I've been testing out a really neat new location-based service called TwitHops.com, which allows me to create a cool interactive map and photo timeline of all my trips via Twitter. All I have to do is add the hashtag #twithop to any of my tweets, making sure the location is enabled and it's as simple as that! TwitHops.com starts to create and visualise my journey (see below).
Now, this is especially pretty if your tweets include photos as they are displayed in a shiny timeline format on top of the map. As you hover over the tweet (or photo if there is one) the map will pan over to the location of your tweet/photo.
As you can see, my trip was from Finland to Scotland via London, and back :) Purely thanks to geographical reasons I managed to make it in a cool tick format!
Once I'm finished my particular trip (which can be of any length) I just have to add the hashtag #twithopped to the last tweet I want included in the trip and that's it! @twithopbot will then reply to me in a tweet and I'll have a nice customised link to my journey on TwitHops.com.
Since I like to share, of course I will share this with my friends on Facebook, very easily by clicking the 'share on Facebook' button, as you can see in the screenshot above and of course, right there on Twitter I can retweet this to my followers, just as I've done above!
One of the things I love about this service is that you are not required to sign up to TwitHops.com or login or authenticate yourself. All you need to do is tweet away on Twitter, adding the hashtags #twithop and #twithopped.
Minimum hassle, awesome visuals and maximum FUN.
What are you waiting for?! Check it out at www.twithops.com and twithop on board :)
Don't forget to see what I got up to on my trip to the UK!
4 days in saint petersburg and the city never fails to surprise. Local train from Leninski station
This time, while in Russia, I visited my first ever dacha. Dachas are typical family-owned countryside cottages providing people a welcome escape from the rush of big city life. We hopped on a local train to get there. The dacha was only about 50km but the slow train took an hour. Nevertheless, the journey was pretty relaxing and not at all crowded. What intrigued me intensely were the random vendors of very random things who appeared every now and then in the train carriage flogging their goods. Even more surprising is that people actually bought some of their junk :)
At the dacha we had a superb lunch with friends and their family. I tried a cold soup called Okroshka for the first time ever. Everyone expected me not to like it, but I actually really enjoyed it. I'll try anything once ;) It's quite odd because it has a carbonated, very slight fizziness to it as it's made from Kvass - a traditional fermented home-brew made from rye bread. Our friends of course tried to fool me, telling me that the sausage in the soup was from bear! Of course ;)
At home, we had porridge made from buckwheat which was something new for me but is apparently very popular in Eastern Europe and in slavic cuisine. Kasha from grechka - buckwheat groats - soaked overnight, boiled and then mixed with a knob of butter, yum!
It's really great to try out new local delicacies, especially since there are quite different things on offer according to the season.Cafe at New Holland Island
We had a rather culturally-rich trip to Saint Petersburg too, visiting the Russian Museum, where I first encountered and immediately loved the works of 19th Century painter Ivan Aivazowsky.
Another highlight was our visit to New Holland, a small island right in the centre of Saint Petersburg. The island dates back to 1719 and gets its name from the Dutch shipbuilders that Peter the Great brought in to work along the River Neva. Property of the Russian Navy, it had been left in relative disrepair for many years. Only in the year 2000 was it given to the city and its future development was up for tender. Nowadays, the first phase of the island's urban regeneration is complete and when you go there you find a fantastic little green hideaway right in the middle of a concrete jungle. At the moment there are a couple of restaurants, ping-pong tables and aesthetically pleasing grassy spaces, where you'll find young couples, families and pensioners relaxing outside in the sun. It definitely has a funky feeling, even slight dare-I-say-it, hipster vibe, and I can't wait to see what the island looks like next time we visit the city!
Looking forward to next time!
Sports & Remedial Massage Therapist, language-geek, mum, Nordic at heart. Family, travelling, my bike, fitness and music make me tick.