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Finland: the Best and Worst

Total Days: 8

Days That it Didn’t Rain (or snow in this case): maybe 1, but it turns out snow is much easier to deal with than rain.

Average Temperature: 26 F- practically a heat wave I’ve been told!

Expensive? Definitely. While still cheaper than Norway or Sweden, prices in Finland are some of the highest in Europe.

Place Visited: Helsinki, Inari, Saariselka (Lapland)

Most Memorable Moment: Walking out into the middle of a frozen lake covered in snow and really feeling the emptiness and the silence of Northern Lapland.

Biggest Misconception: Hard to say that people really have any conceptions about Finland, but the one surprising fact I learned is that technically- Finland is NOT part of Scandinavia!

Coolest Discovery: Moomin! I fell a little in love with these bizarre cartoon characters. I have no idea really what they are about, everytime someone tried to explain I would get extra confused, but they sure are cute.

Favorite Food: I ate some really great food in Finland, but my favorite meal was the warm and meaty Karelian stew.

Least Favorite Food: Bland chicken and rice with gravy seems to be a popular lunch staple up north. Didn’t do much for me.

 Biggest Feat of Willpower: I promised I’d go for an icy post-sauna dip and against every piece of common sense in my brain I did it… then screamed and ran right back in the sauna.

Coolest Souvenir: A vile of gold that I panned myself at the Tankavaara Gold Village.

Biggest Regret: Not seeing the #$#%@# Northern Lights. Luck just wasn’t on my side this time around.

Best Advice: Mike published some great packing advice for going somewhere as chilly as Lapland and it’s all true. The more big wooly socks the better.

Would I Go Back? Yes- the insane beauty of the snow more than made up for the cold. Next time though I think I’d prefer to go in warmer weather, for comparison’s sake.

I visited Inari as  a guest of Visit Finland and Northern Lapland Tourism in conjunction with Navigate Media Group.

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15 Responses to Finland: the Best and Worst

  1. Allison March 24, 2013 at 10:41 AM #

    Pay a visit near mid-summer — for a completely different experience (up in the north the sun never sets) 🙂
    Love the Moomin!

  2. Jennifer March 24, 2013 at 11:31 AM #

    I’d also like to go in the summertime for comparison, but the chance of seeing the Northern Lights sure does have its appeal.

  3. Stef March 24, 2013 at 3:58 PM #

    You should watch some episodes of the Moomins, I loved them when I was a kid 😛 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiZ0eBFTH6k didn’t know they were Finnish until the ITB Berlin though 😉 Regards, Stef

  4. Sarah P | Travelling Is My Passion March 24, 2013 at 11:54 PM #

    What! Finland’s not part of Scandinavia?! #lifechangingmoment

    But apart from that, looks like you had a great trip to Finland! Pity about the Northern Lights though but so many people miss the tiny window to see the Lights! So you’re definitely not the only one. Hope you don’t feel too bummed out!

  5. H.D. Lynn March 25, 2013 at 1:59 AM #

    Moomins! Yay! I got introduced to these guys through friends who had internationally born parents. You can watch the TV episodes of the series on youtube, if you’re curious.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moomin

  6. Julie March 25, 2013 at 9:15 AM #

    Hey, Moomins, I read one of the books in elementary school, and never forgot about them!
    Totally agree with you on the snow, went to Norway this december, and it was pure and magical (and I was lucky to see the Northern lights ;))

  7. Hogga March 25, 2013 at 9:24 AM #

    Moomin is so cute!

  8. nicole @thewondernuts March 25, 2013 at 2:06 PM #

    I feel the exact same way about snow! It’s much easier than rain. Rain soaks clothing and hair. Snow just kind of hangs out and melts. No muss no fuss. =)

  9. Kiera - EasyTravelMom March 25, 2013 at 3:23 PM #

    I knew nothing about the Moomins and because I lived in Finland for a short time for an old job, I have 4 cute mini-mugs with these guys on it. Every snow day we have I break them out and we have hot chocolate to warm us up – it reminds me of the cold in Finland and yes, it is so much nicer than rain and really quite beautiful there! Glad you enjoyed it. I too didn’t know it was not part of Scandinavia until I lived there. Kittos for a reminder on how much I learned there!

  10. Amanda March 25, 2013 at 8:36 PM #

    The snow on the trees makes everything look so pretty! And 26 F ain’t bad at all!

    I didn’t realize that Finland wasn’t technically part of Scandinavia! Fun fact.

  11. Dariece - Goats On The Road March 26, 2013 at 1:52 AM #

    I too had no idea that Finland isn’t part of Scandanavia! Newsflash.
    You’ll have to go again to see the Northern Lights 🙂

    Thanks for all the posts on Finland, it looks like a stunning place.
    Cheers.

  12. Red Hunt March 26, 2013 at 5:44 PM #

    Moomin!!
    What a fun memory….I learned about Moomin when I was in Sweden years ago (but pretty sure it is Finnish?) I bought some Moomin souvenirs for my family cause they were cool. Looks like you discovered plenty of cool things in Finland!!

  13. zof March 27, 2013 at 6:58 PM #

    heading to Finland in mid-May…hope big wooly socks wont be needed at that time…;-)

  14. Erica March 27, 2013 at 7:37 PM #

    Brave of you to take a dip in that freezing water. And thanks for posting the picture of the Moomin family. Brought back good memories. I read several of those books as a kid. The little girl with the red bun named My was my favorite. Love your last photo by the way. Wintry scenes are so beautiful.

  15. This Battered Suitcase March 30, 2013 at 12:59 PM #

    I would love to visit Lapland – this post just inspires me even more! I visited Helsinki seven years ago, but I really need to see more of Finland.

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