Top 5 for the summer - my bucket list

We've had the weird honor of having the hottest temperatures in Europe with our 20-28 C degrees in May. Since the summer started early (and we're all afraid it might end at any minute!), my bucket list is ready, too.  

Lake in Finland

1. One with the nature

Whether it's me alone at the cottage, listening to nothing but birds chirping for a week, or me and a few thousand others in a park in the city, I'll be in the nature as much as I can. 

I've already spend a few days at different summer houses. No running water, an outdoors toilet, washing dishes with water you tried to heat in the sauna...No modern comforts. Just you, one with the nature. (Obviously, staying at a cottage where you have to heat the sauna, chop wood etc., brings along some chores. But mostly it's just hanging out naked at the pier. Or drinking beer in a rowing boat.) 

Cottage life in Finland

And parks: I'm dreaming of picnics, practicing my cartwheels and handstands, playing my guitar (sorry birds and beings), reading books in different languages (I really want to learn some Italian this summer!), trying some yoga and hanging out with friends. 

2. Festivals! Festivals! Festivals!

Last year I worked at various festivals (Summer up, Weekend, Ruisrock, Flow Festival, Sideways and loads smaller events) – there's at least three for each summer weekend, so there's a lot to choose from. At the end of the summer I was already a bit fed up with the sand, porta potties and drunken masses of people... but since I've forgotten the negative sides during the long winter, here we go again! 

This year I'll be attending at least Ruisrock and Flow Festival. The first one is one of the most traditional rock/pop festival in Finland, situated in a beautiful island, a natural reserve in Turku. Lots of people believe that even if it otherwise rains throughout the entire summer, it will be sunny and hot during the weekend of Ruisrock. I've been there many times and this legend has always turned into reality. 

Btw. Ruisrock always sells out. People have the most innovative ways of trying to get in without a ticket, tho. Last year there was a guy in scuba diving gear and with a hat shaped like a duck trying to swim to the island unnoticed. He was swimming underwater for a pretty long time and almost came ashore, with only the "duck" being visible on water. He was caught, but let go. He immediately tried again and succeeded in swimming to the shore and blending in with the festival crowd. Now, I'm not praising stealing or illegal activity in general, but that guy sure had some originality!

Flow is for the cool kids. Or well, it used to be, now it's for everybody since it's gotten really big. Still a lot of coolness, good food and beautiful decorations. If you like Flow, you're probably going to love Sideways too, which is a bit similar but smaller and calmer. 

3. Midsummer magic tricks

I'll be spending Midsummer (22nd till 24th June) at the cottage, like most Finns do. There are some traditional magical rituals one can do to find out who you're going to marry and when you're going to meet that person. For example, if you put 7 different flowers under your pillow for the night, you will see your future spouse in a dream. You could also look down to a well, a small pond or spring at night, and see your future spouse reflecting on the water. 

There are lots more folk traditions concerning Midsummer like this. I'm also hoping to see a bonfire. The last time I've done some of the rituals I was a little kid, so it's about time I see my future lover again. Let's see if it's the same one I saw as a kid. 

Or if it is the person sleeping next to me. Hopefully!

4. Helsinki's best summer spots

I'm looking forward to swimming at Allas Sea Pool, having a drink and meal in Hernesaaren Ranta, visiting the Korkeasaari zoo (situated on an island) and having picnics in Suomenlinna and Sinebrychoff park. Hietaniemi beach is my favorite for sunbathing and swimming. One definite goal for this year is to finally rent a SUP board!

I'm also going to be a frequent visitor on many outdoors flea markets, like the one in Aleksis Kiven katu on Sundays and Hietalahti flea market. And of course you have to go try the old wooden rollercoaster in Linnanmäki amusement park once every summer. Just to see if you're still too old, and get nauseous from the spinning, if nothing else. 

5. The never have I ever's

I've never visited the Nuuksio national park in Espoo. Someone suggested spending a night in a tent there this summer. I answered (hesitantly) yes. 

I still haven't learned how to go around with a longboard. Maybe this summer could be the right time... 

I've never visited Ahvenanmaa (Åland), the autonomous islands between Sweden and Finland. I'm really hoping we could go this year, but we'll see. 

I've never been on a sailing boat... anyone own one? 

There are many other dreams for the summer, too, but we'll start with these ones. I'll also be working, riding one of those cute food bikes around the city. Which one, that you'll have to guess. 

Summer, I'm ready. 

 

Töölönlahti bay