Posts Tagged ‘pictures’

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. 

John Burroughs

Clare and I walked on water today. It was frozen, but that’s besides the point. We walked all the way to an island in the middle of the lake and it was exhilarating because, even though we were told it could hold a car, we were also a bit unsure  of how smart we were being.

But we’re here to tell the tale!

Today’s hike was a little slick and you had to be careful of your footing. No falls, though!

What I’m loving most about the Finnish countryside is that, for the most part, you live off of what is available. Granted, there is a small grocery store nearby for items like milk, cheese and bread,  but our water comes from the well; the firewood is stockpiled in the summer from the surrounding woods;  blueberries and strawberries are starting to grow everywhere and they’re yours for the picking in the summer. With that ease of access comes a different sort of serenity than I’m used to. We eat well, sleep well and enjoy our surroundings.

In other words, I highly recommend Finland!

Fires are a constant source of heat.

The constant fires require a constant supply of wood.

I love the door handles here. They're all unique.

The pine forests grow alongside the birch forests.

Footprints in the snow.


Venturing out onto the frozen lake!

I was hoping to see a fish looking back at us.

Looking back to shore.

Resiliency: the reeds grow despite the thick ice.

Angels in the snow, on the lake.

Making our way to the island. No turning back!

Outhouse lovin'.

A man of the woods.

The ice didn't crack! We made it!

Red rocks and lichens.

Right where she left it.

More stored boats.

The forgotten exoskeleton of some critter.

Bows of boats.

A contrast: greenery in the snow.

Green logs.

The green eyes of Pat the cat. We're unsure of his/her gender, but he/she is very loving.


Read Full Post »

For those of you who don’t keep up with the news, haven’t gone outside, or were sleeping through the winter here’s what happened: we barely had one.

While my hometown of Cleveland is experiencing 60 degree weather this week, I’ll be enjoying the weather they never had. Don’t laugh! Most people complain about the four seasons and claim to be happy that we avoided most of the snow. I admit that I enjoyed spending my lunch breaks walking around in the spring/summer weather we have had, but it wasn’t until I landed in Finland that I was reminded of what we missed.

Icicles in the sunlight.

Skinny birch trees abound.

Moonlight approaches.



Leaving the city behind.

Skyline of trees.

I’m thrilled to be surrounded by so much wildlife. The mixture of white birch trees and evergreens is crisp and scenic. I particularly like them because they’re very narrow and you find them everywhere–even surrounding the large cities. There’s a law that when the trees are cut down they must be replaced. There’s also a law that allows people to hike on each other’s property as long as they are not hunting or causing damage; I will be taking advantage of that!

Hei hei! (Bye!)

Read Full Post »

…in a Vaporetto (water bus).

Contrary to what the posh British woman sitting next to us on the ride to Venice thought, I was thankful that there was no bridge built to connect the islands of Venice to Italy’s land mass. That’s why Venice is sought after by travelers.

It might not seem like the city had an impact on me, considering I’ve waited more than two months to write about it, but I have a hard time believing I was ever there. Two days in Venice was a gift, but also a bit of a tease.

Our arrival to Venice had the potential to ruin our take on the city, what with the sloshing and steady stream of rain. After wandering aimlessly down alleyways in search of our B&B, we made the right turn and stood outside the door like drowned rats.

But clothes dry and it was nothing a hot shower and quick nap couldn’t fix. By the time we emerged to see where we were, the rain had stopped and we bustled through the narrow streets, glancing into the high-end fashion stores and browsing the local shops. A delicious dinner of pasta, wine and chocolate mousse was a great way to end the night.

Our overcast view of Venice, arriving from the airport. Still beautiful.

Walking through the alleys; it's very easy to get lost.

A door into the water.

Reflections in the restaurant window.

Masks galore!

Gondola artwork.

We woke up the next morning to hear our host, fittingly named Michelangelo, talking excitedly in Italian. A quick glance out our small window revealed that the sun was out. We spent the day hanging with pigeons (or, rather, them hanging on us) and walking around to see what we could see. We also took a Vaporetto to Murano island, but I’ll post those pictures later.

A loyal companion...or is he the artist?

A less typical Venetian boat.

And a more typical Venetian boat.

Pigeons are everywhere in St. Mark's Square.

Entryway to St. Mark's Basilica.

Columns in St. Mark's Square.

Pink glass.


Read Full Post »