Did you know we have environments that are favourable to avalanches in Finland? The Finnish Meteorological Institute issues an avalanche forecast for northern Finland in the winter.
The FMI and the mainstream media are always on top of these things and post the warnings when they come, for example, here’s one from last spring.
Way back in 2004 when the Mr. and I hiked in the Malla Strict Nature Reserve (Kilpisjärvi), I saw evidence of avalanches and the trail we hiked on had warning signs…. I had no idea! The following picture is from the same trip, but from northern Norway, where we did going hiking in a place and the evidence of avalanches was visible.
Ski season is already underway in northern Finland, so be careful out there!
A little Friday humour for you…
Long ago and far away the Mr. and I did a weekend trip to Riga, Latvia (first the boat to Tallinn and then by bus to Riga). It was April and we stayed in downtown Riga in a nice hotel. One of my memories of that trip was the great restaurant we ate at on Saturday night and the cigar that the Mr. wanted – which cost almost as much as our meals did!…
On Sunday we made a quick trip to a local store to pick up different kinds of beer, chocolate and so on to bring back with us. Then the Mr. stopped, pointed and said, “Look!”
In the bag was some kind of BBQ-flavoured Os, which in Finland are called Hot Rods. If you understand Finnish, you’ll understand why this is so funny. If not, let me enlighten you. On the bag it says “Ripuli.”
It’s just one of these things that doesn’t work in Finnish!
I ran across an interesting story out of Vancouver. Apparently there is a move to “ban” doorknobs under new building code legislation and in their place will be handles in order to improve accessibility. It’s a smart move, but the way it has been implemented is a bit draconian…
But I can tell you there is basically not a doorknob to be found in Finland. They all look like this!
And if you look at the selection in a hardware store like the S-group’s Kodin Terra, you’ll see there is naught a knob to be found.
I did make this curious observation in my head about door handles way back in 1997 when I visited Finland for the first time – I still remember.
Think about it (especially all you stubborn people who refuse to make more than one trip to the car after a few hours of shopping) – would you rather try and struggle to open a doorknob or manage with a handle when your hands are full?
Handle – hands down. Doorknobs feel kind of alien, especially when I head home to Canada to visit.
For anyone who is a nature lover like I am, I can highly recommend two places in the capital area to visit to get your fix. Whether you are a visitor to Finland or living here, there is always an opportunity to learn.
Earlier this year Haltia, The Finnish Nature Centre opened its doors to the public. Since its grand opening in Nuuksio National Park (in Espoo) at the end of May 2013, the centre has seen more than 80,000 visitors – including thousands of foreign tourists who have found this little jewel in the middle of the forest. It is by no means large, but it presents Finnish nature and wildlife in a modern, artsy, hi-tech kind of way. There are permanent exhibitions including an excellent multi-media exhibit of all Finland’s national parks and wildlife tucked into the floors and the walls! Currently there is an exhibition called Luonnus featuring the works of Finnish designers who have been inspired by the nature of Lapland. The ambiance of the building is enhanced by the fact that it is constructed out of wood (designed by Rainer Mahlamäki). Admission is a modest EUR 7, but I think I’ll be purchasing my annual EUR 15 membership come January. I’ve been there twice already and I’ll be going again – dragging any willing participants with me! (I wish I had some better photos – I’ll try and take better ones next time.)
Long ago I visited the Finnish Museum of Natural History (Luomus) in Helsinki. My memories of the place are faint: animal specimens preserved in jars… and it was dark. Luomus underwent extensive renovations a couple of years ago and reopened to the public. When my mom was here, we made a visit there because she wanted to see it. For EUR 10 you can spend hours observing animal species from around the world and get a great handle on the massive variety of wildlife in Finland. The exhibits are superb. I really enjoyed it. Admission is EUR 10, but admission is free for a few hours on certain days of the week. Check the website to see more! Luomus is associated with the University of Helsinki and other institutions dedicated to the study of natural science – good stuff! It gives Luomus and its partners a smart synergy needed to get their work done and the word out.
The temporary exhibition on bats was great. And I learned something new: there are 13 species of bats in Finland. Who knew?!
Hey! I have been entertaining my mom over the last week. She came to visit us – and why she always comes at this dark, rainy time of the year is beyond me. But a visit, no matter how short or how rainy is better than no visit at all.
While she was here we visited Haltia (in Espoo) and the Finnish Museum of Natural History (Luomus) (in Helsinki). I highly recommend them both. I’ll make a post about that as I get my bearings and get myself back into work and school stuff.
In the meantime, chocolate is always high on the agenda when my mom is here, so we spent time browsing the store shelves. I found these (pictured) – and I must say, they are absolutely fantastic!
The fall weather is upon us and I have to say – this is the nicest spate of colour we have had in ages – not just the regular dull yellow and brown that usually accompanies fall in Espoo. This year the leaves turned orange, bright yellow, rich shades of red and and so on… Really nice. It doesn’t compare to the fall colours back in Canada, but I did snap some nice shots of the colours here in Espoo and signs of winter, frost.
The trees are now largely devoid of leaves, the dark time is here, and now we wait – for snow.
In true amateur fashion: Photos taken (and not edited or photo shopped in any way!) with my HTC HD7 and my Canon Quickshot camera.
I arranged my day today so I could leave work and run to the closest mall and pick up some stuff I had on my “to buy” list. I was done my shopping and heading to catch the train when I heard someone say my name. (I still get taken aback by this because my name is relatively rare in Finland.) I whirled my head around like an owl until I noticed a Canadian friend of mine whom I haven’t seen in an age. The funny thing was her muttering, “You’re such a Finn! Just about walked right by….” Or something to that effect. Anyways, it was great to catch up!
“Good heavens,” I wondered later, “am I really that Finnish?”
…This requires some additional thought. I may have to get back to you on that one.
She should talk – she’s sporting the same citizenship these days!