Category Archives: Finland

Euro Culture

The non-stop talk of the Eurovision Song Contest and the related topics about ‘European Culture’ have made me dig into my travel files to find something to counter-act the poppy-chatter.  So here’s my quiz question for today: What three things have Turku in Finland and Košice in Slovakia have in common?  Ok, the first one is […]

Whatever the weather…..

The the recent wet weather has caused havoc in many EU countries, and for the first time in my memory (not that this says very much…) my home city of Groningen has had to resort to sandbags to stop the rising waters from flooding parts of the city.  OK, I know that the Netherlands is […]

The Herring has landed…..

The first herring of the season, freshly caught, arrived yesterday afternoon in the Dutch fishing port of Scheveningen. If you’re not from the Netherlands this little fact may not mean much to you, but to many Dutch people it means everything. Herring, or more specifically the eating of herring, is almost an institution in Holland, […]

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow…..

After 21 years of living in Bristol, this is the first year we have a serious cold snap leading up to the festive season and a real possibility of a white Christmas. As I am writing this, I can only glimpse out of my attic window if I squint enough to sneak-peek through the snow […]

Midsummer Madness

Without a doubt, one of the most exciting train journeys we have taken during our backpacking holidays was the sleeper train from Tampere in Finland) to Rovaniemi, high up in the Arctic Circle.  We didn’t expect much really – a sleeper train after all is just the replacement of a bed in a hostel and […]

Where the Whales are….

When we were very little, my sister and I were lucky enough to be able to join my parents on Dad’s many work trips: lovely long journeys on big luxury passenger liners.  My memories are a bit patchy, but include double decker swings, elephants being hoisted onto the deck and Neptune arriving on board when […]

Happy Easter!

Homes in the Netherlands go yellow overnight, Germans hang a wreath on their front doors, hot cross buns are on sale in all UK shops and the Spanish have started their Semana Santa (Holy Week) complete with parades presenting the story of the Passion of Christ, and nazarenos wearing those pointy hoods. It must be […]

Trains and Bridges

Sooner or later, you will get it wrong.  That is a given and not something to be ashamed of.  We did too.  In fact, we made our first mistake on day one of our first ever backpacking trip.  We had planned it all so carefully.  We would start in Denmark, then travel to Sweden, Finland, […]