The first fully autonomous car ferry sailed in Finnish archipelago

Falco autonomous ferry in finland

Global car manufacturers and many startups are investing heavily in self-driving cars. It is a complex field of high technology that involves software algorithms that must make life-saving decisions with monitoring devices that feed data from the surroundings to the computer that is driving a car. Now, self-driving technology has been taken into use in a ferry in Finland.

Read the story “The first fully autonomous car ferry sailed in Finnish archipelago”

What is so special in Helsinki, Finland, Mr Putin and Mr Trump?

World leaders travel the world without having to queue to the security check or immigration control, but sadly, they have few opportunities to take a sightseeing tour or interact with local people. Maybe Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is an exception.
Kiavopuisto in Helsinki, Finland. Read the story “What is so special in Helsinki, Finland, Mr Putin and Mr Trump?”

A vacation destination for women only: an entire island in the Finnish archipelago

From time to time, most people probably have an urge to get away from it all, and escape to a remote place where no one is disturbing. Well, finding peace has always been possible, for instance, by trekking into a wilderness, but it is not for everyone. How about a small island in a remote corner of the world in Scandinavia where only a handful of guests stay at the same time and they are all women?
SuperShe Island cottage. photo by SuperShe Island. Read the story “A vacation destination for women only: an entire island in the Finnish archipelago”

Where to travel for, how to view and photograph the Northern Lights

The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) is a spectacular phenomenon that occasionally lights up the sky in the far north. Green, blue, red, violet and shades of these colors dance in the sky, forming shapes and pulsating like a work of art. Seeing the lights is a magical moment that you won’t ever forget. No photograph or video can reproduce the impressive play of lights. Here are tips (extracted with permission from the travel guidebook to Lapland) to finding, viewing and filming the Northern Lights.

Northern Lights in Kilpisjarvi, Lapland, Finland. Photo by Carsten Frenzl Read the story “Where to travel for, how to view and photograph the Northern Lights”

The best destinations for summer and winter outdoor action in Lapland, north Europe

The vast wilderness region in north Scandinavia, Lapland, covers the northernmost Sweden, Norway and Finland. It is located north of the Arctic Circle, which means that winters are ideal for snowy activities, and summers rarely get too warm for strenuous outdoor activities. The following five destinations provide the most choices for travelers who are looking for outdoor adventures, not forgetting Lapland’s iconic fell and fjord sceneries.
Tromsö, Norway. Fjellheisen cafe at top of fell. Read the story “The best destinations for summer and winter outdoor action in Lapland, north Europe”

Five unforgettable scenic drives in Lapland, Scandinavia for road travelers

If you are planning to make a long road trip to the northernmost region of Europe, Lapland, here are 5 scenic drives to include into the tour plan. Summer months July and August are the best period to tour the large wilderness above the Arctic Circle. Top 5 scenic routes were suggested by the travel guidebook Lapland.

Karasjok, Norway, Lapland, Scandinavia. Read the story “Five unforgettable scenic drives in Lapland, Scandinavia for road travelers”

The ultimate World Championship event: football played on a swamp in Finland

The New York Times published a wonderful article on a sport that is so strange I instantly wanted to travel to the village where they play it to view a live game. Football that is played on a swamp, or swamp soccer. It is played in Finland where certain regions are covered with large marshlands. They even have the Swamp Soccer World Championship tournament every July.

Swamp football in Finland. Photo by joanita / Read the story “The ultimate World Championship event: football played on a swamp in Finland”

Fells, fjords, reindeer, hiking, fishing: the northern wilderness

A popular method for tourists to absorb the landscapes and sceneries of Lapland is road travel. Roads maybe few, distances long and services infrequent, but very few destinations in the world has the same variety, wildlife and rough beauty as Lapland. Nordkapp (North Cape) is the modern pilgrimage destination located at the end of the world; it is the northernmost point of Europe. In Nordkapp, the road ends into the Arctic Ocean.

Touring Lapland by car, motorbike or bicycle rarely presents a dull moment. Majestic, often lush, inland fell sceneries changes to rough and scarce Arctic landscape in the north as the Arctic Ocean gets closer. Following fell rivers that flow west introduces yet another scenery as the landscape transforms from fells to steep mountains and gorges, and picture-perfect fjords provide shelter for residents from the Atlantic Ocean.

Lapland is all about nature and respect for the environment. People who live in Lapland say they have eight seasons: first snow, Christmas, frosty winter, crusty snow, departure of ice, midnight sun, harvest season and colorful autumn. The traditional life and livelihood has been tightly coupled with seasons that have determined how reindeers have behaved, and how hunting and fishing have been conducted.

Travel guidebook to the North Europe, Lapland:

Finland can be fun

Summers are full of light in Nordic countries – that much we knew already, but the book The Lighter Side of Finland claims that it is not all grey and gloomy in winter, either. The book is an entertaining description of the Scandinavian country that is renowned for its education system, racing car drivers, and Nokia (well, used to be, anyway).

For a tourist, the biggest attraction is the capital Helsinki, followed by Lapland, lake district in the East and the South-West archipelago. This book, however, is not a travel guide (even though it includes a few travel tips as well), but a warm and fun account of the culture, people, traditions, food and sauna etiquette.

It is a well-written book that is a pleasure to read even if your next travel destination wouldn’t be Finland, but if it is, and you are interested what makes the nation tick, this book is worth your time.

More reviews at Amazon.
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The Lighter Side of Finland

A culture shock in Italy and in Finland

Finns are icemen and Italians hotheads – that is what someone moving from Italy to Finland (or vice versa) might think. The differences in culture, behavior and socializing – not to mention weather and food – are so great that it can drive a normal, healthy person to suffer from a culture shock.

Spaghetti and Sauna is a very personal story of a young woman who moved from Italy to Finland in order to study and work in the Nordic country. Her personal story, however, develops into a insightful description of Italian and Finnish cultures. The author believes that these two countries are the remotest countries in Europe culturally. She tells countless funny and humiliating stories how easy it is to misinterpret people who have different background than yourself.

The detailed insight in the book on the people, their customs and the way of thinking and behaving is intriguing, pleasure to read, and learn about these cultures. I would recommend this book to everyone who wants to understand at least two from the many diverse cultures of Europe.

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