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“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9

December 24, 2012

Travel Diary: Vienna Trip

Day Two: Vienna

Since we were so had it from the previous day, we all slept in. When I say SLEPT IN, it actually means around 8am we woke:) Nothing too great. - rolling eyes-

In the morning we ate a gorgeous continental buffet -pronounce the T- in the hotel, including nutella sandwiches and hot chocolate with milo cereal. Delish:) Best start of the day:)))

We then took some time to oganize our stuff neatly into the compartments in the rooms, before heading out to one of the many Christmas markets. And just as we were stepping out the door, we found that is was raining:( NICE. Great thing for tourists, all that sightseeing in the foggy, wet weather:)

Anywayz, we didnt let that put us off. The hotel attendent had been so nice, see, and had shown us exactly which stop we should get off at from the D tram. Right. Annndd, we got lost.. Well not technically, since we were spit up to begin:)

Just as we had arrived at the tram stop to begin our glorious feat, Harri realised that he was cold. So my mother and him went back to the hotel, and we said that we would meet them at the stop that the hotel attendent had told us to stop at. Bound for something to happen, right? New city, new sights. So, yes. Myself, pappa and dad got off where we were supposed to get off. My brother and my mother took the tram after the one that we took, and decided to get off at the first markets that they saw.

We were waiting for them for some time, and when I eventually rang Harri.. In the end, we did find them:0 On the bright side, the markets were really pretty. We had a great time. There was what we think is the House of Commons behind the markets. We found iin that building an indoor market. This market hall was some exibiton for children to create items such as candles and necklaces for Christmas presents. The place reminded Harri and I so much of Hogwarts, since we could glimpse a courtyard outside, and there was even a picture of a phoenix on the wall:)

After this visit, we all found that this was not a good idea, being out in the rain. We did stop at the market to get some drink which was like glogi, but we decided to head home after that to change. As we were walking toward the tram stop that would take us back to the hotel, a man stopped us. He started asking whether we wanted to buy some tickets for a concert in the Schonbrun Palace. He said that we coud get some amazing deals, and get free drinks! Mummu, knowing mummu, was very interested:))

Finally, we ended up on the tram with tickets to the concert tomorrow evening. Yay! So tomorrow we will be going to the Shonbrun Palace!!:)

In the afternoon we all went to the arts and cultural museum in the center of Vienna. It was not as totally extraordinary as the British Museum, and the artifacts were better there I think, but the building!! Simply bliss:)

We ended the day by going to another market area, buying sausages, and eating those looking under the archway to what we think may have been the entrance to some military building:))

December 23, 2012

Travel Diary: Vienna Trip

Day One, Berlin.

As I am writing this a day after my visit to Berlin, I may not remember everything as detailed as yesterday. The thing was, though, that we were all way too tired yesterday to write anything, besides a few postcards, since we were on two flights in the morning, and in the arvo, respectively. I will refer to yesterday as today, as it makes it easier to write:) So basically my whole family in Finland all are going on this trip. My mother, father and brother, grandmother, grandfather and myself.

This morning we woke up before dawn, at 4am. Not too good, since my sleeping habits have been badly as of late. A van picked us up at our apartment, and we arrived at the airport around 6am. Fortunately we had a teeny bit of time for brekky, since on the flight we were only given a muffin and some orange juice. So, we departed from Finland on our way to Berlin at around 7am, and arrived in Berlin at approx. 8am Berlin time. We lost an hour:)

The minute we touched down in Berlin; through the overhead speaker the flight attendent, or whoever, spoke some German and then what I thought was English. I think they said something like "Welcome to Berlin, the temperature is around -4 degrees, and the time here is 8:15". It was all combined together in a string of words that was virtually impossible to understand.So I am not certain what he actually did say, I asked later if anyone else did, and they didn't either ;p I found that quite funny:)

In Berlin, we were welcomed by some attendents handing out christmas chocolates, and were then plunged outside into the cold weather without a moments notice. There was no connecting platform to the airport. Everyone got out of the plane, and literally ran across to a bus which then transported us to the airport. The airport was really only a few metres away, but I guess it would have been hard to know where the airport wa concerning the aircraft, and with the weather as it was, the bus was probably a clever idea:) Although they could have warned us ;p

There was a bus that we heard some people talking about that takes you right into the city, and we decided to get a day ticket which would allow us to travel throughout Berlin all day till 4pm. But, my gosh, it is a different experience going on a bus there than anwhere else I have ever been. Somehow, everyone squashes tightly in together and manages to fit in the bus. It is quite funny:) We were watching some people trying impossibly to bring their luggage with them into an already full bus! Unmistakably, they did not fit :P

We then went to some Christmas markets that we found at one of the stops that we were told to get off at. Most of the stalls were full of lollies, and chocolates, and in the center we found a merry-round. Pappa wanted to get on, although we found that it was closed:(



The temperature was fresh, and so we had to all look for some nice place to go inside. So, we decided to walk to the Berlin Dome, which was not that far from the markets. This building is a huge dome, where you can find the most spectacular church, tomb stones, and panarama of Berlin city! Truly awesome!



To complete the gorgeous view that we saw at the top of the dome, it started snowing! That made everything so much prettier:) We walked around the streets, looking into various museums, and monuments that we saw aroound the place. It was quite cool, cause there was water in between and stuff. It reminded me abit of Venice, although I have never actually been there! We were getting a tad hungry y this time, and came across a place for lunch, which was actually a museum:)




We dropped in to have a bite, then followed on our self-made tour to see the rest of Berlin. Well, what we could see in the remaining 1 hour we had set ourselves:) The grandparents went back to the airport, while we went to the Berlin wall! Part of it, anyway:))))



Although we made it back to the airport in good time, and had time to eat something before the flight to Vienna, we still found ourselves with a mass of time to waste! We were all had it, so the time went terribly quickly. And we all slept like a log:)

Onto Vienna!!

December 17, 2012

Pt. 2 Cooking Tips

Yay!

Now we have all evolved into beginning chefs? No? Well..

You know how Julie Goodwin came out a such a great cook from Master Chef? Practice.

Practice makes perfect.

I know, we hear that everywhere. Blah blah blah you should be practicing all these concepts blah blah Practice Makes Perfect. Sound familiar? gosh, sounds like my bio teacher:)

My grandmother always has to have a variety of different colours on the plate. If not, then the dish is unservable:) So I tend to stick to that here. And anywayz, someone did say that you eat with your eyes...

It looks pwetty when it is colourful! Picture Perfect.

Updated saying: Practice makes Picture Perfect.





Tell me how your cookings going! I would love to know:)


December 15, 2012

Little unknown tips for the cooker of the family

It may not be a know fact, but every person has the ability to cook something truly extraordinary.

Where ever I go, there is always someone who says that there is no way that they can cook without the pan catching fire, or without burning a cake. No, no, no. See, Do you not remember that saying: Practice makes Perfect? This is how I know that everyone can cook. You keep making the mistake of burning the pan, because that is what you did before. Your mind is taking it seriously that you can't cook, because that is what you repeat time after time. Maybe, you dont't read the instructions? Or you find that you misread the time period for 30 mins, instead of 13. I know I have done that once. It is easy to do.

Maybe you just realised that your fav footy team just lost it's best player. Or found out that the artist that you are obsessed with started dating. From this short info, you want to google for the full details? So, whoops, the cake was meant to be out 15 mins ago . . . Not completely uncommon:)

My first tip: Imagine what you are going to be cooking. See it in your head, so that you know what you are aiming for. Hey, maybe it'll turn out better that you hoped for.

It may seem silly, but it works. Do not underestimate the power of the imagination? Twilight was completely made from Meyer's imagination. Really? No way -o-

Even so, it does help to imagine the meal you will be making tomorrow evening. Trust me, although practice will improve this techique. For example, hypothetically speaking, you see this extraordinary korma chicken in your head. You see all the spices that you want to taste in your dish. You know that the rice should be nice and fluff so that the sauce from the spices can be easily absorbed in the rice. Tell me you are not imagining this?

So when you start, you will will have a clear idea where you are heading! No burning the rice! Not walking aimlessly around looking for spices which are actually not needed in the dish.


Then you can start making different dishes. Imagine what vegetables will go with others. What consistency of liquids you are looking for. Do you want more / or less sauce? Would you like the chicken to be more soft? In that case, let the chicken simmer with the lid on for a few minutes. See how imagining the food you will be cooking will help?

No, you are not the creative type? Too bad. . Everyone is:)

My second tip: Know your spices. To dot his you will need to know everything in your cupboard. So when you need a little seasoning, you will exactly what you want! This knowledge will help you in imagining the dishes. Not only knowing the spices, but also the various vegetables, and other ingredients that you may use in your cooking.

Once you can tell that the dish needs maybe garlic salt, or thyme, then you have set sail in the right direction. And will you be thankful! Yes? No more recipes! Yipee:)

My third tip: Understand the meat. This kinda an important part in cooking :) Once you get this, your dishes are sure to be awesome! Even if the spices are not mixed correctly or some minor detail that Jamie Oliver would consider awful. Ask yourself: Should I use just oil to fry the beef on? Or just butter, or then both, butter and oil? Is it best to leave it for a few minutes? Research this for a bit, and write it down somewhere. If you are not sure what to use, I generally just fry the meat in both butter and oil.

Another thing that should be know is that using recipes is the best to start with, and then every now and then. This is how you learn new techniques in your cooking, and it allow your self to get even more creative!

See. Anyone basically with a fry pan, mince, and various array of additions can cook! Yay!!

Happy Cooking:)

December 9, 2012

~ Monthly Update ~

Hey guys!

I know, it has been ages since my last post.. Shame on me :( Anywayz, just thought I'd catch you up on some things that have come up lately.

Last Thursday was Independence Day. Thank you for all those Finns who died in the pursuit of independence!
Exactly 205 years ago Finland was under the tsar of Russia, and exactly 105 years ago Finland proclaimed it's independence.  Every year on the 6th of December it is a tradition to light two candles in the window to inform the young men moving toward Sweden or Germany that they are very much appreciated, as these young men were trained as jagers secretly against Russia in the war. 

We started an old dance course in school this term, which will train us for the Dances next February. This is kinda like prom, although we dance, namesake, older dances. It is dancing from around about Pride and Prejudice age:)

Like all Finns, my family will be celebrating Little Christmas, or Pikku Joulu in Finnish. Funnily enough, the 6th of December is actually when Christmas is celebrated by those who go by the Julian calendar. Since we celebrate Independence Day here in Finland on that date, we have to celebrate "Little Christmas" at another stage. Merry Little Christmas!

I hope all you peeps are wondering what to get for your family for Christmas! I know I will be this week:)

Have an awesome week!