Finland, Lifestyle, Travelling

Summer vacation in Oulu

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August is a perfect time to escape Spain. Days are unbearable at times, very hot and humid, so we decided it was the perfect time to go to Finland!

I hadn’t spent time in Finland during summer in a long time and I can tell that I really missed it. Finland is at its best during summertime and the beauty of the nature is astonishing. The air is fresh and in August you don’t have too many mosquitoes so you can spend a lot of time outside. We were lucky with the weather and we were able to do many things in the nature and bike around my hometown Oulu.

We had a very relaxing holiday, we were mainly sleeping, cycling and of course eating. I wanted to show my boyfriend the best spots in Oulu but also I wanted to spend time with my family as much as I could because we don’t see each other too often. I highly recommend you to travel to Oulu if you enjoy nature and you like to explore places by bike, it’s a very relaxed city. Oulu is wonderful to cycle around: there’s no place you can’t go by bike and if you can’t you don’t need to go there, there’s probably nothing.

I hadn’t even realised how well structured Oulu is until my boyfriend mentioned it. The city center is very compact and it’s easy to walk through. All the shops are nicely located and and whatever you try to look for, you can find it easily. It was really funny to explore Oulu with a person who comes from a city with 20 million people, Oulu is fairly small in comparison, it only has 200 000 inhabitants. He definitely had a different perspective towards things. Also introducing your hometown to someone is a great experience because you see your city from a different perspective. I highly recommend you to introduce your city to someone! πŸ˜€

During the summertime you can see that Oulu is much more alive than during winter. What my boyfriend noticed was that sometimes it feels like you are in a ghost town because there are not that many people outside. That was funny because during winter the experience is even more hardcore: there really is no one outside when it’s dark and cold. For the first visit I recommend summertime unless you are a person that enjoys cold and dark weather and likes to be alone. πŸ˜€

I Β put together a list with a few “must do” things in Oulu, so here we go!

  1. Ride a bicycle, definitely the best way to explore the city and its surroundings. Just by cycling close to “Oulujoki” river you’ll have the best view.

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It’s a floating sauna + waffle bar that you can rent. I wouldn’t mind chilling there with my friends enjoying cold drinks and jumping into the river after sauna!

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2. Visit the “Ainolan puisto” park in the city center.

It’s just wonderful, I have nothing to add.

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When I was little I used to jump on these rocks and of course I had always wet feet after that.

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3. Visit the “Nallikarin majakka” lighthouse and the “Nallikari” seashore.

The beach is very beautiful and if you go there in the evening you can see a beautiful sunset! There is also a restaurant and a big spa (not in the lighthouse but close to it).

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4. Enjoy nature and roast sausages (the best ones are called “Kabanossi”) over a fire. We went to this place called “Koiteli” which is about 45 min away from Oulu. But there are a lot of places closer to Oulu too. Don’t forget to buy this mustard called “Turun sinappi” which is the best mustard ever made.

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5. Head over to “Snooker Time” bar.

Alcohol is very expensive in Finland so in Snooker Time you can get some cheap beer. 0,5 liters is 5 euros, wich is very cheap if you compare to other bars. I remember one time paying 10 euros for a beer in Helsinki city center! Also the toilets are entertaining in Snooker Time because you can find some nice “toilet art” there (love letters and cursing words + many other things, some of them are actually funny). The bar is in two floors and downstairs you can also play pool. Sorry, I forgot to take pictures. πŸ˜€

Address: Asemakatu 28, 90100 Oulu

6. Eat a tasty burger at Kauppuri 5 burgerbar.

I really love this comfy place and their burgers, the kitchen closes at 2:00 AM but I recommend going during daytime because the quality of the burgers is better, in my opinion. πŸ˜€ My favourite one is the goat cheese burger. Also the fries and the different flavoured mayos are very good.

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Address: Kauppurienkatu 5, 90100 Oulu

7. Take a picture with “Toripoliisi” the Market police.

When you go to the city center you can meet there a chubby police officer who takes care of the citizens. He is a very chill guy, when I was younger I saw some young people standing on top of him and drinking and he didn’t mind but then the real police came… So, don’t go too wild with the pictures!

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Thats it!

So now you have something to do every day at least for a week if you one day you end up in Oulu. There are a lot of other things to do and explore but those were just my favourite ones. I’m not a holiday expert but I’ve experienced some and I can tell that the best way to keep your holiday nice and relaxed is to only have one activity per day. If you try to do too many things you’ll miss the nice relaxed feeling that Oulu has to offer. People from Oulu are known as laid back nice people that speak a funny Finnish dialect.

So, go to Oulu, it’s a very nice place!

– Eeva –

 

 

 

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Badalona, Barcelona, Montgat, Thoughts, Travelling

MONTGAT – and some thoughts about travelling

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During our Easter holiday we decided to go on a little trip to Montgat.Β Montgat is a little town about 16km away from Barcelona. The road there is simple: you just have to follow the coastline. Barcelona is a great city for bikers and they are building new bike lines all the time. The weather in Barcelona is sunny most of the year so it’s optimal for biking. If you ever travel to Barcelona I recommend you to explore it by bike.

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I’ve lived in Barcelona now for almost two years and I’m a bit ashamed that I don’t know much about towns that are close to Barcelona. My resolution for the year 2018 was that I have to explore Barcelona’s outskirts more. There are so many places to see and little villages to visit. For a long time I’d been so focused on travelling far that I’d forgotten to focus on my surroundings. When I lived in Finland I was always planning the next trip and constantly dreaming about new places to go. I was waiting for the next holiday to be able to travel and go somewhere else. Moving to Barcelona changed my travelling habits and for the first time I realised that I didn’t even want to go anywhere.

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It’s important to love the city you live in. Previously I thought that it was normal to have this feeling where you constantly wanted to be somewhere else. I’m not saying that I don’t want to travel anymore because that’s a lie but let’s say I’m a lot more relaxed about it. That has a lot to do with the fact that I love the city I live in now, it’s very relieving to realise that you don’t need to escape anymore. πŸ˜€ This time instead of planning the next trip we packed our backpacks went biking..

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.. and it really did work out!

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I enjoyed our day trip so much. The weather was beautiful and the hill we stopped at was totally worth visiting. The road to Montgat was very nice and interesting because you see the modern side of Barcelona and also go trough the beautiful boulevard in Badalona. I had this feeling like I was far away from Barcelona and even though you might love the place you are in, it’s normal to want to disconnect for a moment. In the evening I was happy to bike back home without passing any airport security checks or sweating in a metro.

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Boulevard in Badalona

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So whenever you feel like you want to be somewhere else or your next holiday feels like a distant dream, do a day trip. Pack some food and go somewhere near where you still haven’t been. After that if you still feel like you need to leave, maybe you can think about buying plane tickets, but at least give it a try. πŸ˜€

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I would definitely bike to Montgat again and I’m sure at least we will sit in the boulevard in Badalona. The reason why I even wanted to go there was that I’d heard that there were a lot of cats everywhere but this time we didn’t see any! I have to say that I was looking forward to seeing the cats but even without cats the day trip was successful. πŸ˜€

– Eeva –

 

 

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