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.

red

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

Umbrella

The rain, a constant companion on this trip.

Well

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

Window flaps

coffee

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

cake

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..

More tk.

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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.
street3

Small side streets for pedestrians in the old city.

in the rain

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

hat

Great hat!

Hand in hand

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

bank

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

students

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.

More tk.

Sri lanka pt2

Continuing from my first post on Sri Lanka.

local food

Curries!  For a foreigner the cuisine of Sri Lanka is pretty wondrous and very very hot, as in chili and curry everywhere! There are so many different varieties of foods that I cannot say I am any expert after only a couple of visits to Sri Lanka. Suffice to say that the food is delicious and after a while you get accustomed to the hotness and start enjoying it more and more. Locals use their right hand to eat but there are usually spoons or forks available everywhere for the random visitors and of course in the more expensive places you have the full fork, knife and spoon available. Rice is the main staple of the local dishes with chicken and beef used often as well. There is a wide variety of vegan foods as well.

For dessert expect to get fresh fruits or curd with syrup (a sort of youghurt).

at wor

Working the garden.

flowery 2

Lovely flowers to enjoy.

flowery

Lot of flowers or plants are the same we in Europe might buy in a flower pot but in the tropics they are practically trees.

lizards

There are of course small and big varieties of lizards. Geckos are everywhere and I for one like them for feeding on those pesky little mosquitoes.

jackfruit

One of the nicest food fruits you can have, the Jackfruit. Great to eat fresh and cooked.

rays of light

Monsoon rain with a bit of sun glimmering in the horizon.

monsoon

Sun setting and the dark monsoon clouds in the sky. Three-wheels and motorcycles are widely used form of transportation all over the country. Good for getting around cheaply, not so sure about how safe they are. On that note its very sad to know that everyday 10 people die in traffic accidents in Sri Lanka. Most likely the reasons are bad driving education and small roads with lot of traffic. There is also a popular transportation style of 4people on the same motorcycle so when accidents do happen they can have a very high toll on lives of people. It is however good to note that the situation is getting better with more strict enforcing of traffic rules and the building of better roads as well.

More tk.

Sri Lanka pt 1

As an avid traveler/photographer I always have loved the possibilities to visit a little bit more exotic countries. I have spent years abroad so there is always a strong calling to go visit new places as well as re-visit interesting place. Sri Lanka has been present in some my last few posts in the form of different monochrome shots. I would love to share a bit more of this lovely land and my trip with you.

Sri Lanka is located on the tip of the Indian sub-continent. The country was earlier known as Ceylon and some of the tea that is imported from Sri Lanka still carries the Ceylon name proudly. If you are a tea person, you will probably know that Sri Lanka tea is one of the best known and widely used teas. The country is the second biggest importer of tea in the world (for many years it was the biggest but apparently at the moment Kenya holds the top spot).

Climate wise the country is very warm and humid being located just a bit north of the equator. As Asian countries go, it is not as highly populated as some of its regional neighbors, but over 21,5million people live on the island with a couple of million living abroad. Ethnically the country is divided into two main groups, the Sinhalese and the Tamil. Both people are also represented in India and the country and its culture has quite naturally some similarities to the cultures of Southern India.

In the time of the British Empire Sri Lanka was an integral part of India and at that time period also the tea plantations grew and a great legacy was built. It is only a fluke of nature actually that Sri Lanka is known of tea instead of coffee as they were growing it before but a bad crop in the early 19th century affected those plans.

Sri Lanka is very interesting in that it is very diverse country. There are beaches, jungles and mountains. Wildlife including leopards, crocodiles and wild elephants as well as a wide variety of birds.

tabletop
Tabletop mountain on the road between the capital city of Colombo and Kandy. Going up to the mountains and the region where tea is grown is something I would recommend anyone visiting Sri Lanka should do. Even though the 130km drive takes around 5.5hrs it is worth the bother.

The views on the road are stunning as well as the difference between the lifestyles of the countryside vs the capital.

scenery

City of Kandy is  a major center in the country and one of the central places of Buddhism as well. The city is located in a valley with a lake and a great river running by it.

buddha

The main religion is Buddhism and it is visible everywhere with statues and monks aplenty.

rush hour

Rush hour in Kandy is relatively cosy affair versus the likes of Indian cities but there is a lot of bustle still.

water

Selling water on the high street.

mahaveli 2

Jungle in the monsoon season, in the lower corner the Mahaveli river which along with the mountains dominates the Kandy area.

mahaveli

Mahaveli from another vantagepoint.

scenery 3

One of South-East Asias biggest Golf-courses. is located close to Kandy.

insects

Beautiful flower being ravaged by beautiful bugs.

hindu

Hinduism, the second dominating religion in the country has a lot of followers especially in the Tamil population. Small shrines and big temples can be found almost as often as Buddhist shrines.

flower

A flower that looks like a bird made me look twice and take this photo.

More tk.

Budapest, fare thee well o beautiful city

shopping hall1
Budapest has excellent possibilities for the tourist wanting to spend some money on shopping. Besides the usual shopping malls and high street shops there is this fine looking building located on the Pest side of the Danube.

shopping hall

The size of the hall is in one word huge. For sale, pretty much everything you could want, including food, clothes and souvenirs. A must visit for the athmosphere (and great for those last day gifts for family and friends). Beware, you might end up buying all sorts of small items you did not guess you needed.

at the pool

Another great place to visit is Margaret island. It is a large island in the Danube. There are paths for runners, a couple of spas, swimming pools and small kiosks on the island. As well as a beautiful fountain which has musically coordinated shows every half-hour or so. A great place to cool down after a day spent walking in the city.

banks of the danube

The banks of the Danube are well contained in the city area. There is actually a roadway beside the river which is bi-annually flooded for a while which is pretty interesting.

homeles

As in so many big cities, there also homeless people in Budapest. Probably more so nowadays than before the fiscal meltdown of 2009. Very sad.

pool

Budapest has many spas. There are hot-water springs under the city so the water is oft times warm. The best spas have +40 pools like this one in the picture. Other places have pools that are lifted straight from Ottoman style spas of old. Some even resemble the old Roman spas. Great places to visit, I highly recommend at least one spa visit on a trip to Budapest. Ladies especially will love it.

Budapest definitely lived up to my expectations even exceeded them in many ways. I hope to visit the city soon again.

Budapest, city of food and sights

church
There are many a beautiful sight to behold in Budapest. The Mathias church is one of those. Named after the national hero and first king of Hungary the building is fabulous. It is one of the undeniable central spots of the Buda side.

delights

As far as foods and snacks go, I would advise on eating in restaurants, this small assortment sold near the church was suprisingly one of the most expensive prices of the whole trip per size of snack. But at least it tasted good..

corridor

There is a lot of nice architecture and details to be found. I liked the form and light of this corridor.

goulash
Goulash is one of the must have dishes in Hungary. Tasty, nutrituous and available almost everywhere as a starter.
duck
A well made main dish of duck meat. Not a dish I often eat but well made and very tasty.

icecream

A little dessert to compliment the fine food.

horses
Normal tourist attractions in many cities but a horse ride does have a romantic feeling.

scenery

Another view of the city of Budapest.

Budapest, second part

Continuing on the previous post on Budapest.

freedom
One of the must see places in Budapest is Gellert Hill. It is the highest point in the city itself so it is a natural spot for sightseeing.

On top of Gellert Hill there are several interesting spots. The statue of freedom /liberty can be seen above. Close to the statue there is the citadel which was used by amongst others the nazi as well as later on the freedom fighters of the uprising against Communist rule.

scenery2

The view from the hill is lovely and well worth a climb to the top.

presindential

The Hungarian Presidential palace is located near the old royal palace in the old town of Buda (castle district of Budapest). There is a change of guards daily if you are into that sort of thing.

parliament house

One of the most internationally known sights is the beautiful parliament house, which is massive considering the size of Hungary. Very pompous and lot of flair but that seems to be a national pastime. The building is almost as large as its British counterpart, but six times less people, go figure.. But nonetheless a beautiful building.

fluet

A local playing a flute.

starbucks

The influx of Americana: Starbucks, KFC can be seen in Budapest. I have always wondered about the dominating stature of Starbucks considering how expensive/average tasting their coffee is. Especially compared to so many proper cafés in Europe.. But anyhow, their business is thriving everywhere it seems.