Porkkala, Finland - 20th April 2012
Hei rakas äiti! (Hello, dear mother!)
How are you?
I´m having a good time here with Jeremy and Krystal!
We have been making some nice little trips.
We flew back to Finland. I´ve been flying a lot lately, which is grrrrrrreat!
Here we are watching in the Lisbon airport our plane getting ready for us to get in.
It was a TAP flight, which is a portuguese company. I have noticed certain differences between the flying styles of the companies. The TAP pilots fly the same way the portuguese people are driwing cars - they always land and get up to the air in a very agile and light way, and if there is any air pockets during the flight the air hostesses are giggling delightedly.
First it was very cloudy and we could not see much trough the window.
So we were familiarizing ourselves with the plane rescue plans.
And also the flying route. We were flying over Spain, France, Denmark and Sweden.
The sky got clearer somewhere over France, and we were all thronging in the window.
When we got to our finnish home in Nuuksio we went to see how far the spring had got.
There was still snow, but the first flowers were pushing trough it! We were wellcoming them. "Hi, little flowers! Wellcome back!"
The winters storms had fell some pines. It felt a bit sad, until we saw how the squirrels were allready building their nursery between the branches.
We decided to make a trip to Porkkala, to see if the sea still was covered with ice.
I took some provisions with me.
In Porkkala we built first a fire and put the water to boil to make some coffee, and then we went to walk a bit around.
The sea was still partly on ice in the more sheltered bays.
We HAD to try its firmness a bit..
..until Henna came to the shore too and asked if we REALLY enjoyed the thought of an icecold bath that much.
Haha, we saw a sauna which had escaped from who knows where.
And then we were playing for awhile in the cavities of a pine tree. I wonder how it feels to be a woodpecker. I was trying to peck the hole a bit wider but my beak just started to ache.
On the other side of the headland, which is more open for the winds to blow, the sea was already open! Hooray! We told the sea wellcome back too.
The sun showed up, and we were sitting and enjoying the sounds of the waves and seagulls.
Then we had a little snack.
The coffee was ready too.
Then it was time to start the serious business!
We were making pancakes on the fire!
It was hard to wait them to get ready! There was a wonderful smell filling the air and we were all drooling.
So we attacked, like pack of hyenas, each pancake the second it got ready! (Well, I don´t actually know IF the hyenas would attack pancakes or not..)
I think all of us ate at least six!
Then we were having glögi and let Henna to have some pancakes too.
Some crows had smelled our pancakes, and where sitting in a nearby pine and watching us while we were eating. So we hanged some of the pancakes for them to the trees (doesn´t it look like one of Dalis melting watches!) and wished them a happy spring and nesting season.
Then we had to let our digestion to work for awhile before the trip back home.
What a great day that was!
I´m sending a warm hug to you, mom!
I´ll make you pancakes some day.
Posted Apr 20, 2012, 5:17 pm Last edited Apr 20, 2012, 5:30 pm by Eohippus
[Quote] [View just this post]
Helsinki, Finland - 14th May 2012
Hyvää iltapäivää, rakas äiti! (Good afternoon, dear mother!) I´m this formal just to teach you some proper finnish.
How are you? Your little kiwi bird here is learning something new every day, which is wonderful.
We were visiting Hennas mother.
As you may recall, I have a bit troubled relationship with her cat.
Last time when we were on a visit she tried to eat me.
So I wasn´t overtly relaxed when she was around, even if she was showing an innocent face as far as Henna or her mother
And when they left the room momentarily, the cat immediately started to snarl awful threatenings to me.
"Hullo, little burdie!" she hissed, "did you come for a dinner, huh? Are you the main dish?"
So we thought it better to retreat on the table..
There was some decorative eggs Hennas mother had made herself.
They were very beautiful, and it came to my mind to try how it would feel to do some egg incubating.. never know if I need
that skill in future.
But I had not been incubating for long before the hostile pussy hopped on the table and I had to run.
"Hei, lady! Could you come and take your kitteny somewhere else, please!"
Jeremy and Krystal called for help, and the cats owner came and carried her pet to the kitchen. Phew!
Hennas mother was very sympatethic and served me a wonderful dinner with salmon and njammy potatoes, and promised,
besides, to shut the cat to the kitchen next time I´m coming for a visit.
What a nice lady she is!
Back in Nuuksio we pinched some hand towels from the wardrobe and made a tent.
A little lizard came for a visit.
She had just woken up after the whole winters hibernation and she was very hungry.
We catched some flies for her.
The little brook running near the cottage was much bigger now, fed with the melting snow.
We found the first blue anemones under the bruces. Aren´t they wonderful, mom?
We found more and more of them.
The neighbours are quite envious about the anemones growing here. But why are they then cutting the grass and putting pavements onto their own yards, I wonder.. cannot have both natural beauty and urban surroundings on the same yard, come on.
The crocuses had woken up too. Wellcome!
We made more trips to the forest and to the sea shore.
The sun was coming out more an more and encouraging trees to grow leaves and little toyvoyagers to sit on the rocks.
The water was still freezing, but we could not keep totally out of it.
So it was great to have dry twigs everywhere to build up a fire afterwards.
Gosh how we enjoyed even the simplest food made by ourselves on the open fire!
Here we are devouring some fried potatotes.
We were searching for false morels, but it was a bit too early. Maybe we will find some in june.
I´m sitting here, inside this natures own frame, for everyone to see how picturesque I am.
We went to have some "korvapuustis" (a sort of bun) in the nearest little center six kilometers away.
And then, can you believe it, mum, we flew back to Portugal again.
Next time I´m going to write an update about what we are doing here.
Many kisses from Zoe!
Posted May 14, 2012, 3:00 pm Last edited May 14, 2012, 3:32 pm by Eohippus
[Quote] [View just this post]
Lisbon, Portugal - 24th May 2012
Olá, querida mãe! (Hello, beloved mother!)
Como estás? How are you?
I´m sure you would be delighted to hear me speaking fluent portuguese
with the local birdies. I can now do even the funny nasal sounds pretty well,
like a seagull was telling me when she heard me uttering some interesting words
after stealing part of my icecream.
Next day after flying to Portugal we took part
in a big demonstration.
There was about 250 000 people marching, which is a lot in a country with
population of 10 000 000.
We were marching and singing while marching.
I didn´t know all the lyrics, but I was still singing with my own words which
suited the spirit, I think.
Although some people near me were looking a bit puzzled because it was
the first time they heard so many fish dishes mentioned in a revolutionary song.
There was people pouring red carnations from the windows
for the people marching by, and we got ours too.
They are the symbol of the 1974 Carnation Revolution, which ended the dictatorship.
We were singing \"Grândola vila morena\" which is the most important Portuguese song of revolution, and also "El pueblo unido jamás será vencido" which originates from the Chilean resistance.
Even I know the lyrics for those two.
Next day we went to see another interesting happening -
Festival da máscara ibérica.
It is about the thousands of years old traditions which have their
roots deep in the rituals of the pagan times..
The rituals had to do with such essential things as the cycle of life
- summer and winter, day and night, birth and death and rebirth.
There were folkloristic groups from Portugal, Spain and the
Basque area, all wearing the traditional ritualistic outfits. Although the outfits had of course in some cases taken a more modern outlook..
Henna was so enthusiastic about all of it that she was running like a little squirrel
everywhere, trying to see everything..
Even we toyvoyagers had troubles to run after her.
I´m sure you know something about the morris dance tradition, mom.
Well, it has the same roots, you know. The first of may, the win of summer over winter,
and the short unity and balance between them, which secures the fertility of the land..
It has also to do with the tamed, tilled surroundings of people,
the world they have created for themselves, encountering the wild, untamed nature.
And the encountering of this world with the otherworld.
So, it is all about the opposite ends passing each other in a cycle.
Anyway, it was all rather interesting.
On the main square, Rossio, there were stands exhibiting the traditions from different regions from allover Iberian peninsula.
They were also selling some traditional handicrafts.
They had even some masks to be bought. But they were all too big for me,
and also a bit too expensive.
The food section was more suitable for our limited budget. Happily.
Here you can see bottles of the traditional sour cherry liquor called Ginja.
And cheese! Oh, mom, after herrings and some other fish
I don´t know anything better than portuguese goat cheese!
We bought two.
Now I have to go to help the others to eat some strawberries and cherries!
See you soon again!
Hug from Zoë
Posted May 24, 2012, 11:50 am Last edited May 24, 2012, 12:01 pm by Eohippus
[Quote] [View just this post]
Almada, Portugal - 28th May 2012
Bom dia, querida mãe!
Como estás? Estou muito bem! ( Good day, dear mom! How are you? I´m very well!
I´ve been being a very hard working kiwi bird lately.
Let me tell you!
I´ve been taking care of a very friendly guinea pig.
I was cleaning her cage and giving her fresh water and hay and carrots.
She wanted to cuddle with me all the time.
I was also keeping company for an elderly cat lady, who had just moved to spend her days of retirement for more suitable surroundings in Marias apartment.
She seems to be very satisfied with her new home. I like her company too.
Then I was making food for all of us.
Here I´m grilling some salmon.
The cat lady got her portion too.
Here I´m cooking fish soup in portuguese style.
It has many different fish species.
Here we are eating fish almost every day. What a wonderful country!
We ate the salmon with some boiled potatoes, carrots and cawliflower, over which we
sprinkled some olive oil and lemon in portuguese style.
And we had some rough portuguese bread to go with it.
And olives from Marias parents olive trees, and the wonderful cheese we bought from the Festa da Mascaras.
Just look at this cheese, mom!
I´m sure you would love our meal too!
We had also some strawberries.
There was still a bit room in our stomachs, and so we made some fresh coffee.
And some choc cake, so that the coffee would not feel lonely.
This bunch is for you, mom.
It is a tradition here to collect this kind of bunch in the "Dia de Espiga" which means the day of the Thursday of the Ascension.
The flowers in it symbolize different things:
Ear of a grain plant - bread
Poppy - love and life
Olive branch - light and peace
Wine leaves - joy
Marigold - wealth
Rosemary - health and strength
I wish all of these for you!
We heard that in earlier times it was a custom to decorate hats with fruit, and we tried it too.
What do you think, mom?
Aren´t we lovely?
I´ll write more to you soon!
Kisses and a warm hug from Zoë
Posted Jun 6, 2012, 12:46 am Last edited Jun 6, 2012, 12:57 am by Eohippus
[Quote] [View just this post]
Nuuksio, Espoo, Finland - 19th June 2012
Hei rakas äiti!
"I wish this finds you as it leaves me!" I just read this magnificent sentence in an old book and thought it useful.
It was time to say good by to Portugal again.
Here we are having a "bica" in the Lisbon airport. That is the most common way to have coffee in Portugal. It is rather strong and the cup is almost toyvoyager sized.
People were watching us, when we glided stylishly on the escalators like big cosmopolitans.
Ha ha, we turned our noses towards the ceiling and started to talk nonsense, like "But you have to take in account also the statutory formatting of the portofolio, and the paragraph 7 conserning the coloring of socks."
Good by, Portugal!
It was a bit sad to leave again so soon, but on the other hand, we were all very eager to see if the summer had arrived meanwhile to Finland!
Here I´m trying to watch the air hostesses appealingly with my endearing-little-kiwi bird (in danger of extinction!) eyes so that they would bring us soon something to eat.
It worked! (Only very twisted people can resist the appealing stare of a kiwi! )
When we arrived to Finland we found both a new toyvoyager mate and the northern summer waiting for us!
Here is Brownbeard, standing between me and Krystal.
And the wonderful northern summer is everywhere around us! It is in these Arctic starflowers..
.. and in the unbelievable fragnance of the lillies of the valley,
.. and in the laugh of the horses.
It is in the birds and squirrels busying everywhere, collecting food for their babies, and in these glorious buttercups, who look like little suns.
Until they are ready to be blown to fly and to spread seeds for new little suns over the fields for next summer.
The fresh greenness felt so wonderful and inviting after the already somewhat hot Lisbon, that we couldn´t wait, but just dived into it, into the forest!
Have you ever become drunk of nature, mom? I think we really were. Or maybe we were drunk of summer, I don´t know. But I know we were all giddy, laughing out loud out of pure delight, dancing and singing..
.. and running onto treetops and roaming under fallen trees, and saying "Good day!" to every ant we encountered..
.. and played to be ents from Tolkiens Middle Earth.
Then we came to the lake shore, and grew suddenly silent in front of the beauty of the landscape.
So we just sat there for some time and listened the dragonflies making sounds like small helicopters, the bumblebees buzzing and the waterbirds honking on the lake, and let the summer in to fill us.
But of course that kind of silence is not a very natural state for four lively toyvoyagers, and soon we were hopping again.
The little stream was singing happily too when we jumped over it from stone to stone.
Filled with summer or not, we all soon felt a certain emptines in our stomachs and decided to build up a fire to make something to eat and drink.
Soon we had coffee water heating and a frying pan ready to make pancakes.
It was hard to wait the pancakes to get ready! So I started to distract myself by practising my nest building skills round the hens eggs.
But the pancakes became just perfect! A bit burned here and a bit raw there - just like they have to be made in a forest on an open fire! Njam Njam!
We were also having carelian pastries, which are a traditional food from eastern Finland. They were very good too.
Then we had some very sweet portuguese tangerines we had brought with us to Finland.
We started to head back towards home, but not along the straightest route!
There was so many things to watch and touch and smell.
I just love the smell of fresh hay armed up by the sun!
And also the smell of newly cut trees. Although it is sad to see cut trees..
The bigger stream was flowing slowly, like it was stretching herself in the sun.
I wish I can share part of the miracle of the finnish summer trough these pics with you, dear mom!
Just dive in!
I´ll write soon again, mom!
Have a good summer too!
Hug from Zoë
Posted Jun 19, 2012, 10:15 am
[Quote] [View just this post]
Pride parade, Helsinki, Finland - 30th June 2012
Hei taas, rakas äiti! (Hi again, dear mom!)
How are you?
We have been busy here with all sort of things.
The day before yesterday we wished a good trip to Jeremy, who left sailing towards Germany.
His last night here we spent in a little hut we made out of rhubarb leaves.
And we were having a little party on his honor. The blueberry pie was very njammy.
Tuli arrived the same day, and she was showing all the suvenirs she brought with her.
It was nice to see those things from home, mom. I was thinking of you a lot.
Then we all hugged Jeremy and wished him a safe trip.
He hoisted the sails and was soon going fast across the Baltic Sea.
Maybe he will had some adventures on the journey!
We others returned to home.
Today we took part to the Helsinki Pride parade for equality of all the people, whatever their sexual orientation.
There was more people taking part to the parade than ever before in Finland, about 10 000 people, which is a huge amount in Finland. Great!
There was also many people from Estonia and from Russia, where the situation of lgtb minorities is pretty dark.
For example in Sankt Petersburg, they have forbidden pride demonstrations for 100 years, and it has also been made unlegal to show publickly anything to do with homosexuality. People have been dragged to jail because of walking hand in hand in the street. hard to believe it is part of Europe.
I mean, what we really are talking about is love, and the right to love. Love is the most wonderful thing in the world! It should not be turned into a trouble.
There is even some countries where people are murdered beacause of loving a "wrong person", can you believe, mom?
So that´s why I decided to take part of the parade, to show my sympathy to people around the world discriminated because of love.
And I´m happy I did!
I saw only happy people and smiling faces everywhere around me and became joyoys too, because at least in some parts of the world things are getting better.
It is the first time when there was also the representatives of the finnish church marching for the neutral marriage right!
In Finland it is still not possible for same sex couples to get married, although there is a possibility to get officially registered as a couple. But everyone seems to think that it doesn´t take long anymore for the law to change.
The people in the parade also seemed to be happy to see me!
Of course it is quite natural I draw attention where ever I go, but these people where wawing at me and sending me kisses!
We marched trought the city, and there was lots of people also watching the parade and showing their support. It felt great.
See you soon again, mom!
I wish you are having a good time too!
A big hug from your Zoë
Posted Jun 30, 2012, 7:42 pm
[Quote] [View just this post]
Suomenlinna, Helsinki, Finland - 7th July 2012
Hei, rakas äiti! (Hi, dear mom!)
How are you?
We have been now three days in Helsinki, living in Hennas mothers apartment, taking care of her cats.
Yes.. I´m sure you remember my relations to the striped cat haven´t been very warm. She had tried to eat me twice!
But this time I was ready!
I started to study as soon as Hennas mom asked us for catsitters.
Here I´m hypnotizing the kitteny with my magnetic stare.
First she started to snarl to me and tell me how to cook a kiwi bird for dinner, but under my powerfull stare she soon slided into the hypnotic state, and I was telling her to remember that "kiwi birds are valiant animals. Everytime I see a kiwi bird I start to smile and feel completely non-aggressive, relaxed pussykins."
After waking her up again I have not had any troubles with her.
She just starts to smile and to show me her belly!
What do you say about that, mom?
So, we could eat relaxedly and enjoy our stay in Helsinki.
This pic over the roofs is taken at what time? can you guess, mom?
Well, it is taken at midnight. The sun doesn´t get lower than that here now in midsummer.
It is possible to sit reading on the yard, if we feel like doing that. Here is no mosquitoes, like in Nuuksio.
We have been walking a lot around Helsinki and watching it with the eyes of a turist.
Haha, while other people go to the countryside cottages for their holidays, we left the cottage and came here to enjoy such exotic things as running water and television, trams and shops which are nearer than in ten kilometers distance.
In Kauppatori Market Square I met this artist who is also from California, mom.
He is married to a finnish woman and has two kids, and takes wonderful photographs of finnish nature.
He was rather surprised to meet a californian kiwi!
Haha, mom! Speaking of becoming more and more finn.. here I´m learning to play kantele, which is the finnish national instrument, you know, the one they are playing a lot in Kalevala.
This is also in Kauppatori. There was a guy who is building these extra small kanteles suitable for kids.
And ooooh, soon the mushroom time begins again! The first kantarellis had arrived to the market, so soon we can head to the forests after them again!
The Suomenlinna ferry happened to arrive to to the quay just then, and we hopped in.
I was talking with a seagull on the board. She told about the hurry she was living with at the moment, feeding two little babies. I gave her some bread to take to the babies.
There was a group of canooists coming ashore at the same time with us.
We left the cold stone fortifications alone this time and went for a walk to see the beautiful island nature.
I think the landscapes are really worth of seeing.
I imagined how it would be like to be a seagull living here, trying to find enough food for two hungry babies waiting in a nest built up on the roof somewhere in these old buildings - spying for any crumbles dropping from turists icecream cones. Not easy.
I don´t know if it was the beautiful views of the fresh air or what, but we started to feel kinda peckish..
So we started to watch the landscape, not just as a source of pleasure trough its beauty, but also as a possible spot for a picnic.
We wanted a spot with beautiful view, with shade but also with some wind to keep the mosquitoes away, and possibly with some water because, well, because water is a nice element to sit near to on a picnic.
We climbed some almost forgotten stairs..
..and found our perfect spot for picniccing - on the shore of a small pond surrounded by yellow irises and in the shade of a big willow, a fresh breeze blowing from the sea.
By the way, the yellow irises are in finnish called kurjenmiekka, "the cranes sword".
Do you know what these are, mom?
They are wild chives. They are part of the finnish island nature. We were picking some to put over our pastries.
Then we were having our picnic, pastries with wild chives and lingonberry juice made of the lingonberries we picked last autumn.
After we had devoured everything we sat in the sun and let our digestion to do its job. (It turned out to be a bit too cool in the shade).
Then we sauntered lazily a bit here and there, admiring the fantastic wild vegetation overgrowing the old fortification, and talked what would happen to and in the cities if the human race just disappeared suddenly - young trees growing trough the tarmac, different animals taking over the buildings..
I must say I liked the image we were creating.
There you can see the Helsinki city in the horizon.
Isn´t this beautiful, mom?
The warm temperature (in finnish standards) made the air somehow hazy, and it was hard to see where exactly the land finished and the sea begun.
That hazy area on days like this, where the earth and the sea are mixed with each other, is a gate to the other world, says the old tradition.
The heat and the sun reflecting from the sea all the time made our world to swing and we all started to feel lightly dizzy and it was easy to believe in gates leading to different dimensions.
Henna collected all of us into her pockets "just in case".
I really like the turf and grass and hay covering the stone constructions.
We were walking around and I was somehow taking inside me all the beautiful sights we saw. "This is finnish summer!" I told myself watching the small pier to bind the rowing boats.
And this is also how the summer here looks like!" I thought when watching the glimmering sea.
It is good to keep these things in our hearts in northern midwinter!
You are in my heart too, mom!
A warm hug from Zoë. Henna and Tuli also send you hugs.
See you soon again!
Posted Jul 7, 2012, 11:33 pm Last edited Jul 7, 2012, 11:58 pm by Eohippus
[Quote] [View just this post]
Loiterin around, Helsinki, Finland - 14th July 2012
Hello, dear mom!
How are you?
We are already back in our forests in Nuuksio, but I want to still show you some pics of our stay in Helsinki.
After hypnotizing the cat, Nalli, our days went very pleasantly, mainly just loitering lazily around and watching things and people.
When we stepped out from Hennas mothers apartment and loitered towards west, the first thing we encountered was this market place called Hietalahden tori.
It still works as a farmers market in the morning, but in the summer afternoons there is a very popular fleemarket going on.
We watched the tables, but they were selling mainly clothes and they were not in toyvoyager sizes, so we walked onwards.
Then we saw an art gallery called Forum Box. There was a pride -themed exhibition going on, and we hopped in to see what they had there.
Haha, mom, they had a beard-workshop with piles of colorful tuffs of artificial beard hair and glue to put it on.
These are pics of visitors who have put a beard on.
I wasn´t sure if I would have got the glue out of my feathers.. otherwise I would be posing here looking like Santa Claus!
One wall was covered with cartoons and I spend some time reading and giggling, because they were rather funny.
In middle of the room was this small hut built with cardboard.. I pushed my head in, but pulled it very fast out again, because there was inside a couple with no clothes on.
Then I was admiring these body hair kits they were selling. Would you like to see your little kiwi as "the ape man"?
Rest of the stuff they had in the gallery was such that I cannot put the pics here in the name of modesty.
We walked along and came to the seashore.
Still some years ago this area was in use as a shipyard, but now there is a nice little sandy beach instead.
Although on the other hand I´m worried about this tendency to "clean" the cities from all industry. People don´t see anymore where the real national income is coming from - from the products made and sold. And they forgot that the production of those items requires lots of hard and not-so-clean, real bodily work to be done, when the sounds and smells of the production are nowadays hidden somewhere in the industrial areas.
But anyway, the sandy beach was very nice. We sat there watching over the sea. Somewhere there beyond the horizon is Estonia. Not so far away, only about 80 kilometers. Henna told that in Soviet times it was sometimes possible to see the gleam of the searchlights of their coast control in dark, clear nights.
Walking along the shore we saw many docks full of people waiting for ferries to take them to the little islands. The islands have very popular (and pretty expensive) restaurants where some people like to go on summertime.
We came to the Kaivopuisto park (Well park), and saw this statue called "Odotus", which can mean both "Waiting" and "Pregnancy".
In 1830´s the Kaivopuisto area was a popular spa- and pleasure center for the russian nobility, because at those times it was forbidden for them to make pleasure trips in foreign countries.
We climbed to the cliffs to admire the view over the sea.
And over the city itself.
We went to see also the old observatory.
Then we changed direction and walked towards the centrum. We walked past the catholic german church.
I saw a car with eyelashes.
Then we reached another park called Vanhan kirkon puisto, The park of the old church.
The church is in middle of the park, and it is not so very old, it was built on 1823 as a temporary church. That´s why it is made of wood.
The park is a very popular place to have picnics and get drunk as skunk. (I´ve never actually seen a drunk skunk, mom. Have you?
The interior of the church is rather bare and peacefull, and it has a good smell of old wood.
It was one of the most popular churches in Helsinki to have weddings.
We loitered along again, and saw a plaque announcing that the university museum was open.
We went to see their collections, but they were so wide we lost our patience before we had seen half of them.
This is maybe the item there I liked the most - old information board about the reproduction of bacteria.
The texts says: "At 12 o´klock the bakteria is alone, but at 24 o´klock there is 16 000 000 of them".
The museums collections include items from the first decades of all subjects studied in Helsinki uni.
here I´m admiring some minerals. They were beautiful.
This is the self-portrait of one of the earliest finnish women, who did their masters thesis in the end of the 19´th century.
There was also an antique dentists chair, brrrrrr!
And some old artificial dentures, hee hee.
There was also some banners used in the student demonstrations and other activism.
Then we saw lots of fossiles of odd looking creatures. It is a shame they have disappered, at least some of them. I don´t miss the two meter long isopods much..
We saw also David, who had just decapitated Goliat, tut tut.
We had got enough education for one day, and run out from the museum.
We encountered three tourist guides and asked from them which is the number one thing the tourists normally want to see in Helsinki.
They told us it is the Temppeliaukion kirkko church.
So we decided to go and see it, whatever it was, a church, all right..
Here it is. Doesn´t look much, I must say.
What makes this church such a popular place to visit is that it is made inside a rock.
It looked more interesting inside.
The walls are of course are rock, the cliff itself inside which the church is digged.
But the roof reminded me a bit of those enormous flying saucers in some veeeeeerry educative films I´ve been seeing.
But I think the church was beautiful in its own way, and the atmosphere was pleasant.
I lit a candle there too.
Then we made still a round in the Seurasaari museum area. It is a good place to go while staying in the town. It is so green.
We were admiring the museum buildings, but still more the wonderful green nature.
I was already missing the little red cottage in the forest..
Wow! Do you see how cool deco this little hut house has?
I told Henna we should make something in the same style into our small cottage, and she promised to think about it.
I liked this small fountain in the shape of a russian samovar.
We were pretending to be tired farmhands hundred years ago, resting over the fence after fifteen hours on the hay field.
And then go home and eat a bowlfull of porridge without even salt!
Phew! It is so much better to be 21´th century toyvoager.
I was talking with another seagull. (Why do we say seagull, mom? Is there also a landgull?)
She told she had three babies just having their first flying exercises starting. I gave her all the bread I happened to have in my pockets.
Then we felt our day was full. There is a limit how many touristic attractions a toyvoyager can endure during a day. So we headed back to our home in Helsinki.
Couple of days later we came back to our beloved red cottage, and everything here is like it has been. Onl the years has turned some days older and we too with it.
See you soon, dear mom! A warm hug from all of us!
Posted Jul 14, 2012, 10:40 pm
[Quote] [View just this post]
Nuuksio, at home, Finland - 1st August 2012
Tervehdys metsästä, äiti! (Greetings from the forest, mother!)
How are you?
Your little kiwi bird is doing splendidly!
We have been rather busy little toyvoyagers!
We have been spending some sweet, hot days on the beach.
And learning to holahoop.
And then we have worked hard, helping Henna to wash the carpets.
It is actually quite nice work, and the waterhose we are using to rince the carpets offers interesting opportunities for amusement.
But anyway, I´m happy Henna thinks it is enough to wash the carpets once a year.
The season of berries and first mushrooms is here!
We have spent a lot of time in the forest picking and just eating them until we have had to roll each other back to home like so many fluffy balls.
This is an exceptionally good blueberry year, they say in newspapers (I can already read finnish newspaper text, mom! ), and it really seems so.
Not only there is a huge amount of them, but they are also extraordinarily sweet and juicy this year.
We all have our mouths, hands, wings and faces in funny purple colours these days, and Henna was mentioning a bath waiting for us all if we continue going around so sticky.
The raspberries are also glorious - I´ve not seen even one single worm lurking inside, although some years almost every berry has an inhabitant.
Also the forest strawberries are very sweet this year.
I guess it is because this has been a "traditional finnish summer" (lots of rain, little sun, cool temperatures and a horde of mosquitoes). Well, the mosquitoes don´t have anything to do with the sweetnes of strawberries as far as I know, I just mention them because they certainly are an essential part of finnish summer, but the other factors do - the strawberries grow very slowly in such conditions and have time to create more sweetnes.
I wish I could send some for you, mom.
Some berries end into our baskets too, but I must say the percentage is low..
Luckily Henna just says that to eat the berries in the forest is the best thing we could possibly do with them, because there they have all the vitamins still left.
Of course we always drag the coffeepot to the forest with us.
It is so great to have a pause round a fire, and the delicious smell of coffee gives us new appetite..
Often we have our most interesting discussions round the coffee fire, like for example about what if rats had longer life span than they do. They are so intelligent that they would soon push the humans aside. We were in a bit different opinion if that would be a good or a bad thing.
In such a rainy summer there is many small streams and puddles in forest, and we of course every time encountering one somehow end into them.
The cool water feels wonderful on our hot feet.
One of the most common mushrooms at this time of the year we can find is tooth fungus (vaalea orakas in finnish). They are quite tasty fried.
And another one is cantarelli, which is one of my favorite mushrooms.
Milk caps are also great, but they have to be boiled from 5 to 10 minutes before eating them, because their milk is too irritating for our stomachs.
I don´t know how much you enjoy this mushroom talk, mom. I know you don´t eanjoy eating them so much.. but I´m sure you would enjoy picking them with us!
See my new mushroom hat?
This is a small bolete..
Do you see the enthusiastic expression on Tulis face in this photo? She is just crazy about mushrooms!
Ok, enough mushrooms!
We also found nuts!
There is many groves of common hazel in the Nuuksio area, and the nuts are just getting ripe!
Here, mom! Do you see the nut?
By the way, I didn´t know these hazels are relations to birches.. I was reading a book about European trees and found that out.
We popped out from the forest and walked along a narrow road, watching the beautiful field landscape..
.. you cannot guess what we detected!
A huge strawberry field!
We went a bit nearer.. and tasted a bit (well, mom, who could resist?! )
We tasted just one, and another one, and still another.. and then we had to rrrrrrrrrun back to the forest, because the owner of the field had spotted us and was running towards us over the field, shouting and cursing!
We hid into a hole under a tree, and thought it better to stay there for sometime, until the cursing ceased. Some people are so narrowminded, tut tut.
When we were sure it was safe to come out, we sat in the sunny bush of heathers and giggled almost hysterically to our adventure.
Then we headed back to the little cottage..
..where I cooked a delicious meal for everyone of the mushrooms we had just picked.
Then we sat round the fire again, enjoying the warmth and the dancing flames.
(The fire also keeps the mosquitoes away, but that doesn´t sound so romantic.)
Later at the night we had a full moon..
And a full moon dance.
A good late summer to you, dear mom!
And a warm hug from the whole gang!
Posted Aug 1, 2012, 8:46 pm Last edited Aug 1, 2012, 9:19 pm by Eohippus
[Quote] [View just this post]
Karhusaari, Espoo, Finland - 7th August 2012
Terveisiä merenrannasta, rakas äiti! (Greetings from the seashore, dear mom!)
As you can see my language skills are becoming more and more sophisticated! I ´ve learned many words Henna wishes I hadn´t, but what can I do, there´s nothing wrong with my ears!
How are you doing, mom? I´m thinking about you often, even when I´m surrounded by bugs or fish or other really exciting things - I mean, you know how fixated we kiwis are with that kinda things, so there!
We have been spending wonderful days in the forests, and sometimes nights too, wandering here and there, up and down and beyond, and I´ve been enjoying it all tremendously!
You know, mom, there is almost 250 000 lakes in Finland, and it seems to me like half of them were here in the Nuuksio area - we encounter at least ten different lakes, swamps and ponds every day.
The swamps are drawing different insects like honey.. they come to buzz and to hum around the wild rosemarys, whichs smell fills the air above the swamp.
So they are perfect places to get a little snack.
Me and Tuli spend lots of time there eating.
But in middle of our insect orgies Tuli always spots a cousin in the swamp or lake and dives in.
Then we can see her swimming and diwing and sunbathing on a waterlily leaf, and having tremendously fun!
I started to think maybe it would be worth it to learn to swim!
There she is again! Just look at her, mom!
Doesn´that look inviting?
So I asked her, when she climbed once again onto the dry land if she would teach me to swim.
"You?" she asked, "But you are a bird!" said she.
"Well, so are ducks and seagulls and penquins!" I answered.
She thought a bit and then she said she would teach me, but we should go to the seashore for the lessons.
So went onto the seashore on an island called Karhusaari in Espoo.
Tuli told me to observ fish, the way they swim.
Well, of course I´ve been observing fishes thousands of times, but the motivation might have been a bit different.
Then we were sitting and kicking and splashing the seawater all over ourselves, "to learn to know the element", said Tuli. It was fun!
Then we were cleaning the bigger puffs of algae out of our way.
Then Tuli was demonstrating me the swimming movements in different swimming styles.
And then I hopped in and tried to make the same movements using a small piece of plank as a floating device.
And then we were hopping to the water from the diving board about hundred times!
And just playing and chasing each other in the water and having so much fun!
When we got at last out from the water my feet were wrinkled in a funny way, like the skin of raisins!
I didn´t learn to swim yet, but I´m sure I will during this summer!
Back at home, I made pancakes on the open fire.
Learning to swim makes you very hungry!
We ate the pancake with loads of different berries, and it was extremely good!
I wish you could taste it!
See you again soon, der mom!
A warm embrace from Zoë and from everyone here!
Posted Aug 8, 2012, 12:03 am Last edited Aug 8, 2012, 12:06 am by Eohippus
[Quote] [View just this post]
Taiteiden yö, Helsinki, Finland - 23rd August 2012
Hei, rakas äiti!
How are you, dear mom?
I just came home from Taiteiden yö, The Night of Arts.
It is a happening organized every August.
The Helsinki city is then filled with a huge variety of different art productions, many museums have free entrance, many theaters have open doors to their rehearsals and also many extra plays, and there is lots of different music- and dance happenings on the streets, and every place have longer opening hours.
What I really wanted to see was the "Helsinki Dominoes" - a four kilometers long track of stoneblocks, which run trough the city..
The stones were put on their places by about hundred volunteers, and at six o´clock the first stone in the queue was pushed over, and falling it pushed over the next stone in the queue, which pushed the next one, and so on.
So every stone fell one after other trough the whole four kilometer long route, that´s why it is called Domino, by the domino effect, you see.
The route ended in front of the Lutheran cathedral, where we were waiting too amongst a sea of people.
People where shrieking and hopping and clapping their hands, when the falling stones reached the spot where they were standing.
Some brats were trying to run at speed with the falling stones.
I tried to capture it on a film, but there was too many people with same idea, and they blocked the view.
It´s a shame, I would have liked to show it to you, mom.
This map shows the "Domino" route.
I know the map doesn´t tell you much since you don´t know the city, but at least you get a pic about how long the route really was.
I walked along and saw this "sumo wrestling" happening.
People could put on those rubber suits filled with air and have a sumo wrestling game.
I´m not sure if it was art, but it was really fun!
While we walked Henna told me she was building on a Night of Arts hundred years ago or so an ufo landing site with a bunch of other weirdos, using stones and christmas lights.
I would have loved to be in that action!
Do you spot what is funny with this police car?
- Hah, mom, it is crocheted! Only the wheels are genuine, everything else is crocheted of wool.
It´s made artist Kaija Papu, who says it swallowed over twenty kilos of string and took three years to put together.
I was listening a twolegged elk telling jokes and anecdotes.
And then I hopped to see a nature -themed art exhibition.
There was some works I liked a lot.
I of course phographed those I liked, although I must say I regret now I didn´t photograph one work which was very lousy but made me grin.. ..maybe I go back there to photograph it.
This one I could hang on my wall.
I was watching a magician doing tricks with cards and balls and rings.
He was also a real word artist, his language was full of interesting knots and turns.
And I also spotted the newest chapel in Helsinki - The Chapel of Silence, which represents the new finnish wood architecture.
I liked it. It was really peacefull, and fullfilled its name well.
And then I was admiring this hot air bubble, which was made by volunteers by clueing together old plastic bags.
It was also possible to go inside the bubble, but there was a very long queue.
I went to see still a museum and then we went back home.
I think it was a rather interesting happening!
A tight hug to you, mom!
See you soon again!
PS. Henna and Tuli send hugs too.
Posted Aug 24, 2012, 1:09 am Last edited Aug 24, 2012, 1:29 am by Eohippus
[Quote] [View just this post]
Mars, Universum - 3rd September 2012
Hello, everyone! Hello, dear mom!
How are you?
I´m doing pretty cosmopolitically! Or maybe i should say cosmogonically..
This is going to be a special update!
Henna asks me to tell you she wishes no one gets pissed off, and she´s saying she is sorry if she happens to break some rules on this site by this update, she is not quite sure, but promises to erase it if it offends someone. The idea of it is just to have fun.
Maybe you were already wondering why we are sitting here wearing folio hats..
Well, you see, one day when we had just came out from the forest, where we had spend the whole afternoon eating berries, and stopped onto the corner of the old field to rest a bit, there was an odd flash of light on the sky behind our backs!
We didn´t pay much attention to it, there has been lots of thunderstorms and lightnings lately, so we have get used to them, but then, suddenly..
.. the whole field was full of green light, which made us half blind.
We turned to stare up to the sky, and..
.. oh gosh! There was an ufo gliding over the sky towards the very spot where we were standing and gaping!
The ufo was glowing with lights which chanced colors all the time.
It came nearer and we realised it started to land!
We run like hell behind a pine, and hiding there we were watching the ufo to land onto the backyard of our cottage.
It was a tiny bit scaring, but mainly really really exiting!
What would happen next?
When the ufo had got onto ground we could see there was also passangers inside!
Tuli was pinching my wing and I was pinching Napoleons trunk, when a door started to open on the side of the ufo!
We saw two funny looking creatures approaching from the ufo. They reminded me of something, but I couldn´t quite get the hang of what it was.
They were both carrying a glowing ball of light in their hands, and walked in an odd way, both at the same step, towards something.
We were following them, sneaking behind the bushes, wondering what they were searching for.
When the creatures encountered mushrooms, they rised their glowing balls of light high, and we saw the mushrooms started to glow too in answer!
When they found a fly amanita they stopped in front of it and commanded in fluent english "Take me to your leader!"
The mushroom didn´t answer, but I couldn´t help a giggle, and the creatures noticed us and started to run towards us in amazingly great speed!
We were all running as much as we could, towards the cottage, and the creatures came after us!
Josie, who is the smallest one of our gang, couldn´t keep in our speed, and we run back to her, and then Tuli was carrying her, but we were still too slow.
We could not reach the cottage, so we run to Orkku Oravas gazebo and slam the doors shut after us.
The space creatures were rising their glowing balls outside to better see us, and we heard them to say in chorus: "Toyvoyagers!" and then they disappeared!
We started all to speak at the same time, wondering if it all really was happening and where had the creatures gone and where were they coming from, Moon or Jupiter and so on..
Our musings were cut short, when suddenly our gazebo was rising up into the air!
We shot past the cottage roof, towards the sky.
After the first startled moments I started to enjoy the flying.
We flew over the Finnish lake- and forest patterned land and saw how the trees already started to turn yellow.
We were all just staring, our noses flat against the windows, the wonderfull landscapes gliding below us. Our speed was getting higher and higher, but we were moving differently than in an airplane, in total silence (but our own shrieks and laughter) and in somehow swinging way.
We flew over the Baltic Sea and were flying for sometime near the ground over some fields, all the time in cirkles.
At least we pushed the windowpanes open to see better what was going on, and wow, mom! Now I really know how the crop circles are made!
Then we shot fast towards the sky again, faster and faster ( it felt like being in a veeeerry fast lift! ), and soon we left the moon behind us (or below, maybe, hard to tell in space!)
We landed on a planet, which looked to be just rock and sand.
The space creatures signalled us to go out, and we went to meet them. What else was there to do? Besides, we were very curious!
"Wellcome to our homeplanet Mars, toyvoyagers!" they said.
We had landed near a cave, and we could see many others near by, our hosts asked us to follow them, to visit their home cave, and while we walked they told about the planet and themselves.
They told us they had been following the Toyvoyagers page for a long time, and had started to long for some voyagers to visit their homeplanet too!
So they decided to come to Earth to meet some toyvoyagers, and they choose us in Nuuksio because of my outstanding intelligence Ouch! (Krystal and Brownbeard hit me with a pillow!) Ok, ok, they choose us because of the mushrooms they saw in our every update!
The whole life on planet Mars is mushroom based. They eat mushrooms and use them for lighting their homes, but they also have them as pets, and yes, our hosts themselves are some kinda mushrooms too - they reproduce from spores!
We were a bit thoughfull about mushrooms eating other kind of mushrooms, but our hosts just said "well, you are animals, are you not? And still most of you eat other animals. So how is it different?" And of course it isn´t..
We reached the home cave of our hosts and walked trough the hall, which was dimly lighted by luminescent mushrooms in different green shades. It was beautiful.
The deeper to the caves we walked, the bigger the mushrooms became, and they were glowing stronger light and in every room in diffrent colours!
Gosh, will I remember these mushrooms next time I´m picking chantarellis!
In the most inner space of the cave system they kept what was most valued to them - their children, in big kindergartens where the babies grew up from the soft earth, learned to move, and where they were taken care of communally.
They were almost as noisy as brats on Earth, and very curious about us!
"What kind of mushrooms you are? "Do you have gills or are you boletes?" "What? You are not mushrooms? Huh? What are you then? Walking and talking rocks?"
We had quite a good time with them, but we were starting to be a bit hungry!
So we went out again to think what to do about it.
When we got out from the cave, the first thing we saw was - Curiosity!
Our hosts told us to hide, because if the people on Earth would see our faces in the pics Curiosity is taking, they would go totally mad!
Of course they were right, but still I felt like hopping in front of Curiosity to make faces!
Luckily we always have some coffee and the coffee pot with us, and soon we had a potfull of wonderfully smelling coffee ready!
But guess what, mom!
The smell draw Curiosity there too! The poor thing was already missing coffee!
We asked her to shut her cameras (frantic moments on Earth! ) And then we gave a mugful of coffee for her too.
We also promised to leave her the coffee pouch and our hosts told they can bring more to her, because they plan to visit Earth many times in future.
For our big surprise we saw cows loitering in middle of the big sand plan.
When we asked about them, our hosts looked a bit awkward and would have been shuffling their feet if they have had any!
We remembered the rumours about the alien abducted cows!
"Yes, well, umm, our mushroom fields grow much better with some manure.." they explained.
"But what do the cows eat?" I asked. "There is no hay!"
Our hosts told that the cows were quite happy eating a special mushroom species, which is rare in the sense that it, like green plants on earth, takes part in photosyntesis. Ah, so that explained the atmosphere on Mars!
And the cows really looked fat and quite happy.
We wanted to get back home already, and our host agreed to take us there, but they said they would come back soon often to take us for new visits in space.
The trip back to Nuuksio was even faster than the trip to Mars, because we didn´t stop to make any cropcircles this time.
Our new friends left back to Mars with a big sack of coffee to give to Curiosity.
But they left us a phonenumber we can al if ever we need them.
And their flying saucer left a ring to the turf, and it started immediately to grow white mushrooms, which glow in dark!
So, the folio hats.. Well of course the space travelling is interesting, and I´ll be happy to visit Mars again, maybe once a year, but I want to decide myself when!
Before we made the hats I was also imagining to see fling saucers everywhere!
Henna says this is the water deposit of Haukilahti, for example, but I´m not convinced!
See you soon again, mom!
A warm hug from Zoe and the whole gang.
Posted Sep 4, 2012, 1:09 am Last edited Sep 4, 2012, 1:54 am by Eohippus
[Quote] [View just this post]
Old time fair, Helsinki, Finland - 23rd September 2012
Hello again, dear mom!
How are you?
I´ve been spending lots of time in.. you never guess..
Forest! What a big surprise!
The autumn has come, and we have had floods of rain lately.
But the rain feeds mushrooms, and when it is not raining, we graze amongst them like sheep - picking a bit here and a bit there.
These are Kuehneromyces mutabilis, one of the most common mushrooms at this time of autumn here.
They grow on birch stumps, eating the wood, and we eat them, that´s natures circulation.
One day we found this cosy block of flats, and spend a funny moment playing to be kuckoos of a kuckoo klock at twelve o´klock.
We kuckooed so that the forest was ringing.
A punkish caterpillar came to investigate what was the cause of the awful noise in the forest, and when he saw us he asked if we had escaped some mental institution.
We said that we hadn´t, and then he asked, horrified,
"Oh no, don´t tell me you´ve met my uncle! Not again!"
We said that we had not, and told him we were toyvoyagers.
"Tovoyagers? Oh, that explains it then!" he said and went away.
The talk about his uncle was puzzling me so much that I didn´t even think of eating him.
But even so, the sight of him had made me hungry.. and so we digged from our pockets a gas cooker, an iron pan and two kilos of frozen convenience food, we just happened to have inside them..
We devoured our dinner. Even convenience food tastes excellent eaten in the forest!
Do you remember, mom, how the kids in Enid Blytons books were always eating a huge amount of interesting things in interesting places?
We read all of them during rainy days, and felt hungry all the time and totally cleared the fridge and pantry.
Then we continued our walk, stopping every now and then to nibble whatever we found in our pockets.
And then we met the punky caterpillars uncle!
He tried to get us to taste the mushroom he was sitting on, but we certainly didn´t! No one of us fancies growing twenty meters high, or just to get high..
We came to the sea shore, where we took this photo were we are all saying "cheeeeese!" to the camera.
Here in Finland people say "muikku!" in the similar situation. (It is species of fish).
We came to a small sandy beach, quite empty at this time of year.
You can see how the trees on the other
shore were already turning yellow..
We made a small sand castle.
We saw a wedge of cranes flying on the sky, honking, towards south.
I climbed over a cattail plant an honked an answer to them, and they sweeped a bit lower down and I shouted "meet you in Portugal!"
We left the forest for couple of hours to see an old time fair in Helsinki.
They were selling there all sorts of handicrafts, like these birchbark baskets, and many other things made of birchbark.
I got a present !
Here! See these little birchbark shoes, mom? They are called "virsut", and in the past the countryside folk were using this kind of shoes. Henna told her granny still had a pair like these.
They fit me quite well!
Now I feel again a bit more finn.
These baskets are made of willow twigs.
Then there was a long queue in front of a hut advertising "syötävää" = things to eat.
I got immediately interested.
They were selling a speciality called "muurinpohjalettu", it´s a bit hard to explain what they are, kinda giant pancakes, but very thin, made of barley flour, and originally baked on the bottom of a cauldron.
Then I saw another foodstand.
Here they are making "loimulohi"! Another product without exact translation. They have a fire in the middle, and round it on a suitable distance there are these small wooden planks onto which they have nailed salmon halves with wooden nails.
The heat from the fire is ripening the fish, and at the same time it gets a wonderful smell from the smoke. The wood burning has to be alder, it gives the best taste for the fish.
Here are the ready products.
The salmon is eaten straight from the plank, whch works as a plate.
Actually, the finnish word for plate, "lautanen", means "small plank"!
There was also some horses and some people in oldmodish clothes.
But we came back home, it was our bedtime already!
So, I go to bed to dream about the small sandy beach and the cranes flying over it..
Sweet dreams to you too, mom! And a tight hug from your Zoë.
Henna and Tuli send hugs too.
Posted Sep 24, 2012, 12:18 am
[Quote] [View just this post]
Kärkölä, ski jump hill, Finland - 3rd October 2012
Hyvää huomenta, äiti! (Good morning, mother!)
How is your autumn going?
Ours is going wetly and deliciously and colorfully, meaning it is raining like hell, there is wonderful apples and beautiful autumn foliage.
Here we are in the yard of our little cottage, enjoying the wonderful blessing of the trees.
After eating for two months time only berries and mushrooms (ok, ok, some stray insect, snail and herring too) the apples are a very wellcome variation.
..Ok ok, we have also been eating lots of buns and omelettes, salads and soups, liquorice and icecream. It was Henna who demanded me to add those things, otherwise you would think she´s starving me.
Our method of picking the apples is to climb to jump over them until they fall.
Of course, the more we eat apples, the less we need to jump to make them fall.
When the sun shines (rarely) there is a wonderful sweet smell under the apple trees.
We always leave the fallen apples for wild animals, and there is lots of thrushes, hares, squirrels and deers coming to eat them.
Sometimes the apples have already started to ferment, and then they are even more popular. It seems some of the animals like to be drunk.
Most days have been lately rainy and when not rainy, then foggy. The September in Helsinki was even breaking a rain record - it was 150 years ago last time when it rained so much!
Here we are climbing on a rocky hill on a foggy day, searching for mushrooms and admiring the trees changing colours.
The line of lights shining in the horizon is one of the Helsinki airport runways.
Aha! Mushrooms! I´m sure you guessed sooner or later we would land into that subject again.
These are club puffballs (Lycoperdon excipuliforme), but they were already too old to be eaten.
Yesterday it was a more bright day, and we went for a driwe with Hennas friend.
We were reading the map and choosing the route, favouring as small and less-used roads as possible.
Of course on those roads it is not possible to driwe very fast, but that´s just the idea - we have time to see so much more, and many interesting, remote nooks.
Every now and then we stopped on a promising spot, and Henna and her friend run around searching signs of possible stone age dwelling sites.
Meanwhile we were just enjoying the new landscapes and searching for beautiful stones and such.
We found many!
What odd landscape we encountered after walking trough a small forest area!
We were standing on an esker, formed by a stream which flowed within the huge glacier during ice age. After the retaining ice walls melted away, stream deposits remained as a long winding ridge ( huh? What do you mean I copied this from Wikipedia?)
Now there was a huge sandpit and heaps which were formed of stones of certain sizes - small stones on one heap, bigger stones on the next one, even bigger on the third and so on.Here is the machine which is separating the stones according to the size.
On the other side of the sandpit we found an old wooden skijump hill.
Of course we had to climb up there!
There was lots of stairs to climb, but we had even more will to see the views from the top of the tower.
And the view was certainly worth of climbing!
I was standing there, watching the slide down, and thinking of coming there again in the winter, with a sleigh, when Henna came and lifted me on the level of her eyes and stared me hard and said "I hope you are not standing there and thinking of coming here anew in winter with a sleigh"
Oh dear! She has learned to read my mental processes!
After admiring the views enough we came back down.
We met a local guy who told us that the topmost part of the tower was burn two years ago because some young people had been there having a barbeque party.
The little red building is where the jury of the skijumping competitions is sitting and announcing their marks for the jumpers.
The jumphill is still in use. Many young jumpers start their practise here, before moving to the bigger hills in Lahti.
We continued our trip, and stopped to walk along the shores of this beautiful small lake.
Tuli hopped into the water again, what else. Frogs..
There she goes again!
Kiwi or not, I would not eat a frog anymore, I could not.
We sat there, watching the sun going down, silenced by the beauty of it.
On our way back home we stopped to have some buns.
I wish you´ve had some too!
A warm embrace from the whole gang!
Posted Oct 3, 2012, 6:31 pm
[Quote] [View just this post]
Helsinki herring fair, Finland - 11th October 2012
Heipä hei, rakas äiti!
How are you, mom?
I have been visiting Helsingin silakkamarkkinat again.
Do you remember, mom? I was there a year ago too. It is the big annual Herring Fair Of Helsinki!
The fair takes place in Kauppatori market square, and it is mainly a festival of finnish fish and fish products.
The Kauppatori harbour is full of fishingboats which have come from everywhere along the finnish coast to sell their fish products - plain fresh fish, canned fish, smoked, dried or salted fish, fish pickels in glas jars and even herring pizza and Kalakukko, which is a bread from the Savo area, into which is baked small fishes called muikku (Coregonus albula).
The square and its surroundings is filled with little huts selling those wonderful products, and many fishermen/women were also selling straight from their boats.
I was running here and there, after the wonderful smells, pushing my beak as near the fish as possible and looking the person selling with my famous "poor hungry kiwi baby" -look and it worked every time! I was soon full of little bits they gave me to taste.
There was also lots of fishers from the swedish speaking areas of Finland, specially from Ahvenanmaa (Åland) where they don´t speak finnish, and I was keeping my ears open to hear the swedish been spoken.
During the fair there is also working a jury, giving prices for the best products and also for the most beautiful fishing boats.
This pickled herring get a price this year.
This small boat is selling traditional coast bread, which is very dark and contains treacle, and wooden birdhouses.
I saw there also some other kind of traditional business, like this blind guy playing the hurdy-gurdy.
Many of the boats are serving as restaurants or pubs, selling fish dishes and drinks.
Besides herring dishes I saw salmon- and Coregonus albula food.
My mouth started to water again.
This is the lighthouse boat Helsinki, which was working as a pub. It is hundred years old, and the whole ship is to be bought!
If I win a lottery I would buy it and turn it into a toyvoyager cruiser.
When I reached the festival restaurant area and saw all the delicious looking fish there, my stomach started to shout its emptines!
I couldn´t stand it any longer, I run to buy a plateful of fried Coregonus albula!
I was devouring the fish!
They are some sort of relations to salmon, but they are very small and live in the northern lakes.
I also bought this little salmon to hang on my neck.
See you soon, dear mom!
A warm embrace from Zoë
Posted Oct 11, 2012, 1:26 am
[Quote] [View just this post]