Sustainable fashion is a movement and process of fostering change to fashion products and the fashion system towards greater ecological integrity and social justice. Sustainable fashion concerns more than addressing fashion textiles or products. It comprises addressing the whole system of fashion. – Wikipedia
In Sustainable fashion, clothes are manufactured using natural energy to avoid pollution. While ethical fashion may not be the solution for all of our problems, it allows us to reduce our impact on the environment and invest in safer and more sustainable practices.
St. Petersburg is a place like no other. The distinctly regal feeling, the glamour, the imperial history and its long summer nights make this city an unforgettable destination. There is so much to see and do, you will probably need a few weeks there. I will list the highlights of our trip so you don’t get lost.
Let’s start with the Hermitagemuseum. One of the largest and oldest museums in the world, it was founded by Catherine the Great in 1764. Originally, there was only one building housing the collection, but nowadays the museum encompasses many buildings on the Palace Embankment and its neighbourhoods. The Hermitage has three million pieces of art in several buildings across St. Petersburg.
29 kilometers away from St. Petersburg, the imperial estate of Peterhof is one of the most popular day trips from the city. The Grand Palace is opulent and extravagant, but the highlight of Peterhof is the Grand Cascade – a series of about 150 fountains and canals behind the Grand Palace. Beyond the Grand Cascade, there are impeccably maintained gardens with fountains, gazebos and some smaller palaces.
The view of the Grand Cascade with the Grand Palace behind is truly breathtaking.
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one the most famous sights in St. Petersburg. It is located where Tsar Alexander II was killed in 1881 and it features 7000 square meters of mosaics on the interior. The church was built between 1883 and 1907, funded by the imperial family.
Two of the best performances I have seen in my entire life were in St. Petersburg. Inside theNickolayevsky Palace we saw an unforgettable folkshow performance. Two hours of a dynamic and colorful show, with folk songs and dance.
The other grand performance was the russian ballet at the Mikhailovsky Theatre. The Swan Lake has become a symbol of Russian art itself. A trip to St. Petersburg is not complete without seeing at least one of those performances.
And…if you are lucky enough…you will stumble upon a bear cub around the city
Europe is overflowing with quaint, old, exotic and modern destinations. So many options for every taste and budget. One of the countries we chose to visit was Latvia. Completely understated and unnoticed, people normally do not consider Latvia as a destination. However, the country pleases nature lovers, cosmopolitans, culture and history buffs.
Latvia became an independent country in 1991, when the Soviet Union dissolved, and for this reason, Soviet influence is still a complex subject of discussion there. Latvia’s long history is worth reading before travelling there though.
The capital city, Riga, is the biggest city of the Baltics. It has very impressive architecture, offers a large variety of foods, and reasonable prices on most goods and services. Its medieval Old Town is part of the UNESCO World Heritage and is filled with old, well preserved buildings, castles, restaurants, and churches. Most historic buildings were bombed during WWII or destroyed by fires, but have been rebuilt after the fall of Soviet rule.
The Historic Centre of Riga has the finest and largest concentration of Art Nouveau architecture in the world, with more than a third of the buildings built in the style. The competitor of Gaudi, Mikhail Osipovich Eisenstein, was the designer of most of the Art Nouveau buildings in the city.
The Daugava River, known as the River of Destiny, bisects the city, is 1,020 km long and drains portions of the countries of Latvia, Belarus and Russia before pouring out into the Gulf of Riga. It was the only route between east and west, “a road from the Vikings to the Greeks”.
Outside the historic center, there are many other interesting things to do, like walking around Bastejkalns Park, where you can visit the Opera House, the Freedom Monument, the chocolate factoryLaima, or Kayak along the Daugava River and Riga canal at nightwhen the city’s bridges and fountains are lit up.
Outside Riga, there is a fantastic beach resort in the town of Jūrmala, perfect for a day trip in the summer. The area is famous for its curative mud and mineral waters as well its many activities offered such as art exhibitions, local and international concerts.
If you are not convinced Latvia is a fantastic travel destination yet, then watch this video!
On the shore of the Gulf of Finland lies one the most interesting cities I have visited during my years in Scandinavia. Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, aka the Silicon Valley of the Baltics or hometown of Skype, has been listed among the top 10 digital cities in the world. Although Tallinn is not on many people’s bucket list, the place is not only remarkable for its technological and mobility infrastructure, but also for its history, art and architecture.
Old Town lookout (May 2008)
The Old Centre is a walled area full of old buildings and fortifications. It was first expanded by the Danish who arrived and started ruling Tallinn in 1219. The Swedes invaded the city next in 1561. Then, in 1710, the Russians. In 1918, Estonia declared independence from Russia, but fell to the Nazis and then the Soviets during World War II. Despite all the wars and invasions, Tallinn’s historic centre has survived remarkably intact. It is so well preserved that it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Medieval walled area
If you are going on weekends, you have to get there early in the morning before the crowds to get the most of its medieval charm. It’s the best time to sit and marvel the beautiful architecture and to picture the life there hundreds of years ago.
Early in the morning near the Centre Square
Centre Square after 10 a.m.
Street made spiced almonds
For a period of time, Tallinn attracted many young men with the lure of cheap booze and prostitution. You can still see a great number of people taking the ferry in the Finnish capital and crossing the Baltic just to take advantage of the slightly lower prices of drinks, goods and services.
Estonian artists have recycled 13,000 mobile phones to make benches in the downtown area.
Not too far from the capital, there is a village called Kaali, on the Estonian island of Saaremaa. The last known occurrence of an impact event on a populated area happened there. The tourist area resembles a film set for The Game of Thrones. You can experience an authentic medieval meal at the surroundings.
Next time you plan a trip overseas, consider visiting an unpredictable destination like the Estonian capital. Just don’t forget the best time would be off-season when crowds are gone and you can dream yourself alive in a Game of Thrones setting.