Nauvo Magic

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I was thinking about what the magic of Nauvo is made of.

Of goosebumps and the feeling of pure wild joy after a  slightly defiant morning swim in the refreshing sea in late September. The bright yellow ferry that takes us from Parainen to Nauvo, reliably, in less than fifteen minutes and so that you have plenty of time to climb to the upper deck to smile big and wave to the approaching ferry.

A home (or cottage) made rich yummy Finnish/French bouillabaise enjoyed around midnight in candlelight. Around midnight despite of how we tried to start the preparations a bit earlier than last year. By the way, a gastronomic tip, crème fraîche with garlic works really well as the aioli.

The sea. The most powerful and charismatic magic factor. Someone wise and poetic wrote that the sea teaches us. It also tranquilizes. The fire inside which brings a sparkle to my eyes and pushes me forward in life is more lenient in Nauvo. By the sea the slight restlessness folds into calmness.

The sea, again: not watching the tv but spotting the different sea birds and everything that goes on at the sea for breakfast fun.

Biking to the village along a gravel road past fields of hay and patches of sun flowers. Sharing a piece of apple cinnamon cheese cake at Köpmans during the afternoon tea.  This cafe-restaurant is a happy yellow wooden house with a bright blue door. They also have oven baked fish pancakes with granma’s cucumbers. A proper archipelago lunch treat.

The dock of the Nauvo yacht club in the harbour with only  a few sailboats in late September. And the beach boulevard with its small stands of brand labels (a good chance to find pieces from By Marlene Birger like -40 percent off).

True archipelago romance: pitch dark, the starry sky and the steaming breathing of another person.

Butterflies with translucent wings that look exactly like autumn foliage leaves.

The crackle of the fireplace. Pure mindfulness right there.

And the taste of crisp archipelago autumn apples.

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So yeah, an autumnal archipelago visit highly recommended. And to my dear readers from overseas, Nauvo’s (Nagu’s) archipelago refers to two main islands and about 3000 smaller islands and skerries.

Nauvo, a big heart.

Something baffling, fascinating and extremely realistic: Ron Mueck in Tampere

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If you are heading to Tampere, here’s a chocolate tip and an art tip.

The first recommendation is the exhibition of Ron Mueck’s big human figures at the Sara Hildén art museum (Laiturikatu 13). This is the first time the works of this Australia born sculptor are on display in the Nordic countries.

The works are very realistic; his art has also been characterized as hyper realistic.  The body hair, skinfolds, a short bristle, wrinkles, a chip in the toe nail, the blood stains on a gigantic four meter long newborn baby and a bleeding wound.  The size, realism and the subjects of the works make them very impressive, and expressive. Mueck is talented, no question about that. I was both fascinated and baffled while looking at the sculptures.

I almost had to pinch myself from touching the works. The museum has tried to solve this problem by providing a material model with which the visitors can gently feel the materials that the artist uses.

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In addition to the works themselves one fascinating thing was a video showing how the works are made. I watched it twice because the first time I didn’t quite grasp the whole process. So many work phases, an arduous process and so many people that are involved in the making of the pieces.

The exhibition is on until October 16, 2016. Check it out. The art museum is located right next to or almost inside an amusement park.

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And not to forget, the chocolate tip: the chocolate shop Tallipihan Suklaapuoti in Tallipiha (Kuninkaankatu 4) won’t let you down if you want to keep your blood sugar levels high with chocolate truffles and traditional style caramels.

2 x Helsinki: a sea view and a delicious krog discovery

Almost every time I walk the streets of Helsinki a new restaurant has popped up in one corner or in another block. That’s one of the things I love about the city: new places and pop ups emerging. We had passed Krog Roba (Pieni Roobertinkatu 1-3) several times and last Saturday as we were searching for a cozy place to dine in this atmospheric restaurant came to mind. And they had a table for two. The place opened in August, so it’s not brand new but it was on my would be a nice place to test tip list.

But before dinner time it was time to raise a toast to summer at the Allas Sea Pool by the Market Square and the Ferris wheel. The summer terraces of the place are open now and in August they will open the sea water pools and saunas. A public sauna boom is alive and strong in Helsinki right now. I look forward to seeing what the sea spa will be like when it opens big time. Now the view gave both to oceanic Helsinki and to the construction containers.

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And then to Krog Roba. It was a purely delicious. The restaurant space is stylish, spacious and bright with high windows, a beautiful floor pattern and original lamps. The service was friendly and fast. The menu is built around Scandinavian flavours and included many tasty sounding alternatives. We went for the Danish open sandwich with juniper smoked duck leg and pickled vegetables and a salad with arctic char and baby potatoes for starters and for the glazed veal and the marbled beef fillet for the mains. The food was yummy. An extra mentioning goes to the home made crispbread with a lot of crunchy seeds. Also the portion called something small and sweet on the desert menu gains cuteness points.

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The only critical remark is that it’s quite pricy: the price level of a very fine restaurant and at least for me the krog part in the name suggests a bistro like quarter restaurant with a laid back atmosphere and also a difference in prices compared to a fine-dining place. The feeling of the place was elegant and pleasant: if you want to dine in a bustling hotspot then this is not the apt choice.  But  all in all, it was delightful.

davThe magical light of summer evenings, love it.