SUP from Paddington Basin to Camden Lock

The very first summer vacation week this year I spent in London.  London is so nice city, there is a lot to see and lot’s of different kind of activities to do.  This time I did a SUP journey in a canal from Paddington Basin to Camden Lock via Little Venice and London Zoo.  There are you not alone, there are lot’s of canal boats, electric GoBoats and even some cayaks going around so you need to be very careful and take a good attention all the time. It had been a hot summer and not that windy so there were lot’s of weed on the some areas of the canal.  It was really hard to paddle through the weeds specially for the first one in a row.

What was really exciting was the long and dark canal in Little Venice.  The canal is 249 meters long and it was so dark. The experience was really something! Never done something like that before.

Also it was fun to paddle through the London zoo: we saw some exotic birds and hyenas too.  We paddled 9 km and it took three hours, there were some waiting times to let big canal boats to go first. After the trip I was hungry and tired, dropped by the Petit Pret to take a take away salad and went to eat and sleep in my hotel room.  Good exercise during the city holiday!


Waiting for the summer…

…and having winter fun!

Long time no seeing!  There are two main reasons for that. First it is wintertime and you do not SUP a lot at that time in Finland.  And secondly I have been thinking what to do with this blog in the future because there will be a change in my marital status. But as ancient Romans said “Navigare necesse est, vivere non est necesse”, men come and go, SUP stays. So here I am again.

And I have done some stand up paddling during the winter: I visited in London in December and took a part in Active360’s Christmas paddling on the river Thames and it was so fun! First we paddled against the tide for an hour and half and then we came back in twenty minutes.  It was a big surprise to me that a tide makes that a big difference.  Even so it did not feel hard, there were no waves to make hard time with balance so it was easy anyway, you needed just arm muscles and abdominals.

The river Thames was beautiful even it was grey winter day. We saw birds and bird nests on the top of the trees, but not any seals at that time.  It was heavenly to be on the SUP board again. Waiting for the next summer, and enjoying winter iceskating and downhill skiing meanwhile.

Photos: Anu Aladin

What a lovely SUP in London!

A holiday week in London was really nice even the weather was colder than expected, it was almost freezing.  Finally also the SUP session with Active360London was set for Wednesday . The weather on Wednesday was nice and sunny (and it got warmer day by day). The location for SUP was Paddington Basin and Little Venice where long river boats are more typical view than paddleboards.  River boats are lovely and traditional way of transportation in canals in the UK, SUP is a new way to enjoy the beauty of the the rivers. Furthermore the Active360 has a river boat as a base station at Paddington Basin.

The session started at 6.45 pm and the sun was shining when we left from the pier in the Paddington Basin.  The scenery was varying from very urban ones to greener ones along the trip.  Also plenty of birds live in the riversides (e.g. swans and gooses).  The darker side of the urban canal is all the junk and trash which ends on and in the water.

The session was definitely lovely, first half was relaxing and easy and the second half a good exercise against the wind.  And the people were extremely nice! People who all share the passion for SUP. Loved to meet you all Sam, Sarah, Charlie and the two ladies! And welcome to Finland, let’s have a SUP together here as well!


Getting ready:


And go:

And the paddled route (includes also an underground trip to Paddington Station :)):

Not SUP today (even it was on the to-do-list)

The second day in London started as grey as it was forecasted. But the mood was sunny anyway because the plan was to have a nice stand up paddle boarding tour in the area of Paddigton basin & Little Venice.  We took two underground lines to get Edgware Road where the SUP stand of Active360/London is located. I recognized in the reservation system where I booked the place for the session that I was the only one who was booked this session so I was mentally prepared that there might not be a tour today.  But what happened was a totally surprise: there was no-one on the spot and no-one showed the time we waited.  Ok, the weather was chilly almost freezing but still… Maybe on Wednesday, the canal looks a nice place to paddle.

Enjoying a frost day in Fiskars

Fiskars Village is a rustics and idyllic village in a south-west Finland.  There a some artisanal shops, workshops and cafeterias in a landscape full of beautiful trees and a nice river.  Most visits we have done in the area have happened during a summertime, but today we visited there in a nice cold winter day.  It was a little bit chilly, the sun was not climbing high but gave still a clear and bright light for the whole area. We visited for the first time a cafeteria called Petris chocolate room. It was furnished a really lovely way with wooden picturesque tables and coffee was served in cups with flower ornamentation. The macarons were not the best I have tasted, next time I will try some homemade chocolates, those looked delicious.

Enjoying life in Spain

This weekend I was invited to join to my Spanish friend’s birthday party in Navacerrada, Madrid, Spain. Timing was good because the autumn season has arrived in Finland. It was still summer in Spain even the nights are getting chilly there. The daytime temperature was 25 and the sun was shining warmly,  that is definitely summer for me.

Madrid and Navacerrada are located so that I couldn’t do any SUP there. But I enjoy the visit in many other ways.


On Saturday we visited in La Granja and Segovia. La Granja de S. Ildefonso is a royal palace and Segovia is a really, really beautiful town both in north from Madrid. To get there from Navacerrada, a holiday village 50 km north from Madrid as well, was needed to drive up to one mountain and going down. In Segovia there is a magnicifient aqueduct built by ancient Romans. It is a beauty and impresses everybody.

In Segovia itself is a nice Spanish town with cafeterias and restaurants, we ate well at a very nice one and had a cup of coffee in Plaza Mayor. Also there are couple of great buildings to see and visit: Cathedral and Alcazar.

La Granja:


On Sunday I spend a day in Madrid and visited a park called Retiro. There is a nice artificial lake where you can hire a rowing boat to enjoy the view. (No SUP available). I really enjoyed the moment, the temperature was bit higher than in up to mountains.


P.S. The birthday party on Saturday night was an once in a lifetime experience.  House and location were so beautifull, food was excellent, music was good, dancing was so fun and people made me feel so welcome. Thank you Paz and Federico for the party!

Another waterfall in Nice

Waterfalls are wonderful. There is one in the middle of the Nice city, on on top of the hill with a great view. You do not need take a bus to get there, just walking and climbing is needed and while doing that there is nice alleys and churches to see and visit.


In Eze village and on the Eze beach

Visiting in Eze village was on a to-do-list also this year, it is a nice place and also going there is a small trip itself.  This summer we have taken buses a lot instead of taking trains mostly because we discovered that they are nice (you see different places) and easy (our hotel is actually located near to many bus stops), and last but not least we bought a seven day pass for Lignes D’azur lines so local buses are ‘free’.

Number 82 took us direct to Eze village and we climbed in a hot weather to the most top where the view is magnificent.  Tuomas took a lot of photos when climbing up and on the top as well. It was real hot so the next stop was on the Eze beach. We took a bus number 83 to Eze railway station which is located near to the beach.  There were a lot of people on the beach enjoying the Sunday sun and warm water.

I rented a SUP board but this time I enjoyed even more swimming in the warm sea.  I also realized that Finland is actually very good place for SUP.  There are different kind of rivers, lakes and sea coasts with variety of landscapes and water birds.  You can really enjoy the SUP trip, not just concentrating on keeping standing on the SUP board going up and down on (monster) waves.

Waterfall in Nice (Cascade de Gairaut)

Near but in a way far away from Nice is an old touristic attraction place: a tyrol type house with waterfall. It is build in 1883 and is very cute as your can see in photos.  The place itself was cool due to waterfall and the cave under the house. But the trip was hot, and it was turning to become almost too hot.

We took a bus number 25 from the Nice center to the direction Cernuschi to get to the Cascade de Gairaut.  This bus goes just once an hour on Saturdays. The ride was very bumby and the road was climbing up and down in the mountains. It was ok, and good way to see places round the city, the bus trip took about one hour.  Then we took off, admired the scene, took the pictures and enjoyed the coolness around the place.  Then we started to wait the bus to go back to the city.  It was really, really hot to stand in the bus stop (+32, no wind, no shadow). After ten minutes we saw the bus coming, we waved to stop it and the driver waved back and just drove ahead. The bus was not definitely fully booked. We saw no-one inside.

What the #¤%&/&¤! It is hot here, do we need to stay here an hour more!!!!! A small village road,in the middle of nowhere. The sun is shining, it will burn us, it will kill us!!

After thinking two seconds we decided to change the direction and go to the bus directing Cernuschi to get in to that bus because it should come sooner than the next one to heading towards Nice.  And it came in another 10 minutes and it stopped and we were so happy about that.  We were rescued!

In the end what happened was that in a few minutes we landed in a very urban place and realized that there is a tram stop front of us. Quick checkup from the bus driver “yes, the tram stop is on the left”, “merci!” very fast act of leaving the bus and walking to the tram stop.

So thank you the first bus driver for not taking us to the bus.  We were much faster back to the Nice city with the new route.

Walk and SUP in Villefranche-sur-Mer

Today´s visit was into the village of Villefranche-sur-Mer, which was noticed as the very best beach in the area by us last year. This time we took a bus number 81 which is leaving very near to our hotel (very practical!) and we took off the bus stop called Octroi. By taking a bus instead of a train (as we did last year) we were able to enter the town itself when walking towards the beach.

The town is a beauty.  Small and narrow streets with old doors and archs was a pleasant place to walk and take pictures. After for a while we ended up to the beach area and continued walking to the very end because the SUP rental location is in the far end.

I changed shorts and t-shirt in a small private tent, kind of funny but it was nice to have some place to do it. The SUP board I paddled on was a new model for me, the shape was a very sharp and it was said to be fast and stable, and it was. It took a short time to get familiar with mediterranean waves but when I did it was fun indeed to paddle.