Sunday, 30 November 2014

Christmas Calendar

A Christmas Calendar - An Advent Calendar 
for the Finns ''Joulukalenteri'' 

A Christmas Calendar is not a new phenomenon, it was brought to Finland by Tessi Fazer, who saw it in Sweden. The first Finnish Christmas Calendar was produced in 1947. The idea is to open one window every day starting from the December 1st and ending on the Christmas Eve (24th). 

In Finland we have many kind of calendars; paper, chocolate, candy, toy, etc. This year I was thinking of bringing a Christmas Calendar to my blog. I think it would have been a fabulous idea even though I wasn't sure how I would have conducted it. I still decided not to do it as it might lower my motivation towards this blog. Instead, I will post things when I feel like doing so, and I'm sure the post are becoming more Christmas-y all time time. 

Let's start with a song 'Walking in the Air', which features a TV show called 'The Snowman'. I have watched this show every Christmas Eve morning as long as I can remember - it's a part of my Christmas celebration. 

Saturday, 29 November 2014

A Visitor from Finland - part 2

The second day started with me not having almost any voice, which was rather funny! The more I talked, the better my voice became, tho. The day was mostly spend walking around the city and visiting stores, as well as a cafe. 

We both agreed how funny it's that the rules of EU are followed so differently in different countries, mainly concentrating on Finland and Greece. Let's start with smoking, in EU it is forbidden to smoke inside. In Finland people, who try to smoke at a cafe or restaurant are most likely thrown out if they don't stop smoking. And in Greece people smoke happily inside next to a sigh that says smoking inside is forbidden, even the waiters smoke inside. The next thing is about selling meat, in Greece it is sold on streets and in Finland you need to have all special fridges etc. for selling it. There are even some restaurants needing to quit the business because they don't have enough capital to buy new equipment for storing meat, while in Greece they don't even consider using such equipment. I believe it's somewhat unfair!

And then back to the topic. After we finished shopping, not that I would have bought anything, we visited two more churches. One of them is called Aghias Sofias but ,unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of it. I took many pictures of the other church, which name is unknown to me. However, it's funny how newer buildings have been built right next to the church - the walls are actually shared by those buildings. 

The day ended with eating dinner at a nice restaurant, recommended by the hotel. A funny thing is the restaurant didn't have an English menu, and the waiter asked another customer to tell about the menu in English. haha. We ate a Greek salad (which I forgot to photograph), a stake and ice cream as a dessert. We considered it as a late 'Father's Day' dinner, as I wasn't in Finland celebrating Father's Day on the second Sunday in November. 

That concludes my dad's trip to Thessaloniki. It was great to have him here and show my 'second hometown' to him. It was something I shared only with him, so I shall remember these days as father-daughter moments. :)

Ending with a view from my balcony!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

A Visitor from Finland - part 1

The White Tower

In the evening of November 15th I headed to the airport by a bus. It was good to check how long it would take to go there, considering my trip to Athens. Anyway, I went to the airport to meet my dad, who traveled to spend some time with me in Thessaloniki. We didn't do much on the first day, as his flight arrived rather late in the evening. 

Some cute cats!

On the next day all the stores were closed, as it was Sunday, so we had to find some other things to do. The weather was somewhat nice; the sun wasn't shining, but it wasn't raining either. That's why we decided to walk a bit and go to the White Tower, which this city is known for. 

After the tower we headed to the Olympics Museum, which wasn't as easy to find as it's seen on the map. We did find it in the end, and walked through the place. I don't think I had been to such a museum before so it was interesting to see, tho it was mainly concentrated on summer Olympics and the success of the Greeks. haha. 

Our next stop was supposed to be a cafe close to the museum, but then I realized we were somewhat close to Ano Poli, so that's where we headed next. I just love to climb the hill - or not! I must say the view from there is very nice, however, it could have been better if there weren't so many clouds on the sky.

We found a nice cafe/bar there, where we decided to drink and eat something small. I had a mint tea, which didn't taste like mint in my opinion. Both of us took 'club sandwiches', but we had no idea there would be 4 pieces of them on a plate as well as fries. There our plan of eating at a nice restaurant in the evening went to the trash, as these plates were so filling. 

Later in the evening we went on a walk and decided to visit this one church. I'm not completely sure of its name, but anyway it was beautiful inside. It's always funny to compare Catholic churches, which are always super decorated, with churches in Finland (most of the Finns are Evangelical Lutheran, btw.), which aren't much decorated at all. 

The second day shall get a post of its own. :)

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Athens Here I Come

I'm traveling to Athens tomorrow. Yay! I'm sure it will be a great journey, especially as my mom will come there as well. Together we will explore the city, and hopefully not get lost! haha.

So far I have planned on visiting these places:

- Acropolis as well as the sights around it

- Hill of the Nymphs

- The Acropolis Museum

- Panathenaic Stadium - Olympic Stadium of the first modern Olympics!!

- Athens Jewish cemetery

- Some churches

But we will see, where we actually end up going. What's sure is that we will do some shopping and eat out at restaurants tasting the cuisine!

After this trip I will surely blog about it and show way too many pictures! ;)

Sunday, 23 November 2014

The Friendliness of the Greek

I wanted to write about the friendliness of the Greek even though I don't have much to say about this topic. I have met people who are very lovely and willing to help, but also those who run away quickly when I ask for help. hah. 

The most of the Greek I have talked with have been very friendly and helpful. They try to answer to my questions even if their English wouldn't be good. I really appreciate this, even a smile is nice to see. Some people even come to ask if I need any help, which is great. :)

I have also met those, who seem like they don't want to help. If I ask something they look at me and quickly go away. This may be because they are too busy or they don't know any English or then they simply don't want to help. Either way this is rather annoying, I mean they could smile and find someone who could help or try to express that they don't understand with body language. This hasn't bothered me much, but at uni I try to ask something from teachers and they just stare at me like I would be crazy and just walk by me like I would be air or something. :/

I do have one nice story to tell. One day I went to the post office to buy stamps. This time I bought 8 stamps, and the cashier kept on checking if I really wanted to buy 8 stamps. hah. She sounded like she couldn't believe I wanted to get so many stamps at once. In the end she gave me 4 free postcards printed by the post office. That was a lovely surprise! :) 

Friday, 21 November 2014


On Nov 10th I went on a road trip to Meteora with three Poles and one Latvian. I can thank the Poles for the trip because they planned the whole thing and looked for people to fill all the seats in the car, so thank you! 

The trip started with renting a car, and driving many hours towards Meteora. On the way there we saw the Mount Olympus along with many other beautiful sites! Some of the pictures are taken through the car's window, my apologizes. 

When arriving to Meteora the next step was to climb on the top, to visit one of the many monasteries. It was a good way to do some exercising as it took pretty long to get on the top, but it was totally worth it! The weather happened to be so good that day, which was kinda surprising as all the other days have been rather gloomy. The view from the top was simply amazing! 

This time I can also say that pictures tell more than thousand words, so enjoy the view! 

Later we walked a bit more, and also explored the place with a car. We were trying to visit another monastery, but unfortunately it was closed already. I didn't mind so much as I got to see the amazing view from a different angle. 

We arrived back to Thessaloniki just after 8 pm. Most of the day was spent in a car, but it was totally worth it. Meteora is an amazing place, which I recommend everyone to visit at some point! 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The District of Serres

On Sunday (Nov. 9th) it was time for a trip to the district of Serres, which was organized by the universities. In the first place, the trip was supposed to be a day earlier, and that's sort of why I decided to join it, as Sunday was a Father's Day in Finland. Anyway, it was good they changed the day, as the weather wasn't very good on Saturday, tho it wasn't perfect on Sunday either. Anyway, the trip started at 8 am. 

The first stop was at the Kerkini Lake, which is famous for its birds. I did see some birds there, but I don't think there were so many of them. haha. However, the lake was very beautiful, and I'm sure it would be even better to see during summer or at least when the sun would be shining. 

To me this stop seemed a bit unorganized, as some went canoeing along with the teacher, and others left behind, to walk on their own. It wasn't boring as the lake was beautiful, however, I dislike waiting for others when they are late. There should be a clear schedule, which to follow. 

The next stop was at Petristi village, where some kind of a folk festival was going on. Personally, I thought the event was rather small and the music wasn't my type. I mean, it was interesting to hear Greek music for a while, but it was way too loud, which is why I walked further away from the place. Once again, the bus left towards the next destination late, which annoyed me. I'm almost always on time (nobody is perfect), so it's very annoying to wait for others.

The last stop was at Roupel, which was like a military place. This part I actually liked because we were so high from where the view was beautiful as the sun was about to set. There we also visited an underground bunker, which is currently a Second World War museum. It was more interesting than I originally thought, as it was something new to me. 

From this place we headed back to Thessaloniki. The trip was nice for sure, but it would have been nice to know the timing of the trip earlier, I mean how long we spent at specific places and when we are back in Thessaloniki. I don't know if this bothers others, but it does annoy me. haha.