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About Melek

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Life Missions

(3 out of 5 complete)

Visit 5 European Capitals (Helsinki - Lisbon - Vienna)
(Complete)

Visit a zoo
(Complete)

Go hiking in the mountains
(Complete)

Learn to count from 1 to 10 in 20 languages (3/20)
(Incomplete)

Find a geocaching travel bug
(Incomplete)

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Travelog for: Melek

Heidelberg, Germany - 26th September 2011

By: nuriayasmin

I'm desperate to start travelling so I'm looking for a nice host. I love to do sight-seeing in big cities and places with a rich historical background but I also love to explore nature and would like to see many different animals.

Updates of my life missions:

Count from 1 - 10 in 20 languages (English and German don't count):
1) Slovak (lesson on September 27, 2011)
2) Finnish (lesson on October 10, 2011)
3) Portuguese (lesson on November 15, 2011)

European capitals visited:
1) Helsinki/Finland
2) Lisbon/Portugal

Future Hosts:
August 2012: Muhlikuhli

melek2.jpg

* Posted Sep 26, 2011, 8:29 am Last edited Mar 3, 2012, 8:36 am by nuriayasmin [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Heidelberg, Germany - 27th September 2011

By: nuriayasmin

This is my last day at home, tomorrow I'm travelling to Finland. Therefore Mum decided to make muffins. Our tv guest Nook and I helped her to find all ingredients we needed.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-qDdHfbrPdJU/ToHULN57h2I/AAAAAAAAB84/ro0y0wxC64Q/nook22.jpg

The dough looked quite tasty.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-U7pxtR6QyZk/ToHZ9wEmrzI/AAAAAAAAB9c/nbVXT_zq6xo/melek3.jpg

I couldn't wait for the muffins to be ready.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-5TMTlcOFCrs/ToHZ_KdWjJI/AAAAAAAAB9o/tpdYewi-Ej0/s512/melek4.jpg

Nook and I shared a muffin and also had a cup of tea.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-dPFsAE7L4Es/ToHaAqu7eSI/AAAAAAAAB9k/32KaKfUS7mg/melek5.jpg

Afterwards I got serious with my language learning. Mum is studying Slovak and she taught me the numbers from 1 to 10:
1 - jeden, 2 - dva, 3 - tri, 4 - štyri, 5 - päť, 6 - šesť, 7 - sedem, 8 - osem, 9 - deväť, 10 - desať.
I hope my Finnish host will teach me some Finnish.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-AhDZOi_dcik/ToHc892DNHI/AAAAAAAAB9w/fM1dVUfe0Tc/melek7.jpg

* Posted Sep 27, 2011, 3:33 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Heidelberg, Germany - 28th September 2011

By: nuriayasmin

Here I go, My envelope is ready and I'm saying good-bye to Nook who was such a nice companion during the last couple of days. Hope to meet him again one day but I'm also looking forward to meeting other TV's.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-3M08bQDHVVg/ToHc-E33N-I/AAAAAAAAB90/bxzp3q1OOeE/melek8.jpg

Seems to be okay inside here. I'm going to sleep and hopefully the journey to Finland won't take too long. Bye!

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Gv5qoDb-yHw/ToHdAoGK07I/AAAAAAAAB98/SE3zcxj-Uw8/melek10.jpg

* Posted Sep 28, 2011, 7:55 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Helsinki, Finland - 30th September 2011

By: Eohippus

Hei, äiti!  :)

That´s the first sentence of finnish I´ve learned!
It means "Hi, mother!".

I was in deep sleep inside my envelope the whole way here from Germany. We hedgehogs hibernate anyway half of the year, so it is no trouble for me to sleep happily for days, to make the time go faster.

I only woke up when I heard impatient, demanding little voices shouting "Open it! Open the envelope NOW!!! We wanna see who´s inside!!!"
And then my envelope was opened.



http://i4.aijaa.com/b/00338/8786919.jpg
I roamed out, and saw three other toyvoyagers staring at me.
They looked very nice!  :D

From left to right, they were Zoe, Kirin and Torsten



http://i6.aijaa.com/b/00127/8786920.jpg
I gave them the presents I brought with me, and they asked to send their thanks to you, mum!  :D
The chocolate was very good!  ;)



http://i6.aijaa.com/b/00653/8786921.jpg
I was showing my travel card to my new host Henna, who was admiring it, and said it was a nice idea.

Only then I had time to wonder about my whereabouts!
I was on a train. Henna was on her way to uni in Helsinki, and had taken the envelope from the post box on her way to the busstop.



http://i8.aijaa.com/b/00935/8786923.jpg


http://i8.aijaa.com/b/00027/8786924.jpg
I was watching the views from the train window.
My host told me that sadly she had to go and bury herself into the uni library for whole day, but that maybe I could go to see a bit around in Helsinki with the other toyvoyagers, who allready knew the place rather well.
That sounded great! :D



http://i10.aijaa.com/b/00611/8787353.jpg
So my new friends took me on a small sightseeing.
Zoe even rolled a "megaphone" out of a newspaper, and was then shouting "facts" about the sights we saw..
but I have a doubt if all the facts really were facts.  :rolleyes:
This is just a streetview from a street called Mannerheimintie.



http://i8.aijaa.com/b/00858/8787276.jpg
This guy riding a horse is Mannerheim, who, according to our turist guide was famous about "his warm attitudes towards kiwi birds".  :rolleyes:
Torsten whispered to me that actually the guy was somekind of war hero.. well, I liked Zoes kiwi-bird-friend version more too!  ;)



http://i7.aijaa.com/b/00176/8787278.jpg
This is the finnish parliament house, although it has some other, more interesting names is spoken language, I was informed.  :)


http://i7.aijaa.com/b/00063/8787277.jpg
This fountain is next to the parliament house.


http://i3.aijaa.com/b/00105/8787279.jpg
And here we have more Helsinki streetview.


http://i8.aijaa.com/b/00308/8787355.jpg
Then we saw these beautiful flowers.
I was checking if there happened to be any earthworms, but no..  :rolleyes:



http://i6.aijaa.com/b/00174/8787354.jpg
Behind the flowerpot was the finnish national museum.  :)


http://i6.aijaa.com/b/00677/8787356.jpg
I was sitting for a while on the lap of an urbanized bear..


http://i5.aijaa.com/b/00294/8787357.jpg
We came into a park, called Taivallahden puisto.  :)


http://i4.aijaa.com/b/00326/8787506.jpg
The autumn is already coloring the leaves here and the trees are very beautiful!  :)


http://i10.aijaa.com/b/00668/8787507.jpg
Ooo, the dry leaves on the ground made my nest building instincts wake up!
My wild relatives must be already building their nests to sleep the vinter in.
  :D


http://i9.aijaa.com/b/00501/8787510.jpg


http://i3.aijaa.com/b/00051/8787508.jpg
We sat for awhile resting in a park called Sibelius-puisto after a famous finnish composer Sibelius.
I was talking with Zoe, and we found out we share some common interests, like some favorite foods - snails, earthworms and insects, for example.  :p



http://i9.aijaa.com/b/00250/8787509.jpg
This is Sibelius monument, very popular turist attraction, it seems.  :rolleyes:
It brought to my mind icicles hanging from a rock in vinter forest.



http://i8.aijaa.com/b/00954/8787684.jpg
Who says hedgehogs cannot climb a tree?  B)


http://i9.aijaa.com/b/00513/8787685.jpg
We walked still to peep a bit over the sea.  :)


http://i7.aijaa.com/b/00041/8787686.jpg


http://i8.aijaa.com/b/00880/8787682.jpg


http://i7.aijaa.com/b/00021/8787683.jpg

Then we came to our home here in Nuuksio, but it was already rather dark when we got here.


http://i5.aijaa.com/b/00905/8787853.jpg
Here are waiting for the bus in Leppävaara.


http://i3.aijaa.com/b/00036/8787854.jpg


http://i5.aijaa.com/b/00565/8787855.jpg
We saw fields and forest.. the nearer we got, the greener it was.
Henna lives in a small cottage in middle of forest.



http://i4.aijaa.com/b/00819/8787856.jpg


http://i8.aijaa.com/b/00895/8787857.jpg
Here is the cottage where we live here!  :D
The nearest neighbors are kilometers away, there is no running water, but a good well, the forest around is full of mushrooms and berries, and I´m already in love with it all!  ;)

I´m sure there is some hedgehogs around too. Henna told me there is elks and bears in the forest, and she is feeding deers, foxes, raccoon dogs, squirrels and badgers on her yard. And an enormous amount of birds.  :D

Now I go with the others, theu are going to show me around here!
I´ll write soon again!
Terveisin Melek (Greetings, Melek)  :)

* Posted Sep 30, 2011, 9:00 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Helsinki, Finland - 5th October 2011

By: Eohippus

Hyvää iltaa, äiti! (= Good evening, mother!)  :D

As you can see I´m already learning some finnish, mum! I can then teach some for you too!  ;)

I have been already seeing lots of things.  :)



http://i2.aijaa.com/b/00790/8820935.jpg
One day we went to Helsinki.
The train took us to the main railwaystation, which is behind me in the pic.



http://i7.aijaa.com/b/00365/8820936.jpg
And then we took a tram.


http://i5.aijaa.com/b/00193/8820937.jpg


http://i7.aijaa.com/b/00733/8820938.jpg
I was watching the Helsinki city trough the window.
Helsinki is the capital of Finland, and although there is many other towns in Finland, Henna says most of them are so small they are much smaller than villages in most Europe..  :rolleyes:



http://i2.aijaa.com/b/00669/8820934.jpg
We were asked to Hennas mothers place to have coffee and cakes!  :p
In finnish coffee is "kahvi".  :D



http://i7.aijaa.com/b/00040/8821015.jpg
I met a somewhat grumpy cat, who was on top of a high closet.  :)


http://i5.aijaa.com/b/00791/8821016.jpg
And I also met some toys, but they were not voyagers..


http://i7.aijaa.com/b/00362/8821017.jpg
After some time we wanted to go out again, to see more things.  :)


http://i6.aijaa.com/b/00298/8821019.jpg
So we walked towards the city center.


http://i7.aijaa.com/b/00894/8821018.jpg
This is "Suurkirkko" - the main lutheral cathedral in Helsinki.  :)



http://i5.aijaa.com/b/00200/8821151.jpg
Then we went to see "Kauppatori", the market square.


http://i2.aijaa.com/b/00307/8821147.jpg
They were selling lots of different mushrooms.  :p


http://i8.aijaa.com/b/00743/8821148.jpg
Now there was the annual herring fair going on.. lots of stands selling herring products.
"Silakka" = herring  ;)



http://i2.aijaa.com/b/00484/8821149.jpg
The harbour was full of fishermens boats, selling herring straight from the boats.  :)


http://i8.aijaa.com/b/00830/8821150.jpg
This old lighthouse ship was working as a restaurant.  :)
It looked nice, but we waned to be in open air, when the sun was shining.  :)



http://i6.aijaa.com/b/00665/8821352.jpg
We climbed a hill.


http://i8.aijaa.com/b/00766/8821350.jpg
to see the Uspenski orthodox cathedral.


http://i7.aijaa.com/b/00347/8821351.jpg
We peeped a bit in too, but they didn´t like photographing there.


http://i8.aijaa.com/b/00561/8821353.jpg
So we walked along the shoreline.
These are big icebreakers, which keep the harbours an main ship routes open during vinter, when the sea ice can be over a meter thick.  :thinking:



http://i5.aijaa.com/b/00777/8821354.jpg


http://i10.aijaa.com/b/00332/8821374.jpg
This is an old sea mine. After war they were cleaning hundreds of these from the sea bottom.  :thinking:


http://i3.aijaa.com/b/00539/8821376.jpg
We saw some rowans full of berries.  :)


http://i6.aijaa.com/b/00743/8821375.jpg
This is a life saving boat.

Now I stop and go to sleep.
Next time I propably know already some numbers in finnish!
Henna promised to teach me!  :D

Kisses from Melek  :)






* Posted Oct 5, 2011, 11:00 pm Last edited Oct 5, 2011, 11:10 pm by Eohippus [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Porkkala, Kirkkonummi, Finland - 10th October 2011

By: Eohippus

Hei taas, äiti! (Hi again, mother!)  :D

Your little hedgehog has been very industriously trying to learn finnish numbers!  B)



http://i5.aijaa.com/b/00370/8853250.jpg
I can now repeat the numbers in a queue from 1 to 10, but it is much more difficult to remember them without repeating the whole queue!  :rolleyes: But I´ll learn!

Here they are:


                                              1 yksi
                                    2 kaksi
                                    3 kolme
                                    4 neljä
                                    5 viisi
                                    6 kuusi
                                    7 seitsemän
                                    8 kahdeksan
                                    9 yhdeksän
                                    10 kymmenen



http://i4.aijaa.com/b/00029/8853249.jpg
So, nowadays I´m counting everything in finnish.  :D
In this pic there are "kaksi sientä" (two mushrooms).



http://i4.aijaa.com/b/00072/8853248.jpg
In this pic there is too many mushrooms!  :thinking: I can´t count so big numbers yet!


http://i3.aijaa.com/b/00837/8853268.jpg
"Yksi mökki". (one cottage) here.  ;)


http://i6.aijaa.com/b/00320/8853247.jpg
Here is "kolme ystävää" (three friends) covering me with dry leaves, when I wanted to test how it would feel to hibernate in a pile of leaves like finnish hedgehogs do during the vinter.  :D


http://i9.aijaa.com/b/00880/8853246.jpg
Here is "yksi siili" (one hedgehog) nesting.  ;)

Phew! That was enough of counting for this day!  :D
I´ll count some more next time.  ;)



http://i4.aijaa.com/b/00684/8853269.jpg
Here I am on the rocks in the seashore in Porkkala, where we drowe one day to watch the wawes after a very stormy night.  :)


http://i5.aijaa.com/b/00784/8853270.jpg
It was very beautiful, but also a bit chilly there, so we decided to build a fire and make some coffee.


http://i5.aijaa.com/b/00216/8853271.jpg
Here it is cooking allready.
I´m keeping an eye on the fire while the others went to find more firewood, and also keeping myself warm.  :rolleyes:



http://i3.aijaa.com/b/00084/8853272.jpg


http://i2.aijaa.com/b/00178/8853276.jpg
Then we were having choc. cookies with coffee!  :p


http://i6.aijaa.com/b/00606/8853278.jpg
I went to investigate a bit our surroundings.. there was a very mossy pine forest.


http://i9.aijaa.com/b/00710/8853275.jpg
And from there I found these suppilovahveros (Cantharellus tubaeformis), out of  which it is possible to made excellent dishes.
I ate one straight away.  :p



http://i8.aijaa.com/b/00539/8853277.jpg
On our way home I photographed these sunflowers for you, mum!  :stare:

See you soon again!
Melek  :)
















* Posted Oct 11, 2011, 12:24 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Störsvik, Siuntio, Finland - 18th October 2011

By: Eohippus

Hyvää päivää, äiti! (Good day, mother!)  :)

Our host Henna has been in some exams this week, and while she was there we toys went to see the Helsinki university main library.
It was a very beautiful building.  :)



http://i6.aijaa.com/b/00362/8901272.jpg
Here is the library from outside.
In finnish library is kirjasto. It is derived from the word kirja which means "a book"



http://i10.aijaa.com/b/00524/8901273.jpg
Here we are inside the library.
The building is from the year 1845. Before that the library and the whole university was situated in Turku, but the whole city of Turku was destroyed in a fire, and after that the uni and the library moved into Helsinki.



http://i10.aijaa.com/b/00055/8901274.jpg
The ceilings are decorated with colorful paintings.  :)


http://i10.aijaa.com/b/00212/8901275.jpg
There was going on a exhibition about Finnish cartoon. The black figures behind me are hedgehog characters from a cartoon called Kiroileva siili, which means "Cursing hedgehog".  :rolleyes:  I was trying to learn some finnish cursewords, but Henna wasn´t cooperative.


http://i8.aijaa.com/b/00058/8901276.jpg
There is five floors in the library, and lots of staircases going to this and that direction. The whole place is like a maze.  :)


http://i10.aijaa.com/b/00914/8901489.jpg
The rows of books looked almost endles.  :thinking:


http://i4.aijaa.com/b/00009/8901487.jpg


http://i8.aijaa.com/b/00348/8901491.jpg
  What? Are you asking if I have remembered to use the finnish numbers? Of course, mum!  :stare:
In this pic you can see  Yhdeksän sinistä kirjaa.  (Nine blue books).  ;)



http://i5.aijaa.com/b/00813/8901492.jpg
After leaving the library we went for a trip in the nature.  :D


http://i5.aijaa.com/b/00146/8901615.jpg
We were driwing towards the seashore, but stopped in a small place named Koski in Siuntio to see a small rapid.  :)
The buildings behind me is the old manor house (the big stone building far behing me) and its watermill and dam.



http://i5.aijaa.com/b/00460/8901616.jpg
Here is the little rapid in the Siuntionjoki river.


http://i6.aijaa.com/b/00643/8901620.jpg
There is the little water mill using the power of the rapid.


http://i9.aijaa.com/b/00241/8901621.jpg
Koski is part of the area which belonged to Soviet Union for some years after the second World War.
The soviet troops where using the manor house, and they had been sribbling to the walls of some of the buildings.



http://i10.aijaa.com/b/00956/8901622.jpg
None of us here can read russian, so we don´t know what´s written there.


http://i9.aijaa.com/b/00319/8901926.jpg


http://i10.aijaa.com/b/00069/8901927.jpg
Here is some other houses on the riverside.


http://i4.aijaa.com/b/00082/8901928.jpg
We went into a place called Störsvik on the seashore.


http://i7.aijaa.com/b/00153/8901930.jpg
I was watching over the sea..


http://i6.aijaa.com/b/00222/8901929.jpg
And then I climbed a tree to see even farer away.


http://i4.aijaa.com/b/00212/8902083.jpg
We were enjoying the rare glimpse of sun laying in the fluffy lichen.  :)


http://i5.aijaa.com/b/00776/8902085.jpg
Then we were walking round the area and watching the views.


http://i3.aijaa.com/b/00752/8902086.jpg


http://i6.aijaa.com/b/00753/8902084.jpg


http://i5.aijaa.com/b/00293/8902087.jpg
Then we drowe along small forest roads to see a lake.  :)


http://i8.aijaa.com/b/00950/8902090.jpg
It was a swamp lake, the shores were full of wonderfully smelling suopursu (Rhododendron tomentosum).  :)


http://i3.aijaa.com/b/00480/8902091.jpg
The water was very high.


http://i5.aijaa.com/b/00024/8902092.jpg


http://i8.aijaa.com/b/00478/8902093.jpg
The swamp was also full of granberries,  karpalo in finnish. They were very good.  :p
There is cranes nesting on the lake - they love karpalos too.



http://i4.aijaa.com/b/00042/8902094.jpg
We spent rest of the evening sitting round the fire, telling stories.  :)

Now I´ll go to bed, mum.
See you soon again!
Kisses from Melek  :)







* Posted Oct 18, 2011, 11:44 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Laranjeiro, Portugal - 28th October 2011

By: Eohippus

Olá, mãe!  :D (Hello, mother!) Greetings from Portugal!


http://i9.aijaa.com/b/00964/8958755.jpg
Well, this doesn´t look much like Portugal, hmm?  ;) This is last pic we took in Finland in the morning before we left to the airport. It was the first time when the ground was white.
Good time to head for warmer locations!  ;)


http://i9.aijaa.com/b/00864/8958856.jpg
We came to the airport and get happily trough the security control.. although the security guy was a bit suspicious about my spikes.  :rolleyes:


http://i4.aijaa.com/b/00370/8958757.jpg
We checked when our flight was going to be, it was late almost two hours.


http://i9.aijaa.com/b/00103/8958756.jpg
We were running around and watching the planes and all activity  going on there.


http://i3.aijaa.com/b/00663/8958758.jpg
At last we get into air!  :D


http://i9.aijaa.com/b/00828/8958759.jpg
It was great to watch the clouds, and the landscape, like a map, running under us. We flew over Germany and I was wawing to you, mum!  :)


http://i10.aijaa.com/b/00693/8958857.jpg
When we came here it was already rather late and dark - we had to change the planes one time and the second flight was late too.
So we went straight to bed.
This pic is from the next morning, showing the first impression of the surroundings, photographed from the balcony.  :)


http://i9.aijaa.com/b/00053/8958860.jpg
Then we started our introduction to the local culture by eating local food, like this wonderful melon.  :p


http://i9.aijaa.com/b/00860/8958859.jpg
And chicken peas. They grow lot of them here in Portugal.


http://i4.aijaa.com/b/00543/8958858.jpg
Not to speak of the wonderful olives!  :p
Njamm njamm!


http://i4.aijaa.com/b/00345/8958895.jpg
We went for a walk to the area near by.
The place we are living here is a small town called Almada, in the shore of the river Tejo, just opposite Lisbon.
In the pic is some old houses, the last ones to be demolished to make room for the "Developement".


http://i5.aijaa.com/b/00064/8958893.jpg
This is a fig tree.  :D
Couldn´t see any figs, though.


http://i8.aijaa.com/b/00799/8958892.jpg
And here behing me is an eucalyptus tree. It smelled wonderfully.  :)


http://i8.aijaa.com/b/00583/8958928.jpg


http://i10.aijaa.com/b/00442/8958946.jpg
We have not seen yet much of Lisbon, because Henna has been sitting in a library like a mole, but we´ve had some glimpses of it, and today we are going to see more!  :)
This is a streetview from central Lisbon.


http://i7.aijaa.com/b/00345/8958947.jpg


http://i6.aijaa.com/b/00314/8958948.jpg
Here we are doing some window shopping. The chestnuts looked like little hedgehogs to me.  ;)


http://i3.aijaa.com/b/00562/8958949.jpg
Here we are drooling.  :p


http://i6.aijaa.com/b/00192/8958950.jpg
And here is the Lisbon town hall.

Now we are going to invade Lisbon!
See you again, mum! I´ll try to learn some portuguese numbers soon.
Your Melek  :)

* Posted Oct 28, 2011, 12:58 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Lisbon, Portugal - 8th November 2011

By: Eohippus

Bom dia, mãe amada!  (Good day, beloved mother)

We have been somewhat busy here. Henna has dived deep into the archaeological library and it is a hard task to dig her out from there again, so we have been mainly having adventures by our own.    ;)



http://i7.aijaa.com/b/00132/9023770.jpg
When we want to go to Lisbon, we have to take a ferry over the river Tejo. We live on the southern bank of the river, and Lisbon is on the opposite side to us.    :)



http://i7.aijaa.com/b/00421/9023772.jpg
On sunny days the trip with a ferry is very nice experience, but on stormy weather (which we have lot now in autumn) the trip can be like a driwe in a rollercoaster - even nicer!  At least for us toyvoyagers. Henna looks sometimes lightly green.    :rolleyes:



http://i6.aijaa.com/b/00553/9023771.jpg



http://i6.aijaa.com/b/00215/9023773.jpg
One day we took the ferry to the Lisbon side of the river and then walked to a part of the town called Belem. 
It was a nice walk, about 5 km from the Cais Sodre ferry station, and we were admiring the very various architecture while walking. 



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It is a tradition here to pave the walls of houses with fantastical tiles.    :D



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Then we came to Belem. Here we are in the gardens of the Jerónimos monastery.  :D



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This is the first glimpse we saw of the monastery itself.. we went nearer to see it better.    :)



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The monastery was  classified in 1983 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and no wonder!    :thinking:




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Originally, the monastery was home for the Hieronymite religious order, and it was built by the Infante Henry the Navigator around 1459.
Vasco da Gama and his men spent the night there before departing on their expedition to the Orient in 1497.    :)



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"The monastery was designed in a style that later became known as Manueline: a richly ornate architectural design that includes complex sculptural themes incorporating maritime elements and objects discovered during naval expeditions, carved in limestone" says wikipedia. 
Yeah, the walls are full of all sorts of funny creatures.    ;)



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Just look at all the figures surrounding the old main entrance, mum!    :thinking:



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The monastey is so big it is impossible to get it all into one pic.  B)



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Then we went in.  :)


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Near the entrance we saw the tomb of Luís Vaz de Camões (c. 1524 –1580), who is considered Portugal's and the Portuguese language's greatest poet. 
His main work is "Lusiadas".  Later on also the portuguese royalty was buried here.



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The huge pillars were carved allover and none of the pillars is identical with the others. I'm sure the people who made these ornaments had lots of fun!    :)



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[The portuguese expeditors brought shiploads of gold robbed from the "new" discovered lands and a certain percentage belonged to the monastery, who used it for example to these golden decorations of saints.



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I find the whole thing somewhat absurd.. the golden gods of a religion are melted and formed into gods of another religion..    :thinking:



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We went out again to enjoy the free skies.  :) 



http://i3.aijaa.com/b/00742/9023973.jpg

I try to write soon again!  :rolleyes:
Beijinhos do Melek (kisses from Melek)  :)










* Posted Nov 8, 2011, 11:59 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Ceisto Rei, Almada, Portugal - 11th November 2011

By: Eohippus

Olá de novo, mamã! (Hello again, mum!)    :D



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It has been raining many days and we sat in the library helping Henna in her studies like good little toyvoyagers.  :stare:


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But enough is enough, when the sun show up we escaped from the library trough a window..    :rolleyes:



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[size=2We walked trough Almada. You can see the river Tejo behind the kitchen gardens and houses.  :) [/size]


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It is late autumn here too, mum, but it is a bit hard to believe!  :thinking:


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This is the wall of a kindergarten.
I've already learned some numbers in portuguese!  ;)

1 = um/uma
2=dois/duas
3= trés



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We came to the Tejo riverfront and saw the bridge that connects Almada to Lisbon.  :)


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We sat admiring the view over the river.  :)


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But then we noticed someone standing high up over this grey building..


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We bought tickets and went up there too with an elevator.


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We could see very far from there.  :)


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And we met the fellow who we had spotted standing up there. He told he was Cristo Rei and he had been standing there since 1951.  :)
He said he was very happy to meet us - it was a long time since he had last seen cute plushies.



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In this pic you can see the shadow of our new friend.  B)


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We spend there quuite a long time, trying to recognice some places we have been seeing from the bird perspective.  :)


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Then we said goodby to our new friend and went down again to see the little chapel there.


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Outside was growing some olive trees.  :)
We felt kinda hungry and went into a bar to eat something small..



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And to taste some local wines.  :rolleyes:
We were singing a lot, even some fados, with some nice local people, and it was somewhat late when we got back home.

See you soon again, mum!
Kisses from Melek  :)




* Posted Nov 11, 2011, 8:32 am Last edited Nov 11, 2011, 8:36 pm by Eohippus [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Walking in Lisbon, Portugal - 15th November 2011

By: Eohippus

Bom dia, mãe amada! (Good day, beloved mother!)  :D
Isn´t it just amazing how fast your little hedgehog adaptates into new linguistic surroundings, huh, mum?  :stare:



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I´ve been practising the portuguese numbers from 1 to 10 and I think I would now know them even in my dreams.  B)

So, here they are:

1 um/uma (depends on the linguistical sex of the things we are counting)
2 dois/duas
3 três
4 quatro
5 cinco
6 seis
7 sete
8 oito
9 nove
10 dez
:)

But now I´m going to show you some sights from Lisbon, mum.  :)



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When we come to Lisbon by ferry and start to walk towards the centrum, the first turistically interesting sight to be seen is Praça do Comércio where I´m standing in this pic. 

Originally it was where the royal palace was located, but the palace was destroyed in earthquake and tsunami at 1755. After that the area served as the Lisbon commercial center. 
  :)


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The statue in middle of the square is King José I. 
  :)


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Here is Cais das colunas, which was the original place where the traveller ships left over Tejo to Almada and Setubal and other locations.  :)


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This is Arco da Rua Augusta, which shows some important characters of Portuguese history.



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These houses surrounding the square are where were the headquarters of the big companies who where shipping for example spices and other stuf from the colonies.  :)


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Praça do comércio is also where the turistical trams start their rounds.
The trams are very old and cute and have many wooden parts inside. The turist trams are red, while the normal trams are yellow, and the price in the yellow ones is much cheeper but the views are just as great.  ;)



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Here I´m riding in one.  :D


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Walkin along Rua Augusta we come to another important square called Rossio. The Rossio has been a meeting place for people of Lisbon for centuries. Some of the cafés and shops of the square date from the 18th century.
  :thinking:


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Most streets in Lisbon are paved with chalk stone cubicles, which in the centrum area form beautiful mosaic patterns. :)


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This is Elevador de Santa Justa. 
It connects the lower streets of the Baixa with the higher Largo do Carmo and it was opened at 1905.
Lisbon is built over seven hills and is full of very demanding stairs and deep streets.



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Of course at this time of year it is easier, but at summertime when there sometimes is +40 degrees I can just imagine how it feels to climb those hills.  :thinking:


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This is another type of lifts connectings the lower and higher parts of the city - Ascensor da Bica.  :)


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This is Sé, the main cathedral in Lisbon.   
It´s  building started at 1147 when the city of Lisbon was reconquered from the moors.
After it there has been many more building periods , and it suffered too badly in the year 1755 earthquake.  :thinking:



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There was some orange trees growing in the corner of the Sé, and I got rather exited, even if the oranges where still unripe. I´d never before seen an orange tree!  B)


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Três laranjas!  ;) (Three oranges)


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We peeped in to the cathedral.  :)


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There was some interesting stone carvings.  :)


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Indeed.  :rolleyes:


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Before the catedhral was built there was the main mosque of the moors on its place, and before that there were mediaeval streets with little shops.. and before that there was an iron age town.    :thinking:
There has been excavations going on since 1990´s.



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We were watching the excavation site from this and that perspective.. running after Henna who was making little sounds of utter exitement like a small squirrel.  :rolleyes:


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We came out again and continued our sightseeing.  :)


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We saw many interesting looking narrow alleys..  :)
Lisbon is an amazing city because it has so many different timelayers.. the oldest streets are from roman times.
There has been many earthquakes, although the history usually only remembers the latest one, and the city has always been just built anew over the ruins, using parts of the old buildings..  so in many places there is bits of roman walls in the 19th century buildings.  ;)



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This is pic is taken from a nice viewpoint called Portas do Sol - although there wasn´t much sol (sun) when we were there.    :rolleyes:



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But there was fantastical flowers.  :)


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And a beaytiful passageway with tiled walls.  :)


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There was also a statue of St. Vincent, the city's patron saint, holding a boat with two ravens, the symbols of Lisbon.
Which is a bit odd, come to think of it.. I´ve not managed to see even one single raven nor crow nor magpie nor jackdaw in Lisbon.  :thinking: Blackbirds, yes, and lots of pigeons everywhere, but not any crow related birds..



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We passed by Panteão Nacional.
It is a church from the 17th century, but it was turned into a national pantheon in the 20th century, in which important Portuguese personalities are buried. Like famous writers or politicians and such.  :)



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We saw still one great view over the city from a viewpoint called Miradouro da Braça.  :)
It was starting to get dark, though, and we satrted to walk homewards.



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We walked trough a nice little park.  :)


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The old guys like to sit here in the evenings playing dominoes, but now it is too chilly for them, hah, "only" 20 degrees.  :rolleyes:


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When we came home we had some choc cake.  :p

I go to have some more!  ;)
Kisses from Melek















* Posted Nov 15, 2011, 2:44 pm Last edited Nov 26, 2011, 12:51 am by Eohippus [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Walking on the beach, Cascais, Portugal - 16th November 2011

By: Eohippus

Olá de novo, mãe!  :D


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See this wonderful dish, mum? 
It is made of asparagus and it is simply heavenly.
A traditional dish from Alentejo area.. njam njam! 

But now I´m going to put here some pics from the Cascais beach where we went for a walk.



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It is about 30 kilometers to Cascais from Lisbon.
So first we took a train there.  :)



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When we get there we headed straight to the beach.  :)


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The weather was just great - sunny and windy.  :D
While walking we were reading a leaflet about Cascais.



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Cascais was originally a small fishing village, but nowadays it is one of the richest municipalities in Portugal. 
During summer it is full of turists.



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It all chanced  when King Luís II decided to turn the citadel of Cascais into his summer residence. From 1870 to 1908, the Royal Family came to Cascais to enjoy the sea, turning the somnolent fishing village into a cosmopolitan address.


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]"The citadel gained electric light in 1878, the first in the country, thanks to King Luís. The village gained better roads to Lisbon and Sintra, a casino, a bullfight ring, a sport club, and improvements in the basic infrastructure for the population. The railway arrived in 1889. Many noble families built beautiful mansions in Cascais, as can still be seen in the centre and surroundings of the town."



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Well, anyway that´s the reason why Cascais is what it is now - a place where the upper class "tias" (aunties) have their residences and where the hotel owners want to build their new enterpraises.    :rolleyes:
In summertime the place is totally inendurable, but now it was nicely empty and peaceful.  ;)



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So, we were walking and enjoying the peace, the wind and the wawes.
The pics are all rather similar..    :rolleyes:



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We built a sand castle.. we were a bit peckish, maybe that is why it looks more like a cake.  :D


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These wonderful daisies are for you, mum.  :stare:


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There was also palm trees..  B)


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We walked onwards until a big new hotel blocked our route.  :(


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The shoreline after that was almost totally blocked by private yards and we could only got couple of glimpses to the sea.  :thinking:



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We walked a bit towards inland to see more nature and saw these wonderful aloes.  :)


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This is an old windmill, but it doesn´t have wings anymore..


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Here I´m climbing on a cork tree!  B)


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And here we are hanging in a cactus.  :D


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We saw many beautiful things..  :)
but it started to get dark again.



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So we returned home where we devoured a passion fruit.  :p

Boa noite e beijinhos do Melek! (Good night and kisses from Melek)  ;)






* Posted Nov 16, 2011, 2:32 pm Last edited Nov 25, 2011, 6:23 pm by Eohippus [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Nuuksio, Finland - 25th November 2011

By: Eohippus

Hei äiti!  :)

We are in Finland again. Actually we have been here already almost a week, but Henna has been mainly laying on the bed bottom, blowing her nose every 3 seconds and eating vitamin C and being in rather bad mood..  :rolleyes:

Outside it has not been any more cheerful - it just rains and rains and rains, and oh how it is dark!  :o
The sun rises around 9.00 in the morning and sets already around 15.30, and because it is cloudy all the time we have not seen her (the sun) at all!  :thinking:



http://i10.aijaa.com/b/00363/9116932.jpg
So we poor toyvoyagers have been left to amuse ourselves as well as possible!  ;)

Here we are having a little snack and enjoying the light of candles against the darknes.



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Today the rain ceased for couple of hours and we used those hours to our advantage, left Henna to sneeze in her bed and went for a walk.  :)
I´m happy we have not got her flue!



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We were a bit too late, anyway.
The sun set very soon, and we lit a fire and sat enjoying its warmth.  :)
At Lappland, northern Finland, the sun rises at 11.20 and set at 12.28.  :thinking: Very soon it doesn´t rise anymore at all.
Can you imagine living in a place where the sun doesn´t rise, mum?
And how was it in the past, before the elecric lights.. it is hard to even imagine.



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We sat there for some time, but then the rain started again, it had just been collecting new strength, maybe having a cup of coffee, who knows.. anyway, we came back here and now we are going to try to cheer Henna up by singing her some naughty songs!  ;)

I wish you have nicer weather there, mum!
Hug from Melek  :)

* Posted Nov 25, 2011, 6:14 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Nuuksio, Finland - 30th November 2011

By: Eohippus

Hei, rakas äiti!  :) (Hi, beloved mother!)
Hyvää huomenta! (Good morning!)

Henna has told me I´m soon going to start my travel for a new host, and I´m rather excited about it.
Where am I going to spend the Christmas? I wish somewhere were there is lots of tasty things to eat!  :D



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It has been raining and raining and raining, and everyone here is restlessly waiting for the snow to come.
But the winds have been bringing warm air from the south, and the temperature is just above zero - so no snow.  :rolleyes:
Yesterday the rain ceased and we fled to the forest!



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The sun felt so good after all the rain!
We could see steam rising from the humid spruce forest down below us when the warmth of sun reached it.
Maybe there was similar steam rising from our bodies too..  :rolleyes:



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The other voyagers where teaching me some names in finnish for the things we saw around us.  :)

A spruce = kuusi
A pine = mänty
A forest = metsä



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In finnish this plant is called "kallioimarre". In english it is the Common Polypody (Polypodium Vulgare).
It had certainly been enjoying the rain!  :)
Did you know, mum, the the roots of these taste just like liquorice?  B) Njam njam!  :p



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Everything in the forest seemed so calm.. most plants were already sleeping. The whole nature is waiting for the snow to come.  :)


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The only thing that blooms at this time of year is the lichen. :)


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I saw evidence telling that a Black Grouse (Tetrao tetrix) had visited this spot!
No manners whatsoever!  :rolleyes:



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And the deer wasn´t any better!  :thinking:
I´m now wondering about the reindeers of Santa Claus.. do they have any more manners?  :thinking:



http://i3.aijaa.com/b/00549/9142351.jpg
This lichen is called "pikarijäkälä" = lichen with chalices.  :D It is easy to see why!  I can well imagine small forest elves drinking from them at night time..


http://i5.aijaa.com/b/00857/9142415.jpg
We made a fire and heated some "glögi", a christmas drink which is related to the Glühwein.  ;)

Then we came back to home.
I´ll write soon again!
Hug from Melek  :)

* Posted Nov 30, 2011, 11:23 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Post office, Espoo, Finland - 2nd December 2011

By: Eohippus

Hei!  :)

I´m writing on behalf of Melek, who is already on his way to his next destination and thus unable to write himself.  ;)

He asked me to send greetings and kisses for his mum and tell that he is very excited to see his new host.

Also he asked me to hint to the new host that if there happen to b any tasty insects or earthworms around when he arrives, it would be much appreciated, although a bit of choc would serve as well.  ;)



http://i2.aijaa.com/b/00461/9151267.jpg
Here Melek is starting the new trip, all enthusiastic.  :)

Happy toyvoyaging to everyone!  :D
Henna

* Posted Dec 2, 2011, 10:29 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


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