Finland Journals

Insanity And Sanity In Scandinavia

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A January 2000 trip to Finland by Danner

Lake Kivijarvi, Kannonkoski Photo, Finland, Europe More Photos
Quote: I travelled To Finland To Work With The E.U's European Volunteer Service. I started Out In Remote Central Finland, Moved 3 Hours Travel Within The Artic Circle, Then Went To Work In Civilisation, Jyvaskyla

Insanity And Sanity In Scandinavia

Overview

Lake Kivijarvi, Kannonkoski Photo, Finland, Europe
Quote:
The Highlights Of The Trip Were: Visiting St Petersburg, Seeing The Aurora Borealis, Drinking Beer By A Lake On Midsummer Night, Driving A Snowmobile, Living In -25 Degrees, Playing Football With Finns (Like Ice Hockey But Without The Padding), Visiting Turku, Mikkeli, Lahti, Helsinki And Tampere, And Learning To Speak Finnish.Quick Tips: Learn Some Of The Language, Be Prepared To Drink A Lot, Take Lots Of Clothes In The Winter But Also Mosquito Spray For The Summer. Visit Turku, It's Much Better Than HelsinkiBest Way To Get Around: Coaches And Buses, With A Special £25 Travel Voucher Book, But You Have To Work Out The Distance For Each Journey And Use Your Vouchers. The Trains Are A...Read More

Helsinki

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Story/Tip

Senate Square, Helsinki Photo, Finland, Europe
Quote:
The Finnish capital on the banks of Suomenlahti, Finnish bay. The centre of Finnish everything. It reminds me of Sheffield because it's about the same size and has trams, Sheffield is the only other place I've seen trams,as well as the rundown factories and piles of snow. Helsinki has alot of Russian leftovers as the Tsars used it has their Scandinavian capital when they threw out the Swedish in 1809. It was strange for me to see a statue of Alexander the Second, The Liberator, having studied him in A-Level European History, I was overwhelmed and in awe. The city itself is quite commercial and looks 'modern', and lifeless, it has a sense of not really knowing who it is or where it came from. One ...Read More

Hameenlinna

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Story/Tip

Sibelius' House, Hameenlinna Photo, Finland, Europe
Quote:
Hameenlinna, there are only two reasons to visit this town is to see the oldest building in Finland, the old Swedish castle that looks like Turkuunlinna. The second reason depends upon your knowledge and interest in Classical music because Hameenlinna is the birthplace of the best known Finnish composer, Sibelius, the pro-independence Finn, who subtly undermined the Russian power in his composition, 'Finlandia'. The birth house is ramshackled and surrounded by modern buildings. It is difficult to recognise, there are no signs and I actually walked past it, the entrance is around the back. It is a nice enough town but nothing outstanding except for a walk by the lake and the castle.

Tampere

Story/Tip

The Crashed Flying Saucer, Tampere Photo, Finland, Europe
Quote:
Tampere was destination two on my farewell tour of Finland. I didn't spend as long in Tampere as I had wished because of the Finnish weather's tendency to change into that of a rainforest and absolutely chuck down the rain. As a city seems bigger than Turku but it wasn't. It has a number of German influences, the buildings had the tall, thin turrets that I've seen on pictures of Bavarian villages. Tampere does have character, prior to going there I wasn't sure whether it did or not, but there is definitely something there. The character is aided by the mix of classical and modern, for example the crashed flying saucer on the roof of the art museum had an element of the bizarre as Tampere appeared thr...Read More

Lahti

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Story/Tip

The Ski Jump, Lahti Photo, Finland, Europe
Quote:
Lahti translates as 'bay' and 'slaughter' and is built on the site of a battlefield which saw many Finns fall, or at least that's what someone told me. My previous experience of Lahti had been the bus station and the bright neon signs of the main street, and I wasn't sure there was much else. To explore Lahti the best place to start is the ski slopes which double as a tourist attraction during the summer. I was assured that once I got to the top I would see the whole of Lahti, but being worried by heights I had to be brave. The first hurdle to negotiate was the ski lift (having never been skiing I hadn't been on one before). It wasn't that bad, but I won't make a habit of it. Following th...Read More

Mikkeli

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Story/Tip

General Mannerheim, Mikkeli Photo, Finland, Europe
Quote:
The fourth and final destination on my farewell tour of Finland was Mikkeli or St Michel to give it its Swedish name. As I pulled into the city I had a tremendous feeling, as if a wave of serenity washed through the bus. It was a beautiful city. I almost leapt off the bus. I couldn't wait to be unleashed on the city. Right from the beginning I was taken in. There was a park with a small performance stage, it was such a small stage that I thought it must belong to a Sami company. I retraced the bus route to take a look at the FC Mikkeli football stadium, it looked so much better than the JJK football stadium. Across from the stadium was another lovely park. It had a statue of General Ma...Read More

About the Writer

Danner

Danner
Sheffield, United Kingdom

More Journals by Danner