Cursed by Finland
After having visited Iceland, I had much difficulties to apprehend Norway and its beautiful but subtle landscapes. Now I am in Finland, I feel the same : “Norway was waaaay more beautiful than Finland! Whyyy! :'(“. But this time, this is a bit different. We have crossed Finland from north to south, hiked in a couple of national parks and after each visit, each hike, I felt as if I already experienced it before. Indeed, Finland is not especially renown for its wide variety of landscapes but for its infinite forests and innumerable lakes. But I knew that and I love forests and lakes. So why? Could it be the absence of old trees, cut down and replaced? Could it be the absence of hearable and visible wildlife? Probably both. But I think there is something more, something intangible. I think that we are cursed! [horror movie music]
At the beginning, Finland was nice with us : hot and sunny days, beautiful hikes, … But something happened. I don’t know what, but suddenly weather became rainy… and stayed rainy. The best moments I had then were the one spent with a cafe in remote villages’ gas stations, observing Finnish people speaking and playing on these slot machines you can definitely not ignore (really, these machines are everywhere and always with someone playing, this is madness!). This is not the exact vision I had for this trip … :)
As we drive south, weather gets better. But as it gets better, attractions become boring. Sometimes nice moments happen to help us keeping faith but the curse is stronger and always finds a way to get back its due : a 0˚C night under the tent (in mid-august!!), a supposed magical and wonderful place that proves to be c**p, the fence of a ferry closing in front of us implying an one hour and a half wait, more wind, more rain, concrete hotels ruining landscapes, … We then decide to leave Finland the quickest possible. We will enjoy Germany instead.
As in horror movies, the curse gets worse starting from this moment. It is 3AM during a rainy night. As we are sleeping on an earth parking lot in the middle of a huge and silent forest, the sound of a motor can be perceived. Who can that be? What is he doing here? There is nothing to do here at 3AM! The sound persists for a couple of minutes then disappears. Then appears once more before disappearing again. Was it real? Was it an illusion created by the sound of the falling rain and the distant cars? Or was it a demonic incarnation of the curse? That, we will never know …
Two days later, the consecration. We are in Turku, city from which we will take to boat to Sweden tomorrow. We take some time in the camping site to catch up some tasks. Midnight, time to go to bed, tomorrow we have to wake up for 5AM. We barely lay in the tent that suddenly a dark threatening sound comes from the sky. The sound of something I usually love when I am home and that I did not enjoy since my moving to Tromsø. Guessed it? A good ol’ thunderstorm! And this one is definitely not part of the lightest. This is among the longest and most rainy thunderstorm I have ever experienced and clearly the most terrible I have experienced in a tent so far! Almost five hours of non-stop raining, thunders and lightnings. The result is an emergency exit from the soaked tent and a run on the water-saturated ground to the car (do you know how it feels to sleep on a puddle? Now I do!). We will not sleep tonight, we will not sleep because we are … Cursed by Finland!
Alright, stop kidding. Finland has also good sides and I am pretty sure that if I had visited it during fall or winter, I would have a radically different description. Coming here with a couple of friends in a wooden cabin with a sauna, buying beers and sausages is probably the greatest way to enjoy Finland! ;)