What’s Wrong With Finland?

15 Jan

Nothing. Nothing at all –  so why is so little known about it?

Before I came here, and when I returned to the UK for the winter break, I spoke to many people who said that they didn’t know much about Finland. Even I didn’t know that much before I arrived, and my research revealed little extra.

I consider Finland to be something of a hidden gem, a place of mystery and beauty – exotic, but not in a Thailand-is-exotic kind of way. Exotic in that the sky and water blend together on a sunny day, when they both turn to an incredible blue. Like in this picture taken at Hailuoto. If it hadn’t been for the direction of the tree growth I could have been upside-down and not known the difference.

In the winter the landscape reminds me of a gem – always beautiful, always glistening, no matter what you wear it with. Sun, blue skies, grey fog and cloud, or snow fall. It goes with everything and never fails to impress. Compare this photo with this and you’ll see what I mean. Imagine waking up to that every day.

Many think that outside of Helsinki there’s little to do, but I think these people are just looking in the wrong places. There’s plenty to do in Oulu – visiting the market hall, going to the Finnkino to watch a movie, catching up on your culture at the theatre or just taking a walk through the park and along the river’s dams. Even when it’s dark there are so many clubs to take part in, you’re spoilt for choice!

That said, the capital is still worth a visit and it’s nice to feel part of a busy city once in a while. Busy, did I say? Think London but taken down about a hundred notches. There are people going to work, sightseeing, shopping and just enjoying the air (which is still fresh and clean, even in the city), but an air of calm exudes the place. A twenty minute ferry from the market square will take you to the Suomenlinna Fortress, filled with grass and trees and sea views, the perfect way to relax on the weekend. There are art galleries and museums galore, the Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum and the Finnish National Museum being my favourite to date.

Further north than Oulu there are national parks with opportunities for hiking or skiing, depending on the season, and plenty of chances to see the local wildlife. There’s Rovaniemi and the Santa Claus village (best visited in December) where there’s plenty of opportunities for husky sledding in winter – one of my favourite memories!

So, what’s wrong with Finland? Nothing. Perhaps it’s better to ask: what’s wrong with the people who aren’t visiting?

 

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4 Responses to “What’s Wrong With Finland?”

  1. belladonic haze January 20, 2013 at 3:27 am #

    Finland rocks! I can’t wait to go back. Have you been to Estonia yet?

    • saramay91 January 20, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

      Did you go to Finland for a holiday, studies or business? Yes I went to Tallinn for a day but I didn’t like it as much – I’d like to go visit a friend there though and get a better feel for the country. Have you been and did you like it?

  2. belladonic haze January 29, 2013 at 2:08 am #

    Long history. We have friends there…so gorgeous…not just Helsinki but Kemi, Oulu, Lapland…just amazing.

    I loved Tallinn and the town square. Very photogenic!

    • saramay91 January 29, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

      It sounds like you’ve travelled a lot, that’s great to hear =) I would love to see the ice castle in Kemi at some point, where you there in time to see it?

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