It's been a crazy few weeks with assignments, I've practically lived in the uni library. I'm finished with my assignments for the year now and it's the end of term today, so even though I'm still really stressed out about my dissertation (or the lack of one), it's time for Christmas now. I'm heading back home to Finland on the 21st and although I can't wait, I'm so excited that I'm off to Val Thorens in the French Alps for a week before that with the BU Snowriders, the uni ski club.
I know I mainly post photos but this time I am actually planning to write as well, just to go over what I've been preoccupying myself with lately. I do apologise for the shit quality of the photos, they're all from my phone this time.
I know fourth year of uni is crazy busy and I should be in the library drowning in books, but that's just not at all been happening lately. I've found it really hard to motivate myself to do any of the work and this was probably the worst decision possible, but I took off and went to Lapland for a week, blissfully forgetting all my work ( the work I wasn't even doing when I was here).
I had totally forgotten how much I love London until this week. I went there for a mini vacation to spend some quality mother-daughter time with my mum who flew here from Finland for four days. I absolutely loved spending time with her just walking around the streets of London, falling in love with the city once again.
I get bored easily and have always loved change and moving around, but that rarely comes without the pain of leaving things and people behind. My love of moving around was one of the reasons I wanted to get out of Finland in 2011 and chose to apply to universities abroad. I spent two insanely good years in England before placement year came around and I ended up in Lapland. My internship lasted 10 months and before it started I thought that would be enough of Lapland and Finland for a while again.
Categories: my life
Since I don't have my camera with me for these last days in Levi, I won't get any decent shots of the gorgeous autumn colours this year. I used to hate this season, but last year I realised how beautiful it actually can be. September might be the best time of year to come to Lapland for hiking for example, since the millions of mosquitos have died by then and the nature is just gorgeous. I did a lot of hiking in the forests and fells both in Levi and in Pallas in September last year with my dog and took a ton of pictures, here are some of my favourites.
I know it's already September, but I still haven't done a post about the summer here in Levi. It was warm in July and August everywhere in Finland, even up here in Lapland. I've been at work most of the time and didn't get to enjoy it as much as I would've liked to, but then again all the mosquitos and other annoying insects sometimes make it a little less desirable to spent time outside in the summer...
I did get to go on a really nice river cruise through work one afternoon in July though, which was pretty great. The weather was perfect, there was a nice sand beach where we stopped, and most importantly, pancakes.
I've been annoyingly busy with everything lately and whenever I've had some extra time, I've just been lazy. I left my camera at my parents' house as well so until the 19th I'm dependant on my phone for pictures. I'm thinking I'll do a few Lapland posts with photos from last year and earlier this summer, there are a few shots I want on this blog.
We were only meant to stay in Zermatt for two nights, but we were not in a hurry to get back home and loved Switzerland so much that we decided to stay for a third day and night. We took the funicular to Sunnegga again but this time continued higher towards Stellisee at 2537m before walking back down to the village.
After Gornegrat, we rented mountain bikes and took a funicular to a Sunnegga, 2288m. The guy at the rental place assured us that this would an easy route even for a beginner like me, but we soon discovered that his definition of 'easy' was slightly different to ours. Narrow paths down the mountain with steep drop just next to the path, I had to have my fingers on the back break pretty much the entire way down. Although scary, it was fun at the same time and it was a great setting for more photos. We even saw a bunch of super cute marmots.
Gornergrat, Zermatt, Switzerland
On our second day in Zermatt we took the ridiculously expensive Gornetgrat Bahn to the top of Gornergrat, 3135m. The Gornergrat Bahn is the highest open-air railway in Europe, but paying 70€ per person for a return ticket... Not fun when you've already been traveling for over three weeks and spent a small fortune.
We knew Switzerland was going to be expensive, so we had booked the cheapest available room in Zermatt, but when we got to the hotel we found out they had upgraded our room. Aweeesome. I loved the room, we even had a great view of the village and the Matterhorn. And the bed... After sleeping in a sofa bed for three weeks and in the car the night before, the hotel bed felt like heaven. We resisted the urge to go to bed for a few hours though, and took a walk around before going to eat.
We loved Zermatt from the start. It was so beautiful and charming, and everyone there was so friendly.
We drove for hours after leaving Biarritz behind and slept in the car behind a gas station about an hour west from Lyon. After waking up to a misty morning we managed to get through the rush hour of Lyon and continued to cross the border to Switzerland. We were heading to the Alps, but on our way we stopped in Lutry, a small town near Lausanne by Lake Geneva.
After three weeks in Spain, we started heading back to Finland, this time by car. We drove across the border to France and stopped in Biarritz for a few hours. It was cloudy all day so the weather could've been better, but it was a nice town anyway. I could've spent a lot longer just walking around randomly, but we had to get going to make it a bit closer to Switzerland which was our next stop.
Getaria, Gipuzkoa, Spain
A few more photos from Getaria. These are some of my favorite shots from the trip: the old couple walking down a street together, the worn-down, abandoned old building, the guy playing guitar with his dog in his feet under a bridge, and so on. There was just something about Getaria that made me fall in love with this little town.
Getaria, Gipuzkoa, Spain
On our last day in Spain we went to Getaria, another small town just a few minutes from Zarautz. While Zarautz has a great surf beach, great people and nice old buildings in the centre, Getaria was so beautiful in my opinion. Colorful details in the buildings, narrow streets and laundry hanging above your head by the side of the buildings just create such a great atmosphere.
San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa, Spain
San Sebastian was only about a 15-minute drive away from Zarautz, but we only managed to visit during our last week. It was cloudy but so hot that day, meaning we were all sweating like pigs while we walked around exploring the city. I loved the old town with its narrow streets and cute little shops and cafes. We stopped at one to eat, and me and one of my friends ordered a jug of sangria. The last photo was taken by the skateboard shop Westside and published on their Facebook page, because we were the first Finnish people to buy their own brand Saphir's longboards.
As lovely as Zarautz was, it was sometimes hard to come up with things to do when there were no waves for surfing. The amazing Sonia from the Pukas surf shop right by our flat suggested Monte Ernio, a nearby mountain, for hiking. The views were absolutely stunning. A little haunting, too, when we got all the way to the top and found out the locals have used it as a graveyard.
99130 Levi, Finland
I fell in love with a longboard cruiser in San Sebastian and ended up buying it. I used to want a skateboard when I was younger, but my mum wouldn't let me have one. I'm absolutely in love with this board, and can't wait to take it with me to Bournemouth to go longboarding by the beach.
Although longboarding in the sunset here in Lapland is pretty amazing too.
20800 Zarautz, Gipuzkoa, Spain
One of the best parts about having a flat right by the beach were the amazing sunsets. We sat on the balcony so many times just talking and watching the sun go down. The colors were different every evening, but gorgeous every time.
20800 Zarautz, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Here's the first patch of pictures from our surf trip to Zarautz, Spain. It's quite a small place near San Sebastian on the Atlantic coast in the Basque part of the country with one of the best surf beached in Spain. We had a flat rented for three weeks through airbnb. It was right by the beach, and cost so little compared to what a hotel would've cost us for that time.
Surfing has been on my bucketlist for years, but this was the first time I got to try it and I loved it! Since I was the one with the camera, there's no photo evidence that I actually surfed, though...