Yesterday´s snow.

Blogroll, Finland, Helsinki, Lifestyle, Picture a day

Not the jolly sunny kind, just wet and a plenty of it. One moment you can barely walk and you have to dig your personal parking space. A few hours later everything is melting and you question the nature’s intensions and the purpose of life while you wade through heaps of wish-wash. And this all, this shall freeze over tonight!

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Visiting Costa Brava.

Blogroll, Lifestyle, Picture a day, Traveling

Makes sense in December/January – holiday resorts turn into ghost towns, yet you get so much sun, fresh breezy air and good food. And reuniting with some of the dearest people in my life was absolute bliss.

And because this partly is a lifestyle blog, I’m supposed to brag, so I’m not going to tell you that I was ill, snotty and feverish almost every moment of the holidays, could not taste or smell a thing (hello, pineaple, Manchego cheese and fresh squid, I remember what you looked like) and felt my head was exploding.

MIU_8825… eeeeeh!!!

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MIU_8780Sea and mountains, my two favourite things in the world. In one shot.

MIU_8775Protest in yellow.

MIU_8772MIU_8771MIU_8762… and an empty sand beach – to be compared to any moment between June and Aeptember in any given year.

Compromise.

Blogroll, Traveling

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!:)

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And my personal favourite:

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Now some a few Toscan details:

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… and more pictures from our Toscan adventures.

Montefioralle – a lovely village in the heart of Chianti.MIU_6993

Roccatederighi.MIU_7459MIU_7448MIU_7428MIU_7412MIU_7473MIU_7421

Montalcino. Of course.MIU_7485MIU_7479

Bagni di Petriolo.MIU_7545

Pisa maybe. Whoever came up with those idiotic leaning/supporting pictures…MIU_7388

San Gimignano. Because cats, ice-cream and Unesco.MIU_7097MIU_7085MIU_7139MIU_7146

A day trip to La Spezia and Riomaggiore.MIU_7160MIU_7164MIU_7166MIU_7171MIU_7200MIU_7204MIU_7260MIU_7265MIU_7267MIU_7289MIU_7305

… via Carrara, of course.MIU_7320MIU_7339MIU_7359

We also travelled to and around Pienza.MIU_7621MIU_7610MIU_7607MIU_7594

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)!MIU_7663MIU_7656MIU_7690MIU_7716

And then we visited Rome. For the first time in our lives (the shame). There were the tourist bits…MIU_7835MIU_7923MIU_7927MIU_8011MIU_8023

… and not that touristy bits… MIU_7880MIU_7891MIU_7899MIU_8026MIU_8031

… and then there was EUR, aka the Mussolini bits. MIU_7962MIU_7963MIU_7943MIU_7968MIU_7973MIU_7978MIU_7999MIU_7998MIU_7982

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.

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

Speed hike. Speed dive.

Blogroll, Finland, Lifestyle, Picture a day, Sunsets

What does a non-diving diver’s wife do while her better half is testing some new gear in a place like this?

MIU_5935(I actually love – or hate love – how disturbing the above picture is! I hate the composition, it stresses me every time I look at it. It feels as… as if the forest would not fit in the picture, as if it was pressing down on the lake. Interesting how bad composition can affect (some)one’s emotions.)

She walks. It was a race and I won, I managed to hike around the Iso-Melkutin lake. It was nothing extraordinary, the scenery was pretty much like this all the time:

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And it was super peaceful of course, after all it’s Finland and Sunday late afternoon. I was at least hoping to spot a lynx, but was out of luck this time.

There must have been a wind storm in the area not a long time ago, there were plenties of logs and branches in the water (and along the path). More than usual. In combination with the lake’s clear water it was a nice scenery.

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And some sun-kissed reeds from the walk – needless to say I proper wet my shoes while taking picture of these fluffy ones.

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And these nameless ones.

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And the picture of the day for the most faithful of my readers: sun, water, wet shoes and the good old nameless flower.

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Don’t get me wrong, it does get a bit boring at times when you are with the divers but you “actually… don’t dive”, and the thought  You never know in advance how long they’re going to take, there are no amenities around, in case of bad weather there is nowhere to hide and it gets a bit boring, and you feel like a short-order cook when you  start lighting up the fire and grill the sausages. But actually at that point it is mostly for you, ’cause you are starving and tired of waiting.

After that your better half smells of mud and rubber and… you are glad that he is fine.