Tag Archives: beautiful cities

Hello Again, Blog

Oh no, it has been a long time since this blog has been updated! A lot has happened in the meantime.

We moved to Lüneburg at last. First we had to say goodbye to our nice but awfully expensive apartment in Helsinki, then we lived at my parents for a few weeks and finally had our stuff moved to Germany before we got on a plane with the cats.

Aesculus hippocastanum

All in all, you could say the last weeks have been really exhausting – the day of the move and flying with the cats was just the tip of the iceberg. We had gotten rid of most of our furniture, clothes and other things, but still, I don’t really recommend moving house twice in a month’s time frame.

Lighting in Lüneburg
We had some amazing thunder, I took this picture from our balcony!

Unfortunately the apartment we moved into was in a not-so-nice state. It had a quite dirty once beige fitted carpet, dirty walls and basically no closet space. Getting rid of the carpet, plus the second carpet underneath (blue this time, with stains that looked alarmingly like blood) and having laminate flooring installed has been one of the most satisfying things in my life!

So we have been renovating the apartment for the last few weeks, and we are almost done with it. Now this place actually looks like home.

Am Sande, Lüneburg
Awful quality Instagram picture, I’m sorry! Anyway, this is our new hometown.

Bad news for this blog though: our home doesn’t have an oven and it’s impossible to install one. No more baking for a while! I have had bad time adjusting to this, I want to bake cakes! Cookies! Cupcakes! I do have some unpublished recipes, so this blog will still have some oven-involved baking – and maybe we can visit some friends with ovens… In the meanwhile, it’s time to get creative. I have plans! I’m fantasising about beautiful no-bake cakes, delicate white chocolate truffles and delicious strawberry parfaits.

All in all, everything is well and we’re adjusting to our new life. I’m studying German as much as I can and gathering courage to speak the language, so hopefully in the future I can properly integrate into this beautiful city. Stef already has a job she enjoys and the cats are as happy as ever. I miss people in Finland terribly, but it’s not like I won’t be seeing anyone ever again. There’s only 1161,9 kilometers in-between!

Life is an adventure.

Tiia

Jeera twisting his neck

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A Little Bit Of History

I haven’t seen much of Finland yet but this has to change. Since I am currently doing a placement at the National Board of Antiquities and visited an excavation in Vantaa, I wanted to come back on a sunny day and have a closer look around.

2women2cats: St. Lawrence Church, Vantaa, Finland

The Lutheran church of St. Lawrence is a medieval stone church (built in 1460). Before there used to be an earlier church building made from wood. Of course it has gotten under many changes during the time. It used to have smaller windows for example and the outer walls were whitewashed. Inside, the walls used to be covered with paintings and were whitewashed after the Reformation. After a fire in 1893 parts of the white paint burned away and the old paintings showed through. Fortunately copies could be made. The fire also damaged part of the stone structure while altarpieces could be saved. The church and the bell tower were rebuilt afterwards. Not all wooden sculptures made it through the fire. Four out of eight remained.  A statue of Job made in Lübeck, Germany can be seen in the National Museum in Helsinki. *

*The church of St. Lawrence, Vantaan Seurakunnat, Kari Autero 2009

2women2cats: Vantaa, Finland

You should also have a look at the cemetery. It’s especially pretty in spring when the cherry trees are blooming.

2women2cats: St. Lawrence Church, Vantaa, Finland

Right in the front of the church is a really nice café that offers freshly baked cookies and sweet buns. There is lots of space inside but if the weather is nice you should enjoy your coffee outside and enjoy the view.

2women2cats: Café at St. Lawrence Church, Vantaa, Finland

2women2cats: Café at St. Lawrence Church, Vantaa, Finland

2women2cats: Café at St. Lawrence Church, Vantaa, Finland

If you walk around in town a bit you will come across lots of nice wooden houses. Some of them are new, some of them are old but every new house that is being built has to match the appearance of the town.

2women2cats: Vantaa, Finland

2women2cats: Vantaa, Finland

2women2cats: Vantaa, Finland

Afterwards we decided also to pay the tuomiokirkko (cathedral) of Espoo a visit.

2women2cats: Cathedral in Espoo, Finland

2women2cats: Cathedral in Espoo, Finland

This stone church was also built in the 15th century but only became a cathedral in 2004.

2women2cats: Cathedral in Espoo, Finland

2women2cats: Cathedral in Espoo, Finland

Like in Vantaa the wall painting were covered up in the 18th century but uncovered during renovations later. They show biblical seens as well as scenes from daily life. *

*http://www.espoonseurakunnat.fi/web/asiointi/espoon-tuomiokirkko/historia

2women2cats: Cathedral in Espoo, Finland

2women2cats: Cathedral in Espoo, Finland

So if you are in Helsinki it’s definitely worth it to leave the city for a few hours and have a look around the country side.

Stef

2women2cats: Espoo, Finland

2women2cats: St. Lawrence church Vantaa, Finland

 

 

Spring in Helsinki

“Spring?” you might ask. Right now it’s a proper summer even here in the north, but since I’ve been too busy to update the blog, I thought now would be the time to post these pictures. They’re actually from the end of April, so they indeed are late.

2 women 2 cats - Spring in Helsinki

The church in the background is the German Church in Kaartinkaupunki, where we went for a German flea market and some Kuchen.

2 women 2 cats - Spring in Helsinki

2 women 2 cats - Spring in Helsinki

The flowers had just started to bloom in Tähtitorninmäki/Observatory hill.

2 women 2 cats - Spring in Helsinki

2 women 2 cats - Spring in Helsinki

In Finland, as soon as the snow has melted and the sun is up, it’s the perfect weather for sitting in the park (possibly with alcoholic beverages).

2 women 2 cats - Spring in Helsinki

The houses in Kaivopuisto are some of the most beautiful in Helsinki.

2 women 2 cats - Spring in Helsinki

Some Art Nouveau buildings in Ullanlinna. Helsinki is one of the finest Art Nouveau cities in Europe, and I personally love the style.

2 women 2 cats - Spring in Helsinki

We were walking past the St. John’s Church, when we noticed a couple were having their wedding pictures taken at the entrance. The church itself is of the Gothic Revival style.

2 women 2 cats - Spring in Helsinki

So hopefully the next pictures of Helsinki will be summery ones and we can all forget that winter ever happened. The next post I’m writing will nevertheless be of these beauties: Gentle Folk’s Bread.

Tiia

2 women 2 cats - Gentle Folk's Bread

Another Trip To Tallinn

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I am a bit late with this post. We went a few weeks ago to visit a friend of ours and stayed for a few days this time. Estonia has been really lucky with the weather this year as well and so there wasn’t any snow during our stay. I guess they are waiting for the trees to get green as much as we are at the moment.

Of course there are just too many pictures to post but I’ll leave the best ones here so you’ll get a better impression of Tallinn. Feel free to ask questions in the comments; I will keep this post like a picture diary without much text.

And no, of course we didn’t eat all the cakes in one day. Even my cake stomach is full at some point.

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If you’re into knitting and crocheting I would definitely recommend this store. The amount of yarns being sold is just unbelievable. I think Tiia and I actually spent more than an hour in there, just going through everything. In the end we spent around 50€ on two big bags of yarn. Well worth it!

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Every small street has something to discover

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Olde Hansa
Back in the old town

Peppersack

We haven’t managed to go to the restaurant Peppersack but I can still admire the building.

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You should try the roasted almonds that are sold by Olde Hansa. They are flavoured with smoke and even garlic!

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You should also check out Olde Hansa’s Krambude. They sell well made replicas of historical tableware. We will definitely have to buy some more glasses!

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We usually have to pay a visit to III Draakon. This time we had a cabbage pastry each and left enough space for some cake later on.

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Blueberry Cheesecake
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Kama Cake, an Estonian speciality

After lots of walking, coffee and cake seemed to be reasonable. I can’t praise Café Matilda enough! Good cakes and nice coffee or tea are being served for a really good price in the heart of the town.

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Rasmus the friendly seagull thinking about the purpose of life
Rasmus the friendly seagull thinking about the meaning of life

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Lots of artists offer their paintings at the “Pikk Jalg” (long leg)
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This would be perfect for our own little café

In the evening we went to Sushimon to get some fresh sushi. It was made directly in front of our eyes and tasted delicious.

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Another day, another cake day?

Of course.

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Crème Brûlée Cake
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Alexander Cake and Rum Ball

In Vanalinna, right in the old town, you have the difficult choice between lots of cakes and sweet or savoury pastries for a really good price. They also have a nice terrace in the summer time.

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Unfortunately every trip has to end at some point but I am sure we’ll be back for another soon! If you haven’t seen my older post about Tallinn, you should click here.

Stef

 

Long Time No See, Lüneburg

In the last two years, it seems all our vacations have always taken us to Lüneburg in Lower Saxony, Germany.  Both of us have history in that town, but Stef – who is from there – more than I.

I moved from Finland to her place in Germany in 2011, and stayed there for eight months. Even though I didn’t live there for that long,  Lüneburg is still a home to both of us. I hope we’ll be able to move back there soon.

Am Sande, Lüneburg

Michaeliskirche, Lüneburg

Lüneburg is a town of history in many ways. Coming from Finland – a country with just a handful of well preserved medieval buildings  – I was amazed to live in a city where houses made in the 19th century felt new to me.

Obere Ohlingestr. Lüneburg

Lüneburg has been built on a salt dome and therefore it was quite the wealthy city, and it shows. It was also lucky to not have been bombed in the WWII, so its original charm remains.

Auf dem Meere, Lüneburg

December wasn’t really the prettiest time to visit, especially since it was mostly rainy and grey during our few days of stay. I know I sound a bit fanatic, but I loved it anyway. It was really nice to see friends, walk the beautiful streets and visit my favourite cafés.

Schröderstr. Lüneburg

Not everything was as it has always been though: sadly enough the beautiful Von Lösecke house on Stintmarkt had a gas explosion before Christmas and burnt down completely. Apparently it was not even an accident, and the police are trying to find the arsonist. Thankfully no-one died in the fire, but the people who lived there lost everything. My favourite Irish pub Old Dubliner and a lovely Italian restaurant La Trattoria were also located in the building, so those are gone. I hope the owners will find new locations in Lüneburg.

Before...
Before…
And after
And after

How someone can do something like this is just beyond me. The building will be preserved to how it had looked like in the 16th century, but I imagine it will take a long while.

Am Stintmarkt, Lüneburg

Alter Kran, Lüneburg
The weight of the Alter Kran

Alter Kran, Lüneburg

Without the awful looking burnt building, Am Stintmarkt with its river Ilmenau is one of my favourite places in Lüneburg.

Saltstr. Lüneburg

The building on the right was also new, and I’m amazed how well it fits with its surroundings at the river! Apparently the old house there was in a really bad condition and it was taken down. Now the new house has apartments for rent, but they are so expensive… I would just love to live in there.

Rathaus door, Lüneburg
One of the doors of the Rathaus with the Lüneburg coat of arms
Rathaus painting, Lüneburg
A painting on the outside lower court of the Rathaus

You pretty much can’t walk in Lüneburg without seeing the more than slightly wonky St. Johanniskirche behind some building!

St. Johanniskirche, Lüneburg Johanniskirche, Lüneburg

No vacation without some drama, or in this case, a lot of it. First my suitcase was delayed for three days, which was half of our vacation, and then both Stef and I got food poisoning and were utterly sick for a day. With all of this and the almost constant rain I’m quite surprised I enjoyed being in Germany as much as I did.

Papenstr. Lüneburg
This little street would be a perfect location for an apartment…

Papenstr. Lüneburg

I miss the silly town already!

Tiia

December flowers, Lüneburg