Friday, September 3, 2010

Guest from Esslingen!

Dear blog,

last week I got a guest from Germany to visit me in Jyväskylä! Sina came to Finland for the first time and stayed at my place. It was so nice!

In the picture we are in the tower at Harju, enjoying the view over the town. During the week we also did some shopping, ate at grilli, went for lake Päijänne cruise, went to the movies, swam in Aalto Alvari, danced all night long and saw all the planes in Tikkakoski Aviation Museum.

Naturally Sina also tasted all kinds of Finnish specialities, such as rye bread, oat bread, unleavened barley bread ("rieska"), Karelian pies, lingonberry porridge ("vispipuuro"), blueberry pie, Finnish squeaky cheese ("leipäjuusto") with cloudberries and some Finnish candies as well. :P

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Dear blog,

I don't know how to stop writing and updating this blog. :(
I like it too much! haha! Well, I'll have to find a solution to this problem soon, but on the mean while I'll write you what I have been doing in the country side.

I have met a lot of relatives and people I know. It's so funny to say hello almost to everyone you see after stepping out of the house. My cousin Sini has jogged with me every evening and I have been in sauna already three times during these four days! :D

In the picture you can see Sini's family's sauna and pool, where I swam yesterday. The sauna is really, really cozy and neat. I just love it.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Flashback from Esslingen

Deag blog,

I want to add some pictures from Essligen that I have not yet published.

In this one you can see my door from the inside. Well, you can't really see it, because it was covered with tickets, adds, flyers, brochures, recipes, drawings, and other stuff! :D

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 2: Kärsämäki

After traveling 22 hours I was extremely tired.

My mum came to pick me up from the train station with homemade Karelian pies. =) It was only 6:30 in the morning, but the sun was high up already. I wasn't sure if I could sleep in the daylight, but after one hour I fell asleep and woke up late in the afternoon. I had a little bit sleep debt I guess..

Day 2 in Finland

From Helsinki I continued by train to Kärsämäki.

The night train took 7,5 hours and the first two hours I had to sit on the floor because there was no seats left! The train was so full of people. I didn't sleep much during the night and around 4 am the sun was up and the sky was colored beautifully pink and orange.

Day 1 in Finland

My flights to Finland went all right.

My cousin Satu came to meet me at the airport in Helsinki. It was so nice to meet her after the half a year and we had a lot of catch up to do. We had coffee outside in the garden and she was just telling me about a hedgehog who was visiting her almost every day, when we heard this noise. It sounded like someone was approaching through the bushes, and there he was: Suhonen! Satu had named the hedgehog, that was his name. :D

Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 141: Farewell

So now I have packed my stuff and cleaned the room and everything is ready.

It's time to leave Esslingen. On the other hand I am happy to see my family and friends again, but on the other hand I would like to explore more Germany! Oh well, I just have to come back someday. :)

I did it. I actually did it! Study exchange in Germany, just what I had always dreamed about. And I also kept my own promise: to report about it almost everyday in my blog. 141 days, 142 posts.. That's quite a few! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Ok, so now it's time.
Goodbye Esslingen,
goodbye my new friends,
goodbye other exchange students,
I'll miss you all.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Today was my last whole day in Esslingen.

Tomorrow I'll fly back to Finland! I have missed my family and friends and luckily this week went as fast as an blink of an eye. It was really busy but also nice week: I spent time with my friends here, enjoyed the weather, went to the movies, saw new places, overcame my fear of heights again, and even saw an american celebrity. I would say this was one of the best weeks I have had! :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Day 139 in Germany

Today I went to visit the TV tower in Stuttgart with Mikko and Lukas.

Last three weeks have been sunny and warm but today it started raining right before we got to the tower! It was so cloudy that first we didn't see anything, but we waited some 15 minutes and the rain stopped. You could see all the way to Esslingen from the top of the tower!

The Fernsehturm Stuttgart was the first TV tower in the world: it was opened in 1956. It is 150 meters high, but I didn't feel frightened in the lower floor because there were walls. In the higher floor I did get dizzy, so I had to go back to the lower one. :P

In the picture there is Lukas and me and the view over Stuttgart.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 138: Marbach

I traveled to a nearby village called Marbach with Mikko.

Marbach is famous for the beautiful old city with Fachwerkhäuser (half-timbered houses), for the literature museum and the poet Friedrich Schiller, who was born in Marbach in 1759.

As you can see in the pictures, I found another fluffy friend from Germany. :) He was really cute.

Marbach is located near the river Neckar, just like Esslingen. At the river in Marbach there were many people learning how to row.

The design looking building is the modern literature museum. It is right next to the Schiller-National museum, which is in the building that used to be a castle.

The museums have really nice location! They are on top of a hill where is amazing view over the river Neckar, corn fields and the next village. Up there it felt almost like being on top of the world. :)

Day 137 in Esslingen

Thursday night was movie night!

I went to the international cinema Corso with Sina to see Eclipse.

There were a lot of people in the theater! I was excited to see the film and I was surprised how faitful the plot was to the original story. All the small but important conversations were there and even though it had some different camera angles than in the other two Twilight movies, I still felt the same atmosphere as there is in the books.

Thank you for your company, Sina. I was lucky to have you as my international friend in Esslingen. :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 136 in Esslingen

First time in Germany I swam in a lake!

Sina asked me to come with her and her friend to Badesee Plüderhausen, a small lake about 40 minutes drive from Esslingen. It was full of people! I mean, REALLY full!

I totally understand it though, the place was really nice and the weather was very warm again, +36 or so. The water temperature was +29 so it felt like swimming in linnunmaito, "bird's milk", as we say in Finland. =D
In the picture there are Markus and Sina and the beautiful landscape.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 135 in Esslingen

One more thing from yesterday.

I saw an advertisement of a Finnish band called Indica in the railway station! I don't really listen to their music, only if it's on the radio, but it is so rare to see anything Finnish abroad on the streets that I have to mention when it happens. =)

The band has just published an album sang in English and the ad was about the cd, which was available in stores from the 25th of June.

Day 135: David Hasselhoff

So on Tuesday we went to see David Hasselhoff in Stuttgart.

He has just written a biography and he was there to sign books in a bookstore. I had heard many times during my exchange period that he is popular in Germany, but I had taken those comments as a joke before. Yesterday I really saw it is true.

The bookstore was full of fans! I was his fan when I was a little girl and watched Knight Rider on TV with my brother (who was in love with the car, Kitt). I hadn't seen him in any other program and hadn't really heard him sing. He was the Knight Rider to me. I wasn't the only one who thought him as Micheal Knight, some fans got his signature on their Knight Rider blankets even! David Hasselhoff was really funny in such cases, he always made comments about his fans. You could really tell that he was on show business.

Like in this video, there is a small boy coming to get an autograph for his book and David says "Oh look! A little Kinder!" =)

Day 135 in Germany

On Tuesday we went to Stuttgart with Mikko.

It was so exciting.. We were about to see my childhood idol live! But we were early, so we walked around the city and pumped into Hamburger Fischmarkt, which was a fish market in a style of the city of Hamburg.

I have never in my life seen these kind of markets that German people have. They astonish me every single time! People make such an effort for the market stands to look pretty and they always succeed. This time they had special shaped bars for fish market. All the other stands were really nicely decorated too, but these two caught everyone's eye: a pirate ship shaped bar and a lighthouse shaped restaurant!

The lighthouse had many, many flags around the building and I found the Finnish and the Swedish flag, too, and of course the German flag on the right in the picture. :)

Day 134: Freedom!

On Monday I had my last exams! Finally!

Sunday was terribly warm day, but I had to stay in and read for my last three exams. I don't know was it because of the heat or stress, but I couldn't sleep on the Sunday night. When my alarm rang on Monday morning at 5:30 am, I had been wake whole night. My first exam started at 8 am and I was done writing the exams at noon. After the last one I felt so reliefed!

In the evening it started raining and thundering and they were most welcome to the +30 something degrees! I was so exhausted that I went to bed really early. Maybe it was the cooled weather (only +19 degrees outside during the night!) and the fact that the pressure of exams was gone, that I slept like a baby for 12 hours that night. =)

Day 132: Uruguay vs. Germany

On Saturday evening, 10th of July, we had the barbeque on the roof.

The same night the football game for the third place was on. When Germany won, it took some half an hour before people were on the streets, celebrating. I got a nice video from the roof, filming the cars honking and the people waving with their flags. =)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day 132: Barbeque

After spending the whole day in the sun, we had a barbeque on the roof of one student dormitory as a farewell party for Eetu and Molli.

We started with Finnish, German and Hungarian people but later on arrived also Singaporean, Chinese, French and Mexican students. In the end it was quite a big group!
In the picture there are Smiljan, me and Molli and the beautiful vinyards of Esslingen in the background.

Day 132 in Esslingen

Yet another day at Freibad.

We were on our way to Freibad when we walked through the Bürgerfest, the festival of citizens in Esslingen. The whole town was there and the streets were full of market stands, outside restaurants and bars, stages, live music and flea markets. It was too warm to walk around the festival longer, so I just got a glimpse of it.

It was really, really warm day. In shade there was +36 degrees! We were quite a big group of friends enjoying the sun and swimming in the pool at Freibad in Esslingen. Guys were excited about the water slide again. :) In the picture: Eetu 2, Timo, Molli and Eetu 1.

After the Freibad we walked through the festival again and this time saw a Colombian dance group. See the short film!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 130: Till Eulenspiegel

In the story Till Eulenspiegel there is a man who makes practical jokes almost about everything. Till wants to see the world and travels around the Holy Roman Empire making pranks mostly to craftsmen but even the nobility and the pope gets fooled by him.

There are many tales about how Till got his name, especially the last name. The first name is supposed to be a nickname from Tilldrick which comes from Dietrich. The last name in High German "Eulenspiegel" comes from words Eule (=owl, pöllö) and Spiegel (=mirrow, peili) but it could also be a kind of wordplay. In Low German the wordplay "Ul'n spegel" means something like "kiss my ass!". That would suit quite nicely to the character of Till: in the end he did not care what the other people thought about him or his tricks. =)

Day 130: Theater

I went to a show with Sina and her friends.

The open air theater was on the other side of the two tower church here in Esslingen and I was surprised how big auditorium they had for the audience. I was even more amazed when all the seats got full!

The show "Till Eulenspiegel" was GREAT! They had simple set on the stage but it worked perfectly. I liked the costumes and the colorful characters and the live music and the juggling and everything! I had no idea they had such a big group working on this play: 17 actors/actresses plus one dog (in the picture with the juggler), 6 supporting actors/actresses and 3 men in the orchestra.

The act was of course in German but it didn't bother me that I did not understand many words, I still could enjoy the good show. =)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 128 in Germany

I want to share these words which were written on the wall of a restaurant in Stuttgart.


Die Freundschafft, die der Wein gemacht,
Würckt wie der Wein, nur eine Nacht.

Friendrich von Logau

Translation could be something like: "The friendship made with wine, lasts as long as the wine lasts: only one night."

Wise words from the 17th century.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Day 127 in Esslingen

Today we saw our fluffy friend again!

In the afternoon I was going to the city with Joona and Teddy when the kittycat passed our way. The cat just fell down on our feet and of course I had to pet her. So cute! =)

I was happy to meet the kitty again before leaving Esslingen in two weeks..
Time just flies by.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Day 126 in Esslingen

Before my guests left this afternoon, we had a small tour in Esslingen.

We started from the Esslinger Burg, went down the hill to the old town of Esslingen and saw the Marktplatz, the Canal Neckar, the shopping streets, the Inner Bridge with the bridge houses, the city park Maille, the Münster of St. Paul and the Stadtkirche, the water wheels and the old and new City Hall.

In the end of our tour we sat down in the Café am Rathaus for a snack and a cup of coffee before climbing up the hill back to the Burg.

Day 125 in Germany

After visiting the Ludwigsburg Palace, we went to have dinner and watch football to Stuttgart.

The beer gardens were crowded! Luckily we found a table for us near the TVs in a really nice corner of many restaurants. So, yes: I watched the game. Germany-Argentina 4-0 and you can imagine the joy and the celebration after the match! If you can't imagine it, you can watch the video I took after Germany made its third goal.

People were also celebrating on the streets, with or without cars, and the way back home took some time. Even police had to supervise the traffic in some places. All I can say is: Congratulations and good luck Germany! =)

Day 125: Ludwigsburg

Ludwigsburg Palace is huge; there are 452 rooms in 28 buildings. It is one of the Germany's biggest baroque palaces with an enormous baroque garden.

Duke Eberhard Ludwig of Württemberg started the building of the castle in 1704 because he wanted to have a hunting lodge. Dukes and kings after him renovated the castle and added some buildings which made the castle more complex over the years.

Some interesting details from the tour in the castle concerned the technical equipment they had already in the 18th century. For example the kings and the queens had cannon heaters in every room operated by the servants from the room next door. That was of course very unpleasant for the servants, because they had to stay in a small cell with all the smoke of the fire from 8 to 10 hours.

The castle included also a Palace Theater, which has stage machinery from the 1758 and are still working. In the pictures you can see the Ludwigsburg castle and the inner court, the castle outside and the gardens from the south (one of the newest parts), one example of the cannon heaters (from the oldest part of the castle) and the Palace Theater (from 1758).

Day 124 in Esslingen

One of my Finnish classmates visited Esslingen this weekend.

She came with her friend on Friday evening and they left on Sunday afternoon. In that short period we had dinner, Finnish social evening, trip to castle Ludwigsburg, another dinner, traffic jam because of the football match, corridor party and a tour in the old city of Esslingen including the Esslinger Burg. In other words we had a busy weekend in spite of the +35 degrees heat.. =)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Day 123: Freibad

Today was warm!

We went to swim and enjoy the sun to Freibad, outdoor swimming pool. The sun was so hot that I burned my skin even though I put sun cream. The water was really refreshing after lying in the sun for hours! The guys got really excited about the water slide and went there over and over again. :)
Here is Teddy's sliding style.

Day 122 in Esslingen

Dear blog,

yesterday I had two exams, one early in the morning and another at six o'clock in the evening. After the second exam which was about German language, we went together to the nearest biergarten, which is basically on the school property!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 121: Abendessen

Yesterday evening we had dinner together at the castle Esslinger Burg.

Some of us are already leaving Germany so we had our own farewell dinner. The weather could not have been better! +29 degrees and sun shine and the local cold beer tasted like heaven. :P In the picture from the left: Angelica, me, Cristina, Barbara, Alex, Eetu, Attila, Carlos, Fernando, Richi, Chenhao and Monica.

Thank you all for your company, it was really lovely evening.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 120 in Esslingen

I finally went to take pictures of the henhouse nearby.

Yes, they have real chickens just across the street! I have seen them when going for a walk many times. The garden is also really beautiful and taken care of really well. It's located just on the other side of our building and it can be seen from Teddy's window.
I don't know why but the hens seem really enchanting. Well, maybe just to me. Eetu said: "They are delicious!"

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 118: Finnish Midsummer

On Saturday we had our own Finnish Midsummer barbecue at grillplatz up on the hill. The place was full of children and families when we got there but we still found a free table. The weather couldn't be better: Sun shine and +26 degrees! In the photo: Sina, Eetu, Smiljan, Molli and Anja.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 117: The Midsummer Eve

The Midsummer Eve was really warm day, we had +26 degrees and sun shine.

After school, the laboratory work and writing a report about it, I went to buy some food and then finally got home at half past six in the evening. I started cleaning my flat right away and made it in minimum time! I wanted to be faithful to my own Midsummer tradition so I went out to pick some wild flowers.

I found meadow buttercups (niittyleinikkejä), both white and red clovers (valkoisia ja punaisia apiloita), tufted vetches (hiirenvirnoja) and then some other flowers I haven't seen in Finland and didn't recognize. The sun was ready to set already when I came back after eight o'clock and I got a nice photo from the park on the way home.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 117 in Esslingen

The sun is shining and the birds are singing. It's Midsommer Eve.

And I'm about to leave to school because I have laboratory work in the afternoon. Yesterday I had holiday, though, and I went to the park to enjoy the sun. It was so peaceful: I read an exciting book in the sun and listened to the happy songs of the birds in the woods nearby.

Have a nice Midsummer everybody! Hauskaa Juhannusta! Ha en bra Midsommar! Viel Spass im Mittsommer!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day 115 in Esslingen

It's getting worse and worse every day.. Sina was right!

People are going out to cafes and bars to watch the football games on screens. That's really fine by me! The only problem is that there's a screen just next door from my dormitory.. I can hear the REALLY noisy horns all night long and it's really, really annoying. I'm starting to hope that Germany would lose the games so there wouldn't be so much noises.. But that's the only reason for hoping so, I promise! :D

Before going to bed I have to put the earplugs on, otherwise there is no hope of falling asleep.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 113 in Esslingen

Yes, the madness continues..

Now there are even more and bigger flags every where. This flag is from the dormitory next door.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 112: Say Fazer!

Ooh, I got mail from Finland!

A letter, pastilles and chocolate, I would accept this kind of mail more often. :P And by the way, Finnish chocolate, especially Fazer, happens to be the best chocolate in the world. ;)
Thank you Sari!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Day 112 in Esslingen

3D classes are so cool...

Today I went to the movies to see How to train your dragon, an animated 3D film. It was great! I just loved the leading dragon character who had some catlike gestures. So cute. :)

I know, I know: it's just an animation. But I was amazed by the well structured plot, funny characters and how fantastic the film was visually. I wanna have an own dragon, too!