This summer I was able to spend a whole month in my home country, Finland. I enjoyed the sunny days, beautiful views and many fun moments with my family and friends. There was also some rainy days, and even a good old thunder storm too, but that didn't slow us down. These are things I will remember from my summer in Finland:
Views of summer
When you live abroad, nothing warms your heart more than this kind of summer views. These old barns were used to store hay for farm animals. I just had to stop and take a picture of a few of them.
Finland is the land of thousands of lakes. There are 187,888 lakes in this tiny country. Nothing is more refreshing than dipping into a lake on a hot summer day!
The midnight sun
If you are heading to Finland in the summer, you should go at the end of June. Everything in Finland stops for the midsummer weekend, and people head out to summer houses for the nightless night. Now you might ask, how can I sleep if the sun never goes down? Well, you don't. This is the most important celebration of the summer, there is no time to sleep.
Most Finnish homes have their own sauna. Typically Finns warm up their saunas twice a week during cold winters, but at summer time there is no schedule. Many summer houses are by the lake or by the sea, so after a hot sauna you can jump into the lake for a swim. I promise you, you haven't felt better than this in a long while!
Enjoy the Finnish summer food which include so called "new potatoes" with herring. These small potatoes are the very first harvest of the year and are so delicious. They are so fresh that you don't even have to peele them. Also try some smoked fish and reindeer, both Finnish delicacies. Summer is the time for BBQ and with meats and veggies, Finns also grill sausage as well.
About 70% of Finland is forest. It has always been an important part of people's lives in Finland: a part of the paper industry, a place to relax and a source of food. At the end of the summer the forests in Finland are full of berries and mushrooms. "Every mans right" is a law that guarantees, that every one has a right to go pick them up in any forest. Go and enjoy these wonderful gems of mother nature.
One of the things I most miss about my country is the silence. When my husband first visited, he was amazed how quiet it got during the night time, he had never experienced anything like that. Late at night you can sit on the door step and just listen, and enjoy the silence. Sometimes you will be interrupted by some voices from nature. Silence really calms you down and frees you of stress!
Sometimes I miss the crisp fall air that you can experience in the mornings when the weather gets cooler: A feeling you can experience at summer time if you go out very early, when everyone else still sleeps, or if it just rained during the night. The air feels so fresh and nature is at it's best!
Oh, how I love the Finnish summer!