August | the Sunday of summer

The autumn is already here and so are the rainy days. October gave us few days of sunshine and it reminded me of August; the golden coloured days and the evenings that were like the sunset of summer.

North Karelia | Finland | 2017

North Karelia | Finland | 2017

North Karelia | Finland | 2017

Helsinki | Finland | 2017

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North Karelia | Finland | 2017

Helsinki | Finland | 2017

North Karelia | Finland | 2017

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North Karelia | Finland | 2017

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North Karelia | Finland | 2017

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Helsinki | Finland | 2017

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North Karelia | Finland | 2017

Caribbean cupcake | Cayo Caulker, Belize

“Wow wow wow, you are freakin’ me out, ma’am, slow down”, shouted a dreadlocked local to me when I was walking down the main street of Cayo Caulker the first evening when I had arrived to this small Belizean island. I wasn’t running nor was I walking particularly fast, on my opinion. But apparently I was, on Cayo Caulker standards.

Running, rushing around, stressing or anything alike was not the business in Cayo Caulker. Walking with a shuffle, on the other had, was. Adopting the local style was a perfect for sucking in the chilled out atmosphere of Cayo Caulker,  spotting places to take a nap or sipping happy hour drinks, happy hour that was every single hour of the day.

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Cayo Caulker | Belize | 2015

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Cayo Caulker | Belize | 2015

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Cayo Caulker | Belize | 2015

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Cayo Caulker | Belize | 2015

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Cayo Caulker | Belize | 2015

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Cayo Caulker | Belize | 2015

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Cayo Caulker | Belize | 2015

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Cayo Caulker | Belize | 2015

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Cayo Caulker | Belize | 2015

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Cayo Caulker | Belize | 2015

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Cayo Caulker | Belize | 2015

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Cayo Caulker | Belize | 2015

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Cayo Caulker | Belize | 2015

Patvinsuo National Park | Finland

Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit

– Edward Abbey

The open marshes, pine canvases and beautiful Lake Suomunjärvi offer a lovely wander in the wilderness. A day – or several if you are up for camping – in this calming natural setting and you do not only relax but might come a cross of friendly co-hikers and some random acts of kindness. Nature does wonders.

Patvinsuo National Park is part of the North Karelian Biosphere Reserve. It is located in an area where natural features typical to the north and south Finland meet. If you are lucky you might see a distant bear, Finland’s national animal, the king of forest.

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Patvinsuo National Park | North Karelia, Finland | 2017

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Patvinsuo National Park | North Karelia, Finland | 2017

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Patvinsuo National Park | North Karelia, Finland | 2017

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Patvinsuo National Park | North Karelia, Finland | 2017

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Patvinsuo National Park | North Karelia, Finland | 2017

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Patvinsuo National Park | North Karelia, Finland | 2017

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Patvinsuo National Park | North Karelia, Finland | 2017

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Patvinsuo National Park | North Karelia, Finland | 2017

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Patvinsuo National Park | North Karelia, Finland | 2017

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Patvinsuo National Park | North Karelia, Finland | 2017

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Patvinsuo National Park | North Karelia, Finland | 2017

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Patvinsuo National Park | North Karelia, Finland | 2017

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Patvinsuo National Park | North Karelia, Finland | 2017

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Patvinsuo National Park | North Karelia, Finland | 2017

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Patvinsuo National Park | North Karelia, Finland | 2017

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Patvinsuo National Park | North Karelia, Finland | 2017

Picturesque Cassandra | Chalkidiki, Greece

What are your first thoughts when you think of Greece? Blue skies and white sand? Turquoise sea and white houses? Delicious seafood and refreshing white wine? Relaxed atmosphere and sun shine? My thoughts exactly! If you haven’t been there yet and the list sounds good, book your tickets, you are going to love it!

I had the opportunity to explore northern parts of Greece during few years and one of my frequent destinations was Chalkidiki, especially ‘the first finger’, Cassandra. I became conditionalized to relax every time I set my feet on Greek soil. And I believe I am not the only one. The Greeks just know how to make one feel welcomed, relaxed, and well, willing to stay forever.

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Possidi | Greece | 2015

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Possidi | Greece | 2015

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Afytos | Greece | 2015

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Possidi | Greece | 2015

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Possidi | Greece | 2015

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Afytos | Greece | 2015

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Afytos | Greece | 2015

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Siviri | Greece | 2015

 

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Possidi | Greece | 2015

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Afytos | Greece | 2015

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Possidi | Greece | 2015

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Siviri | Greece | 2015

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Possidi | Greece | 2015

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Possidi | Greece | 2015

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Afytos | Greece | 2015

 

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Possidi | Greece | 2015

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Possidi | Greece | 2015

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Afytos | Greece | 2015

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Afytos | Greece | 2015

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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