Trip to Finland

Finland Travel Blog

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Helsinki
Let me begin by saying that late autumn is not the best time to visit Finland.  Along with the constant precipitation, there are only about 4 hours of daily light due to daylight savings.  Aside from that we had a fabulous time.  Finnish people are excellent detectors of foreigners or maybe Tom and I are a little loud, either way we had people willing to help us wherever we were.  And yes, Finnish is a lot harder to pick up than German!  At the conclusion of our trip we were still working on hello, excuse me, and nice to meet you.

They have great grocery stores.  Along with the usual products they had a produce, fish, meats, and a cheese counter!  Wheels and wheels of cheese sold by the gram.  The cheese lady was nice enough to talk to Tom and I about various cheeses yet we walked away with cheddar…hahahaha.
Bathroom stall with self cleansing hose!
  Like many Finnish people her English was excellent.  The Finnish also only allow meat to have a shelf life of two days, which I am sure leads to a lot of waste but the meat was awesome!

Street crossings were also surprising for us.  In German you better use the crosswalk and don’t dare walk before the green man lights up.  However in Turku as soon as the light turns people cross the street in every direction including diagonals!  Tom and I took advantage of this walking freedom.  

Bathrooms both public and private have a detachable hose to cleanse yourself.  So, you enter a bathroom stall, use the bathroom and then use the hose (miniature shower head) to clean yourself.
Karoliina and I
  I decided to give it a try and thank goodness I tried it at Karoliina’s house because I got water everywhere.  I discovered the process requires a certain level of expertise that I do not possess yet!  Honestly, it looked like I had attempted to wash the bathroom from the toilet.

All in all, the trip was great!  We both decided a visit during the summer months would help us to form a more well rounded opinion of Finland.

Highlights

The first night Tom and I were in Turku we were brought to the hot new Karaoke Bar.  I was surprised that the average age of the crowd was mid to late thirties.  People loved this place and sang their hearts out.  Tom and I were not only introduced to the variety of ciders that are on tap but also the Finnish version of multiple English party sing along tunes.
Turku, Finland


Eating dinner with Karolina’s parents was a great experience.  It began with drinks and candy.  Then we had a traditional Finnish meal of meatballs, mashed potatoes, brown gravy, salad, bread, and drinks (beer, wine, and cider).  Then we had ice cream and a cinnamon yogurt mixed with fruit.  We then went to the forest where we picked mushrooms which was wonderful because after all the food we ate, we needed to get up and move.  

The forest where we picked mushrooms was beautiful.  Of course it was dark and wet but the ground was covered with moss.  Everywhere you walked was soft and felt as if I was walking of a giant cotton ball.  Finding the mushrooms proved to be much harder than I expected.  Once I knew what the good mushrooms were supposed to look like I couldn’t find any.
Helsinki
  When our mushroom picking had concluded I surmised I picked about 20 and stepped on about 50!

When we returned from the forest the sauna was hot and ready for us.  Anyone who is anybody in Finland has a sauna in his or her house or apartment.  Yes, people have over half their bathrooms dedicated to the sauna.  At first I thought this was a little excessive but after being in the wet and cold for an hour it was nice to step into the sauna and relax.

After exiting the sauna and finally feeling like my belly had returned to normal size, the table was full again with sandwiches, two pies, and coffee.  Needless to say Tom and I left at least 5 pounds heavier!

Good Times!

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Helsinki
Helsinki
Bathroom stall with self cleansing…
Bathroom stall with self cleansin…
Karoliina and I
Karoliina and I
Turku, Finland
Turku, Finland
Helsinki
Helsinki
Tommy with the drinks
Tommy with the drinks
Karaoke bar fun
Karaoke bar fun
And more Karaoke bar fun
And more Karaoke bar fun
Some poor soul singing his heart o…
Some poor soul singing his heart …
Tommi and Karoliina
Tommi and Karoliina
Tom riding on the back of Tommis …
Tom riding on the back of Tommi's…
Tom riding the stroller ramps
Tom riding the stroller ramps
Karoliina, Karoliinas mother, and…
Karoliina, Karoliina's mother, an…
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