Happy Favourites of the Week – Pirate Women and HBO

Holiday in Finland – I can’t say it is a holiday whenever I visit Finland because the schedule is almost even busier than at home and all the energy is used on socialising with people who you haven’t seen in at least 6 months. This time was the same. Within the first 7 days, we had visited 7 different cities. There were summer parties, surprise visits and more coffee breaks than I would normally do in a month. Still, it is worth it to see all the people we love and by the end of the week, we got to spend very relaxing mid-summer without any extra hassle.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Pirate Women and HBO - byLiiL

Dry oat and seed bread – My mum made me try them and I am hooked! Too bad I only brought 3 packs with me home. They will be finished soon!

Great catsitter – When we are away for a long time I am always stressed about how the cats are doing. It is always tough going on any holidays and leaving them by themselves when they are so affectionate and like being in people’s company. So having a catsitter who reports everything about them with a bunch of pictures is calming! And coming back home to cats who are not mad at you is even better!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Pirate Women and HBO - byLiiL

Big Little Lies Theme Song – The song by Michael Kiwanuka suits the show well, but is also a pleasure to listen!

HBO – My brother loaned me his logging details for while we were in Finland and we managed to watch Big Little Lies, which I had been dying to watch for ages, and we finished the second season of the Westworld. Big Little Lies wasn’t quite as good as the hype around it, but still interesting and the ending was so satisfying!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Pirate Women and HBO - byLiiL

Pirate Women – I recently started reading a book about women who were pirates. It writes about the largely unknown women who were pirates to show the hidden information we didn’t know about the history and about the fascinating lives of pirates. I am hooked already, and I’m only in chapter two!

Friends Trivial Pursuit – I and my friends love playing various quiz games, which has probably come apparent on the blog and Trivial Pursuit is definitely one of the games we play on a regular basis. So it is quite obvious that we run out of questions (or rather have played it so many times we remember all the questions) and we’ve had to start acquiring new ones. I like buying bite size boxes of questions because they take up less space and I don’t have any need for a whole new game. We’ve had versions on Harry Potter and the Big Bang Theory for ages now, but what I’ve been looking for for years has been Friends. And you should’ve seen how happy I was when I finally found them! It’s going to be endless questioning time with these now!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Pirate Women and HBO - byLiiL

Summer Weather – It’s been very uncommon weather in Scotland this summer. We’ve had such a heat wave that the people have started to complain, which I find funny, as usually, I hear in the autumn ‘how poor the summer was’ when they’ve enjoyed two weeks of sun. Well, they can’t say that this summer!

 

How was your week?

Obviously, all of this happened in more than a week’s time and I am considering changing this topic to a Happy Favourites of the Month. Let me know what you think of the change!

With love,

Lii

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Sustainable Chania

Sustainable Chania - byLiiL

CHANIA

Chania is a beautiful town in Crete, which is an island of Greece. The island is fairly big and offers long coastlines with sandy beaches, beautiful mountain ranges towards the centre of the island, farmlands, wildlife and ruins to remind of its rich history. It is favoured location to holiday, especially for the Scandinavians and German. You can see the island filled with tourists from April to October walking leisurely pavements among cats that are napping either in stores or on the streets, which the island is full of.

Sustainable Chania - byLiiL

Tourism is the islands main income followed by farming, and both of these occupations employ a big number of the island’s population. However, unemployment is still strongly prevalent, especially among the millennials. There is no proper benefit system and the government is not working to encourage people to get work. Nevertheless, the island does not really see any crime and the atmosphere is quite relaxed all around.

Greece has a history of corrupt politicians and the people do not trust them, therefore try to avoid paying taxes in many cases. However, that is part of the problem as there is no money then to support the country. On the island, you might see many different ways the companies avoid paying taxes. Sometimes they do not provide you with a receipt at all and most tourists don’t dare to question this practice. Some might give you a receipt for half of your meal and write the rest by hand on a piece of receipt paper. Some receipts look like receipts, but might not be. To make sure you help contribute to the local economy you can check your receipt for the following VAT number.

Sustainable Chania - byLiiL

FOOD

Most of the food you’ll eat in Crete is made out of local produce; either locally grown fruits and vegetables, freshly fished seafood or locally grown meat. Crete is famous for its healthy diet and it’s locally grown olives and olive oil, as well as cheese such as myzithra, which is delicious! Organic farming is a growing practice and you can find several farms which offer you a glimpse of organic farm life and an organic meal, however, these are mostly out of town.

Seafood is very common in Crete and every morning or even during the day you could see fishermen on their small boats sailing out to fish and then sell their gain to local people and restaurants and then sell the rest on the markets. During the day and especially evening you can see individuals fishing quietly in the harbour.

Sustainable Chania - byLiiL

Wine is the most common accompaniment for meals. Most restaurants will offer house wine made by themselves, but there are many wineries in Crete as well, in addition to few beer breweries. Venetian harbour is full of restaurants that offer various cuisines, however, I found them to be too touristy for my taste and rather ventured to the narrow streets of the Old Town to find a place to eat. We were lucky enough to have a taste of home-made food as well as try a couple of great restaurants:

  • I would definitely recommend Tamam with their great selection of greek food with some delicious vegetarian dishes, their greek salad was massive and filled me for several hours! I wasn’t the only one who loved the restaurant, as we walked past it every day several times, we noticed it was almost always full and during the evening time, it was difficult to get a table if you hadn’t booked one in advance. Tamam pride themselves on sourcing high-quality food from local farmers and their workforce which is loyal and some even reach their retirement age by working in their restaurant, which is a great thing to hear from a company in Greece! You can get a good meal with drinks for two for around 25-30 euros.
  • Semiramis had a beautiful traditional Greek setting and a quiet location with great greek food selection. This is mostly an outdoor restaurant, but on a cooler weather, they have a tarp that covers the dining area. Semiramis also prides themselves on sourcing their food from local farmers, but also for their entertainment during the evenings with local bands playing Cretan music. You can get a good meal with drinks for two for around 30-35 euros.
  • Tsalikis is a taverna under the hotel Melanis and is a bit outside the city centre area but alongside a beautiful beach. It is a seafood restaurant located in the perfect place to look at the absolutely gorgeous sunset. We sat looking at the sunset for over an hour whilst the ocean hum next to us quietly making the evening feel very calm and serene. They offer absolutely massive portions of food which are meant to be shared and they offer a big variety of fresh seafood. The owner of the restaurant is very friendly and the atmosphere in the taverna is quite relaxed. You can get a good meal with drinks for two for around 20-25 euros.
  • Kormoranos cafe situated just off the Venetian harbour on Theotokopoulou was my favourite place to get my breakfast. They offered various local pastries, greek yoghurt with local fruits and honey, as well as omelettes and sandwiches. Greek coffee was served in nearly every cafe, but Kormoranos was one of the only ones that also served Cretan mountain tea, which is delicious! You could also get fresh juice and local deserts. The service was very friendly and the street quiet with a view to the sea.

Sustainable Chania - byLiiL

SHOPPING

Cretans continue the tradition of pottery making, weaving, needlework, woodcarving and leatherwork, which you can see in many shops around the island. However, to recognise the products made by Cretan’s or sourced from Taiwan or China to be sold to tourists can be tricky, as everything is marketed as handmade. I saw many leather sandal shops selling their sandals for 20 euros and commenting on how they were handmade, which might be true but doesn’t sound like ethically or artisan made products. Most artisans had their shop alongside their workshop, which is one way to recognise local artisans, also the price was a good way to recognise what was made in Crete. Many tourist shops offered cheap touristy products, to be fair that is what most tourists would buy and that is how the shop owners would make the money. Whereas artisan stores or boutiques were a bit more hidden but offered beautiful treasures with definitely higher prices.

Sustainable Chania - byLiiL

Theotokopoulou had a few beautiful little boutiques with artisan made pottery, jewellery and other items, as well as design-led shops. Although, I would visit the street because of its charm. It is quiet and beautiful!

Kondilaki was a street full of touristy shops, artisan stores, a couple of ethical stores as well as a couple of restaurants. I really like the Elephant Store and a couple of other stores right next to it, the names of which unfortunately I don’t remember any more.

I loved the shop Memorabilia with its design-led and very clever products, which was situated on Episkopou Chrisanthou.

Many shops offered clothing that was printed locally and even more offered local beauty products made with locally grown olive oil. So far my favourite brand which I tried was BIOselect.

Sustainable Chania - byLiiL

ACCOMMODATION

Most sustainable accommodation options would be based out of Chania in small villages where sustainable tourism is starting to grow with the village and farm experience see Vamos and Agreco. If you want to stay in town, however, there are some better options.

Airbnb – Renting other persons flat or a room in a flat is always a way to get to know the town as though you belong in it. You see better how people live there and you are providing a person with an income.

Sustainable Chania - byLiiL

Villa – There are plenty of villa’s to be rented all around Chania. These are self-serving and if you book one that does not promise room service and cleaning every day the better option it is.

Small hotel – I had difficulty finding a hotel that had definitely sustainable credentials, but I had several hotels that were owned and run by a local person. The hotel is their life and they treat it in that way. They offer good service to their guests and by leaving a “do not disturb” sign on your door you make sure they won’t change your sheets and towels too often. Check Casa Veneta.

Sustainable Chania - byLiiL

TRANSPORT

Before travelling to Crete we did our online research into Chania, what to see and about the public transport, but outside of sights that are meant for tourists, there was little information (or we just weren’t able to find any). Many tourists rent a car for the trip, which is fairly easy, as there are many car renting companies about and they will bring the car to you even to your hotel. However, there are quite a few problems with the car renting companies from some companies providing cars with broken parts or others charging your credit card additional amount a few months later. As this resulted in untrustful customers many car renting companies now offer to rent for cash which is very easy and straightforward. However, electric or hybrid cars were rare as there aren’t really any charging spots for them, although this may be changing in the future.

Chania is a fairly small city and you can walk nearly everywhere within it. There is a bus station in the centre of Chania where you get good information on bus journeys and buses leave around every 20 minutes to different popular locations, so there is no need for a car unless you want to travel at your own pace and into locations that are not as easy to reach with a bus. Bus fares are fairly cheap, the airport bus takes around 30 minutes and costs less than 5 euros per person, whereas a taxi from the airport to city centre is around 25 euros. In addition, drivers in Chania are fairly erratic with speedy driving and not always paying attention to the rules. We didn’t see any car crashes, but to a drivers eye, it was scary to think of driving among those drivers. So if you decide to take a car to drive in Chania be careful and make sure you follow the road rules.

Sustainable Chania - byLiiL

WHAT TO DO

  • Walk around the old town and Venetian harbour – Crete is an island full of history which can be seen in Chania pretty well. The island was occupied at various times by Romans, Ottomans, Venetians and the ancient Minoans. The city’s architecture and ruins still carry many signs of the ancient times alongside its modern culture. The whole city is relaxed and oozes you to take it easy and enjoy your life. You can find restaurants or cafe’s on almost any street in the old town, and gelato can be bought long until midnight. The Venetian harbour is gorgeous at night time, although I have to warn that every restaurant will try to talk you into having a drink or food at their establishment.
  • Lighthouse – Lighthouse is one of the main attractions in Chania and can be seen from the Venetian harbour. If you want to see the harbour better have a walk to the Lighthouse, which is free but can take a while. You can see small fish in the water and the ocean humming on the other side. Just remember to wear comfortable shoes as the walk is longer than it looks and the road is not smooth, but it is a beautiful view!
  • Ruins – There are ruins all around the city and going out of the city. Walking around the old town you can see a Mosque and old Harbour fortification. On the east side of the city in Souda, you can find Ancient Aptera and if you continue further towards Stilos you’ll find Archaeological sit of Azoires. On the south side of the western Crete there is the Ancient city of Lissos, and in Kissamos you can find an Ancient city of Polyrinia and Archaeological site of Polyrrhenia. There are many more if you search a bit online and each of them will show you a little part of the history of the island.
  • Archeological Museum – There is one in most big cities of Crete, the one I visited was in Chania. It exhibited relics and findings of archaeological digs around the island and especially around Chania. It was filled with a lot of history and I was surprised at the detail of items people made 4000 years ago! It is also a great place to hide if it is starting to get too hot outside.
  • Orthodox Cathedral – The main religion on the island is Orthodox and the island has orthodox churches dotted all around. Many of them really small, some really beautiful! The cathedral is right in the centre of the old town and is worth a visit to see the history and the beautiful building.
  • Visit the Market – There is a market at least once a week on Minoos where you can find fresh vegetables, fruit, cheese and other food ingredients.
  • Go to the Beach – There are several beaches in Chania, the famous tourist beach is Nea Chora, which is not too far from the city centre and has a bunch of cafes and restaurants right at its side. Koum Kapi beach is on the other side of the old town and close to the Market. It is a beautiful beach, but very small. There are also Kladissos, Aptera, Chrissi Akti, Agioi Apostoloi and Agii Apostoloi.
  • Botanical Gardens – Build out of aches of the 2003 devastating fire, stand botanical gardens right at the root of the White Mountains. It offers a beautiful trek in nature, relaxing with local and foreign plants.
  • Boat trips and Watersports – There are several different boat trips available for tourists who want to see the ocean from a glass bottom boat, or go to a near small beach to go snorkelling, diving or just swimming. Paraglyding trips are offered at some of the beaches as well as luxury boat rides. Please be considerate of the wildlife!
  • Stargazing – The island of Crete is great for stargazing. If you are not in a centre of a city there is much less light pollution and you are able to see the star constellations with a naked eye. Did you know, most of the constellations we know today come from the ancient Greeks, so where better to learn stories about them whilst looking at the beautiful Universe? Check trips here.

Sustainable Chania - byLiiL

Sustainable Chania - byLiiL

 

I hope you got as excited about this charming little city as I am!

With love,

Lii

 

The Beautiful and Free Berlin

I’ve been to Berlin before, although only for a one day trip and was really excited to finally go and visit it again last month. My memory didn’t do it justice and spending 4 days there with my fiance we both agreed that it was one of the best trips we’d had together.

The Beautiful and Free Berlin - byLiiL

Our trip didn’t start in the best way. The Schoenefeld airport is changing its name to Brandenburgh, which made us very confused when we arrived at the airport. We had to set location on, on our phones to check whether we were in the right airport! Then we hadn’t got the exact address for our Airbnb and our host wasn’t answering her phone which made things a bit more difficult. We scared few of her neighbours but eventually found the adorably quirky flat in a great location with a little cat to keep us company. We were absolutely enchanted with the cat who obviously liked company and being pet and were sad to leave him when we left the flat. I was inspired by the collection of art books that our host had in her flat and odd but interesting decor.

The Beautiful and Free Berlin - byLiiL

The Beautiful and Free Berlin - byLiiL

We had the pleasure of having the best tourist guide ever, as my friend lives in Berlin and was happy to escort us into places where we wouldn’t have found by ourselves, such as rooftop bar, a Turkish market or where to find what in Friedrichshain, she pointed out all the sustainable and eco shops, which there were many! On our four day trip, we only spend one day going through the different tourist spots from Holocaust memorial to Brandenburg gate and spend the rest getting to know Friedrichshain and visiting odd places here and there. Luckily, Berlin has a great metro network, which is easy to use and get’s you almost anywhere, and which I would recommend! Berlin is a very big city with wide and slightly eerie streets, which makes all the distances longer than you might imagine from the map.

The Beautiful and Free Berlin - byLiiL

It does have a sense of freedom though. We didn’t feel overcrowded anywhere except for the airport. In addition, the whole culture is so different with openness about sexuality, drinking on the streets but not being drunk and the very international vibe.  For example, on the first day, I saw a massive advert for a dildo in the middle of the day on a busy street next to a small shopping centre which was filled with children. At first, I felt a bit weird about it, but I realised it was only because I wasn’t used to it.

The Beautiful and Free Berlin - byLiiL

The Beautiful and Free Berlin - byLiiL

Berlin is great for food offering dishes from German to Italian, Asian and even African cuisines. It was my first time trying Korean buns, which were absolutely delicious and one of our favourite meals was having African style Halloumi pitas on the last day for lunch.

The Beautiful and Free Berlin - byLiiL

The Beautiful and Free Berlin - byLiiL

Berlin was interesting culturally and historically, and it has lots to do. We managed to squeeze in a fashion show, watching an ice hockey game and even go clubbing which we never do, but in Berlin, it definitely was an experience.

The Beautiful and Free Berlin - byLiiL

What I would recommend:

  • Go to Friedrichshain for food and shopping from small independent brands.
  • Turkish market is great for buying souvenirs that are locally made (there is a lot of crap and foreign stuff as well, but you can find gems in the midst of it all).
  • There is a big selection of Airbnb places where you can stay for a reasonable price.
  • Berlin is great for just going for a walk in the Mitte or Kreuzberg (Friedrichshain as well).
  • Don’t spend all your money on the tourist spots, there are many free places as well such as Reichstag building.
  • Use the public transport and if you are going to travel a lot take a day card, which can be used on any public transport around Berlin.
  • Restaurants and cafe’s I would recommend: Neue Bahnhof st. and Sonntag st. are great for good in general, Marafina on Wüchlisch st., 1990 vegan living on Krossener st. and Aunt Benny on Jessner st.

We loved Berlin and I am already planning my trip back there again to walk along the beautifully colourful streets and seeing the crazy buildings with all the greenery, or having coffee at a local cafe!

The Beautiful and Free Berlin - byLiiL

The Beautiful and Free Berlin - byLiiL

Have you been to Berlin? Do you have any additional recommendations?

With love,

Lii

What Was I Up To In September

September was my month of holidays. After a whole summer of working hard, it was great to take a couple of little trips and get my mind off things. My holidays could be seen on this blog as well from trip posts and long breaks between posts. When I wasn’t travelling I was working a lot, which is why I couldn’t quite keep up with blogging. Sorry about that, but I hope I can get back into the schedule with the blog now as I have many great post ideas in the works!

The Isle of Mull Experience - byLiiL

First, at the beginning of the month, I visited Isle of Mull and the Newlan Ark, whilst at the end of the month, I visited Berlin again in 10 years and fell in love with it (more on that soon). During my trips, I was very excited about wildlife and local produce on sale!

I was researching a lot about sustainability, but could only get the monthly sustainable news on here. I should soon be writing more on my research though! I did also share a beautiful collection of Instagram pics as well.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Trips and Wildlife - byLiiL

I really enjoyed my September, but I am looking forward getting into my routine in October; working a lot and posting here.

 

How was your September?

With love,

Lii

The Isle of Mull Experience

Looking ahead into the misty horizon where hills rise in their majestic calmness, you can see the Isle of Mull, the second biggest island of the Hebrides, after Skye. The ferry floats towards the isle through the quiet sea, it is in no hurry. On another side, you can see another isle with more hills. It is quiet almost serene.

The Isle of Mull Experience - byLiiL

It surprises me how small the community on the island actually is. We visit three towns during our visit, Tobermory being the biggest of them all and only having the population of around 1000 people. Still, at 4pm the town of Tobermory is buzzing, mostly from all the tourists who have come to hike, see wildlife or just the beautiful town. It is quickly obvious that the island depends on tourism. Tobermory has at least 3 hotels, youth hostel, several B&B’s and all over the island there are several locations with self-catering lodges for longer stays; quite a lot for such a small town. There are several restaurants and cafe’s, but only one grocery store. At 4pm it is difficult to find a dinner place as almost every place starts serving dinner at 5 or later. The pier of the Tobermory is filled with little local boutiques selling local produce from whisky to beauty items and ceramics, in front of which is a fairly big parking area.

The Isle of Mull Experience - byLiiL

Every corner is filled with adverts for guided wildlife tours and boat rides, which is not a surprise as Mull is one of the best places to spot a number of coastal bird species, eagles, otters, seals, sharks, dolphins, whales and deer. Within the two days, we saw seals twice sunbathing on the rocky beach of Salen Bay. Various species of birds is almost impossible not to spot, not to mention the sheep who are so used to the traffic they don’t even flinch when a car drives towards them, but they do slowly move aside to let the cars past and then move back onto the road. Funnily enough, they do not let people close to them.

The Isle of Mull Experience - byLiiL

The island is full of small single track roads with bubble passing places, similarly to the rest of the Scottish Highlands. You can easily recognise the confident local drivers from the careful tourists, nevertheless, everybody s polite and considerate, although the tight passing places are not fun when there is truck driving way too close to you. There isn’t really any public transport other than occasionally going bus and all the tourist bus tours that drive from Craignure to Tobermory. To most attractions, you do need your own car or be on a tour bus that visits those locations.

The Isle of Mull Experience - byLiiL

 

In addition to wildlife, there are many other attractions on the Isle of Mull. Historic places like standing stones and castles; natural wonders such as geology caves and waterfalls and Aquarium. We visited the Aras waterfalls (there were two), which were absolutely beautiful and offered us a great little hiking trip as well. For anybody who is considering doing this, I recommend good waterproof shoes as the area is slightly muddy and slippery.

The few things that I definitely recommend for a trip to the Isle of Mull. Research things well what you want to see or do and where you find your accommodation (there is almost no internet around once you leave the Craignure area unless you can find wifi in some restaurants. We ran into a problem when we weren’t quite sure where our hotel was and couldn’t access the internet in Tobermory until we sat down to eat dinner. Check the Craignure visitor centre before going anywhere, they have maps and information. Aras waterfalls were beautiful, easy to find, didn’t take a long time and it is close to Tobermory. There is an electric car charging station in Craignure so driving an electric car there is absolutely possible. Stop at different viewing points and take in the view. Park lodge hotel was a great place for a one night stay and the cheapest hotel we found. It was still comfortable, had a great breakfast that was included in the price, good wifi and great staff (it is a family owned business). Macgochans offers great food at a good price and you can have dinner even at 4pm. Dogs are allowed almost everywhere! Check the little shops in Tobermory, even if you don’t buy anything they have very original stuff on sale. When waiting for the ferry in Oban check out the Pokey hat ice cream parlour. They make their own ice cream and, after Italy, I think it is the best ice cream in the world. I’ve tried pineapple, mango and cherry flavours and they were all amazing!

The Isle of Mull Experience - byLiiL

The Isle of Mull Experience - byLiiL

The Isle of Mull Experience - byLiiL

The Isle of Mull Experience - byLiiL

The Isle of Mull Experience - byLiiL

The Isle of Mull Experience - byLiiL

The Isle of Mull Experience - byLiiL

The Isle of Mull Experience - byLiiL

Have you been to the Isle of Mull?

With love,

Lii

Why You Should Visit Finland

There is a good reason why I moved out of Finland, but there is also a good reason why I travel there annually (not counting my family and friends who obviously are the main reason). People often ask me if it is a good place for a holiday and I definitely do recommend it for a holiday, as most people who visit it seem to love it.

Finland is a country that has proper 4 seasons. So unlike the myth that it is always freezingly cold in there, it actually has a beautiful spring and a warm summer of up to 35 degrees celsius.

Winters are cold but full of snow. There are lots of places where they offer snow sports from snowboarding to skiing, whilst stopping at cottages to drink warm hot chocolate (which was my favourite thing to do). In the north, you can visit the Santa Claus and his reindeer or even stay in a glass igloo, which I would really like to do at some point! You can take a very warming sauna and dip into the refreshing cold water afterwards. It does sound like extreme sports, but apparently, it is very healthy for you.

Spring is a beautiful time if you want to see nature coming back to life again. It does invigorate you feeling slight cold on your face while the sun is shining and you can see a flower growing through the snow.

Summers are my favourite time of the year as they are warm and full of light. Actually, Finland is one of the places where you can experience almost never ending lightness. During the summer it can be light nearly the full 24 hours. Finland is full of lakes and forests, so it is easy to feel close to nature and don’t forget about the Aurora borealis. Some of the favourite past times in the summer is going swimming, of course. There are a lot of summer cafe’s with creamy ice cream to be enjoyed at the docks. Summers are also full of various music festivals and you can probably find a festival with the kind of music you like, although Finns are massive fans of heavy metal. There is opera, jazz, rock, r&b… Some of the popular ones are Savonlinna opera festival and Flow.

Autumns are great if you want to see the place full of colour. Trees turn to different colours from green to yellow and orange and people cosy up inside with warm drinks and delicious food. This is a good time if you want to gather some mushrooms or berries, which there is an abundance of in the endless forests.

Finland is not necessarily known as a culinary paradise and I can’t say that I love all the foods there, but there are some gems that I crave for on a yearly basis and make sure to eat when I visit.

  • Karelia pasties/pies are rice pudding wrapped in thin layer of rye and wheat.
  • Leipäjuusto with cloudberry jam. Leipäjuusto is this particular cheese that is a bit squeky. You can eat it cold or warm it in the oven and the cloudberry jam just works with it. Actually, anything cloudberry is yummy!
  • Cheeses, in general, are good. Aura cheese is this blue cheese with a flavour much milder than most blue cheese, but it is delicious!
  • Berries. Just any berries are good and there is lots of them.
  • Ice cream, like I said earlier you can buy it nearly everywhere during the summer.
  • Rye bread can be bought in any supermarket, but many cafe’s offer rye bread sandwiches as well.
  • Liquorice and salt liquorice = salmiakki are one of Finland’s favourite sweet treats. There is also an alcohol drink based on this treat, which is their favourite and available in any club or bar you visit.
  • Chocolate. Fazer is a finnish brand of chocolate and bakery products which you can find in supermarkets, as well as in a Fazer cafe.

Finland has an interesting history being occupied by Sweden and Russia after which they gained their independence in 1917. They have very much of their own cultural identity, although I feel they have a more of a Scandinavian lifestyle than a Russian. There are few castles build during the occupations and there is Suomenlinna, a famous fortress and a Unesco World Heritage site, where you can still see the history of the wars standing in front of you.

Finland, as a country, is quite sustainable. I learned there, from an early age, to recycle everything, to not use too much water and to savour the environment. In addition, you can easily get around in Finland with English and they use Euro as their currency. Transportation has been made quite easy compared to many other countries. So if you are still wondering about whether to go for a holiday toFinlandd I hope this post helped you to decide.

All pictures are from this Pinterest board.

Have you ever been to Finland?

With love,

Lii

Travel Sustainably

If you have followed my blog for longer you know that I occasionally post about my travels and that I do love travelling. Travelling, unfortunately, can often be a burden on the ecosystem and we rarely consider what the carbon-emission of our practices during our holidays is. Why should we abandon our hard learned values when we travel? Well, we shouldn’t. And although travelling sustainably sounds like it is a lot of effort when the only thing you want is to relax and enjoy yourself, it does not really have to be that difficult.

“Sustainable travel is all about making simple choices to lessen your negative impact on a given destination. Indivually, each of the these choices makes only a small difference. But collectively, becoming more coscious about these little things can have a huge impact.” Greenglobaltravel.com

5 easy ways to be more sustainable - byLiiL

Travel

  • Consider using other means of transport than flying if possible.
  • If you have to fly, then use IATA member airlines or pay the small fee that supports carbon reduction projects. Most airlines should have this and the fee is not large.
  • When renting a car opt out for a hybrid or electric car. Although, remember to research first how easy it is to use in your selected travel location.
  • Use public transportation rather than a car.

Accommodation

  • If you are staying in a hotel you might want to consider the following things: what percentage of the hotel’s resources are local, is there sustainable site development, do they have schemes for water savings and energy efficiency and so on. Utilising local resources helps to invest in the local economy and by being energy efficient you are leaving a smaller footprint on the place you visited.
  • Consider using AirBnB. Although some renters are definitely doing it as a profession, it is still an accommodation where you are quite in control of your footprint by making your own food and controlling the heating and aircon.
  • Stay with friends. Of course, this is not always possible, but when it is I usually do stay with friends or family. I am in the lucky position that I have family and friends scattered a bit all over the world.
  • Couchsurfing can be a great experience. You can meet new people, it is economical and environmentally friendly. Make sure you stay in a place that has good reviews of the person so that you feel safe!

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Tourism

  • Take into consideration the local people, their laws and their culture. By doing even a little bit of research you can find out if there are restrictions on how you should be dressed or whether animals are sacred including much more.
  • Do not litter. You can take a bag with you to collect your trash and throw them into a bin.
  • Opt out for a shower instead of a bath, and take short showers.
  • Support the local economy. Find out what foods are good for the local economy and items that are locally made. Restrain from purchasing and eating endangered species (turtle eggs, shark fins, ivory).
  • Do not buy water bottles, but rather bring your own that you can fill. You will save money with this as well!
  • Do not use a hotel laundry, but rather pack with you items that you can wear multiple times and can wash in the sink and dry quickly.
  • Switch off any electric devices when not in the room.
  • When in a hotel leave the “Do not disturb sign”. There is no need for the room to be cleaned every single day with all the chemicals.
  • When walking stick to marked trails. It will be safer for the environment and for you.
  • If you bring your own try to use biodegradable soaps and shampoos.
  • Do not touch coral reefs, they are fragile.
  • Find out what practices are harmful to the wildlife and avoid them. Such as hands-on encounters with animals (elephant ride).

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Travelling is about experiencing something new so try to be open for it. Keep your eyes open, learn from your experience and meet new people. That is the best about these trips!

You can find more about sustainable travelling from Greenglobaltravel.com, Green-Tourism.com and Sustainable Travel International.

 

Do you have any additional sustainable travel tips?

With love,

Lii