Magical Midsummer | Finland

Midsummer is my favorite time of the year in Finland. It is the time when nordic nature is at its best; the magical white nights embracing light shades of green.

The finnish habit of packing bags and heading to the country side to enjoy and cherish the summer makes it a very special kind of celebration; relaxed, beautiful, peaceful, traditional, fun. I have been extremely lucky to spent past 12 years (except the ones I have spent abroad) in this wonderful setting in North Karelia or what do you think?

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North Karelia | Finland | 2017

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North Karelia | Finland | 2016

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North Karelia | Finland | 2017

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North Karelia | Finland | 2017

 

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North Karelia | Finland | 2017

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North Karelia | Finland | 2013

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North Karelia | Finland | 2016

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North Karelia | Finland | 2017

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North Karelia | Finland | 2017

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North Karelia | Finland | 2017

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North Karelia | Finland | 2017

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North Karelia | Finland | 2016

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North Karelia | Finland | 2017

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North Karelia | Finland | 2017

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North Karelia | Finland | 2016

Top things to do in Vienna | Vienna Cafes

The coffee houses in Vienna are an absolute must during your visit. Viennese coffee house is an institution and it has played an important role in shaping the Viennese culture. Since 2011, the traditional Viennese coffee house culture has even belonged to the intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO.

Austrian writer Stefan Zweig has described the Viennese Coffee House as an institution of a special kind, “actually a sort of democratic club, open to everyone for the price of a cheap cup of coffee, where every guest can sit for hours with this little offering, to talk, write, play cards, receive post, and above all consume an unlimited number of newspapers and journals.”

Modern cafés together with atmospheric traditional coffee houses give coffee lovers as well as tea addicts so many option you could go to Vienna just for the cafés. My personal favorites were the old, traditional ones. Sipping down your coffee, one could imagine living in late 19th and early 20th century when leading writers of the time became attached to the atmosphere of Viennese cafés and occupied the cafés for writing and meeting each other.

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Vienna | Austria | 2017

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Vienna | Austria | 2017

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Vienna | Austria | 2017

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Vienna | Austria | 2017

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Vienna | Austria | 2017

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Vienna | Austria | 2017

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Vienna | Austria | 2017

 

Skopje Getaway | Lake Matka, Macedonia

Hidden gem of northern Macedonia, Lake Matka, is a bit tricky to find but worth the hassle if you happen to be around.

Lake Matka is a canyon located west of central Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. It is an artificial lake and one of the most popular outdoor destinations in Macedonia.

You can go hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, take a boat trip to see caves, explore monasteries or just wonder around. A must is a bit of lake Matka fish for lunch and some local white wine to flush it down with. What ever you decide to do, it will be a relaxing day.

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Lake Matka | Macedonia | 2015

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Lake Matka | Macedonia | 2015

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Lake Matka | Macedonia | 2015

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Lake Matka | Macedonia | 2015

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Lake Matka | Macedonia | 2015

 

Peruvian ladies|Cusco, Peru

 

From Cusco we made an excursion to a women’s workshop where the local women spin yarn from Alpaca’s wool and finally knit beautiful scarfs out of it. I couldn’t stop admiring their traditional clothing and the bright colours they wear. My absolute favorite, however, was the little lady I met own our way to the workshop.

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Cusco, Peru | 2016

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Cusco, Peru | 2016

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Cusco, Peru | 2016

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Cusco, Peru | 2016

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Cusco, Peru | 2016

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Cusco, Peru | 2016

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Cusco, Peru | 2016

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Home stay | Taquile Island, Peru

Part of the two days excursion to Lake Titicaca was a home stay with a local family in Taquile Island. I lived a day with a local family helping them out in their daily tasks such a picking quinoa. Yeah, and tried to play football with the locals. The elevation made playing a bit more challenging than normally.

Taquile island is a hilly island located 45 kilometers east of Puno in Lake Titicaca. Life on Taquile is still largely unchanged by mainland modernities. Culture is very much alive on Taquile, which can be seen in the traditional clothes everyone wears.

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Taquile Island | Peru | 2016

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Taquile Island | Peru | 2016

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Taquile Island | Peru | 2016

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Taquile girl | Taquile Island | Peru | 2016

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Taquile Island | Peru | 2016

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Freshly picked quinoa | Peru | 2016

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Lake Titicaca and Uros floating islands

During my south American tour, one of the highlights of the trip was two days excursion to Lake Titicaca. I got to visit an artificial Uros island and meet the Uro people still living in traditional way.

Lake Titicaca is the biggest lake in South America and it is also considered as the “highest navigable lake” in the world. It resides in both sides of the border of Bolivia and Peru at the surface elevation of 3812 metres. The Uros islands or the “Floating Islands” are small manmade islands constructed by the Uros people from layers of cut totora, a thick buoyant reed that grows abundantly in the shallows of Lake Titicaca.

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Uros Islands | Peru | 2016

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Uros Islands | Peru | 2016

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Uru Children | Uros Islands | Peru | 2016

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Little Uru | Uros Islands | Peru | 2016

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Lake Titicaca | Peru | 2016

 

 

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Little boliviano

I met this little cutie somewhere in the middle of Bolivian Altiplano when we stopped for lunch. The curiosity of a child is universal; Your your age, your gender, the colour of you hair doesn’t matter. Kids are kids where ever you go.

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Potosí | Bolivia

All most touching the sky, at the elevation of more than 4000 m above sea level in Bolivian highlands lies Potosí. A city with glorious mining past, present and future.

Cerro Rico de Potosi is the world’s largest silver deposit and has been mined since the sixteenth century. Walking around you can feel in your nose the fine dust from the mines and sun in your face. The streets of Potosí and city itself is rather modest but somehow it has certain appeal, at least if you are interested to visit a still working mine. I was too chicken to go but instead I wondered around and explored the bolivian culture and spanish colonial history.

Potosí, one of the highest cities in the world, is located at the elevation of 4,090 metres above sea level. For centuries is was the spanish colonial mint. Potosí lies at the foot of the Cerro de Potosí or Cerro Rico (“rich mountain”). The Cerro Rico is the reason for Potosí’s historical importance, since it was the major supply of silver for Spain during the period of the New World Spanish Empire.

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Potosí, Bolivia | 2016

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Potosí, Bolivia | 2016

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Potosí, Bolivia | 2016

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Cerro Rico | Potosí, Bolivia | 2016

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Potosí, Bolivia | 2016

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Potosí, Bolivia | 2016

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Potosí, Bolivia | 2016

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Potosí, Bolivia | 2016

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Potosí, Bolivia | 2016

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Potosí, Bolivia | 2016

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Potosí, Bolivia | 2016

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Potosí, Bolivia | 2016

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Potosí, Bolivia | 2016

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Potosí, Bolivia | 2016

Salar de Uyuni | Bolivian surrealism

Imagine that above you there is a sky that so deeply blue it hurt your eyes and under your feet, there is crispy white salt as far as you can see. You could be dreaming (or as a Finn found it, in a frozen lake somewhere in Finland on a sunny winter day…) or in a Dali´s painting. It is maybe the most bizarre natural setting you can imagine.

In Bolivian Altiplano lies Salar de Uyuni, the world’s most largest salt flat in Bolivian Altiplano near the crest of the Andes at an elevation of 3,656 meters above sea level. Salar de Uyuni used to be a botton of a prehistoric lake or lakes.  There is even an island, Incahuasi, in the middle of all this surreal wonderland.

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Salar de Uyuni | Bolivia | 2016

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Salar de Uyuni | Bolivia | 2016

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Salar de Uyuni | Bolivia | 2016

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Incahuasi Island | Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia | 2016

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Salar de Uyuni | Bolivia | 2016

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Salar de Uyuni | Bolivia | 2016

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Salar de Uyuni | Bolivia | 2016

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Sala de Uyuni | Bolivia | 2016

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Baby llama | Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia | 2016

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Salar de Uyuni | Bolivia | 2016

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Sunset | Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia | 2016

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Sunset | Salar de Uyuni | 2016

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Sunset | Salar de Uyuni | 2016

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