Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Places I'd like to see before I die : Part 1

 Moominworld in Naantali, Finland.

As an avid admirer of the work of Tove Jansson, I'm completely blown away by how faithfully they have recreated Moominvalley from her drawings.

 The Moominhouse in the snow (Love!)

I'd love to have tea with the Moomins (and even Stinky)

But most of all, I'd just like a BIG hug from Moominmamma!
(apologies to whoever the kid is in the photo - I found the image on a Chinese news site!)

Lake Keitele, Finland.

It's just a coincidence that this is also somewhere in Finland. I first saw the image above in the National Gallery about 13 years ago when I was an Art Student, and immediately fell in love with it. It is a tiny painting, and was almost hidden in a room full of other European landscapes but somehow I spotted it out of the corner of my eye, and was mesmerised.

The water 'moves' before your eyes, it shimmers off the surface of the canvas. The artist, Akseli Gallen-Kallela, is relatively unknown over here, but I believe his works are considered an important part of Finnish Cultural Heritage. He also illustrated the Kalevala, the Finnish National Epic.

There is a Gallen-Kallela Museum on the outskirts of Helsinki, and I think this would be well worth a visit.

Lake Keitele actually looks like this. I love the importance of Nature in Finnish culture and want to live in a little cabin on one of the many lake islands for a while, fishing & having saunas! And I want to see the midnight sun.

Cappadocia in Turkey

I did a mental backpack rush across the Balkans a few years back, and got as far as Istanbul. I wish I'd done a bit more research/had more time/had more money before I got there because there is sooooooo much to see in Turkey.

My number 1 destination on returning there would be Cappadocia, Central Anatolia, so I could stay in one of the 'fairy chimney' hotels carved into the side of the amazing naturally formed rock structures, and hot air balloon over the area at sunrise (I've wanted to go up in a hot air balloon for years, but am saving myself for Turkey!).

This is the Castle Cave Hotel.

There are a number of underground cities and churches in the region, used by the Christians to hide from persecutors through the ages.

They either carved into the soft rock, like the Byzantine 'Church of Three Crosses' north of Goreme (photo by Paul Smit)

or painted amazingly colourful frescoes like this one in the 10th Century 'Dark Church', also in the Goreme area.

The Isle of Man TT Races

The last thing on todays list of places I REALLY, REALLY want to go before I pop my clogs is the (possibly less culturally 'highbrow') but just as fun Isle of Man TT, so that I can watch nutters like

'King of The Mountain' John McGuinness

and FIVE races in a week Winner Ian Hutchinson (if his leg gets better - 26 operations so far! Get well soon fella)

as they hare round the 37 mile Public Road course up to 6 times at speeds of over 200mph!

They go past peoples front gardens! No safety barriers, nothing!

Can you Imagine trying to do this in Folkestone? "Hey YOU! Watch my Privet!!" *shakes fist*

Look at the spectators sitting there with their feet on the track!


But Fantastic.

Note: Having never been to these places I have swiped photos off the internet, but have tried to give credit where possible. Sorry. Don't sue me, but if an image is yours get in touch & i'll remove it or credit you. Thanks :)

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