Autumn in Italy

We made a quick trip to Italy, me and my boyfriend and our parents. That means six people! Travelling is always a little more complicated when there are more people involved. But as a bright side, you always learn something new of the others and something new of yourself with the others. But as compromises had to be done, we still had such fun time! I love the humor we have together!

We first flew straight from our hometown Lappeenranta to Bergamo. We spent the night there in a super cute and cozy b&b La Rocca. I can totally recommend that place. It was close to the airport and they only had three rooms, so we basically booked the entire b&b.

The idea of going to Italy came from this list, world’s 50 best restaurants. And restaurant no.3, Osteria Francescana is in Modena, just a couple hours drive from Bergamo. So, let’s rent a car and drive to Modena!

On our way to Modena we stopped in Sirmione, did some quick sightseeing and bought wine, bread and cheese to eat by Lake Garda.

Our hotel in Modena was also very nice, Hotel Castello. Two nights in this castle!

Modena seemed like a nice town. Too bad the weather was quite rainy for the whole time. They happened to have this food festival, La Bonissima, just when we arrived, so we tried to ignore the rain and enjoy the atmosphere. Italians sure know how to make delicious food. I can’t remember the name of this candy-like thing on a stick, but it was good! It seemed surprisingly difficult to find a pizzeria in Modena. Maybe we were at the wrong side of the town. But when we finally did, it was worth all the search.

As almost on all our trips, cool cars were watched. This time we got to see the production line of Lamborghini Aventador. Obviously pictures were not allowed at the factory tour, but here are some from the museum and in front of the building.

When talking about cars, V did great work driving our minivan through the labyrinths of the highway ramps and the narrow streets in the old towns!

Osteria Francescana was actually a mind-blowing experience. I had certain expectations of these super fancy restaurants. It really was super fancy, but it was so much more. The staff was kind and everything just worked. And I really got my stomach full from this nine course menu. The food itself was indescribable. You need all your senses to experience it. The courses were little art pieces, open-minded combinations of sweet and salty!

And back to Bergamo. We had about half day to explore Bergamo. Maybe a little research in advance would have put us in a better position to see as much as possible in such short time. Bergamo looked like a place I definitely want to go back and see all it has to offer. The newer part of the town was so clean and the old town was just like a fairytale.

And another reason to go back: I never got a chance to taste gelato!

On the Edge

So I finally put one of my adventure dreams into practice. An over-night hiking trip in finnish nature. I made the trip with my cousin. She is a real backwoods(wo)man and was at least as excited of this trip as I was. We decided to go to Koli National park and do Herajärvi trail. We had this image in our heads where we would walk a little, make the camp, I would take some pictures and she would check some odd plants from her book.

Well, it wasn’t just like that. We learned that 10km in nature full of hills is a big deal. We also learned that 1km in that terrain may take over an hour. However, we had the best time.

I had my brand new hiking shoes on and was lucky to not get any major abrasions. Only some little ones on my toes. In both evenings it was quite a victory to see the campground… and just in time before the dark. On the first night our final leg went on duckboards through a swamp. I got so excited to see the campground that my foot slipped and I fell. Fortunately I only got some minor bruises on my wrist.

Our just-add-water-pasta tasted super good in both evenings.

First night we slept in a tent and the second one in this lean-to.

We also made an extra trip by car to see this cave system called Pirunkirkko. Totally worth going!

For the third night we had booked a room in Break Sokos hotel Koli. We got to wash ourselves in Koli relax spa, make facial treatment in aromatic sauna, have some champagne in a hot tub and still look at that breathtaking view. No pics from there, just relaxing!

I enjoyed every minute of that long weekend. Even those sweaty ones upwards the hills.

Snowboarding

Last Saturday was nice. I started it with a quick facial treatment to be ready for the first sunbeams of the spring.

I spent three super fun hours snowboarding with my friend at Myllymäki ski center . We actually would have preferred to stay there even a little longer, but we had quite a tight schedule. So, a return trip will be made!

I finished that perfect Saturday with sauna and some cheese and wine. Ahh, totally relaxing day.

Christmas in Münich

We spent last christmas in Münich, Germany. It seems to be our thing to spend christmas somewhere else than home. No stress and when I get to be a tourist, the crowd doesn’t bother me. I’m just part of it. Anyway, the city was beautiful. We wandered around it just enjoying the view and christmas markets, did some shopping, watched a circus show at Tollwood winter festival, tasted gühwein and since we were in Germany, the cars were on a focus for a major part of the time.

One of the highlights was the day in Therme Erding spa. We decided, that we wanted to have sauna for christmas day and after a quick search and a consultation from the hotel reception we agreed that Therme Erding it is. And it was totally worth going! It was about one hour train ride from Münich central railway station. They had a separate sauna paradise with 25 different kind of saunas. Geyser-sauna, salt room, citrus-sauna and plenty of jacuzzis… just to mention something. We even peeked into the regular spa side, but returned immediately to the sauna heaven, since the purpose of the day was to relax. And that’s what we did!

The only thing I was just a bit disappointed during that trip, was food. I had dreamed of eating everyday in beer gardens, but as a vegetarian, I couldn’t really find anything to eat in those. So, we had to settle mainly for italian food, which is delicious too. But at least beer was delicious everywhere. We even had our christmas eve dinner at central railway station, where he had doner kebab and I had potato wedges. I find that a bit hilarious, since in Finland christmas eve and that dinner is quite a big deal. After our gourmet dinner we went to our hotel room and opened all our two gifts.

Like I said, Münich is a beautiful city. And I like the look of all the bildings. We also took a subway to a district called Neuhausen, where all the old houses are gorgeous.

These two pics are from the city centre.

Cars are cool. And since they are his passion, we went through both transport museum and BMW-world and -museum. I may have even learnt something new during those days.

I find something very picturesque in railway- and subway stations. And in Münich, the subway stations were super cool.

We spent the second last day by the Alps. We took train to the city called Füssen. And from there a bus to the castle of Neuschwanstein. That castle is said to be a model for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle. The place was crowded but the castle was worth to see.

We only had like half an hour to spend in Füssen before the train left back to Münich. That looked like a beautiful small town, so maybe someday I wanna go back there..

-Kaisa