Tuesday, March 27, 2012

CCCP, Valio, Tarja Halonen and Greek temple

It's like in Uutisvuoto, what's the common nominator for all of those items at title ?

Answer is : Jerevan at Armenia

I managed to destroy (literally eaten) whole CCCP, which I bought from the store in the center of Jerevan.

I'm going to enjoy and eat CCCP

At the same store there were butter available made by Valio. The other Finnish company visible at streets is not surprise for anybody. The name of the company starts with N and ends with A.

FIN was competing with CCCP at the store

When I was visiting Genocide museum of Armenia, outside at the yard there are trees, which are planted by presidents or state's leaders all over the world. Our Tarja has been here on year 2005...

Tree planted at Genocide museum at Jerevan

It's shockingly old civilisation surrounding Jerevan city. The oldest structures and building are even 2000 years old like this temple, which has been  built 3rd century B.C. influenced by Hellenists.

Garni, 2000 B.C.

Four days at Jerevan ended with the trip to Cognac factory, Ararat. When exported Ararat can't use cognac name, but it's named as brandy. However it's the one of the most famous brandy brands in the world.

Cognac tasting at Ararat factory

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tbilisi and Jerevan

Tbilisi seen high from the fortress

Spending one week at Caucasus and visiting Georgia and Armenia was booked at the end of March. I was flying with AirBaltic via Riga to Tbilisi and spent first couple of days in the capital of Georgia. The whole city is full of construction, when old houses are replaced with newer ones and pavements are repaired.

Rustaveli avenue at night

Tbilisi is located in the valley surrounded by Caucasus mountains and therefore there were strong wind blowing through the valley at that time. Temperatures were just above zero and in sunset even +15. It was quite chilly though, springtime is just to begin here.

Majestic Mt. Ararat mountain

The bus ride from Tbilisi to Jerevan, which is capital of Armenia took 5 hours and we had to cross Caucasus mountain range. The road went up to 2 km altitude and there were half meter snow next to the road. The bus arrived at Jerevan though safely. Jerevan is located close to Mt. Ararat and is really nice modern city. The temperature is bit lower than Tbilisi, because city itself is a bit higher appr. at 1 km.

Khor Virap at the foot of Ararat

Armenia was the first country to have Christian as a state religion and Khor Virap was the place where all that started. 

Views to Ararat from Khor Virap

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Start at Rena

14500 skiers was skiing this year Norway's biggest and most famous long distance ski race "Birkebeinerrennet". It was tough 54 km over the mountain range from Rena to Lillehammer. Total ascent during the course was over 1000 meter.

First 13 km uphill section successfully passed

At the way to Norway our bus stopped at lunch at Mora, just next to Finish line of Vasaloppet, which was skied couple of weeks earlier. There were absolutely no snow left at Mora anymore. Amazing that ski race was held just 2 weeks earlier. Perhaps I'll cross this finish line at some day...

Vasaloppet finish line

On the way back to Finland we stopped at Falun, where World cup finals 2012 were held. Dario Cologna and Marit Björgen were clear winners on this last world cup race this season. It was amazing to see how easily world elite skiers climbed "Mördarbacken".

Climbing Mördarbacken at Falun WC finals

Monday, March 5, 2012

Israel & Jordan

At Petra

It was time for travelling and this time the destination was selected from Middle East. Flight to Israel and one week vacation around Dead & Red Sea was waiting.

The old city of Jerusalem was full of history with odd mixture of Jewish, Christians and Muslims. The city has the most holiest places of these religions and you couldn't walk without noticing it. The old city has amazing maze of narrow alleys, where you can easily get lost. One of the most famous ones is Via Dolorosa.

At Via Dolorosa

It was only couple of hours drive from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea and health tourism paradise... There were bunch of Russians enjoying the effects of the salty and mineral rich sea water on multiple spas and pools. It felt like being at Finnish spa or skiing center after the new year, when every place is full of Russians.

Dead Sea elevation -432 m, altitude at Polar little less

Eilat was only couple of hours drive from Dead Sea and it provided handy border crossing possibility to Jordan. Jordan has Petra, an ancient town carved into rock in the middle of desert. Petra was recognized as  a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The rock town of Petra is just amazing, it might not be as impressive as Machu Picchu, but the entrance through 2 km narrow canyon is already impressive. Definitely a place worth of visiting.