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.

Quite a story

Kirjoittanut Vincent Gerritse  Luotu 11.03.2015

This is my second blog post about my stay in Lappeenranta, Finland and I have quite a story for you.

Finland is known for its winters with low temperatures, the snow and ice. Once you enter this fairy tale like world, you get to know about some of the activities that are possible to enjoy in the area.

And that is what I’m going to tell you about today!

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For my internship at the Tourist Information Centre I have been given the opportunity to attend some of the activities in the area of Lappeenranta together with a Chinese Student called Li who is also blogging for visitlappeenranta. We were brought to the Rauha area where we went for a snowmobile excursion presented by the company Salpasafarit. This was quite impressive because you are driving through the nature, even on ice. To experience a complete silence and only be able to hear the wind blowing in the trees is just awesome. In Holland there is no place where you can enjoy the nature without hearing anything that is made by humans like the sound of cars and airplanes.

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We went to a small island where there is a cabin and two saunas. On this island you can try some paintball, archery and Frisbee golf. We built a fire in the campfire pit and made some coffee and sausages. We also made some snow angels and then moved on to the next location for some ice fishing. We did not have a lot of time but it is useful to know how it works if you want to try it another time. After the ice fishing our guide and Li hopped on one snowmobile and ran off before I knew it. Trying to catch up to them, I took a look at my speed and it was quite shocking. I did not know these machines could go 130 km/h!

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After the ride on the snowmobiles we went back and visited the Reindeer Farm from Wildtours. A Finnish couple owns this “farm”. During the summers they live in Lapland and during the winters they live in Lappeenranta with their reindeers. We were seated in a sled that was pulled by a reindeer. It was a really fun experience and nice to see reindeer in real life. In the small restaurant at the farm we had a reindeer soup, which was very nice! I had never tasted reindeer meat before, and it is very tasteful!

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After some rides with sleds from a hill made of snow, we went to another location. Here we put on so called wet-suites, which are originally meant for when a ship sinks so you float in the water and don’t get wet. It’s pretty fun to wear these suits because they make you walk a little bit like a penguin. After a little drive by car we arrived at the drop-off point and we went into the water. At the first part the river was not running that fast, but when we encountered a bridge, the speed was picking up. It’s fun to see when people are standing on the bridge and are shocked by see people floating through the river with those orange suits on. Once we arrived at the point where we had to get out it was kind of a struggle to get out of the water because the current that was on the side of the river.

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This day was such a great experience. It’s nice to see what’s possible in the area and also to hear what other activities you can do during the winter and the summer. I would certainly do these activities again when I have a chance!

Besides of these activities I have been given other opportunities to attend some activities like Museum Friday. This day is on every first Friday of the month. You don’t have to pay an entrance fee for the museums in Lappeenranta, even though they are not expensive at all with just 4 euros for a ticket. It’s nice to see some art from local artists and the history of the area and how a child would live here in the 80’s.

Also I attended the Metku Children’s Choir in the Lappeenranta Sports Centre. This was a concert by a choir of 800 children from primary schools in the area. It was so great to see how much these youngsters were enjoying singing and jumping around with Finnish songs and a song for the SaiPa ice hockey team. Also the way Sari Kaasinen was leading these children was amazing to see, so much spirit and dedication.

I am sure I will attend many more activities in this beautiful area. The more people I start to know, the more I know about the area.

If you want more information about these activities you can find some information at:

www.salpasafarit.fi

And

www.wildtours.net