The Summer House: Ten Days and Still Nostalgic

It has already been ten days since I returned to Paris but I am still nostalgic about Finland and the summer house. It feels that everyone I know is having the most amazing time by lake or sea, enjoying the heat wave and temperatures hovering around 30C, and I am “just in Paris”. It has upset me to receive text messages from my father saying that our lake (that is big and deep!) measures 27C. That is the usual temperature of the Mediterranean and not a lake half way between Helsinki and Lapland…!

So, now that you are convinced that weather-wise Finland is the new CΓ΄te d’Azur, you must be wondering what it is that makes me so nostalgic. Well, this is the list upon which I have been pondering. The accent will be on the summer house because this is where I spend my time when in Finland in summer.

When you get lucky with weather, this is what a Finnish lake looks like. Lovely, isn't it?

When you get lucky with weather, this is what a Finnish lake looks like. Lovely, isn’t it?

1. The most peaceful place on the planet

A Finnish summer house is probably the most calm and peaceful place on this planet if we ignore the poles, some Pacific islands and Greenland of course. The life revolves around breakfast, checking fishing nets, swimming, reading magazines, wood cutting, lunch, siesta, raking leaves, wood cutting (again), heating the sauna, preparing dinner, checking the nets (again), sauna, swimming and dinner. The daily life follows a routine, but a fun routine that calms even the most agitated urban dweller (like a Parisian!). In my book, the summer house is comparable to yoga retreats.

Life is sweet. My husband and my mother reading design magazines by our private beach.

Life is sweet. My husband and my mother reading design magazines on our private beach.

My father catching our daily staple.  Only us, the boat, the nets and some seagulls waiting to see if there is anything for them.

My father catching our daily staple (fish, you guessed right).
Only us, the boat, the nets and some seagulls waiting to see if there is anything for them.

2. Privacy

Summer houses, in most cases, come with a private beach. Our beach is relatively small, but it is ours. In addition to us, only birds use it sometimes.

We have some neighbors to the left side but to the right there are only willows. But even in more populated areas of Finland there never are too many people –after all there are only 18 inhabitants per square kilometer in Finland (for example, the UK has 265!).

A big lake just for you. Not many people around.

A big lake just for you. Not many people around.

Sometimes if we want even more privacy, we take the boat and visit one of the many islands of the lake to play Robinson Crusoe!

Island hopping. No parking fees, no traffic jam. In fact, nobody Still, nobody else around!

Island hopping. No parking fee, no traffic jam. In fact, nobody else around!

3. The nature

If you get tired of the lake, there is always forest nearby. We have some behind the summer house.

My mother says that there is nothing as beautiful as the Finnish forest, especially after rain, and I sort of have to agree with her. It is a different kind of beauty, the beauty I grew up with, so it is only natural I find it comforting… But who wouldn’t feel rejuvenated after watching these eighty-year old trees?

Some eighty-year old trees against the perfectly blue sky.

Some eighty-year old trees against the perfectly blue and white sky.

4. The weather

My French husband thinks we the Finns are obsessed with the weather, but I guess it is normal considering that there are pretty extreme and unpredictable weather conditions in Finland… For example, when my husband arrived at the summer house last summer the weather changed from semi-tropical 27C to miserable 8C….. Enough to put a Parisian in a bad mood!

This summer we were particularly lucky. The temperature in the shadow was consistently around 25C and sometimes a bit more. The lake measured 22C during my stay, which is a lot. We were very lucky and I would have liked to enjoy more of that wonderful weather. Since my departure it has gotten even hotter, and if I remember correctly this summer’s record in Finland has been 32.5C. That is a lot for such a northern country!

Repeating myself, I know, but when the sun shines this strongly at 9 o'clock in the evening, it is miraculous.

Repeating myself, I know, but when the sun shines this strongly at 9 o’clock in the evening, it is miraculous.

5. The amount of sunlight

Whenever I return to Finland in summer I am astonished by the amount of sunlight there is. Even when the sun sets, it stays so close to the horizon that one doesn’t know if the sun is about to rise again. It doesn’t get pitch black in Finland in summer, and well, it doesn’t really get dark at all! Finnish Lake atΒ Midnight is quite something! I would say it is the eight natural wonder of the world.

At the summer house I go to sleep watching this view.

At the summer house I go to sleep watching this view.

I would usually go to bed around midnight (it is difficult to go to bed when the night has not arrived!) and I would be woken up three hours later by the sun’s rays… I actually never got up to take photos of the sunrises but I am sure this is the moment when the animals wake up, moose cross the fields and bears take a deep breath while turning to the other side.

***

Note: There are over 500,000 summer houses in Finland so one can imagine that each one of them has a life and a personality of its own. What I described above is a personal story about my relationship with our summer house. But why not to visit Finland and create your own love story?

…and if you liked this story, why not to check Pearlspotting on Instagram and Facebook, and Miia_Niskanen on Twitter? See you soon!

35 thoughts on “The Summer House: Ten Days and Still Nostalgic

  1. Packing my Suitcase

    Awnnn so nice! It really looks like a peaceful place…and the way you described it even more! I would love to spend some time in a place like this with my husband and dog… and this sunset at midnight really deserves to be called the 8th wonder of the world! Such a sweet post πŸ™‚

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    1. Miia Post author

      Thanks!!

      Apparently there is another heat wave coming next week from Russia, and it may get closer to 35C. This is unheard of in Finland! I am contemplating buying a plane ticket πŸ˜‰

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      1. Miia Post author

        Haha… Yes, well let’s see. That would be really extra ordinary.
        I am so upset I am missing this wonderful summer 😦 !!! Well, I had a good time and the weather was nice, but I had to return to Paris. C’est la vie…

        How was your trip?

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      2. Packing my Suitcase

        Awnn you sound sad…like I normally am when I come back from a trip to the sea! I know…we have to go back to our routine :/
        My trip was great, short but awesome with the whole Formula 1 thing…me and my husband are huge fan of the sport and we had a blast πŸ™‚

        When are you traveling again?

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      3. Miia Post author

        Maybe mid August for a long weekend and then in the end of the summer for maybe 2 weeks.

        Yeah, it sucks to return from holidays πŸ˜‰

        Any Finnish drivers there this time (sorry, I do now follow formula!)?

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  2. Sue Slaght

    I can understand how you would long for this beautiful lake spot. Sp blissfully peaceful compared to Paris I imagine. To be with your family as well such a special time.
    I have followed you on Facebook and Instagram and would love for you to follow me as well at Traveltalesoflife.

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    1. Miia Post author

      Avec plaisir πŸ™‚

      I just followed you on FB and Insta. Thanks for reminding me. I am a bit believer in reciprocity but have been a bit slow in taking care of my blog and followers since my return…

      Have you ever been in Finland?

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      1. Sue Slaght

        Thanks so much! No I have not traveled to Finland but met Vasilis over at Traveler’s Tree a few months ago. Well a virtual meeting. Anyway I highlighted him in a virtual blog tour and learned a great deal about Finland. It’s actually quite similar to parts of Canada. πŸ™‚

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      2. Miia Post author

        That’s how I visited your blog too, via Traveler’s Tree! Vasilis writes nice stories.

        Yes, people have told me that there are similarities between Canada and Finland. But I think in some parts of Canada it is even colder than in Finland, right?

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      3. Sue Slaght

        Vasilis does write some great posts. I loved the outdoor loo one especially. πŸ™‚
        As far as temperatures there is great variation in Canada as it is so massive. Here in Calgary we would not typically get colder than -25C bit usually more around -15C in the winter. The west coast is warmer and of course north of us colder.

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      4. Miia Post author

        I remember that post too πŸ™‚ Lovely photos! We have one of those loos too at our summer house… And old one with posters inside. There is an inside one since this summer but I prefer the outdoor one πŸ™‚

        Oh, -25C sounds ok’ish πŸ˜‰ And the summer?

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    1. Miia Post author

      πŸ™‚

      It is a sort of a place where one looses the concept of time…. Every time I leave the summer house I kind of want to stay; move there, even stay over the winter. Just cut the wood, cook and eat, do sauna, and next day do it all over again. Of course this is not realistic but it is tempting! Such peace and harmony.

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  3. Dina

    Beautiful post, Miia!
    Life at your summer house sounds very familiar to the life at ours in Norway, Hvaler. πŸ˜ƒ wishing you a gorgeous end to a fantastic summer.
    Love, Dina

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    1. Miia Post author

      Thanks Dina! I am sure there are many similarities. Do you also have this traditional “smoke sauna” in Norway?

      I had too google Hvaler and it looks very beautiful. The first marine park of Norway! And you have whales there? That we don’t have in Finland πŸ™‚

      Have a great end of the summer, too. I am in Paris since 3 weeks now and a big city in the summer is not the same thing as a summer house by the lake….

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    1. Miia Post author

      Haha, I can imagine! They told you to get naked, brought you to sauna, asked you to hit yourself with some weird branches while drinking beer πŸ˜‰ ? And unfortunately all this took place in the middle of nowhere with no cell. ph. coverage so you couldn’t even call a taxi πŸ˜‰

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      1. Miia Post author

        Oh it is a common Finnish trick! I AM KIDDING. Really, is that what happened? I have good imagination then πŸ˜‰

        Well, you survived, and you want to return to Finland, so mission accomplished πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Nihar Pradhan

    I was exploring through your wonderful repository of posts…I landed in this beautiful post of “Summer House”…

    Yes, the picture through the window is just magical, and no doubt this place is the best place in the planet, as you have mentioned in the first paragraph…what more one can expect on earth when when one goes to sleep or wakes up with almost heaven on the other side. Perhaps nature in its best mood to engage with the humankind…the lake to the forest and to one’s private little beach, the boat, the clear water, the beautiful clear sky…just everything one can think of for a perfect place to relax and rejoice the essence of loving and living the life one imagines to be…

    I have stayed in few summer houses, it has been good but now seeing and hearing your description everything fades into insignificance…trying to fathom the beauty and bounty of nature presented by you…you mentioned there are 500,000 summer houses in Finland, perhaps the one you are is the best of the lot…and the number is not a small list…

    Do enjoy for us and cherish those great moments when you go next time…Happy vacation next time when you visit this fascinating Summer House…soooooo good…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Miia Post author

      Thanks for your kind words πŸ™‚ I don’t know what you do for living but you should considering being a poet πŸ™‚

      Good thing about Finland is that it is a relatively big (geographically) country with only 5 million people. So lots of space everywhere!!

      The summer house is definitely one of those “this must be one of the most beautiful places in the world” for me, yes. But if you ask my Dad, our summer house is the holy paradise πŸ˜‰

      Where have you been visiting summer houses?

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Nihar Pradhan

        You have those poetic thoughts and very cleverly pointed the finger at me…

        By the way I run an IT company called “Digital Campus”, we have developed our own product called Digital Campus based on Cloud and Mobility Technology and this product automates all the processes in an educational institutions…in essence we try to digitize the physical campus of schools to colleges…
        Hope this was not a big unnecessary description…hope it made some sense to you…

        Summer houses particularly in India and few neighboring countries like Bhutan…but hearing the description from you about Finland, I should make it a point to experience the summer camps in Finland…

        You have managed to put those wonderful experiences in the summer houses in such beautiful words…it so tempting that one has go to Finland and experience your words….the pictures you have taken was breathtaking…so serene and so soothing…it keeps you at peace.

        Lovely discussing with you…

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      2. Miia Post author

        I am not an IT person but sounds important what you do! Do you work with the national education or private sector?

        You should maybe organize a field trip in Finland in order to explore what Finland does in your field πŸ˜‰ !

        Liked by 1 person

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