I haven’t been writing recently and now is good time to change it again. At Monday, my Finnish journey ends and I still want to write about last three weeks. I haven’t time – so much work to do and so much life to live. I will be brief and mostly just pictures again.
I can start with Veikkola. I’ve spent there about a week with one kind person and he made my time much nicer.
We’ve been together in Nuuksio and had nice walk outside there. Those days was everything beautifully white and frost on everything – just pure amazingness. I was walking on the lake to have some nice pictures and we had short snack there and some talk. Well, mostly I was quiet, talking in Finnish is impossible for me.
Weekend continued with Helsinki art walk and Couchsurfing party. Helsinki art walk wasn’t very enjoyable. I really have reservations for modern art – or that piece of shit what is usually called as modern art – but this was a bit better. Mostly just “self-expression” and no art. Well…I am not sure if there was some art at all… And my opinion for artistic schools is now even much worse – but it doesn’t belong here. No real impression not even “disgusted” opinions. Just nothing. One “artist” was quite nice and it looked like nice handicraft work.
Couchsurfing party was also interesting. I have realised, that I no longer have problem just go straight to a person and start a conversation with them. Yes, I am still nervous, but much less. Please, don’t think that “nation stereotype” is a rule. It is not. I was drinking Czech beer and started to be a bit tipsy in a half of a can and people began to ask me, if I am REALLY a Czech person. They didn’t believe me. Well…you know, even in Czech R. are some people abstainers or drinking rarely. I am the “drinking rarely” case. Truth is that it is not common – most people are drinking; normal can be 10 bottles of 0,5l in an evening or for some this amount is a starter.
We also had a beer on Palojärvi and on the beach (the ice was with water on top). I was obviously part of the experiences for someone else – drinking a Czech beer with a Czech person. And yes, in a completely dark forest on a shore of the lake. I am starting to believe, that I am truly crazy person.
That week I’ve mostly spent with the working and working. Once I’ve got lost even in a small “city” like Veikkola. Damn it, Finnish cities are so badly hard for orientation. In a city centre of Helsinki is much easier to know where are you, there is much more unique places and the urban structure is much easier to read than in small city.
After the nice time in Veikkola when all the snow has melted and all around was only mud, I changed the location. I have arrived to a person which should be my friend’s friend. It showed up, they barely know each other. I heard many times, that this person is okay and I don’t need to be worried. We had some discussion before that on Couchsurfing, but this being was the only one I never seen before. In very short time it was obvious that this creature is totally crazy. I don’t know who is weirder, if I am, or that guy.
Well. At first, we went climbing (bouldering, inside). It was nice, I tried it once in Austria in a forest and going climbing here was nice to make me sure, that I want to continue and it wasn’t mistake in Austria caused only by nice nature. Yes, inside I felt much safer than outside and I have very quickly realised, that my place of origin might be a trouble. The highest hill there is about 60 m above everything – no hills nothing. Now it looks like it will take some time to get used to the height of few metres above the ground. I am not scared, but I feel slightly uncomfortable.
Day after, that person (I think he won’t mind if I will call him by name here) – Teemu – took me to a kayaking tour. I’ve never been kayaking before. I was often on a canoe or raft, but never on kayak – every time I was afraid I will end with my head in a water. That day was very “funny” and crazy. I felt my muscles from day before but I am stubborn and I wanted to enjoy it, no matter of muscle pain.
We took kayaks and pulled them behind us on a rope on the ice. I didn’t trust it and I was very suspicious about the thickness of ice. It was exhausting to get on the edge of the ice. Last meter or less, sitting in a kayak, the ice started to crack under the weight. Not nice feeling. I’ve got instructions how to get into the water and not swim. First landing on water was weird, but I’ve learned quickly how does it work. We paddled about 5 km to the small rocky island to have a lunch there close to the open sea and then back, through a city canal – and people were again taking pictures of me. I am obviously just a weird touristic attraction everywhere.
I didn’t have the chance to try falling through ice, so I was gently forced to go on thin ice. When I stepped from the thick ice on a much thinner part, I’ve heard first crack and small movement of ice and refused to go further on even thinner ice. I was just standing on place and in my head, was everything possible but not enjoyment. After that, the cracks began to be visible by eye and I moved down again. After that the ice just couldn’t hold me longer and I fell into that cold water. I had no chance to think about cold water and it was quite okay in a dry swimsuit. At first, I thought it might work to crawl outside of the water just by using my power (I completely forgot about the spikes), but it didn’t work and I just grabbed the spikes and pulled myself out of the ice hole. My feet were freezing despite the neoprene shoes.
I know, I promised to be brief. I will try. Next day was Christmas and it was anyhow special. I was unbelievably tired and sleeping most of the day. After that we were doing just minor crazy things and going climbing again and hiking in a Nuuksio with few more people. Next crazy things should come.
First crazy thing was, when Alpo and his friends and family invited me to go sleep with them in a forest in Nuuksio and try ice skating – I have never tried this type of skates and the ice was unbelievably slippery. It was nice time on a lake and in a forest. Day after we checked Nuuksion pitkäjärvi because they planned to go there skating in night next year (in a few hours – from 31.12. to 1.1.). This belongs to a different article.(in Czech, not yet translated)
Next crazy thing was, that snow came again and I definitely wanted to go outside to a forest to spend at least one night alone there. I ended with a company (it was nice) and at the end, I was very glad for a company. I didn’t underestimate the weather, I just hadn’t equipment. I wanted to try sleeping in a hammock and that night should be only -7 °C, which should be enough for the equipment I had. Unfortunately, the nature changed its mind. I’ve slept in a hammock only 3 hours. Before I finally fell asleep thunderstorm (!!! unbelievably rare thing in January) has started and after that began to snow. I just used my woollen scarf (200×120 cm) as a cover and fell asleep.
After those three hours of sleep, I was wake up by a cold wind and I started to feel a bit cold. I was thinking what should I do. Of course, I can fall asleep again despite I am feeling cold, but I considered it as a not very safe thing, so I moved to the tent where Teemu was sleeping and used him as a heating unit. Maybe he was using me as heating unit, I have no idea. At Morning, my watches were showing temperature -15 °C. I was really surprised by it because the feeling was more like -10 °C or less. During the day temperature dropped to -17 °C but it was like nothing and I was taking some layers off. On the bus stop it wasn’t very pleasant – about -19 °C and strong cold wind. It was forbidden for me to even try to sleep outside next night. The forecast was saying -26 °C and it seems like it was even colder. (http://yle.fi/uutiset/osasto/news/extreme_weather_in_finland_cold_record_snaps_at_-398_lightning_strikes_porkkala/9388109)
Next day the temperature was at pleasant -18 to -20 °C and sunny. I’ve got a proposal for a picnic on a beach. It sounded very nice and it was picnic on a beach with a sunset and “smoky” sea. Very beautiful. Only thing is, it was on island Suomenlinna in a -20 °C and with the wind blowing a lot. But it was pleasant, nice, and warm sitting on a beach with a sunset. Few days ago, I also changed my summer/autumn clothing for a winter clothing.
I had borrowed jacket, because I forgot mine in Espoo and when we were on a road to a harbour, people were weirdly looking at me. From most people, only eyes were visible. I had the warm jacket in my hands, sweater around my waist and only thin woollen sweater/shirt on me (two layers and underwear) and I was feeling hot (we were walking).
I haven’t been skiing – no time for that – or even kickbiking in last few weeks, but I had so much sport, it wasn’t needed. And about two trainings with bouldering where I’ve lost some skin on my palm. Just because I was too stubborn and I was all the time trying to climb one route which was very hard for me (strength needed – I don’t have it).
With Alpo, his family and Teemu I’ve also visited the Lux in Helsinki. It was very short but nice. That night began to be warmer, only -15 °C and it was enjoyable. The lights were nice. Probably the nicest part was with the objects, which were floodlit by UV light – colourful on black mesh, slightly moving in every small wind blow. That day, I’ve decided, that as a right tourist, I need to take a picture of Helsingin tuomiokirkko because after all those months here and all those visits of Helsinki, I haven’t taken a picture of it.
Day before the last day we’ve went to try savusauna at Kuusijärvi. Teemu told me, that if I won’t try savusauna, it is like not being in a Finland at all. We used only classic “wood powered” sauna in Lepaa and I’ve tried also the electric ones. Savusauna smells like memories. Like beautifull memories about Finland, Lapland, Terva, sausages, wood… just like everything nice. And the heat is “smoother” than in those electric ones. I was also swimming in a lake, “rolling” in a snow, had snowfight in a swimsuit and had my favourite “snow hugging time”.