I’m back home in Finland! I quite surprised myself by realising I feel this way about Jyväskylä. So I guess PB is right, home is where my wireless is.
But before I got to be here, I went away some more. First, I spent a week with almost my whole family (mum, brother and girlfriend, sister and even my 89 year old granddad!) in a mökki close to here.
Even though a finnish friend said it wasn’t really a real mökki on account of there being too much comfort. (Seriously, there even was a massage chair!). Here’s what we did that week (besides taking turns in the massage chair):
But what we mostly did was this:
It was also the first time I experienced white nights, which is strangely surreal and eerily beautiful:
The occasion was my mum’s round birthday. She had invited us to the mökki, so we wanted to give her a very special birthday present. Which was a short trip to St. Petersburg! What a beautiful city! Even PB, who grew up in Rome and is not usually impressed by cities (“they don’t even have a colosseum!”), was astonished. If you ever have the chance, go visit, it’s so worth it! I mean, look:
It gets better, look:
But it’s not only the churches that are impressive, there is of course:
This city just feels huge. Besides the generous and lavish buildings the broad rivers give it an openness that is lacking in most big cities I’ve visited so far (N.Y. I’m looking at you…). I’m a bit of an architecture fan (hereditary: my mum’s an architect, my dad’s an engineer), so I felt like a kid in a candy store. Especially since the city center seems to consist mostly of buildings from my favourite epochs: baroque, classicism and art nouveau.
However, these are all places and buildings you would expect to be grand (religion and commerce tend to be). What kind of suprised me (not really, I got tipped off by a friend beforehand), was this:
While comunist architecture is usually too massive for my taste, I was nontheless impressed by this. Compare this to the Roman, Parisian or New Yorkean(?) subway (dirty holes, all of them). The only one that comes slightly close is the one in Stockholm. We spent almost an entire afternoon hopping from station to station, which cost us the whopping amount of 0.60 €.
We saw much more, and didn’t nearly see all! I will definitely go back (especially since it’s so close and cheap(ish) to go from Helsinki). And I can only repeat: It’s definitely worth a visit, so go! You can visit visum free for 72 hours, if going by ferry (we took St. Peterline, can recommend), so it’s easy as well as close and cheap(ish).
To end this post, a silly picture: