Matkamessuille viikonloppuna – monta hyvää syytä mennä!

Kun netissä on niin paljon infoa ilmaiseksi, miksi mennä enää matkamessuille? Monestakin syystä!

Mielestäni esitteiden keruun voi jo unohtaa, kenellä niitä edes on aikaa lukea? Korkeintaan voi napata ne tärkeimmät sen sijaan, että kantaa kilokaupalla paperiroskikseen päätyvää kallista materiaalia.

Continue reading Matkamessuille viikonloppuna – monta hyvää syytä mennä!

Nyt käymme joulun viettohon…

Vaikka maailma on täynnä ihania paikkoja, nyt on ihana saada olla kotona, Suomessa ja rauhoittua. Hyvää joulua ja rauhaisaa loma-aikaa! Kiitos, että olette seuranneet reissujamme. Kiitollisuudella mietin tätä vuotta. Paljon olen ehtinyt nähdä ja kokea. Matka jatkuu…

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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… Continue reading So it is Christmas…

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.
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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!
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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.
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In the second floor there is a familiar brand but in a bit different surrounding. Lovely!
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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.
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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.
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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.  
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Uzi gets his fish from the Argentinian Teresa at Patagonico.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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… ).
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On our city tour we visited the famous landmark of the city: the Ice Cathedral built in 1965 which window mosaic is very impressive.
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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.
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I guess you don’t need words to describe this. The sunset seen from the deck somewhere near Lyngen.
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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.
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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!
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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.
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Campers in some of the most exotic corners of Europe.
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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.
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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.
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I met this cute Sami man Nils. The beautiful Gaba is 4 years old.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.