Posts tagged Nordic

Letters from Finland: Korkeasaari, Animal Kingdom

Hello everyone! My dear adventurers, how are you today? It’s time to introduce you to the most unusual zoo in the world, it’s not an ordinary zoo, it’s a real animal kingdom. Korkeasaari, a word that I still do not know how to say, but I was happy to read it on a little board of bus no 16 that can take you directly from the central train station – the heart of the city of Helsinki to the island where the zoo is located .

I think that morning at the station I was the oldest child on the bus, I honestly did not care about that, I just wanted to get to my goal. Sometimes is very hard to think almost about everything, but this time I forgot that the zoo was on the island, I completely distracted myself from the mind that it was windy there and that I should take my cap that I forgot in the apartment. My friends from My Helsinki were so good and they gave me an interesting brown cap as a gift, but I just forgot this time to bring it with me!

The Helsinki Zoo is located around 30 minutes of drive from the centre of the city and in a just 30 minutes you can leave the urban part of Helsinki and enjoy the beauty of the natural and wildlife. Due to the strength of the wind I was not able to take some photos of the approach to the island, the view was absolutely amazing. The picture above was created when we crossed the bridge, at the very entrance to the zoo. The view is enchanting, I was totally speechless!

This island paradise is home to more than 150 animal species and a rich vegetation world that has over 1000 species of plants. There are only few zoo’s on the world that are located on the islands, which is why the zoo in Helsinki is special. It is also one of the oldest zoos in the world, opened its doors in 1889. The zoo works all year round, only the approach of the island depending on the season and weather conditions is different. During the spring, summer and early autumn you can reach the Korkeasaari Zoo with special ferries, while during the late autumn and winter period you arrive by bus number 16, as we did this time.

The Korkeasaari Zoo is divided into several parts. Each part is a special story for itself and it is not important whether you are a child or a child “trapped” in the body of an adult man I am convinced that you will enjoy. There are special facilities throughout the zoo where you can feel the way of life in Finland. Wooden huts by the water, a camp fireplace and facilities built for the purpose of educating children and adults makes this zoo unique in Europe and the world as well.

It was a little harder to get to the monkeys this time because the children of school and preschool age were simply fascinated by the charisma and positivity of these pretty animals. In those days when we were in Helsinki, there was a special holiday for children in Finland that lasted for a week and is special because it is an active holiday for children. Children have planned activities every day, to get to know the world around them much better and learn something new. I really think that we need something similar to do in Serbian education system for preschool and elementary school age children.

This zoo is a great place for all lovers of nature, except that you will be able to spend time and see some of your favorite animals, you can also enjoy in all beauties of the nature. Fashion experts have said that the gold color is in the trend this season, it seems that nature in Finland follows the latest trends! 😉

It was interesting to see how trainers and people who care about animal feeding animals. The bears were not in the mood for some photo shooting, since we came to them when it was time for the afternoon nap, so maybe they did not want to cooperate with us this time… Well that is one of the reason why I should come back to Helsinki again!

The reason I wanted to visit this zoo is White Owl. The White Winter Owl always appealed to the famous Hollywood films about the boy wizard Harry Potter. I do not know how familiar you are with this unusual movie hero, but I’m sure that you at least hear about him or some of your younger members of family are usually people who love this magical hero.

Since the main topic in Harry Potter movies are related to paranormal things like magic, they do not use “normal” mail services. All shipments – letters and parcels are sent with the help of white big owls. In Europe I have not noticed that zoos have theses species of owl, but when I saw a white owl on an advertising flyer of Helsinki Zoo, I had to go and see it. If they had let me take her home, I would gladly have it and imagine that I was Harry Potter every day! 🙂

Due to weather conditions that are slightly colder than in other parts of Europe, the Zoo in Helsinki has made efforts to have only animals that can live in these conditions in their small animal kingdom, there are not many tropical animals here, maybe a small number of bird species from Africa, but they are located in separate indoor buildings that are adapted to their special needs.

In this small animal kingdom you can find various polar mammals that are characteristic of this part of Europe. Deers, Reindeers and other species are the inhabitants of this unusual zoo. I was fascinated by the natural beauty of this paradise. My heart was full, because I had the opportunity to feel at least a couple of hours of all the natural beauty and magic of this natural oasis located not so far from the center of Helsinki.

This guy was not in the mood for photo shooting, but we tried to “capture” him in the best possible pose since we waited him almost 15 minutes to turn! He’s very stubborn! In the end, we somehow managed to capture this beauty on the photo. 🙂

On the other hand, we have this interesting gentle lady, which all those years could not do anything to her, so she is quite fast and very active for her age. In less than 10 minutes, she made full 3 laps without pausing, she greeted us and continued her daily activities.

My dear travellers once again we have come to the end of this second special travel post from Helsinki. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! Don’t worry in a couple of days I will publish a new post where we will continue together to enjoy the charms of traveling and we will continue our adventure.

At the end of the post, I would like to thank the friendly staff from Aallonkotti Hotel Apartmentsthat made our stay pleasant and we felt like we were at home. The concept of hotel is to stay in apartments of different sizes. The size of apartments depends on your needs. The apartment in which we had the opportunity to stay was specially decorated by the well-known Finnish brand Marimekko, which besides its basic activity – making clothes has its own special line for home decoration.

How do you like this post? Have you ever visited Finland? Did you have chance to enjoy in the magic of the Helsinki? I would like to share with me your experience! If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.

As I promised we’ll see again in a couple of days, so if something new and interesting happens to me, I promise, I will write to you!

Best,

Mr.M

This post is sponsored by Tourist Board of Helsinki – My Helsinki, Korkeasaari ZooAallonkoti Hotel Apartments, Marimekko company and others partners of My Helsinki organisation which kindly help this #MyHelsinkiResidence project. I will mention all of them in some of the next posts. For all these beautiful photos I used Sony Alpha 7r Mark II camera.
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Postcard from Estonia: Tallinn, The Medieval Gem of the Baltic

Hi everyone, welcome to my new post! Today is the first day of November and I think that this is more than enough reason to continue our adventure in Northern Europe and thus start this November with a new travel story, you will also learn more about the capital city, one country of Baltic States – Tallinn.

Now I can officially welcome you to Estonia. Estonia is one of the three Baltic states located in the northeastern Europe. The term of the Baltic states stands for the three former Soviet Republics, now the independent republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. This year is very important for Estonia, because this year represents 100 years of the Republic of Estonia.

It was one early morning in Helsinki, I’d better admit to you that we did not even get to sleep at all, because we were expecting cruising to Tallinn in the early hours of the morning. I decided that it would be better for me to get something sweet to bite a little and finish the editing of the pictures of Helsinki, so I did not have a hard time for those few hours without of sleep.

With the late night chit-chats, laugh, snacks and a lot of work, we were up in early morning hours, so we almost got late for the first morning tram which led us directly to the harbour, luckily we all arrived on time at the end! When we arrived at the port, I did not get the impression that I was in front of the harbour , but I thought I was at the airport. Modern, straight lines made of glass and metal, the main harbour in Helsinki at half past six in the morning was shining in its full shine like a diamond.

We have checked in at the counters of Tallink, which is one of the friends of this project #MyHelsinkiResidence and I am pleased that they have provided us their support and enabled the realization of this wonderful project.

Two hours of journey, how much this trip usually lasts between these two “siblings” cities for me was very exciting, first this is my first cruise and just at an entrance of the modern version of the Titanic I realized it will be amazing and unforgettable. The first thing we noticed on the map of the ship is that there is a mini shopping mall and a supermarket on the cruise. The photographer and I were surprised, so I even had to get my glasses to make sure I read it well.

Yes, it turned out that is true… Star, one of the first Tallink cruisers with shops and a supermarket… We could not wait for breakfast, but we immediately went to look for shops, just to be sure that is true. We missed breakfast, but I bought chocolate in supermarket! As I wrote a while ago, time passed and the little Marko arrived in Tallinn. We arrived so quickly on the main square and you can see on the photo above my first reaction and fascination with this medieval city in the modern 21st century!

Our first task was to find the office of the Tallin’s Tourist Board – Visit Tallinn to take over the special Tallinn cards that will help us to visit the sights and museums.

How to get to know Tallinn? Where to start your adventure? – These are questions that almost all tourists are thinking about!

When I want to meet and “feel” the city, I first find the marked sights on the map and select the one that, according to the description of the sight itself, can best “tell” the story of the city. Tallinn is an unusual city, the city’s core has some special energy, which radiates some values that were more appreciated in the Middle Ages, while the periphery is completely modern and urban. It’s amazing how a bus ride can be interesting! My warm recommendation is to start a tour of Tallinn with the Estonian History Museum, located in the very heart of the city.

Time travel can be very fun, who knows, maybe you will learn something new and interesting that you did not know before. The museum is divided into several parts, as a fashion blogger, I’m sure that you all immediately assumed that my the most favorite part was that historic fashion corner. In a special exhibition of clothing you can see how fashion has developed in Estonia from the past to the present modern history of this Baltic country.

I will just say that I am thrilled with fashion development in Estonia, I think you will learn a lot of things about culture and lifestyle of Estonian people. Their culture is magnificent, so please take your time and enjoy. I’m sure you will love it! You also have an interesting part of museum which is interactive and you can “write” your own Estonian history, I tried something, but as I had just few hours in Tallinn I just run to see more sights in Tallinn. Use your time wisely! 🙂

Do you know that the Estonia Spirit is still alive? No?! You must visit him in Estonian History Museum! He is so silly! I’m sure he will make you laugh. Try to chat with him, maybe he will some interesting answers for you, try… You really don’t have anything to lose. 🙂

You will not spend a lot of time in the Museum of Estonian History, but you will learn a lot of new information you did not know about Estonia. After the museum, I suggest you visit the Tallinn’s City Hall, which is the oldest Town Hall in the Baltic region. Because of its uniqueness, it is on the UNESCO list of protected cultural heritage as well as the Tallinn city’s center. If you want to know more about architecture in Tallinn, you absolutely need to read this story.

Walking in the main streets of Tallinn will tell you a special story, enjoy the beauty of the cobblestones and the music of street performers. Souvenir shops, Medieval themed restaurants are just a small piece of puzzle that makes this city so fabulous. Believe me, walking around in the centre of Tallinn is really wonderful, but unfortunately we did not have more time to enjoy in it! 🙁

As we walked through the streets, my photographer heard that many tourists ask the locals for the cathedral of Saint Alexander Nevsky, I was not lazy, so I tried to connect to the WiFi internet network of a nearby café and I realized that we should not miss this beauty. The church is located on a hill, initially you will have the impression that it is far away and that the approach of the church is difficult, but it is not. If you already decided to visit this lovely town, please make sure not to miss this spiritual beauty.

In the next post you will see my fashion combination which I was wearing during my visit to this city. I hope you enjoy in my fashion story, some of the most beautiful photos were made near this temple.

The photographer reminded me that we did not have much time left and that it was time to slowly return to the city so that we would not be late for the bus that directly drives us to the Tallinn’s harbour. I have to admit, the time has just flown and it was not easy for me to just forgive myself why I’m in Tallinn just one day…

As we slowly descended to the city centre, I do not know how, but at one point I noticed the ad with a picture of a beautiful royal orders of Knighthood. First I checked which time it was, the photographer just said: “No way! We’ll be late, you know how much we have to be before boarding, I repeat, there is no chance! “. It would not be me if I did not look at the ad again if I could use the Tallinn card to enter this museum, when I saw a little red sign with white letters written word – Tallinn, I knew it! It was meant to be!

I just took out the card from my backpack and headed towards the entrance to the Museum of Orders of Knighthood, the photographer was outraged… I thought he left me, but he appeared after 5 minutes with the words: “You have 20 minutes, not a minute more!”. For me it was moment of happiness just to see the Royal Orders, I always loved sparkle, things that glitter, and even if it was transparent plastic, I am fascinated by the sparkle! 🙂

The curator of the museum saw my love for shiny things and showed me with great pride the Royal Order of the highest degree during the rise of the Kingdom of Russia … I must admit that the Russians, apart from the Spanish and the Italians, had a sense of aesthetics… and for sparkle things as well! Diamonds…

The Curator proudly spoke about their special royal orders collection, which has about 700 original pieces. After a short story about the museum, the lady asked me where I from and when I mentioned the word “Serbia”, she took me to another room where she showed me the Order of St. Sava. I remembered my father’s story that this is the highest order in Serbia and that it was given only to extremely prominent people.

The photographer was around all the time and he did patient shooting of the photos, he was trying to be just a observer, but he showed me all the time with mimics how much time left… I do not like one day trips, I can not easily achieve everything… Of course, because of all glitter and shine of the orders and all those shiny diamonds I forgot on time, so I again “break through” the schedule of our trip and now it was really time to go back to Helsinki.

We were in hurry, so fast cardio last walk through the main streets of Tallinn we reached the station of the bus that took us to the harbour. This is the last picture I managed to make in that hurry, because all of those souvenirs made of wood were interesting to me, so I wanted to share it with you. If I had time, I might have bought a new cutting board, but almost because of the diamonds I stay in Tallinn without hotel! It would just be an adventure!

My dear travellers once again we have come to the end of this second special travel post from Northern Europe. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! Don’t worry in a couple of days I will publish a new post where we will continue together to enjoy the charms of traveling and we will continue our adventure in Finland and Italy as well.

This one-day trip in Tallinn was successfully completed, we entered in our Megastar and I secretly waved to Tallinn with the desire that we will see soon again! Tired but lucky Tallink Megastar cruiser took us “home” to Helsinki.

At the end of the post I would like to thank the kind staff of Star and Megastar Cruisers that made our journey pleasant on board, although I’m not a swimmer and I have a mild fear of water I felt very safe. If by any chance you decide to visit Helsinki, make sure you will take the opportunity to visit Tallinn, for more information about ships, departures and prices visit their website.

Also, if you are a museum lover and would like to visit a greater number of attractions in Tallinn, take advantage of the special Tallinn tourist card that you can buy at any information tourist center in Tallinn and this sales points. By purchasing a card you get the right to enter certain museums completely for free and for the duration of the card, depending on whether you are purchasing a Tallinn card for a period of 24, 48 or 72h, you have the right to use the transportation completely for free.

As an economist, I always look to save as much as possible; the card is worth paying if you take  only one entry into a museum and a ride by tram or bus, even if you visit two or three museums, or if you have some other landmark, you will understand the real savings that this card provides to you.

How do you like this post? Have you ever visited Tallinn? Did you have chance to enjoy in the magic of the Medieval Gem of Baltic? I would like to share with me your experience! If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.

As I promised we’ll see again in a couple of days, so if something new and interesting happens to me, I promise, I will write to you!

Best,

Mr.M

This post is sponsored by Tallinn Tourist Board, Helsinki Tourist Board – My Helsinki, Visit Finland and other respected partners of project #MyHelsinkiResidence which I will mention in future posts. Also I would like to say thank you to Tallink for wonderful collaboration and for amazing opportunity to feel the beauty of travelling with their Star i Megastar cruisers.
For all these beautiful photos, I used Sony Alpha 7r Mark II.

 

 

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Letters from Finland: Winter Fairy Tale in Helsinki

Dear my travellers, I hope that you have wisely used this little break and that you prepared for new adventures. Today I’m taking you to the country where is living the most beloved grandpa on the world, a place where the finest chocolates are made from sea salt. Welcome to Finland!

Whoever was able to visit this magical country, will understand love with this amazing city at the first sight! Finnish people are otherwise known for their kindness and the famous role of good hosts. They always try to approach you with a smile on the face and to help you though you may not speak English or Finnish language.

Before I start with today’s post, I would like to thank the Helsinki Tourist Board and Convention BureauMy Helsinki for this exceptional opportunity to feel the beauty of the capital of Finland. Also, I would like to thank all the other partners who have given their unselfish support to this project #MyHelsinkiResidence.

Once again, thanks from the heart! Before this journey, I tried to learn more about this unusual country of Northern Europe, as well as some basic information about the city itself. The only associations that were in my mind before this trip were: Santa Claus and the famous cold weather…

Finland was also my first “station” in Northern Europe, so I did not know exactly what I can expect there. With the help of my colleagues and good friend, famous Croatian blogger Suzana Sab and Serbian Youtuber star Tamara Pavičević, who usually spend a lot of time there because her father – basketball player and coach Mihailo Pavičević – has taken Finlands basketball team to the world championship! These two golden girls were very helpful and only had the patience to answer all my “boring” questions!

The first day was quite exciting because the trip lasted for several hours, because, unfortunately, there are no direct flights between Serbia and Finland. Somehow, little Marko managed to sleep a little on the flights, so I did not immediately get tired of knowing how it would otherwise be on my trips before. We quickly saw the lights of Helsinki, the main capital of Finland.

We just came in our special apartment in Aallonkoti Hotel, we slept very fast as we came, because we knew that next day will be an exciting day. In the morning I got up much earlier than I’m doing it when I’m on the road, so I started to annoy my photographer in the early morning… It was around 5 am in the morning!

As soon as I saw the first rays of the sun, I waited for some appropriate time to go outside to explore Helsinki. First Station – Cathedral of Helsinki (Lutheran Cathedral). That is the famous white building that you can see on almost every postcard from Helsinki and Finland as well. When you search for basic information about Helsinki on the Internet, the first image you will have the opportunity to see is a picture of the Helsinki Cathedral.

My first mission at a very first day here was to visit the sight that marks Helsinki the best. The walking around the city was short, the kind and smiling faces of Finns that morning told me just to follow the tram tracks and at one moment I will see the famous white cathedral. As you can see on the pictures above, we were not the only one that morning we wanted to visit a place that attracted a large number of tourists in Helsinki throughout the year.

The streets of this city are unusual, facades are made partly in a red brick, of course a certain building adorns details that you can just stop for a moment and you will have a feeling like you are in another European country. Ok, the first mission was accomplished, but we also had to rest a bit and we made a little sweet break at the  Karl Frazer café. One of the oldest cafes in Helsinki. Their sweet products are sold all over Finland and their chocolates are well known for their unusual flavours have conquered my heart. If your way leads you to Helsinki, you just must visit this little sweet hedonistic paradise.

After a short and sweet break, it was time for little Marko to make one quick cultural rise, so I decided to visit the Ateneum National Gallery. Many tourists call it “Finnish Louvre”, but I think this museum is a little different. The museum itself is much smaller, but the space is greatly used and has some logical schedule, because it is constantly happening in Louvre to get lost and not to see the specific works of art I came for.

The story of how this museum formed is quite interesting. The Ateneum Museum was opened to the public in 1888, under one roof there were two art schools. One school was a fine arts school, while the other was a school of applied arts.

When the museum was opened, many people felt that it was too far from the center of the city and they did not like it. I think that today everyone is happy with the location of the museum itself because it is located in the centre of the city. Who knows maybe art eventually decided where the “heart” of the today’s Helsinki will be!

Ateneum Museum is an important sight in Helsinki which you should pay a visit. You will spend a wonderful time there maybe few hours and you will not notify how time just flies. The most important part of the museum exhibition is the famous Finnish artist who made this fairy-tale country in the north of Europe famous for.

The picture above is a famous work by a Finnish – Swedish painter Ferdinand von Wright. He was known to the audience for his over-love of birds and landscapes, and he always showed the state of society, through the bird characters. His most famous work titled “The Fighting Capercaillies” can be seen in the picture above. There are several theories that try to explain the plot story of this amazing work, one of the most beautiful stories of great love. As you can see in the picture, there are two capercaillies males who fight for the love of a female… I’m sure that you all heard the phrase “You are like a Capercaillie in love!”. This is a true picture of that expression.

This real little treasury of art in the very heart of Helsinki will change your view of life. The people of Finland are, in fact, quite tied to nature and the cult of nature is very important in their lives. They are trying to live a healthy lifestyle, they are almost not using the cars at all… So, when you are in Finland you will find bicycles on the street, so do not be lazy, get bike and explore Helsinki!

After my cultural blast in Ateneum, I had a chance to see the beauty of the wonderful view from the main hall where artworks of modern art are exhibited. I have to admit that this view on Helsinki is magnificent, we managed to find our place on the bench while my photographer tried to move the bench in the middle of hall… My photographer was annoyed with the asymmetry of location of that bench, so we spent an extra hour time until we could put things in the right place… I do not want to talk about it anymore! 😀 I’ll just let the picture speak for itself this time!

The time in the museum just flew, I did not want to mention the details about photographing the artwork with Capercaillies because it was impossible to come closer to artwork because of the great interest of visitors. What is “Mona Lisa” in Louvre that are these “The Fighting Capercaillies” in Ateneum. Our first official day in Helsinki ended with the visit to this museum. 🙂

The next day, we wanted to check all those powerful myths about the magical city on the water, so we headed to the other part of the center that looks directly to the Baltic Sea. Since the previous day’s tiredness, the second day in Helsinki was not started so early for us, but the kind Elisabeth from My Helsinki, told us that it was always the right time to go to the coast of Helsinki.

I must admit she was absolutely right, because we captured the photo above almost in 1 or 2 pm and it look fantastic. We waved back to the tourists on the cruises, while they were trying hard to salute to Finns, maybe I was not a Finn, but those tourist do not know that fact. I think it meant more to them that people from the shore share the same love for them.

We thought that we were the only one who waved to them, but when we turned back, we had realised that my photographer and I were not alone at all, there were children and adults, which in Serbia is said to be “a crew of 7 to 77 years old.” It was interesting to see those people from the countries of northern Europe are warm and with the open hearts and minds as well.

In the picture above, you have the opportunity to see the Uspenski Cathedral, which dates back to the end of the 19th century and represents the most important Orthodox temple in Finland. The church is located on a small hill, access to the church is extremely simple.

The view point in front of the temple is magnificent and now I have the opportunity to share it with all of you. Helsinki is one true gem of Finland, which every year receives an increasing number of tourists from Europe and other parts of the world as well.

Whether you decide to explore the shores, docks and vibrant markets where you can enjoy in special food which is made from fresh fish or simply want to stay in the city center, Helsinki is there to welcome you with open hands and heart.

The capital of the country from which the world’s most beloved grandpa is coming – Santa Claus and the famous White Nordic Nights, which you may not have the opportunity to see completely because of light on the streets and sky must be very clear, that is much more pronounced in rural, more natural parts of Finland, like Lapland. The Helsinki Region is a little different. 🙂

My dear travellers once again we have come to the end of this first special travel post from Helsinki. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! Don’t worry in a couple of days I will publish a new post where we will continue together to enjoy the charms of traveling and we will continue our adventure in Finland and Italy as well.

At the end of the post, I would like to thank the friendly staff from Aallonkotti Hotel Apartments that made our stay pleasant and we felt like we were at home. The concept of hotel is to stay in apartments of different sizes. The size of apartments depends on your needs. The apartment in which we had the opportunity to stay was specially decorated by the well-known Finnish brand Marimekko, which besides its basic activity – making clothes has its own special line for home decoration.

How do you like this post? Have you ever visited Finland? Did you have chance to enjoy in the magic of the Helsinki? I would like to share with me your experience! If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.

As I promised we’ll see again in a couple of days, so if something new and interesting happens to me, I promise, I will write to you!

Best,

Mr.M

 

P.S. Finally, I decided to share with you a picture of a special fashion post that I made in collaboration with the famous Finnish brand TURO. More information in one of the following posts.

This post is sponsored by Tourist Board of Helsinki – My Helsinki, Aallonkoti Hotel Apartments, Marimekko company and others partners of My Helsinki organisation which kindly help this #MyHelsinkiResidence project. I will mention all of them in some of the next posts. For all these beautiful photos I used Sony Alpha 7r Mark II camera.

 

 

 

 

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