Vacation in Central Finland

April 10th, 2013 by UFO in Traveling

I had been a long time since I went on some trip to explore the world. My friend Martin is an exchange student in Jyväskylä, Finland at the moment and invited me to visit him. I accepted and spent very nice two weeks there.

The journey there was long, it took the whole day. I took a train from Ostrava to Warsaw and then two flights: from Warsaw to Helsinki and from Helsinki to Jyväskylä. The second flight was my first time in a turboprop airplane (ATR 72). It was small and very noisy and you could feel any small turbulence. I arrived all right :-).

In the morning Martin showed me around the city. We drove to the city centre and to the surrounding lakes. I was not accustomed to the weather and I was freezing, but took a lot of pictures. In the evening we went to Finnish sauna (with beer of course) and later we went to the observation tower of Harju, which is on a hill next to the city centre, to take night shots of Jyväskylä.

Jyväskylä by Night

The weather was very nice, two weeks of Sun, blue sky and temperatures around zero. In order to enjoy it together with the Finnish nature, we took a hike in a Leivonmäki national park. I have to say, trails in that national park were for the summer, not winter. Everywhere was about half metre of snow and several times we had to turn around and head back to try another route. In the end, to get back to the car, we had to destroy several hundred metres of cross-country skiing trail :-( to avoid swimming in the snow. Hopefully we met only one skier.

Martin, Martin, Martin & Olga in the Leivonmäki National Park

As for the sports, I did something almost every day. The air was so clear (comparing to Ostrava), that I really had to go outside and breath it as much as possible :-D. Several times I went running. The nature was amazing and running on the frozen lakes is also a unique experience. I also tried skiing. There was a happy-hour offer (3 hours pass + rent of the equipment) that I used two times. I had not skied for two and half years, so in the beginning I was little worried, but in a while I got into it again and enjoyed skiing down the slope.

Together with Martin we went bouldering. For Martin it was a first time he had tried it (and he did quite well). Comparing to the boulder I have next to my place in Ostrava, it was much higher, but the floor was also harder. I had to be more careful not to fall down, therefore could not afford to do „risky“ movements I would do otherwise.

Skiing in Jyväskylä

During Fridays all museums in the city were with free entrance, so we did a „museum run“ through museums of Alvar Alto, Museum of Central Finland and two other, which were all very nice. The museum, which we had visited several days before and where we had spent a long time, was the Aviation Museum of Central Finland. It was a hangar packed with various air planes, parts, weapons, machinery and communication equipment. The most memorable was the possibility to sit into the cockpit of MIG-21 and some model of SAAB. I took a lot of pictures in there, see for yourself in the gallery.

Before leaving I bought a lot of souvenirs, mostly candies made of salmiakki :-P (even chocolate and vodka). The vacation was nice (thanks again, Martin), I had a really good time and relaxed a lot.


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