architecture, Finland

Porvoo Landmarks.

Even though there are dozens of posts about Porvoo in my blog, there’s really not one all-encompassing one addressing the most famous landmarks or the general vibes of the Old Town. So here is one for you guys now!

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The red granaries above have been standing beside the river since the 18th century when they were first painted with the traditional type of red ochre paint. Nowadays they are used as apartments, restaurant and small shops.

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The gorgeous Porvoo Cathedral was build on top of a hill in the 14th century which makes it one of the oldest churches in Finland. It’s also holds very important historical value as the venue of the Diet of Porvoo that took place in 1809. According to the general historical interpretation that’s when Finland originally become an autonomous state (under the Russian Empire).

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The Cathedral has been burned or otherwise destroyed or tampered multiple times throughout its colourful history. The building we see today is the end product of another reconstruction after the last arson that sadly took place in 2006.

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Just look at the marvellous work of craftsmanship!

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If you visit the small plaza right next to the Cathedral, you can find yourself walking in another time – an experience completed with the sight of vintage cars and small shops everywhere.

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I adore the contrast between olive green and red ochre – completed with the lanterns and neatly made autumn plantations.

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Some of the local residents/businesses had put out small baskets of apples for passers-by to grab as a snack. I love these kinds of small acts of consideration towards one another!

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What comes to the city of Porvoo nowadays, above you can see the town hall is it is today. (Or in August at least.)

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The ‘shop of dreams’ above. The shades of the vintage yellow are also very much prevalent in Old Porvoo.

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Another shot of a well-made old building in my favourite colour…

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Back to the old town hall square. The red building above is actually the Old Town Hall that was built in 1762-1764 – serving as a museum these days. Minors under 18 years old get a free entry, and the exhibitions are opened from Wednesday to Sunday at 12-16 o’clock.

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There’s also benches in the shade for the tired wanderers…

Yours,

Miah

Finland, roadtrip, traveling

Day-Tripping to Porvoo.

Okay, today we have another post in the ‘Porvoo’ saga. If you’ve been reading my blog for a long time, you probably know that I’m kinda pathetically obsessed with this small town near Helsinki. I should probably have a category of its own dedicated to Porvoo here in my blog…

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Anyway, this post is meant for those who are interested in taking a day-trip to Porvoo from Helsinki. I definitely recommend doing that since it’s quick, easy and pretty cheap (even in the Finnish scale) way of exploring Finland a bit further from the capital city.

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The first two pictures are from the Kamppi bus terminal for long-distance trips. You can get there by walking from Helsinki Railway Station or taking the metro and exiting in ‘Kamppi/Kampen’. It’s also worth mentioning that they have another terminal for the short-distance buses so make sure you’re going into the terminal that’s located one floor down the first floor (escalators on the opposite side of the metro ones). If you’re not sure, just follow the signs or ask people.

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For this trip I took OnniBus for six euros all together (so three euros per trip) but the prices can really vary according to the date and the time of the day. You can check the timetables through here!

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The ride takes about an hour and you will end up in the local bus terminal which is in the centre of the town and only a short walk away from the famous Porvoo Old Town.

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If turn left, you will end up in the cute little harbour. The Old Town is located on the right side with the gorgeous old Cathedral that is definitely worth visiting!

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Above is one of the street views that opens up when you enter the Old Town! More adventures coming up tomorrow when I’m diving deep into the specifics…

Yours,

Miah

animal rights, culinarism, Finland, veganism

Just Vege Helsinki.

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This time I want to give you a glimpse of the well-known hipster area of Helsinki called Kallio (meaning ‘rock’ as in the solid ground in the context of geology). Above you can see the tall landmark which is the church of Kallio behind Karhupuisto (the bear park, named after the bear statue I didn’t get a shot of unfortunately).

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A view from ‘Piritori‘ (direct translation is ‘the park of speed’ – but don’t let it scare you) next to the Sörnäinen/Sörnäs metro entrance.

For a tourist, I’d definitely recommend taking the metro and exiting in ‘Sörnäinen/Sörnäs‘ and walking towards the Kallio area located between Hämeentie and Helsinginkatu (use your phones or ask anyone).

The pictures below are taken from Vaasankatu which is right next to Helsinginkatu near the ‘Sörnäinen/Sörnäs’ metro entrance.

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Veggie junk food restaurant ‘Soi Soi‘ is actually one of the places where I used to hang out with my boyfriend-at-the-time years ago. The food can be delicious (if they get your order right), but this time I had another place close by that I wanted to try out.

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I’ve been walking past Just Vege for the longest time without actually checking it out (though I’ve seen many satisfied faces inside) – but now I had even planned it out…

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The interiors are pretty small (like basically in every restaurant in the Kallio area) but they do also take-out meals. Especially during the lunch times the place can be packed but it shouldn’t be impossible to get your order through with an app or a phone call.

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There’s also a lot of vegan and gluten-free options (for example the falafel!) for those of us with allergies or digestive issues. If you know what I mean.

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The red sauces though!

Finally moving on to the actual food part of this post: just out of curiosity I had to have the meze platter. The majority of the components, like the falafel, hummus, salsas and bread, I absolutely adored and the other ones were okay. I mean, in general, everything was absolutely delicious, but when it comes to eating out, I kinda expect the food to taste fancier than the stuff I can prepare at home. Nevertheless, the meze platter is a healthy and tasty option for eating out!

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The fries and the dip were SO GOOD.

My friend had the veggie halloumi burger though he wasn’t able to finish it due to the actual meat-likeness of the soy patty! I tasted it myself too, just to confirm you guys that if you’re up for the meaty flavour and texture (without harming the animals or the environment), this one is definitely for you! Overall everything was really tasty, there’s no doubt about it. But if you’re one of us old-school vegetarians who actually still prefer vegetables over fake meats, I’d recommend trying something else inside your hamburger bun. And they do have a lot of options for that as well.

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I hope you all have a wonderful day (or night, depending)! Be sure to stay tuned for my upcoming posts since I have a ton of new stories and picks of my favourite town, Porvoo

Yours,

Miah

activism, animal rights, Finland, veganism

Climate March in Helsinki (part 2).

I know this might be a bit obvious to say but… Welcome to the second part of the climate march post! As I mentioned in part 1, we had quite a big demonstration in Helsinki last month. I mean, 8000-10 000 people in one place a lot in the Finnish scale (in our culture we hate being in contact with others plus there’s only approximately 5,5 million of us anyway).

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The Finnish parliament house, again.

Whereas in the last part I focused on giving a more general overview of the vibes, this time I want to give you more detailed glimpses on the emotions and meanings that people wanted to express on that day. So here we go!

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The bicyclists’ block gathering their groups before the start of the demonstration.

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A lady holding the globe in her arms tightly.

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Well, the way things are going really isn’t okay. The climate and ecosystems are rapidly changing everywhere – but are we finally ready to act when it’s already too late and the consequences are overbearingly visible?

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‘You fucking cannot be kidding me’. Vittu (as in ‘fuck’) is an essential part of the Finnish vocabulary and very useful in every kind of phrase we use around here.

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People marching down the Mannerheiminkatu (meaning that thousands of people completely jammed the transport in the middle of the capital city for a decently long time).

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‘Climate action now <3’

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Loving the simple but yet straight-forward message!

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On the far left: ‘System change, not climate change’. In the middle: ‘Off from the fossil fuel’ with the hashtag ‘now we must’. On the right: ‘Known for 40 years, spoken for 30 years – we must act now!’

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A young child with the massive peace sign with the text ‘100% renewable’

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‘I love. That’s why I won’t destroy.’

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An interesting reference to the feminine ‘Mother Earth’ myth/symbolism.

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‘Speeches have been held – time to act’.

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‘Remember Paris’ referring to the infamous Paris Agreement in 2015.

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‘Financial support for the corporates into history; taxation for the pollution (for real!)’.

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Another example of the juxtaposition of femininity/motherhood and planet Earth.

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Since many of the current people in power are practically useless in terms of controlling climate change, I (sadly) believe that the future of a better environment is in the hands of the young people who are taking ecological matters way more seriously than the old farts.

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Demonstrators standing behind better policies for climate and the environment.

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‘Is the current government the biggest safety threat for Finland?! with the hashtags ‘now we must and ‘don’t sleep’. After all, nothing will ever change if people won’t demand the proper action to be done – now.

Yours,

Miah

activism, animal rights, Finland, Volunteering

Climate March in Helsinki.

As I mentioned in my last post yesterday, your favourite blogger is back here with a bunch of new (or old depending on the perspective you’re looking at) material!

The next couple of posts will be all about the big climate march we had in Helsinki last month. The majority of the signs are understandably in Finnish but I’ve tried to come up with as decent translations in English as I am able to. But I’m not a linguist, you know.

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The lead banner saying ‘climate action NOW!’. Notice the girl on the right who is wearing a dress that for me is similar of the native Sami people‘s costume. This is a very important aspect to remember since climate warming will effect more severely the Northern areas.

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On the left: sign that is urging people to ‘demand action from the government’ with the hashtag ‘climate election’. And on the right: ‘0 fighter planes = will cut the army’s CO2 emissions in half’.

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A young boy marching in the crowd with a lady holding a sign with the hashtag ‘now we must’.

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The long line of people who are ‘rising with the seas’; bypassing one corner of the famous department store Stockmann. The overconsumption and materialism in our society is indeed one of the pressing matters in my mind, at least.

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Quite understandably, many NGO’s took part in this demonstration. As you can see from the black skeleton flags, Sea Shepherd Finland was one of them.

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‘The atmosphere is not a landfill’. In the back of the picture you can also see a sign by the World Wide Found For Nature (WWF) demanding for ‘political backbone immediately’.

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You can be plant-based for many reasons, climate and the environment being one of them. Adopting (at least for the most part) vegan diet is surely one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce your emissions.

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A view behind the crowd and a map-of-the-world umbrella to the parliament house in Helsinki.

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‘Stop the fossil fuel capitalism’. To me, the message looks like something I could carry with me next time. A sign hanging from the back and holding my camera in the front, how about that?

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The Finnish ecomodernists were promoting nuclear energy as a carbon-free solution to energy production.

The Finnish Nature League (Luonto-Liitto) with their well-known hedgehog symbol in the back.

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Young people taking a stand on the foreign minister Timo Soini’s point of view that climate activism is nonsense and over-reacting that will cause even more harmful ‘hysteria’ than from where it originated from. Sounds like a true Republican, eh?

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On the back: a lady with a sign that says ‘now quit the rambling’ and on the front a painting of a polar bear with the word ‘goodbye’ (‘jäähyväiset’). In the Finnish language the word ‘jää‘ (painted in white on the pic) actually means ‘ice’ – which makes sense in the case of the polar bears as well. They are losing their natural habitat with the loss of the melting ice bergs.

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Another big organisation prevalent in the demonstration was Amnesty International who reminded that climate change is also a matter of human rights.

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Despite of the ecomodernist view, many people were preferring purely renewable energy as a solution to produce energy without adding emissions.

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The sign above is actually in Swedish (which is the second official language in Finland); saying that ‘there’s no planet B’ – one of the most common slogans seen in the demo.

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Two ladies are asking if ‘the government is running away from the responsibility’ of taking care of its citizens. ‘If not now, when?’ is the time for change?

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And last, but definitely not least, one of the cutest members of the crowd!

More pics of the climate march, Porvoo adventures and vegan food in Helsinki coming soon…

Yours,

Miah