Real talk

Postcards from the Venice of the North: Weekend in St. Petersburg

Postcards from the Venice of the North: Weekend in St. Petersburg

Moscow or St. Petersburg? It seems like a pointless comparison, yet the question is surprisingly common. My first answer is usually both, though If I absolutely have to choose, I’ll always be a Moscow girl. This takes nothing away from Piter, though: Russia’s northern capital […]

The shortest city break ever? Birmingham in 15 minutes

The shortest city break ever? Birmingham in 15 minutes

Is it possible to get a feel for a city in a mere 15 minutes? It is. Trust me, I’ve tried! Slow travel is a huge trend right now, and I can see why. Taking time to really get to know a place and immerse yourself in the […]

Reflections on the Russian elections

Reflections on the Russian elections

Today my beautiful and beloved country of birth votes for its next president. Sadly, I’m not a citizen and consequently can’t vote. Not that it would make a whole lot of difference – like in the Finnish presidential elections a couple of months back, everyone […]

Happy 100th Independence Day, (Ingrian) Finns!

Happy 100th Independence Day, (Ingrian) Finns!

Today Finland celebrates its 100th Independence Day. This day always makes me think of my Finnish grandfather, Pietari. He was a true Finn in the best possible sense of the word: hard-working, honest, resilient, calm and sincere. Moreover, he also possessed the qualities which I […]

You can make all your dreams come true – or can you?

You can make all your dreams come true – or can you?

Beginning of January. Time for promises, resolutions and goals. Time to look at the year that has gone by and to plan the one that has just started. And, alas, time for inspirational quotes. You know the likes. They fill your social media feeds and […]