Slava Ukraine! Death to Russian occupants!

Welcome to my blog about Finnish countryside, nature and smaller cities!

I am Alexander from Vaasa, Finland, and my main hobby is exploring this wonderful country and writing about it. I've visited all its cities, national parks and many other places and local sights. And I'm writing about them here. And sometimes about the neighboring countries too :)

I'm originally from Russia and I moved to Finland only in 2017. I am however absolutely against the war in Ukraine; Ukraine must win and Russia must lose and disintegrate. I am a citizen of Finland, I value that very highly, this is my home and where all my sympathies and loyalties lie, and Russia is threatening my home here now. I do not visit Russia anymore and have no ties with it.

I've been mostly writing in Russian (it is my mother tongue, and there are many Finnish Russians, Ukrainians and Russian speakers from e. g. Baltic countries who may find my content interesting). I haven't been translating longer posts into English since early 2021, but I do replicate my latest shorter posts in Russian, English and Finnish again.

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Kyröskoski dam and town

An industrial dam at a former major waterfall, mentioned even in Kalevala, in a small industrial town. A few times a year floodgates are opened and the waterfall briefly looks almost the same as in the old days.

Huittinen

A small and fairly ordinary town in the east of Satakunta region.

Lohja Station and a museum train

Railway station on the Hyvinkää-Karis line, long in use only by freight traffic, and a museum train from Hyvinkää visiting there.

Nattanen fells and Vuotso village

A very beautiful fell massif in Sompio Strict Nature Reserve, close by the first Sami village of Finland on the way to the north.

Old Hauho

Old Tavastian church village with some preserved older streets and houses.

Kammi-kylä

An art object village, built in the middle of a bog by one man.


Bothnian Bay National Park

The last Finnish national park that I hadn't visited — because it's the most difficult one to visit, consisting of small islands in the northernmost sea area of Finland, with barely any public tours to them. I still managed to book one and it ended up being an enjoyable trip on a real sailboat from the city of Kemi in Sea Lapland.

Nokia

Not about the company, but about a modest industrial city that gave name to it, was its original location and nowadays turned into a Tampere suburb. Early history of the Nokia company and Finnish paper industry, Matti Kurki and the birkarls, Cudgel War and more.

Kokkola. The Coast

The beautiful Bay of Bothnia coast near the city of Kokkola. Harriniemi peninsula near the city, the fishing village island of Ohtakari, and the lighthouse island of Tankar.

Kokkola. The City

The capital of the smallest region of Finland (excluding Åland Islands), Central Ostrobothnia. Of seafaring, cobalt, Laestadians, Anders Chydenius, Crimean War skirmish with the British, and much more.

Suomussalmi

A remote Finnish borderland in the endless woods of the Kainuu region. Suomussalmi town itself, the only White Karelian villages in Finland, and the sights of Hossa National Park.

Raate Road Monuments and History

Brief history of perhaps the best known battle of the Finnish-Soviet Winter War of 1939-1940, the frozen hell of the Raate road, in a remote northeast area of Finland. A look at the area as it is now, with a museum and many monuments of the fighting.

Kerava

A typical northern outer suburb of Helsinki, no real sights but overall a decent place to live.

Porkkala Parenthesis (Soviet naval base in Finland in 1944-1956)

An extremely curious episode of modern Finnish history, when after the World War II Finland was forced, with great reluctance, to lease a sizable area quite close to Helsinki to the USSR. The area was however returned by the USSR much earlier than expected, and the displaced original population could return to their homes. A look at the modern state of the area and the very few remaining Soviet artifacts.

Utsjoki

The very northernmost lands of Finland, at the Norwegian border, which lay "beyond the roadless portage" for most of their history. Old church town, the great border river of Tana, the northernmost EU point at Nuorgam, and a 35 km hike in the fells of Paistunturi wilderness.

Ulko-Tammio

A small island off the coast of Hamina close to the Finnish-Russian sea border, mostly in natural state and only briefly used in the Continuation War of 1941-1944. A part of one of the most difficult to visit Finnish national parks, the Eastern Gulf of Finland National Park.

Utö. Part 2

Continuing the walk around the tiny Utö island. The lighthouse and the pilot station, the store, coastal artillery, the chapel and the famous shipwrecks.

Utö. Part 1

The most remote inhabited island of Finland, far in the Baltic Sea, a trip to which from the mainland means 5 hour on a passenger ship. History, how to get there (it's not trivial!), and the trip there on the Baldur. My personal favorite post of 2020, in two parts.