After all these years in Finland, there are still some things that I always wanted to do and that just haven’t happened. I feel like 2019 was a pretty lazy year in that regard to it’s time to step it up! Maybe you find some inspiration in here as well, for trips, things to do, stuff to see and more.
For those of us who are expats, family and friends at home love a little glimpse in our lives up North, and Christmas gifts from Finland are always a welcome novelty. For those of us who have moved here with our family and we want to strengthen our relationship with the new home in Finland, or just for those Finland-enthusiasts in your life – this is a collection of gift ideas of Finnish items or things that are super useful to have when (living) in Finland. Especially with winter in mind.
Fiskars has been recommended to me ever so often over the years, as both a lovely summer and a delightful winter destination for a day trip from Helsinki. About an hour drive west of the Capital, snug around Fiskars river lies this stunningly picturesque village, that is also home to the famous company Fiskars that produces the uncanny orange scissors, knives and so forth; and the Ägräs Distillery which is known for its nature-inspired spirits. Streets lined by red brick houses, a bit of old industrial charm and gorgeous nature around it, Fiskars managed to make me thoroughly happy and finally got me excited for winter and Christmas.
It’s been great to see the second cycle movement grow stronger. In Finland, the recycling culture has always been active and present, and it shows from the re-use mentality in any kind of consumer goods all the way to repurposing buildings rather than new construction. Second-hand shopping is widely popular and encouraged, and possible both online or offline in stores. Here are my favourite tips for second-hand shopping in Helsinki, both in-store and online.
Villa Nagu is an incredible house on the shoreline a couple of kilometres outside of the town of Nagu, and it is the perfect spot for what we had in mind. Secluded in the wilderness, cosy, yet full of design details, and hence was the perfect inspirational spot (and just the most beautiful backdrop) for us.
I am not a professional outdoorsy person, but I have pretty strong opinions on, well, everything. My recent hiking trip to the St. Olav Waterway reminded me how much I enjoy playing around with different outdoor bits and bobs and figuring out what I enjoy using, especially in this season. Being outdoors is great, and the gear that works for you is just a wonderful way to make your experience better, so I’m happy to share with you what those are for me!
For most of the last years, I did a bigger bike tour through the archipelago of Western Finland or the Åland Islands, only last year for some reason it didn’t happen (it was probably too hot). Travelling by bike is magical, it gives me such a feeling of freedom and forces me to think simply as well. This year, I didn’t want to let that chance pass by, especially since I had a serious case of FOMO last summer when I saw friends travelling through what is the sheer stunning beauty of Finnish summer. So, my research brought me to the archipelago trail of the Finnish Lakeland, around Puumala. I have been to that area before, but admittedly, it’s been a couple of years, so it felt right to go back.