The English version of this blog has not been updated since February 2021, except some posts I really consider worth translating. The Russian version is the most complete one, and as of June 2022 I’m also trying to do a Finnish one.

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.

Kauniainen

A small town which is actually an enclave within Espoo, the biggest suburb of Helsinki, but still historically an independent town. Widely known as a rich Swedish-speaking people place, which is largely, although not entirely true.

Haapasaari

A rare inhabited island in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Kotka. Beautiful and easily accessible, but obscure. The trip to Haapasaari and the former fishing village there.

Southern Konnevesi National Park

Lakes and woods of Northern Savo area on a misty early May day.

Vaasa Center. Part 2

Again Vaasa, my first hometown in Finland. Railway station, barracks area, various notable buildings in the center.

Bromarv

The most remote part of the Finnish Uusimaa region (the one with Helsinki), a large but barely connected to the mainland peninsula in the archipelago in the west. Spring sea and natural beaches, but also the site of the historical Gangut sea battle.

Suolahti

A small and obscure industrial town not far from Jyväskylä in Central Finland, most notable for its railroad museum and canals which were actually constructed by post-Soviet Russia.

Naantali. Part 2: Of the modern city and the sea

Other parts of Naantali: modern commercial center, hills and bridges by the sea, Kultaranta presidential residence, and the port area.

Naantali. Part 1: Of the old town and Moomins

A beautiful old town near the city of Turku in southwest Finland. The old town, the former monastery church, and the closed Moomin theme park.

Karkkila

A small industrial town, nominally in Uusimaa, the central region of the country, but with a surpisingly "time has stopped in the 1980s" feel.

Siuntio

A village some distance west of Helsinki, where its suburbs end for good. Manor with traces of Soviet Porkkala lease period and various other minor local sights.

Vaasa Center. Part 1

From the central square to the sea coast — a short walk, but plenty to see.

Vaasa, Kvarken, Korsholm. Overview

An overview of my first hometown in Finland, its surroundings and the beautiful Kvarken strait of the Gulf of Bothnia. I lived in Vaasa for only 1.5 years, but it will always remain in my heart.

Public transport in Helsinki area. Part 2

Detailed examination of various modes of public transport.