Sunday, August 23, 2009

Some insights from the vacation in Finland

This is a picture of the cottage in Finland, where we spent the last week. The cottage is totally isolated, in a small Forrest, near a lake. In the previous week we spent in another cottage, also in Finland. This morning, I have returned home (and tomorrow return to work), and here are some fresh insights from Finland:

  • There are almost 200,000 lakes in Finland; comparing to Israel, in which we have two (2) lakes, that we call each of them "sea", the dead sea is one of them.
  • The local drivers are surprisingly obeying speed limitations much more than any other country I have seen so far.
  • Sauna is an important part of the picture, we visited a place that has been prison until 16 years ago, and found out that even prisoners had right to use the sauna once a week; I tried using the sauna once, but I never liked sweating.
  • The Finnish language is not similar to other Nordic languages, it sounds to me like Hungarian spoken in Italian accent, but this may be my own imagination.
  • The summer in Finland ends roughly in August 10, we discovered that some of the attractions are already closed, since the summer (i.e. the summer vacation for schools) has gone. We succeed to visit the stone age village in Saarijarvi, thanks to the lady from the Saarijarvi tourist information that coordinated to open this site especially for us.
  • I have used GPS in order to navigate, it brought us to the most deserted places, however, we found out that one needs to use GPS in Finland (and elsewhere) with a grain of salt, and when it directs you to a route that does not seem to you the intuitive way, prefer your own intuition.
  • The most common "fast food" in Finland is Pizza.
  • Overall -- great place for peace and quiet and nature walks, good for disconnect from civilization.
And one comment on the flights back -- we came back from Finland to Israel in a combination of a Finnair and ELAL (the Finnish and Israeli airlines). Both Finland and Israel see themselves as high tech super-powers, however, the software in their airline is not impressing. The seat assignment software of Finnair, has problem to understand that people who travel together want to sit next to each other, and around me several people switched places to achieve sitting together. It seem that ELAL has not heard about modern development in distributed computing, fault tolerance and some other trends. We checked in relatively early and it was OK, however, at some point, the centralized server in Israel crashed, and they could not bring it up, and it seems that the remote station was completely helpless, they ended up making manual seat assignment, and the flight was delayed for almost an hour. Back to professional Blogging - later this week.


Marco Seiriö said...

Nice to hear that you have been in Saarijärvi, that's where I spent most of my summers when I was a little child. And yes, many of those summers were spent in a small cottage at a lake with a sauna just next to the lake. And I just love the sauna :)

Siberia said...

Finnish friend also told me that Finnish language is similar to Hungarian so you can be right with your language observation.