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Finland, Finland, Finland [Top 10]

1 Comment 08 November 2010

People waiting for a bus. Well organized or anti-social? You choose! | Photo by MTV3.fi

I have had the opportunity to travel quite a bit in my life and even living abroad, allowing me to represent our fine nation to fellow earthlings. Just last week I was asked if you can see the Aurora Borealis in Finland, as this one English couple had decided that they want to see them for the first time. So, you might have heard about our country, but come on, you really don’t know anything.

Here are the top 10 important things you need to know about Finland:

  1. Finland is the 5th largest country in the European Union, 64th overall. 70% of the area is covered in forests, we have close to 200 thousand lakes (10% of our area) and another 200 thousand islands. Still people wonder why we have such a low population density. There just simply isn’t enough room.
  2. Yet, there are so few people that you could fit every single Finn standing on the area of the single largest lake in Finland. If it were frozen. Or we were with Jesus.
  3. There are around 5.4 million people in Finland and there are 1.8 million saunas in the country to keep us warm.
  4. Almost all Finns speak pretty good English, allowing us to write this blog for example. It’s also good for travelers coming to bike around our country.
  5. Finland is 1,445 kilometres (898 miles) long, so riding your bike at an average speed of 15 kilometers per hour (with full gear) will take 97 hours to bike through. Then you’ll have to ride back as well, so better reserve some time for it. In the North there are arctic hills that are 1.4 kilometers tall.
  6. Unlike traitor countries Sweden and Norway, you can pay with the Euro in Finland – making your European travels much easier. You don’t even have to take a step in those countries if you don’t want to.
  7. According to several surveys, questionnaires and articles Finland is the least corrupt, most democratic, most equal and the best country to live in – in the world, but you will not guess that from the Finns.
  8. Monty Python made a song about us, which is pretty much the best thing in our history. After the invention of Saunas.
  9. One of the funniest things Finns know is hearing foreigners speak our language. Which is difficult.
  10. We do epic snowboarding videos.
  11. Conan loves us.

To wish you a good week, here’s the main character of our national epic, the Kalevala:

Epic personified | Painting by R.W. Ekman (1866)

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- who has written 201 posts on Coming thru!.

Markus is a bike commuter gadget freak who is learning the ropes of the bike world, you can find him all around the web - but you can start with his twitter at @banton.

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Coming Thru (or Coming Through - as that URL was taken) is a daily updated bike magazine - a collection of writings and links that relate to biking in its every form. The idea started from when Maarten met Markus decided to finally start collecting the things we like about bikes and talk about our everyday adventures in dodging moving objects at high speeds.The site is run by a collage of cyclists, most notably by Canadian Johanna MacDonald, Belgian Maarten Patteeuw and Finnish Markus Sandelin.

It all started in the spring of 2010, after a record breaking snowy winter when Markus bought a house 25 kilometers from the office and decided to handle the commuting with a bicycle. It turned out the bike wasn’t up to standards for that kind of stress and the first weeks were more tragicomic than glorious. Thus the idea began to brew to actually document this journey.

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