I am very lazy but lots of picures from lots of places will be posted this week and the week after!
For my 111th post on this blog, I would like to thank all of my followers! I never thought I would get more than a couple of friends making sure I was alive (haha), and thanks to all 168 of you, I didn’t give up on blogging and writing (quite poorly I must admit haha) about my life in Finland. I don’t have much time left here, but I hope you had a good time following my adventures! I still have two months to report to you, so make sure to keep an eye on my tumblr :)
I will be indeed leaving Finland in June, however, as I am moving once again for university, maybe I will have another blog about my life as a university student in a new province/ big town :)
THANK YOU SO MUCH AGAIN! ♥
I send to all of you thousands of (invisible) cookies ♥
For Easter, my host parents and I went to Lapland again! This time was shorter than during Christmas, but it was great too.
Friday March 29th, 2013
So after I came back from the Stockholm cruise, I was kinda exhausted to say the least. But thankfully, because there isn’t much to do in Lapland (as in ‘going out’), it’s not difficult to pack for it. I think I packed my small suitcase 30 min before I had to leave the house.
My night train left from Tikkurila (Vantaa) at 19.44, so no worries. I was there in advance, and I found easily my room n.103. It was empty, so I thought maybe, if I was lucky, it would stay empty until Rovaniemi (my station).
I had the bed on the bottom, so I made myself comfortable, fought with the internet for a bit and after like an hour, the controller lady came and she checked my ticket and VR student card (it’s a card that you can buy as a student and you get discounts on long distance trips). Then she told me that a ‘friend’ would join me in Tampere. Keep in mind that this 5-minute conversation happened 100% in Finnish, so I was a bit lost about this ‘kaveri’ (comrade/friend) supposed to join me in Tampere. But I understood that unluckily, I would have a roommate. Indeed, when we stopped in Tampere, a lady came into the room. She was maybe in her late 50s, early 60s. She was very nice and talkative, but as I cannot speak much Finnish (I can only understand), she left me alone for most of the trip. Mostly ‘cause we were both sleeping too, haha. I spent my time on my computer than sleeping. The trip lasted 13 hours.
Saturday March 30th, 2013
At around 8am, we arrived in Rovaniemi, and my host parents were there. In case you were wondering why I wasn’t travelling with them, they took the airplane Friday morning. I couldn’t go with them because I was on the ship at that time :)
We went to have breakfast in a hotel’s restaurant. Some of my host parents’ friends were staying there, so they were chatting while I filled myself with delicious food :D
Rovaniemi is a very empty town in the morning… Most stores were closed, there was pretty much no one walking on the streets… even if the weather was amazing. Sunny, warm, no wind… Loved it!
We left Rovaniemi at 10am and drove to Luosto, where the cottage is situated. I fell asleep super fast, and I was really tired for most of the day. I guess the train’s bed was not so comfortable after all.
At 5pm (17.00) we went to a concert held in a chapel.
The singer and pianist was Petri Laaksonen. I really liked it and I got his CD after the concert. He seemed like a very nice guy. It was already dark when we went home, and the moment we arrived in Luosto and got out of the car, my host mother told me to look up, and yes! the sky was filled with Northern Lights. It was such an amazing view. I seriously didn’t think I would ever see them! I tried very hard to take pictures but they ALL turned out totally black. My camera is terrible…
Sunday March 31st, 2013
I went for a long walk with my host mother. Because we forgot my ski shoes in Helsinki, I couldn’t go skiing this time, but to be honest, between you and me, I don’t like skiing so much, so I think my host parents were more disappointed than I was, haha :) I took some pictures, and you can clearly see the differences between winter and spring. It was so damn sunny and warm!! I did get windy at some point and my face almost froze.
We had dinner at a nearby restaurant, and I took Blinit (god, I love them so much!! They’re like Russian/Finnish/Carelian pancakes that you eat with mushroom salad or salmon salads or caviar. I need to find a way to make them in Canada too) and Reindeer steak. So good!! It was worth the 50-minute wait. No kidding.
The rest of the day was spent chilling and relaxing for me, as my host parents went to visit some family :)
Monday April 1st, 2013
We left Luosto at 10am (it was even sadder than the first time… I absolutely love Lapland, and the cottage there is my favourite), as we had to be in Oulu airport at 5pm (17.00). We stopped in Kemi and visited the Snow Castle. It’s really small, and it took us less than 15 minutes to see everything… But the kids seemed to have a lot of fun! :) They had one room full of Angry Birds snow and ice sculptures.
We went to eat at some random place between Kemi and Oulu. You know, these shops/fast food restaurants that you find close to the highways. They always have the same menus, and I tried really hard to appreciate them, but I was never able to finish my plate…
We were in time in Oulu airport, the weather was so good I could take pictures from the plane! Finland looked like a huge forest… That’s all, haha~
We were in Helsinki in less than an hour :)
In conclusion, I’m glad I was able to go back to Lapland, BECAUSE I JUST LOVE IT THERE. ♥ I hope I can go another time before I leave, but that’s very impossible :(
enimrac01 asked: hey i'm going to stockholm next month any ideas of place that I absolutely have to visit ?
Hey! To be honest, I don’t really know. I was there for just a day, and most of it was spent shopping and wandering around.
However, you should go around the old town, visit some museums (Nobel museum is in the old town, so it’s easy to go there) etc. There are some free guides, so you could try that!
There are many websites who offer a lot of information on Stockholm too :)
Have fun!! Sweden is a great country, and the people in Stockholm were very nice and helpful. They also spoke perfect English!
Wednesday March 27, 2013.
I left home at around 3pm (15.00) and my host mom drove me to the terminal, which was quite close to the old market. I was feeling a bit sick, and not really in a mood for a cruise, but it was my only chance to see Sweden’s capital. I met my friends and classmates inside the terminal, got my ticket and before 17.00, I was on the ship! Funny story: because we were a student group, security was a little harsher on us. Every one of my classmates had to get their bags checked, in case someone had alcohol or speakers. The ones who did had to give them to the security. When my turn came, the guard ask me if I had alcohol or any beverage, and I said no. He looked quickly through my bag, and said : “I believe you.”
The ship was a bit different from the one for Tallinn. There were more shops, and even some sort of ‘market street’:
Most of the night was spent talking and playing games in other people’s rooms. From 10pm to 1am, my friends and I went dancing with some Japanese students. The ship had two dance clubs, one with a live band that played 80’s music and one with a karaoke bar until a certain hour and then normal club music. I went to sleep at 1am and that was the end of day 1.
Thurday March 28th, 2013.
My friend and I woke up at 7.30. We took a shower, got ready for the day and went for the breakfast buffet. Compared to the dinner buffet, it was very affordable and the food was quite good.
(First view of Stockholm from the ship)
At 10, we left the ship with a couple of other friends. Because we were with Silja (ship company), the terminal was a bit far from the city center. We took the metro, and we stopped at Gamla Stan, inside the old town.
Compared to Helsinki, Stockholm is more surrounded by water. There were bridges everywhere. It was really nice. It reminded me a bit of Turku too! To be honest, it was not so different from Finnish towns.
On the better side, the weather was amazing. The snow was almost all melted, the sun was shining, it was so warm I didn’t even need my winter jacket! I absolutely loved it.
Also, Stockholm is full of awesome shops. The prices are high, sometimes even higher than in Finland (and let’s not even talk about Estonia), but there’s so much more variety. Many of my friends had trouble with their debit card (Visa Electron), so careful if you’re travelling in Sweden. I had no problems with my credit card (Visa), and I used cash.
We went around the old town and then walked to the center. Before we even noticed it, it was already time to go back on the ship!
On the way back to Helsinki, the age limit for alcohol was lowered from 20 to 18, so by 10pm, the ship was full of drunk teenagers. It was really loud, I felt bad for the other passengers… I even got a terrible headache and I had to take some painkillers. Like the other night, we danced a bit with some friends, talked for hours, watched the shows offered on the ship… I went to sleep at 4am, much later than the day before.
Friday March 29th, 2013.
Because we didn’t hear the alarm, my friend and I woke up exactly when the ship arrived in Helsinki, so around 10am. We had no time for the breakfast, and we just hurried to get out as soon as possible. Everyone else from our school had already left, so we just took the tram to the railway station.
I went home and prepared my luggage for my second trip to Lapland!~
Over all, this was a very nice experience! I had a lot of fun on the ship and in Stockholm. I bought lots of chocolate (however, I finished it all…), found a very pretty shirt in a vintage shop (♥) and discovered a new city!
More pictures will come later :)
Back from my cruise to Stockholm, I am now in Luosto, Lapland for Easter!
Just enjoyed an amazing view of Northern Lights~
A longer post on my trip to Sweden will follow + my first day in Lapland!
Anonymous asked: Hi! You're writing a really nice blog, it's interesting to read your thoughts about my home country. I'm a girl from Eastern Finland and I'm actually going to spend my whole summer in Canada - that's why it's especially fascinating to read your blog. :) Do you have any tips for me? :D I hope you enjoy the rest of your exchange and hopefully the weather gets better (you know, as a Finn I just couldn't resist talking about the weather..) and the spring really begins! :)
Thank you very much for your support and nice comments!
I hope you’ll have a great summer in Canada! Depending on where you go, it will be very different. Canada is such a big country, every province has its own spirit :D Mostly, don’t be shy to speak to strangers (it’s absolutely normal in Canada to chat with people if you’re waiting in line or if you’re in the bus), don’t be surprised if you feel like people are too polite (compared to Finns who are usually very casual with everyone, Canadians are very polite) and never hesitate to try new things! Canada is quite different from Finland (we do share a terrible weather haha) and I hope you’ll have an amazing time there :)
I heard the weather will get better soon… All we can do is wait!