3 + 1 things to do when visiting the Capital region of Finland

It is the middle of my summer vacation and let me tell you, it’s been great to take it slowly and just enjoy. During June I got to spend a long weekend with my cousins in Helsinki and Espoo and we managed to do a little exploring.

I’ve spent some time in Helsinki over the years when I’ve been visiting some family members every now and then. As the current capital of Finland, the features are both historical and modern – and everything in between. It is also the center of everything happening in Finland – which sometimes irritates everyone living “in the provinces”. A common joke is, that there is no life outside of Kehä III (Ring III) – the outmost of the three beltways surrounding Helsinki.

Now it is clear that there is way more than just a few things to do and see when visiting the Capital region – which consists of three municipalities in addition to Helsinki: Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen. However, these are things I got to do during my visit, so hope you like!

Continue reading “3 + 1 things to do when visiting the Capital region of Finland”

Hometown adventures: How well do you know your hometown?

Some weeks ago I had the joy of having one of my friends visit me for a couple of days. She’s really into escape rooms, so that was our main goal for the weekend: to go play one game together. She hadn’t really been to Oulu for years, and I thought that since we had the time, it would be great to show her around. Only, I realized, that I had no idea what to show her.

I have been living in Oulu for almost three years now. I moved here for university, and though I’ve gotten to know my (not so) new hometown, I have not taken the time to really know the place. I live fairly close to the university, which usually means that my time is spent between the university and my home. Because I don’t need to go to the city center so often, it’s easy to live in a bubble.

Continue reading “Hometown adventures: How well do you know your hometown?”

Piles of stone

While I was staying in Sweden, my friend told me, that if one wanted to play tourist, all there is to be done is to choose from different piles of stones. Though she was essentially joking, I did get to see my share of stones and rocks around the area. One of the closest ones was Stenbyborgen in Eskilstuna.

Stenbyborgen is one of the over 1000 hillforts found in Sweden. The area looks like a random pile of rocks on top of a hill. It’s filled with wild pansies and trees and doesn’t look like much, but some 1500 years ago it used to be a defensive fort, strategically situated along an important waterway at the time. The fort would have had high stone walls with wooden structures on top. If needed, the people living nearby could be taken in for protection.

Some of the other interesting stones are some of the runestones I saw in the area. They’re not much, but what other word is there to is there to explain the feeling when you’re standing beside them, other than ‘cool!’

A closer look

The last two weeks have flown by fairly fast, with life taking over. I’ve fallen to a pretty steady routine, the days going by being busy at prac. Come evening, I’m usually too exhausted to do much. Over the past week or so, we’ve also been able to enjoy some very nice and warm weather, though it does add to the exhaustion.

EskilstunaKöpmangatan_20180511_TH_02.png

One of the things I’ve been most stressed about is the language barrier. Even though in Finland we learn Swedish at school, it’s not the same thing. The dialects and way’s of pronunciation are so different, it has taken some time to grow used to listening to the way locals speak. Furthermore, my language skills in Swedish were never good, and I’m missing a lot of vocabulary. Continue reading “A closer look”

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