User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active
 

It was another day that I wasn't happy about the place I was in. My feet was itchy. I needed to go somewhere. It was winter time and I always wanted to see northern lights. I had visa so anywhere was possible. Meanwhile I have met 2 lovely Finnish girls in Istanbul. Meeting with them clicked in my head and filled the blank in the sentences of " I am going to .... this winter." I asked them if they are going to be there same dates. Lucky one of them said she might. All I needed to check prices then. I have seen that Plane tickets are so cheap and I didn't really dig in too much. But I knew that Finland wasn't enough. I needed Lapland ( still Finland) and Estonia. Going to Helsinki and coming from Tallinn was even cheaper. You know when there is a sign right?

When I bought my ticket it was such a relief. itchiness gone and excitement placed it. I always loved north even though I know they are expensive. But girls are always amazing. Everyone says, every single person says that Northern people are cold, they never speak unless they really need, They are robotic etc. But my experience at northern Europe was always different. So I really didn't care what they say.

When the day came, I was in a bad day. Everything went wrong. It usually takes 2 hours to go to airport but my car broke down. I miss the bus then I needed to change to metro I missed it, I needed to change train after metro I missed all of them and it took 4 hours. I checked in last second. It was such a nightmare. Also it was over 15 degrees in Istanbul and since I am going to a cold place I had winter clothes with me. and I don't like the heat. Anyway short of the story it didn't start well. Until I get on a plane I was really nervous. In the plane, just right behind me there were a women I cannot describe by words. But I try. Baby faced blue eyed tall blonde with tattoos. Well, that's pretty much a dream girl. I was tired already because of the commute to the airport and wanted to sleep more and I have realized that I didn't check where I am going to stay and how will I arrive there. Anyway I like the adventure. So no more panic.

When I land, I went to visa control point and the guy hold me like 5 minutes and started to asked me some stupid questions because I am Turkish and I had beard. I am not a religious guy but I like my beard. It was obviously not a religious beard. But the guy was so racist that he didn't really listen and I started to yell at him and started asking why he is being so racist and the same second he approved my passport and let me in but I was right and said what i needed to say. This is the only racist event I have ever had and Fins are known by not being racist but I saw that it is not true at all. They are the most racist nation I have ever seen. For me it was only one case but I have seen how they act to Russians, Muslims, people from Easter Asia and Afro-people. I don't have a certain type of a nation. I basically fit in with every country. Northern Countries has blondes as a stereotype but They mostly speak to me in their own language first. Not that they don't speak English or they speak their languages to everyone. They speak English when they see they are foreigners.

It was a really long ride for me and I barely went to the Hostel. I have learnt which stop I should get off but I didn't exactly know where was it. So, when I get out of the bus I started to search for a free WiFi so I could check hostel. I was walking randomly and I have found hostels WiFi signal. I walked 10 meters up 10 meters down and I finally found the hostel.

It was a Christmas day and I know lots of places in christian countries are closed. But there are usually a few places open and you can buy food or something. So, I thought it would be the same in Helsinki but no. Only American Burger places and another place, I don't remember the name, looks like the same. That's not I am here for. I have resisted to the fast food for a day and hoped for more open stores for second day. It was the same but at least I have found an Irish pub to eat and drink. It was better than fast food. The only good thing about ghost towns is you can take nice photos and no one will ever ruin your photo by passing through. So I have decided to have a good photography tour all over the city when there is a sunlight since it is only a couple of hours. I believe I was productive.

The second day when I was walking around and taking photos I came cross with a ferry which goes to Suomenlinna. Everyone recommend there but I would say don't go there on a winter time. There is nothing special. Actually there is nothing special about Helsinki too. It seems it is a perfect place to live in but not to see much. I had such a big list of to do and to eat but I couldn't really find them so exciting when I arrive there. I got sad after I arrived there for personal reasons, no no it is not because of lack of sun or the mood of Helsinki. It is just life.

3rd day finally I have seen some people on the road. They were jogging where I was barely walking because of slippery road and afraid of slipping to the ice cold sea. Almost everyone said hi to me. It was obvious that I was foreigner. With a camera and stopping every 5 seconds taking picture and looking around like first time seeing the place. yeah I was seeing for the first time and that's how I looked liked. so, cold Finns are just a myth? I finally meet my Finnish friend in Helsinki. I was walking the seaside alone and now I was walking with a pretty lady and even though we are just friends it makes you feel different and look at the things different and shorter. Not that I constantly look at her, she walked so fast and to be able catch her I basically run. But still it was better than being alone. After having overpriced ran deer meatballs we have been a nice bar. it was small and full. there were no place but one nice old Finnish couple invited us to their table. I was less shocked than my Finnish friend. She said it never happens. after having a few drinks and some talking they left but in a few seconds another couple came in and sat down where they left. So we started to talk with them too. If this is how you describe cold people I take it. At least one day was good in Helsinki. It is not that Helsinki is a bad place. It is just not the right time. Now I was ready for my Lapland trip. I was ready to see Northern Lights.

For more photos don't forget to visit my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Photographer.Tuna.Ozcan/