Thursday, 11 May 2017

Seaside spa

The best place to have a face treatment is a windy beach at the Atlantic coastline of the Netherlands. You do not need a special spa day: the moist and salty air, the hard blowing wind and the flying sand will do the trick. If not a professional way to get a smooth and pink cheeks, at least a healthy way to air your mind and to feel, smell and hear the power of the Nature. 

I had it both ways last weekend: first a gentle morning at the hotel beauty centre taking care of myself and enjoying the treatments. Something that I do not normally do, but should do more often. I was  alone and followed my own rhythm of relaxation, did not have to talk to anyone. Even I had a plan of planning some practical things for the next week...I did not hardly do anything. I am proud of that and felt not quilty, just took my laptop with me for no reason :-). The second part of my spa stay...walking at the beach was the best. The wind kissed my skin with sudden attacks and I fought my way through the sand to have my glass of wine at the beach restaurant and enjoyed the beautiful light and views.

The place I went is called Egmond aan Zee. It is not the prettiest beach I have been so far in Holland, but the area is worth to visit and if you walk a little bit further at the beach you do not have to see the ugly architecture. The village is located very near to the sea, just behind the dunes and you can just walk from the main shopping street directly to the sandy beach . It is an easy location for tourists. I used to live for many years in Germany and during my visit the main language I heard was german. I can speak dutch, but it was funny how the people working in the restaurants started to speak german to me, because of my foreign accent. 

After a good night sleep at the hotel, I had a nice morning walk. The night was very windy and I even woke up in the middle of the night, because the noise of the sea was so powerful. On my walk I saw the fresh marks of the night waves, which reached much further along the sand in the dark hours. The old lighthouse is standing in the middle of the village, giving a nice character to the views. 

Small houses side by side at the beach. Some people have summer houses like this in Holland.

The wind is making nice music when moving the masts of the small sailing boats. I love that sound!

The seaview from the dunes. I am standing beside the lighthouse here.

Sometimes is good to be alone and find back to your basic self. To think, watch and listen without any interruptions, demands and routines. To find a place even for a short time to just relax and find the ways and the motivations to make some small changes that will help you to feel better in every day life. I made a little mind map collage during my weekend journey. I wrote down the things that I love to do, would like to do and develop and will use this as a guideline to plan my weeks better. This makes it possible for me to do the things that I would like to do and find even a small spot from my days to focus on. I am a dreamer, so a little bit of planning is always good for me.

Today will be a sunny day and one of the rare warmer days this spring time. I will go and enjoy that!! I know some of my friends are having hard time in Finland now, because there was snow again. I will send my warm greetings to the North and let's hope the warmt will spread all over. Happy weekend!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

a Walk in the woods

Some places, smells, sounds and textures are bringing so many memories from the past. I got this familiar feeling suddenly in the East of Holland (Overijssel) when we had a walk in the woods. I was surprised how this part of Holland near Holten can be a bit hilly too. Also the variation of pine trees brought me back to my childhood landscapes in Finland. I even noticed one house on our way was called "Kalevala", a very well known national epic book of Finland. Maybe some finn moved to these woods in Holland, surrounded by the little vibe or nordic type of nature.

We had a walk in the National park of the "Sallandse heuvelrug", which is one of the biggest continuous heathland areas in Europe.

It is good to walk in the nature. The nature parks and protected areas have beautiful marked routes to follow.

Every year this miracle - so beautiful growth of green.

We had a nice lunch in a small restaurant with a this natural view. The east part of Holland is very beautiful and the countryside is wonderful for cycling trips. There are very many bed and breakfast places and also camping is popular. So instead of heading to the coastline of Holland and visiting just Amsterdam, a visit to the rural part of Netherlands is very interesting. 

I will write more stories again! My spring time has been full of other activities and the cold weather type this year did not inspire me so much. I am positive that the directions of wind will change soon and blow all the grey clouds away :-). I wish you a good spring time !

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Spring boost :)

I need the spring so badly this year and finally I can announce: the spring has arrived. The darkest end of the winter is gone and there is enough of sunshine at least this week, to boost the spring time even more !! We have many blossoms, the trees are getting green, the boat traffic is slowly starting by the canals and the birds are waking me up in the morning.

But before going too much into details at the moment, I want to just show you a few pictures from Lisbon where I went for a weekend in the start of March. This was me a very nice kick towards to the season I love. It must be also partly because I was born in the spring time, that the spring feels like home to me. In Portugal I was fascinated of the architecture and the old textures of the streets and the houses. The hilly landscape was a sporty challenge, but the more hills there are - the bigger are the views. I really much enjoyed being outside this time and we visited only one museum, so there will be plenty to see when I go next time. I am sure I will, with some cities you just feel you have a connection...and I definitely feel I have a it Lisbon! It is amazing how many old historical houses are still there, even the enigmatic earthquake in 1755 was destroying big parts of Lisbon.

I just let the pictures speak of themselves. Like when I was in Portugal: I just enjoyed the life and the views as they were. I did not need any details this time, the freedom of mind was the main thing.

Textures and colors were amazing.

Narrow streets on the way to the Castelo de Sao Jorge.

A Catholic church in the centre of Lisbon.

There is many old people still living along the narrow streets. This picture was a photo exhibition on the street, but I saw a bit similar moments on my way.

The wall of the castle. A great spot for city views.

You can walk on top of the walls of the Castle and admire to views in every direction.

Modern architecture spicing up the view :)

When it still was very chilly in Holland, it was just nice to see these citrus trees in Lisbon. 

The old trams climbing up the steep streets.
The famous tram line 28. A roller coaster journey is waiting for you.

Convento do Carmo - the ruins of a Gothic convent. 

Praca do Comercio, the famous square in the centre - the heart of Lisbon.

These following pictures are from Holland. We drove to the beach of Noordwijk on last Sunday to have lunch. I like to visit different beaches and see the countryside views on the way. In early spring you find easily free spots for a little sun bath or a relaxed coffee moment. 

The children are always the bravest ones, taking off their shoes and even wanting to go swimming. I had to say no this time, the chilly wind was strong and there will be time for long beach days. 

This morning my very good friend from Finland sended me a message that her dog just passed away. We only see each other lately maybe maximal two times a year. I know how important this dog was for her and I felt the connection, how she wanted to tell me about this. No matter how rare we see each other, I felt a strong compassion and understanding. And I know if some very dramatic, sad or happy things are happening in my life, she will be the first one I will contact. And the best news are, she is coming to visit me in this spring. With a good friend you can have a safe journey, even the road can be a rocky one! 

I have noticed that the year of 2017 seems to be a special one for me. I have a feeling of reconnection and friendship with many people from my past. At the same time I think I am making new friends and appreciate it more than ever before. Some experiences in life just teach you how important it is to stick with those people who give you the good energy, who believe in you and trust you. I have always been a bit of a lonely wolf, not needed too much action or people around me. But the older I get, the more I understand how important it is to work on to be more attentive and let your energy to glow for others and get the same flow of positivity back.

I hope I could boost your day a bit :) I wish a wonderful spring time for everyone! I will go out and take some nature pictures now, to show you some colours of spring during the next days! 

Monday, 13 February 2017

A White touch

 I feel so energised after spending a weekend in the east part of Netherlands, nearby Arnhem. This is a more hilly part of Holland, about 20 km from German border. The winter was showing the best natural compositions with the white powdered shapes. All the mud, dirt and green was covered with the endless amount of snow flakes, which landed to the flat lands and curvy hills in one winter night. It felt like a gentle, friendly touch. So calming and peaceful was the sunday, so joyful were the people walking in the woods and going down the hill with full speed. 

This was just a short play of winter. The temperature is already rising, the sun is shining and it will melt all the snow very fast this week. It is important to enjoy the moment when you can and make the best out of every season. I am glad we could have at least one real winter weekend and the children could play with this element and learn the nature of it. The nature and character of snow, which is so familiar to me from my childhood. I find water in all its forms one of the most interesting elements in our planet. The frozen water and the individual snow flakes are unique, disappearing beauties. And thinking of the ice, the melting of the big ice areas in the North pole and in the Antarctica is really worrying. Especially the very strong layers of old ice are disappearing fast. The year 2016 was the hottest year in our planet on record ! 

The temperature rise in the North Pole 

Antarctica's ice is melting from beneath

Lisää kuvateksti
After a cool morning outdoors, when your hands started to froze and the feet were so cold, it is nice to enjoy the warmth. Wearing the best investment for the winter - a pair of real woollen socks, and drinking something warm. Still we have to appreciate the cold and the seasons, which we do not want to lose. And appreciating all we have.. means not only words and talk - it means actions. In the individual level this can be reducing your personal environmental food print.

I did the test. Unfortunately the map doesn't have all the countries there yet, but I used the closest one available, Luxembourg. Compared to average person from there, my ecological footprint was 3,8 when a average Luxemburger has 4,1. If everybody on this planed lived like me, it would need the recourses of 4 planet earth. It is shocking. The first thing I have to do is eat less animal products, travel less, favour local product and travel more locally. I do not buy new products very often - meaning clothes, furniture and other luxury products. I think we really have to think our energy use and start to plan using the sun energy for our needs - seriously !!

The sun is burning through the window to the spot I am writing this in a cafe...teasing me and saying: "Come out". I am making me a promise now to start to be more aware about my choices every day!! This has been my path lately: focusing on choices, personally. This means also my personal choices to react on things, how I take care of my relationships with other people, how I listen to myself and how I should take part more - making good choices and changes. Everything starts on a individual level and has an influence for other people and our environment. 

With these thoughts, as an inspiration for everybody, I wish a great week and joy of life for everybody. The beautiful nature pictures and moments spent outside are giving me the fresh power kick I need for this season.