Category: Travel

Weekly Photo Challenge: Narrow

This week’s task is to share photos with our take on “narrow.

When I think of “narrow”, streets of old towns in Europe comes to mind first.

Here is one of the streets in Tallinn:


Or this one in Stockholm:


It also reminded me about narrow tranches around the old fortress of Lappeenranta:


And the narrow dome of Sagrada Familia in Barcelona:


And the narrow strips of land along the ocean all the way down 101 road in California:


Have a nice week, everyone! Hope you enjoyed this collection of images featuring “narrow” topic 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Cherry on Top

This week’s photo challenge “Cherry on Top” is about something extra that makes an already good thing even better.

I thought about the photo below. It was taken in Carmel Bay, CA. We stopped there for a night on our road trip to Los Angeles. We woke up to a nice sunny day, and spotted these guys on the rock enjoying their sunbaths. It was the first time I saw seals in a wild nature:


And this photo is from the recent trip to Budapest. We were climbing up the hill on a very hot day. I was happy when we reached the top, and the view was totally worth it:


Have a nice weekend, everyone 🙂


Weekly Photo Challenge – Curve

Weekly photo challenge is a new exercise in improving my photography skills and imagination. Every week I’ll be posting photos in response to a prompt. Let’s see where this challenge takes me 🙂

This week’s prompt is curve. I think it’s in human nature to prefer and to chose simple things over complicated. Same goes for photography. Straight lines are easy to spot and to capture. Curves are trickier. They take more space, they tend to look different on the photo compare to how you see it in a real life. Also, they are much more fun to deal with 🙂

The first curve photo is from Helsinki, Finland. A lot of old houses in Helsinki have a name. This one is from Tehtaankatu, and its name is Koivu, which means a birch tree. It was built in 1904, and designed by Paul Björk.


And the second curve is from Rio de Janeiro. We were on our way to the top of the mountain and about to see the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer, while breathtaking views opened on the left and on the right. It’s hard to not go full crazy and start taking photos of everything you see 🙂


Sea Horse – a Local Establishment

I can’t tell you how many times I was planning to write a post about Sea Horse, but there were so many questions to address that I’d always postpone it. For example, what shall I call it? A restaurant serving traditional Finnish food? A place with a long history? A destination in the Japanese guidebooks on Helsinki? Would that be enough? I decided the best way to deal with this challenge is to share with you the Sea Horse’s story. I hope this way you’ll get a very good picture of what kind of place it is 🙂


The restaurant opened in 1934, and changed a couple of owners before it became famous in 1959. This was the time when Mrs. Paukku and her husband bought this place. They updated the menu and attracted new customers, among which were many artists as Mrs. Paukku was a patron of the arts. There are a lot of legendary stories surrounding her “ruling”. According to one of them, Mrs. Paukku cooked a home-made mustard for the restaurant and for the customers. “She lowered a bucket full of mustard to the kitchen window for customers to buy it to their homes. The same method was used after every business day. The cash of the day went up with her bucket every night.”

After Mrs. Paukku retired in 1988, the restaurant was sold. There were good times and bad times, but every time the place managed to survive and continue to stay in business.

“Leave the title to the doorman”

This famous motto comes from Mrs. Paukku. She believed that all clients should be treated the same way, no matter what rank or position in the society they have. This approach is the cornerstone of the restaurant’s philosophy in present days too. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do and where you came from. You will be treated as a customer, exactly the same way as others.

Also, there is actually a doorman. He works in the evening, and he handles the cloakroom charging for his service 2 euro. Sometimes I wonder if it’s really necessary, but it’s part of the tradition and the experience, I guess.


The interior is from 30s and it never really changed. In 2000s the restaurant has been renovated. Artist leaving in the same building, Kimmo Kaivanto, helped with fixing the painting and also designed and painted a new restaurant room, Black Horse Cabinet.

The painting of sea horses in the main room is what you see the minute you enter the restaurant. It’s not clear who painted it originally and there are quite many different stories offering possible explanations. Mystery surrounds this place.


Although the sea horses painting is quite beautiful, I think I could leave without pink lights in the windows. And fixing old lamps on the walls would also be nice. But many local customers prefer to see this place exactly the same way it has always been and don’t want any changes. It’s a matter of preferences.


Sea Horse serves traditional Finnish dishes: creamy salmon soup, potato hash brown skillet (pyttipanna), cabbage rolls (kaalikääryleet), and of course, famous baltic herrings – stakes or whole fish. As all portions are very big, my advice is to eat as little as possible on a day of the visit 🙂

I liked all the dishes I tried. Vorshcmak maybe is the only one where my expectations didn’t quite meet the reality. My favourite one is the salmon soup.

What do I think about the place 

It’s difficult to express:) I love the food, I hate the pink lights. I like the cozy atmosphere of the restaurant, but I’m not so excited when locals are having some extra drinks and being loud. Overall, this is not your average place to grab a dinner. It has a character and a story, and this is partly the reason why so many locals are loyal customers for decades and more.