A taste of Estonia’s past and present

Between trying to see as much as possible in a limited time and trying not to forget to actually relax on holiday, it can be tough to find time to exercise.

For a while there our trips themselves, e.g. climbing Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, were exercise in and of themselves so we didn’t need to worry too much about it. In fact, I used to lose weight on every trip because we spent so much time being active. Then Ella started to join us on our travels and there was a period there where I was gaining weight every time we left the country instead of losing it. Now that Ella’s getting a bit older we’re starting to have access to more active options and when we find one, we tend to leap at it.

In Tallinn this came in the form of 250km of bike trails and a bike rental company called City Bikes. IMG_6815 Continue reading “A taste of Estonia’s past and present”

Porvoo – maybe it’s for you. (I’m here through Tuesday don’t forget to tip your waitress)

The other day we decided we would hop on a bus and get the Helsinki out of … well, Helsinki. Our destination? The town of Porvoo.


As it turned out hoping on the bus wasn’t quite as simple as we thought it would be. We were only a 5 minute walk from the bus terminal in the Kampi shopping centre. From there, buses run frequently to Porvoo, a 50 minute drive away. It all seemed so easy, at least until we got to the bus station. Once we were there we found very little information on where to get the buses and no transit people to talk to.  Continue reading “Porvoo – maybe it’s for you. (I’m here through Tuesday don’t forget to tip your waitress)”

Fiskars, so much more than scissors

Did you know you’ve probably used scissors from Finland? That’s right, chances are pretty good that at some point in your life you’ve used a pair of Fiskars scissors. You may not have noticed, unless you’re some kind of scissor aficionado, but you probably recognize the iconic orange handled scissors in the picture below. fiskars scissors

Well, we can now say that we’ve been to the birthplace of these scissors. I can’t say that I had heard of them, but they are familiar. Fiskars was just one of the stops on our trip back to Helsinki from Hanko.  Continue reading “Fiskars, so much more than scissors”

Learning to “smile like a hangon keksi biscuit” in Hanko

If Helsinki is a city dropped in the middle of what we would think of as beautiful cottage country, what do you call a coastal retreat that to which you might escape from Helsinki? Hanko.

IMG_6109 Continue reading “Learning to “smile like a hangon keksi biscuit” in Hanko”

Getting to Helsinki – boringly easy

After reviewing this post Katy commented (i.e. politely complained) that there are no laughs. Well, I’m sorry dear reader, but getting to Helsinki is too uneventful to be funny. If you still want to read on after that intro, well you’re probably part of the 90% of readership that are family.

No, we are not on a cruise. That must be the most common way for North Americans to see Helsinki, Tallinn and St. Petersburg because it’s the first question anyone asks when I tell them that’s where we’re going. Nothing against you cruise faring folk, it’s just not our thing. As usual we’ll be travelling by plane, train (tram) and automobile.

Ella in finland

Continue reading “Getting to Helsinki – boringly easy”

Exploring Willemstad – A missed opportunity for Iguana Soup

The inner city and harbour of Willemstad have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site which made it a pretty good place to start our exploration of the island. If you google Willemstad, Curacao’s capital city, chances are you’ll find a picture of the colourful buildings lining Sint Anna Bay, so I’ll save you the trouble.

Ella was far to interested the sites to pose for pictures.
Ella was far to interested the sites to pose for pictures.

Of course, before we could explore Willemstad we had to get there, which just might have cost us our ‘parents of the year’ award.  Continue reading “Exploring Willemstad – A missed opportunity for Iguana Soup”

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