Traveling in Finland

I’m doing my clinical practice here in Finland, so I don’t have a lot of time for traveling during the week. All the cruises that are organized are during the week, so I can’t go on them. That’s why I took my chance to see Finland when my parents came to Finland for a week. At first I planned to join them only for the weekend, because I was supposed to work during the week. I’ve been doing too much hours, so I had to take a few days off. My weekend of traveling with my parents became a four day weekend.

My parents arrived on a Thursday and I met them on that Friday. They came to pick me up with a rental car at my clinical practice in Masku. My day ended at 2 pm that day and I felt butterflies in my stomach when the clock showed a quarter to two. I was so happy to see my parents after two months in Finland.

BabetteDeGroof2

Back in Turku we went ice swimming in Uittamo, my father acting like a pro. He already started swimming when he entered the water for the second time. We went out for dinner afterwards. The next day we went first to the airport in Helsinki. My mother’s suitcase wasn’t there when they arrived and we still had no information about it. We continued our trip to Porvoo, where we had lunch and enjoyed the nice weither. We passed some nice places on our way to Kotka and ended that day in Kouvola. The next day we went hiking in one of the National Parks of Finland. The view was magnificent. Our day ended in Tampere, where my mother finally got her suitcase back. It had never left the Brussels airport. We enjoyed Tampere and Rauma the day after. I drove the car from Rauma back to Turku. Finally, after two months of taking the bus every day. Our last day was the least sunny, but it was the cherry on top of the cake! We followed the Archipelago trail and –wait for it- we saw 2 moose! I stood 40 meters away from 2 gigantic beautiful creatures! It was an amazing trip through Finland.

Text and photo: Babette De Groof

Magnificent Finland

Finland is a country where you can be amazed every day. The people are not with a lot, but sit for an hour on a bench in a city and I guarantee that you will be entertained. Girls and boys with colorful hair, older man looking for beer cans in trash cans, girls who think it is 25 degrees outside when the first sun starts to shine and a drunk person yelling to a street lantern.

Not only the people are magnificent, Finland’s nature is one of the most spectacular things I’ve ever seen in my life and I’ve been to a few places all over the world. When I arrived in Finland, the country was entirely covered with snow. And my fingers almost froze of the first week. My first time admiring the beauty of Finnish winter was in Lapland, when I went for cross-country skiing. Big mountains with white powder snow glistering in the sunlight. The days where full of activities and the nights full of parties. My body couldn’t take it anymore and got ill. I finally had the chance to see the northern lights and I missed it. I went back to Turku with a sad face. I thought I would never get another chance to see them. But I got lucky, this year you could see northern lights in Turku and I saw them! I felt the most lucky person in the world!

BabetteDeGroof1

When spring is starting and the sun starts to shine and all the plants and trees come back to life. Walking around in thick forests, when the soil is still covered with a white carpet, but the snow is finally starting to melt on some places. Lakes start to unfreeze and water in rivers can start to run free again. Fishermen take out there lines, hope to catch their first fish of the year. Tourists start to go around cities with their maps. Finland becomes even more magnificent every day.

Text and photo: Babette De Groof