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Written by Sheida

Stockholm has shown itself from its best side this weekend. 26 degrees, sunshine and a clear blue sky. And while one half of We are Nodes (Yasmin) is in Palma (stay tuned for an updated Palma-guide) I, Sheida, have enjoyed the Swedish summer in the archipelago.

The best place for a Swedish "fika"

Long summer luncheons by the sea are quite hard to beat, and one of our favourite places is Vaxholms Hembygdsgårds Café which is beautifully situated on a small peninsula. Here you will find all sorts of traditional Swedish dishes like cold-roasted salmon with dill stewed potatoes, smoked shrimps and the classic "shrimp sandwich" (in Swedish: räkmacka). Not to even mention the amazing desert buffet with cookies and pastries!This is the perfect spot for a rosé lunch or a after beach waffle + coffee (there's a little beach just next to the café if you want to go for a swim!) Well worth a visit!
Today's lunch: Chèvre Chaud with a cooling glass of lemonade, and lots and lots of shrimps with aioli.
... and the amazing desert buffet!
Adress: Trädgårdsgatan 19, 185 32 Vaxholm
Phone: 08-541 319 80
Open: Weekends in May, everyday from June 1- Middle of September
How to get here: You can easily take the ferry from Stockholm City in no less than 1 hour.

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Written by: Sheida


All photos are taken and owned by Andrea Hansen.

After four months of travelling in the States and South America, I finally got to sit down with one of my best friends, Andrea, to hear all about her dream vacation. When she showed me her very detailed road trip guide, I was amazed by how good it was – so I decided to share it on the blog so that more road trip enthusiasts can take part of it. You can basically just copy it and you'll have your dream holiday planned in a heartbeat!Read The Ultimate Road Trip Guide to USA: Part 2

The route:

San Fransisco - Napa Valley - Yosemite National Park - Big Sur - Los Angeles - Las Vegas/Grand Canyon - Monument Valley - Santa Fe - Dallas - Memphis - Nashville - New Orleans - Breaux Bridge - Houston.
Days: 34
Budget: 4980$ (excluding flights) = 110$/day for car, gas, food, housing and tourist attractions.
Rental Car: 1770$, from Hertz (+ GPS from TomTom, 100$ - bring or buy one to take with you, to avoid paying extra for a rental car with a navigation system!)Click here to jump right over to Part 2 of our USA Roadtrip guide.

San Fransisco

Nights stayed: 2
Where we stayed:
Airbnb outside the city centre.
What to do:


October 4 – Landed mid day in San Francisco. We stayed at an Airbnb outside the city centre since it's very expensive to live central.
October 5 – Go sightseeing in San Fran (visit Alcatraz, Fishermans Wharf and of course the Golden Gate bridge.)
The Alcatraz prison tour won't leave you disappointed and is recommended to book well in advance! The price is 66$ including a ferry ticket.

October 6 – Take the whole day to explore the city. Make sure to stop by at Leo's Oyster Bar or Hoy Island Oyster Co for lunch if you are into shellfish and oysters. Oysters are very popular in San Fransisco (and price worthy)!
October 7 – Pick up the rental car early in the morning (at 6-7 a.m) and continue to Napa Valley for lunch and wine tasting. Driving time: approximately 1.5 hours.

Napa Valley

Nights stayed: 1
Where we stayed:
Wine Valley Lodge, about 2,2 km from the wine train. Price: 100$/night.
What to do:


October 7 – Park the car at the hotel and walk to the train station for check in at 09.45 a.m. The Wine Train leaves at 10.15. Don't forget to bring your ticket and proof of registration!
Andrea choose the 'Quatro Wino package' which costs 143$ and included 4 stops to 4 vineyards + 4 meals on the train. The excursion was well worth the price!

October 8 – Wake up early, put on a good playlist and head on to Yosemite National Park.Driving time: 4 hours depending on the traffic.


Yosemite National Park

Nights stayed: 2
Where we stayed:
Mariposa Inn (330$/2 nights including a light breakfast)
What to do:
October 9 – Spend the whole day out in the wild in Yosemite (visit Glacier Point, Tunnel view and wander among the big Sequoia trees). Driving time from the hotel to the Arch Rock Entrance took 1 hour.
Yosemite Tips:
  • The best time to visit Yosemite is during spring, otherwise waterfalls and lakes might have dried out!
  • All national parks in the United States are charging an entrance fee, Yosemite cost 30$ per vehicle.
  • If you want to drive with your own car, it's best to go before 10 a.m. Parking lots in the park can get full quickly, at least at the lookout points.
  • It's possible to stay at a hotel in the middle of the park if you can afford it!


Big Sur

Nights stayed: 1
Where we stayed:
Days Inn Motel in Monterey
What to do:
October 10 – Next stop is Monterey.
Driving time: approximately 3,5 h. We stayed at Days Inn Motel in Monterey and drove to the villages Carmel-by-the-Sea and Pacific Grove during the afternoon. Park the car in Carmel-by-the-Sea and take a walk along the coast to Pacific Grove.
An accommodation that looked nice in Big Sur that Jonas Cramby (famous Swedish food writer & chronicler) recommends is Detjen's Big Sur Inn. (Not the one in the picture)

October 11 – Drive further along Big Sur to Santa Barbara (driving time: approx 4 hours), and take breaks along the road for the beautiful view (don't miss McWay Falls!). We stayed the night at a motel in Santa Barbara.

The stunning McWay Falls! 


Los Angeles

Nights stayed: 6
Where we stayed: Air BnB in Venice, 663$ for 6 nights.
What to do: October 12 – From Santa Barbara, continue to Los Angeles.
Driving time: 2 h along highway 101.
The world's best ice-cream according to Andrea can be found at Salt & Straw at Abbot Kinney! Their vanilla ice-cream with caramel, brownie-fudge and sea salt is AMAZING!

October 13
– Chill time in Venice. (Look at the canals, the beach in Santa Monica – and why not go watch an NHL game?)
October 14 – Magic Mountain! (Buy tickets online 6 days in advance to get a big discount!). If you are not a roller-coaster enthusiast, you could visit Universal Studios instead.
October 15 & 17– Sightseeing-days (Hollywood-sign, Griffith Observatory, Beverly Hills, Walk of fame, the LACMA lamps etc.)

October 16 – Melrose/Fairfax Flea Market in the morning (open only on Sundays!) + take a look at the vintage boutiques in the area.
Restaurant tips: Abbot Kinney in Venice (also known as "the coolest block in America", has a lot of good & hip restaurants such as Gjelina!). A good breakfast-spot is Blue Jam Cafe at Melrose Ave and Malibu Farm in Malibu for fresh salads.


Las Vegas

Nights stayed: 2
Driving time: 4-5 h drive from LA.
Where we stayed:
Hotel Flamingo, with central location right on the Las Vegas Strip.
What to do:
October 18 -What don't you do in Vegas?
Driving time LA-Las Vegas:
approximately 4-5 h.
October 19 – Tourist day in Las Vegas (start off with a long hotel breakfast, try your luck at a casino, chill at a hotel pool, maybe go watch a show)


Grand Canyon

Nights stayed: 1
Where we stayed:
Red Feather Lodge.
What to do:
October 20 – Have an early start from Vegas on to Grand Canyon!
Driving time: approx 4,5-5 h to Yavapai Point or Mather Point.
Read the second part of the USA Roadtrip guide here /Sheida

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Written by: Sheida

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


1.The Postcard Beaches

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

2. The Day Parties

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

Blue Marlin Beach Club in Cala Jondal.

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

Flower Power party at Destino Pacha Resort.

Ibiza is really in the leading edge when it comes to creating over the top-parties, and Destino's Flower Power party is no exception. During these magical evenings, the whole hotel resort transforms into a colorful hippie world with a market, performances, confetti rains and good old 60's music which definitely gets you in the mood for dancing! Seeing Ibiza is a hippie island, your holiday to Ibiza won't be complete until you've attended this party. And yes, you will probably be humming on "Let the Sun Shine" in true hippie style for the next couple of days...
Having lunch at the Flower Power party. Can you spot our red fan? It's a life saver during any party when the weather is hot.

Ushuahia Pool party

Ushuaia beach hotel can boast with the title of being the ultimate party hotel at Ibiza. Why? Because of their incredible pool area that turns into an open air club with the world's best DJ's behind the decks - every night of the week. Each day top DJ's like Avicii, Armin van Buuren (my favorite house producer!), Nervo, Tiësto, David Guetta (etc.) host their own parties and bring a lot of guest DJ's and artists with them which guarantees a great show! If you have a big vacation budget you can even book one of the hotel's club rooms that are facing the pool area, basically allowing your balcony to be on the dance floor.
Picture from my first visit to Ibiza in 2011, the same year that Ushuaia beach hotel opened. Now, 6 years later it's still a hotspot in Ibiza.

3. The Chilled Vibe

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

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Written by Yasmin

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

Back to the evening, the gala night ended with an award ceremony and to our big surprise, we won the price for this year’s Newcomers! Wow! A huge thank you to the event organizers and Tallink for our price!
With an extremely well written travel blog full of guides, inspiration and great photos, and a travel forum of their own, We are Nodes have brought something new and fresh to the Nordic travel community.
I missed my partner in crime and the other half of We are Nodes, a.k.a my sister Sheida (to the left on the photo above), during the evening though. She was in Hamburg for the #christmasinhamburg-campaign, but I texted her as soon as I found out and she became just as happy as me! A massive thank you to the organizers and sponsors of this evening,  and congratulations to all the other winners!

The Winners List

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

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