11 June 2006

Trip to Åland

Trip to the coast, which I mentioned few days ago, was a great success. We woke up early enough by any standards, 5.20 was the alarm, and took a train to Turku (200km away from Helsinki) and then ferry left around 8 o’clock. People who generally take these trips are a bit older than myself, they like to drink more than myself and most of all, they listen to very strange music and like to dance to it, but that was just fine and definitely it wasn’t a shock. I didn’t take this trip to hang out with them but rather to enjoy the absolutely beautiful coastline and all the small islands between Turku and Marienhamn, the capital of Åland.

Åland is actually a bit closer to Sweden than Finland and everyone there speaks Swedish. It still is part of our country. It is also a tax-free shopping zone so for some reason the EU laws are ignored there. According to the second world war peace treaty the whole island is demilitarised zone, so its inhabitants are outside of our compulsory military service (lucky them) and the big corporations, such as McDonald’s and the likes are not allowed to open their business there. Åland’s biggest own product are crisps.

Every now and again someone raises the question of them getting their independence, which quite frankly would be fine for many people but it never goes beyond the discussion. We didn’t have much time to hang out there as the boat left back rather soon, so unfortunately we didn’t get to experience much of it this time but I’ve been there few times before and it’s like a miniature version of Stockholm. I quite like the laid-backness of the whole athmosphere.

Great trip altogether, although the day was long. We arrived back home in Helsinki around eleven o’clock.

See few more fotos from the day here.

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