Back Home – Looking Back At Summer 2013

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.

Our Super Luxurious Summer Cottage

Our Super Luxurious Summer Cottage

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):

Hanging Out Talking

Hanging Out Talking

Swimming - After sauna and also just like that

Swimming – After sauna and also just like that

Böötle - (Swiss German for boating)

Böötle – (Swiss German for boating)

But what we mostly did was this:

Nothing!

Nothing! – (and a little reading)

It was also the first time I experienced white nights, which is strangely surreal and eerily beautiful:

Midnight - At our rented mökki

Midnight at a Finnish Lake

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:

Beautiful Church - I don't even know if it's a famous one

Beautiful Church – I don’t even know if it’s a famous one

It gets better, look:

Church of the Savior on Blood - Probably the most  Famous church in St. Petersburg

Church of the Savior on Blood – Probably the most Famous church in St. Petersburg

But it’s not only the churches that are impressive, there is of course:

The Hermitage - View from the Neva

The Hermitage – View from the Neva

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.

Smolny Cathedral - Baroque (only the outsides)

Smolny Cathedral – Baroque (only the outsides, inside it’s classisistic)

Kazan Cathedral - Classisism (or empire)

Kazan Cathedral – Classisism (or Empire Style)

Inside a Candy Store on Nevsky Prospekt - Art Nouveau

Inside a Candy Store on Nevsky Prospekt – 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:

The Metro - The red line, specifically

The Metro – The red line, specifically

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 €.

Me, "little" sister and mum

Here’s us at Pushkinskaya Station – me, “little” sister and mum

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:

Forever Alone...

Forever Alone…

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10 thoughts on “Back Home – Looking Back At Summer 2013

  1. Oh! I LOVE St Petersburg! It did give me a rather nasty stomach bug, but I’d still love to go back one day! Did you go to the Hermitage? So wonderful! It looks like you had a fantastic summer – Finland looks so beautiful!

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    • Right, isn’t it just impressive! Sorry to hear about the stomach bug, though. Being sick on vacation sucks doubly.
      We didn’t prepare well enough to go to the Hermitage (just going there to “have a look” is probably just overwhelming), so we will go next time (at least if I go with mum).
      The summer was indeed great. I didn’t spend as much time here as I wanted to, as right after St. Petersburg we went to my boyfriend’s family in Sicily for 3 weeks (my life is awesome right now!).

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      • I wasn’t actually really ill until we got home, so it was okay! I went to the Hermitage every day we were there (I know, I’m a MASSIVE geek!), and I still got lost (I think they open different rooms on different days?)! I think you just have to embrace the confusion and let all the awesomeness wash over you…

        Wow! Sicily! I am really jealous! We had a “many destinations” holiday, but I think you’re being much more sensible spreading them out! I miss Europe! Hope you have a great time! 🙂

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  2. Your summer was beautiful. I have never really experienced white nights and the Church of the Savior on Blood is something to remember. I have never seen such a beautiful metro and to think it only cost €0.60…wow that was sure something! Have a great week!

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  3. What a beautiful post! And a beautiful summer, apparently 🙂 I love the pics of St Petersburg, somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. The subway is amazing. The only one I’ve seen that comes remotely close is the Kyiv metro. At least some of the stations!

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  4. Love the pics! The trip to rural Finland looks amazing. I miss that quite much and haven’t been to the real countryside since I left in May. Now I get what you meant about St Petersburg! Truly looks amazing and makes me wish I knew more about architecture! Was great meeting you today. Can’t wait for our next knit/meet which will hopefully end less abruptly. 😛

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