I decided to put together a post collaboration with a few fellow travellers. I asked them what is the first thing comes to their mind when thinking of Finland. Finns, me included, love to hear what foreigners think of our country. Therefore, I hope you enjoy reading these little thoughts.
When someone mentions Finland, the first thought that comes to my mind is their exceptional schooling system. I live in Singapore, where education is focused highly on excelling in academics. Unfortunately, academia was never my strong point! I loved being active, but our physical exercise periods would usually be spent catching up on maths indoors. So when I heard that children in Finland have time set aside specifically for enjoying the outdoors, it sounded like a wonderful idea! We've even had articles on Finland's education system in our local newspapers, discussing how we can apply elements of their system in ours. I'm hoping that that will come through! I haven't visited Finland yet, but I'm eager to.
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When I think of Finland, the first word that comes to mind is honestly "grace." I feel as if everything about the place is natural, airy, simple, and incredibly graceful. Can a country be graceful?! The colours that fill the landscape are rich and full. The school systems are systems that others envy because of their successes; the emphasis Finland places on children and childhood is profound and internationally recognised.
I spent a month cycling around Finland. I went from Lapland to Helsinki and I spent the first few days cycling around the forest. My first impression about Finland is how absolutely breathtaking the country is - the first time I got to see reindeer. There are a lot of them in North Finland. Then, there are the wood houses. A lot of the houses in Finland are made of wood, great for keeping them warm. I have to say thought that it was so challenging, cycling in Lapland. It was continuously raining and every time that you stop, mosquitoes start to devour you - quite literally, ha! The great thing that we found blueberries everywhere! Once, I started cycling downhill and met people, I had the opportunity to experience how amazing Finish people are. They are very welcoming. The favourite thing I discovered in Finland was the sauna and how it's part of the culture. It was my first time to try the sauna inside a house. I really had a great time - beer and sauna. I absolutely recommend visiting Finland and meeting Finnish people to anyone.
I knew that Finland would be cold and dark. I was right, but it was wintertime and there was snow.
And coffee shops with lights which shone out into the dark like welcoming beacons and shops with heavy doors that slowed the heat from squeezing out when you squeezed in. And the air was as crisp and clean and as fresh as any air that I have ever breathed.
The dark wasn’t really dark but it glowed around the edges because of the snow giving everything a strange almost monochrome quality. It was like being caught inside a film – the sort of film that begins in black and white with superimposed splashes of colour.
Fat, full snowflakes drifted down dulling sounds. Shapeless lumps wrapped deep inside coats, scarves, hats and sensible boots walked the streets, hands in pockets and chins tucked inside collars. Once inside, people emerged like butterflies from cocoons, spilling out of their drab grey layers with bright eyes and rosy cheeks. I want to return during the summer and see the other Finland.
Pictures are miscellaneous pictures that I had from Finland