these are the posts tagged ‘trip’:

one day in tallinn

going to tallinn wasn’t on our original plans for this trip, but when mikko came home one day with discounted boat tickets… well, how could we resist? so, with little preparation and some faith on our gps, we hopped on an enourmous boat (the kind that swallows trucks!) and made the 2 and a half hours journey to estonia.
the old historic center of tallinn is a magical place, and a unesco world heritage site:

The origins of Tallinn date back to the 13th century, when a castle was built there by the crusading knights of the Teutonic Order. It developed as a major centre of the Hanseatic League, and its wealth is demonstrated by the opulence of the public buildings (the churches in particular) and the domestic architecture of the merchants’ houses, which have survived to a remarkable degree despite the ravages of fire and war in the intervening centuries. (from the unesco site)

estonian flag

and the architecture is indeed opulent and well preserved, with a distinct medieval feeling, making it a joy to just wander around, with our noses up on the air, looking for little details in the buildings, streets and cathedrals…


interesting though, most of our finish boat companions made the trip to estonia just to buy beer and other alcoholic drinks. prices were cheaper there, and as a result, on the way back we dodged a considerable number of “old lady” shopping carts, brimming with cases of beer :)

bye-bye shanghai!

hello europe! :D

haw par villa

haw par villa

haw par villa is a sort of a theme park built in 1937 in singapore by aw boon haw and aw boon par, the inventors of tiger balm (an ailment extremely popular in asia, used to cure all sorts of muscular pains). the extravagant park contains hundreds of statues and dioramas, “depicting scenes from Chinese folklore, legends, history, and illustrating various aspects of Confucianism”. an educational experience.

laughing buddha?

it’s a bit rundown, but still quirky, fun, and with lots to explore. as an highlight, it includes a 60-meter cave which depicts the “10 courts of hell”, the gruesomely detailed fate of those who have fallen in disgrace. christian hell is nothing compared to those who don’t listen to the doctrine of confucius, i tell you. and they have it all explained for you, in explicit nightmare-inducing detail.

for instance, “drug traffickers and addicts” are “tied to red hot copper and grilled”, while “money lenders with exorbitant interest rates” are “thrown into a hill of knives”…

you get the picture. or, if you don’t, you can see a ton more pictures on this flickr set!

it would have been nice to have a chinese person to tell us all the stories behind the statues and scenes, but all in all, a highlight of our stay in singapore. for me, it’s always the quirky places that make the best memories!

here she comes!


another snapshot from the september trip to singapore/malaysia (still catching up on those pictures and stories)…

the amazing digital camera’s plague.

dutch bits.
photos from our stay in the netherlands. by random people on our housing.