Thursday, 25 December 2014

Before Christmas

So much time has passed since I last updated this blog. I haven't had any mood for writing any blog posts, because I've been in Finland and when being in Greece I spend so much time in front of a computer screen.

About two weeks ago I arrived to Finland through Istanbul. I flew with Turkish Airlines, and it became my favourite airlines. The service was great, the food was good and I was able to watch a movie of my choice. When the plane was finally in Finland, I was happy. Nothing beats the feeling of being at home!

It snowed on 13th :)

The first days of being at home I spent decorating our home for Christmas, because my mom had done basically nothing - oh well, she had changed the curtains. haha. I also baked some ginger breads and other bakeries for Christmas. Of course, I also had to make some Christmas cards for relatives.

I spent lots of time meeting the people that mean the most to me. After arriving to Finland I have had more people to talk with face-to-face, so I haven't felt the need to chat on FB or other social media so much; not that there would have been many people sending msgs to me. It's kinda funny how I received so much more msgs when I was in Greece compared to the situation now. However, I'm thankful for the people, who chatted with me back in October & November.

I spent some days with my dad at his place and also met my grandma twice. It was great to spend time with all of them. On 21st we all went to granny's place for Xmas dinner, which was great. Before it mom and I went singing Christmas carols at the church, which I hadn't done for the past few years.

I managed to write a few letters and take some pics as well, but most of the time I've been excited for Christmas. It's my favourite celebration, so I'm happy! I hope you are having fantastic holidays, too, no matter if you celebrate Christmas or not!

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Trip to Athens – part 4

Saturday was the last full day in Athens, because on Sunday morning we had to be at the airport already at 4 am. Haha. We started the day by posting out the postcards and actually found a nice supermarket at the same time, which we decided to visit later in the evening.

We headed towards the areas close to Acropolis, as we had tickets that covered those places. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to go through them all, but I guess, there would have been more pillars and rocks of some kind. We did see the Hadrian's library and the Ancient Agora of Athens. I wouldn't say that they differed a lot from the historic things we saw a day earlier, tho.

Surprisingly, it was a time to look for a restaurant again, and it was as difficult as before. I was very pleased with the one that we found because the food was good and the place was nice, maybe a bit crowded.

This day we didn't do very much actually. After lunch/dinner we walked a bit, visited stores, bought bus tickets to the airport and drank some coffee at a café. Before going back to the hotel, we went to the supermarket, where mom bought something to bring home and cheap red wine for us to drink in the hotel. Haha. 

Earlier I said I would write something about the hotel, so that's what I'll do now. I was very pleased with their service. The staff was always smiling and very helpful. They agreed to call us a taxi, which would pick us up at 2:30 am on Sunday morning – What a lovely time. Over all, everything was what you could expect based on the price. The breakfast was small, but filling if you ate enough. The room was also clean, maybe a bit outdated, but there was a TV. I got to watch Greek TV shows for the first time, though we mainly tried to look for something that was in English. The bathroom, well it was super tiny, especially the shower. But the water temperature stayed the same all the time, which was awesome, because in my shower in Thessaloniki the water temperature keeps on changing from super-hot to cold. 

That actually concludes our last day in Athens. During the night we tried to sleep a bit, but when the alarm clock rings at 2 am, it's almost impossible to sleep. Haha. Out taxi drive to Syntagma Square went well, and also the bus drive to the airport. We were a bit too early at the airport, but we spent time eating something small and drinking coffee. It was kinda stupid our planes left from different parts of the terminal, so I had to wait for my flight alone for a bit longer time than I had expected – my flight was an hour later then my mom's. It was rather stupid to return to Thessaloniki, but at least I got to see some nice views from the plane.

Over all, the trip was very nice! :) 

Monday, 8 December 2014

Trip to Athens – part 3

On Friday we did the things we had planned on doing a day earlier. In the morning we headed to the post office to send out some postcards, however, it was so crowded that we decided not to wait in the line and to go to the metro station, which was actually open this time. The way from Omonia Square to the station closest to Acropolis didn't take long, but it was still nice not to walk the distance for once. Hah.

We entered to the Acropolis area from the South Slope. We walked around and saw the theater of Dionysos, as well as the theater of Herod Atticus, and a whole lot of rocks. Hah. We kept on walking upwards all the time, and finally reached the top. There we saw the Parthenon and the beautiful, yet cloudy, view of Athens. 

The weather wasn't very good during our trip. The sun shined only for a few hours on the last day, and other than that it was just gloomy. At least it didn't rain much, we had to use the umbrellas only once, I think. However, I believe the whole city would have been more beautiful if the sun was shining more.

After our Acropolis visit, my mom saw a small post office, so we were able to buy the stamps for the postcards. Then we walked some more and went to see the Temple of Olympian Zeus. What can I say about it, it was about some pillars, which hadn't fallen down. It wasn't something very special, at least not to me. I was able to see the pillars already behind the fences.

Once again, it was time to look for a restaurant. This time it was easier to find a nice one, as we weren't really in the tourist areas. We ended up eating pasta at a nice restaurant next to the Syntagma Square. After eating we were supposed to go see some other places included in the ticket to visit Acropolis, but unfortunately, they were closed already.

Instead of that we walked on some streets and visited a few stores, but still found nothing to buy. Surprisingly, it was difficult to find a nice café again, so we ended up going to the same one we visited on the first evening in Athens. The café is lovely even though it was Italian. Haha. They offered some Greek Christmas style biscuits for free, and they were delicious! We decided to taste two different type of cakes/pies along with coffee. For me it was difficult to decide which one was better, as one was sweet and the other one wasn't. :)

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Independence Day of Finland

Today (Dec. 6th) is Finland's Independence Day! It's amazing (or not) how quickly a year has passed by. I remember the previous Independence Day very clearly, maybe because I usually spend the day the same way every year. :)

This year I can't spend it the same way as before due to me being in Greece. I thought of still mentioning some things that I would normally do. First of all it's national holiday, so I wouldn't need to go to school, though this year it's a Saturday. I would spend a quite long time eating breakfast with my mom and maybe going on a walk or something. The house would be full of Christmas lights, only exception being the lights that belong to a Christmas tree. At some point we would bake Christmas cookies using the same recipe as every year while listening to Christmas songs.

In the evening we would light up two white & blue candles and watch the Presidential Independence Day reception on TV.

This day is usually very lovely and relaxing! :) Here's the recipe for the cookies. I know I shared it a year ago already, but maybe there's someone new, who hasn't seen it yet. Can't wait to bake them later this month!


- 100 g (=3/4 dl) syrup
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoons ginger
- 1.5 teaspoons clove-carnation
- 2 teaspoons cell of pomerans
- 250 g butter or margarine
- 200 g (=2.25 dl) sugar
- 1 egg
- 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
- 400 g (=6 dl) wheat flour

- Boil syrup with spices and cool down until it's still warm.
- Foam sugar and butter/margarine.
- Combine mixtures. Add egg. Mix together.
- Add flour and baking soda. Mix again.
Keep in the fridge at least over night. 
- Make cookies and bake in the oven for about 10 mins. About 200 °C. 
- Enjoy! :) 

Friday, 5 December 2014

Trip to Athens – part 2

Thursday (Nov 27th) was our first full day in Athens, so it was full of discovering the city. We had an alarm ringing quite early to take the most out of the day. The day started with a breakfast at the hotel as it was included in the price. The breakfast included bread, ham, cheese, eggs, coffee, tea, juice and cereals. It wasn't anything major, but good enough to fill the stomach. However, for someone, who prefers big breakfast in fancy places, this wouldn't have been enough.

Our plan (well, it was more of my plan) for the day was to take a metro and go visit Acropolis. We walked to Omonia Square, because it's the closest metro station from our hotel. When arriving there we noticed the metro wasn't working, maybe because of a strike or something? We could have taken a trolley bus, but we had no idea, which number to take. That's why we ended up walking again. 

The plan changed while walking towards Acropolis. Instead of going there, we walked through a nice park and went to visit the Panathenaic Stadium – a stadium of the first modern Olympic Games. Even though it's just a stadium (+ a small museum about the Olympics), I still think it was worth seeing. It's so different compared to the Olympics stadiums they built nowadays, tho I haven't been to any other than the one in Munich (Germany) for live.

Our next step was the Jewish cemetery of Athens. Before the trip I read from touristic webpages, this cemetery being worth visiting because it's the oldest cemetery in Athens. It sure was different compared to the Finnish cemeteries, but also similar to the one I visited in Thessaloniki earlier. What I remember best about it is its size as the cemetery was huge! I don't know why I have been into visiting cemeteries in different places lately; maybe it has something to do with my previous summer job on a grave yard. 

Our next goal was to find a place to eat at. It's difficult as both, my mom and I, don't like restaurants, where someone is standing on the street and trying to get people inside to their restaurant. We tried to look for a restaurant, where we could look at the menu without someone interrupting us all the time. We did find a lovely restaurant tho it was a bit cold even inside. The food was delicious, and presented in a nice way. 

The rest of the evening we spent wondering around the streets near to the Ermou street. We visited some clothing stores, but we didn't find anything interesting enough to buy. We didn't want to buy any too basic clothes because those could be bought from Finland, so it made the search more difficult. Later we did find ourselves from a café again, which had nice Christmas decorations hanging from the sealing.

Once again we were very tired of walking around the city that it was nice to return to the hotel, watch some TV and go to sleep. That concludes the second day of our amazing trip.