The Lighthouses of Estonia

Paldiski light house estonia_uzi varonAs Ninarose has gone to explore the big islands of Estonia this summer, it reminds me what a great place that is for a lighthouse-enthusiast. If the romantic and adventurous notion of lonely towers on rocky beaches appeals to you, Estonia is the place to visit.

Lighthouses have fed my imagination since I was a little boy. To me they were only familiar from children’s books and films. Something strange, fascinating and far away. So last summer I made a trip with friends to Estonia to look for the old lighthouses. And there were plenty to be found. Some of them still working, some even open for the public to climb up to. Looking at the images of these great towers today, brings back the long discussions with my late friend S. L. Abrahmov and his studies of “Nature versus Culture”. He opened my eyes for deeper understanding of the meaning of the things we see around us. I will never forget!

By the way: It is advised to book the ferry ticket (for car) between Saaremaa and Hiiumaa in advance. The ferries’ car capacity is small and the ferry only runs every 3 or 4 hours.

Paldiski light house estonia uzi varonPakri lighthouse in Paldiski in north-western Estonia.

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tahkuna light house uzi vaonTahkuna tower is situated on the northest point of Hiiumaa. It is impressive in its location. A small café is operated in the summer within its yard. Near by there is a memorial monument for the children who drowned when M/S Estonia sunk in these waters in September 1994.
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sorve light house estonia_uzi varonSõrve lighthouse stands in the very southernmost part of Saaremaa. A beautiful tower, a long narrow strip of land that heads straight down south and crystal clear water create a truly beautiful cross point of nature and culture.

White water rafting

Koprulu canyon turkey uzi varon rafting koprulu canyon uzi varon Our Turkey trip was a real adventure for me and I got to try new things such as rock climbing and white water rafting. So surrounded by these great views in Köprülü canyon, I lost my white water virginity. Adrenaline was guaranteed for the whole trip although I could also relax and enjoy the views while our 14 km long paddling. The river is not difficult, level 2 which suits also families (you don’t want to bring toddlers here… 6 yrs would be recommended age) but I had my kicks all the way although no life danger ☺ We did the river in two parts and after 7 km we had the chance to warm our chilly feet (the water is 8 degrees Celcius) and enjoy a nice BBQ lunch. Köprülü canyon is a great day trip destination to hike and you can also camp here. Fishing is prohibited although I saw people who couldn’t resist. Travel agencies organize white water rafting day trips from the biggest cities of the area such as Bodrum and Antalya. A trip with a 2 h transportation from your hotel door and including rafting equipment + lunch will cost around 30-40 e per person. A supplement of a couple of euros is charged for the wetsuit and shoes. Photographers will stand on the river banks and make sure that your once in a life time memory will be recorded. You can buy the pictures and DVDs after you return the equipment. They also screen the DVD and it is fun to watch yourself screaming, laughing or just a pale face. ☺ rafting koprulu canyon turkeu uzi varon 1 rafting koprulu canyon turkey uzi varon Mustafa guaranteed that everybody had fun and no one would remain dry. He and his wife from Israel were on a honeymoon in Turkey. rafting koprulu canyon turkey uzi varon 3 Once in a while we concentrated in splashing water on the other paddlers. treking and raftin in turkey

Returning to the coast of Olympos in Turkey

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These stunning landscapes and the crystal clear sea left a strong impression on my family and myself when we spent a week in this beautiful protected area 10 years ago. The blue and warm waters of the Mediterranean kissing the great mountain slopes and forests that rise as high as 2000 m is a winner combination for a good holiday. This sweet memory brought me again to this place on May 2014. This time I was on assignment with Ninarose for a Finnish magazine. It was fantastic to see that the place is still protected and almost no changes are visible along the coast and in the many small environmentally friendly holiday villages. The nearest mass tourism center is 30 km away in Kemer. Hopefully will stay that far.

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Surprising Istanbul

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Gray mosques, historical buildings… this was the picture in my head when I thought about Istanbul. I had heard that there is a good vibe in this city and amazing food but already when landing I discovered red roof spotted city and lots of greenery. During the three days we spent in the city on our work trip I got to know a city totally different from what I would have expected. On our first night in Istanbul we drove straight away to Galata-tower. I like to start a visit in a new city by having a view in a high place such as a bell tower or so. You get a different perspective and an idea about the surroundings. So we started our visit by climbing to the tower. We managed to have a look on the setting sun and sense the atmosphere of the city built between Asia and Europe. So Istanbul got me into its charms right away. I felt like in Berlin: lots of young people, relaxed, laidback spirit. People love to sit outside, even in a cool weather they just dress more. On the other hand, there are the mosques and minarets bring an exotic flavor to this international city.

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We ate and ate and ate. From a breakfast to simple eateries and to top fine dining places. We began our day in the popular , family owned börek and baklava bakery. They produce the super sweet pistachio goodies already in 6th generation. It is not unusual that a private jet delivers the world famous baklava Gulf countries. In the evening we enjoyed the breath taking views and the inventive food inspired by the Turkish and Asian kitchen in 360 Restaurant.

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