Ruffled fingers, time to fly

Photograph Ruffled fingers, time to fly by Jere Ketola on 500px

Been out of country for a while, photographing these beauties. Not many things to me are so beautiful as birds of prey, whether they be owls, hawks or eagles. Graceful swift flyers with majesty.

 

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Cool place, cool music video by Haloo Helsinki!

Just wanted to share a cool music video by a Finnish band that I like. The video was shot at a spectacular place in Bulgaria, which is the old communist party HQ or something. Love the architecture in this case, albeit I usually dislike/hate the communist architecture which was very err. plain. Not to mention hating the idealogy and the fact that the communist era destroyed a couple of generations lifes in many countries in Europe.

Anyway, enjoy the music video, I think the understanding of the words is not needed to enjoy it. 🙂 For now the place is a great thing to consider visiting if one goes to Bulgaria. UFO etc. More on this place can also be read at an excellent travel blog by Yomadic here. His travel blog is excellent so you will do well to visit and check out his other posts as well.

Tallinn – cityscapes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every year, at least once it is nice to visit the most southern distcrict of Helsinki 😉 That is the city of Tallinn in Estonia. Divided by sea, yet so near and somehow so similar but different, it is a place where Finns go very often to visit. Oftentimes to enjoy the cheaper prices of alcohol and tobacco as well as well, almost everything is cheaper. A fast ferry will take you there in practically no time at all, and at a cheap price as well. DSC_0451tallinn2The way from where most Finns come to Tallinn. The huge ferry/cruiseships that are constantly going between Helsinki and Tallinn are the slower way to go to and from the city.. 

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Modern Tallinn with some skyscrapers and nice shopping malls etc. A mix mash of modern, soviet and local architectures.

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The old-city, a fortified city from the middle-ages. Beautiful cafes, small shops and restaurants all cohesively in a beautiful composition of old meets new. Walking along those small alleys and roads is always a must when visiting the city.

 

 

Restaudarantday pt. 2

As promised here is the second and final part of the Restaurantday photos.

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Raw food. Chocolate balls 😉

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The friendly restaurant manager.

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Lot of people around in the Kallio district of Helsinki.

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Finnish specialty, Karelian pastry or karjalanpiirakka. With eggbutter. Tasty!

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R.I.P diet.

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Sushi to go?

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Esplanade park in central Helsinki, packed with people enjoying the food festival.

Eagerly waiting for the next restaurantday. 🙂 One of these times I will be doing my own restaurant. But still the craving to be about and see what others are up-to has been too strong to resist.

Whooper Swans, the national bird of Finland

We are closing in on summer.  Still only a couple of days ago eastern and northern parts of our fair land received fresh snow. But today, the forecast is for something altogether different. Soon it appears, that we will be having a hot spell in the region of 22-30 Celsius. Stupendously quick change of weather so to speak. The countryside of Finland is filled with fields, forests and lakes. Photograph Scenic swans by Jere Ketola on 500px Such a view is quite common at the moment, fields growing green, trees getting leafs.  And nour national bird Swan in small groups and large.

Photograph Flight of the Swan by Jere Ketola on 500px
Swans used to be hunted in Finland and that resulted in diminishing numbers and after strong debate it was protected as a species. Eventually the numbers have grown back. Now they can be spotted in small ponds and lakes and of course in large migration gatherings.
The species of swans that are pictured here and that is our national bird, is the whooper swan. They also sing with a beatiful voice from where comes the Finnish name “laulujoutsen” the Singing swan”.
Photograph Nesting by Jere Ketola on 500px A typical nest of a swan. A small pond, with a small island in the middle. And a nest. The swans form life-time “marriages” with their partners so there was another swan just outside the view of this photo as well. Pretty soon there will also be a couple of small ones around as well..

Eating swans

These ones had not yet found their partner and still moving in bigger groups.  Beautiful birds aren’t they?

Twenty reasons to visit Helsinki

I stumbled upon a list of reasons to visit my hometown, so I thought I would link that for my foreign readers.

My favorite:

7 THE CHURCH THAT ROCKS

OK, we’ve allowed ourselves some poetic licence, but not much. The Temppeliaukion Kirkko is not so much made of rock, as carved into a massive block of granite, which was hollowed out to create this space. You have the sensation of being in an underground retreat, with circular walls made of serrated stone, a ceiling of copper wire and light flooding in through 180 slabs of glass in the roof. Check local listings to see if any concerts are being held here while you’re in town; alternatively, drop in late on a summer evening. Sitting back and watching the changing colour of the sky is a spiritual experience in itself.

Read the full story from: Sydney Morning Herald.

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Fare thee well, Tallinn!

This is the third and final post on Tallinn.

As you can see from the earlier photos, there is a lot to see and do in the thriving capital of Estonia. Summer or Christmas time are maybe the best times to visit but whenever you go, there is always plenty to do.

City square

The town square in the old city. There are many churches in the city, some very beautiful to look at.

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Beautiful small details on a street store. Lovely color as well.

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The rain, a constant companion on this trip.

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Old well on the street. I can almost smell the history of a place looking at such details.

Window flaps

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No trip would not be complete without enjoying some of the finer things in life.

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Excellent cake, a great treat for a pause from roaming the streets.

Promenade

Range Rover

Again with the contrast of old buildings in bad condition and a brand new Range Rover. Lovely car, would be great in Finnish winter or in the Sahara..

Punk is not Dead

Punk is not dead!

City walls

Citywalls still stand.

I highly recommend anyone visiting Europe to visit Tallinn. Also a fun thing to do would be to visit Helsinki and Tallinn both. For the budget minded Tallinn is the better bet though..

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Streets of Tallinn

Continuing on the first post on Tallinn.  Sorry for the very slow updating, work has been totally immersive and the last thing on my mind after a workday has been to sit on the computer and type.

This post is mainly photos of Tallinn, street shooting so to speak. As cities go, Tallinn is, very friendly place to photograph and there are excellent backdrops for a nice background. Ultimately these photos may not be the best I have taken, but I like the mood an feel they can convey a little bit of the spirit of the city.

As is evident from these photos the weather was damp to say it nicely. But this of course can have its positive sides as well with reflections etc. Just a matter of spotting the positives I guess.
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Small side streets for pedestrians in the old city.

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The old city is mainly cobblestone so good shoes are a must.

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Great hat!

Hand in hand

To hold the hand of ones lover makes even the worst weather a bliss.

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A bank, and in front a Mercedes S65 AMG.. Somehow goes to show how the bankers get rich while the rest of us well.. Don’t..

Street

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Students mingling on the streets in the afternoon.

Reflections

Reflections. This scene immediately caught my eye. Lovely reflection and just a bit of waiting to get the people aligned in the right place.

All photos taken with old but trusty digital dinosaurs by Nikon.

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Tallinn

Tallinn is the capital of Estonia and alongside Stockholm one of the most popular travel destinations for us Finns. It is popular to visit Tallinn either on day trips or on cruises. A good way to enjoy a bit of time outside of the homeland. Finns and Estonians are related and in many ways the countries are quite similar, even the languages are quite close, even though there are apparent differences in the languages as well.

Viru Hotel

One of the landmarks of Tallinn is the Viru hotel. It was build in the Soviet times but has since been completely renovated. Alongside a couple of newer high rises the Viru hotel is one those building you can use to calibrate your inner GPS to where you currently are in the city. Our hotel was located close by so it was even more convenient to navigate via the Viru hotel.

Tallinn city centre

The modern business district has big malls and high rise buildings, the sort of cityscape you can see in major cities across the world. It used to be very cheap to buy clothes etc. in Tallinn, but the prices are rising evermore and nowadays, compared to say Helsinki, only food and drinks are noticeably cheaper.

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Marketplaces are the ones were you may find good bargains on clothes, however the closer you are to the tourist attractions the more you are likely to pay.

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Lot of handmade, local clothes and apparel were to be found in this “turg” ie marketplace.

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Flower shops close to the entrance to the old city.

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And more business done along the sidewalks.

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Autumn was at the point where the few last leaves were yet in the trees, and the yellow and green giving way to darker colors.

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The old city is lovely and cosy, lot of small shops and cafés to be found.

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Some of the shops and restaurants take full advantage of the heritage of the old city.

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HĂ€me Castle

There are a few medieval castles in Finland. One of the newer ones and in excellent condition is the HĂ€me castle, which is located in the city of HĂ€meenlinna (=HĂ€me castle in Finnish). The city grew around the stronghold more or less so the name being the same is not an accident.

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HĂ€meenlinna is located about 1.5h away from Helsinki so it is easy to visit. There is a museum there as well and also the possibility to roam about and enjoy the lovely views.

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Like all proper buildings of stature the proportions are immense. You feel small beside the building.

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Nordic castles differ from the type of castles depicted in Hollywood movies due to the fact that there is and has always been this thing called winter here. It has always been essential that the castle have a proper roof on it as well as it being defendable in the winter and maybe a bit of warmth as well inside the building. Think the fortresses on the Wall in The Game of Thrones.. Oh well, we are colder than that 😉

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Cobbled pathways, nasty on the foots, especially for the ladies in heels. But on the other hand they used to have a little different boots and shoes back in the day.

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Nice moat! It is easy to imagine how difficult a place like this would have been to attack with the defenders shooting and throwing things at you.

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The sun slowly fading and twilight taking over. As you can see the leaves are falling.

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Lakes are a natural part of Finland as well, this one is actually a system of lakes so it was one of the reasons for the location of the lakes, a strategic position.

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