Camping in Finland (Travelogue)

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Camping_11After spending five days in the south of sweden and Stockholm (see Stockholm Travelogue) I went to Tampere, Finland on the 25th of August, where another friend of mine spends his semester abroad.

This Trip included a lot of ‚first times‘ for me: I had never before been to Finland, I had never before been this far north and I had never before been this far east. After Sweden I Indeed was glad to be able to pay in Euro again. But Finland still hides a special difficulty for almost every Central European: The language. In most languages of the countries I had visited before I was (at least in parts) able to make a guess about the meaning of a text. In finnish that was impossible for me. Until I left I had just learned the finnish words for ‚hello‘ and ‚thank you‘. But that wasn’t a problem at any time because most of the time I was amongst Erasmus students and also the majority of the Finns is able to speak very good english. So the only problems with the language were about deciphering the names of streets and busstops.

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I was welcomed by a kind of weather that was completely different to that one I  had when I left Stockholm. The first days in Finland it was literally raining all day long. But by the time the forecast promised better weather we dicided to make use of the ‚everyman’s right‘ in a group of five people and went camping in the wilderness for a weekend.

We had really nice weather and I liked the landscape around Tampere. So in the following week I decided to rent a tent for me alone and go hiking on the ‚Birgitta Trail‘, a circular trail of 50 km length near Tampere. So a few days later I hit the trail again with my baggage for two days.

The first part of my route led through settled areas, but around noon I entered a part of the trail that is only accessible by foot for the first time. During the trip it was of course not possible for me to keep my camera close at hand at all times, but since the second part of the trail seemed to be the more beautiful one I decided to focus more on the walking for this day.

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On the first evening I put up my tent in a relatively thick forest and spend the evening taking pictures of mushrooms.

most of the (really many) mushrooms I saw on the way seemed to be eatable, but my knowledge about mushrooms is insufficient for collecting and eating wild mushrooms. So I only took pictures of them, although I would have liked to cook a nice mushroom dish. Instead I had sandwiches and cereal bars for dinner.

Camping_12The next morning I had to walk through a settled area for a short time again. Although not nice to look at, it offerd the opportunity to refill my drinking water at an outdoor tap after asking the owner. A few hours later the most beautiful part of the trail began and I was walking between many small lakes in bright sunshine.

I reached this day’s destination (an official shelter with a fireplace) quite early so I had al lot of time to search for a nice place to put up my tent. This wasn’t too easy because there were stones on the ground nearly everywhere, but after a while I found a nice lakeside spot and put up my tent before I took a swim.

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This day’s dinner was way more beatiful and more delicious than the last day’s. Since I had a fireplace at hand I could warm my sandwiches and boil some lake water to make it drinkable. For dessert I left a cup of wild raspberrys I had picked on the way

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Like the day also the evening was really nice and so I enjoyed the last rays of sunshine at the shore of this nice lake.

As it got darker some bats appeared flapping their wings over the lake. I tried to take pictures of them with my camera’s flash, which indeed isn’t that easy because the autofocus is not working in such dark conditions. So I had to focus manually in the dark which actually is kind of a gambling game. But one of the many photos turned out pretty good.

These are initially mostly photos from the two days of my little solo camping trip in Finland, others are sure to follow …Camping_09Camping_08Camping_10

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