Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Summer In Finland

So it's the middle of October and though summer has long come and gone in Finland I am finally writing this post which I meant to do since June! The summers in Finland are very short, basically only two months. That may be why Finns seem to worship the sun in the summer and are always outside. People walk around half naked already at 19 degrees centigrade! You will sometimes spot young women in pum pum shorts with a little of their butt cheek on view.

Finns who are usually quiet and somber during the summer are a bit more outgoing and smiling. I am sure it has to do with the sun. 

In the summer, on good-weather days, the parks are all full. There is always some happening in the city. There are many concerts and festivals and many of them are free. Everyone is always grilling, at home or in the park. It's the only time of year my husband cooks regularly because that's when he can grill. People try to find activities to do which would require going outdoors. Going to the beach, drinking in the park, fishing, sailing or biking. Any excuse to be outside really. I guess because the sun is so seldom available you have to take it when you can. When I first came to Finland in the summer of 2002 my husband begged me to go do something outside everyday. I didn't understand why he felt the need to go out every day. Now I do. In Trinidad we try to stay out of the sun as much as possible. You tend to change that Trini mindset once you experience one winter here.

Many people spend their summer vacation at the family summer cottage. Traditionally it's some ancestor's humble house on the lake, handed down through the generations while everyone migrated to the cities. The basic cottage has no running water or electricity but water can be had from a well or nearby lake. But many have been "pimped" or "tricked out" to contain all the modern luxuries. Nowadays many people buy a cottage of their own. Other people choose to go abroad during the summer. While most of Europe takes their summer holidays in August, Finns take theirs in July, as July is most likely to be the warmest month of the summer. However, his year the warmest month was June with a couple weeks of close to 30 degrees centigrade weather. At the same time it was rainy in Central Europe and cool in the southern countries such as Spain. This was highly unusual for June.

This year we went to the Taste of Helsinki food festival where you can try food from some of the best restaurants in Helsinki. It was a beautiful warm day and I really enjoyed our "date". I think this is the day I enjoyed most this summer. Here are some photos of that beautiful Helsinki summer's day.

The University of Helsinki's main building at Senate Square

                                                               Thai cultural festival

                                                   Street performers

                                               The Lutheran Cathedral at Senate Square

                                                                  Orthodox Cathedral

                                                   We had a beer at this boat bar

                                                            View from boat bar