Thursday, December 30, 2010

0, 2, 13, 22, 33, 92

These are the numbers of my year 2010.

I haven't been working at all during the year and therefore the number of working days is pure 0. This has been a exceptional year on my life so far...

During the autumn I managed to break a record on a 2 long distance race, half marathon and Pirkan hölkkä (33 km). It seems I have been doing something correctly, despite of getting older and slower I was able to achieve these remarkably results.

Running half-marathon

On the summer I visited on 13 new lighthouse on the Baltic Sea by kayaking. Currently I have visited already on 22 lighthouse by kayaking. On the coming years I hope to be able to continue to paddle on the Baltic Sea and have a chance to visit still unconquered lighthouses, there are still 17 of them...

Kayaking on Kallan lighthouse

I was travelling and visiting 33 new countries from Bolivia to Ukraine. Ukraine was my 92nd country to be visited. Let's see if there will be new countries to be visited next year :)

Travelling in Ukraine

I learnt new skills during the year. I learnt how to make kayak roll, how to make fire without matches or lighters and how to sharpen knives and axes with sharpening stones. I did a bit sailing too and I hope next year I'm able to continue to deepen the knowledge of these newly acquired skills.

Practicing kayak roll

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Loud, crazy, colourful, dirty - Tirana is simply fascinating

Somwhere in Bosnia & Herzegovina

Trip has continued through Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro to Albania and Tirana. The touch of socialism has been following all the way down, but when it has been mixed with post-socialism with trendy cafes, shops, bars, beautiful young people, the experience has been somewhat, how would I say it : confusing and surprising.

And  brand new Hummer at the street of Tirana

Tirana, as an example. There's ultimate poorness and greyness in the buildings, older people, roads, vehicles, etc... At the same time side by side you can see trendiest wifi-cafes, trendy youngsters with trendy clothes and Hummers and Mercedes cars.

On the other side of trendy cafes : Beach cafe at Tirana

 Mother Teresa was born in neighbour country, Macedonia and it's capital Skopje, but this is Mother Teresa's area as well. I wish joyful and merry Christmas to everyone, especially the poorest of the poorest in this area, but at the same time all of you, who have much much more than these people.

The arms of Mother Teresa

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Night at jail

My jail at Ljubljana

Well, the trip has continued well. Last night I was spending at jail in Ljubljana, but it was a lovely place. The hostel Celica has been reconstructed as a modern hostel and art gallery from former prison. I recommend it for everybody, if you just need accomodation there...

Christmas lights at Ljubljana

During the snowy and cold days in Slovenia and Croatia I have been enjoying local belo/crno kuhano vino, which is glögi as Finnish. On the streets of beautiful cities like Ljubljana and Zagreb people are gathering close to heaters on the terraces and sipping warm kuhano vino when snowflakes are slowly coming to the ground. How lovely athmosphere it has been.

Waiting train to Zagreb at Ljubljana station...

When it started to snow, when I was still in Italy, you can guess what it meant. Right! The whole train traffic was in chaos just like in Finland :) Pendolinos!!!!! Immediately when I entered Slovenia and Croatia, these Eastern Europe countries trains has been on the schedule like swiss clocks, although there has been heavy snowfall during yesterday!!! Tonight I'll be sleeping at Zagreb and heading tomorrow into Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Market at Zagreb

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My 3rd Interrail

Christmas market at Monte Carlo

Has started fluently. This time I'll be focusing on the Eastern Europe + giants of the Europe, i.e. Monaco, Vatican city and San Marino.

Ice rink with yachts background

I started with Monaco, admired the Christmas markets at the harbour and the ice rink just in front of the huge yachts anchored on the bay. Then I took the train and jumped to Vatican City, which was beautiful during the night. The police were guarding the Basilica di San Pietro - church and the plaza tightly and I got a few notes from the police... All in all the night went on in a quiet Rome / Vatican with photographing and sipping some wine and grappa.

St. Peter's Basilica at night

Now I'm in snowy San Marino, which appears to be a lovely and beautiful place to visit! Need to come here summertime again...

Snowing at Rimini (close to San Marino)

After San Marino I'm heading towards the Eastern Europe and starting from Ljubljana, Slovenia first.

Street view at San Marino

Monday, December 13, 2010

Fire & ice

The theme for previous 4 days at Rovaniemi was pretty much fire & ice. We were practising how to make fire without matches at outdoor conditions. It was roughly -20C degrees at Rovaniemi and 30-40 cm snow. This skill can save your life and it's essential you are able to make the fire reliably and fast. I managed to light the fire in 35 seconds, excellent!

How to fire fight a dripping fire

During the weekend we had a fire fighting practices of different fires at the local fire station.


And we learned how to sharpen axes and knives with sharpening stones...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Private show at balcony

View to the Independent Finland from my balcony

It's great to have a private firework show from my balcony every year at Finland's Independence day at 6th of December. Thanks goes to the city of Tampere !!

Fireworks at the heart of Tampere

Tour skating at Näsijärvi

Ready for skating

It was a perfect saturday morning. Temperature was roughly -6 degrees Celsius and the wind was light. At 9 AM we headed to the shore of Näsijärvi lake, from where we would start a skating trip on a frozen lake. Näsijärvi was totally frozen two days earlier and the thickness of the ice would be sufficient already for the skating purposes. The thickness of the ice will increase roughly 3 centimeters per day and therefore it would be at least 5-6 cm right now.

On a way to Pallosaari island and back to the shore, we met a guy, who were measuring the thickness of the ice with the auger. He told us that the thickness were 5 to 10 cm depending on the thickness of snowlayer on top of the ice. All in all we had great 2,5 hours skating trip and now I'm feeling the first skating exercise this winter in my body... All muscles are sore, but it was worth of it, every second.

Break at Pallosaari island. Drinking hot chocolate.