Have you added this to your must-do bucket list yet?
Finland is one of those places that’s hard to describe because it´s so naturally beautiful. It quite literally has to be seen to be believed.
In the northern hemisphere, the bright dancing Northern Lights are known as ‘Aurora Borealis’. Down south, the name is ‘Aurora Australis’. They´re caused when electrically charged particles from the sun enter the Earth’s atmosphere. The light show can be seen if you go anywhere close to the North or South Poles. They range in colour from pink to red and green to blue, but all the other rainbow colours have been reported. This beautiful display appears in patches and jets of colour, streaming across the sky.
Getting Around Finland
Finland has a very well developed system of public transport. The coastal areas are easy to reach, as are the islands and inland lakes – you can reach most places by bus, taxi or ferry.
Finnish bus companies have developed a map application that helps you find a bus that meets your needs. Download the app and click on a bus marker close to where you are. The interactive map will locate your departure and destination location. The application will then show you the route regarding walking to the nearest bus stop.
After this, it is going to show you what bus or buses you need to take. If this search does not work for you, perhaps it is because you are on an island. This means that the application cannot find a route to the nearest stop. Users have suggested moving your location to the mainland or close to your departure and destination point, and try it again. The map has limitations as it only covers limited regions. Matkahuolto’s interactive maps cover most areas, but you can use the whole country’s journey planner. The Finnish Transport Agency supplies the information for the app.
Unfortunately, the map-based user interface of the nationwide planner is not excellent. However, the planner provides information on the trains.
The country has borders with Sweden to the northwest, Norway to the north, and Russia to the east. Travel south is to the Gulf of Finland with Estonia on the opposite side. Finland is a Nordic country and, together with Scandinavia, is situated in the geographical region of Fennoscandia.
Finland’s population is 5.5 million (2016), and most people are in the southern region. Finland is in the European Union, and It is a parliamentary republic with a central government based in Helsinki’s capital city. Over 1.4 million people live and work in the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, making one-third of the country’s GDP.
The first settlers
The land became inhabited when the last ice age ended, being approximately 9000 BCE. The first settlers left behind artefacts that had characteristics shared with those found in Estonia, Russia, and Norway. The earliest people were hunter-gatherers. The Bronze Age and Iron Age saw extensive contacts with other cultures in the Baltic regions, and the sedentary farming inhabitation increased towards the end of the Iron Age. At the time, Finns had three main cultural areas, Southwest Finland, Tavastia and Karelia, as reflected in contemporary jewellery.
From the 13th century
Gradually Finland became integrated with Sweden through the crusades and the Swedish part-colonisation of coastal Finland. In 1809, Finland moved into the Russian Empire as the Grand Duchy of Finland. In 1906, Finland was the first European state to allow all adult citizens the right to vote and the first country to give all mature citizens the power to run for public office.
1917 Russian Revolution
Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, Finland declared itself independent. Divided by a civil war in 1918, the fledgeling state, with the Bolshevik-leaning Red Guard supported by the equally new Soviet Russia, found themselves fighting the White Guard, sponsored by the German Empire. After a brief and unsuccessful attempt to establish a kingdom, the country became a republic. During World War II, the Soviet Union repeatedly sought to take over Finland, with Finland losing some parts but kept its independence.
As a latecomer to industrialisation, Finland relied mainly on agriculture until the 1950s. After World War II, the Soviet Union demanded war reparations from Finland of money and materials such as ships and machinery. Finland is a top performer in economic competitiveness, education, civil liberties, quality of life, and human development. Finland ranks World Best in the Human Capital and Press Freedom Index, created in 2015. The majority of Finns are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, under the Finnish Constitution.
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