Things to do and see in Rome!

Hello!

Earlier, I have posted a list on things to do and see in both Paris and London. Now I’m gonna share one for Rome! I went to Rome in June 2014 with two friends and it was such an amazing city! These three cities are definitely three of my favorite cities in Europe! Rome is beautiful, antique and historic, London is cool, modern and awesome, and Paris is a mix of both. Lovely places! We were in Rome for 4 nights and had time to do and see a lot during our stay there, and as with my posts for Paris and London I’ve decided to share some of my tips and advices for Rome:

  • Colosseum + Palatine Hill + Roman Forum
    Buy a ticket for all three combined. I recommend that you buy a ticket at Palatine Hill/Roman Forum, there are usually less people there than at the Colosseum.
  • Fontana di Trevi
    The beautiful famous fountain. Unfortunately it was being repaired when we were there, but this is definitely a place you should visit when you’re in Rome. And don’t forget to toss in a coin and make a wish, it’s tradition!
  • Pantheon
    Such a cool and magnificent place, a former Roman temple.
  • The Spanish Steps/Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti – Piazza di Spagna
    Walk up the steps, then walk left towards Villa Medici and afterwards descend towards Piazza del Popolo. There’s also some nice stores for shopping in that area.
  • Castel Sant’Angelo
    We didn’t have the time to go into this place but it’s very amazing, and if you have the chance you should definitely go in there!
  • The Vatican
    I recommend that you buy the tickets online in advance, takes much less time! And plan to spend several hours here, there’s so much to see, so go there in the morning.
  • Peter’s Basilica/Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano
    When you visit the Vatican, make sure you go by Peter’s Basilica also, it’s right next to the Vatican.
  • Piazza Navona
    A gorgeous square that is very nice to take a stroll through, and do some window shopping!
  • The catacombs – San Calistos
    We never had time to visit them, but I’ve heard recommendations about visiting this!
  • The Galleria Borghese
    An art gallery. We never had time to visit this, but I would have liked to if we would have had more time.

To get from Fiumicino/Leonardo da Vinci Airport to Rome: We took the Leonardo Express Train, because we felt that was the easiest. It is a non-stop trip between the airport and Rome Termini (the main station), and our hotel was very close to that station. The train runs every half hour during the day and evening and the trip takes about 30 minutes. We bought out ticket at the airport when we arrived, and be sure to get your ticket stamped before getting on the train!

For transportation, it is very easy to get around with the metro and the bus. I recommend that you buy a 3-days tourist integrated ticket; “Biglietto per 3 giorni B.T.I.”. The price is 16,50€ and it is valid for 3 consequent days on any public means. It has to be stamped just once when staring the travel and exhibited to the controller at the entrance of the metro line.

If you are there for a longer time there is also the “Biglietto settimanale C.I.S.”; a tourist one-week integrated ticket. The price is 24€ and it is valid for 7 consequent days and has the same terms of use like the B.T.I., only the owner must write on the card his/her own name.

On our first evening, we walked down Via Nazionale and then turned right onto Via XXIV Maggio. Just a little up that street was a very nice restaurant; Ristorante Petrucci (situated under Hotel Hiberia) and it was cozy with great food. After dinner, we continued up Via XXIV Maggio towards Piazza del Quirinale. From there you can easily walk towards Fontana di Trevi. Then from Fontana di Trevi, we followed Via del Tritone towards Fontana del Tritone, another beautiful fountain.

Another restaurant I can recommend is called Ristorante Terme di Diocleziano situated on Via del Viminale. They have a very cozy terrace on the roof. Very nice restaurant with good food and great service.

After we visited the Vatican and the St. Peter’s Basilica, we walked towards Castel Sant’Angelo and then crossed the bridge Ponte Sant’Angelo to get to the other side of Tiber/Tevere (the river). After that you’re not too far from Piazza Navona and then Pantheon.

If you walk down Via del Corso from Piazza del Popolo, there are a lot of stores for shopping, so this is a street great for shopping! Also, on Via del Babuino, the street next to it, you’ll find more good stores for shopping.

Also, when in Rome, make sure you eat lots and lots of gelato! It’s so delicious! We also made sure to try lots of incredible Italian food: lasagna, pasta, pizza, bruschetta, mozzarella, prosciutto… So much delicious food, with amazing Italian wine, enjoy it!

I hope this list can be of use to you! Enjoy your stay in Rome!


Ristorante Petrucci

 
Piazza del Quirinale


Fontana del Tritone


Ristorante Terme di Diocleziano


Visit to the Vatican!
 
Lots of beautiful art to see here, especially in the ceilings! 
 
 

 
St. Peter’s Basilica


Castel Saint’Angelo & Ponte Saint’Angelo

 
Piazza Navona


Pantheon


Lots of beautiful old sites to see in Rome


The Spanish Steps

 


Piazza del Popolo


Palatine Hill & Roman Forum
 


Colosseum


Fontana di Trevi

 
Gelato!


Roma, ti amo!

Moving to another country!

Last year I took a big step and decided to move to Canada from Sweden (my home country) indefinitely. I spent almost 5 months in Montreal, Canada, in 2014 from January to May during an internship and that’s when I met my boyfriend, who is originally from Quebec. I went back to Sweden in the end of May to finish my studies at the university and work during the summer, but decided to go back to Montreal in September. A big decision and a big step for me.

It’s not te easiest to pick up and move to another country, there are a lot of preparations to be done, and a lot of changes to get used to. I thought I would share some of my experiences during this period in my life with you, some things one should think of when deciding to move to another country.

First of all you must check if you need a special visa or work permit to go to the country of your choice. For me, as a Swede, I don’t need a special visa if I am just going to Canada as a tourist for a maximum of 6 months, but if I want to work in Canada and/or stay longer than 6 months I need a visa. So I applied for a Working Holiday Visa with International Experience Canada, and you should apply a couple of months in advance, because they have a limited number of places and the processing can take everything between a couple of weeks to several months.

However this Working Holiday Visa is only valid for 1 year, and since I am planning to stay and work in Canada for more than a year I need to apply for either another work permit or a permanent residency, which you have to apply for through the government of Canada.

After applying for a visa it’s good to check for accomodation. When I came here in January last year I used Craigslist to look for an apartment. (Luckily I didn’t have to search for an apartment for when I moved back in September since I moved in with my boyfriend who already lived in Montreal.)

Another thing which you should fix before you leave your home country is insurance, which is very important! Since when you’re a newcomer in another country and not a resident you’re usually not eligible for an insurance in that country. I was covered by my parent’s home insurance in Sweden for the first 45 days here in Canada (since I lived with them before moving here), but after those 45 days I needed another insurance, just in case an accident would happen (you never know!). So after a lot of research I bought a travel insurance with ERV which would cover any emergenies or accidents during my stay in Canada.

However, since I have decided to stay in Canada during a longer period than just a visit, I had to make some adjustments to my insurance in June this year. I was covered by the travel insurance from ERV for a maximum of 1 year and as long as I was still considered a resident of Sweden. But in the beginning of June I applied for a permanent residency here in Canada, which meant I had to change my address in Sweden to my address in Canada and let the Swedish Tax Agency (or “Skatteverket”) know that I am now living abroad. If you have decided to live abroad for a minimum of 1 year you have to rapport this to the Swedish Tax Agency who “is a government agency in Sweden responsible for national tax collection and administering the population registration”. (Source) Therefore I was no longer elibible for the travel insurance with ERV.

After some research I found Croix Bleue here in Canada and could sign up for a so-called “Visitors to Canada Plan” with them, which covers basically them same things as my insurance from ERV did; emergencies and accidents. It’s a good insurane to have until I can either get an insurance with my employer here in Canada or until I am eligible for an insurance plan here in Quebec (the RAMQ).

When you’re set up with an insurance it is time to prepare for the move! I knew that I wanted to bring some of my own stuff in moving boxes since I would be moving in with my boyfriend (however I brought no furniture, because moving furniture from Sweden to Canada would cost way too much!). I contacted many different moving companies in Sweden and Canada, that do shpping either by boat or by airplane, to get an estimate of the price. I was going to bring 6 boxes of a total of 100 kg, and the best price was offered to me by Active Air Cargo, and the whole process with them went very smoothly! They send the cargo in between international airports, so in this case from Arlanda airport in Stockholm to Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in Montreal. This meant that I had to get to boxes to their office in Stockholm, close to the airport, and then also pick them up at the customs at the airport in Montreal.

The cost with Active Air Cargo was (prices in Swedish Crowns):
Up to 34 kg                                 a MIN price of 1610.00 kr
35-44 kg                                      47.00 kr/kg
45-99 kg                                      40.00 kr/kg
100-299 kg                                  32.00 kr/kg

You also have to pay a processing fee of 650.00 kr no matter the weight, and there’s a security check included in this cost for up to 5 boxes. If you have more than 5 packages there’s a cost of 45.00 kr per extra box.

They can also pick up the goods where you live and bring them to the airport in Stockholm for you, and the cost for that is based on the weight of the cargo and where you live. So for me, who lived in Sundsvall, the cost was:

26 to 50 kg      630.00 kr
51 to 100 kg     932.00 kr
101 to 250 kg   1244.00 kr

So for me the total cost was:

100 kg x 32.00 kr/kg = 3 200.00 kr
However they have a student discount of 10%, which lowered the price to 2 880.00 kr
Processing:
650.00 kr
Pick-up in Sundsvall (my home town) and transport to Stockholm/Arlanda:
932.00 kr for 100 kg
Extra security check for the 6th box:
1st. x 45.00/st = 45.00

Total cost:  SEK 4 507.00

Active Air Cargo was very helpful and gave me a lot of information before I decided to send my stuff with them. They explained the process very well and replied fast by e-mail. So if you’re moving from Sweden and need to ship some cargo I can very much recommend them! They picked up my boxes in Sundsvall on the 15th of September, brought them to Arlanda and sent them by airplane to Montreal on the 19th of September where they arrived the 20th! All I had to do then was bring my papers and go to the customs at the airport in Montreal and pay to receive my cargo; $74! Everything arrived on time and nothing was broken, they handled my cargo very well!

A lot of information about the shipping, I know, but for me if took some time to find the right company that could ship my goods to Canada, so I hope that all this info can help someone else who’s considering moving from Sweden to another country!

Of course, when you’ve finally left your home country and moved there’s a lot of new things to get used to and things to fix, such as getting a social insurance number, opening up a bank account, and getting a mobile service provider so you can use your phone. Then of course, you may wanna start right away with searching for a job! As a newcomer to another country, this can take some time, since you don’t have any previous work experience in this country.

Well, these are the things I can think of right now that can ge good to have in mind if you’re considering moving to another country. As mentionned, there’s a a lot of things to check and set up in advance and then some things to take care of once you’ve arrived and it takes some time getting used to your new situation and getting used to living in a country that is not your home country.

If there’s anything you would like to know, don’t hesitate to ask! Send me a comment and I’ll be happy to respond and help you in any way that I can.

Otherwise – good luck with your move, you’re in for an adventure! It may seem tough and that it requires a lot of work, but if everything goes well it might be so worth it!

Beautiful French quotes

I found these cards in Montreal a couple of months ago. I thought they were beautiful and therefore decided to take some pictures of them.

Beautiful love quotes (that I think are actually songs) in French:


I still don’t know how to resist you
You are the most beautiful idea in the world


His heart is a party
Mine does not want to leave
She is the most beautiful season of my life


I think about you often
Often or rather all the time
And I will do my best
To be there
When you need me
I promise you this


There are so many wonders
That you have not shown me yet
When I wake up
I always want you by my side


You are my love
You are my mistress
You’re all that I want,
you’re all that I’ve wanted


She is a hundred times more beautiful than the verb love
She ignites the sun
In the middle of the summer

Things to do and see in London!

Hi!

As you may have seen, I have put up a list of things to do and see in Paris here, and now I thought I would share a similar list with you but for London; a city which I visited for the first time in 2012 and and I fell completely in love with it! So since I did and saw much during my stay there, I thought that it would be interesting for others if I shared some of my tips and advices, so here you go! :

  • Piccadilly Circus
    A famous public space.
  • Trafalgar Square
    Another famous and beautiful public space.
  • Buckingham Palace
    We took the underground to Piccadilly Circus, walked towards Trafalgar Square, and then walked towards Buckingham Palace. From there we then walked towards Big Ben and saw Big Ben, London Eye and Westminster Abbey.
  • Big Ben
    The famous clock which most people has heard about. It wasn’t as big as I thought it would be, but it was still cool to see it with my own eyes. Especially since Big Ben is featured in many movies and tv shows that take place in London.
  • London Eye
    We didn’t take the time for the Ferris wheel ride, which I regret because I’ve heard that it’s very cool and something one should do!
  • Westminster Abbey
    A large, mainly Gothic, beautiful church. Mostly this church is famous because it has been the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and British monarchs. 
  • Tower of London
    This is a historic castle which is also called Her Majesty´s Royal Palace and Fortress, and this is where the crown jewels are kept. We took the underground to the Tower of London and then walked from there to Tower Bridge.
  • Tower Bridge
    This bridge is very famous and can also be seen in many movies and tv shows that take place in London. It crosses the River Thames, and was so cool and beautiful to see!
  • Hyde Park
    Such a big and beautiful park! It felt nice just to take a stroll through the park, which we did after a long day of shopping.
  • Covent Garden
    A nice market with a bunch of different things. Here you can find clothes, art, jewelry, china etc.
  • Museums
    We did not have time to visit any museums, but there are some great ones in London, such as the British Museum.
  • Street markets:
    o   Camden market – Open 7 days a week from 10:00am to 6:00pm.
    o   Portobello road – The fashion market is open 09:00 – 19:00 on Friday and Saturday.
  • Primark
    I didn’t have the chance to go here, but I’ve heard that there’s great shopping for very good prices here!
  • Musicals at West End
    A must-do if you like musicals, music or theatre! (Or all of the above!) I recommend that you go to Piccadilly Circus and walk around there to buy tickets for the musicals, and don’t settle for the first place you find because the prices vary from booth to booth! Or you can buy the tickets at the theatre where you can find tickets for good prices as well!
  • Kings Cross Station
    A big and very famous train station, and if you like the Harry Potter movies you should definitely go and check out Platform 9 ¾!
  • Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
    Another great place to visit if you like the Harry Potter movies! This is the studio where the movies were made, so you get to go behind-the-scenes and see many things from the movie, and it’s very cool! The easiest way to get here, I would say, is to get to the station Watford Junction (we took the train there from the station London Euston, it took about half an hour!). Then from Watford Junction there are shuttle buses that go to the studio, and those take about 15-20 minutes. Be there in time! (Also, we bought our tickets for the studio tour online, very easy and something that I would recommend!)
  • Madame Tussauds
    We did not have time to visit this, but I’ve heard that it’s very cool!
  • London Dungeon
    Same with this!

To get from Gatwick Airport to London: The easiest way is to take the train – the Gatwick Express, which runs to Victoria station every 15 minutes, and the train ride is about 30 minutes. You can buy tickets at the airport (they also offer roundtrip tickets).

To get from Heathrow Airport to London: The fastest way is to take the Heathrow Express; a train ride of about 15 minutes to London Paddington, and it departures every 15 minutes.

You could buy a Visitor Oyster Card for getting around in London (it works on all of the public transport services). That’s better than buying single tickets all the time! There’s also Travelcards one can buy for getting around in London. Just go to any station and see what card would suit you the best, but I do recommend that you get a card to get around, it’s cheaper and easier than buying single tickets all the time.

When I was in London I stayed at a hotel near Kings Cross, which made it very easy to get around since it’s a big station. However, as long as you live not too far from an underground station it’s very easy to get around in London!

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Piccadilly Circus

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Trafalgar Square

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Buckingham Palace
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Big Ben
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In the background you see London Eye

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Westminster Abbey

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Tower of London
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Tower Bridge
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Hyde Park

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Musicals at West End

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Kings Cross
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The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
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Me going home after falling completely in love with London!

TV Shows

I follow a lot of different TV Shows and I know that I always like to get some tips about other TV Shows, to find a new good one to follow. Therefore I thought I would share with you what TV Shows that I follow now or have finished all seasons of.

So here are the TV Shows that I think are good and follow/watch now (the plot summary and pictures borrowed from imdb.com):

Supernatural

Two brothers follow their father’s footsteps as “hunters” fighting evil supernatural beings of many kinds including monsters, demons, and gods that roam the earth.

Bones

A forensic anthropologist and a cocky FBI agent build a team to investigate death causes. And quite often, there isn’t more to examine than rotten flesh or mere bones.

Castle

After a serial killer imitates the plots of his novels, successful mystery novelist Richard “Rick” Castle gets permission from the Mayor of New York City to tag along with an NYPD homicide investigation team for research purposes.

Grimm

A homicide detective discovers he is a descendant of hunters who fight supernatural forces.

Vampire Diaries

A high school girl is torn between two vampire brothers.

Once Upon A Time

Centers on a woman with a troubled past who is drawn into a small town in Maine where the magic and mystery of Fairy Tales just may be real.

True Blood

In a world where vampires have “come out of the coffin”, Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic waitress, discovers a new world of different creatures when she meets Bill Compton, a vampire.

2 Broke Girls

Two young women waitressing at a greasy spoon diner strike up an unlikely friendship in the hopes of launching a successful business – if only they can raise the cash.

Big Bang Theory

A woman who moves into an apartment across the hall from two brilliant but socially awkward physicists shows them how little they know about life outside of the laboratory.

New Girl

After a bad break-up, Jess, an offbeat young woman, moves into an apartment loft with three single men. Although they find her behavior very unusual, the men support her – most of the time.

Glee

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 group of ambitious misfits try to escape the harsh realities of high school by joining a glee club, where they find strength, acceptance and, ultimately, their voice, while working to pursue dreams of their own.

Mike & Molly

A couple meets at an Overeaters’ Anonymous meeting.

Drop Dead Diva

A vapid aspiring model killed in a car crash gets brought back to life as an intelligent, overweight lawyer, hoping to find the meaning of inner beauty.

Girls

A comedy about the experiences of a group of girls in their early 20s.

Here are some TV Shows that I plan to watch/begin following sometime:

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The missions of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division.

The Originals

The Original vampire family, from The Vampire Diaries, return and settle in the city they helped build, New Orleans.

Sons of Anarchy

A man in his early 30s struggles to find a balance in his life between being a new dad and his involvement in a motorcycle club.

Orange Is the New Black

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The story of Piper Chapman, a woman in her thirties who is sentenced to fifteen months in prison after being convicted of a decade-old crime of transporting money for her drug-dealing girlfriend.

Suits

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On the run from a drug deal gone bad, Mike Ross, a brilliant college-dropout, finds himself a job working with Harvey Specter, one of New York City’s best lawyers.

Sleepy Hollow

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Ichabod Crane is resurrected and pulled two and a half centuries through time to unravel a mystery that dates all the way back to the founding fathers.

The Mentalist

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A famous “psychic” outs himself as a fake and starts working as a consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation so he can find “Red John,” the madman who killed his wife and daughter.

NCIS

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The cases of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Beauty and the Beast

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Detective Catherine Chandler (Kristin Kreuk), shaken to the core over the fact that everything she thought she knew about her life has been a lie, is determined to get answers to the secrets that have been revealed about her family. Cat must also try to navigate her evolving relationship with handsome doctor Vincent Keller (Jay Ryan), who struggles with becoming a terrifying beast when he is enraged, unable to control his super-strength and heightened senses. Cat and Vincent continue to grapple with the desire to be a normal couple while trying to keep a low profile in order to stay one step ahead of the mysterious organization known as Muirfield, now on the hunt for both of them.

Teen Wolf

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A somewhat awkward teen is attacked by a werewolf and inherits the curse itself, as well as the enemies that come with it.

Arrow

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Spoiled billionaire playboy Oliver Queen is missing and presumed dead when his yacht is lost at sea. He returns five years later a changed man, determined to clean up the city as a hooded vigilante armed with a bow.

Tru Calling

A university graduate working in the city morgue is able to repeat the same day over again to prevent murders or other disasters.

Ringer

A young woman on the run from the mob poses as her wealthy twin sister to try and evade them, but soon discovers that her sister has a price on her head as well.

Gilmore Girls

A drama centering around the relationship between a thirtysomething single mother and her teen daughter living in Stars Hollow, Connecticut.

Then we also have some TV Shows that I’ve already seen all seasons and episodes of (finished TV Shows):

How I Met Your Mother

Ted searches for the woman of his dreams in New York City with the help of his four best friends.

Charmed

Three sisters discover their destiny – to battle against the forces of evil, using their witchcraft. They are the Charmed Ones.

Sex and the City

Four beautiful female New Yorkers gossip about their sex-lives (or lack thereof) and find new ways to deal with being a woman in the 90’s.

Friends

The lives, loves, and laughs of six young friends living in Manhattan.

Gossip Girl

Privileged teenagers attend an elite private school in New York City. Based on Alloy Entertainment’s book series.

Ghost Whisperer

A newlywed with the ability to communicate with the earthbound spirits of the recently deceased overcomes skepticism and doubt to help send their important messages to the living and allow the dead to pass on to the other side.

V

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An extraterrestrial race arrives on Earth with seemingly good intentions, only to slowly reveal their true machinations the more ingrained into society they become.

Roswell

Living among the citizens of the infamous New Mexico city of Roswell are some who are not there by choice. They are there to follow a destiny given to them by the members of their dying race, a race that they are someday destined to save.

Samantha Who?

A woman suffers from amnesia and is forced to find out who she really is.

One Tree Hill

This series follows the eventful lives of some high-school kids in Tree Hill, a small but not too quiet town in North Carolina, where the greatest source of pride is the high school basketball team, the Ravens.

Scrubs

In the unreal world of Sacred Heart Hospital, intern John “J.D” Dorian learns the ways of medicine, friendship and life.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

After the traumatizing ordeal in the movie with the same name, Buffy Summers and her mother move to Sunnydale, only to discover that L.A. was just a walk in the park…

Angel

The vampire Angel, cursed with a soul, moves to Los Angeles and aids people with supernatural-related problems while questing for his own redemption.

I also usually follow America’s Next Top Model. I’ve seen all the cycles and episodes, and it’s a cosy show to watch.

So there you go! I hope that I with this could give you some good tips on TV Shows that you may be interested in watching! If you want to know more or ask me something about these TV Shows don’t hesitate to ask!

Enjoy!

Tattoo studios Montreal

From January-May 2014 I was in Montreal, Canada, and while I was there I wanted to get a tattoo. I already had 4 from before and had an idea for a 5th one, and I always do a lot of research before getting a tattoo. In Montreal I didn’t know anyone who already had a tattoo, so I couldn’t ask someone who could recommend me a good tattoo studio. I therefore looked up a bunch of studios on Google and wrote down 8 places that I wanted to check out. I wanted to see how the studio was, how service minded, helpful and nice the staff was, what the cost would be roughly (I had a picture with me of the tattoo that I wanted to get), and how long one would have to wait for an appointment.

Tattoo 2 (3)
This is the tattoo that I wanted to get on my right forearm, and it’s a quote by Albert Einsten –Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning.

This quote means a lot to me and it’s something that I try to embrace and live by. I have always had a tendency to get too stuck in and dwell too much on the past, or think about and worry too much about the future. I’ve always had trouble to leave stuff in the past, and I know that I must ‘learn from my mistakes’ and not let the past take over the present. I can also sometimes get too stuck in thoughts and stress too much about the future, so I must ‘look forward to tomorrow’ and not let those thoughts take over the present. I must learn to enjoy the present more and focus on the “here and now”. This message is therefore very important to me, which is why I wanted to get this tattoo on my forearm; so I can see it and be reminded of it every day.

Learn from yesterday – Don’t keep repeating your mistakes, take it with you and learn from them.
Live for today – Live in the moment, don’t get stuck in the past or worry about the future too much. Life is short and life is now.
Hope for tomorrow – Hold on to your dreams and aspirations, things can always get better.

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I put together a summary of all the different studios that I visited and I thought that I would share this information with you, if you were thinking about getting a tattoo in Montreal! :

  • Slick Styled Steel
    Here they said that the tattoo would probably cost in between $120-$150, but probably under $150 (the cost is $120/h). The recommended SmAshley who’s good with writing, and I could call and book and appointment with her about a week in advance. I could also book a consultation with her first so she could take a look at and listen to my ideas and draw up a good size of the tattoo. You can read more about the studio and SmAshley’s portfolio HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.
    This studio also seemed to have gotten some good reviews, especially SmAshley, and I liked her portfolio, she has done many nice tattoos. They were also very friendly and helpful at the studio, they took the time to listen to my ideas and came with suggestions and such, so I really liked this place. (At another place that I visited, someone also recommended Slick Styled Steel and said that they’re great there, which sounded positive!)
  • Adrenaline
    They said that it would probably take them around 1,5 hour to do the tattoo and it would therefore cost around $150. I could contact them only a couple of days in advance to get an appointment. They recommended the tattoo artist Kassie who’s good with text tattoos. You can find more info about the studio and Kassie’s portfolio HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.
    From what I could see this studio seems to have gotten some good reviews, but there are also people who say that this studio is not the biggest and the best as it tries to come off. That there’s too much hype around it. However, when I checked out Kassie’s portfolio I found that she seems to know what she’s doing and she has done many nice tattoos. Also, they were very nice at the studio, but they had a lot of things going on and not so much time to listen to my ideas and such.
  • Tattoo Mania
    The tattoo here would cost me between $200-$300, and you could get an appointment within 2 weeks. It would probably have taken around 2 hours to do the tattoo, to get it just right and in a good size so it would look good, and they would’ve charged me for the tattoo rather than by the hour. They recommended either Scal, Olivier, Cat or Alex. The woman here mentioned Cat twice and said that she would probably be the one who could have done it. You can see her portfolio HERE and HERE.
    The staff here was very friendly, the woman who talked to me took the time to look at and listen to my ideas, and she came with suggestions and such. They said that you could book a consultation first, to sit down and discuss the tattoo with the tattoo artist before to get it just right. So I liked this place, too bad though that it sounded like it would cost me a lot to get the tattoo here.
  • Excentrik
    The cost here is $130/h, and they said that my tattoo would probably take around 1,5-2 hours to do. Nola was the girl that I spoke to who said that she could do the tattoo. You find her portfolio HERE and HERE.
    She was nice and she took the time to look at and listen to my ideas. However, she didn’t have that much time for when I wanted to get my tattoo, they were very booked (and it seemed like they didn’t have many tattoo artists there, the studio was quite small).
  • MTL Tattoo
    Here the tattoo would cost me about $160 + taxes. Since it was going to be such a small tattoo they would charge me for the tattoo rather than charge me per hour. I could contact them at least a week before to get an appointment, and whichever tattoo artist here could do the tattoo.
    There were nice people who worked there and they took the time to listen to and look at my ideas and such. However, it felt like they didn’t take it all too seriously since the tattoo was so “simple” and not that big or complicated to do, so they simply said “come in and anyone here could do it”. For me it still felt like a big deal to do that tattoo (I feel that it’s always a big thing to do a tattoo!), so I therefore wanted to find a nice tattoo artist that could take the time to sit down with me before and draw up the tattoo for me so it would be in a good size for my forearm. So it would have been nice if they could have mentioned the names of some tattoo artists there so I could check out their portfolios a bit before.
  • Tattoo Lounge
    They said that the tattoo would probably cost me around $200. They recommended Joel who’s good with writing, and they could do it within 2 weeks. You find Joel’s portfolio HERE. Sure, he’s done some nice tattoos, but they’re a bit bigger and more advanced than the simple tattoo that I had in mind.
    The woman who worked there was very nice and she listened to my ideas. She also asked about what other places that I had visited and when I mentioned Slick Styled Steel she said that that place is very good. She also mentioned which studios are the “Top 5” in Montreal: Slick Styled Steel, MTL Tattoo, Tattoo Lounge, Imago and Tattoo Mania.
  • Imago
    Here they would charge me between $145-$215 for the tattoo, it would all come down to how long it would take, and they could do it anytime. It would cost at least $145 (that’s their hourly price).
    I didn’t get the best vibe from this place. They weren’t very service minded or helpful, they barely took the time to listen to me or look at what kind of tattoo that I wanted to get, and they couldn’t even recommend me a good tattoo artist. No, I didn’t feel like I was very nicely treated here, a tattoo is actually a big deal to get since you’ll have it for the rest of your life, so therefore you would want the people who work at the tattoo studio to take their time to listen to you and your ideas.
  • Bodkin Tattoo
    The price for the tattoo would be in between $140-$160 and I could come in and do it right away, they said that it would probably take only 20 minutes. They even said that they could squeeze me in between two other appointments, and that anyone here could do it.
    I did not like this place at all. The staff wasn’t service minded, they were rude and not very heplful. They barely took the time to look at what kind of tattoo that I wanted to get or listen to me, and just because the tattoo was kind of simple and not that big it seemed like they just thought of it as not such a big deal. I mean come on, 20 minutes? (And the studio that I visited before this one said 2 hours!) It didn’t feel like they took the tattoo that I wanted to get very seriously or like they would put down a lot of time to do it well. Since I was going to get a tattoo on my forearm that is going to be very visible for the rest of my life I wanted them to take their time and make sure that it’s going to look very nice. One of the snide comments that I got when I said that I was checking out many different studios in the city, to compare them, was “So you’re letting money decide where you’re gonna get your tattoo?” No! They said it like I didn’t know what I was doing, but I do have four other tattoos from before. Money is just a part of it, the rest has to do with how the studio and the staff is, and how the portfolios of the tattoo artists are, and with that bad attitude and treatment they could forget that I was ever going to do a tattoo at their studio. So I put a big no no on this place!

I got the best impression of Slick Styled Steel, Adrenaline and Tattoo Mania. Tattoo Mania was a bit too expensive for my taste though, so I felt that it would come down to either Slick Styled Steel or Adrenaline. Both SmAshley and Kassie seemed to be very good tattoo artists and I felt that it would be interesting to get a tattoo from a woman. Partly since my four previous tattoos have all been done by men, and partly since I wanted to get a quite feminine tattoo, so I felt that it could therefore be nice to get some views and opinions from a woman.

So eventually I decided on Slick Styled Steel. I got a very good feeling and impression of that place, so I booked a consultation with SmAshley to discuss my tattoo. However, we ended up doing the tattoo the same day as the consultation because she had gotten a cancellation! She drew up a good size and found a good placement for the tattoo and I felt happy about how it would look, so then it was time to get inked. Afterwards I felt very happy and pleased with the result!

It took her about one hour to do the tattoo (+ she did a touch up of another one of my tattoos, a small one!) and for that I payed $130. She really took the time to do it well, making sure the tattoo looked really good, and I ended up getting a very nice tattoo! So I’m very happy with my choice of Slick Styled Steel and SmAshley. The studio was really nice with a very nice staff and SmAshley was just great. She was very good at what she was doing and she was also very nice to talk to during. I feel like if I ever want to get another tattoo in Montreal I’ll definitely book an appointment with SmAshley!

The studio also offers a free touch up of your tattoo after one month has passed, so I went back there after about 7 weeks to get my touch up, and SmAshley took the time to also do the touch up really well. I am once again very happy with the result, and the tattoo looks great!

So thank you Slick Styled Steel for good service and thank you SmAshley for my gorgeous tattoo, I couldn’t be more happy about it!

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Time to get inked by SmAshley!

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The result! I love it, and I think it looks very good!

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I love this tattoo and I am glad that after thinking about it for years I finally took the courage to do it! (The pictures above were taken when the tattoo was new; in march, and the picture below was taken a week ago; in june!)
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Things to do and see in Paris!

Hi! A couple of weeks ago I was asked to put together a list of things to do and see in Paris, a city which I have visited 5 times and which I love. Since I’ve been here many times and have experienced and seen many things in this city, I thought it would be interesting for others if I shared some of my tips and advices, so here you go! :

  • The Eiffel Tower
    You can take the métro to the station Trocadéro and from there you will get a great view of the Eiffel Tower! Then to get up the tower you can either take the stairs or the elevator. I recommend that you take the elevator up to the 3rd floor, it’s amazing up there with a spectacular view over Paris!
  • Notre Dame
    It’s free to enter, and the cathedrale is beautiful! For me who’s seen (and love) the Disney movie “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” this was absolutely amazing to see!
  • Le Louvre
    The last time I was in Paris, we walked from Notre Dame, to the Louvre, and if you get the chance to enter the Louvre I would recommend that! You won’t be able to see it all, because it’s a very big museum, but I would say that you should visit the Louvre at least once when you’re in Paris.
  • Jardin des Tuileries
    From the Louvre you can walk through le Jardin des Tuileries (which is beautiful), then arrive at Place de la Concorde.
  • Place de la Concorde
    At this public square (the largest one i Paris) you’ll see a giant Egyptian obelisk decorated with hieroglyphics, which the Egyptian government gave to the French in the 19th century, and it is pretty cool to see!
  • Champs-Élysées
    This street is big and there you will find many expensive and luxury shops. It’s very nice to follow this street from Place de la Concorde towards l’Arc de Triomphe at the end of it.
  • L’Arc de Triomphe
    This is one of the most famous monuments in Paris, with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I beneath its vault. Here you get to see the eternal flame which burns in memory of the dead who were never identified (now in both world wars), and it is quite touching. You can pay to go up on the top of the arch as well, and the view from up there is quite spectacular!
  • Montmartre
    This is one of my favorite places in Paris; a beautiful district located on a hill. It’s very nice to just take a stroll around the streets here.
  • Sacre Coeur
    A must-see in Montmartre! It’s free to enter, and the hill where Sacre Coeur is located offers an amazing view over Paris!
  • Moulin Rouge
    This is also located in Montmartre. Maybe you wouldn’t enter Moulin Rouge (however they do offer dinner shows), but it’s very cool to just see this place just up front.
  • A boat ride on Seine
    If the weather allows it, this would be a very nice thing to do; seeing Paris from Seine. There are many different boat rides to choose from, for example one is departing from the Eiffel Tower and one is departing from Notre Dame.
  • Les Invalides
    This is where Napoleon was buried. I’ve never entered this place, but it’s still an amazing building to see.
  • Museums
    Of course Paris offers many nice museums, other than the Louvre!
  • Les Halles
    Le Forum des Halles is a great place for shopping; underground shopping!
  • The Catacombs
    I’ve never been here myself, but I’ve heard that it’s very cool. (Be prepared for much queuing though!)
  • Père Lachaise Cemetery
    This is the largest cemetery in Paris, and many famous people are buried here, such as Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison.

To get from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Paris: The easiest way is to take the city train (RER B). You can buy tickets at the airport (they also offer roundtrip tickets!), and there you can also buy métro passes for your whole stay (you can also buy a Paris Visite Pass with the ride to the airports (Charles de Gaulle or Orly Airport!) included). I would recommend that you take the train from Charles de Gaulle to the station Gare du Nord, because that’s a big station and from there it would be easy to get to the station which is closest to your hotel.

I recommend that you buy a ParisVisite Pass for getting around here, instead of buying single tickets all the time. The métro is easy to use and it’s faster to use sometimes than just walking around everywhere, you would save time!

If you like crêpes you should stop by any street food place where they sell crêpes, they’re delicious! Crêpe au Nutella is my absolute favorite, and it’s quite addictive if you like chocolate!

When I’ve been to Paris, two times I’ve stayed in Montmartre, because it’s a beautiful district. However, as long as you’re staying not too far from a métro station it’s very easy to get around in Paris!

So there you go! If you ever plan to visit the marvelous city that is Paris, I hope that you’ll find this list of tips and advices useful and I hope you’ll enjoy your stay!

Here are some of my pictures from my trip to Paris in October 2013:

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The Eiffel Tower
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Notre Dame
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Le Louvre

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Place de la Concorde

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Champs-Élysées, leading up to l’Arc de Triopmhe

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L’Arc de Triomphe

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The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, with the eternal flame burning

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Sacre Coeur

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Moulin Rouge

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Me by Seine!