Photo Diary: Finnish Forest

Today’s Fearless Travel Friday (am I really naming this like that?) has subject that’s close to my heart. Today I am going to present photo diary from last spring. And this is not just any travel diary… The destination was Finnish forest, the place I feel most peaceful and safe.

The sun was shining (well, not really it was quite cloudy…) and all the snow had melted so I wanted to go for small getaway with my dog. After Finland’s long winter I always yearn for green forests and quiet peaceful walks in middle of nowhere. So I got my dog, hiking books and headed towards the closest national park called Seitseminen.

cute_dog
Someone wasn’t as thrilled about this trip to forest as I was…

I have visited Seitseminen million times but this was my first time driving there by myself so of course I got lost. What I didn’t know at that point was how wrong this small trip would go. Like usually everything I screwed I everything and all the possible things were against me getting nice travel experience.

seitseminen

When I finally found the park I though my perfect day would start. The first thing I had to do was get map from the park’s information center. Because you can’t take dogs inside I decided to leave her for a moment inside the car. Between me and the information was huge hill that was full of slippery ice. (I had though all snow had already melted how the heck was there ice?!?)

So I almost crawled on my knees up the hill. I had just done my small victory dance when loud alarm startled me. My dog had somehow set off the car’s alarm system. Now between me and the embarrassingly loud car was that same icy hill. I tried to go down carefully but ended up falling down and sliding down on my butt.

street

After shutting down the alarm, walking up the hill with my dog and finding place for my dog to wait outside I felt like winner. Nothing else would go wrong with this trip! Well at least I though so…

Going to the information center was totally embarrassing because I was probably the only visitor in whole park at that time. The nice person helping me totally knew that I was behind the earlier loud alarm. She also looked me oddly when I realized (and lightly panicked) that I had forgot my snacks and water bottle. But even if I seemed like total dork I get map and was finally able to leave to the forest.

map

It took me few seconds to realize that in fact it wasn’t yet spring but rather winter in the forest. There snow and ice everywhere, I didn’t have enough clothes and it was almost impossible to take photos and hold my super exited dog at the same time. I could have turned around but giving up has never been part of my personality. With insane bravery I walked deeper in to the green darkness.

snow

After walking a while I found the quietness and peace I came for. Few birds were singing and I felt like this was my home. This was the place I had missed every time I went abroad. I don’t have words to describe the rest of my walk. Perfect, refreshing, everything I needed in my stressful life.

Then after walking for good five kilometers (falling over every now and then because of the ice) I came to the end of the forest path. In front of me was yet another icy rise to climb. Of course I sprained my ankle… Well I was able to drive back home (not safe to do that so please don’t follow my example!) and never mentioned my not so successful trip.

sky

There is one more funny thing in this trip. It is part of the reason that I started writing this blog more seriously. The thing is there was this ‘summer job’ in Finland for blogger and I tried to apply for it and my blogging subject was this trip. Like you see I didn’t get the place but like usually when I’m rejected I want to show everyone that I can do it.

The rest is history! Well not history but during juny and july I got over 500 readers for my own travel blog even if I didn’t write everyday like in the job I would have done. I know those people who didn’t hire will never know what they missed when not taking me in but I feel quite good about that. And nowadays I would not imagine my life without blogging.

So thank you for reading my blog! And not judging me even if some of the posts are super boring stuff like this. Thank you!

hiding_dog
This is how my super lazy companion tried to hide from me after our trip. Don’t worry she is only playing angry and in reality we both love our forest adventures like nothing else.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Next week I will be on London so I’m not yet sure if I have time to write post for Friday.

By the way does anyone have tips for me what to do in London? I’m going with me sister and we have both been there before so we are trying to come up with something fun to do. Any suggestions are appreciated!

I hope you will have amazing weekend!
With love,

Viivi Severina

Travel Diary: Camping with 17 000 People

Week ago I left to scout summer camp and had amazing two days. 17 000 people camping together in forest and having the best times of their life. And then I become sick and had to return home. How unlucky can I be?

Because I spend so short time in the camp this travel diary will be only 4 photos long. I hope those moments are enough to present you what it’s like to be in scout camp in Finland. More photos from the camp’s official website HERE.

camping

Huge scout camps are always interesting because you get to meet so many different aged, nationality and other way new kind of people. This time we has swedes sharing our small part of the camp. If I had stayed for longer I would been “working” with many different nationalities.

The first time went by building our camp and setting up tents. I was feeling a little bit unwell already but pushed the feeling aside. Fortunately I got to see the camp and everything build there. Tree houses and amazing gates to the sub-camps.

camp

The last thing on our first day was opening ceremony. It’s quite magical feeling when 17 000 people squeeze to look same stage in the middle of forest. There was fire show, music and funny moments. Different nationalities showed of their skills and introduced cultures.

Everything was okay but at the end (handsome) boys took over and everyone went wild. Usually scouts are seen as teens who help grandmas over streets and sell cookies. In reality we can be anything. And at this moment everyone were dancing, having fun and not caring about the world outside our own small city.

scouts

I was almost mid night when the show finally ended but fortunately in Finland we have bright summer nights. Then everyone tried to go and eat at the same time and everything was in chaos for a while. I was totally ready to go sleep at this point but I still had to line up to get in toilet.

I fall asleep quickly but woke up in the middle of night when someone tried to get to their sleeping place over me. After that I couldn’t sleep and was feeling super sick. I decided to take short walk and hope my state would get better. It didn’t but I got to witness the sleeping camp.

It’s magical to walk around in total silence. You know there is thousands of people around you but you can’t see anyone. It’s not dark but gloomy. Shadows and mist everywhere. I didn’t have my phone with me so no photos of that beautiful moment. Sometimes it makes good for you to just appreciate something without the camera ready.

forest

This is photo is from my first (and last) morning in the camp and also the moment when I felt so sick that I realized my only option was return home. It’s terrible feeling. You have been waiting for something to happen so long and then your body betrays you and there is nothing to do.

Well at least I get to experience the first night and meet some friends after long time. (I’m trying to keep being positive…) 

Have you ever been on huge camp? Or had to cancel something you have anticipated because of sickness?

I hope you enjoyed today’s travel diary and see you soon!

With love,

Viivi Severina