The journey in Lapland continues (Catarina Sousa)

Saturday, 9 of August 2008
Young Journalists’ blog (FCP 2008)
Catarina Sousa

Hello! This is Catarina, from Portugal. The journey in Lapland continues. This is our last they in the North of Finland, feeling the nature and the inside culture of the finnish people. Indeed, I think that this day, at least for me, was the mirror of the finnish way of living.

On the top of the hill. Photo: Catarina Sousa.On the top of the hill. Photo: Catarina Sousa.

All our day was related with nature. After having breakfast at Saariselkä Spa Hotel we went hiking in Urho Kaleva Kekkonen National Park. Together we made a 15 quilometres walk but then I also went with Alicia, Daniel and Kunal to the top of the Kiilopää Hill (so we made almost 20km). We started our hiking journey at 11 a.m., we passed by raindeers, took some photos just before Renata managed to frightened them and the photos ended for all the curious ones. Temperature? 12 degrees and getting down as we went up in the hills.

Speed is not really our best quality. Some people went faster, some slower, but I got the idea that the guide was always waiting for us. After spending one hour walking, and getting in touch with nature, we stopped to eat some sausages. It was one of the highests moments of the day: seeing everyone trying to put the sausages in fire, some of them felt on their way of becoming cooked, some went really toasted and some were really professional ones. Drinking fresh water directly from the river was delicious and unique.

At 2.30 p.m., after a long hiking time we reache Kiilopää Fell Centre. Yes, we were tired, but then we had this great sauna waiting for us, so we couldn’t really missed it, could we? And, as we are getting used to it, the “mini-lake” had to come immediately after. In the sauna: 75 degrees. In the river: 3. A huge difference but nothing that we could deal least for like 10 seconds in the coldest “mini-lake” I had ever been into…But I think that this sensation is so typical that we can only get it by doing it…you breed differently. A helthy breed.

So after, the hiking to Kiilopää Hill. The way up was not that difficult, we had to rest for a little while, but the view up there, the silence, the closeness to the top of everything made it all easier. After 2,2km we got there. And, well, there are some things that can’t be written. This is one of them. Putting in words all the mixed feelings of being in the top of that hill is not really an easy task. Indeed, it was great to see how each person can leave there a little bit of their own. In the top, there were many little stones, of all shapes, making different kinds od drawings, or even country names. It a way of people to say: “I’ve been here and I want to leave a part of me in this place.” There, we could imagine all kind of stories. Time to go. The bus was waiting.

8 p.m.: Dinner at the Lappish Hut Feast, on the complex of our hotel. I must say that the food was really delicious. One thing is fore sure: if are supposed to be seduzed by finnish food, I’m sure that just in the first week we are all into it. It’s good, tasty, and will makes all gain a lot of quilos. This is a fact. But well, we won’t have nothing similiar soon. The tipic hut, with the fire inside, on the middle made the ambience even more perfect. Conclusion: we all want to take this food back to our homes, to our countries.

45 thoughts on “The journey in Lapland continues (Catarina Sousa)”

  1. Hi Sergey! I see, that we have in Helsinki and Finland two things that does not change, the Parliament (200 members represents the Finnish people) and Helsingin Sanomat. Most of adult people want read HS with their breakfast in the morning… Thank you of your specialized and good article!

  2. Hi! I love clothes and following the fashion during years and different times. Marimekko is also nowadays very fashion-conscious… more than earlier with a lot of flowers etc.

  3. hi Owen,loved ur post,u sound really ambitious and ready for anything..gud luck man.I am in South Africa and would like to visit Finland.

  4. Hi Susanna! Nice to know that your first impression of summer in Finland was positive. We are so dependent on the weather, especially in the summertime. Most people look at first in the morning whether we have today sunny or rainy day. Rainy days are sometimes welcome also…. Says who is living in Helsinki Finland… Have a nice and useful time during your FC-programme in August!

  5. Hey you guys, I hope you having a time this year. We had a blast last year. FCP rocks.


  6. yes, have a nice time in Finland! I hope you will have better weather than we had last year!!

  7. well… Names could be difficult, but you can easily distinguish butter from cat food, I guess… 😉 Good luck next time!

  8. You founded a lot of vital things. Especially the forest is a Finn’s church. It may also be a sea, lake or river, a mountain area in Lapland… A mug of fresh coffee with a lot of milk is also my way to start the day, afternoon. Raili

  9. Nice… I envy you! The military day was something I missed last year. Good that you had it in your programme!

  10. Thank you for the good post Ahmad. People were talking about it over coffee today and were very pleased to see a more serious opinion about the society. About the political parties one can naturally have different opinions but I will just correct one fact: the electoral participation in the latest parliamentary elections (2007) was 68 per cent (luckily not 40 per cent as you wrote).

  11. Hi! You wrote just the points what can imagine many Finns are missing nowadays. Maybe the students do that all the time, but not the middle-aged persons. They mainly follow that Culture of Consensus… in both the private and the public sector. The competition, that is so unfamiliar to me and many others. Missing of all competition makes people restful, but gives not food or fortune to a businessman or company… Raili

  12. Thank you Riika for your appreciation and correction. I should have checked the information told to me more than once. Sorry for that mistake, but I think its a good lesson for me to learn not to take any information or numbers from one source only.

  13. Wow…impressive information and I appreciate the comparisons.
    The photos are truly professional.

    Great work my dear!

  14. Hi Marc! You have a very interesting article. We can see, that Alvar Aalto, Ittala, Marimekko and Arabia are not only the names. They are an important part of Finnish design. Marimekko produced in their Collection Autumn and Winter 2010/11 something that I could want for myself too. For instance from designers: Mika Piirainen, Joanna Vanderpuije and Nora Iknadossian (

  15. I liked the read. Felt like just the other day when we sat in the class listening to him. I remembered the debate we had about it after the lecture and the fact that we had all agreed he told his story confidently. Nicely captured Finn!

  16. What is significant here is that all of these companies are old. Not a single new Finnish company has achieved anything even close to the success and visibility of these old, wonderful veterans. Perhaps it was the Finnish thinking of SOME TIME AGO that produced these winners but that same thinking is not visible today?

  17. Enrique my friend… I would give you the Pulitzer for this piece of writing if I could… great read.. brought back all my memories…

  18. Hi Martino! I liked very much your article from Rovaniemi, Lapland, but I had not time then to comment. My favourite places in Lapland are Saariselkä, Levi, Ylläs and Pallas. Now have been a long break. I was 1998 in Saariselkä, but some day I go again…. to the North Finland.

  19. Enrique, my friend, you brought some joyfull tears to my eyes… great moments… and the clouds cried when we left…

  20. You have just opened the floodgates of my eyes once again. Thank you for this brilliant recollection of our time. Nothing quiet like it!

  21. I can see that my once young friend has come to full blossom and spread her wings all over. Well thought, expressed and executed my dear Sandra.

  22. I agree. Read this. Have a good cry, by Victor M Parachin. “One reason people might feel better after crying could be because they are removing, in their tears, chemicals that build up during emotional stress. Most people, however, find the tears flowing when they read a touching story or have thoughts of past sadness”.

  23. I knew something about Finns and you wrote everything. It has been nice article. 🙂

  24. Glad to see you guys are having plenty of fun. Treasure these moments and open your eyes to the beauty that is Finland.

  25. I liked this. You managed to condense a message – Nordic Cooperation – Great Example for South Caucasus – into a few sentences.

  26. Thank you, I hope that people for our region will like this idea. We need it so much

  27. This is a good idea if we also consider that Armenia,Georgia and Azerbaijan have an experience of being considered as one country. Examples are Transcaucasian Federation which unluckily lasted very short period of time and USSR where the people were living under the same government with other 12 countries. So taking into consideration last experiences this can happen theoretically but a huge issue is the hatred which is being spread by governments of conflicting countries towards each other.
    Thank you, Arman for a great article and showing the light in the tunnel for those who think there are no solutions to conflicts in Transcaucasia.

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