Why Finland?!

That was definitely a question we were asked a couple of times getting all the necessary permissions from the Army and such, but it's a simple answer.

I have family there. They're distant, but they're still family. Anyway, last year, 2012, in March we decided to take off to Finland, since husband would be leaving soon to deploy. So, we definitely needed to do something! 

I was so excited to meet Riikka, Sampo, Lumi, Nuutti, Nuppu, Vellu, Kirsti, and Yari. Yes, they have crazy names and I love it! 

We took RyanAir, a very cheap euro flight company with no frills. It was cheap 150euro for the two of us, for round trip tickets. An opportunity we definitely could not pass up. We didn't really go there to sight see, we went there to get to know my relatives. And boy are they ever great!!!! We flew into Tampere, Finland, 2 hrs away from their homes in and near Helsinki. They picked us up! Not something we were expecting from a family with a two year old, and a brand new set of twins! But they said they were happy for the break! Haha, the kidlets were left with the grandma! 

We drove down the highway for 2 whole hours, and saw...

Trees, lots and lots of trees. LOL. And old patches of snow... There was literally nothing to look at on the way down to Helsinki. Also, that trip would have been much faster on the German Autobahn (120kmph and up  = about 75mph and up), however, Finland's highways are only 100kmh speed limit (about 60mph). So that was pretty excruciating! haha. 

We finally made it down to Espoo (where the grandparents, Kirsti and Jari, for simplicity, I'll call them my aunt and uncle, as I have no idea of the technical term for them).

They were all so warm and welcoming. I already felt accepted into their little clan the moment I stepped in the door, they were as excited to have me as I was to be there! It was a great feeling!  

I met these three goobers! My most favorite little people in all of the world! Even though the small ones projectile vomited like... 97% of the time we were there... I held them each like... one time. In fear of the poltergeist vomits...

As I said, we didn't really go there to sight see, but we did go to downtown Helsinki and see a couple of things:

One of the first sights we saw was the Helsinki Cathedral. It was b.e.a.u.t.-ful! I felt very pleased visiting this. There weren't too many tourists (unlike here in Germany in popular towns like Rothemburg), maybe due to the fact that it was butt cold outside?? haha.

Since we were around the area, we decided to pop on into the oldest market in Helsinki, aptly named Old Market Hall

I got to experience a couple of interesting foods. Sampo was our tourguide for the day since Riikka decided to stay home with the babies. He showed us some really crazy things, meat pies, fish pies, maami (YUCK), among other things.

Quickly back to maami though, click on that link above... It LOOKS like it might be delicious. Maybe... It looks like maybe something that resembles some sort of brownie batter YUMMINESS...

However, you are sorely mistaken!! It is a "delicacy" there in Finland, some people love it... Others, well... They detest the sight or smell of it. Husband love it, but I on the other hand thought it was a different kind of disgusting! lol. It tasted like... HOPS... You know, the shit they make beer with?? Without the beer. And alcohol. So the shitty taste without the intoxicating benefits. 

I did try stuff that I enjoyed though, above left is pictured a "honey lollipop" YUMMO. That shit is delicious! I couldn't get enough of it. lol. Cheap, delicious honey on a stick.

Other than visiting down town, we went to the ZOO! Yup, the Helsinki Zoo!! 

The Helsinki Zoo is located on one of the many islands of Finland (179,584 islands to be exact. Although that number includes very small islands). You have to cross a bridge over the Baltic Sea (Helsinki's harbor) to reach it! I thought that was pretty amazing in itself.

Though it was still wintertime and not many animals were out, it was a great excursion for husband and I. We were dropped off there, to fend for ourselves as Riikka and Sampo got ready for their house warming party (which they postponed just for our arrival, so we could participate!). 

I think this Lion was the best part of the zoo trip, mostly because shortly after this shot was taken he walked around, put his ass up to the fence, and literally projectile peed (some 7-9 ft away from his body) onto some lady with a camcorder! Gosh, I hope she caught that on camera! Because she would also catch husband and I backing up as he was turning around, and then laughing our asses off when no one else did! Gosh, I wish I had that on video. 

A few days later, it started to snow... 

And the next day, it really started to snow, this happened to be the day of us having to leave our lovely Fin family behind and head back to the Tampere Airport... 

Our drive was... very eventful. 

Highways were shutting down, and the snow was just coming down on us! We kept calling and checking the airport website to see if our flight would be canceled or not, but all was fine according to the website. 

We arrived at the airport... 

Our flight was supposed to take off around 9-10pm... We arrived around 7pm, surely our flight would be canceled? Riikka and Sampo could not stay behind, due to the weather, and that they closed down all the highways, they had to find a hotel for the night so that they could get back to their babies in the morning. 

It wasn't until a quarter after 10pm that they announce that our flight was canceled... It was super scary at first because they were telling us that we had to leave the airport as soon as we could re-book our flight to return to Germany. In... 3 feet of snow... That fell in under 24 hours... Needless to say, they realized that 100 people trudging around in the snow, not knowing where the fuck they should be going... Is kind of a crazy idea, right? Right. 

They let us go to the "main terminal" that had vending machines...

This was our dinner that night. Haha. 

We were able to book a flight three days later. And found a hotel that was 50euro a night (decent priced for Finland, I imagine!). Instead of feeling frustrated, we decided to view this as an opportunity to see the city of Tampere. 

The room was small, and that red thing in the middle there housed the toilet and shower. It was quaint, and the price was right.

We spent the next couple of days (one was spent recuperating from not sleeping in the terminal) exploring the town of Tampere. 

It was a gorgeous little town that I would be willing to go back to, just to see it again, and maybe see it in a different light. We were still kind of miffed about the flight cancelation... Well, not so much the cancelation itself, but the way that it was handled.

And the second day, I got a bad stomach ache... which sucked pretty bad, but we still tried to make the most of our extra three days in Finland. 

One really amazing benefit of our flight change was the fact that on the way (out of the way) back to Germany, we would be stopping in Edinburgh, Scotland for 8 whole hours! 

Moi Moi Finland, it was amazing. 
Off to Scotland we went! 

I will save Scotland for another post, beings as this one is book length already!

Stay tuned friends! 


  1. That cathedral looks alot like the courthouse in my home town. Crazy!

    And that lion? Totally knows he's a stud.

  2. Haha! Nice summary of the trip to Finland! :) The snowstorm the night before and on the day of departure was pretty crazy, even on the Finnish scale. We even ended up on one of Finlands biggest channels national news with Riikka due to the storm.

    Best regards,

  3. Wow, I didn't know you got stuck there for a while! At least you had some time to tour around, AND see Scotland! So cool!

  4. You and I need to go exploring together. Make it happen.

  5. I love these photos! We would totally go to Finland. Norway and Sweden are definitely on our list too! x Tamara Red Coat Studio


Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment! I appreciate it SO much!