Vincent Gerritse


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.

The last experiences, so far…

Kirjoittanut Vincent Gerritse  Luotu 28.05.2015

In my previous blog I wrote about a hiking trail that went straight through the nature along the shores of the lake. It was a very nice way to see the lake from up close, but there are more ways to enjoy its beauty. In this blog I will tell you about two great ways to absorb the surroundings.


From up above

Now I am in my last week of my internship, the surroundings of Lappeenranta have changed a lot! I remember the day I arrived as if it was yesterday. I took the train from Helsinki and travelled through a landscape that was unknown to me. Forests, every now and then some houses a town or a city and lots of snow. I had never seen anything like this in my life before. And now, in the end of May, everything is green instead of white. Grass covers the ground, trees have leaves and all of the ice is gone. But how nice is it when you are able to see the nature in this state from the skies above?


From my internship supervisor I received an invitation to join one of the pilots from the aviation club to fly around Lappeenranta and the Saimaa region in a small airplane. During the years I have been traveling by plane quite often, but this was totally different. From this small airplane you can see so much more out of the window, which also makes it a rare opportunity to shoot some amazing photographs. We took of at 20:00 so the sun was starting to set. With all the sunlight shining on the landscape we flew alongside the Russian border and even got a view on Vyborg. After flying over Imatra and taking a look at the rapids from above we headed towards the lake. As the sun was getting lower, the view amazed me even more by the minute. I knew that the lake was supposed to be large and there were many islands on the lake, but from the ground this is hard to see. With the view over the lake you could not even count all the islands that you could see because there are so many.


After circling the lake and some special locations it was time to turn back and I had the chance to see the city from above. Lappeenranta does not seem that large, but it stretches pretty far along the lakeside. Now after seeing the city from above I have got a clear image of how big this city really is. And, as a bonus, I got to see the building I live in!


Hoist the sails

After I had the chance to drive on the lake with a snowmobile during my first month, walking on a trail along the lakes’ shores and flying over the lake, I had seen the lake from pretty much every angle. I thought…

After flying over the lake there was one appointment left, at the yacht club in the harbour of Lappeenranta. Here I met with some people who are used to sailing on the great Saimaa and I had been given the opportunity to join them.



As I have sailed on a lake in Holland before I thought this would be kind of the same. I imagined it would be sailing on a small boat, but the boat turned out a bit larger. After some sailing through the harbour, we joined a small race. The people I sailed with do this every week as a practice. It was nice to have a little competition although it was just for practice. During this “race” we moved further onto the lake and from here you have a chance to see a few of the islands on the lake. On these islands, people seem to have built small cottages, which they have to visit by boat during the summers. I can only imagine how nice this would be. Dark nights in the winter to watch the stars and long summer nights to sit back and relax with a nice cosy fire. After about an hour and 15 minutes it was time to step off the boat and say goodbye to my sailor mates. It was a really nice experience and something I really want to do again!



My final words

As this was my last week, this will be my final blog for the City of Lappeenranta. During my stay in this wonderful city I have met so many great people, I have had so many great experiences. I can only say that this has been such a good time! The people within the city, the activities can be done; all this has made it worth it to spend my time abroad to do my internship. In this place I have created memories, which I will carry with me for life.

I cannot thank the people who arranged this enough and as I leave with a feeling of sadness, the only thing that’s left to say is:

Thank you and I will come back!