Vuokatti, Flagstaff, and Raisio: my last three Sundays. I'm definitely on a path to visit the major cities in the world. And it is a grey, rainy day. Snow is heavy, the landscape is flat, and industrial Raisio will not be winning any beauty contests any time soon.
But this is not an opportunity to get depressed, it is an opportunity to have some fun in the snow. A little bit of scouting reveals a small hill in the woods behind the factories. I hike up and snowboard down.
Yes, snowboard. I started snowboarding last week, in preparation for a future adventure that feels more natural with a snowboard. By now I have almost three hours of experience on it. Enough to board around dense Finnish forests? For sure, as grabbing a tree helps a lot in what I miss otherwise in turn-making ability.
|Snowboard and chemicals factory|
|At the top of the hill in Raisio|
|My first snowboard powder tracks, from a week ago in Kauniainen|
And then I go wild. I go to the megapolis, Turku, and find an excellent hill, Samppalinnan Vuori, next to the Aurajoki river in the city center. Seriously, this is really a fun place to ski or snowboard. A steep enough cliff, and enough space between the trees to find your way down.
|Am I going to end up in Aurajoki?|
And really, I want to be serious for a moment. If you follow this blog, you may think that I seek those wonderful places to ski at. Like Snowbowl last week. Actually, I don't. For the most part, I end up in places for other reasons. Last week it was a business trip for my new job. This week a family trip to Moominland. And often I'm at home. But my philosophy is to make best use of the circumstances. Even if it is a grey day, or even if you think you have already tried everything near your home. There is always something interesting to do, even in the most boring and explored place. Remember the president's cliff, an extreme skiing adventure in Moominland? I did that last year on the same family trip. This year it was Raisio's and Turku's turn.
I may take a long drive or even an occasional flight to get to where I can have that fun. But I believe in experiencing the environment where you are at. Look around you. Is there something new that you could do tomorrow?
|They are very polite in Turku|
If there are skiable hills in Turku and Raisio, there are similar places in every city in Finland. You do not have to wait for that big ski trip to enjoy them. Finland is full of hills and forests and snow. I'm surprised that people do not use them more. Case in point: I made the first tracks on that hill in Turku, a city with almost 200,000 inhabitants. People of Turku, you need to join me in my quest to find epic snow in your city center.
Photo and video credits (c) 2013 by Jari Arkko