söndag, januari 22, 2006

Final post (?)

I haven't posted anything for quite a long time. There isn't much new to say anymore since I'm not in Umeå anymore. Still I haven't closed this blog officially. I'm back home now for almost half a year, so the time has come for a summary.
During the last months, when I met old friends again, they usually asked me: "And? How was it?" and I usually answered: "eh, it was great." Some of them thought then that I didn't sound too enthusiastic. The question looks short and simple, but it is harder to find a short and adequate answer. Of course it was a great time, I made a lot of new experiences, I discovered a new landscape, a new climate and a new culture, I learnt much, I met a lot of new people, I partied hard and I surely also had some bad moments, but mainly I had a lot of fun. This is the shortest summary I could give and still it is too rough to cover it.

Another question often was: "do you miss it?" but that I'll answer in the next time. So then this wasn't the last post. Stay tuned!

lördag, oktober 01, 2005

"International Pub" in Würzburg

For once some up to date news; in two weeks, on october 15th is an international pub for former Umeå exchange students in Würzburg. Unfortunately I'll miss it, because I'll be in Finland during the next two weeks. And I probably also won't have time to go the reunion in Prague in november. It would have been nice to see these people again, but ok, maybe another time. Have fun anyway!

The future of this blog is still not decided. I have some ideas how to continue, but let's see. There is still some stuff from summer left to update.

Hope to hear of you again

onsdag, september 28, 2005

Down the Finnish west coast

I know it goes a bit slow with the recapituation of my journey home and it would be time to close this blog soon and start something new. But ok, I'll finish first the old stuff for once.

Here is part 3 of my travel back home: After visiting Yki in Kuusamo and hiking karhunkierros, I drove farther north to Rovaniemi. There on the polar circle lies Santa Clause village, the place where christmas is 365 days a year. One of the corniest places I have ever seen. My journey contiued to the Finnish-Swedish border and then in along the Torneälven northwards. Then I went back to Sweden for two days i.a. to Luleå, which I haven't visited before, eventhough it wasn't too far from Umeå. Next stop then back in Finland was Oulu, where I visited Riikka. Oulu is surely the economic and cultural centre in the north of Finland and reminded me therefore somehow to Umeå in Sweden. But Oulu is bigger and there is surely more going on during summer. Ok, sightseeing was done quite fast, but the night life is good and we went to some interesting bars. Later on Niina joined us, who came to visit Riikka for a music festival on the next day.

On friday I continued my travel to Kokkola, where I met Antti again, who came by train from Helsinki. We went then to the summer cottage of Linda's family, where we met Linda, her brother and her brother's daughter. My last weekend in Finland I could relax again. I went fishing with Antti (but we didn't catch anything), we went to a folk music festival or just enjoyed the nature. On monday then me and Antti drove to Turku, where I planned to take the ferry to Stockholm on tuesday morning. So we stayed overnight at a friend of Antti, who was a bit chaotic but a really nice guy.
With the Viking line ferry I left Finland for this time, but probably not for good. And before I would come home to Switzerland, I still had some days in Stockholm.

onsdag, augusti 31, 2005

Lappland and Karhunkierros

Part 2 of my recapitulation; as already mentioned, from Helsinki I went to Kuusamo, where I met Yki again. I arrived there on thursday evening and a bit later we were already fishing. We didn't catch anything useful, but fortunately Yki had some traps as well where he caught some fish, which we had smoked for dinner. On friday evening we left Kuusamo to go hiking on the famous Karhunkierros, the bear's trail. We did only a part of the whole trail and Yki told me first that the distance would be approximately 35 km, but in the end we realised that is was much longer. We walked 51 km in 2 1/2 days, or to be precisely within 48 hours.
The trail is built for trips of several days' duration and therefore are cottages on the way where you could stay overnight. But since it was quite crowded on the trail these days (i.a. a travel group from Slovakia with 45 people), we decided to sleep in our tent.
It was impressive to walk through the forests of Lappland and we were lucky with the weather, sun was shining allmost all the time. At the first evening there has been a lot of mosquitos and you have to know how to protect yourself although you cannot totally avoid them. But you get also used to them somehow.
On monday I left Yki and Kuusamo again and drove farther north, to Rovaniemi. Yki, I want to thank you and your family again for the warm hospitality, have a nice time in St. Petersburg and I hope to see you again.

torsdag, augusti 25, 2005

What happend actually in july

Daily life got me again. I work at the moment to earn some money, joined again the legendary 3rd team of the FC Bülach and will give my comeback there on next sunday (10.15, Erachfeld, Bülach). Let's hope I still have the confidence of the coach.
By the way, the small FC Thun plays in the champions league, while the mighty FC Basel didn't qualify.

I promised to recapitulate my Scandinavia travel when I'm home again. I came home for three weeks ago, so it's time to start with the story of my journey in july.
At the beginning of july i flew home to Switzerland for some days for the bachelor party of my brother. He was really surprised to see me. The evening was funny, eventhough it didn't end so nice. Then I went back to Helsinki, where I left my car at Antti's place. I stayed one day with Linda and Antti, did some Helsinki-sightseeing and went with Linda to Soumenlinna, the fortress on islands in front of the harbour and had some nice summer evenings in the Finnish capital. On thursday I left Helsinki and drove up to Kuusamo. But more about that follows later.

torsdag, augusti 04, 2005

Back Home

Ok, I'm home again now.
If you were waiting for new information about my travel, I can only say that I didn't have time during the last month of travelling to update my blog, or at least I didn't have internet access when I would have had time to write something. But I made a lot of notes and will update it during the next days. So stay tuned!

onsdag, juni 29, 2005

Midsummer in Finland

Midsummer is celebrated the weekend around the 21th of july (the longest day of the year) and it is probably the most important holiday in Scandinavian countries. Three days, from friday to sunday the time stands still. The shop in Ålidhem for example, which is open every day (even on christmas and easter) closes on midsummer. I already heard a lot about midsummer in Sweden in advance, so I planned to stay at least till this date in Umeå, but now it came even better and I went to Finland for midsummer.

I had the chance to spend these days with Leena in her mother´s summer cottage near Pori together with her sister Laura, their cousin Lauri and Laura´s boyfriend Heikki. First of all, midsummer is a lot about relaxing; eating, drinking beer, going to sauna and forgetting time. Ok, that wasn´t the only thing we did. On friday afternoon was a little celebration for Laura, who got her master degree with some of here relatives. In the night then we watched the traditional bonfires at the shores.
On saturday was a traditional charity football game, which was originated by Leena´s dad and his two brothers about 20 years ago; Niittyluoto (their family and relatives, the Furuholms) plays against Sandö (a local team). The event is quite a big thing with a lot of spectators and the money raised goes to local youth organisations. I had the great honour to play for Niittyluoto. I think we were the better team and should have won the game, but as always, if you don´t score your opponent will. At the end we lost 3-1. But it was fun anyway and I don´t think I ever played in front of a bigger crowd (ca. 800 spectators). By the way, it was the first time I played football this year, but obviously it wasn´t too bad. At least I got invited to play next year again.
On sunday we had a boat trip with Leena´s dad in the arichipelago of Pori, a really nice area with a lot of little green islands and inbetween the blue sea. But also not too warm because of the wind.

Midsummer is nice holiday and very relaxing. I think I have to celebrate this again.

Have a nice summer!

Goodbye Umeå

It´s time to say goodbye to my chosen home city for the last 10 months. Actually, I already left Umeå last thursday, but I didn´t have time to write something before leaving. It was strange somehow to go to the city centre a last time. I remembered the first day I came to Umeå, it was raining, I didn´t know anybody or anything and I had to search stuff for my broken tent. Now the sun was shining, I felt like home and many places were connected with memories.
Cleaning my room and packing my things wasn´t that easy as well; a lot of stuff was collected during this year and I got a lot of things, which are still useful but which I don´t need anymore. Somehow I managed to get rid of all the stuff I didn´t want to take home and to pack the things I still need in my car. At 5 p.m. I left Pedagoggränd 9A and Ålidhem, brought back the keys to the international housing office and drove to Holmsund, where I took the ferry to Vaasa.
A blue sky with some single white clouds promised nice weather for midsummer, while the ferry headed for Finland and Umeå diminished at the horizon. Soon the sorrow of leaving was displaced by anticipation of the midsummer festivities in Finland.

Is this the end now of my blog? No, certainly not yet. I´m still on my "farewell tour" and the way back home is also part of the journey. So I try to write regular updates if possible about my travel. Back home I´ll probably write a summary about this year in Umeå. But I have to think first about this all anyway before I´ll be able to draw a conclusion.

See you