Where do Moomins come from?
They’re said to live somewhere in Finland. Not necessarily in Turku, but you can find a lot of them there. For instant, they great you just at the airport. But Moomins are not the only thing Turku has to offer. Check this out!
A cheap trip to Finland
This wasn’t perhaps the most luxurious trip. Neither was it the cheapest one. Finland is quite expansive to visit, and yet we decided to go. I said “we”, as I obviously wasn’t going alone, but with a good friend of mine. Her name is Marlena.
The plan was to cut the costs of the trip by avoiding trains, buses and paying for accommodation. So what? Does it mean we were sleeping on the street? No, of course not.
For that we were using Couchsurfing. This is, where we found a place to sleep, so we wouldn’t freeze to death. Except the part when we were hitchhiking and freezing our asses off. The ticket both ways was 80 zlotys. Roughly 20 euro. So the flight was cheap, and we were hoping, whole trip will be like that.
Trip to Finland
We planned this trip before the end of January 2018. We couldn’t wait for it, as both me and Marlena love traveling. It wasn’t also our first trip together. Last time we’ve been to Italy, so I knew it’ll be great.
Our plan consisted of Turku, Helsinki and Tampere. From Tampere, we had to go back to Turku for our flight back home. So we could stay in Turku only two days.
I had to pull an all-nighter right before the trip. My bus to Gdańsk was around 4am and I still needed to get to the airport and wait for Marlena to join me. Also, I was way too exited to sleep.
Plenty of time before the flight, I was already there. I grabbed a coffee in McDonalds and calmly made my way to the airport. Especially, I don’t like flying. I know, it’s funny. I don’t like flying, but it didn’t prevent me from traveling all around the North America lately.
However, the view from the plane is exceptional! The picture below is Poland on the left and Finland on the right. What a difference!
Kaarina next to Turku
Yes. Kaarina is not a girl. I mean… Maybe it is, but not this one. It’s a town a few kilometers from Turku. Also, it was where our host from Couchsurfing was living. But he was working on the other side of Turku, in Ikea.
Our host, Tommi was so nice and picked us up from the airport on the way home. We could refresh ourselves and eat something. After that, we decided to go on a walk. It was too late to go to the city.
We settled for a walk around Kaarina. I’m not sure how many degrees, but it was freezing cold. There was snow everywhere. Lots of snow. Under the snow, there was ice. Lakes and rivers frozen and one could safely walk on the ice.
Turku – attractions
It was early morning, when we made it to the city. Tommi took us there on the way to work. It wasn’t exactly on the way, but he did it for us.
It was -10 degrees Celsius. Freezing cold. Good thing? We could see the Turku Cathedral from afar. It was closed at the time, so we came back later that afternoon with Marlena’s friend. He visited Turku for a few hours to meet up with us. Still, we couldn’t really look around inside the cathedral, because something important was happening there and cameras were all around.
Also we went to Archangel Michael church, which wasn’t far from the cathedral. It was enough to follow the river, which is going thhrough the city. However it wasn’t frozen well enough to walk on it. Not that day, but apparently a few days earlier people could walk or even go by bike there. No the ice was melting.
Petteri and Janpa
Next to the church, there was a pub. It was early morning and it was cold. I know, right? Too early for a shot of vodka. Still, we went there. Tempted by a 1 euro coffee deal. Inside it felt like the kind of pub you’d find by the road in the middle of nowhere in the USA. After actual being in the USA(check here), I still think that.
We sat quietly in the corner, sipping coffee. But not for long. And elderly man, who clearly didn’t speak English, joined us. He was saying something, but we couldn’t make much of it. Despite his gesticulation. All we understood, was that his son committed suicide not before long. And that the man was drunk.
Until, a tall man looking like a viking came to our rescue. Nicely explained the man to leave us alone and went back to his friend. Well. At least for a few minutes. First one was Petteri and his friend was Janpa.
The Turku castle
So later on Petteri called a taxi, paid for the said taxi, took us to the castle and bought us tickets. As he’s already been there, he was patiently following us around it. He just stood there watching and waiting for us. And sometimes posing for pictures.
It felt like a family trip. As if we went on a trip with our dad. Except Petteri was not our dad, and we were not sisters. Also, my dad doesn’t take me to castles.
Then we went for beer. And another one. But as we were slowly getting to know Petteri, we felt safer. He seemed very nice and fatherly. He told us about his crush on a lady that was older than he was. We had fun.
Turku – the homeland of Moomins
Turku (earlier Abo) is very safe. Finland is very safe. Nordic countries are very safe. Of course, if yo find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time, you can always get in trouble. But still, it’s mostly safe.
Even strangers who looked like vikings, turned out to be nice and collected people. They were just happy that someone from a foreign country was willing to visit their country and their city. So they wanted to talk with us, learn something and help us out, so we’d have a great experience there. And I can honestly say they succeeded. We had a great time and the two amazing man that became our friends.
Turku was great. The castle was beautiful and has an interesting history, which includes queen from Poland. There’s plenty of places to see and things to do. If you ever get the chance, go for it. But it was time to leave.
So far so easy, but things were about to get difficult. We needed to get to Tampere and we were going to hitchhike. For that, we needed to get out of the city. So we got back there from Kaarina and walked for a long time.
On the way we found a sculpture Marlena was looking for. A huge, pink duck with a piggy nose. What the hell was that, I have no idea. But it might as well be one of the ugliest sculptures in the world.
The moral of this story is simple: don’t judge by the looks.
“There’s no travel without trouble” as one of my sayings goes.