Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category


Tuesday, September 4th, 2012


I gather I still have loads to share from our trip to Botswana and Zambia (June 2012).

And a few stories left from our trip to Finland (March 2012), although I appreciate that it’s a little incongruous to be writing about Lapland right now, so these may wait until winter’s upon us.

Ah. And then, I’ve just come back from Belarus and there is lots to be said about the place.

So… I’ll stop procrastinating and get going on sorting the photos.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share a staggering fact with you: I have 24 countries left to visit in Europe.



Now. I consider myself a well-travelled being. And I see these 24 countries as opportunities. Their time will come.

But consider this.

In Belarus, I met someone who has two countries left to visit in the whole wide world. Two.

South Sudan (and in fact, they should be there right now!) and Equatorial Guinea. And that includes travels to countries which were one thing and are now another e.g. Yugoslavia became six new countries and two autonomous provinces… and countries which don’t officially exist.

How impressive is that!

When I asked them about their travels, I got the most wonderful answer: “Well, it got to the point where I had been to so many countries, it seems silly to stop“.

‘The only way is Finland’

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

I know.

I don’t need any convincing but if you do, read on:

Society: The only way is Finland.

‘nough said.

Jeremy Deller: Joy in People – Hayward Gallery, May 2012

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Valerie’s Snack Bar, 2009, by Jeremy Deller
Valerie’s Snack Bar, 2009 (via

He wanted it to be ‘a little like living in Britain; annoying, funny, and a bit of a mess.’ (Source: Hayward Gallery exhibition booklet)

Cat cafe opens in Austria

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Finland – snowshoeing on a sunny day (March 2012)

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Snowshoeing trail (March 2012)

Animal tracks in the snow (March 2012)

Snowshoeing in the forest (March 2012)

Snow on a log (March 2012)

Preparing for lunch (March 2012)

In the forest (March 2012)

Snowy forest (March 2012)

On the lake (March 2012)

Snowmobile tracks (March 2012)

This was our first time snowshoeing.

We loved it.

Amazing scenery.

I loved walking in the snow, on existing tracks (narrow so you need to watch where you put your feet!) and on new tracks (slightly harder work).

So much snow. Knee deep.

Walking through the forest.

The sun catching the snow.

The landscape glittering.

The sound of snow crunching under your feet.

Finland – Aurora Borealis, Nellim (March 2012)

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Northern Lights, Nellim (March 2012)

Northern Lights (March 2012)

Northern Lights (March 2012)

The ephemeral beauty of the Northern Lights.

We were supremely lucky.

And we know it.

The lights came out to play every single night during our stay… with ‘shows’ lasting from 15 minutes to 2.5 hours.

I’m now keeping an eye on the activity each night. Fun.

Finland – a week in desserts (March 2012)

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Desserts in Fazer, Helsinki (March 2012)

Desserts in Fazer, Helsinki (day one)

Dessert, Nellim (March 2012, dinner, day one)

Dessert, Nellim (March 2012, dinner, day one)

Desserts, Nellim (March 2012, day two)

Desserts, Nellim (March 2012, day three)

Desserts, Nellim (day two to day four)

Dessert, Inari (March 2012, lunch)

Dessert, Inari (March 2012, afternoon tea)

Desserts, Inari (day five)

Desserts, Nellim (March 2012, day four)

Dessert, Nellim (March 2012, day five)

Dessert, Nellim (March 2012)

Desserts, Nellim (day five to day seven)

Dessert one, Helsinki airport (March 2012)

Dessert two, Helsinki airport (March 2012)

Desserts, Helsinki airport (day eight)

So much yummyness…

Finland – Paatsjoki bridge, near Nellim (March 2012)

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

Paatsjoki bridge, looking towards Russia, Nellim (March 2012)

Paatsjoki bridge on a snowy day, Nellim (March 2012)

Paatsjoki river, near Nellim (March 2012)

Magical, serene and mysterious.

For a few minutes, the sun tried to make an appearance, gifting us beautiful reflections.

The Russian border and watchtowers nearby added to the experience.

(Watch with the sound off if you can)

We had the place all to ourselves.

It was snowing heavily.

Finland – Skolt Sámi Orthodox Church, Nellim (March 2012)

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

Skolt Sámi Orthodox Church, Nellim (Lapland, Finland, March 2012)

The church is set back from the village.

So pretty.

Finland – a mere few kilometers away from Russia… (March 2012)

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Russian border (Nellim, Finland)

A few kilometers from Nellim (Lapland, Finland), the road ends.

The border is closed. Which adds to the mystery.

This is the closest I have ever been to Russia.

Four kilometers I was told.

How. Exciting. Is. That.