Monthly Archives: June 2012

Reunion with Bibbi in Helsinki

At the end of  my study period, sometime in 2005, I became very good friend with the few years younger Agne from Estonia. Bibbi, as her nick name is, was an exchange student in Halmstad, Sweden. I don´t have any sisters or brothers but from the moment I met Bibbi I got a feeling that this is probably as close as I will get to having a sister. We instantly connected and pretty soon discovered that we had something very special :) The following semester we hung a lot and had a blast. After Bibbi left Sweden we have met twice. Once when I visited her in Estonia and two years ago when I again visited her, this time in Helsinki where she lives now. Even tough five years had passed I felt so comfortable with Bibbi. We have a similar personality and don´t really need that many words to understand eachother.

This visit to Helsinki was my first time in Finland but focus was not so much on discovering the city but to spend time in the amazing nature that Helsinki has to offer. We just wanted to relax and catch up in the gerogeous weather. One day Bibbi took me to Suomenlinna, a group of islands just outside Helsinki with a fortress on one one of them, with rich history. People from Helsinki often go there for recreation since it is a beautiful get away from the city. The other day we hung around the area where she lives. It was an absolutely stunning area with the most beautiful cliff beaches you can imagine on a close walking distance. Here are some images from this weekend. Scandinavia showing off its absolutely best, if you ask me.

The beauties of Washington DC

I have just returned home from US where I was one week associated with work. The destinations for work was Pennsylvania, Maryland and North Carolina and was an interesting roadtrip on its own but nothing I will blog about. However, since I flew in to DC it was given to me to spend the weekend there before catching up with colleagues. It was a very brief visit with just two nights and I already now have to say I really must go back one day since I did not have time to go to the district Gerogetown which I have heard so much about :(

The nicest part about this weekend was how surprisingly nice DC was. I had no big expectations more than seeing the Whitehouse and some monuments but did not expect the city to be so welcoming. The center of DC is green, have nice sidewalks and a pleasant river floating through the city. For 7 USD it is possible to rent a citybike which can be locked in any of the many bicycle racks meant for those. It is nice, safe and easy to bike around :)

Usually I don´t prioritize museums when I visit a city. I just like to be in the present. But you cannot go to DC without doing so since it is home to 19 excellent museums that are for free, and many more besides those. The once that are for free are the once belonging to the so called Smithsonian institute. A cluster of world class museums stretching along a long green area, called “The National Mall”, facing US Capitol in one end and the Washington monument in the other. I visited the Natural History and Air and Space museum. But they where so large and comprehensive that I just saw bits and pieces. The air was warm and I wanted to spend as much time as possible outside, biking around day and night, watching the spectacular monuments of this friendly city.

I also had some great dining experiences, among one, a bar meal at the famous Old Ebbitt Grill. This is the place where politicians and celebrities are supposed to be hanging. It was a very social place and I was not feeling alone a single moment. On my last day I did not have much time to spend exploring. I took my bike to the Dupont Circle area where I run into an organic morning marked whereafter I had breakfast watching this bohemian distric waking up.

Finally I need to let you know why there are so many people, foremost young girls, in t-shirts with print “Rock the Mall” on my pictures. As I asked one of them I learnt that the US girl scout association was celebrating 100 years this weekend and that thousands of girls (and mums & dads) invaded DC from all over the US to celebrate this. As much as it was annoying with the enormous crowds it was a pleasure to watch this chaos.

An absolutely wonderful short weekend :D

Spa weekend in Latvia

In October 2010 me and a friend went to Jurmala, in Latvia, for 4 days relaxation in a spa. Jurmala is a summertown with a wide beautiful beach and lots of greenery. When we were there it was autumn and the town was sleepy and the beach almost empty. The view from our bed room window was absolutely magic and so were the morningwalks along the beach. Our expectations were exceeded in many ways. The Hotel Jurmala Spa where we stayed was a rather big but nice hotel with good threatment prices.

Jurmala is very close to Riga so one afternoon we took the train there to get a bit of city life as well.  Both the spa, Jurmala and Riga were so nice. I would love to go back but as I like to explore new areas I think mine and Lisas next spa weekend will be in the neighbour country Lithuania. Perhaps next year… :)

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