Friday, 26 July 2013

Finnish-Swedish summer paradise

As much as I've been raving about those idyllic places Southern Sweden seems to be full of (like Vaxholm and Grinda), our recent roadtrip went to show that Finland isn't doing too bad in that department either. In Spain we daytrip and explore new places with Livingstonian lust almost every day, but it's so easy to forget just how much there is to see in Finland too. Just a couple of hours away there's a gateway to our very own summer paradise!

Not only did our micro-holiday in Coastal Finland have stunning scenery and charming little towns in store, but we were also in for some delightful surprises. In Degerby, in the middle of ingenstans, we found a little deli that stocked fresh sausages, scallops, fresh basil and lobster among other things. Ok, so the lobster was frozen. But still! My neighbourhood shop in Central Helsinki doesn't come anywhere close! They even make their own Serrano ham on the coast!

We continued our journey from Hanko with a picnic in Tammisaari.

In Hanko a gloriously tanned and handsome (in that wholesome, sail-boat-owing Swedish way) young man handed me an invite to a jazz festival. In Swedish. According to Vegetarian and Tzatziki champion I have my conservative, pearl earringed, blonde chignoned, sweater-seemingly-carelessly-wrapped-around my shoulders- attire to blame for that. High on all this idyll I decided to become a Swedish-speaker too when I grow up. Until I realized that in Swedish I sound like a total chav...

Coastal Finland is mainly the domain of the Swedish-speaking population (about 6% of the Finns actually speak Swedish as their mother tongue) and as delightful as our precision strike into the heart of Finnish-Swedish psyche was, we couldn't help but wonder. 

Where are the characters that shape the Finnish-speaking Finland? The homeless drunks shouting profanities at total strangers? The psych ward out-patients one can't not bump into everywhere in Helsinki? The Goth teens with their faces full of safetypins  and angst? I'd gladly trade those in for lobster any day. No matter how frozen...

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