Vincent Gerritse

Introduction

Vincent Gerritse is a Dutch Nova College intern working for the City’s Communications and Tourism services for the Spring 2015. You can read his impressions in the Dutch Diaries of Lappeenranta.

Outdoor Family Time

Kirjoittanut Vincent Gerritse  Luotu 28.05.2015

After spending several months in the city of Lappeenranta, my family decided to visit me to see how I was doing in “the cold northern part” of Europe. It was nice too see them and to show them the city. But when people are not familiar with the country and its surroundings, it is nice to take them to the great outdoors of the beautiful country that Finland is. And that is what I did!

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My parents and my sisters were eager to go for a hike through the Finnish nature, so we started planning a trip. We selected a nice hiking trail that went straight through the woods along the lakeside. The dense forest and the amount of green were impressive. Here in Finland, everywhere you look, there are forests. The people living here respect the nature around them and try to harm it as less as possible. In Holland we have some nature, but compared to Finland and the Saimaa region it is more like some kind of park where you take your dog for a walk. The forests stretch as far as the eyes can see.

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The Enticing Forest trails

The trail itself was about five kilometres long. It was a perfect opportunity to spend some time with the family, have some nice conversations and enjoy the nature by listening quietly to the sound of birds and the small waves hitting the shores. It is calming to walk on hiking trails like this and it makes you think about the value of nature to our planet. To imagine how many trees are cut down every day is somehow frightening. How could a single species do this?

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If you are hiking on one of those trails, and to take a close look at the things that cross your way, you will see so many different small but magnificent things. Like a small mushroom growing on the moss that is covering a large piece of rock. Along the trail, there were several trails that were probably leading somewhere. We wanted to stay on the original trail we were walking on so we would not get lost. But sometimes I just could not resist taking a look at one of those side trails. Every time there is one of those side trails, there is a chance to see something new. Like some kind of small swamp, of a part of forest that looks completely different.

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It was nice to spend time with my family to show them the city and how I am doing here. They had just four days, which is just too short to see and do all the things that are possible. At least now they know what it’s like to live in Finland and to appreciate the quiet surroundings of Lappeenranta and the city itself. I am sure they will visit Finland and Lappeenranta again!