Sunday, August 30
The highest lighthouse in Scandinavia. Also the most southern inhibited point of Finland. This place was buildt in 1906 in only 9 months so that big ships on their trade route wouldn't get lost and crash into rocks.
There was a lot of traffic by Bengtskär because all European ships came this way when they went to trade with Russia. There used to live 36 people on the island back in the days. Most of them were kids and they even had a own teacher at the island.
1941 in june there was a bigger battle between Finns and Russians on the island. 100 Russians with new second world war equipment and 36 Finns with old first world war equipment. Even though the situatuion was hopeless we beat them with a little luck and today the lighthouse is still standing.
If you haven't been here i really recommend it, it has an amazing view from up in the lighthouse and the island is nice.
Wednesday, August 26
The every summer tradition, go to Estonia to buy some booze! But not only booze, i took a tourist buss ride and actually saw something this time (not that is was much to see). It was funny because one of the "sightseeing" attactions was the Radisson SAS Hotell, i mean it's just a hotell with around 15 floors or so.
One thing i didn't know exsisted was the memorial for Estonia the shit that sank abround 10 years ago. The build a huge Mermeid looking thing with a cross and it's pointing to the spot where the ship sank...
Then there is the old town and some old churches and that's about it in Estonia...small city. On the way back, bought a lot of cheap beer from the boat and there you have a nice day spent on a cruise.
Monday, August 24
Into the finnish Archipelago again! This time i went to visit my godfather in Pargas and he just happened to buy a new boat from Kimito which had to be driven back to his own place in Pargas. I'm not really sure how long way it is but it took around 4 hours to complete the journey :)
The boat was build in the mid 60s and is really cool and old style!
A good friend of mine Mr. Dillon told me that "Pargasboun har skit i skoun" which is a saying that only some finnish swedes would understand. It means that the Pargas people have shit in their shoes...
Sunday, August 23
Every year in August there is a Art Night Exhibition organized in Helsinki. This was already the 12th time it was organized in the city. They have all kinds of smaller and bigger events around the city and it's free. You can watch/listen to people read out their love poems in public, sing some songs or go to museums with some specail exhibition. Just before midnight the main event takes place in the central square where they this year had massive flying sea animals (sounds weird yes, but check the pictures) and then a lot of fireworks.
When Helsinki has a bigger event like this there are ALWAYS a lot of drinking teenagers and the streets covered in crap, bottles and pee. Foreigners get a really nice and positive image of us when they see drunken 13 year old kids in the street. But enough with the negative stuff! The show was great and one of my favourite was the Paper Kingdom where everything was made out of cardboard :)
Friday, August 21
Viking Line cruise to Stockholm was as it always is, no sleep and a lot of bottles. Remember to thank you mom Dillon for all the free stuff we got at the cruise :)
Stockholm is always as nice, so nice that we almost didn't make it back to the boat in time.
On the way TO and FROM Sweden nobody checked any ID papers on me. As a matter of fact, nobody checked any papers on me on the whole Europe trip i just made either. It would be so easy to smuggle yourself inside the Schengen countries with trains, busses or hitchhiking. No wonder there are a lot of illegal immigrants lately in Sweden and Finland when nobody checks who is who.
Monday, August 17
Another weekend spent in the archipelago of Finland. Weather was pretty sucky, rain and wind! For the first time in my life i went to finnish smoke sauna at Julius summer cottage. The trick with smoke sauna is that you warm it for 2 hours to get the huge stove warm. Second, there isn't any chimney so the smoke comes INTO the sauna. After waiting for the woods to burn out and smoke settle out you have a nice aromtized sauna, and it's HOT! Thanks Julius, it was great man! Now i've tried all the different forms of sauna :)
Finnish summer is pretty much over, wind is cool and evenings are cold. In 2 weeks of to a 30 degree warm Beijing again :)
Tomorrow of to Sweden with Finland's 2 strongest men!
Thursday, August 13
Wednesday, August 12
Heard from a local Norwegian:
"We got 9 months of winter and 3 months of bad skiing weather"
I went to the church of Pyhä Lauri/St. Lawrence's to take some pictures because it's one of the oldest in Finland (around 600 years) and the priest came to ask me if i wanted some information about the churches history, sure! She was talking about buried people under the church in the 18th century and then --->
Me: So how many people are buried under the church?
Next time i'll ask about the weather...
Monday, August 10
5 days in Norway and it's time to start driving back home. From Tana to Helsinki it's about 1500km to drive so we stopped at Äkäslompolo at a really nice cottage for a night. Only had to pay 60€ and got a really fancy place called Lapintaika.
The place also had traditional KOTA which is a tent like thing build out of wood where you can barbeque. The interior in the KOTA was made of wood and had a lot of reinedeer pelts to make the sitting comfortable, really cozy, first time in a long time i felt really finnish snacking on some sausages with mustard!
On the way from Norway there were only a few Reindeer running around in the streets, funny animals :)
I also picked up this Japanese guy who was hitchhiking to Nordkap. I didn't drive him all the way (400km) but took him a little further on his journey. He was coming to Finland later, let's see if i bumb into him later again, arigatooooo.
The white house is the great place is stayed in Norway, a BIG thanks to Sussie and Sissel for a great stay!
Saturday, August 8
Some small towns up north we drove past and stopped for a while for a coffee.
Vadsø is one of the biggest cities up in north of Norway and we were lucky enough to be here when it was the Vadsø Dagarna (Vadsø days with markets). They sold all kinds of Reindeer things and we bought a huge Reindeer carpet for around 55 euros. The town only had villas and own houses, nobody lives in apartments here. According to the internet the population is 5139...
Vardø is a town which used to be a huge fishing town a few decades ago. Now the town is full of empty houses and has started to look a little abandoned. Found a really cool church here build in 1958, the roof is really steep and specially build. Inside every second bench has a radiator under it so the -30 or -40 degree winters keep the faithful believer warm and cozy :)
The had a boat bringing fish into the harbor when we arrived so i got a look at some of the shipment.
The weather in north of Norway is usually pretty cool even in the summer(suprisingly) but now it's been the warmest days of the year. There is a big lake running through this place where you can fish salmon and a nice sand beach by it. Today was time for some suntanning and Ji Rou Sho!
The beach was deserted, not a single person in sight for a few kilometers...Water here is really really cold, i would guess around 14 degrees so it's really refreshing.
Later in the day we went fishing, my local friend showed me an amazing place which was suppose to be the best fishing place (according to some local fisherman). First we had to walk past some half djungle forrest and then climb over a few hundred meters high mountain for 45 minutes to get to the fishing place.
When we came up on the mountain the view was soooo great! You could see over the whole valley and forrest. We didn't catch any fish but views here are the best ones in north Europe!
Friday, August 7
One of the most remote cities in the world. This place has not been populated since 1968 when the government made the people move away because this place is in accessible in the winter. We chose a good day to come here because it was so far the warmest and calmest in the whole year. One the way we found an ice cave, a lot of deer and some smaller fishing towns called Vadsö and Vardö. Really nice places, this is by far the most beautiful place i have ever been to...
Wednesday, August 5
Norway! It's clean, it's quiet and it's so damn beautiful! I've been here many times when i was a kid but don't have very much memory of it. We went to look for cloudberries today (lakka & hjortron) but there were not any yet. For some reason flowers are a few weeks late blossoming and the cloudberries as well. Only problem is that the frost will come in the end of august before the berries are ripe. So no berry picking this trip...
We drove to Berlevåg from Tana today after the failed hunt for berries. It's a pretty small fisher town but the views here is one of the most amazing i have ever seen...the pictures will not the the TRUE beauty but will have to work as guidelines. Everyone should come up here for a few days and see this. More reindeers running around up here, met a whole pack by a waterfall and a small fox as well.
Tuesday, August 4
The train arrived in Rovaniemi today morning around 8 am and from there we started driving. First stop was santa park at the Polar Circle for a breakfast feast! Last time i was at Santa Park was something like 15 years ago wishing presents in Santa Clauses lap at some damn cold snowy december (didn't even grant me the present). Stay away from the north after August!
The Polar Circle and Santa Park are really made for tourist, souvenir shop after souvenir shop and really expensive prices. They also had a direction arrow towards Beijing, some way home.
We made a few stops here and there on our way up: Ylläs, Utsjoki, Karhun Tupa and Inari. The Karhun Tupa has a rock from the ice age which is partly hollow inside, it is the only known rock at this size in the world.
The cities on the way are so small that you don't really recognize them as cities...By the roads are a lot of Reindeers and you gotta keep the speed down coz they tend to jump out in the middle of nowhere and just hang around in the street for a while watching the car like some idiots. The rivers here are so clean that the water is drinkable, was really good!
In the evening after 600 km of drive we have arrived in Norway, a small city called Tana Bru