Let’s go to the land of thousands of lakes!
If you need more informations then you can contact me or my brilliant expert – Amira Mountassir! But before you book your tickets and pack your suitcase just like me, let me introduce you a lady who give us this guest post!
Amira is a passionate music lover from Helsinki who likes to wonder about peculiar things. It might be partly of the scientific mind, but mostly curiosity that strikes me. La Dolce Musica is a music and travel blog where she wants to inspire through music.
You can follow her on:
When she mention a land of thousands lakes, what she was thinking about?
Well…let’s find out together! 🙂
Everybody knows Sweden and Russia, but quite often people forget the small country between these two. It’s a place known for good education system, weird people and you might even spot a polar bear (or not). It’s also said to be Santa’s home. Where could this place be?
Last week countries around the world celebrated Finland’s 100th anniversary as an independent nation. What else do you know about Finland, apart from the millions of saunas we have and the cold weather?
It’s not always snow storm here, but one thing I love about Finland is the four seasons! How the seasons change is truly fascinating, especially when the leaves turn into colourful clouds. It’s called ruska in Finnish. If you really want to see the nature in full colours, try going to Lapland. It’s also possible to witness the beauty in southern Finland too! This is taken in Pargas, a place in the Turku archipelago. These beautiful colours are everywhere, totally amazing!
Finland is small and quiet, but there are amazing unique things to do. We have minorities in Finland that enrich our cultures, for example, the Finn-Swedes and Saami. The Finn-Swedes are known for being sailing enthusiasts and I’ve met some cool sailors! What you should try is sailing in archipelago! There’s a whole community in sailing, and during the summers people enjoy the sea and stop by in small places for food and maybe even for some live music. Quite a unique experience!
The archipelago is breathtaking during the summers. The glittering water and clear skies. I never get tired of such beauty. If you don’t have the chance to sail in archipelago I recommend taking the buses from Turku. You can also bike or rent a car if you want to. There are ferries between these small islands.
Take a whole day trip to see the small islands around and you might meet some sailors on the way. You can either take your own sandwich or you can explore the small restaurants in the area!
True Time Travelling: The Medieval Market
In the summers there are many events going on in Turku. It used to be the capital, but when the Russians took over Helsinki became the new capital. There are many reasons behind it, but I won’t go into details now. People from big cities like Barcelona might not call Turku a city, but this place has so many interesting events!
Do you know how it was like to live in the medieval times? Each year in July the Medieval Market is organised in the heart of Turku. When you walk around everything is so authentic. Suddenly you hear someone screaming in Finnish and a sword fight starts. You are startled for a second, but then you realise that it’s a play in the middle of the street! So funny! The people participating in the festival are all laden with costumes with their tunics right from the 12th century! What a sight! The only thing that gave it away was the prescription glasses.
There is a lot to witness. These are just one of the unique events organised in Turku! The summer is, of course, the time where most things happen. Music festivals, folk dance festivals, cozy fish markets and much more…
What is there to do when autumn and winter arrives? It gets inevitably darker as the days go by, but has this ever strike you? The northern lights are best visible in dark and cloudless nights. I had the chance to see it the first time in my life in Turku. It’s possible to see it even here. I do recommend going north to the Lapland because it’s for sure the best view there. Imagine laying down on the ground and looking up at the pulsating green lights? It’s breathtaking.
This picture below is taken with long exposure shot, meaning that the camera takes a picture in 15 or even 20 seconds. We’re a bit blurry there since we had difficulties to stay still for that whole time haha!
Avanto: Ice swimming
I can’t be a true Finn since I’ve never been ice swimming. It’s something I’d like to try, but honestly, I’m too chicken haha. Even my friends from Italy went ice swimming. I feel so ashamed 😛
It’s an experience you need to try! In the winters this is perfect. If you haven’t heard about it before, then you should definitely try it! You take a nice sauna and then you go for a dip in the ice-cold sea. I’ve heard it’s refreshing. Some even roll in the snow completely naked. They must have a few promilles in their blood for that. In Turku, there are a few places where you can try it, for example, Uittamo, which is an area just a few kilometers away from the center. You can try ice swimming basically anywhere in Finland!
Doerz: Experience With Locals
Have you ever heard the dark stories of Turku? You might hear the most peculiar stories of the devil or the ghost in the library during the tour organised by Doerz. Doers (https://www.doerz.com) is a Turku based company that provides different experiences with locals. You can try sailing or you can try Finnish ice cream too. There are so many options! Do take a look and you can book whenever for yourself or your friends! I’d love to tell you more about it!
Places To See In Turku
As I said, Turku isn’t big, but it’s very charming indeed! There aren’t thousands of attractions like Paris or London, in meanwhile you can concentrate on nice experiences around the small hills or for instance walk by the beautiful river Aura. The medieval cathedral is considered to be a landmark of the city since it’s visible from a long distance. Concerts are very popular in here, for example, the Christmas concert by local orchestras or choirs.
I’ve never been into history as a kid, but when I read this intriguing book about the queen’s life in Sweden and Turku, I was immediately more interested in the medieval castle in Turku. Apparently, some of her life she spent in this castle and quite many exciting and frightening things happened here according to the book. I believe most of it is fictional, but it got my attention. Isn’t that what counts?
Turku castle is close to the harbour, about three kilometres from city center, there’s a bus going straight to it from the market square! In this castle, you can experience how people were living during these centuries until quite modern times in the 50’s.
This guest post is going to be very long if I mention every single thing to do in Turku or in the rest of the country. Though, there are some fun events to participate in like the student life in Turku or for example the celebration of first of May. It’s quite something. I can tell you all about it in another post.
In conclusion, there is always something to do no matter when you come to Finland. It’s just what you have in mind that counts. If you ever need any tips or advice on what more there is to offer, please don’t hesitate to contact me!
Now let’s pack our suitcases and book that flight right now! 🙂
P.S. Hope to see you there! 😉
* This text reflects the opinions and experiences of the guest writer and does not reflect the views of the blog author traveloptician.com