Archive | March, 2013

A Finnish Sauna

15 Mar

Now that the days are longer the views from the sauna are stunning (it’s on the eight floor of the apartment block), so I wanted to share some pictures and show you all what a Finnish sauna looks like =)

finnish sunset

finnish sunset

finnish sunset

Finnish sauna

 

This is the main changing room

Finnish sauna

 

A door leads you into the shower room, and to the right in the sauna entrance

Finnish sauna

Finnish sauna

finnish sunset

finnish sunset

finnish sunset

finnish sunset

 

Have a great weekend!

 

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Learning to Walk on Water

15 Mar

With spring break hitting in the US and my friends all heading to the beach to catch some rays I felt inspired to do the same. I needed some vitamin D and I was looking a little pasty so I grabbed my shades and hopped on the next bus.

The beach here, by the way, is covered is snow. And the ocean is frozen over. Did I forget to mention that? Oh, and it was minus 15.

It was quite an experience though, walking on water, if a little terrifying! It was freezing cold in the wind and it felt a little like being on a winter landscape, but it was incredible! I’ve never seen anything like a frozen beach. I really can’t describe it, so instead I’ll show it =)

beach huts

nallikari

nallikari frozen ocean

This is the sea, all frozen over.

nallikari frozen ocean

nallikari frozen ocean

nallikari frozen ocean

nallikari frozen ocean

The ice is so strong it can be driven over!

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nallikari frozen ocean

nallikari frozen ocean

 

Beautiful huh?

More Facts About Finland!

5 Mar

More facts for y’all, gathered in my own experience of the country, to combine my love of Finland and my love of making lists =)

#1: Finns are really chatty.

I know that this is contrary to everything you read about the Finnish people, but it’s true! Sure, they can be shy at first, but once you make friends and sit them down with a coffee or lunch they’re a super chatty bunch! Of course, as with any nationality, this differs for each individual, but many of my Finnish friends love to talk and we can spend hours together without running out of conversation topics.

#2: It’s a super-eco-friendly country.

It might seem obvious, being surrounded by nature and all, but Finland offers so many opportunities to recycle, use eco-friendly products and generally be good to the world. Even near the student housing there are recycling facilities, on lunch the excess food on your plate gets puts in a separate compost bin and the network of cycle lanes provides incentive for people to cycle all year round, reducing the need to drive.

#3: They do funky things with chocolate flavours.

Seriously, there are many mind-boggling flavours of chocolate and bizarro combinations of sweets, including chocolate mixed with licorice, licorice mixed with mint and lemon-flavoured chocolate. Buying sweets here is a surprise; you never know what you’ll end up with!

#4: Finns are incredibly helpful.

I remember being lost in my first week of classes and asking for directions – the girl didn’t know the room but she produced a map and walked me to the classroom! I’ve had the same experience many times when asking for directions; they won’t just point you but they will take you to make sure you arrive at your destination. This also applies to lending – my Finnish friends are the first ones to let me borrow something/cook for me/help me find a service in town. Make sure you return the favour when you can and show your gratitude! (Of course they won’t hold it against you if you don’t, but it sure is nice to let your friends know that you appreciate them =) )

#5: There’s a dessert for every holiday.

Runebergintorttu (Runeberg’s Tarts), Laskiaispulla (a bun with cream) and Joulutorttu (Christmas Tart) are just a few desserts to mark the festivities. At the risk of sounding food obsessed you should keep an eye out for these – it’s a fun way to experience regular Finnish life, by taking part in the food customs, and you never know what kind of foods you might fall in love with!

Stay tuned for more!

(I might try to create ‘themed’ lists of facts – got any suggestions?)

 

Spring is Coming!

3 Mar

I spent the afternoon on the Hietasaari island just walking and enjoying the sunshine! The temperature has been much higher lately and, although it’s dropped again this weekend, you can finally start to feel the warmth from the sun when you’re outside. The roads and pavements are a little dangerous where the snow is melting and they’ve turned to sheets of ice, but a pair of ice spike covers on your shoes will do the trick!

On another note I’m quit behind on all of your blogs – my apologies but I’ve got a scratched cornea and too much computer time is really painful for my eye. It’s slowly healing and hopefully I can get up to date next week.

Here are the pictures from my walk.

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