One of my goals in the beginning of my exchange semester was to visit as many cities as possible. My semester abroad endures from the end of August to the end of December, which gives me the opportunity to experience Finland in the last summer days and also in the winter time. What is my impression about the summer time in Finland? Finland’s short but reliable sunny season sees the country burst into life. Finns seem to want to suck every last golden drop out of the summer in the hope that it will make hem last them through the long dark winter months, and there’s an explosion of good cheer and optimism. It’s a time for art exhibitions, lake cruises, midnight sunshine on convivial beer terraces, lazy days at remote waterside cottages and mouth-watering market products. As a result I enjoyed the last summer days and my first weeks in Finland a lot and my first goal was to discover the city, in which I will live the following months. And of course Turku doesn’t look that spectacular at the first moment but if you take a closer look, you will find the hidden beautiful places in the city. At the latest when you are going to visit the beach in Ruissalo you will fall in love with this city. It turned out to be one of my favourite places during my exchange semester. The view there is impressing and it is a nice place to cool down.
Secondly I want to talk about my trip to Lapland. First I took the long way from Turku to Kajaani by bus. There I met a friend of mine, who is doing his exchange semester there. Kajaani is a really small but enjoyable city. We rented a car there and then our first target city was Rovaniemi. Rovaniemi is the capital of Finnish Lapland and the hometown of Santa Claus and it is located on the Arctic Circle. The fact itself that you can visit the original santa claus village and the arctic circle is worth to visit it. Our next stop was Levi, an amazing city, which offers a lot of activities. Unfortunately the world cup slalom ski race was canceled, but nevertheless we had a lot of fun with skiing, snowmobile driving and to go partying. Our last stop was Saariselkä-Ivalo-Inari which offers you the ideal opportunity to experience the mystery of Lapp culture. Overall going to Lapland is a one lifetime experience, which you shouldn’t miss if you plan to visit in Finland. The fact itself to drive the road straight ahead for kilometre and hours with nothing beside you except woods, lakes, trees and snow and some reindeers on street is it worth to do this road trip.
Text & photo: Matthias Sommer