Saturday, December 13, 2008

Adventures in Finland

I'm finally getting back to write more about our travels in Scandinavia.

Here are some of the great adventure stories Desi and I experienced while in Finland...

We had a long boat ride from Sweden and an even longer day running around Helsinki (I may or may not have been accosted by a was awkward). We decided to take a nap in Helsinkipuisto, the central park of the city which is located along the river. Lovely views!

I really loved Helsinki, despite how exhausted we were. The most confusing part is that they put most of the signs in Swedish and Finnish, obviously, but for us, these languages weren't that easy to read or pronounce! You gotta love being confused and lost in a foreign country. Plus, we were happy to find any excuse to yell, "Ahh Finlandia!"

Needless to say, we we turned around and confused...A LOT and entered the wrong trams quite often. But it was such a beautiful day that there wasn't much to complain about especially since we enjoyed a little in the sun. Then, suddenly, a troop of people showed up, busted out a boom box and started practicing the waltz!

At first we were pretty confused, this seemd like a very serious group (Is this a dance gang coming to steal our passports?) but they all matched up into pairs and started hopping around, doing the jitterbug. Awesome!

We found the best picnic spot on Suomenlinna Island.
We really enjoyed beautiful summer weather in Finland! And to think the whole time packing for this trip my mother was telling us to bring more sweaters, ha!

We spent the whole day at Summenlinnia and had some interesting Finnish pizza. complete with a strong bow cider and Tabasco know we can't live without hot sauce.

Oh, yeah, that’s us, just gambling in the grocery store. Which apparently its a normal sight to see in Finland...

While in Helsinki, we stopped to share some tasty treats at Fazers. 
No big deal, it's just the most famous bakery in Finland, and seriously delicious!
How do you say, "sugarfoodcoma" in Finnish?

After running around Helsinki all day, we took the night train up to the Arctic Circle!
Good thing we got to sleep because that ride was 13 hours long and all you see are trees, trees and more trees. We awoke in the middle of the night to look out the window for reindeer but instead just saw miles and miles of green whizzing past. That's when we realized that we really were headed to the middle of nowhere! Finland has some beautiful nature, that's fore sure.

We met Santa (it was kinda creepy) and mailed postcards home with a very official seal of approval. If you're a big fan of Christmas and happen to be in Finland definitely don't miss this spot!

Here I am keepin' it real in the Arctic Circle. 
Now I can check that one off my list! 

After our epic train ride we made it to Ylitornio, Finland for Heidi and Jarrod's wedding.
There was a lot of yummy Finnish food, and I dug into their delicious strawberry cake. Desi is a brave foodie and sampled some reindeer but wasn't very enthusiastic about...this could have been associated with the high amount of alcohol intake that is required at a gathering such as this.

Finnish weddings are definitely an experience, between the never ending flow of alcohol (vodka, cider, vodka punch, wine, beer...) these Finns know how to party! Plus, there was quite a lot of wild and crazy dancing to heavy metal and Bon Jovi songs. 

It was an intensely fun day and night and I'm so glad we made it up to the corners of the Earth to celebrate with our friends. Congratulations you guys! 

Heidi’s family showed us the midnight sun from the top of a mountain. What a beautiful sight to see!

This is a statue of a nice finish author Annikki Kariniemi, but I prefer to call her Finnish cat lady because once again, Desi and I couldn't read the sign and had to interpret the best we could.

After the wedding celebrations came to an end, we headed back "south" to Rovaniemi.
Desi, Heidi, Jarod and Anu (our Couch Surfing pal) took part in something special...
A summer time bobsled ride!

I’ve never been in a bobsled before and it was especially odd when it was about 95 degrees outside with a million mosquitos flying in my face. If you ever have the chance to ride a bobsled, don't pass it up. 

Heidi and Jarod head down the hill...

How beautiful are these views? Finland, I love your countryside.

And to sum things up, no trip to the Arctic Circle is complete with out reindeer!
We spotted these guys on our last day, finally! 

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