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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?