Thursday, June 30, 2011


Hyvää Pääsiäistä (Happy Easter!)

For the first time I am having Easter in Spring instead of Autumn, the snow is almost all gone except for certain areas around the city such as areas in constant shade, it is like I have begun my exchange all over again, in another place where there is no snow, new things keep popping out of the snow even in areas I thought I knew quite well. It is amazing to see how everything changes without snow.

what is left of the snow in my back yard

Finnish Easter traditions:

·         ‘Rairuoho’ – special grass grown in pots for approx. 2 weeks before Easter. On Easter morning these are then decorated with Easter eggs and fake baby chickens.

·         The Easter rooster – on Easter morning it is the rooster who lays the eggs and these eggs are made of chocolate, they are laid in a hat under your bed, or in our case, this year, on the kitchen table. I must say he has extraordinary taste in hats [a cork hat from Australia ;).

Easter Rooster

Easter hat

·         Painting eggs – with breakfast was boiled eggs, you decorate these eggs with either paint or textas and once you’ve finished you can smash it open and eat it as per usual breakfast... I was too attached to mine to eat them though haha

egg number 1: Finnish flag & 'hyvää pääsiaistä'

my portrait of the easter roooster

We had a large lunch with some of my extended host family, I made some hot cross buns the day before Easter as my contribution to the meal (also ‘Australian’ salad... exactly the same as Finnish salad but the lettuce leaves are left bigger, not shredded as much as Finnish, turns out this somehow affects the taste, who knew?) Along with the hot cross buns (not even heard of in Finland, gasp!) we had  makkara (Finnish sausage) and corn cooked in ‘grillikota’ - a separate little hut from the main house in which is a fireplace (centre) and benches around the walls to grill from – also salmon, other types of bread, salad and a little poro (reindeer) it actually didn’t taste that bad! Then for desert we had cheesecake.

my beautiful hot cross buns

My creativity in decorating the cheesecake with strawberries

Easter in Finland is such an amazing experience, so many different traditions and activities to Easter in Australia, I had an amazing day :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

''Just popping over to Sweden''

On Wednesday 20th of April I left with my host family and host sister's friend (Roosa) for Helsinki to go by cruise ship to Stockholm, Sweden. Yes, I still get excited over the fact that 'I'm going to another country!!' it still feels wierd being so close to neighnouring coutries haha.

As our ship (Silja Serenade) pulled out of Helsinki Port I sat with Hellu, Olli, Sara and Roosa in the lounge area for all the cabins in the same area as us and watched through the window as Finland disappeared behind us. A quite interersting conversation accompanied this moment, there was a Celine Dion song playing and I said it should be bad luck to play her songs on cruise ships especially after what happened to the Titanic, also something about the seagulls flying around the front of the ship actually being Russian robot spies listening to our conversation and when the time comes the seagull's beak will open and out will pop James Bond (pronounced 'Ya - mes Bond' in Finnish :P) like the crocodile in one of his other movies, also as we were at the front of the ship we kept debating as to whether we would make it through each narrower section on the way out of the port, good times good times :P

Our ship "Silja Serenade' in Helsinki Port

View of taken on way back aboard in Stockholm

Kareoke on the boat - ''Can't fight the moonlight' Leanne Rhymes

Spot the statue

In an alleyway

MArket Square - many people sitting outside enjoying the 18 degree heat and drinking coffee

cool old telephone booth

you rang?

inside the cathedral - where the Swedish Royal Wedding took place last Summer (last winter in Australia) - the awkward moment when I didnt know there was a Swedish Royal Wedding until this moment.

guard post near Palace

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Im heading off on Eurotour today, I know I havent posted in ages but I just havent had a spare second, after Eurotour it is summer holidays so I will dedicate a whole day to updating my blog :) be talking to you soon Ana xox