Getting back into the dance groove, today we have a classic from the early 90’s by Zambian-born Zimbabwean singer, Rozalla. I’m not sure why, but this ‘Official Music Video’ seems to be a little out of sync (at least it was for me). It still sounds very good though!! 😁
In a slight departure from my normal genre of disco dance music, I bring you a bit of reggae by Dave and Ansell Collins. It was released in 1970 but was the 2nd* reggae song to reach number 1 in the UK way back in May 1971.
(*For the curious – the first was Desmond Dekker’s ‘The Israelites’ in 1969).
Last weekend, my daughter Sarah and her husband Karl came to stay for a few days. They have done many of the walks in our valley already, but they had never been up to the Cabane de la Tsa. Although closed at this time of the year, the mountain hut sits at 2,607m (8.553ft) and provides a nice circular walk from Arolla.
We’ve just passed the half way stage of my play list and what better title to kick off the second half than Lost in Music by Sister Sledge. Another classic from 1979.
The remainder of our holiday was spent on the Finnish mainland. After catching the ferry back from Brändö, we drove up the west coast via the beautiful, UNESCO World Heritage town of Rauma and then on to Yyteri beach, which is one of the longest sandy beaches in Scandinavia at around 6km. From there we turned east to our base for the next 4 nights, which was a self-catering wooden lodge, or chalet, next to Lake Vesijako.
We returned to spend 2 more nights in the delightful city of Turku, which is the oldest town in Finland, with stops en route at the towns of Lammi and Hämeenlinna
Some other things I learnt during this trip (which you might also like to know):
- As well as having thousands of islands, there are 100’s if not also thousands of lakes in Finland as well (and the Finns take great advantage of these by having weekend lodges close by).
- There are a huge number and variety of mushrooms and toadstools in the woods. (During one walk, I met a man and his wife foraging. They had collected at least one big bucket load of one particular type).
- The woods are not all conifers as I imagined they might be. There appears to be an equal number of deciduous trees as well.
- The people are extremely welcoming and friendly.
- The Finnish language seems to specialise in very long words, which often include double A’s, E’s, I’s, K’s, M’s, N’s or U’s. The longest word I encountered, which I don’t think is exceptional, was 25 letters long.
- I don’t know the significance, but many (most?) street or track names end in ‘antie’, ‘entie’, ‘ontie’ or ‘untie’.
- The peak summer holiday season is from mid-June to mid-August and, before and after that period, you may find some things are not running or closed. (Though the ferries appear to run all year round – when it’s not completely iced over of course!)
- In the depths of winter, when conditions allow, it’s possible to drive over the ice to some islands. (No doubt special tyres and a brave or trusting nature are required for this).
- Last, but by no means least, the beer in Finland (and Stockholm) is pretty good. They certainly know how to make a tasty IPA. 😊 Cheers! 🍻
Let me take you on a little journey from Stockholm to the Åland Islands, which are an autonomous region of Finland…
Travelling to new countries (and blogging about them) certainly teaches you a few things, like there is hardly any tidal movement in the Baltic sea (which is why the thousands of islands are always visible); the water is not as salty as the ‘normal’ sea and, despite belonging to Finland, the islanders all speak Swedish (and most also speak English thankfully).
We caught a Viking Line ferry, called Grace, which was more like a cruise ship, from Stockholm to Turku, on the Finnish mainland. It’s a sailing which is highly recommended, if you ever get the opportunity, as the boat weaves its way through the almost impossibly narrow channels between the many islands. After an overnight stop and hiring a car, we then hopped on and off 2 more ferries to get to the group of interconnected islands called Brändö. (See map pic B11).
A particular highlight of our time there was a day on the island of Jurmo. We arrived too early for the ferry, but an extremely friendly local, called Ari, offered to give us a lift in his small boat. There was a harvest festival type celebration on that weekend and we were treated to a tour of the island on a tractor trailer.
Like yesterday, I’ve divided my photos into 3 distinct galleries. (Click on any image to get a larger view).
The ferry journey:
Jude and I have just returned from 2 weeks away, visiting Stockholm and 3 different parts of Finland. We flew to and from Stockholm partly because Easyjet didn’t fly from Geneva to Helsinki, but mainly because Jude was looking forward to sailing between the 6,700 islands which constitute the Åland islands that lie between Sweden and Finland. (No, I didn’t know about them either until we organised this trip).
Anyhow, below is a summary of our time in Stockholm where we meandered the streets, visited the Skansen Park area in Djurgarden (which has a replica village from the late 1800’s and a small zoo) and visited the National Museum.
Before going we’d read that it was very difficult to spend actual cash in Stockholm. So we didn’t take any and easily got by with just a pre-loaded Debit card. (I still don’t know what a Swedish Krona note or coin looks like). Be aware though that Stockholm is quite an expensive place to visit, though the above two attractions are both free.
Below, in a slight departure from my usual posts, I’ve included three separate photo galleries – the first is of the City then Skansen and thirdly the National Museum.
National Museum, Stockholm:
Ok – so, who missed my music Monday last week? Answer: Mike
Well, I’ve been away you see, in a distant, northern land (or 2) and I may well share some photos with you when I get them sorted… In the meantime, let’s get back up to date with perhaps THE most famous disco record (not to mention film) ever, followed by a softer, more melodic, number from the Rolling Stones – with Mick Jagger at his best!
1966 was a memorable year for many things, most notably for me, apart from my 12th birthday, was a certain World Cup final. ⚽ It was also the year that this song was released by the Elgins. Wind forward 6 (or was it 5? 😉) years and whenever my older brother and I would go down to the local Bailey’s night club in Hull, this song was almost always playing as we walked in. Whenever I hear it, I’m transported back to that circular dance floor and the coloured flashing lights!
It was only by chance that I found this video which begins with the white rose emblem of my beloved home county. 😁
I’m quite often pleasantly surprised when I go out for a walk and last Thursday was no exception. Although I didn’t manage to capture a picture of Cynthia’s fritillary, which is quite common in this remote valley, I did get some, albeit long range, photos of 3 different birds. (I’ve made my best guess at each, though I’m sure there is at least one person out there who may be able to identify them for me…?)
One of the reasons I missed the Cynthia’s fritillary was because I was distracted by a herd of over 20 yaks, with no apparent shepherd looking after them. As you can see from pictures 17 to 21, I managed to overtake them as they headed to the nearest watering hole.
Most of the butterflies were just by the roadside where I parked my car!