All posts by Ninarose Maoz

So it is Christmas…

The world is full of wonderful places to explore but it feels just so good to be at home now and just to relax with family and friends.

We wish you all Merry Christmas, Happy Chanuka or a peaceful holiday time! Thank you for following our blog! I am deeply grateful for all the adventures this year has brought. The journey continues…


Christmas atmosphere in Hakaniemi market hall! 9 tips for Christmas shopping

Hakaniemi market hall has stood in its place over 100 years and will go through a thorough renovation in the recent years but you can still feel the original atmosphere when shopping and sipping a coffee in its cafe.


I can’t imagine myself leaving home without a bracelet in my hand so these beautiful metal-cork bracelets caught my eyes in the 2nd floor Artbycork. Works for both women and men!



The hand bag model here is the shop keeper Lina Galrito-Leinoen. Raised in Portugal, the audiovisual artist by profession, Lina Galrito-Leinonen moved to Finland 11 years ago and has thought always out of the box. In addition to importing and designing cork wall tapestry, design objects, bags and jewellery, she has now broken into fashion field. Stay tuned to know what exactly.

Everything started just out of co-incidence. Lina had moved to Finland and was astonished when people asked her about the material of her hand bag.

“It was cork, naturally!  But in Finland no one knew cork!”

In Portugal cork is a widely used material and Lina thought to herself that why not bringing to Finland something that didn’t exist here yet.  It worked – the Finns were curious to adopt the new material and now Lina is planning to open a shop in Helsinki city center.




In the second floor there is a familiar brand but in a bit different surrounding. Lovely!


The red Kumiseva fabric, designed by the Japanese designer Katsuji Wakisaka in 1971 for Marimekko, is a permanent favorite among both Finns and tourists and it fits the season well.


These cards made by wordburning pen are designed by Ritva Myllymäki who makes them on a unique material: curly birch. You can order a card with your own rhyme or text and she will be happy to fulfill your wishes.

Ritva has a small workshop attached to her shop so you can peep inside and see her working. This smiling lady won’t be too busy for a chat.  She says she still loves her job after having her shop for 14 years and when a new idea comes, she can’t wait until going home in order to start working .

Nowadays she has a huge variety of products in addition to the holiday and birthday cards but the idea in all her handicrafts is the woodburned text and wood as material.


Downstairs you will find the traditional small shops offering the best and the freshest quality. I couldn’t resist the gravlax and smoked salmon at the fish delicacy shop Marja Nätti.  


Uzi gets his fish from the Argentinian Teresa at Patagonico.


It’s not easy to pass by Maustekeidas! With this variety of antipasto, nuts, spices and halva, it is easy to get confused but the lovely Maroccoan shopkeeper Najib Houda will help you out. This time it was garlic marinated olives and herb spiced feta cheese together will “snow almonds” that got into my shopping basket.


Parhiala, founded in 1914 is the place to get your coffee and tea. With their own roastery, it is guaranteed that your coffee will be fresh and the variety of different kinds of teas is awesome. An awesome Christmas present would be Kusmi or Løv teas that are not so commonly found in Finland. I treated myself with Løv licorice flavored Earl Gray . The tin box is so beautiful that I would like to get a row of them. Indira Wrede will help to choose.


If you need a break, sit down for a cup of ginger bread coffee at the second floor Hallikahvila. The atmospheric cafe has served the market hall customers over 35 years already.


And if you feel hungry, Soppakeittiö is the perfect winter lunch place with its huge, hot soups. In addition to Hakaniemen market hall, you can get your share of their wonderful soup bowl also at the two other market halls in Helsinki: Hietalahden Kauppahalli and Vanha Kauppahalli.

I chose the vegan beetroot-cabbage soup. It cost 9,50 e including home made bread and herbal oil.


Naomi Kuwajinu from Osaka was on a quick stop over in Helsinki on her way to London. She was happy to find a Marimekko shop and a store selling old ceramics – she told that she loves Arabia, the famous Finnish brand.

So soon it is Christmas! Wishing you all a beautiful holiday time!

Hurtigruten – the world’s most beautiful sea voyage

I spent recently a long weekend – in Norway! And Oslo wasn’t the destination but Hurtigruten which is said to be the world’s most beautiful sea voyage.


Our journey began in Tromsø which itself would have been worth exploring in depth but unfortunately we had only one afternoon in this Northern city. We had lunch at the local Scandic hotel (excellent food and special thanks for the wonderful dessert buffet where I completely forgot my sugerfree diet and had to taste all the wonderful chocolate and marzipan cakes and the hand made pralines as well and you can guess the results… ).


On our city tour we visited the famous landmark of the city: the Ice Cathedral built in 1965 which window mosaic is very impressive.


In the evening it was our turn to check in MS Kong Harald which had departed days before from Bergen. I got good travel company from my colleague and friend Henriikka Fingerborg who also runs a lifestyle blog.


I guess you don’t need words to describe this. The sunset seen from the deck somewhere near Lyngen.


The food was very_good! This is my first course, cod fish with lingonberry mousse. Even the buffet was excellent. Fresh fish and other local products were brought into the ship from villages nearby while anchoring. There was homemade buckthorn berry jam and soft porridge, wonderful full grain crisp bread from a local bakery and cheese from local dairies.


Do you recognize the symbol on the flag? It is the Norwegian Post Office. Hurtigruten, the fast route in Norwegian, was originally a means of transportation. Still one can get on the boat in a harbor and out in the next one. There are also commuters on the boat. You can also visit Hurtigruten when you spot one in a harbor where it makes a long stop. In some places the ships serve also as lunch restaurants as it can be the only restaurant of the village.

Most of the people cruise for 5-6 days but some come stay on board the whole voyage from Bergen to Kirknäs, near the Russian border. It means sailing 12 consecutive days!


The absolute highlight of our trip waited for us at the harbor of Honningsvåg, on Magerøya island. There we jumped on a bus that took us to Europe’s Nothernmost tip.


Campers in some of the most exotic corners of Europe.


We were extremely lucky with weather: three days of sun! It is common to have such a heavy fog in North Cape that you can hardly spot your own nose. Often even in good weather too the view point at a hight of 300 meters might be covered by a cloud but it can disappear in seconds. Then you get awesome views on the Arctic Ocean.


This was a nostalgic trip. I visited this place for the first time year 1998, that time by car and I continued to Lofooten islands that time.


I met this cute Sami man Nils. The beautiful Gaba is 4 years old.


If there is something I have learned to appreciate in my job, it is a professional guide. The South African born Clinton Smith was just like that. He moved to Norway five years ago but he spoke already a fluent Norwegian. He had been a safari guide for all his life and took care that we didn’t only listen but also absorbed the stuff he taught us. It was funny that a South African origin man told us about the Sami customs and how the raindeers are transferred to the island.

By the way, did you know how you recognize a married Sami man? From the ribbon on the right side of his hat. And a single? From a left side ribbon naturally.

We also learned that you never ask a Sami the number of his raindeers. That would equal to asking the balance of a bank account.


It was wonderful to return from a windy trip to a cup of hot chocolate and juicy apple pie.

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King crab is the boat specialty. This creature was held by the boat chef Roy Kristensen. He has been working on the boat already for 34 years but he says that he doesn’t get fed of the scenery and for reason.

He recommended us to taste another specialty, the torsk ice cream, cod ice cream (!) but I felt a bit sea sick and had to leave it to the next time.

dsc03196 Finnkirkan is said to be the most impressing rock formation in Norway.

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Ellinor and Ailu Ultsi from Kjollefjord village told us about the Sami culture and offered us angelica tea. We got to try their resin cream which healing qualities are well known.

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Small, sympathetic harbors. Here we are in Mehamn.


Hurtigruten Winter expedition Foto Ørjan Bertelsen
Photo: Hurtigruten/ Ørjan Bertelsen

I said before that the highlight of our trip was the visit to the North Cape but I have to admit that there was something equally impressive!

It is possible to order a Northern lights alarm to one’s cabin. I kept my outfit next to my bed and when I hear on the loundspeaker “Ladies and gentlemen, beautiful Northern lights are now visible on the left side of the boat” I rushed out of my bed, dressed up in 30 seconds and ran to the deck.

There equipped with my feather coat, a thick woolen hat and scarf and gloves I spent two unforgettable nights watching the sky. I sat on a deck chair also after the crowds went back to sleep and admired the incredible night show the nature provides some lucky ones.

The excursion to  Hurtigruten was organized by Airtouch in co-operation with  SAS.

Pies and stuff. A new cafe in Helsinki!

We found this lovely recently opened cafe located in Vuorikatu, just in the center of Helsinki, where Ekaterina and Enar bake already from 5 am in order to serve fresh pies since they open their door in the morning.


What is a good cafe made of? Good coffee and fresh, home made pastries?

I am happy to see that there is real coffee culture in Finland and not only sipping coffee at home like in the old days but nice cafes popping up. But sadly most of them are chains that serve the same, industrial cakes and pastries everywhere. Great that there are still places going against this trend even if it is not the most money-wise thing.


Enar has worked in several restaurant kitchens but now he wanted to open a place of his own. A lunch plate with a piece of a home made pie, hummus, Turkish yoghurt and salad will cost 9.30 e and fill any stomach (or if not, you can take the second option of two pieces of pie by adding a couple of euros)


Feta-spinach omelette and the rest of the pies cost 3,90 e, latte 3,60 e.






This Russian born couple wanted to bring something from their own food culture and serve a variety of pies with different fillings.  Lovely! I tasted the potato pie that Enar recommended and found it to be filling and tasty. Well, this won’t be my last visit here.

Good luck for the new entrepreneurs! I wish there were more places like this.

Citypie ,Vuorikatu 6, open Mon-Fri 8-19, Sat 10-16

Citypie in Facebook

Turku – the summer city: 5 tips for river bank (and some a bit further)

Turku seems to be my destiny. Not a bad one though. And it seems that there is a huge, growing interest in this ultimative summer destination as my Turku restaurant post last summer was the most popular ever. There were thousands of readers already in the first days!

Like last year, I was teaching  Hebrew this summer in Turku Summer University.  

I spent all together 14 days out of a month long period in Turku and as my lessons were in the evening, I had plenty of time to wonder around, see and taste things in the daytime. There is always something new to discover and some of those will be brought to you this time by mobile pictures.

Tips along the river bank

When the Turku people talk about “the other side of the river” it can be a bit confusing. The “right side” is the side where the dome church, Turun Tuomiokirkko, is located. My friends visiting Turku simply loved the river bank when we spent long, warm evenings sitting in the cafes, bars and river boars. So just a two hour journey from Helsinki takes you on a small trip abroad 🙂

My 7 year old daughter came to Turku and after she got out of the bus and we were walking along the river bank, she asked me: “Mom, what language do they speak here?” And then I explain her that it is Finnish…
Turku jokivarsi

  1. Sitting, sipping and eating! 

When this sculpture designed by Russian Andrei Kovaltshuk “The meeting in Turku 1812” arrived to its locations year 2012, it wasn’t received in open arms by all Turku residents. I, however, find that the sculpture of Alexander I of Russia and the crown prince Karl Johan fits very well this landscape.

Next to these gentlemen is one of the best places to sip your coffee: Cafe Art where they bake their own cakes and pullas. There is always a queue but it is worth waiting so take your time! The coffee is good and the cakes taste like heaven.

At the cafe I met this handsome guy, Korean origin Juri. He had been living in Finland for two years but was going to return to his homeland soon.

Another place to taste is  Tiirikkala. I got a gift voucher from my students to this lovely cafe-restaurant and ate there this wonderful cheese salad.

Tiirikkala Turku Aura-joki salaatti

I found an another lovely spot at Pub Niska which pizzas are hard to beat.
Jokilaivat Aura-joki Turku jokivarsi InstagramCapture_08ced1ee-0a62-4115-8ba0-190c4da48668 (1)

2. Ride a bike!

Bike is the best transportation in Turku. Everybody cycles here – it feels almost like Amsterdam and you will find bicycle lanes cycle routes everywhere, also in the center area.

3. Sleep by the river

I spent most of the nights at Radisson Blu Marina Palace from where I got this wonderful “granny bike”. It took me just in minutes from the hotel to the university. The hotel itself also earns a recommendation. I got a room with a river view and the breakfast was one of the best hotel breakfasts I’ve ever eaten in Finland. I started my day with a morning shot made with buckthorn berries and you can squeeze your own orange juice with a big press.
Forum Marinum Turku Aura-joki jokivars 4. Suomen Joutsen and Forum Marinum 

I and my little visitor walked along the river bank down until the maritime center Forum Marinum and the famos sailing boat Suomen Joutsen (the Swan of Finland) built in 1902. The little visitor, however, found the huge daisy much more fascinating. 🙂

Forum Marinum Turku Aura-joki jokivarsi

There are small ships to play with….
Turku jokivarsi Aura-joki 5. Jogging, walking… 

Walking the river banks is an enjoyable activity itself. If you are into history and culture, continue 5 minutes walk from Forum Marinum and you will reach the Turku castle.

For jogging take the opposite direction to Halistenkoski, a rapid and a dam. My longest trip outside the city center was to  Vanhalinna, located in Lieto. You will get stunning views from the hill top and you will be standing on a piece of history at the same time. There were findings

J, joka on yksi maamme tärkeimpiä muinaismuistokohteita. Liedon puolella sijaitsevassa Vanhalinnassa on tehty löydöksiä pronssi- ja rautakaudelta saakka.Lisää infoa retkeilymaastoista Turun lähettyvillä löytyy Aurajoki.netin esitteestä. Vanhalinna Turku Lieto Vanhalinnan maisemia – ei uskoisi, että melkein kaupungissa ollaan! Polkupyörällä tuli huristeltua sitten muuallakin. Keskustasta kivenheiton päässä oleva Portsa eli Port Arthurin kaupunginosa on kiva pikku tutustumisretki vanhoine puutaloineen ja ihastuttavine sisäpihoineen. InstagramCapture_2c707339-9423-4e5c-b99f-eaee5468c93aIf you want to head a bit further, Ruissalo is the destination! I was invited to a press trip organized by Visit Turku and we spent a beautiful and sunny afternoon by the sea making smoked salmon and ‘robber’s roat’, a roast cooked in an earth oven with Ruissalo Spa chef Sami Kiviranta. I guess this pictures tells everything – you can’t go wrong with this set!


Ruissalo Spa loimulohi rosvopaisti nokipannukahvit Ruissalo

Voisilmäpulla Honkapirtti Ruissalo TurkuThese huge homemade pulla at Ruissalo Honkapirtti are big enough to be shared.


On se Turku vaan mahtava paikka. Tuntemattomat juttelevat toisilleen Tintån terassilla (yksi lempipaikoistani – jokivarressa sekin). Usein kaupungilla törmäsin johonkin tuttuun – kollegaani tai entiseen oppilaaseeni. On tainnut tulla pyörittyä Turussa jo tovi 🙂 Mutta ei tarina tähän pääty. Lokakuun lopussa jatkan taas opetusta Turussa. Ja sitä ennen kerron  vielä Food Walkista, kiva ohjelmanumero kesäretkelle Turkuun. Pikku ballerina

My little guest watching the cars at Hotel Seurahuone.
Matkalaukku North Face TrolleyBye bye Turku! My loyal travel companion by North Face trolley (no hidden sponsorship here but I am happy to advertise it because it is difficult to find a better one!) traveled back and forth with me. I never drove to Turku by car as the cheapest tickets by Onnibus cost me only 5 euros and also train tickets sold by VR can be found starting from 10 euros including a seat in a work cabin which I always took an advantage of if one was available).

Hienoja hetkiä Israelin reissulla

M25 Meat Market restaurante
M25 Meat Market restaurant

Yli kahden vuoden tauon jälkeen palasin Israeliin ja voi että se tuntui hienolta! Reissaan työni vuoksi jatkuvasti, enkä ole oikein edes ehtinyt kaivata maata. Mutta kun ensimmäisenä iltana (tai oikeastaan yön tunteina) taksi kiipesi ylös Jerusalemiin ja ajoi Daavidin harpusta inspiraation saaneen The Cords Bridge-sillan ali, tuntui se juhlavalta. Paluu entiseen kotikaupunkiini!

Tämäkin matka oli pääosin työmatka, mutta tein varaslähdön ja lensin Israeliin pitkäksi viikonlopuksi ennen työrupeamaa. Viikonlopuksi oli lähdössä myös ystäväni Virpi, joka täytti juuri 40v. Ainoa vain, että Virpi itse ei tiennyt asiasta. Sain sumplittua asiat Virpin äidin, miehen ja ystävän kanssa niin, että lastenhoito ja muu järjestyisi. Varoitin ketään hiiskumasta asiasta ja yllätys onnistuikin. Kerroin Virpille vasta tuntia ennen lähtöä kentälle, että nyt on aika pakata ja kun hyppäsimme autoon, paljastin loppusuunnitelman.

Virpi in Tel Aviv

Virpi oli käynyt joka vuosi luonani asuessani Israelissa vuodesta 1994 lähtien ja nyt tapasimme yhteisiä tuttuja, herkuttelimme ja kiersimme niin uusia kuin vanhoja paikkoja – yli 10 vuoden tauon jälkeen!

M25 Meat Market restaurante
M25 Meat Market restaurant

Tälläisia makupaloja löysimme ja Uzi kuvasi.

Tel Avivissa törmäsimme Carmel-marketin kupeessa olevaan, uuteen M25-liharavintolaan, jossa on pihan perällä oma savustamo. Ravintola syntyi pienestä lihatiskistä ja nyt paikassa on kiva puutarha ja sisäpaikkkoja. Ravintola on saanut Tel Avivin parhaan indie-ravintolan palkinnon. Tosin kasvissyöjän kannattanee valita toinen paikka. Paitsi jos on niin suklaan perään, kuin minä…. paikassa oli nimittäin taivaallista suklaamoussea.


Levinsky-torilla pääsimme tällaisen ihanan vespan kyytiin. Ja hörpimme kahvia Susita-kahvilasta, jossa voi istua vanhan Susitan lavalla. Susitaa valmistettiin  Israelissa 50-80-luvuilla, eikä se koskaan ollut kovassa huudossa ainakaan laadun suhteen. Mutta nostalgiaa sillä on!

Oppaana Tel Avivissa meillä oli loistava paljasjalkainen tel avivivilainen (tuliko yksi tavu liikaa 🙂 )Karl Walter, joka hämmästytti tiedoillaan… ja päivällistarinoilla, jotka olivat kuin stand up-illan ohjelma. Nauroimme vedet silmissä!

Yam boutique hotel in Tel Aviv.
Yam boutique hotel in Tel Aviv.

Asuimme tässä hiljattain avatussa pienessä ja kotoisassa putiikkihotellissa, jonka nimi on Yam – meri. Huoneessa oli ping pong-mailat (israelilainen versio rantatenniksestä) ja rantapallo osana sisustusta, mutta ihan oikeaa käyttöä varten. Ja respasta saa rantakassin, jossa on kylmää vettä ja tuoreita hedelmiä sekä rantapyyhe. Hienoa tässä hotellissa oli lisäksi Happy Hour klo 17-19 välillä, jolloin hotelli tarjoaa ilmaisen pienen buffeen, johon kuuluu juomia, keittoa, voileipiä ja muuta pientä naposteltavaa. Todella asiakaslähtöistä palvelua! Sen lisäksi, että respan työntekijät muistivat nimeni ja kysyivät kuulumisia sekä toivottivat mukavaa päivää!

Peer boutique hotel. Owner Yael Tishler.

Carmel-torin vierestä löysimme hauskan Peer-putiikkihotellin ja päätimme pujahtaa sisään ja pääsimmekin mielenkiintoiselle tutkimusmatkalle: hotellin jokainen huone oli kuin mummolasta konsanaan. Kuvassa Yael Tishler, joka ystävällisesti esitteli meille hotelliaan.

Karl Walter guide Israel Tel Aviv



yahaloma ba'namal. Chef Yahaloma. Tel Aviv port new restaurant

Edellisellä Tel Avivin vierailullamme löysimme ihastuttavan Yahaloma’s bistron, joka tuolloin sijaitsi Levinsky Marketilla. Paikka oli muutaman pöydän pikkuriikkinen ravintola, mutta tarjosi suussasulavaa ruokaa. Keittiössä hääräsi Tel Avivin radiossa työskennyt ja uraputken jättänyt Yahaloma, joka yhdisteli sukunsa reseptejä eri Välimeren maista. Ruoissa maistui niin Kreikka, Libya kuin Egyptikin. Nyt Yahaloma on muuttanut Tel Avivin satamaan ja avannut siellä reilu kuukausi sitten yhdessä kahden muun osakkaan kanssa Yahaloma ba’Namal, Yahaloma satamassa-ravintolan. Taso oli ennallaan, paikka oli kasvanut, hinnat hieman nousseet, mutta loistava meininki jatkuu.  Kuvassa Yahaloman versio moussakasta. Suosittelen!

Yahaloman uusi ravintola sijaitsee Tel Avivin satama-alueen farmers’ marketilla, joka on jo sinänsä nähtävyys. Sieltä saa myös ehkä maailman parhaat, Lehamim-leipomon manteli-croisantit, joissa on marsipaania niillä päällä, kuin sisälläkin. Onneksi meillä kotona ei ole tuollaisia herkkuja, muuten saattaisi croissant toisensa perään tulla ostettua kahvileiväksi ja lopputulos olisi katastrofi – ja iänikuinen laihdutuskuuri.  New Yorkiin on muuten jo avattu Lehamim-leipomo, vink vink rapakon takana kävijöille. Siellä se kantaa nimeä Breads bakery. 

Tel Aviv Port


Boutique haNaknik Levinsky market Tel Aviv
Makkaranystävän unelma: Levinsky marketin makkarakauppias, Amir Kuti ( “Boutique Ha’naknik”) myy taatusti laatumakkaroita.

Tikva market Tel Aviv

Ha’tikva-tori sijaitsee maahanmuuttajien asuttamassa Ha’tikva-kaupunginosassa. Täällä näkee kaikkia kansallisuuksia venäläisistä etiopialaisiin ja voi maistella todella hyvää kubbea, hummusta, sabichia ja muita etnisiä herkkuja, eikä mikään kurita kukkaroa. Saimme oppaaksemme Karlin lisäksi ystäväni Tehilan Jerusalemista, joka tiesi kuppiloiden tarinat.

Abraham Hostel Tel Aviv youth hostel Israel

Vierailimme kansallisen puhelinyhtiön entiseen rakennukseen remontoidussa Abraham Hostellissa Tel Avivissa juuri ennen sen avaamista. Jättimäisen hostellin alakerrassa on suuri tila, johon juuri parhaillaan maalattiin isoja seinämaalauksia. Siellä aiotaan pitää konsertteja ja tapahtumia. Varmasti kaupungin coolein paikka yöpyä, eikä hinnallakaan pilattu. Paikassa on dormitory-huoneiden lisäksi kahden ja useamman hengen huoneita sekä jopa huoneistoja.

Viiden kaveruksen hostelli on jo porukan kolmas. Olin heidän ensimmäisessä hostellissaan Fauzi Azarissa Nasaretissa kun lähdin vaeltamaan muutama vuosi sitten Jesus Trailin Nasaretista Genessaret-järvelle ja hostelli jäi positiivisesti mieleeni, varsinkin aamiaisen baklavat 🙂

Hostellivierailulla Tel Avivissa minulle selvisi myös, että tuo vaelluspolku on yhden hostellikimpan jäsenen, Maoz Inonin tekemä polku! Siinä on aktiivinen mies.


Jael Ancker Appelsiineja ja hunajaa Tel Aviv

Suomalainen Jael Ancker pitää Appelsiineja ja hunajaa-nimistä ruokablogia, jota olen seurannut jo vuosikausia. Vihdoin tapasimme Jaelin kanssa ihan livenä, kun haastattelimme ja kuvasimme hänet Matkaopas-lehden juttuun. Oli mukava yllätys, kun Jaelilla oli vapaa päivä ja hän jäi loppupäiväksi kiertelemään kanssamme.
Michal Negrin jewellery Bat Yam factory shop and gallery

Michal Negrin on israelilainen korusuunnittelija, jonka romanttisilla ja kitcheillä, mutta taidokkailla koruilla on vankka asiakaskuntansa ympäri maailmaa. Pääsimme tutustumaan korutehtaaseen Bat Yamissa, jossa kaikki tehdään käsin. Koruilla on ikuinen takuu, joten laatukin on sen mukainen. Saimme kuvaan gallerian myyjättäret sekä Michal Negrinin tyttären (keskellä). Vaikka kuvaus oli ihan spontaani, naiset pukeutuivat, valitsivat sopivat korut ja poseerasivat aivan kuin ammattimallit. Minäkään en tehtaanmyymälästä pystynyt ihan tyhjin käsin lähtemään…  Tehdasvierailu pitää sopia etukäteen ja kierros kestää 1,5 tuntia. Galleria-myymälään saa piipahtaa milloin vain.

Tässä pieni video Michal Negrinin korujen valmistuksesta: miten korut suunnitellaan ja minkälainen on lopputulos.


Design Museum Holon Jaime Hayon
Design Museum Holon eli Holonin Design-museo oli positiivinen yllätys. Tämä oli ensi kertani museossa. Esillä oli parhaillaan espanjalaisen suunnittelija Jaime Hayonin näyttely, jonka jättimäiset keraamiset shakkinappulat olivat näyttelyn kohokohta. Kannattaa tehdä pikku piipahdus Tel Avivin ulkopuolelle Holonin kaupunkiin!

Yad Hashmona

Jos et ole käynyt Israelin matkallasi vielä Yad Hashmonassa, korjaa asia seuraavalla visiitillä! Yad Hashmona on suomalaisten perustama kibbutsin tapainen kylä ja paikka näyttääkin pieneltä palalta Suomea hirsitaloinen. Ainoastaan ympäristöä katsellessa huomaa ettei ihan kotimaassa olla: vuoret ympäröivät paikkaa ja maisemat ovat uskomattoman kauniit.

Yad Hashmona perustettiin 80-luvun alussa niiden kahdeksan juutalaisen muistolle, jotka lähetettiin Suomesta Saksaan toisen maailmansodan aikana. Tämä porukka, yhtä lukuunottamatta, menehtyi Auschwitzissa. Joukko kristittyjä suomalaisia halusi ikuistaa näiden juutalaisten surullisen kohtalon ja nimi Yad Hashmona tarkoittaakin “kahdeksan muistolle”.

Yad Hashmonassa voi yöpyä, käydä kävelyllä Biblical Gardenissa ja lempparini: perjantai-brunssilla. Brunssipöytä notkuu herkkuja, joten tänne kannattaa varautua tulemaan tyhjällä mahalla. Keittiöväki puristaa tuoremehun tuoreista appelsiineistä, omeletti valmistuu pyynnön mukaan ja kun vielä santsaa lautasen pienten juustoloiden juustoja, salaatteja, piiraita ja kakkuja sekä valitsee pöydän sään salliessa ulkoa, ei brunssi tästä parane. Varaa paikka etukäteen, sillä brunssi on todella suosittu ja paikat varataan aina täyteen!

Eilat jeep tour

Lopuksi jatkoimme Eilatiin, jossa saimme yhtenä päivänä oppaaksemme legendaarisen Alfonso Nusbaumerin, joka on muun muassa löytänyt egyptiläiset seinäkirjoitukset Timnasta.


Kamelisafarilla Eilatissa.


Yotvata-kibbutsin viereisessä Hai Bar-villieläinpuistossa näimme näitä kauniita Arabian antilooppeja (Arabian oryx), joista yksi tosin oli niin äkäinen emo, että piti painaa nopeasti kaasua ja ajaa karkuun. Emme huomanneet, että sillä oli poikanen ja olimme liian lähellä.



Viimeisenä uskollinen kuvaajamme, joka sopisi myös vietnamilaisille riisipelloille 🙂

Matka is here again!

The most important travel happening is about to begin! Or actually it started already and we got some bites for you from the professionals’ day.

I truly enjoyed meeting my colleagues from all corners of the world.

Uzi’s pictures will tell you more than any story… If you are in Helsinki, be there! Lots of colors, tastes and… a lot of noise. This time also the domestic destinations are in an important role side by side with the foreign countries. I am especially proud of our archipelago being displayed well!

_49A7142 _49A7152 _49A7141 _49A7153 _49A7158 _49A7161 _49A7163 _49A7172 _49A7274 _49A7334 _49A7289 _49A7337 _49A7354 _49A7358 _49A7134 Matka 2016 will be open for public from this Fri to Sun, Jan 22-24. Enjoy! 🙂

Flashback: our year 2015 on the map

Feeling grateful! So many trips, meetings, happenings within one year! This is our year 2015 in a nutshell including private and work trips but excluding cruises and some short trips such as cruises to Stockholm and spa trips to Estonia (which I don’t calculate exactly as “abroad” anymore… 🙂 ) .

My first destination this year was Greece and not exactly the regular destinations but Epirus,  “The Greek Alps”. I made several posts about my trip, including Greece in a different way and Horseback riding, whitewater rafting and snow shoe walking – in Greece!

The highlight of this trip were the monasteries of Meteora, once in a lifetime destination one has to experience in person. No stories or pictures will do justice to it!

Berlin 2.2015 Uzi headed to Berlin instead.

Our next work trip destination was Portugal where we toured basically through the whole country from the very Southern tip of Algarve up to Estrella mountain range in 9 days. A wonderful country, wonderful food, wonderful people… 🙂

portugal 4.2015At the unknown soldier’s thomb after change of shifts the soldiers were in a good mood 🙂

In Portimao we met this lovely Finnish couple and spent the entire day with them eating, playing music and walking on the beach. On this online article you can get some idea. Sorry, only in Finnish! 🙂 muotiasiantuntija Piret Mägi

In May we headed to Tallinn to make a city guide: good food and lot of things to do can be found just around the corner (or across the bay). Part of our finding can be read on this Matkaopas article.

It didn’t take long for us to travel to Estonia again. This time to Muhu island just next (or before) Saaremaa. We made a food article for Kodin Kuvalehti with Peke and Ingrid Eloranta at Muhu Veinitalu.

The couple has recently opened a restaurant in Tallinn. Haven’t tried it yet but I guess it can’t be bad!

I took this fun video with Uzi and a herd of sheep at Muhu Tonise guest house.

And next Uzi traveled to Lisbon again…

Lisbon uzi work trip 5.2015nina japan

And in August it was my turn to go to Japan –  a real dream come true although it was a busy business trip. But I was overwhelmed by the Japanese culture, lovely, hospitable people, wonderful food. This trip really made me want to go back!

In this small picture above the man is not trying to suffocate me but dampened the towel in the hot springs in Yunomine Onsen (a traditional hot spring destination) and treated me with a facial. The minerals are supposed to do something good to your skin (and make you look years younger of course!).

After Japan I hardly unpacked my luggage just to pack again and this time a bit closer: England which I totally saw in new eyes.

This is Nina Dodd’s picture on South West Coast Path hiking path.   NinaRose1_england Varon family reunion In the fall Uzi traveled to a family reunion in France, which was held modestly in a castle. Skeppsholmen Stockholm

And at the same time I spent three long days exploring Stockholm for a city article for Matkaopas.

Before Christmas I also studied three weeks Spanish in Madrid. It was a real intensive course with 6 hours of lessons every days continued by conversations in Spanish.

Christmas markets, tapas, turron… Some pictures can be found on my  Instagram- account.

Well, feels good to end this year at home…. have a couch time with loads of chocolate. My home got a new design while I was away and now I really enjoy just not having to move anywhere.

This break won’t last long, however. In February we are planning for Israel and that trip will be followed by a real holiday in Thailand!

But meanwhile, let’s celebrate! A happy and peaceful year  2016 with new adventures!  Let it bring us all good things!

Lust for licorice

There is something only a Finn (or a Scandinavian) understands: love for licorice. In Finland we also have this salt licorice called salmiakki which is something many people can’t live without.

Last weekend there was a happening just for licorice lovers: Licorice festival. It was held for the second time this year and it was certainly one of the most interesting food events in Helsinki this fall.

My blog life has been quite sleepy due to the big deadline I have this month to finish the book I am writing. Only Uzi has been telling about his travels. Also now I should be editing the book but I really really need to share this lovely experience I had in licorice festival last weekend.
Lakrids by Johan Bulow

These wonderful Danish licorice candies were one of my personal favorites! Amazing flavors: passion fruit licorice, ginger licorice, Christmas licorice…  Couldn’t resist and bought a couple of boxes. Someone might find one under the Christmas tree 🙂
Haupt Lakrits SwedenMy other favorite comes from Stockholm and it is called Haupt Lakrits, a tiny factory with great licorice flavors and lovely tins that you simply can’t throw away.
lakritsijuuriThere was an exhibition about licorice. Wonderful what you can get out of licorice root and this abstract looking sludge 🙂
lakritsi_featured_image (2)   wine_tasting_lakritsi_festivaaliThere was a wine tasting for fitting the right wine to… a licorice. I wouldn’t think of that combination but it apparently works.

A licorice flavored entrecote was on the menu in a cooking workshop with the chef Douglas Spiik. Licorice powder goes well with many things.
lakritsitaidettaThe kids loved this… a licorice art workshop. I guess some of the licorice went into the tummies as well.
Panda lakritsiA common label with new tastes: old good Panda.
apteekin_salmiakkiApteekin salmiakki. Strong and salty. Virpi_Vainio_salmiakki_manifestoYou could easily bite this jewellery made by Virpi Vainio. Lakritsi- ja salmiakkifestivaali Wanha Satama Helsinki Finland

A great event! The festival was held for the first time last year and this year it already drew surprisingly many visitors as some of the exhibitors ran out of their stock already on the first day.

I am sure that next year this will be already an established happening. Before that you can head to Stockholm Lakritsfestivalen which will take place in the spring.

Muhu, an Estonian island

When I told my friends I am going to Muhu, many asked me where on earth is a place like that. Everyone in Finland is familiar with Saarenmaa but the tiny island on the way to its big sister is often passed by without even noticing. Well, it can happen easily as there is a bridge connection between these two islands so many consider Muhu to be part of Saarenmaa.
Tönise majatalo Muhu Viro

But Muhu is indeed worth visiting and has its own characteristics with its windmills, stone fences and its special colors. Muhu museum is a must too. It is not a dusty archive but a village style yard where the history starting from the 17th century is told in a practical way.

We came to Muhu to make an article about Muhu veinitalo which would well earn a post of its own but we stayed in this wonderful Tönise majataloTönise majatalo Muhu Viro Tönise majatalo Muhu Viro Tönise majatalo Muhu ViroTönise majatalo Muhu ViroMuhuTönise majatalo Muhu ViroTönise majatalo Muhu Viro

A lovely Finnish lady, Soile, runs the place. She left her job as a photographer and pursued her dream, bought a ruin of an old stone house and renovated it  and its surroundings into a beautiful guest house.
Tönise majatalo Muhu ViroSoile has sheep for the whole family to enjoy.
Tönise majatalo Muhu ViroIn this video you can see how fast the sheep run when they love their owner 🙂

So here we found a new hidden pearl (quite a list already!) and the price is very affordable. Two nights will cost 70 euros including country style breakfast. Other nice places to stay in Muhu is Vanatoa where I stayed last year together with my daughters and my mom when I was making this Iltasanomat article from the island. Also the famous manor Padaste is located nearby. Its kitchen has been elected the best in Estonia many times in a row. I had a very nice dinner there last year and my mom loved especially the desserts which weren’t too sweet such as the cheese cake with blueberries.