Blonde Gypsy Finland Trip in Photos

Hei SHABL,

So my nineteen days in Finland came and went like a bolt of lightning, but it was by far one of the coolest trips I’ve ever been on. To sum up the experience in just a few words, Finland really surprised me. I thought I knew at least a little something about it, but it actually turned out that I knew nothing about it. Not quite Scandinavian nor Eastern European, it’s a really cool mix of both that I had not anticipated.

I shall soon be posting more specifics about the places, faces and spaces that I encountered on this trip over on The Blonde Gypsy, but first I thought it would be appropriate to do a little photographic overview here to give a better idea of all the ground that was covered and a brief look at Finland from north to south, east to west.

 Lapland

As you know, I started off real fierce in Lapland with some ice fishing and reindeer herding on the tundra in Nuorgam and Utsjoki, Finland. I also had the chance to hang with some really cute husky puppies and go for a dogsled ride with their elders at a husky farm across the border in Tana, Norway.

Lapland FInland

Lapland FInland

Lapland FInland

Lapland FInland

Lapland FInland

Lapland FInland

Lapland FInland

 

Lakeland

From the north I flew south and headed east to Lakeland where I soon discovered how the area got its name (there are some 55,000 lakes). Walking on top of frozen Lake Saimaa in search of Ringed Seal nests, strolling around Savonlinna and seeing the largest wooden church in the world in Kerimäki were just a few of the highlights.

Lakeland Finland

Lakeland Finland

Lakeland Finland

Savonlinna

Savonlinna

 

Tampere

After Lakeland I headed west to Tampere and saw why it’s called the “Manchester of Finland” – lots of old mills, industrial areas, etc- but I’m still not sure I am entirely convinced that the two are all that similar. Will let you know the day I finally make it to that part of England. I also sampled mustamakkara, the infamous blood sausage that is famous in Tampere, and will be a happy girl if I never have to eat it again in my life. Sorry. Got super hooked on the Karelian pies though…

Tampere

Tampere

Karelian Pies

 

Turku

From Tampere I headed even further west to the coastal town of Turku. Though it was off season, I still got a sense as to why it’s so beloved by Finns and learned a bit more about Finnish history in the process since it is the oldest city in Finland. I also learned that I need to get back during summer to explore its archipelago paradise (it has the largest archipelago in the world) and attend one of the country’s biggest music festivals called Ruisrock that takes place there every July.

Turku Castle

Turku

 

Helsinki

As a grand finale, I spent my final 6 days in Helsinki. Even though it hadn’t left much of an impression on me the first time around, it quickly won me over after just a few hours. This place is turning into a real force as far as forward-thinking cities go. I haven’t seen such innovation and openness to new ideas in a capital in quite a while and that is exciting. Couldn’t have asked for a better party to end it all than with their Vappu celebration. I highly recommend a visit to Helsinki around this holiday (May 1st) as it’s probably the most alive you will see the city the entire year.

Helsinki

Helsinki

Helsinki

Arabia Factory

Helsinki

Helsinki

Suomenlinna

Vappu Helsinki

All of the photos posted above can be found on Visit Finland’s Instagram account which they were so kind to let me take over for the duration of the trip. If you want even more, you can also check out some of the Facebook photo albums I put up. 

16 Comments

  1. Paul Lancia

    May 13, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    I’m so happy that I found your post on Finland. Thank you for visiting Turku. Come back in the summer, let me know and you are welcomed to visit me and my family. Excellent blog and wonderful photos. All the best!!!

    Paul

    • Larissa

      May 14, 2013 at 4:59 am

      What a sweet offer, thank you! I really liked Turku and it was off-season so would probably fall in love with it in summer. Glad you found this post as well and all the best to you too :)

  2. Gow

    May 13, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    Good stuff and a great collection of photos! I moved to Finland a year ago with no knowledge and guess what, I am stunned! I hope you enjoyed it too, especially the dark and long winter days in Lapland – one of my favourite places on the earth. I wish you to come back to Finland in a summer and see the difference/transition. It looks completely a different country, different landscapes and lots of smiles :)

    Happy Travels!

    Gow x

    • Larissa

      May 14, 2013 at 5:02 am

      Yes, such a unique place up there! Finland really is an amazing place and I’d imagine a cool place to relocate. Happy to hear you are enjoying it so much and hopefully I will get back there to experience the midnight sun one of these days. Thanks for the nice comment and enjoy it up there!

  3. Timo Kiviluoma

    May 13, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    Great pics indeed. I posted your blog post to our Travel & lifestyle Scandinavia community, there’s also a lot of other stories from Finland. https://plus.google.com/communities/115749118997840317174/stream/ae0748b3-ccc3-48cc-9b11-179e5c9c6769

    • Larissa

      May 14, 2013 at 4:57 am

      Cool, looks like a great community! Thanks for the compliment and for sharing :)

  4. Mirnie Vanhanen

    May 14, 2013 at 6:16 am

    Thanks for coming to Turku. If you ever come back to Turku, I will be pleased to show you more of it. The summers here are wonderful! And this coming from a Canadian from Toronto :) Thanks for the blog, I enjoyed it very much! Safe travels, Larissa.

    • Larissa

      May 21, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      Thank you, Mirnie! I’d love to come back and spend a week or so next time, lucky you get to live there! Enjoy the summer as it should be just about there by now :)

  5. Eurotrip Tips

    May 14, 2013 at 6:48 am

    I visited Norway and Sweden last fall and now I’m kicking myself for not making it all the way to Finland :( Looks awesome!

    • Larissa

      May 21, 2013 at 2:44 pm

      Well now that you got those two out of the way, you will be able to give it your undivided attention when you finally do make it :)

  6. Rob

    May 14, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Great photos and seems like an amazing trip; I’d like to revisit sometime and see more.

    • Larissa

      May 21, 2013 at 2:51 pm

      Thank you and you NEED to – especially up north. Some of the best fishing in Europe.

  7. Sofia

    May 18, 2013 at 9:38 am

    It’s my dream to go on a husky ride one day – awesome experience!

    • Larissa

      May 21, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      I’m surprised you haven’t! Was awesome for sure and kind of made me wish I wasn’t a gypsy so I could own one (or some) of my own.

  8. Steve

    May 21, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Great Pics, Larissa – I still have Finland on my Bucket List! But I guess I will go there within the next 12 months. For sure!

    • Larissa

      May 22, 2013 at 8:28 am

      Thanks, bud. Do Lapland for sure, you will love it!

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