivo prima di partire”. Ok, piccolo era un eufemismo. Vi lascio qualche foto così potete commentare la cosa da soli.

I saluti con le persone che ci hanno seguiti per due giorni di concerti sono stati emozionanti, come spiegare queste sensazioni?

Il viaggio in pullman non finiva più, anche perché avevamo paura di perdere l’aereo (o almeno io dato che gli altri sono abituati a tornare all’aeroporto all’ultimo minuto durante le tournée!) ma abbiamo riso molto anche perché siamo partiti senza uno dei coristi, ma questi sono “piccoli dettagli”.

Santander dove siamo atterrati era in Cantabria, Vitoria-Gasteiz nei Paesi Baschi e Santo Domingo de la Calzada ne La Rioja, era la prima volta che andavo in Spagna ma devo ammettere di aver avuto un discreto assaggio di questa terra meravigliosa, spostandoci tra tre delle diciassette comunità autonome della Spagna 😉

Ieri mentre cercavo di sopravvivere al temporale/naufragio che ha nel vero senso della parola investito Roma, vicino a San Pietro una signora messicana mi ha detto in spagnolo “mi metto un attimo sotto il tuo ombrello, posso seguirti un attimo?” e io “si ma certo!”. Avrei voluto raccontarle che un giorno prima avevo ascoltato lo spagnolo tutto il giorno e che ho un’amica messicana e poi ancora altro e altro, ma le parole venivano formate nella mia testa in tutte le lingue che so per poi rompersi sul muro dello spagnolo. Ma supererò anche questo blocco!

Ora vado, alla prossima e buonanotte!

Ah, mi sto iscrivendo a un po’ di università estere, una in Svezia e tre in Olanda, I’ll keep my finger crossed!

Facce, baci, cibo, polli

Santo Domingo de la Calzada, 26 aprile 2015 I parte Buongiorno, anche se sto dormendo seduta. Vi continuo a raccontare la giornata di ieri. Dopo la messa abbiamo pranzato in un posto caratteristico della cultura spagnola. Infatti ci è stato descritto come un rincón (in basco “txoco”), ovvero la sede “gastronomica” di una “sociedad”, il corrispondente italiano dei club, al quale però non possono partecipare le donne, o almeno la regola era costi stretta fino a pochi anni fa. Su wikipedia  ho trovato qualcosa che le descrive:

Se le da este nombre a los locales sedes de sociedades gastronómicas, que pueden ser también recreativas o deportivas, creadas en el País Vasco y presentes también en Navarra y en el País Vasco francés. En algunos lugares del País Vasco, principalmente en Guipúzcoa, se les conoce también con el nombre de sociedades.

Estas sociedades están compuestas por socios que muchas veces pertenecen a una misma cuadrilla, y se utilizan para realizar cenas y comidas, bien entre los socios, bien entre un socio y sus invitados. La característica principal es que el que cocina lo hace gratuitamente, mientras que los productos son aportados por los demás participantes en el evento, a excepción de los básicos de uso común que suelen provenir de la propia despensa de la sociedad. Una vez realizado el evento se hacen las cuentas correspondientes dejando la documentación y el dinero en un buzón que se ubica en el recinto de la sociedad

Si dà questo nome alla sede locale delle società gastronomiche, che possono essere ricreative o sportive, presenti nei Paesi Baschi (Spagna) e in Navarra (Spagna) e dei Paesi Baschi francesi. In alcuni posti dei Paesi Baschi, principalmente a Guipúzcoa, sono conosciuti come “sociedad”.

Queste società sono composte da membri che spesso appartengono allo stesso gruppo, e sono utilizzati per organizzare pranzi e cene, sia tra i soci che tra soci e ospiti. La caratteristica principale è che la cucina viene fatta gratuitamente, mentre i prodotti sono forniti dai partecipanti all’evento, con l’eccezione dell’uso comune di ingredienti e prodotti di base che di solito provengono dalla dispensa della stessa società. Una volta concluso l’evento, si fanno i conti delle spese e si lascia la documentazione ed il denaro in una cassetta che si trova nei locali della “sociedad”. 

Quindi a quanto pare anche il ristorante di ieri sera faceva parte di una sociedad, per questo sembrava proprio una casa, come quello di oggi. Abbiamo mangiato molta zuppa di chorizo e patate e del vitello con una salsa di peperoni e melanzane. Per finire un piccolo capolavoro culinario, un cesto di cioccolato con panna cotta, che appena cercavi di mangiare si infilava nei buchi dell’intreccio “cioccolatoso”.

La cosa meravigliosa è l’accoglienza che offrono gli spagnoli, ed il cibo è uno dei migliori modi che hanno per esprimerla. Siamo stati guidati in tutti i posti da persone che parlavano spagnolo con noi anche se molti di noi non riusciva a fare un discorso completo, e avevano pazienza. Abbiamo parlato italiano, spagnolo, francese, inglese. Subito prima di lasciare il ristorante abbiamo cantato due brani e poi di nuovo in pullman per spostarci al seminario dove avremmo dormito la notte. La messa di ieri sera è stata molto stancante avendo alle spalle un concerto in piedi di due ore, poche ore di sonno, tanti pranzi e cene e tante facce nuove da memorizzare. Dopo abbiamo atteso in chiesa ed assistito ad una conferenza sul Camino de Santiago, e poi fatto un concerto, pubblicizzato anche quello da settimane. È stato molto bello, emozionante e scenografico per come ci siamo disposti per cantare, ovvero a ferro di cavallo. La chiesa dove abbiamo cantato era la cattedrale di Santo Domingo de la Calzada, famosa per la leggenda di un miracolo, motivo per il quale su uno dei portali interni ed incastrato in un timpano, si trova una gabbia con un gallo ed una gallina. Ecco la leggenda in spagnolo, con la traduzione in italiano.

Di questo vorrei scrivere, di facce. Quando visiti un nuovo paese devi scorgerne il più possibile, guardarle fino a capire da dove provengono quei tratti, se li hai già visti da qualche parte, o se appartengono già a qualcuno che conosci, se li rivedrai, e se sai che questo non succederà, cerchi di memorizzarli fino alla noia. Esse sono le radici del luogo, trasmettono comportamenti di un popolo, gusti, tradizioni. Credo che il risultato di un buon viaggio sia proprio quello di cogliere più ritratti possibili e no andare in giro guardando solo ciò che è scritto sulla guida turistica capitata in mano nella prima libreria centrale.

Dieci ore di sonno in tre giorni di maratona canora per i Paesi Baschi sono valse davvero la pena. La cordialità, la lingua così vicina all’italiano che sembra quasi una presa in giro, questi prati verdissimi, i campi di colza che avevo visto prima solo in Svezia, la semplicità dei locali dove si mangia, il vino, i baci sulle guance a gente con cui ti presenti per la prima volta, le figuracce fatte (perché le migliori figuracce si fanno in una lingua che non è la tua), e le poche parole tirate fuori in spagnolo, lo stupore nel vedere una donna come autista del primo dei nostri pullman, e poi ancora il cielo basso, la luce fino a tardi con il crepuscolo che come in Svezia trasmette sonnolenza e noia.

Quando riesci a mettere in lista cose apparentemente senza senso che a prima vista non scatenano nessuna emozione allora si che potrai dire di aver trascorso un’esperienza fantastica e costruttiva. Mi capitava prima e mi capita ancora più spesso dopo l’anno in Svezia. Prima mi perdevo in spazi sconosciuti e rimanevo senza parole, poi magari mi dimenticavo alcuni momenti, e non pensavo alla prossima occasione di viaggio. Ora è una continua ricerca a scappare per scoprire qualcosa di nuovo. Ora vado a dormire, copiare appunti di viaggio con zampe di gallina da un diario è stancante, e soprattutto scegliere le foto dei post. Buonanotte e a domani, forse, con la prossima parte!

Prima volta in Spagna

Vitoria-Gasteiz, 25 aprile 2015 Scrivo da una camera singola di un hotel a Vittoria, città della regione dei paesi baschi, nel nord est della Spagna. Sveglia alle 6,45 con risveglio un po’ difficile data l’ora fatta stanotte. Ma riavvolgiamo il nastro a ieri pomeriggio. Abbiamo preso l’aereo alle 17,00 da Roma arrivando alle 19,30 a Santander, città della Cantabria, dove ci hanno accolti e da dove abbiamo macinato circa 170 km in pullman, siamo arrivati alle 22 in albergo, 10 minuti per rinfrescarci e poi giù a cenare, ovvero una camminata di 20 minuti nelle vie del centro, visita ad un piccolo museo e poi una meravigliosa “trattoria spagnola” dove abbiamo mangiato alcune specialità basche. La cena è iniziata alle 23 per finire alle 00,30, ma sarebbe potuta andare peggio! Poi doccia e sono quasi crollata a dormire.

La Cantabria che abbiamo attraversato passando per Bilbao ed arrivando nei Paesi Baschi è molto particolare per il suo paesaggio unico. Spiagge sabbiose che vengono interrotte dopo poche decine di metri da montagne caratteristiche della Cantabria, chiamate “los picos de Europa” ovvero “i picchi d’Europa”. Una delle cime che abbiamo visto è chiamata “Naranjo de Bulnes”.

Lo spagnolo è facile da capire per gli italiani, e anche da imparare a parlare, e lo scontro con questa lingua non è stato così traumatico come lo è stato in Svezia ma all’inizio ho avuto molte difficoltà anche solo per salutare o dire grazie. Una cosa che mi capitava spesso era dire grazie in svedese! Molti dei cantanti del mio coro sanno parlare spagnolo, alcuni per motivazione personale, gli altri per “induzione” della lingua ed allenamento durante le tournée.

Ora sono quasi le 8,00 e non voglio tardare a colazione, quindi vado. A dopo!

p.s. Prime impressioni e curiosità

-Qui si mangia tardi, da quanto ho potuto vedere stanotte!

-Nei paesi baschi si parla basco, lingua poco conosciuta con cui vengono tradotte tutte le scritte come succede in Trentino Alto Adige, in Svizzera o Austria. Fa un po’ ridere perché è completamente diversa dallo spagnolo ed è piena di “k” e “z”. In pullman qualcuno si divertiva ad inventare nomi baschi tipo “guarda! C´è un semaforok”. La lingua ufficiale della Spagna è solo lo spagnolo, ma ci sono cinque lingue co-ufficiali, che sono l’arnese, il basco, il gallego ed il catalano, e quindi vengono anche insegnate nelle scuole. Anche il nome della città capoluogo della comunità autonoma dei Paesi Baschi, Vitoria-Gasteiz, è in verità il nome della città in spagnolo, e poi in basco.

-Se qualcuno dopo un concerto ti dice “enhorabuena” non devi cercare un orologio, ma dire “gracias” essendo un complimento.

-Gli spagnoli sono molto accoglienti, e si vede dalla prima volta che incontri qualcuno, che invece di darti solo la mano, spesso ti bacia anche sulle guance, due volte come in Italia.


Eccomi finalmente, dopo una lunga “mezza giornata”. Dopo colazione siamo andati a cantare una messa al seminario dove il direttore del nostro coro ha studiato per cinque anni, dal 1954. È stato molto emozionante e commovente, e poi l’edificio con il suo stile ed i suoi corridoi ricordava i college inglesi e, per dirla tutta, Hogwarts! Lunghi e alti corridoi, pareti piastrellati di maioliche blu e gialle, aule segnalate con targhe, teología, religión, scritte sia in spagnolo che basco, porte di legno scuro. È facile immaginare mille studenti aggirarsi per i corridoi nel secondo dopoguerra. Due patii agli estremi dell’enorme struttura. Alla fine della messa ci hanno offerto un caffè e dei dolcetti, e noi abbiamo velocemente messo in ordine i pezzi da cantare poco dopo.

Meno male che siamo riusciti ad avere un’oretta e mezza di tempo per rinfrescarci (si mi piace questa parola, e si sono alla terza doccia in 24 ore!) Ci vediamo dopo!


Ah, ma io non vi ho raccontato della cena di ieri! Come ho scritto è durata tantissimo, il posto si chiamava “Zapardiel” ed era molto spartano, sembrava infatti una casa riadattata a ristorante e per questo metteva a proprio agio, ed abbiamo mangiato davvero bene. Avevamo molta fame anche perché la maggior parte di noi aveva previsto grandi pranzi e cene ed aveva “cercato di contenersi” durante la mattina, e la prima cosa che abbiamo attaccato quindi è stata il pane! Comunque, per iniziare, un’insalata con dei pescetti bianchi piccolissimi (i bianchetti che al sud sono tanto conosciuti proprio per la dominazione spagnola), e poi delle fette di “butifarra”, ovvero un insaccato con sanguinaccio e riso. Dopo, del “pescado” in padella, ovvero pesce, tra cui vongole, gamberi e un altro pesce bianco. Alla fine, abbiamo assaggiato (o almeno per me era la prima volta, essendo anche la prima volta in Spagna), un dolce simile come impasto alla frappa romana, caratteristico dei Paesi Baschi, che è una specie di cannolo ripieno di una crema bianca particolare.

Dopo siamo tornati finalmente in albergo, incontrando sulla strada la “concha del Camino de Santiago”, ovvero la conchiglia che segna per terra il percorso del famosissimo pellegrinaggio, e ridendo a crepapelle, dopo qualche bicchiere (o nel mio caso che parto subito di testa, qualche “centimetro di bicchiere”) di vino.

Diary from Lithuania – Day four

I write directly from the airport of Vilnius, tired after three days of walks, snow, cold, and tastes of fat, warm, different, cold and very good traditional Lithuanian food. Today we woke up at 7.15, had breakfast and tidied the room. We went to the big magazine in the north of the city by bus. A little curious was the price of the ticket; when we got there we payed 1 euro each, though when we came back, the price was lowed to o.50 euro! It seems like they changed prices on the times of travels, and maybe if you can sit or not!

Diary from Lithuania – Day two

3rd January 2015

As we were in the 2nd half of 1900’s

Good morning! I am writing from the right side bed of this room. The hotel is a renovated monastery in the Old City of Vilnius, really characteristic I would say! We had breakfast choosing between both sweet and salt things and this was my first dish here. I love those wurstel with potatoes and that pretty sour yoghurt.

Then we went walking around and we started to freeze because not only it was cold but even windy. We started exploring the Aušros Vartų gatvė, the way where most of the souvenirs shops are placed and that takes on the right side to a square where there was also a little Christmas market, and to the most popular streets, and on the left side to the Gate of Dawn and to a part of the city’s walls.

Still you can feel the effects caused by the Sovietic Union after the Second World War. Lithuania was freed by Germans but then Socialism was imposed to the country, until URSS broke in 1990. Lithuania after have had already declared his independence in 1918, did it again in 1991. But Lithuania still hasn’t a well based economy, shops are not common to see if you go wherever in the city, and there is not that commercial spirit you can recognize in the rest of central Europe.

Everything is much cheaper than it is in Italy and Lithuania dopted the Euro just the 1st January of this year, so it’s even easier for us to understand the big difference with the Italian and the Lithuanian costs.

So yesterday as I started to say, we walked a lot and saw some churches around the hotel. The first church we visited was a catholic one, St.Theresa, where a mass in Polish was holding.

The Russian Church of the Holy Spirit, was instead, as you can guess, an Orthodox church and full of icons made of gold, and light colors as  as green on the walls. In this church there were exposed the relics of three Catholic martyrs of the Middle Age.The 5,6% is formed by Russians, and the 6% by Poles, for this Vilnius is a religious multicultural  city with strong Chatolics and orthodoxes.

After this, we visited the sanctuary placed on the Gate of Dawn, where is exposed an effigy of the Virgin Mary, reached by many persons and pilgrims. There I had a bad feeling: there were some stairs, hard to go on because steep and high, and people sat on their knees already on the stairs. The air smelled so much, and air was not changed.

It was interesting to see how the buildings vary completely in the two parts of the city, the most internal one and the one outside the walls.

Outside the walls we walked to the old tower of the city walls and after along walk we discovered in fact that it was the longest way we could have taken to get to the Cathedral! We arrived in a central part of the city, where the Cathedral and Palace of the Grand Dukes and many embassies are. It was interesting to see how the buildings vary completely in the two parts of the city, the most internal one and the one outside the walls.

The cathedral was quite poor inside, with just some canvas on the walls. After that we had lunch by KFC in the square and we gave rest to our feet!

Then we returned to the hotel to rest and stayed there until it was time to have dinner. We decided to eat at this traditional Lithuanian restaurant that had a very good choice of dishes, the waiters were really kind and the goers were both Lithuanian and Lithuanian. I warmly recommend this restaurant if you are thinking on going to Vilnius. I’ll write you more tomorrow, thank you for follow!

Diary from Lithuania – Day one

2nd January 2015

Day one – A desert Town (I am sorry for my English, but I am pretty tired!) It was maybe the time we arrived to the city by a taxi whose driver looked a little depressed though very full of energy. At least we got to the hotel soon because he drove really fast! By the way, the city was nearly completely desert and just a few cars we could see through the windscreen in this rainy night in the capital of Lithuania. The flight was a little storming, for me that I am frightened by flying, because of the rain and the strong wind. What particularly impressed me once we got out from the plane, was the airport’s look. I could say that it looked like a castle with a poetic, full of columns on the sides and white and yellow renaissance decorations. I did not take a photo but I will do it tomorrow and post it with the next upload.

Getting around by taxi the city looked curios out because of this lot of different buildings belonging to different ages. The first impression I had of Lithuanians is that they are extremely serious, but a little less than Swedish people. On the plane they talked sometimes high, and what I have to say on how the language sounds like, is that it is very similar to Russian. By the way, Russian is not my favorite language and Lithuanian is very difficult. Lithuanian is an undo-european tongue more ancient than Italian, Swedish or English, and it is the point where Slavian, Germanic and Neo-Latin tongues come from. Take a look at this photos to see how the language is close to all the european ones!

I am going to sleep now!

See you tomorrow!

Happy 2015!

As first words of this new year, I want to wish you all a happy new year, and let notice you that I have just opened a new category on the blog (the posts will be completely written in English), called “My journeys around the world” where I am going to tell you about my biggest passion, or else traveling. I leave a little preview for you. Tomorrow I am leaving with my father to start a new exploration in Lithuania, in the capital city which is Vilnius. I really look forward to it because it is my first travel outside Italy after my year abroad. I will write about the different things I will see and my opinions about the city on a little diary I was given for Christmas by a “Swedish cousin” when I was exchange student. Then I will take photos, and write on the blog patching up the drafts. So, take a look and we see soon!

Camping in Norway / Part two

So…oh how many photos! Let’s continue then!

We went down on the way to Geiranger, that is the little town that gives the name to the most visited (or the third) fiord of Norway, and there we found a very nice camping (in Geiranger there are something like ten campings, and a mountain that is going to collapse…but anyway!)

We mounted the tent and started to grill some vegetables and toasts, it was very cozy!

It has been bright all the night I think because the sun went down at 23,20, but we said goodbye to the sun at 21 and in the morning we saw it again more or less at 9.

After dinner we took the car to Geiranger and took a walk in the little town, it was very nice and full of tourists! I felt like in Italy with so many persons! oh, and there is not a person in the photos, that was funny!

When the others went to bed I started to watch the wonderful view of the fiord and write for my blog. At midnight I finished and went to the tent. I slept very good because it did not rain at all the last time, and the place was very comfortable!

The morning after the light made a great effect on the water and everything looked like a picture! Took some souvenirs photo, and needed some minutes before I could say goodbye to this wonderful place.

The last thing we did has been go up on a mountain where the fiord gives a wonderful view. It is there that the most famous photos for this fiord are taken.

The way we used to go up has been used after some hours for a run/cycle competition (2500 m.o.s in one hour and a half for the fastest that cycled). They are Scandinavians!

On the top it was just 10° but the sun burned your skin, it was really nice!

Then we got in the car and started a loooong journey back to home.

Camping is wonderful, it was my first time and I hope I will fix something with my friends for the next summer, maybe even in Norway! It is wonderful to meet people from all over the world and talk with them about you travel plans or whatever.

I hope you enjoyed the post, I think it was the longest and most full of photos since I started my blog.

See you tomorrow, I will let you know about my last day in school that is tomorrow (it is actually Thursday but we will not have lessons so the last will be probably tomorrow)

Ha det så bra!

God kväll!