divendres, 22 de novembre de 2013

LAPLAND

Today I'm going to Lapland. I am very excited!!!! How it will be? Cold for sure! I hope to see Santa Claus, Reindeers, huskies... and Northern lights!!!!

As Spanish, it's maybe the most exotic place I can be. I think I've never been in a place at -10 degrees, so it will be my first time feeling the real cold!

How people like to feel cold? I don't like! But I have to say that I've been got used to it, now I'm feeling ok being at 10-5 degrees. For me this is really cold, in Barcelona these are the lowest temperatures we can be!




How it will be...? FOR SURE, IT'S GOING TO BE GREAT!




SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES



AA.

LIGHTS

LIGHT is the most surprising thing in Finland, for me. It's really beautiful during the whole year.
In summer is bright, and with water, lakes, green of trees... Light becomes beautiful. For me, that I like photography is kind of luxe to have this light everywhere you look at.

Now light is disappearing, but it's also nice. We have only few hours of light, but the little light we have in the dark is awesome. In the dark it's also bright because the white snow reflect the less light it rests. I feel that nights (or afternoons, because at 3pm it's almost dark) are very magical, are special.
I've never seen before a bright moon like here. It's amazing. The other day it was full moon, so me and some friends decided to walk around a lake. We could appreciate shadows because of the moonlight! How amazing...!!!!!!!

You Finns should be proud of our nature and views... :) I will miss it so much.



In Spain we love the sun, and the day it's cloudy is depressing for us. For you, probably it will be the opposite, you ok with rain and clouds, but when the sun shines, you are very happy!! Diferent points of view... :) Now I am starting to get used to dark, and I like it, because it's really beautiful.


WHAT DO YOU THINK?


AA.





CITIES


Since I arrived, I've been in three Finnish cities: Jyvaskyla, Helsinki and Turku. And I hope to be someday in Tampere, not just in the train station...

I'd like to talk about my touristic visits to these cities. Well, about Helsinki and Turku and the trip I did there.


So, regarding architecture, I saw that all cities have more or less the same style. Is maybe not the most beautiful, but probably is because of practical issues (because of weather?). It was a surprise for me not to see lots of balconies, but obviously, I thought immediately: If it's cold and there's no sun, why they want a balcony?

So at first, I was not surprised of the cities, but, the more I walk throught the streets discovering sites, the more I enjoyed the city. However, the most I like of Finland is nature. Let's see


- HELSINKI: I've been in Helsinki twice. The first time it was with my family, so very touristic tour around the city visiting the most conventional places. I was disappointed, I thought that, as a capital, it would be more impressive. The place I most liked was urban life: I came across with gospel group singing in the street, a recent married couple celebrating the marriage, and a lot of people walking around the port, where there was a market that I could feel like tourist looking, tasting and buying things.
It was fine, but, as I said, I thought it would be more awesome.
But this sensation arrived with the second time. It was an unexpected trip with some mates, and just for 24h.
We took the train from Jyväskylä at 2pm, so we arrived there that it was dark, FORTUNATELY! Fortunately, because I got really impressed with the city in the night. The lighting was awesome! We went to a high tower to see the views... Astonishing! It was a pity not to be able to see the sea, but anyway, the city was really beautiful that night. That day we could see hide places full of life and that were very original or special, such as a bar - damn! I don't remember its name - It seemed a music bar, but in the afternoon they offer their sofas, iMacs, and calid music and atmosphere that let you spend your time there very relaxed as  well as a delicious coffe!
Other had places we came across were a kind of chapel made by wood, without windows and the eco was huuuuge. We wait for being alone there to say "HELLO" so heavily. Yes, great experience. :P
Also we visited another church, but this was like underground, veeery big, I liked it!
Specials places we see make the unexpected trip be one of my favourite days I spend here. Try it!



- TURKU: During the holiday in October, I went to Turku for just three days. We were in a hostel that was very good (for girls, boys were affected by snorings of strange people). The first day we walk around the city center and the river. Actually, I thought the city was bigger, but was enough for two days!
Waking around the river was very nice, there still were few boats/restaurants, but almost all of them were about to close until summer. During the walk, we saw a lot of strange statues, we took photos of each we found.
We were very hungry when we arrived at the center, so our first option was Hesburguer. While we were eating this healthy food, we read a touristic guide, and we realised we were eating in the first Hesburger of Finland! It was an unexpected historical activity we did. We saw in this guide that there was a huge castle, maybe the biggest of Finland. So we decided to go there. After a long walk we arrive where the castle was supposed to be, but we didn't see anything. Finally we asked, and a women told us it was this building we have in front of us. "WHAAAAAT? Is this the enormous castle?" Ok.. there we go. But at the end, it was very nice! People dressed in medieval, and there was a nice bar to take a coffe. Great place.

Next day we went to NATURE! Awesome!!!! We went to one of the islands Turku has. We could enjoy nature walking on the mountain, doing picnic in a beach (sunny day!), and after this, SPA! Sauna and jump on the cold sea. It was a really great and amazing experience. The day was finished while we have dinner staring the sunset... :)




I recommend to visit Turku during the summer. There will be more activities to do and you can enjoy better the nature!


So these are the things I most enjoy travelling here.

COMMENT AND DON'T FORGET TO TRAVEL AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!


AA.




diumenge, 27 d’octubre de 2013

FOOD

I've heard that Finns are not very proud of their gastronomy. However, I've enjoyed a lot tasting Finnish food.


As I know, or, as I've seen, they have always in their meal: bread (seems to be rye bread), butter or different kind of cheese creams, rice, potatoes... All of these are carbohydrates and, in a way, fat. Could it be for the cold? Could it be because of their loving for sport? I don't know, yet. But it seems they have a healthy lifestyle, generally.


During these two months that I've been here, I've tasted some Finnish food that I like. Let's see some examples:



- Salmon Soup: I think there's no secret for this dish. It's just broth with vegetables and salmon (I think boiled, isn't it?). When I tasted it I was in Helsinki, visiting the city. After a cold and tiring walking around the city, I really enjoyed this soup.





- A loooooooooot of salads. As I see, they always use to eat salad in midday, a big one.
I can't understand how they can do it. I thought they should eat warm food, because of the cold, they need something warm inside... am I right? It was one of the first surprises I got.




Karelian pasties called Riisipiirakka. Is a kind of bread that inside there's egg and rice. I haven't got the meal and the way to eat it. With something on it? In the morning? Afternoon? I can't compare it with something from Spain... So the fact is that I don't know anything about this, but I like it. Actually, is very tasteless, but when I tried I put smoked salmon and cucumber. Veeeeeeeery good!




- I also have tasted reindeer meatballs. They are quite good with a little bit of spices. I have to say that is hard for me to eat it. For me is not an animal to eat, is just a wild animal. I am not used to this. I eat different animals such as cow, pork, rabbit, lamb, and also fish... So I am sad when I think that I am eating an animal like reindeer. But, anyway, It's really good!!!!!!
I am not pretty sure that eating reindeer is common here. Yes, it is, but maybe, is more touristic than common in current Finns' lives. I don't know, but I think so.




- Now the most interesting moment for me has come: desserts. I see that people here don't eat desserts. How strange for me! Well, actually I don't use to eat desserts, I mean, maybe a piece of fruit, but nothing in special. But, on the other hand, they eat a big cake or something sweet between the lunch and dinner. I do too, but just a little thing. I have to say that I am not a big fan of cakes and sweets, or, at least, I wasn't.... Now I've discover how good they are...! There are a lot of pies, muffins, cookies to taste everywhere (especially in the university). In Spain we only use to eat cakes for a birthday celebration or for something important. Is not so common to eat them currently.




There's something that I don't understand... How many meals they have? I always see people eating. So, I don't know which are the meals and timetables...! As Spanish, for me is always late: When they have lunch, I am taking my breakfast; when they eat the cake in the afternoon, I amb having lunch (but this is not a problem, because we also eat the cake as a dessert); and then when they are having the dinner, we are taking a cup of tea or coffee (I have to say that I haven't tasted a good coffee in Finland...)... So is such a big decontrol. The fact is that now I am trying to get used to Finnish meals' timetables, so now I am always hungry. I don't know if I'm havig lunch, dinner, breakfast, everything together...!





So, as you can see, I really like food and tasting new food. I hope to try Christmas Finnish food, can be good! It's true that they are not the king's of cooking, but is not bad at all!


Comment and bon appétit!




AA.


dimarts, 8 d’octubre de 2013

LAKES



Maybe Nature and Lakes are the most astonishing things that I've seen in Finland. Apart from cakes. Even if it's sunny cloudy, rainning and I think also if it's snowing, the scenery is beautiful, incredibly awesome that you want to stay for a long time gazing the scenery. Better if it's accompained with the nature sound: silence, birds, wind, squirrel noises... PEACE.

Each season has its own colors: During spring and summer: green of plants and trees and blue of sky and lakes' sky reflection; autumn (my favourite): yellow, red, brown; and winter erases all the colors to restart again in spring. Beautiful.

Try to imagine the situation of Finalnd in Barcelona: stressing, crowded, dirty... (I have to say that I love Barcelona, but Nature is not our speciality) It doesn't exist there. This is a kind of magical place for me. Somewhere that may you go to get relaxed and be able to forget the work and obligations you have in your daily routine. I have the impression that Finns feel they are in holiday when day finish their work. Because, I see that Finnish people are very proud of their nature, they take care of it and they respect it. Also they like to use it as a relaxing activity: jogging, walking, take the dog for a walk... They live in harmony with nature. It's their jewel.

I use to go to the nearest mountain I have in Barcelona with my dad and my dog. Is the only one we have near to the city, so everybody who wants to go for a walk in nature goes there. Then it's crowded and dirty, and I need to go far from my house to feel I'm around nature. I envy this  :)


However, people who are living in Helsinki may feel the same as me in Barcelona, because is different if it's a capital city. Should it be?


photo by Arnau Gil


This is how my father felt when he came to Finland. HAPPINESS, RELAX. 


Photo by Vincent Nguyen

Squirrels, everywhere. I love them!


So, do you feel around nature in your home country? Which nature thing do you most like, or what have surprised you about nature in Finland?




"Only nature does great deeds without expecting any reward."
Alexandr I. Herzen




AA.







dissabte, 28 de setembre de 2013

SAUNA

Today it has been my second day that I've tried sauna. I'm not really used to it. In Catalonia we use it as an excepcional activity, maybe if you go to the gym, but it's not so common like here.

As I know, here in Finland and North-European countries, people use to go there as a current activity, maybe it's not an activity for them, maybe it's a necessity like to get relaxed, like us, that we use to go for a walk even if it's winter. So I don't know when and why they use it. And how! Without any kind of clothes?

I suppose that it's also a sociable activity, so they can talk to the neighbours or people who are invited to their home. I don't know.

This are the kind of things that you can't understand until you live there. So now I can see that, maybe in winter, people don't spend time walking through the street, or going to parks. Then, one of their activities can be going to sauna to get warm and discuss with people.



By the way... I've perceived that finnish are very fan of sport. They love to do sports, walking when the weather lets them, go jogging, take the bike... It's amazing and very cool. In Barcelona people don't have time, or they go to a gym... Diffucult in a city. I mean, here people know how to profit their weather and their free-time. I like it! At less, this is my first impression.



Well, so common, people! Tell me what do you think about and which are you're first impressions about Finland!!!


PS: Two days after this post I've found this website. Interesting!!!!!! CHECK THIS OUT!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24328773



AA.


dilluns, 16 de setembre de 2013

INTRODUCTION


MY POINT OF VIEW



I've never written a blog, and I'm not sure if I am doing it well. But, anyway, I decided to write about MY POINT OF VIEW about some things that happen to me during my stay in Finland: observations, thoughts, things that surprise me... Every week I'll choose something interesting for me that happen during that week to talk about. Maybe it can be Finland tradicions that are very different to Catalonia, maybe something special that ocurred...

So all that I will talk about will be from my point of view, the way I see the life.




Maybe it isn't an specific topic to talk about, but, as I only have written in my personal diary, this is more interesting for me than talk about the same topic during the whole semester.


Hope you enjoy my posts, and you can share experiences and thoughts with me!!!




AA.