… and a walk in snow enhances this sensation.
Happy belated New Year!
… and a walk in snow enhances this sensation.
Happy belated New Year!
Travelling, inevitably (in my case) involves the willingness to make compromises. There are too many inner and outer factors which may not make the journey as you planned. Weather, availability of resources (money and time). The trick is to enjoy what you have and make the most of it, and not to mourn what you could not do. Actually if everything went as you planned and with no surprises when travelling, you probably did something wrong.
And these pictures document the result of our Italian holiday. A bit of Toscana, and a bit of Rome.
Let’s begin with some general landscape pictures. Happy scrolling!:)
And my personal favourite:
Now some a few Toscan details:
… and more pictures from our Toscan adventures.
Montefioralle – a lovely village in the heart of Chianti.
Montalcino. Of course.
Bagni di Petriolo.
Pisa maybe. Whoever came up with those idiotic leaning/supporting pictures…
San Gimignano. Because cats, ice-cream and Unesco.
A day trip to La Spezia and Riomaggiore.
… via Carrara, of course.
We also travelled to and around Pienza.
Oh and not to forget Pistoia (amazing Renaissance architecture)and Montecatini (an old and ultracool funicular to the top of the hill – the views, ah the views)!
And then we visited Rome. For the first time in our lives (the shame). There were the tourist bits…
… and not that touristy bits…
… and then there was EUR, aka the Mussolini bits.
It was good. I did not see all I wanted but I saw things I thought I would not see, and I tasted the best pasta in the history of humanity and bought a Carrara marble mortel. I vote yes.
That kind that you meet after *add any period of time* and just carry on as if nothing happened in the meanwhile. That kind you unfortunately cannot spend time with as often as you want – because they may be thousands of miles away. Those friends who made you discover and accept that the connection you once made is way too precious to throw away.
We know that they are somewhere and that they care about you. We watch each other grow and develop (thanks, internet), and we debrief and catch-up now and again in person.
And then, one day, you meet them (yes, two of them) only in order to see them marry each other.
I was no there to take pictures of the wedding, there were more qualified people to do so, and I’m sure the outcome will be awesome. I feel so honoured to have been there, to share and witness, to see happiness and love and to be happy on someone else’s behalf. It was even so more special as the wedding took place in their hometown(s). I cannot share the atmosphere of the wedding with you, it is way too personal, but I can share the atmosphere of the nearby towns (Tarragona) …
and village (Cabra del Camp).
Please accept apologies from my side for being emotional beyond description in this post. We had a great, great time and the weather was just, well, pure summer, the food delicious and the time spent with friends priceless.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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 …
… 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!
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.
Fresh pine-scented air and sun – sounds legit.
Aalto waves, fresh, bright colours, absence of corners for hygiene reasons.
The 1970s meet Aalto.
Aaltos none functioning tile stove – a slight design fail 😉 the smoke does not really sink down, does it…
Hygienic lights. Chapel and social room in one.
FreE toilet boot and a smart door handle which won’t catch your sleeve.
Spitter and “silent” hand sinks.
Young scared birdy in the garden… we let her be.
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.
Some random details…
… and even more (floral) details from the Hill Garden and Pergola.
I will be back.