architecture, history, nature, popular culture, traveling

What I Love about England.

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Verdant evergreen plant growing wild (or half wild) literally everywhere.

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Old darkened gates and porches – more often than not leading to private yards of the lucky upper-class people.

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Funny street signs. Do you think that me laughing at this could even be categorized as the ‘famous British humour’?

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Amazing old churches everywhere. So romantic, almost Gothic vibes that make you want to read ghost stories under the blanket with a warm cup of tea…

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Another, really similar-looking church to the one above.

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British song-making tactics and vibrant lyrics. Referring to a quite well-known case of Eleanor Rigby with the actual place which the song got its name pictured above.

Especially in Liverpool these places just exist all around. Am I the only millennial fangirl gasping when realizing that I’m actually walking on that Penny Lane!

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The plant above, Lamprocapnos spectabilis, is called ‘broken heart’ (särkynytsydän) in Finnish. It’s probably one of the first cultured ones that I learned to know when I first became interested in botany as a child. I can still quite vividly remember looking up the plant from a huge gardening edition while visiting the local library as a 6-year-old or something.

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Old railroads and stations almost straight out of Harry Potter! (Yes, you get all the clichés here…)

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Yours,

Miah

architecture, traveling

Kos Town.

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No matter which part of the island of Kos you’re staying, there is always a cost-efficient and quick way of getting into the town centre: renting a bicycle…

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…or taking the bus. One single ticket costs around two euros (and approximately three and a half from Kos town to the airport) and is usually sold by the driver or a ticket vendor who tours inside the bus. I found that it’s also accepted to be a little lost and unsure when you are looking for the right bus – the driver or locals are used to guiding you to the right direction (though the timetables are always found in English from the bus stops).

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I always pictured someone quite affluent living in the building above.

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The beach boulevard of Kos town.

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Another easy way of seeing the town is to hop on into the city tourist train pictured above.

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The harbour where you could buy tickets to a nice day-trip to one of the islands near.

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The stairs above were quite a popular location to be photographed in. And no, the pretty lady above is not me.

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The building (pictured better below) is called the ‘Church of Ayia Paraskevi’ belonging to the Greek Orthodox branch of Christianity.

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After a quick visit to the church, you’re able to head back to the labyrinth-like Kos town via these stairs right next to it.

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The centre of Kos town.

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The supposed tourists above will lead us to explore the Ancient Agora on next post…

Yours,

Miah

architecture, history, traveling, veganism

Tallinn Old Town (part 2).

After providing you guys with some overall

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How many times have I already confessed my passion for the old doors and entrances to historically important buildings? All this decadent romance is just too much to pass for me.

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Many of the cafes and restaurants in the Old Town of Tallinn had this rainbow type of interior that I absolutely adore! Yay, more colour to the life and living…

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A rather mysterious entrance into a masseur’s. The dim lightning even on a early summer day is magnificent!

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As usually, I completely forgot to book a table to the best restaurant in Tallinn, Vegan Restoran V, so I had to settle for taking pics only from the outside. Hopefully a proper restaurant review next time!

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A more in-detail pic of what the boutiques at the Old Town are.

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An old wooden building that could quite well be found from Finland, too. Though I think we would traditionally paint the building with the traditional red ochre paint.

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More pics and experiences coming on part three…

Yours,

Miah

architecture, history, traveling

Tallinn Old Town (part 1).

Hi there – and welcome to the first actual post on the ‘Tallinn series’!

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This is the view after a short walk from the D Terminal’ where at least some of the boats from Helsinki and Stockholm arrive. On the far left you may already see one of the church towers of the Old Town. Okay, there might be easier ways to get yourself there but as an old-fashioned countryside girl I’ve just always headed into that direction.

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A touristic restaurant boat with some interesting historic artefacts turned into show pieces.

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The first glimpse of the old town wall circling the Old Town of Tallinn.

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For me it’s always fascinating to observe how the man-made architecture and nature elements are tightly twisted around each other in every part of any given old town.

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Another church.

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Many countries have their embassies located in the Old Town of Tallinn!

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Absolutely loving this particular shade of green.

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We had a lovely lunch (or late dinner) at a Ukrainian restaurant located on the right side of this street.

Yours,

Miah

architecture, Finland, history, traveling

The Old Town of Porvoo (part 1).

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Yep. This is me.

As I promised you guys yesterday, here’s some pictures I was able to capture for you of one of the six medieval towns in Finland. This time introducing – Porvoo.

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The town of Porvoo is located at the bank of Porvoonjoki (‘river Porvoo’). Since the town has a predominantly Swedish background, the Finnish name is naturally a translation of Borgå (borg meaning a castle and å meaning river). And originally the Swedes gave the town its name after a medieval fortress built nearby the same river.

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The area itself has been vacated since the Stone Age (which is pretty cool in the Finnish context) though the majority of the old wooden buildings are from the 18th and 19th century.

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And what usually tends to happen for anything made out of wood, is that at some point in time (due to an accident or an act of warfare, for example) it’s pretty much essentially going to be caught on fire.

Porvoo is no different from that and in 1760 approximately two thirds of the buildings were burnt to ashes. But what really made a difference was that the people kept the old medieval town plan by simply rebuilding on top of the old foundations.

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Also, the Old Town was almost demolished with an initiative for a new modern urban planning in the 19th century. Luckily, thanks to a very important dude named Count Louis Sparre and the popular public opinion of resistance, the whole scheme was cancelled.

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Nowadays Porvoo is even internationally acknowledged as an important tourist location with a great cultural historical value. The Old Town was also selected as one of the National landscapes of Finland by Ministry of the Environment back in 1992.

I must confess that I’m not much of a nationalistic patriot but Porvoo is a really cool place for even you young punks out there to visit and see. Just saying. They do sell beer there (as the following story proves).

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This is actually a partially renovated version of the medieval Porvoo Cathedral that, unfortunately due to a drunken person playing around with matches, lost its roof in an arson in 2006.

I was only a kid back then but I can clearly recall it being a major piece of news, being a nationwide cause of a moral panic amongst Finns. (Even the ones that hadn’t even been to Porvoo themselves.) Clearly the historic town has a central symbolic value as a some sort of living outdoors national museum – famous for its representation of old architecture that was greatly demolished in other parts of Finland in the 20th century.

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Although population wise Porvoo is currently only the 21st largest town in Finland, it used to be the second biggest ‘city’ in the 18th century. (Of course the area known as Finland was part of the Swedish Kingdom at that time, but you get the idea. Basically we were peasants – not that there would be anything wrong with living off the land.)

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I don’t know about you but the close proximity to the capital area (only a bit over a hour by bus) and unique historical atmosphere makes Porvoo a highly attractive place to consider possibly even moving into some day!

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Yep. Would totally hate living in a street that looks like this. Think about walking down in the winter time with decorative lightning hung around everywhere, snow falling slowly from the sky, someone cooking a warm dinner to one’s family…

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A close-up from the other side:

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The leafless trees form a much needed shadow even for an old wooden house. I mean, the temperatures are probably going to rise due to climate warming anyway…

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With these lovely hydrangeas I wish you a lovely, wonderful, sunny and warm Monday! I hope you enjoyed my first Porvoo post since there are two more coming up in the following days – so stay tuned, you rainbow souls out there…

Yours,

Miah