Hello August.

Blogroll, Finland, Helsinki, Traveling

We said goodbye to July – and to Finnish holiday season – in Rauma and Sammallahti, a UNESCO-protected Bronze Age burial site. The weather was perfect, the number of fellow tourists was close to zero and the atmosphere was so fitting to the otherwise stressful life(style).

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Oh and we did pop to Forum Marinum in Turku! You will be able to read more about it on my other blog; let’s say that it is a large naval museum centre. And it is awesome. This rediscovered love for the sea and freedom shows.

And! As literally everyone based in Finland have noticed, we got those public transport bikes in Helsinki a few months back, jippee, finally we made it to the civilised European capitals!

FullSizeRender (1)Picture: Rantapallo.fi

I haven’t tried them myself, but they seem to be quite straightforward to use. All seems wonderful – let’s explore Helsinki on bike, it is fast and convenient and fun… and pretty cheap. But being an active urban cyclist myself, I cannot stop wondering about certain issues:

Let’s start with a little applied anthropology: who would be a typical person using these bikes? Those who are really interested in cycling and have a good mental map of cycling routes in Helsinki probably have and use a (lighter and faster) bike of their own. The typical person would probably borrow the bike on extempore basis. Hardly they would be carrying their own helmet, and it is reasonable to assume that they won’t have much clue about cycling rules, customs and routes in Helsinki. Quite often these people would be seeking a cheap and fun way home from some kind of social gathering. Read: the cyclist may be as well a bit drunk.

I was wondering whether the Helsinki City Transport has thought of this, have they noticed increase in cycling incidents in the past few months? The bikes have been around for several months now, it may be time to do go through some numbers?

And you guys, please keep cycling safely;)

… and a post-Lapland post.

Blogroll, Finland, Likes, Traveling

I’m back in Helsinki after a wonderful trip to Lapland, and the homesickness stroke again just a day after we came back to the capital. Lapland will always remain the place where my body, mind and heart are completely free; a place on Earth like no other.

 

And for the tourist in us, whom I believe all of us cherish: yes, there were reindeers. Of course I saw zero reindeer in the wilderness, however, I fed, stroked and cuddled a few of them, now how great is that.

I learned that the best things in life are for free – or they cost 3 €. While on painkiller and muscle relaxant high (migraine), a few weeks back I bought this jumper at the local second-hand store: grey, oversized (or maybe it was just placed on a wrong rack, it was a regular men-sized winter garment) knitted jumper with reindeer pattern and a wind-proof insert. Woolmark. A Finnish product of the 90s I believe for mere 3€ – and my absolute favourite piece of clothing in Lapland! I felt warm and cosy wearing it as a top layer and – most importantly – it made me stood out from the crowds of tourists. I felt so local…

… another one of my 3 € swags was a bag of lichen I bought at the Sámiland museum in Levi, aka Lappish Disneyland and a destination for party skiers, aka a place to avoid – or at least close your eyes while passing downtown Levi on the way to the slopes or treks. Sámiland is a sub-par museum about Sámi culture, and it is located in the basement of a hotel situated right on one of Levi’s slopes. You got the idea. So we got the tickets (or Museokortit) and a bag of lichen, please, because there were reindeers in the outside part of the museum! And they were so much fun to hassle with. When I grow up I will get myself a reindeer, or rather, I’d be taking care of one as reindeers don’t belong to anyone but the nature.

Now, what next is there? Some creative work, some academic work, and getting used to above zero temperatures. And I promise that this year I won’t miss the moment of Finnish spring.