Saturday, September 15, 2012


Time around here has just gone way to quickly.....I suppose I have been fairly busy lately and so I havn't updated my blog for ages but what seems like a better time to do it than now seems as though my sister wants to have a party and doesn't really want me home :P

Now that school has started again and this first term has almost finished I have started/continued doing lots of things. At school I am taking 2 English courses, 2 Maths courses and Sport. My school days are pretty good as they are not too busy which is nice. The musical I am in is also practising away busily with rehearsals on both Wednesday and Friday afternoons. It's coming along well so will be fantastic to perform the shows for everyone in October!! I have also started up Finnish lessons with Tess and Georgia from Australia. The lessons are lots of fun and since starting them I have found that my Finnish has finally started getting better. Wish I could have done the first course with them when I got to Finland...

I have also been travelling a bit with my host family around Finland we have been to Lapeenranta where my host mums parents lives so we visited them and then before we came home again my host sister Venla and I went to the Flow park (A high ropes park) and completed the courses there :D It was lots of fun though I think its easy to say Venla is more of a monkey than myself!!! haha

Last week it was Liisa and Erika's 18th Birthday's so to celebrate a friend organised a little surprise party last night for them. We hired out the room in Bar Bulmer's where the night started finishing up in Heilis around 4am haha. It was a fun night!! amazing to think we are all 18 now and that I got to celebrate Liisa's 18th actually with her (seems as we were both in Australia together 7months ago) :DD

I'll post again soon this time 

Danika xx

Monday, August 13, 2012

The berries...


  The berries straight from the bush 

 cooking the berries 

The final result!!! 

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Today I went with my host grandma, dad and sister picking 'wine berries' from our summer cottage. The berries are not so sweet and not the nicest to be eaten straight off the bush instead they are much nicer when turned into juice. We collected 4 full buckets of the berries from the cottage after which we sailed back home to my host mum who was making the juice. To make the juice you put all the berries straight into a large juice making pot on the stove which you add some sugar and rhubarb in with the berries, before leaving on the stove to boil for 45mins. After boiling you empty the juice that you have made into hot bottles with lids so that the bottles when cooled with the juice inside seal so that the juice stays fresh for a long time. :D We have currently made around 20L of the juice and have around another 10 or 20L to make tomorrow!!!
I shall post pictures of this tomorrow because now I am off to bed. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

I'm very sorry it has taken me such a long time to write up about my Euro tour... But anyway here it is...

Day 1 – Cruise from Finland to Sweden
We all met in Turku docks where we all boarded our cruise ship Isabella who was taking us across to Sweden. The food on the ship was amazing, there was a huge buffet with a whole range of foods from salads, seafood, meats, cheeses, bread and a number of deserts like tiramisu, brownies, ice-cream. After dinner we headed up to the conference room where we had an introduction evening getting to know the bus drivers, Rotarians, rotex, and students attending the tour. After this meeting we had a little time to explore the ship before heading to bed for the early wake up we would be getting in the morning as we arrived to Sweden. 

Day 2 – Sweden to Copenhagen Denmark

Today consisted of mainly driving as we drove through Sweden to Copenhagen, Denmark. In Sweden we stopped off at “FRANSSONS POLKAGRISTILLVERKNING” a lolly shop. This lolly shop had won a Guinness world record in 2003 for the world’s largest lollypop weighing 2158.7Kg.   After visiting the lolly shop we left Sweden and made our way to Copenhagen.   We arrived in Copenhagen that night and had the night to explore Tivoli the theme park in the centre of the city. The night was so much fun I was high on life with a friend running around all night from ride to ride. We got an unlimited ride pass. 

Day 3 – Tour of Copenhagen to Bremen Germany
Me at the Little Mermaid

This day consisted of having a bus tour to explore the beautiful city of Copenhagen by day. We stopped to have a look at the sites such as the Little Mermaid, and Amalienborg (the palace), and we saw other big sites of Copenhagen such as the new opera house and Royal playhouse and the canals with us stopping off in the main shopping street where we had lunch and was able to have some free time exploring the city for ourselves. During the free time I bought some strawberries with one of my friends in which we ate one the deck of the ferry we caught later in the day leaving Denmark and heading to Germany.

Once in Germany we headed to the city of Bremen where we would be spending the night in our hotel, the only thing is that we got caught in a traffic jam and so the trip took us around 4 hours rather than the 2.5/3hrs in which it was supposed to be. When we finally arrived in our hotel we had a few free hours to look around the city. During this time a friend and I went to discover the city, here we found the main shopping street, where they had some museums, art galleries and also some parks around it. On our walk back to the hotel we met some of the exchange students who were living in Bremen whom had met up in front of the hotel with some members from our group who they knew already. 

Day 4 – Netherlands
Today we got to visit the clog and cheese factory in the Netherlands. At the clog part of the factory we learnt about the machines used in which they make the clogs with and also got to see it in action taking only around 5 minutes for one shoe to be made. The cheese factory had a section where we could see the steps they use to make the cheese from scratch, as they explained the different times to wait in order to create different types of cheeses such as Gouda which is aged for usually around 5 months. After seeing where/how the cheeses are made we were able to go into the shop, where we were about to try all the different cheeses they make at the factory.

After visiting the cheese and clog factories we headed to a little town Volendam where we had a little free time to look around the old little city and then have dinner at a restaurant, before we headed to Amsterdam where we visited the Anne Frank House and went for a tour by waterbus through the canals.

Day 5 - Brussels 
Walking tour of Brussels for the morning, after which we had lunch and then actually met up with some of the exchange students living in Belguim, so we went and chilled during our free time with them. Catching up and being awesome as all exchange students are. 

After a morning exploring the city of Brussels we headed off and that evening arrived at our hotel in Paris. We had a little free time to find ourselves some dinner before heading back to the hotel for the night.

Day 6 – Tour of Paris
This morning allowed for us to explore the wonders of Versailles, we used the audio guides through the palace and then had time to wonder around the magnificent gardens. After exploring Versailles we all headed down the road where we all had lunch together and where we were all allowed to have a glass of red wine with our lunch, which was chicken and vegetables with a chocolate muffin for dessert.

After our amazing morning in Versailles we all headed back to the buses where we met our tour guide again who this time was going to take us on a bus tour around Paris. We first stopped for photos infront of the Eiffel tower, before heading back on the bus to see the other wonders of Paris such as the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, Champs-Elysées, etc.

Once the bus tour came to an end, we were given our tickets for the River Seine cruise. The cruise lasted for an hour after which we had free time until 11 pm, having to find our own way back to the hotel ourselves. Heading off in a group we found a little cafe where we had some dinner before we climbed the Arc! The view from up top was spectacular, with a 360⁰ view of Paris. After a wonderful look around at the view from up the top we headed back down, to have a look at from down the bottom and then heading to a little cafe for a coffee and tart at a little French cafe, before walking back to the Eiffel tower catching the metro back to our hotel. 

Day 7 – Free day in Paris
Peter, Sarah and I decided that today would be a perfect day to explore the area around the Moulin Rouge area before having a picnic. We found a free walking tour around this area in which we went on. We started at the bottom of the hill at the red windmill heading up the hill learning the history of the area before ending up at the Sacré-coeur on top of the hill. During the tour we found out where the bakery which was awarded the prize for best baguette in the whole of France 2010 was we decided to get some baguettes and strawberries and head to the Eiffel tower where we had a picnic. After our picnic we headed off to the Notre Dame, though we just missed out on going up to see the gargoyles, so instead we walked around the area before heading back to the hotel to get ready for our free night we had to enjoy in Paris. During this free night my group and I wandered around the Champs- Elysées area and the Eiffel tower area which were so different by night.

Day 8 – Driving to Grenoble
This day mainly consisted of driving as we left Paris and headed to Grenoble, a city which is situated in South-eastern France at the foot of the French Alps. When we arrived people could go swimming in the pool before dinner. After dinner we had a little free time to chill before heading to bed ready for tomorrow. 

Day 9 – Alps
It was time to leave the city and head up the mountains! Today we got to wind our way over the Alps on our way to Nice. Along the way we made 3 stops. The first stop was at a beautiful small French village in the middle of the Alps called Sisteron. We had a little time to explore where my friends and I wandered up the hill to an old castle which we were able to see the view of the whole village from the top. This area was so beautiful with none of us wanting to leave after our lunch there. Unfortunately we had to leave the beautiful village, getting back on the busses on our way. The next stop was at a petrol station where we could get some snacks if needed and a toilet break before heading back on the bus before the last stop along the way before reaching Nice. The last stop was at a Parfum factory in Grasse. Here we were fortunate enough to have a tour around the factory before heading to the shop to get some great deals on some of their perfume ranges. After making our purchases (me getting a new perfume for myself), we once again climbed back onto the bus to head to our hotel that evening in Nice. Once we arrived and all had dinner together we had a little free time to go and explore, so most people headed off to find the beach where we all went swimming. The only thing about the beach in Nice is the lack of sand, rather it being pebble/rocks which made it rather painful to enter and leave the water when swimming. Other than this however the water was beautiful and definitely worth a dip.

Day 10 – Free time in Nice heading to Monaco

As we had a free morning to explore Nice, I went for a walk around with 2 other Aussies where we found a patisserie shop where we got some macaroons, before finding a street market where they sold all sorts of fresh fruits, vegies, spices and many other things. After walking around the city we headed to the beach, where we could lay in the sun for a while before heading to the buses for our trip to Monaco. 

Day 11 – Verona

We were all taken as a group to the spot where Juliet’s balcony is, so that we could all post our letters to her and place our gum on the wall before we were given a few hours to explore the city of Verona and get something for lunch in our own groups. As we are now in Italy what’s better to have for lunch than a pizza and some gelato for dessert. YUMMO!! After exploring the city of Verona we headed to our hotel in Lido di Jesolo, which was located on right on the beach allowing for us to spend our free time swimming if we wanted.

Day 12 – Venice
Venice was one of the cities which was on top of many people’s places they were most excited to visit (as well as Paris of course). Whilst waiting for our waterbus to arrive to take us across to Venice we had a little time to have a look around the touristy shops around the area. The trip was around half an hour from there to Venice, so we were able to pick up a few tips from our tour guide who spoke to us during the journey across. When we arrived we followed our tour guide who took us to the place we would be getting our gondolas from. From here we formed groups of 6 to share a gondola with for our 20min tour around the canals. Once everyone had finished their gondola rides we headed to the glass factory where we were able to watch a glass blower make a jug. After watching the demonstration on how they make the glass, we had the opportunity to look around the shop at the different glass products they make. After our tour we had 4 hours of free time to do what we wanted around Venice before heading back to the hotel that afternoon for some more free time and a game of beach volley ball. 

Day 13 – Free day in Lido di Jesolo
Today we relaxed at the beach swimming and laying on the day beds in the sun. I ate lunch at a restaurant and then had some more gelato :D

 Day 14 – Dolomites hike
We headed off for a morning drive through the Alps where our next hotel was. We arrived at the hotel around 11am, after which we unpacked and cleaned the buses (It was my day for bus cleaning, before putting our things in our rooms and getting changed for the hike which we were going on that afternoon. Once we were ready we headed back to the buses, where we met our guides and drove to the spot we were starting the hike from.  We were told that it was going to be cold for the hike so we all had on our jeans and jumpers, though it turns out it actually wasn’t hot, in fact it was around 30⁰C!! Most of us were so hot on the way up, but we all made it to the top, where we had time to sit in the shade and relax looking at the stunning view. We stayed up the top for around 40mins before heading back to the bottom where we met the buses which took us back to the hotel. Back at the hotel we had a shower and got changed and relaxed before dinner, with some people playing cards, others giving people massages and others signing people’s flags. Dinner time came though to everyone’s surprise it was a 5 course meal which took us a bit over 2 hours to have.  It started with a salad, soup, pasta, roast meat and vegies, and finally dessert. When dinner was finally over we had a little bit of free time, which I spent with a whole group of people in someone’s room talking. Around 11.30ish it was time to head to our rooms for the night. 

Day 15 – Austria

Unfortunately we only had a few hours in Austria for lunch and a little walk around (the temperature was around 34⁰C and almost had me questioning if I was Australian as I thought it was so hot). As it was a Sunday there wasn’t too much open around so firstly we went to the tourist information shop where we got a map of the city. They suggested that we go to the top of the mountain and have a look at the view from up top, though we decided not to as we didn’t have enough time. Instead we went for a walk round and found a nice little cafe/restaurant for lunch. After the delicious meal we went for a walk to explore some more of the city. We found the river that ran through the middle so we followed this with the amazing mountains behind and we found the little shopping street, where we stopped to have a little look round and get some souvenirs and snacks before grabbing a gelato and heading back to the bus. Leaving Austria we made our way to Garmisch-Partenkirhen where we were having a special dinner. The restaurant was a decorated little cottage type house, and during dinner we had a Bavarian entertainment with music and traditional dancing, which was great to watch. After our dinner and the dancing had finished we once again got back on the bus and drove to Nurnberg where we stayed for the night. 

Day 16 – Nurnberg to Berlin
Today we visited the Nurnberg war museum. The museum was interesting to visit though as I didn’t realise that it was actually the same building in which Hitler campaigns were actually held, I didn’t take as much interest in it as I would have if I had know this beforehand, though it was still interesting to visit. After looking through the museum we got back on the bus and drove to Berlin. That evening after a bit of free time we went to the conference room where we had a farewell party all together. The party was really nice, and the oldie/Newbie gifts were handed out to each other. It was such a lovely night although it was sad to think that it was our last night altogether. Tomorrow we would be spending our last day together before heading back to Finland where we might not see each other again before people go home.

Day 17 – Berlin and home
 The morning was spent on a guided bus tour around Berlin. Here we got to see the main sights including the wall. After the tour, it was time for lunch so we were dropped off in the centre where we went to the Mövenpick restaurant where we had a lovely buffet type lunch. After lunch we had a couple of hours to do what we wanted, so my friends and I walked around having a look through some of the shops and the different things in the main area we were in. After our few last ours together looking around it was time to get on the bus one last time and head to the airport for our flight back to Finland. The flight was good, with most people talking and getting the last signatures on their flags before arriving. At the baggage collections it was the saddest and worst part of the trip as it was time to say our final goodbyes to everyone, whom we may never see again. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


9 countries (Sweden Denmark Italy Germany Monaco Austria France Netherlands Belgium)

17 days 

90 exchange students



Only 5 days left until there will be around 89 exchange students, 2 busses and 2 and a half weeks travelling europe....I am so excited words can not describe how I am feeling right now as I have been waiting for this trip to come for so long and now that it is actually here, it doesn't feel real :D 
Will keep you updated about the tirp. 

Monday, May 14, 2012


In 20 days time I with around 90 other exchange students will be embarking on our 3 week Europe trip. I am now even more excited than before as we just received our itinerary  for the trip it looks amazing. The trip is going to be so much fun I cannot wait for it :D 
BRING ON EURO TOUR 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The countires in which we will be visiting during the tour include: Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Monaco, Italy and Austria. I will keep you informed about the trip!