Tag Archives: Unesco

Nice day in Lyon

Today Anni stayed back in the Hotel Room and I went out for a morning walk. I walked all the way down to the train station of Lyon to the Shopping Mall  called Centre Commercial Lyon Part Dieu where I had a nice time shopping. On my way back this dude followed me and gave me his phone number and asked me out for a cup of coffee. He was quite cute so I went with him and had a very nice time. At 1 pm I had to leave and he followed me to the meeting point where I had arranged to met up with Anni and then we split and Anni and I went for Lunch at Le Bistrot de Lyon.

After Lunch Anni went back to the Hotel and I went I went back to Old Lyon and then up to the Fourviere Hill to look at the view and the Basilia de Notre Dame de Fourviere and the view of the sun during sunset.

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The Front entrance of the Basilica.

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View of Lyon in twilight.

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I loved how this picture turned out. The light is amazing in the twilight.

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When I came down from the Fourviere Hill I got a beautiful view of St. Johns Cathedral in Old Lyon and the light settings were beautiful so I had to stop to take pictures of it.

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I went back to the hotel room where Anni was relaxing and then we prepared for going out for Dinner at Le Garet where we had a really nice time.

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Lunch @ the Bonaparte Bridge

While we were roaming around at the local market we decided that todays lunch would be from only things we found at the market. In addition to the vegetables, flowers and fresh fruit they also sold a lot of prepared, ready to eat, warm lunches!

I bought my lunch from this man who prepared a lovely chicken stew!

chicken stew

We sat down and had the beautiful view of St Johns Cathedral in Old Lyon and Basilica de Notre Dame de Fourviere on the Hills of Fourviere.

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 I had also bought myself 1 oyster to try out as I always heard a lot about Oysters, but never tried it before!

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And … to be honest… I don’t know if I have to try it again. The first of the two I tasted for just the taste of the Oyster and it just tasted salty water. Not really good at all. The Second one I tasted with Lime and this was a whole lot more tasty, however it might be the lime… :D I might just taste it again at another occation to see if I can learn to love it or if I just don’t have the taste for it.

Here enjoying the Chicken Stew with a lovely view of the Saône river under us and Old Lyon behind us.bridge03

Anni had a blood sausage for lunch, however, Anni had decided we should enjoy our meal with wine!
We had no Wine glasses so Anni had to turn a bit creative with the Evian water bottle and a knife:

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And suddenly we had 2 lovely Evian wine glasses:

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For dessert we enjoyed these awesome tomatoes: They were so sweet I don’t think I have even tasted such sweet tomatoes before.

Tomatoes

It was a truly lovely meal and very nice to enjoy the outside as well! We even had the pleasure of the sun peeking out behind a layer of clouds to welcome us and bless our meal.
A truly nice meal and a nice day!

After lunch we continued walking around in Old Lyon.

The Sunday Market and Walking in Old Lyon

This morning Anni left for breakfast and work while I slept in to relax. I took off just before 11 to look around before I was to meet with Anni for lunch. I crossed the Bonparte bridge to get to Old Lyon where I had a look around in the streets and then I went to the Art Market before I crossed the Maréchal June bridge to meet Anni. We went to the big Sunday Market where we picked up lunch.

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They had all kinds of lovely fruit,

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Cheese,

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Meat (Rabbits),

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Mushrooms,

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Fresh Cooked Chicken.

It was amazing to just stroll around looking at all the fruits and vegetables, the meat, the flowers, the jam and all the other beautiful and tempting stuff. And then there was the smells from the food they were making at the market. All so lovely! I would absolutely recommend you to visit the market if you are in Lyon.

Anni and I picked up our lunch before we found a nice spot to have Lunch at the Bonaparte Bridge.

After lunch we went back to Old lyon, where we walked around to enjoy the sunny day and do some shopping (me at least) at the Pylones store, peek in some of the cute little stores and just look around.

After our visit to Old Lyon we crossed the Maréchal June bridge again and went for Ice Cream at Regal Glace. They had lots of Ice Cream in lovely colors and tastes. We sure enjoyed.

ice-cream

After our stop at Regal Glace we went back to the hotel and there we relaxed before we went for Dinner at Brasserie Le Nord.

Driving from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio

From the Extreme Canopy Adventure we started driving back towards Santa Elena and then through the city and towards Sardinal.

We had about 2 hours of extreme driving on dirt and gravel roads with huge dust clouds each time someone passed us. Aircondition instaed of open windows was the solution.

Magnus drove most of the way from Santa Elena and I read maps as to where we were going. From Sardinal we drove onto the PanAmerican Highway and then we went towards Puntarenas, up towards Atenas and Oritina and then we finally turned towards Jaco Beach and the coast again.

From here on I was really surprised of how nice the roads were. Its not just that I have been driving on these bad gravel roads, but they are really nice. No holes and markings and good roads all over.

At Playa Hermosa we stopped for a swim in the ocean, to watch the sunset and to have dinner at “Dos Gringos” Cafe. Its quite a nice place to go.

Water was amazing and we had beautiful waves hitting shore forming perfect rip curls for the surfers. A beautiful view.

After dinner we hit the road again. This time I continued as a chofer. It was dark already and from there on the roads were still nice, but no lights along the road, no markings and cars coming towards us with full lights on made the conditions challenging. Some places they had reflexes and markings so at least you knew where to drive in your own lane, but other stretches had nothing. I drove slowly and cars kept passing us all the time. Oh well.

Finally we arrived at Quepos / Manuel Antonio around 9 PM and we chose a hostel called Vista Serena where the first person we run into is the only couchsurfer Magnus had sent a request for to stay with in Manuel Antonio, blaming that she didn’t understand how to reply the request… Having been an active member for some years… credibility sank quickly.

Anyways it was awesome to check in, have a shower and finally sit down. We got a private room with shared kitchen, living room and bathroom. The other room that we shared area with inhabited Jenni and Thomas, a nice US / Swiss couple.

Dinner at the Tree House Restaurant & The Ranario

After the long hike in Monteverde Cloudforest we rested a bit before we went for dinner at the Tree House Restaurant in Santa Elena. We had an early dinner so that we could be at the frog pond at 6:55 pm for a guided tour.

The Tree House Restaurant & Cafe is a restaurant buildt around a tree! We ordered Papaya and Mango drinks:

And food was a whole lot better than at the Amigos Restaurant from yesterday.

El Ranario (or the Frog Pond) is a nice place to visit if you like amphibians. If you like reptiles the Serpentarium is also great, but this time we did not have time for that. We had a guide show us all the frogs and tell us about the frogs. They had a lot of nice frogs, but obviously it is not as cool to see them in glass houses compared to on a leaf or on the ground in the wild. However still quite cool.

Night Hike in the Jungle at Santa Maria Refugio de vida Silvestre

We were pickced up from Pension Santa Elena in Monteverde by Bernald, our guide, for the Night Hike. We were 10 people all together and we were then taken to Santa Maria Refugio de vida Silvestre where we all recieved a flash light and instructions. If we feel anything climbing our legs – warn guide immediately because it could be a scorpion or snake. Yikes. Hehehe.

We set off and the first thing we saw was a giant Tarantula (and yes it was big).

and then we found a Two-Toed Sloth. They are a bit bigger than the Three-Toed Sloth and they move a bit faster. This one wasn’t moving at all though.

The Two-Toed Sloth is a bit brownish in the color compared to the Three-Toed Sloth that is more grayish in color.

We were also lucky enough to see our first snake today. This one lives high up in the branches so that it can keep warm from the sun. This one is a Green Vine Snake.

Thankfully, not all crawling on the ground are scorpions and this a grasshopper.

5 years ago I bought Jack Ewings book Monkeys are made of Chocolate. In that book the story: There is a Fungus Among us was. This is a very informative story about the Leaf-cutter ants (Atta cephalotes is the most common Leaf-Cutter Ant).

Did you know they walk up to 2kms away from their home to collect new leaves and up trees as high as a 10 story building?
Did you know that only the queen is fertile and that the colony dies with her? She lives for about 20 years though.
Did you know that the leaf-cutter ants don’t eat the leafs, but that they grow a fungus on it?

All the members of the colony contribute directly or indirectly to the cultivation of the fungus. The most obvious of the seven distinct castes of Atta cephalotes are the leaf carriers marching through the forest with their green parasol-like cargo. When they arrive at the colony and deposit their leaf crescents, another caste takes over — the cleaners. Each leaf fragment is meticulously scraped and licked until clean. Later it is cut into smaller pieces, chewed, mixed with saliva and formed into a soft wad. The ants then place some fungus starter material, called mycelia on the medium and place it beside other newly planted fungus in a suitable chamber.
From that point another caste, the fungus caretakers, step in and take over the process. These ants are responsible for keeping the fungus clean and free from impurities and infection. They do this partially by physically removing any foreign life form that tries to grow on either the medium or the bread-like fungus.

A bacterium that lives in a patch on the ant’s skin produces an antibiotic that controls the mold. Beyond that, they have learned how to handle technologies more skillfully than the bumbling civilization above their heads. They can grow a monoculture and they have also learned how to deploy an antibiotic without the target pest’s becoming resistant to it.”

Another thing about leaf-cutter ants. Their homes are HUGE:

And this one is just a small part of it !

Read Jack Ewings “There is a Fungus Among us

We saw lots of other animals as well during this hike like the Woolly opossum, the Northern Raccoon, the White-nosed Coati, A few Red Tailed Squirrels, Bats, 2 Frogs (of a species I don’t remember), several species of fireflies and firebeetles.

It was a lovely trip and I had a great time!

After the Hike we went for dinner at Amigos Restaurant. The bar was full with Gringos as the Superbowl was on. However they had good food and once Superbowl was over all the Gringos left. We had an early night.

Daytrip to Suomenlinna Fortress in the Helsinki Archipielago

Finally I managed to sleep in. It felt wonderful ! I slept until 10 am !!
I promise you, THAT don’t happen too often in my life !

I had breakfast with Elisabete and then we readied up to spend a day in the sun.

Ellie went with me and she walked with me showing me around in Helsinki. First she took me to the Fazer restaurant where we had a fantastic apple meringue cake with vanilla custard (omenapiirakka). The Fazer Restaurant has a lovely atmosphere and … the most delicious confectionary :D

When we were done with our coffee break, we continued walking in the streets of Helsinki. Ellie showed me the Helsinki Cathedral and the small shops in the area around.

Then we walked down to the Uspenski orthodox cathedral past the Presidential home and to the harbour market. At the Harbour Ellie and me split up and she went to continue her errands and I took the ferry to the island of Suomenlinna.

Suomenlinna fortress was buildt by the Swedes back in 1748 when Finland was part of the Kingdom of Sweden. The dry dock of Suomenlinna is on of the worlds oldest. Over 800 people live at the Suomenlinna islands at all time.

Suomenlinna is buildt on 6 islands: Kustaanmiekka, Susisaari, Iso-Mustasaari, Pikku-Mustasaari, Länsi-Mustasaari and Långören which form parts of Helsinki.

I had a great day at the islands. I spent most of it walking around enjoying the site and the sunny weather.

For more information about Suomenlinna check these links:
Suomenlinna official web page
Suomenlinna @ Unesco
Suomenlinna on Wiki

Leaving Suomenlinna we just got in to the city in time for the sunset and a beautiful view.

Back in the city I continued walking around and then I went to have some dinner before I went home. Martin and Elisabete were out for a birthdayparty and I had the house to myself (and the 3 cats). It was really nice to relax after all the walking today :D

Total steps today 15042