Finnish summer is short and precious. It is implied you have to enjoy every minute of it, and this is my personal list of what to do, Finnish summer edition.
- Travel. Lapland in winter is beautiful but don’t overlook the possibility to explore Finland during the summer months, when there is no real night and the weather is much more forgiving. Eating waffles outside, having picnics, visiting parks, everything is much easier in summer, when enjoying every sunny day is a duty.
- Meet all the animals who have been sleeping through winter. Summer means spotting giant rabbits, hares, squirrels, hedgehogs, and if you are lucky and go deep in the forest you may meet a bear and all the other beautiful wild animals Go to the lake, swim and enjoy the sunlight. There are those glorious summer days, when the sun at 8 in the evening is so strong it burns, when the beach is literally covered in ducks and children, when the sauna is so full you have to take turns before jumping from the trampoline after a good sweat, when people drink, laugh and the city seems suddendly infinitely bigger and more lively than you thought possible
- Go pick mushrooms and berries in the forest. I was really lucky the other day and gathered so many delicious porcini. Bonus: we met a guy running barefoot in the forest, a rare sight even in a country where it’s not uncommon to meet barefoot people at the supermarket (never at Stockmann though).
- Spend as much time outside as you can. This is a no brainer really, after the long winter your body really craves sun and outdoor activities. The only problem is that everybody shares the same need, and this is why some places can be crowded.
- Summer sales can be great. I love Stockmann and Sokos sales because they have expensive products and with the sales you can score some pretty great deals, especially on luxury makeup and designer clothes during the final days.
- Bike around. I finally bought one today and cannot wait to explore the town by bike and skip the insanely expensive buses.
In conclusion, Finnish summer is a beautiful season with some small downsides: mosquitoes, sudden showers, and those unlucky years when you don’t get a real summer but a very rainy, grey four months long spring. Another reason to enjoy the good ones as much as you can. And if you get bored by the sun, no worries, he is going away sooner than you think.
The summer grew prettier and prettier, a long series of calm blue summer days. Every night, Fluff slept against Sophia’s cheek.
“It’s funny about me,” Sophia said. “I think nice weather gets to be boring.”
“Do you?” her grandmother said. “Then you’re just like your grandfather, he liked storms too.” But before she could say anything else about Grandfather, Sophia was gone.
Tove Jannson, extract from The Cat.