Shortly on Naantali and Härmälä gorge.

Blogroll, Finland, Picture a day, Traveling, Turku

I will be really brief when it comes to telling you about Naantali, a traditional spa-town close to Turku. It is what a spa-town should be like – cosy, small, touristy and close to the water. Nowadays most tourists come to Naantali to take either a fake steam-boat cruise or go to the Moomin theme park. We were not interested in either, just walked around and visited the tiny and somehow unimpressive museum.

But Naantali, that is off-white, lace and beige. Wood and cobble stones. Sea and ice-cream.

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And then I HAD to go and visit the Härmälä gorge, ie. a big crack in rock. It was great to walk/crawl through it, but impossible to take decent pictures due to an impossible angle – camera lens combination. If you want to know more, take a peek here. I would definitely recommend to visit if you are around Turku, and please do so during some unpopular times as the crack might get crowded during summer weekends (and totally empty in winter). Mass tourism, hey.

The sunniest place in Finland.

Blogroll, Finland, Pampas, Picture a day, Traveling

Is in Österbotten, more specifically, it is the town of Vaasa. It quickly became one of my top towns in Finland, and yes, it should be the place which receives the most sunshine in Finland. I only spend there a day and did not take any pictures, just used the sun thing as a click-bait.

Nah I did take some pics, like these from the Edvinin puisto – Edvin’s park, a smallish recreational park filled with amateur scrape metal sculptures just like these:

The following batch of photos, in fact, is taken in Närpes, where our tomatoes and cucumbers and flowers grow, and to where large quantities of immigrants move to work. So this would be the most representative photograph of the area:

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Another interesting sight would be these church stalls – yep, over 120 wooden stalls for the church visitors’ horses. They were in surprising good conditions, although I cannot really think of a good way to use these. One stood open so I took a peek – and it was empty, then I tried to spy in the wood cracks and none of the stalls seems to be in any kind of use at the moment…

A couple of Swedish miles (one Swedish mile = 10 km) away from Vaasa I drove and walked around the coast line. It was great as usual, I mean this blog is over-flooding with blue-green landscape sceneries and boats and alike.

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While in Närpes I also visited Kristinestad a bit – a tiny picturesque town with a historic centre and the curious Carlsro museum. The wooden villa (which is not electrified by the way) belonged to a certain Carlström, local tradesman and ship-maker of the late 19th and early 20th century. The business did not go that well in the end and he shot himself in 1910. To cut the long story shot, the villa stood abandoned for some time and deteriorated accordingly and was sold in an auction in the early 1960s for close to nothing to a local weirdo. The idea was that in the worst case he could use the building material as fire wood, but fortunately, he did not do that, instead, he filled the villa with all kinds of old/antique/strange/novelty/curious objects. It really is crammed with random stuff! Well, come and see for yourself, the piles of pots, books, dolls, mirrors, shoemaker accessories look particularly interesting in the omnipresent gloomy dusk…

 

… while the house itself is really fresh and inviting on the outside …

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… for the most part at least.

And as you can see from the pictures, the sunshine was abundant, so there is something to the sunniest-place-gossip!

Aalto fans. Sunday in Paimio and around.

Architecture, Blogroll, Finland, Picture a day, Traveling, Turku

Paimio is an insignificant village close to Salo (near Turku), but it is where you find another architecture pearl by Alvar Aalto: the former tuberculosis sanatorium. Apparently before the ATBs were used in fighting tuberculosis in the 1950s, people had been often sent to these, errr, sanatoriums where they were treated with fresh air, high hygiene standards, fresh colours and proper food. Every third patient did not quite make it, but hey, it was a way to stop the disease from spreading at least.

Nevertheless, the sanatorium made Aalto famous abroad – functionalism at its best, practical AND pretty. Oh and the atmosphere is stunning.  I could not stop thinking that there is TB bacteria hiding somewhere.

But in fact after the scientist found more efficient ways to defeat TB, the sanatorium was used as a “normal” hospital for 40 years since the 1970s. The hospital closed a few year ago and parts of it have been rented by MLL afterwards. Some activities take place in some parts of the sanatorium during the weekedays, which means that the hospital at the weekend – when the guided tours take place – feels superempty and exciting.

Well, havea look for yourself.

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Fresh pine-scented air and sun – sounds legit.MIU_6146MIU_6143

Aalto waves, fresh, bright colours, absence of corners for hygiene reasons.MIU_6138MIU_6122MIU_6118MIU_6092

The 1970s meet Aalto.MIU_6131

Aaltos none functioning tile stove – a slight design fail 😉 the smoke does not really sink down, does it…MIU_6100

Hygienic lights. Chapel and social room in one.MIU_6112

FreE toilet boot and a smart door handle which won’t catch your sleeve.MIU_6114

Sophisticated ventilation.MIU_6129

Spitter and “silent” hand sinks.MIU_6155MIU_6140

Young scared birdy in the garden… we let her be.MIU_6165

Reflecting the past, realising the present and awaiting the future.

Blogroll, London!, Picture a day, Traveling

A trip to London, my other home town. What else is there to say?

That I’d missed you, but I never stopped thinking about you and those who sail in you for a day.  And that I’m probably fine with clothes for the coming summer season. And that missing you has got me on my knees.

This mosaic is from NW3 – Belsize Park, Hampstead and all the beautiful spots around.

View from Greenwich before the storm.

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Some random details…

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… and even more (floral) details from the Hill Garden and Pergola.

I will be back.

We have leaves. Updated.

Blogroll, Finland, Helsinki, Lifestyle, Traveling

On the trees, also a slight sunburn on the shoulder, the 4th place in the ice hockey world cup and I’m terribly sleepy.

I will just leave this summerly pictures hang in here and add some commentary later. I’m sorry, I have an early start tomorrow again 😦

Have a pleasant start into the brand new week!

Update 25.5. – here are the comments 😉 The first couple of pictures are from a walk around the Rajasaari island. It is located in Töölö, so reasonably central and quite fancy, but it is in a shameful state (not reflected in the pictures). Covered in trash, boating stuff rusty snowmobiles and generally neglected. The dog park is awesome though, and so was the warm spring evening.

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The following takes are from Open House Helsinki – my top visits took place in Thursday and Friday and I was unable to attend. But on Saturday we made it to the Villas of the Valtiosaari island. These largeish, in some cases opulent (think luxurious sauna and a tennis court) wooden villas are mostly owned by the city of Helsinki and occasionally rented out to companies or registered organisations. You can imagine what this means: most of the villas stand empty and slowly deteriorate. Well managed! The whole island would make a lovely place to live – should we have a boat – but we were all surprised how messy and neglected the island was.

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A well-painted Finnish lion in one of the villas.

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This is a hydroplane hangar actually.

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Tiled stove detail.

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The summer church/chapel.

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We got a free boat ride to the city centre! That was the best part of the trip, minus the sunburn (I KNOW.), but look what we saw on the way: a sailboat nursery!

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The last picture is from Porkkala, see the tower on the right? That’s a lighthouse I’m so much visiting soon!

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To the sea.

Blogroll, Finland, Helsinki, Picture a day, Traveling

And beyond. In my efforts to escape the temporary (!) inability to interact, work and create I somehow managed to get myself beyond the boundaries of everyday life, flat, worries – it does work. After an active and no-pressure-on-performing weekend life feels much better.

First I got lost on the way to Paavolan Tammi, the Oak of Paavola. This mysterious-looking oak is located close to Lohja, about 1 hour away from Helsinki, and I managed to reach another Paavola – well at least I got to pick some tussilago flowers in the afternoon sun (!).

The tree is pretty cool – apparently 250-300 years old, trunk circumference 4,7m, and it looks very decorative. It is the only broadleaved tree on the spot, it sits on a kind of a hill and for the effect and kicks the surrounding trees have been cut down. Well why the heck not, we all need a mysterious place like this now and again!

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Yep, I know, I did not take the right lens. Also, the place was busy – swarming with people clutching phones in their hands and taking all kinds of instapictures – #paavolantammi anyone?

And… and on Saturday my dream might have almost come true! A private tour around Helsinki archipelago (read: we launched a boat and took it from one port to another, that is). I was not of much practical use – besides, like, holding onto some ropes and attaching them to slings and commenting on the visual aspects of the kitchen and cabin, but then I celebrated my 20 seconds of glory and steered the boat, ha! Also, it was windy and there were no ducklings or swanlings around yet.

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Setting off from Jollas…

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… not fitting under the Hevossaaren bridge, fortunately we only got to wait about 3 minutes for the show…

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… and back in Helsinki centre again!

And then we ate kebab, drank coffee, were happy – and picked up a new friend of mine. A Macbook Air. I promise I will treat it better then her previous owner, and I promise I will still love my big old Macbok Pro as much as I do now, but because the latter has to go to the service I needed a replacement (and a travel buddy). Material delights.

And today France devastated Finland in ice-hockey (and got a pretty swanky new president). God’s ways are mysterious.

 

Outdoors.

Blogroll, Helsinki, Lifestyle, Likes, Picture a day, Traveling, Winter frolics

Living near greenery calms one down – the peace and calming colours bring down the blood pressure, monotonous sounds soothes the busy and stressed mind and the overall abundance of non-man-made stimuli inspire the mind.

Also, I love skiing and running, picking berries, avoiding idiots, grilling marshmallows and taking pictures, so the general proximity of nature works pretty well for me!

As I advertised last time, we spent a week in Lapland. And it was quite nice, although for some reasons hard to comprehend not as nice as I would wish. Now, I actually did not take that many pictures, because I find carrying a DSLR on ski trips awkward. Also… how many pictures of snowy landscapes does one actually fancy looking at in April?

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Not that much of azure-blue skies, more silvery beige tones. Nah, I absolutely adore Lapland, but after a long and particularly gray winter I’m not that thrilled any more.

On a more spring-like note, a few shots from the short walks around parks and nature reserves in Helsinki area. As you can see, I got a bit carried away by moss...

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Do expect more photos tonight or tomorrow. So long, m’friends!