The wind is calm, the sky is blue …
while sitting on the jetty I soak up the beauty of my surrounding …
colourful trees are reflected in the lake and the little boats and wooden houses make this moment even more picturesque.
I am happy to be in Finland.
During the last weekends I have been away less and had so more time to explore the area of Porvoo – which is somehow surprising me time after time. Last weekend I went to a little peninsula in Porvoo. With our little, green, not to be missed bikes – in the Netherlands I would not even call this a proper bike – we raced around Porvoo, crossed some bridges and arrived at a nice forest trail where we put down the bikes. Comparing to the Netherlands, the forest was quite hilly and spectacular with all the rocks, enormous trees and the greenness. I have been in various places in the world, but I do not think that I have seen a forest anywhere as green as here in Finland. This probably because of all the green moss which is literary everywhere, in all different shades and textures.
Now autumn is coming in, I cannot go into the woods without taking my camera. The colours are making the landscape even more beautiful. Yesterday I wanted to visit a natural lake near Porvoo. It was pretty challenging to come there – especially with my beloved bike – but in the end it was really worth it. A huge lake surrounded by … yes, forest. But those little boats, wooden houses and colourful trees made it look so peaceful, beautiful, picturesque, so … Finnish. The nature here is so untouched, that is what I really like about Finland.
Besides being fascinated about the nature I have been exploring Estonia. On the fifth of September in the early – very early! – morning we started the journey from Porvoo to Helsinki to Tallinn. With a group of about nine people we took the ferry at 8.30 to Tallinn, which wasn’t a normal ferry at all, more like a small cruise ship. There were different bars and restaurants, some shops and a kind of ‘casino’ – the last point however is becoming a more normal appearance, since you see the slots almost everywhere, even in supermarkets – there was even life-music on the boat. This made the two hour ‘drive’ very pleasant.
Tallinn itself is a beautiful old city with many small streets, where you can walk around for hours. Sadly we had no map and our group was probably too big to make quick decisions, so we walked around a little unknown and so haven’t seen all of the city. Despite this we have seen quite a few lovely sites – including many churches – and in the end did really enjoy the day in Tallinn. To be able to say that I have seen Tallinn, I possibly have to go there again.
On the 9th of September we finally had our ‘Freshman-party’, which is a festive day for all first years and exchange students from Haaga-Helia University. The theme of this year was ‘Videogames’, so with our exchange students team we dressed up as Pacman – some ghosts and Pacman & girl Pacman – we thought of a little entrance dance and were ready to win the game! With about four busses from Haaga-Helia Porvoo, we drove to Helsinki where we started the games. There were 26 check-points where you could get up to 100 points – except for the Heppo checkpoint – we of course were only satisfied with the full amount of points, which we were able to get at all of the checkpoints we visited! Our team spirit was the best! Whenever we did not get the full points by executing the game, we started making a human pyramid, do some silly trick and started cheering, till we would get the 100 points. It was hilarious! The day ended in a club in Helsinki and at 2am we drove – completely exhausted – home to Porvoo.
The weekend after, I went with Gerard – the only other Dutch exchange student here – to Nuuksio National Park, which is located close to Helsinki – though fairly complicated to reach. The nature there was só beautiful! – yes again the nature. We were walking around for five hours through forest, over rocks and along many picturesque lakes, we even had to beat 314 steps to climb up the mountain/hill – for me it would be a mountain, but I experienced that for the Swiss and Austrians here it is like a little increase in the surface -.- Despite this, it was a lovely day!
When I am not away I enjoy my time at Kevari – our apartment – this, because there is almost always something going on. In the evenings, I usually eat together with other exchange students and later hang around with Vera and Vanessa and some others 🙂 Having long chats, watching a movie or playing games … which tend to end different than expected (a). Last Wednesday we even had Swiss fondue with 13 people.
“Gezellig”, that is the best word to describe the days here. I have been very lucky that it turned out this well and am very much looking forward to all experiences coming!
Thank you for reading!