My trip to Finland summer `98
(or crazy people under the midnight sun...)
In July 1998 I went on the longest trip I've ever been on. It took me in 3½ weeks almost 9.000 km from the Netherlands through Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and the Åland Islands. This episode deals with the longest part of my trip: Soumi (Finland).
This is the LAPIN KULTA brewery in Tornio at the border to Sweden. Look at that clean water! No wonder that it tastes so good...
On the road between Aavasaksavaara and Rovaniemi you cross the polar circle. And if you're lucky you will meet some reindeers. Unfortunately they are very shy in front of cameras...
About 10 km northwest of Rovaniemi, at the polar circle near the Pello road, is the realm ´Kampsuherran Valtakunta´. If you want to meet real Lappish traditions (including reindeer husbandary): there is the place to. I will not tell more about it. You have to check out yourself.
In order to enter the realm you need a passport first. You can get it at the costums office at the border. Don't try to enter without one...the ´foreign minister´ is dangerous! If you want to learn to drive a reindeer sleigh you can try their driving school (winter time only).
If you think Lappland is cold - in summertime you are defenitely wrong. At this picture (about 5 p.m.) it was 25°C. The next day the teparature rose up to 32°C...the hottest day during my whole trip! There is even a little beach in Rovaniemi (near the camping). When it gets too hot you can cool down in the arctic river Ounasjoki river (10°C).
The camping in Rovaniemi is really nice. It's a meetingplace for people from all over Europe. And people who went up so far to the North have to tell each other a lot ... by the way: that's me on the foto.
A typical Lappish dish: reindeer with potatoes and craneberries and a LAPIN KULTA beer. Absolutely delicious... in the restaurant of ´Hotel Oppilaitos´ it's even reasonably priced.
Midnight sun over the Muurolajärvi (about 1 a.m.) - needless to say anything about this atmosphere ...
Unbelieveable! Midnight sun and full moon at the same time (about 1 a.m.) in Muurola.
On the right that's Ville from Rovaniemi and 'Crazy Sanna' from Ounasrinne. Cheers!
Every family in Finland has a summer cottage at a lake. This one is located at the Ähtarijärvi and owned by Jani's family from Seinajöki. Like every summer cottage in Finland it has of course a Sauna in it. And at the Ähtarijärvi you can find the most mosquitos I've ever seen.
Jani and me went fishing on the lake. Good that his father bought a salmon before: we cought only lots of small fish!
"Nightlife" in the student town Jyväskylä. During summer hollidays unfortunately most of the students are gone. On the picture that's me with 'Madame Sanna' (middle) from Palokka and a friend of her.
From Lahti, Espoo, Helsinki and Turku you will not find any pictures here. But I am sure there are lots of them on the web. So it's nothing special. Only a few words:
Lahti: Nothing special to see, but nice to go shopping. Here you find a lot of stores and prices are usually lower than in Helsinki.
Helsinki: When you don't know where to go, you will be disappointed by the nightlife. Jani and I at least didn't find out where are the good places.
Turku: The 'secret capital' of Finland. It can compete with Helsinki! Lots of nice houses ...
Finland is the country of the 1000 lakes - Åland is the country of the 1000 islands!
This autonomous province of Finland has it's own flag (left), stamps, parliament, number plates etc. Seemingly they have even an own banking system since it is very problematic to get cash from their automats.
The people here speak only Swedish! If you ask something in Finish (which is easier to pronounce) - you will get the answer in Swedish (which is easier to understand). So, there is no language problem at all, right?
The capital city Mariehamn has even two harbours. This one is the Eastern Harbour(Österhamn) with me and Erika from Mariehamn in front. I guess in summertime there are more sailing boats than inhabitants on the islands!
If you come to Mariehamn one day, you should try out the 'Ålands Pannkaka' (pancakes) in Café Julius at the main street in Mariehamn. Delicious!
No,no ... that's not in Holland. These wooden windmills you can find on Åland!
Finally a tip: when you want to go from Åland to Sweden - use the Eckerö ferry. It's cheaper and faster than the big ones from Mariehamn.
I hope you enjoyed this virtual holliday to Finland!