Hello and welcome to today’s travel blogger tales with Penny Dent
Hi, my name is Penny, and I’m a mum of three and a tea addict. Those two facts may be related!
I’ve been blogging for over 11 years, writing about a variety of topics. Penny Travels is, as the name suggests, where I capture our travel adventures, but over on Penny Plays I also write about vintage board games that we find and try out. Penny Reads is home to children’s book reviews and also vintage Ladybird books and other vintage titles that I find. Penny Blogs is more of a general catch up on parenting and everything else in life that doesn’t fit onto one of my other blogs.
For years I was known online as Being Mrs C, but re-marriage means I’m not Mrs C any more, so it seemed time for a change in online identity.
Where was your favourite ever trip?
I’ve always been fascinated by Scandinavia and just after finishing my finals at university I was invited to an engineering conference that took place on a ferry as it sailed from Helsinki to Stockholm and back again. I turned the trip into a bit of an end of university celebration and added on a few days beforehand in Helsinki and afterwards planned a trip over to Tallinn in Estonia too.
What made you choose to go there and who did you go with?
I’d been to a few of these engineering conferences before so I’d got to know some other delegates beforehand – although I should add that this was in the days before Facebook and other social media, so we literally saw enough other at conferences and just kept in touch in-between with sporadic emails!
I felt brave enough to travel alone to Helsinki, but booked myself into a hostel where I knew a few others should be staying, mainly as it was the closest one to the port where the ferry would be sailing from! I had organised that I would take the Tallinn trip with another British conference delegate, Lisa, that I met up with fairly regularly back in London.
What made it so special?
Where to start!
Helsinki is this magical mix of styles. Modern Scandinavia crossed with Russian opulence. It has to be seen to be believed really.
As we travelled in June, we were lucky enough to have long days and so I was able to stand on the deck of the ferry as it sailed just before midnight between various small islands as we came out of Helsinki’s port and be surrounded by the most gorgeous sunset. My only regret is that digital cameras were not really a thing then so I don’t have very many photographs of the trip.
Stockholm was also gorgeous, and I spent a day there with friends exploring, and stopping to sample a fair bit of food and drink too. Standing outside the Royal Palace to watch the changing of the guard and hearing the band playing Abba was slightly surreal though.
The trip to Tallinn was completely different. This was before Estonia became part of the EU, and so not many tourists made the quick ferry crossing between the two countries, other than to do a booze cruise.
Medieval Tallinn took me by surprise with all the gorgeous Rapunzel looking towers dotted around the city. After an amazing meal in the main square (which cost us less than £5 to eat a full banquet and drink vast quantities) we had to figure out the local trolley bus system to get us to some dilapidated hostel that was located in a communist looking block of flats on the outside of the city. Lisa was a civil engineer and looked with horror at the massive cracks in the brickwork around the bedroom window and told us that it was a good job we were only staying the one night. And strangely this is one of the few things that I took a photograph on during my trip!
Before this trip I’d only really travelled to popular tourist cities in Western Europe. I came home feeling like a proper traveller!
Where was your least favourite trip and why?
I once travelled to Dublin with an ex-boyfriend and as students, we tried to do the whole trip on the cheap. We ended up in a youth hostel which literally had blood on the walls! We quickly checked out and blew all our student loan on one night in a decent hotel.
Sadly this trip tainted my view of the city for years. Luckily, I went back a couple of years ago with my now husband and we’re made Dublin our own, travelling there quite regularly.
What destination is on your Bukit list?
There are so many countries that my husband and I want to visit, but as train fans, the trip we most want to do is to go inter-railing across Europe. Both of us regret not doing it when we were younger, although we realise that with children it might be something we now do together in retirement instead!
Any opportunity to travel one a train together is one we jump at. And who can fail to see the beauty of some of our railway stations too?
Thankyou Penny what fascinating travel blogger tales you have!
I do hope you haev enjoyed these Travel Blogger Tales with Penny Dent – if you would like to be featured please email me at Becky.Goddard@ntlworld.com with BUKIT in the title. You can see my BUKIT list here