(Finland) I arrived in Helsinki at the middle of Winter.

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[15/01/21~27 (D+1245)]
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There was not much distance left to Helsinki. Yeah~Let’s keep going!

 

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Horses..

 

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Today’s temperature was -10c (14f)

Not bad..

 

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The beautiful snow on my bag

 

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The strong red orange light covered the land

 

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There were small box on the tree. I was wondering it was for birds or decoration.

 

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From today I had the place to stay to Helsinki that I didn’t need to knock the house anymore. My host was from Iceland. She introduced her country food.

 

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It was called Hakarl which is a national dish of Iceland consisting of a Greenland shark. It has been cured with a particular fermentation process and hung to dry for four to five months. She warned me that sometimes foreigner hates it because of the strong smell. One of her daughter came to the kitchen when we opened it. “Mum!! Bad smell!!! Stinky! ”
I tried one piece, but it was not bad.
It was very fun to hang out with her family.

 

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At the next day I cycled hard again. Around 4 pm, it snowed too much. Endless snow..
“Do you have a boyfriend?”
“Yeap, he is very beautiful and amazing. But he loves me so much. So I am tired of him now. I want to break up with him. But I cannot do it because he is kind of stalker. I can only break up with him on the spring. But I can never run away from him. I will see him again someday even after breaking up. I think I will miss him so much after saying good bye, because he is really gorgeous. By the way my boyfriend’s name is S.N.O.W…snow… He is very cold guy…..”

 

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If I cycled 20 km (12.5 mi) more, I had had a place to stay. But I was too afraid to keep going. There was too much snow on the shoulder. So I had to cycle on the main road, but the road was narrow and drivers passed fast.
When I was in Lapland, people drove very carefully when they passed me. But since the central Finland, people passed me with the same speed as before. One of local Finnish told me that people in the north used to drive carefully because of Reindeer coming to the road. From Central Finland, there was no more Reindeer on the road. So people just drove fast.
I gave up cycling and turned around.

 

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But then snow became weak. I wanted to keep the promise which I was supposed to arrive today in the next city. So, I turned my bicycle and tried to cycle again.

I’ve never had hamburger set in Finland, because it was too expensive.
So, I promised to myself. If I didn’t give up and arrive in the next city safely, I would buy it as a gift to myself tomorrow. Okay.. just 20 km (12.5 mi).. Let’s try..

To cycle in this condition was like a game. I didn’t need to hear the car sound carefully because I knew already the car coming. How? The light! When the light was brighter, it meant car was closing to me. (There was no any other light on the road, so it was so easy to figure out)
So, usually I cycled on the main road which was good condition to cycle. When I saw the light, then I moved to the shoulder. Then I came back to the main road after car.
It was totally like the game that actually I enjoyed.
Finally game was over, because there was too much light! I meant I reached to the city safely!

 

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I was very happy to overcome hard condition.

 

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Thank to Rolf in Oulu who wrote in Finnish forum, I got the contact. My host’s name?was Raimo. I couldn’t find his house easily. So I walked around. There was a dog parking lot.

 

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Then somebody came to me and told me “Hello. I know you”. I thought he was Raimo. And then I realized that I really didn’t know him at all. He said he saw my blog on online. WOW. I was surprised that I asked him to take picture of him. He didn’t ask me to take picture of me. It looked he was not much excited to see me, but I was very much excited to see him! haha
(In Helsinki I’ve met another guy like this on the road. It was really good choice to come to Finland because I didn’t think I would have this experience again in other country. Lol)
Thank to him, I could make a call to Raimo and he picked me up.

 

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Raimo was around 50 years old. But he loved cycling that the distance of cycling per year around his house was the same as mine around the world. I stayed at her mother’s house. She was very generous. At her house there was a special picture. Actually I saw this kind of the picture at other house as well. Long time ago people took the picture of other people’s house from the sky and sold it.

 

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At the next day he cycled with me to the main road.

 

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Today I was going to arrive in Helsinki. Yeah!

 

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Fin air..

 

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There was a snowplow at the afternoon. It meant I was around the big city. In many small villages and cities, the bicycle path was too bad to cycle because they didn’t clean the snow on the bicycle path often. So, I had to cycle on the main road in small cities.

 

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It was far to push because snow blocked the way. So I had to get off a few times.

 

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Okay. Here the gift was!!! I was super excited to have it
(7.80 Euros (10$) )

But then I was suddenly too disappointed… what……….? It looked nothing…..
Why.. it looked too cheap?
Seriously was it gift?

 

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I felt sorry to myself. I felt like I didn’t keep the promise which I did?yesterday. So, I bought ice-cream for another reward (3.5Euros=4.5$). But it was also not tasty. Nah… That black one ruined the taste.

 

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One of Korean cyclist wrote that the best snack for cycling was Jerked meat. But usually it was too expensive to buy, so I didn’t have chance to know he was right or not.
Now I bought as a gift for myself. And it was the best reward!! It was so tasty! And yest he was right, it was the best snack!
(It was really small bag, but 5~6$)

 

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Typical thing in Europe….
I was worried about it before coming to Europe. I heard usually it had happened when the people left a bicycle for a long time such as for a night.

 

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Finally I arrived in Helsinki. I didn’t know I could cycle all the way to Helsinki on the middle of winter. I thought I would take a train or hitchhike from the middle of Finland to Helsinki. But thank to my philosophy. “Just try.” I could make it. It was amazing feeling to see what I’ve done which I was not sure.

 

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In Ecuador I had met the guy who was cycling in Latin America. On September of last year he introduced me his friend in Helsinki. I ordered a few stuff on the ebay and two of them didn’t arrive on time on Septmeber. Jan, my host in Germany, sent it to Helsinki because I didn’t have time to wait the package. I thought I would arrive on September in Helsinki. Then the plan was changed. Thanks that Chris and Inca didn’t mind my plan was being changed. They were very kind and they kept my parcels.
Finally I met Chris and Inca and I was very happy to see them. To meet them was like it was the last reward.

 

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At the day I arrived, there were other friends who loved climbing. After dinner we played a board game. It was very interesting game that there would be no any loser. We all played the game together. Our mission was to protect our earth from the virus spreading. Frankly speaking I didn’t understand game rule well. It was the most difficult game I’ve ever done.
At the end we failed to protect our earth.
Wait a minute………….

 

Did it mean we all were loser??? So.. actual winner was the company who made this game? The company beat us……..hm….

 

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Some typical Finnish bread with egg

 

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There were at least four parcels. They kept all for months. I really thanked a lot.
I renewed Korean credit card and cheque card because valid date was almost coming. It was so surprising. I didn’t know I would cycle more than valid date of the card.

 

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Chain remover which it was supposed to arrive in Germany;

I ordered LCD glass to replace my broken glass of iPhone and also battery. (I don’t change it for four months. I am lazy and afraid of breaking iPhone which works still well. I just carry this one like I carried an umbrella, which I had never used over two years. I threw it away finally before taking the plane to Spain.)

2000LM CREE XML T6 LED Rechargeable Waterproof Bicycle Bike Light Headlamp Head (27$).
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2000LM-CREE-XML-T6-LED-Rechargeable-Waterproof-Bicycle-Bike-Light-Headlamp-Head-/221582007329?
It is very strong and works very well. But it doesn’t work for a long time. The longest hour was for three hours below zero.

Bicycle Bike Red Laser Beam Cycling 5 LED Rear Lights Safety Tail Lamp
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bicycle-Bike-Red-Laser-Beam-Cycling-5-LED-Rear-Lights-Safety-Tail-Lamp-Battery-/221586949294?var=520447759363

It works very well only for a few hours. Then it became very weak. I have too much luggage that actually it is a bit difficult to make perfect two lines.

 

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Chris and Inca suggested me to go to an indoor climbing together. Chris was from Switzerland, but they met each other during climbing.

 

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I was so excited ever to have a new experience. I loved to try a new thing! It was around 13 Euros, but Chris invited me for it and they rented me their gear. I started from the beginning level. The rock’s color showed the level. I had to use only the same color. The rock for beginning level was quite big. Chris hold the rope that I climbed up.

 

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I asked to the other friend to take picture of me if I could go up to the top. And I succeed to touch the top. I thought that the picture would be like the first page of sports magazine. After coming down, I checked the picture and it looked like I went up to clean the window of the building.

 

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We did high five to congratulate for my first climbing.

 

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I imagined how they became couple during climbing. They had to trust each other with one rope. So I guessed that they established trust during climbing.

 

(I just got another imagination.. if they go to the climbing after fighting… what would happen………..)

 

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This was called bouldering which was performed without the use of ropes or harnesses. There was bouldering mats to prevent injuries from falls.

 

(Yeah..actually if they fought, they could do bouldering….)

 

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I succeed to hold rock, but then I could not move.

 

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Chris showed me which rock I had to hold first and next and how I moved my body.

 

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It was almost like a miracle. When I tried at the first, it was impossible to move. But with his explanation, I could go to the top.

 

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But I could not jump to mat.

 

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I felt too scared that I stayed on the top over 10 minutes. He said that I could come down with rocks as the same way I went up. I declined because I wanted to overcome the height. For 10 minutes, I tried so many times to jump. But my hands never let me go as like the snow never let me go.

 

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And here I go!!!!! Succeed!!! Overcome fear!!

 

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It gave me courage. So, I went up again. At the second time I stayed over 5 minutes and succeed to jump.
I had tried over five times and at the last time I could jump almost after 30 seconds. I loved trying!!

 

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The highest wall was 16 m (52 ft) in the indoor climbing of Helsinki. The wall Inca climbing might 14m or 15 m (45~49 ft)
I also did on the wall which she did. But of course, I chose easy level. Actually I could use any of rock. There was no such a system which made a noise if I touched other color rock. But I didn’t use all of color; I used only one color for challenging.

 

The video of climbing I did.. haha

 

 

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At the other side, there was indoor beach ball place. I heard that it was very expensive maybe because of the heating system. The place was really hot as like I was at the beach.

 

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I bought Kimchi and other Korean stuff at Chinese shop, and I cooked some spicy Korean meal in the night. They ate spicy Kimchi really well. I thought it was the only European I’ve met who ate the spicy food without any problem.

 

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After the dinner, we played the game again. But still I could not understand well. My excuse was maybe because of language barrier. Haha….
We lost the game again against the company of the board game.

 

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So cute rabbit of them

 

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They told me they never brought the rabbit to vet to cut the hair. It was natural hair. What a weird beautiful hair…

 

Cute Rabbits eating carrot

Thank to Inca and Chris I had really good time in Helsinki. I thought that I would love to try climbing as a hobby when I settle down in one place.

ferry_plan

I checked the ferry to Germany, but it was extremely expensive. And I didn’t want to go to Estonia and Latvia, because I’ve been already there.
I was looking at map during staying in Helsinki. Then I just found another way.
Guess my next country!!
Sweden – (Arriving on 28th of Feb)
Poland – (Arriving on 3rd of Feb)
I booked everything in Helsinki. It was quite expensive to me that it costs 110 Euros (143$) from Sweden to Poland.
Usually I like looking at the map, because I can imagine many ways. Looking at map is like life that I can find many different ways. I believe that there is not only one way to live

 

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I did some tour before taking a ferry. I thought there were not many attractions in Helsinki.

 

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This was very useful stuff I found in Finland. It helped to take away all snow from the shoes.

 

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Temppeliaukion Kirkko which is built directly into solid rock.

 

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The way to the port.

 

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Oh, I almost forgot. I wanted to tell one thing about Finland. It was really weird that most of house I’ve stayed had only one kind of butter for the bread. The left on upper at the above picture was that brand, Oivariini. I was so curious ever why most of Finnish only ate this butter. There were many different kind of butters on the grocery shop. But only Oivariini. The taste was just normal. The price was not expensive or cheap. Just so normal butter. But people only had this in a frige?for butter.
So I made a joke to Finnish friend. This is monopoly company.

 

I saw many of people had this kind of machine for coffee maker in Finland.
I just found one funny thing during staying in Finland. Finnish is in the top three of the world’s biggest coffee consumers.
(First-Netherlands, Second-Finland, Third-Sweden).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_coffee_consumption_per_capita
http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lijst_van_landen_naar_koffieconsumptie_per_hoofd_van_de_bevolking

 

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It was very interesting that the ferry for a round trip from Helsinki to Stockholm was only 20 Euros (26$), which was included whole cabin. But I had to pay 14 Euros (18$) more for my bicycle.

 

I booked here.?It was in Finnish, but Inca helped me to book.

http://www.matkapojat.fi/

 

Here is website for booking. If you book at the ferry site, it could be 88~110 Euros for one way.

https://www.sales.vikingline.com

 

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Yeah, I felt like I got a free hotel.

 

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There was a toilet in the cabin!!

 

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It was said that the reason ferry was cheap is that people buy lots of alcohol at tax-free shop. But the thing was that at the cabin or any other place it was prohibited to drink alcohol which they bought. They could only drink at the bar.
Set the fox to keep the geese ..
(In Korea we said ‘Set the cat to keep fish)

After looking around of ferry..

 

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I went up. Yeah, now it looked normal day because it snowed again. I had seen snowing almost every day since January.

 

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Now I was leaving Finland. I didn’t know that I would stay this much long in Finland. I thought it would be impossible to cycle in the middle of winter. But thank to kind Finnish hospitality, I could come to the end of Finland. Thank to many local people who helped me along the way.

Okay. .Let’s move to the South.

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===================================================================
Route
Days in Finland = 72 Days
Distance of cycling in Finland= 1,265.33 km // (790.83 mi)
Cities I stayed in Finland = 27 Cities
Ivalo, Saariselka, Vuotso, 8 km after Peurasuvanto,10 km after sodankyla, Raudanioki, Vikajarvi, Rovaniemi, Elingonranta, Ylipaakkola, Kemi, Olhava, Oulu, Menesjarvi, Tupos, Rantsila, Leskela,
some village, Ronnynkyla, Viitasaari, 7 km before Konginkangas, Jyvaskyla, Muurame, Kuhmoinen, Taulu, Lahti, Jarvenpaa, Helsinki
Expenditure in Finland = 797.15 $
(€1 = $1.3 )

 

[15/01/21~27 (D+1245) to Helsinki] I arrived in Helsinki at the middle of Winter.


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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I found out about your blog not too long ago and have finally read from the very first post to this one. What an amazing journey, thank you so much for sharing it with everyone!

    I’m sad it looks like you won’t make it to Norway, but maybe someday!

    • Hello Brian,
      Thank you for your comment. I did want to go there, but it looked far away. I hope I can go there one day for a vacation :)
      Thanks!

  • another great post. I do enjoy reading what you have done and where you have been. I have been to Poland about 6 times so look forward to see how you get on there. Weather should be better by now.
    Best wishes Brenda

    • Thank you for enjoying my journal :)
      I also really enjoyed that moment! I was very lucky! haha
      See you at the next post :)
      Cheers!

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