I shouldn’t be sad that we had to leave southern Finland and return home today, not many people are so fortunate as me to be able to go away for an entire month. I did have a heavy heart though as we gathered our belongings together before taking one last forest walk in the warm sunshine.
I’ll miss so much, the beautiful Finnish nature, the countless lakes, the friendly and polite people, the ‘white nights’ – the days when it stays light until midnight, the safe environment – always feeling safe and secure wherever I am, city or countryside, day or night. You might not think that I’m happy living in the UK, but of course I am, and where we live is really lovely too but Finland is so special to me! In a recent poll it was found that Finland has the highest standard of living in the world, if you are interested you can read the recent Daily Telegraph article about it here.
So many things to take back, Fazer chocolate bars in various flavours. Have you tried Fazer ? This Finnish chocolatier produces delicious chocolate, and not quite as sweet as for example, Lindt. Their new flavour this year ‘Salted Toffee Crunch’ is now my favourite and I’m already on my second large bar! We are returning home laden with some Finnish cheese, dark rye bread, tubes of mustard, Karelian pies and last but not least, the love it or hate it, sharp, sour flavoured Fazer Salmiakki salted liquorice, which of course I adore!
We returned to the airport by bus and train. Taking the bus from our local stop in Espoo into Helsinki was a poignant moment for us. The journey takes no more than 15 minutes but it must be one of the most scenic bus rides around. To get into the city centre the bus travels across long bridges over the sea providing travellers with splendid views across the archipelago but, alas, this is all to change. The underground ‘Länsimetro’ was due to be extended to the west and open in August but has been delayed for several months, but as it is likely to be running when we return next summer we’ll miss these views as we’ll be in a tunnel. Of course, we can walk along the shore line ourselves but it will be sad not to enjoy this view several times each day – still, like everything else it will have some benefits and I’m sure we will eventually get used to the change.
On arrival at the airport, I couldn’t believe my eyes, it was crammed full of scouts with their backpacks and soft bags scattered everywhere! I’d seen on the news that Finland had been hosting an international jamboree and that 17,000 scouts had been camping in the forest but I hadn’t anticipated bumping into so many of them here at the airport! They were very friendly and I seemed to get asked repeatedly to take photos of them on their phones and cameras before they parted from their newly made friends.
It was then time to depart and return to England after our lovely Finnish holiday. Hopefully we’ll be back again next summer as, in my opinion, there is no place nicer to be than Finland in mid-summer. Thank you for taking the time to read this series of Finnish posts – perhaps I might even have persuaded some of you to visit Finland yourselves!
Finally, a note to my Finnish readers – thank you for following my blog and for your welcome comments and observations – I do hope I have portrayed your country in a deserving manner!
Hei Hei / Bye Bye