I am back in Finland. I have been in Italy for three weeks. In my hometown, Cremona.
It has been the longest I have been there for many years. A question that I was asked few times has been: how is it to live in Finland?
We came back to Europe, and chose Finland, five years ago. That was June 2017. We chose Tampere over Helsinki because we lived here about 10 years earlier. It si well connected and not too far from Helsinki. It is a growing and dynamic city which is more affordable than Helsinki for the time being.
During the three weeks in Cremona I was asked about Finland. Is there darkness at this time of the year? What do you see when you travel the country? How long and cold is the winter? Is the winter time really hard? How are the people?
Hose is it to live there?
I answered these questions with brief statements about the length of the day light in June. The brief day light in November and December. The -30C I experienced this year on Christmas Day. The ice that covers the lake until March and April.
Brief answers while chatting over an aperitivo.
On the place from Milano to Helsinki I was looking down at the Alps and thought about those answers. I remembered the question Simone asked me: but how is it to live there? A question I did not answered when he asked it to me because it is not easy to answer and because it requires some more thinking than an aperitivo in a packed bar allows.
I took the photo I have posted in this blog a couple of months ago. It was a Sunday. A warm spring afternoon. I was with our dog, Dante. We took the bus towards Lempäälä. We stopped after 15 minutes near Peltolammi and took the path into the forest.
We walked for about one hour. The sun was shining. A calm breeze was moving the trees. We met only four or five other people walking in the same area.
The green. The breeze. The trees. The path which had been walked by many other people over the years. All of it so close to the city.
I was alone in this forest with Dante. I was not far from houses, but could not see any of them. The spring had brought back the leaves on to the trees and started that explosion of life and nature that takes place every year after the long winter.
So, here is one aspect of living in Finland. Being close to nature and being able to walk in a forest nearby a city after a few minutes bus rides.
This is just one angle to living here and there is is more to explore and reflect upon after the five years living here, but the weekend walks in nearby Tampere are special.