Helsinki

Our first stop on our break back in Europe was Helsinki, home to my lovely wife. Finland, somewhat on the edge of Europe and mostly famous for ice hockey and heavy metal bands (plus the late Nokia mobile phone brand, R.I.P.) is certainly not known as the number one tourist destination. In fact, whenever we tell people that Natalia is from Finland they tend to respond “we’ve been to Sweden, but we never made it to Finland”. But for me the “land of swamps” (as they call it themselves) has some unique unpretentious beauty. I might be a bit biased though – on the one hand since it strongly reminds me of my own home in the North of Germany, and well, because it brought forth my wife on the other hand.

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Visit to Turtle Conservation and Education Center

The Turtle Conservation and Education Center (do not mix it up with Turtle Island) is located in Serangan Island, about 20 min drive from Sanur. This great place was opened in 2006 by the Governor of Bali and it’s purpose is to conserve sea turtles and provide education about the dangers the turtles face.

We were shocked to learn what a big business trading turtles is (for food, decoration, pets). No wonder some species are critically endangered. One of the first things we saw when we arrived was a big tank of turtles rescued from an illegal trade boat. They seemed to be well and we were told that in couple of days they will be released back to the sea.

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