SHAW THING: Hello from Finland

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TERVEISIA Suomesta - Greetings from Finland!

I’m here, I made it (before my luggage even, which my airline forgot to put on my connecting flight!), and I’m having an amazing time!

Tampere is an absolutely beautiful city, one of the largest in Finland with enormous lakes that makes it feel more like a coastal area than an inner city one.

I’m doing all of the regular touristy things, trying local food and drink, visiting museums and wandering around the streets in the drizzle.

The food is by far my second favourite part, coming in close behind actually getting to meet my friend Anniina, who I met on Twitter about two years ago, to celebrate her marriage to Jani.

Rye bread was absolutely the best thing I ate, which sounds boring in theory, but for a bread lover such as myself, is a great experience!

Tar ice cream was definitely my least favourite, tasting - as somebody on a travel blog put it very succinctly - kind of like burning rubber.

I even tried one of Anniina’s favourite desserts, Japanese Mochi. I don’t know what I was expecting from a food whose main ingredient is ‘gelatinous rice’, but it was pretty awful.

We also visited an art show by Jarno Vasala, the Finnish Young Artist of the Year, but as amazing as it was, it was absolutely terrifying.

I scare pretty easily anyway, having both an overactive imagination and a tendency to read post-apocalyptic novels - but this took it to a whole new level.

One of the pieces featured a very realistic looking dummy standing in the corner of the room, accompanied by a recording of somebody crying.

To say I was glad to get out of there is an understatement.

In all though, I’m having a fantastic time and again, I’m so glad I decided to do this trip rather than a ‘boozy’ holiday with school friends.

The internet has opened my eyes to so many things over the last few years, but the best gift it has given me is the many amazing people I’ve met through it.

If you have anything to add, feel free to email me, Danielle Shaw, at yourshout@northeast-press.co.uk