Traveling in Finland

One of the things I was most excited about before coming to Finland as an exchange student was traveling. I would visit places like Tallinn, Stockholm or Saint Petersburg, but there was one trip that I was really expecting: Lapland.

So when I arrived to Finland I booked the trip without any second thoughts, and the 3rd of March I took a bus from Helsinki with some friends that would take us to Vasatokka, north of Lapland. We knew that traveling 15 hours in a bus wouldn’t be easy, but we knew it would be worth it. And it was.

On our way we could see how the scenery became whiter, and we couldn’t wait to arrive to our destiny to enjoy the snow and the nature.

And finally we arrived to Vasatokka, a beautiful place surrounded by woods and a big frozen lake.

There we had snow fights, we made snowmen, some sledging… The coldness didn’t matter, we just wanted to enjoy ourselves the time we had there. Swimming in the hole of a frozen lake after sauna was mandatory, and surprisingly we liked it and did it more than once. I never thought I could be so brave!

We did some activities like going to a reindeer farm with Sami people, a husky safari or going to a lovely little village of Norway to swim in the Arctic Ocean, but the thing that everyone was waiting for the whole trip was the northen lights, and we couldn’t leave without seeing them.

The first night we were very sad because it was cloudy and we couldn’t see anything. However, the second night the sky was clear and they were there; we were watching the northen lights!

At first we couldn’t believe our eyes, we were so excited about it that some people even cried.

So I can say without any doubts that Lapland is the best trip I have ever made, and I will never forget it.

koirat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Text and photo: Ana Lanseros Tenllado

 

 

Curiosities of Finnish people & culture

Before coming to Finland, everyone would tell me: “Oh, it’s going to be so cold there, and you’re not used to it!” They were right, as I come from the south of Spain, but what they didn’t know is that the cold weather is not the only thing shocking from Finland…

On my second day in Turku I had a meeting with my coordinator at the university. By 11 a.m. the meeting was over, so she told me: “You can go to have lunch now”. I thought that it was a mistake. Maybe she meant a second breakfast, that moment of the day when you eat a piece of fruit or something small to help you wait for lunch. But then I went to the cafeteria and I realized that it was me the one who was wrong. They were having a big meal, the same I would have in Spain at 2 or 3 p.m.

But as I wasn’t in Spain anymore, I decided to join this “weird” Finnish people and have lunch their way. It probably took me longer than it should have choosing my salad, but I couldn’t find the olive oil or the salt anywhere, so I had to pour some sauce I hadn’t seen in my life before. And in the end, when I thought that nothing could surprise me anymore because all that I had to do was taking a glass of water, I saw how most of the people took two glasses instead of one, and one of them full of milk. Milk with lunch! I thought was for breakfast, coffee or tea, but apparently Finnish people have found another use for it.

Finally, I sat to have a relaxing meal. I guess that wasn’t a Finnish thing to do, because it only took Finnish people about 10 minutes to eat.

So, to sum up, on my second day by noon I had already felt the culture shock, and it was only food related. I couldn’t even imagine how many things I didn’t know about Finland yet!

Food

 

 

 

 

 

 

Text and photo: Ana Lanseros Tenllado