Monthly Archives: June 2015

First time shooting with a gun!

I thought I’d tell my story about my first time shooting. It was during my trip to Riga with my boyfriend last year.

On our third day in Riga there we went to a sketchy shooting range we booked online at Kings of Shooting, but don’t let the flashy website fool you like it did with us. We got picked up in a silver colored Mercedes by a guy with a heavy accent who drove us a long way out of town to what looked like an abandoned industrial area located next to a train track.

We looked at each other like “What the hell did we get ourselves into?!”.

Our driver then got out the car and unlocked the door to a big yellow, two story wooden warehouse where there were no windows on the first floor and led us up the stairs and told us to wait there.

He called for someone and an old lady came out with three sets of ear protection and a big black box where we soon found out that the guns were held in. He then gave us the ear protection and showed us into a long and narrow room with sound proof walls and bad lighting. There were no security between us and the green paper targets they had put up on the back wall.

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We weren’t allowed to load the guns ourselves and before we got to try each one he gave us a quick demonstration in poor English. I asked my boyfriend to go first and having no experience shooting before, he did good, I guess having played a lot of first person shooter games growing up he had picked up a thing or two. I did okay, at least I managed to hit the targets. Our instructor was also surprised, but when it was my turn to try the shotgun he said “No, weapon too heavy for girls” and brought me a smaller handheld gun to use instead. I refused, I had paid good money to try out a shotgun but he laughed and gave in.

The whole experience felt a lot like you were living in the Grand theft Auto games universe. But overall I’m glad we went, I got a new found respect for how hard it actually is to shoot, Hollywood makes it look so easy. However on the website where we bought the tickets you could choose to include to be picked up in a limo or for a ‘bikini babe’ or stripper to join you at the shooting range and I can imagine how awkward that would have been for both parties. I mean this place didn’t exactly scream high class bachelor party.

The package we bought was called ‘Get him out of the way!‘ and we got to try out three weapons, a Glock, a 12 Gauge Shotgun and a Russian sniper similar to an AK 47. We also each got a diploma with our names on and we got to keep the shooting target papers. This all cost 49 euros. The ride over to the shooting range was included but we had to pay extra to get a ride back into town.

I’m not sure I would recommend this place to anyone wanting to try out shooting for the first time, but I saw some of the reviews of their site giving them thumbs up for having no security so if that’s what you are looking for, maybe this is your thing. All in all this was an experience, a little different, but it sure makes a fun story to tell the future grand kids about.

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My solo trip to London

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So it’s been almost a week since I came home from London and I thought I’d share my experiences. The trip was everything I could have wished for and more. But my first thoughts arriving in the big city was “what the hell am I doing? I’m going to be alone here for four days?!” and there were so many people and the city was so busy and I felt completely alone and overwhelmed.

I was worried about not only having to ask for directions (I hate doing that, I’m terrible at understanding maps and such) and managing everything by myself without any misfortunes but also to experience all the fun things London has to offer and not having anyone to share them with.

However being alone was a feeling I came to accept and eventually really like just the same evening I arrived when I was travelling to Camden.

Since I’ve been to London before I already had an Oyster card (a card used for paying on the Underground and buses) and knew how to top it up so getting around the tube was no biggie. Also London’s subway map is so easy to read, a child could understand it.

Camden was busy, this was a Sunday and both tourists and locals were fighting over the little space there is between the stalls and street food at the lock market, but the weather was nice and even though I was tired from taking an early flight I didn’t mind.
I love walking around Camden and visit the little boutiques with up and coming designers and find unique treasures. I bought two crop tops from a girl with a blue side cut who had designed and printed them herself.

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The next day I was anxious to get to the Victoria and Albert museum as soon as they opened. I’ve been to the museum before but ranging from March to August this year they have a special exhibition with the late Scottish designer Alexander McQueen and I really wanted to see it. When I arrived I learned that half of London had the same plans. I had have the unfortunate to arrive to the museum on a bank holiday and the queue to buy tickets ranged a long way out on the street outside. Now if I had still been home in Sweden, standing in line for two hours hadn’t been such a big deal when you’ve got a smartphone with unlimited 4G. But here I was left with a phone being reduced to nothing more than an expensive calculator so I was forced to talk to people just so I didn’t die out of boredom since I have zero patience.

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The exhibition turned out to be one of the greatest ones I’ve been to in a long time. The works of McQueen were incredible to say the least and the way they displayed them set them in a new light. Now sadly you weren’t allowed to take pictures inside so you just have to take my word for it. The tickets were a bit on the pricey side though at 17£ but I really think it was worth paying for.

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Eating lunch by myself in Hyde Park wearing my ridiculously big hat.

Later that day I decided to have lunch and I had no idea where to go. I couldn’t imagine going to a restaurant by myself, order in food and then sit there alone at a table for two. It all felt so sad. What I did instead, and ended up doing my whole stay, was buying take out. Mostly from Wasabi, a Japanese fast food sushi chain, and bringing it with me to Hyde Park to enjoy.

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On my second time in the park I even got to have a date with Mr Squirrel here who I tried to feed with edamame beans.

I also did something I’d never thought I would dare to do, I hired a bike. Now I’m like a living traffic hazard back home and I have problems following the traffic rules in a city of less than 300 000 people, was hiring a bike in a city with almost the same population as my whole home country really a good idea?
Turns out biking in London wasn’t that scary. Except that I had to get used to being on the wrong side of the road and having to stop for red lights every second, it wasn’t that hard. Taxis and buses politely lets you through and there is a mutual respect for all the commuters.  Hiring a bike costs 2£ for 24 hours and they are stationed around every Underground station.

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Me and my bike having breakfast the last day in London.

On my third day in London I had the idea of visiting Oxford Street early in the morning before all shops open and all hell break loose with tourists overflowing the area. My first stop were budget heaven Primark which opens at eight and I then worked my way along to Pickadilly. This time around I skipped Harrods and Selfridges and focused on the more wallet friendly shops like Forever 21, River Island and New Look.

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Kensington Palace

One of the things I had dreaded travelling alone and staying in a dorm room was to go to bed. I had been to summer camp and overnight school trips before but back then you were younger and not as afraid of being robbed or having awkward encounters. But my fear was completely unnecessary and I ended up getting to know the girls who came and went during my stay and all of them were so nice and it was a lot fun to talk to them and hear about their plans and travels. Now I almost can’t imagine travelling in another way the next time I’m doing a solo trip and I would really recommend others to try it.

Other things I did during my stay was crossing the Millennium Bridge and seeing the Shakespeare Globe, visiting the Childhood Museum and saw their Alice in Wonderland exhibition, had Chipotle (yay they have it in the UK too!) with one of my roommates and walked around Kensington Palace and gardens. I wished I had booked a longer stay, the days went by way too fast.

This whole trip was amazing and I can’t wait to go travelling alone some more. Next time I’m thinking Berlin maybe?