Helsinki Art Museum and Cathedral

I’m reading the entertaining A Short History of Finland (by J Clements, 2022) at the moment. The book mentions Espoo, which, this morning, we passed through on the way to Haltia. The book includes some of the many myths and legends of Finland. During a period in Scandinavian history, called the Kalmar Union (1397-1523), Denmark, … Continue reading / view photos Helsinki Art Museum and Cathedral

Taiwan earthquake

Beyond broadening the mind, travel has a remarkable ability to forge profound connections to distant places. Through firsthand experience, you can cultivate a deeper sense of empathy and compassion towards the people and cultures encountered along the way. Before my visit to Taiwan, I admittedly knew little about the island. And if it had remained … Continue reading Taiwan earthquake

Haltia — gateway to Nuuksio

On Sunday, many places are shut in Helsinki. So we headed to Haltia, The Finnish Nature Centre. It was a popular start for hiking in Nuuksio National Park. Google Maps said the 80-minute journey needed two buses to get there. We walked to the first bus stop but couldn’t find it. Then we saw a … Continue reading / view photos Haltia — gateway to Nuuksio

Oodi — an ode to community

Oodi – which means ode in Finnish – is Helsinki’s Central Library. The original idea of a central library was floated in 1988. The Oodi leaflet for newcomers goes on to say that construction eventually began in 2015 and was opened a few years later to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence. In … Continue reading / view photos Oodi — an ode to community

Design museum, coffee and cake

Our first full day in Helsinki started with a walk to the Design Museum. Since it was Saturday, I was expecting to see lots of people out and about, shopping, and going to places. However, despite being 10am, the streets were fairly empty. When we got to the Design Museum, it was shut! Opening time … Continue reading / view photos Design museum, coffee and cake

A drizzly and cold Helsinki

After we’d boarded the plane, the pilot announced there would be an hour’s delay. We’d missed our slot. The passengers collectively groaned. Just as we’d accepted our fate, we were moving on the runway: the pilot said we’d been given another slot for take-off. We’d soon be flying to Helsinki, the capital of Finland, and … Continue reading / view photos A drizzly and cold Helsinki

Windsor walk and London march

Last November, on Armistice Day, it was a crisp autumnal day, and the sky was blue for the start of a group walk from Datchet to Windsor. We saw a monument and statues for the Magna Carta, which is a royal charter of rights agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, … Continue reading / view photos Windsor walk and London march

London Loop — section 9

This was my concluding section of the London Loop, from Kingston to Hatton Cross, a total of 16km. I’d started the 242km walk three years ago! Since my fellow London Loop walker had finished, I went with another friend. We were lucky to have such a beautiful day. I’d never been to Bushy Park, the … Continue reading / view photos London Loop — section 9

Kew Gardens Wakehurst

Despite being a member of Kew Gardens for many years, I’d never been to their more rural gardens in Sussex. The public transport to Wakehurst is a bit ropey. Taking the train to Haywards Heath is straightforward. Once you’re there, however, you must wait for one of the infrequent buses for the 10km ride to … Continue reading / view photos Kew Gardens Wakehurst

London Loop — sections 1, 2

I had three more sections of the London Loop left to walk. On a sunny day, I tackled sections 1 and 2 with a friend. My usual London Loop companion had completed the Loop. There was a fast route to Erith via the Elizabth line, which is a recent addition to the London Underground that … Continue reading / view photos London Loop — sections 1, 2