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.
“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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Winter made a come back here in Finland. For the occassion and looking at the bride side of the weather change, my favorite winter photo from this year.
Mother nature is a quite of an artist, isn’t she?