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Old 21st September 2012, 23:03   #61
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Default Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

Ever since I bought this cycle, I tried to use it as much as possible. every evening when it is sunny and warm, I rode out 20-25 kms and over the weekends stretch that a bit more. My initial target was 50 kms and that's when I realized that Replot bridge is around 25 kms from my home. So, there you go..my target is fixed.
One weekend I took off on a ride from Gamla Vaasa to Replot bridge. I've done this 2 more times thereafter.


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Old 24th September 2012, 06:46   #62
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Default Finns and their Cars

To go any further in this topic, It is necessary to talk about the mind set of the Finns.

I'm not entirely sure if it is European thing but the Finns atleast are very practical in their approach in buying anything. For now, I'd rather talk cars.
The Americans have been living a life where they've been told more is good. less is not good. Where the Americans are greedy for bhp and the way a car looks is of Primal importance for Americans, the Finns look for the Utility factor in their cars. Form follows Functionality.

Here is a typical American car buyers list -

Coupe - For fast driving on the interstates.
SUV/Truck - to tow a boat or for family holidays.
Sedan - Daily driver.
Minivan - For family runs/Soccer moms.

All of these cars are used only for their intended usage and that's it.

The Finns want to see how maximum they can stretch the usability of their cars. Which is why Station Wagons are the preferred choice of cars of many. Station wagon versions of every car is available here. Heard of a Honda Civic Station Wagon? well, I've seen one here. SUV's and Vans figure out high up as well. Hatchbacks are not far off.
Practicality -most cars have a proper tow hook. hatchbacks even. If they have to lug around stuff that would not fit in the boot, they will hook up a trailer to whatever car they have and carry on with their business. Heck I've seen Fiat Punto's with the tow hook as well as Mercedes S Class too. No surprise that my Citroen Xantia has it too.
In fact I moved my furniture to my house using a trailer on my friends Mondeo.
The Americans will have a pick up truck just for that..They can't think of anything apart from grocery bags in their cargo space.

one thing to note in all of these is that the Finns are not big fans of high capacity engines..well, not as much as the Americans. It is easy to find a lot of cars/SUV's/Vans which have outputs of 100-150 bhp across the range that is available.
Fuel efficiency takes an important point in decision making and therefore, Diesels sell well. Also, popular demand is for Manual transmission.
On the contrary, 90% of Americans will go into Panic mode if you show them a manual transmission.

By this I don't categorically mean to say Finns hate American cars. No way. There are quite a few Americans cars around. some trucks even. In fact, they are allowed to import any car older than 25 yrs without tax into Finland. Through this option, a lot of Finns buy old Muscle cars and Hot Rods from the US. a small city like Vaasa has clubs for Hot Rods and American Cars.

Shelf life - I'm sure cars here will be driven till it reaches its grave. I've seen cars which have clocked 5L, 6L kms and they sell for a good price too. it is considered normal. People just don't mind driving around old cars as daily drivers. Interestingly a lot of old cars are used in exactly the same way a new car would be.
I see cars like '55 Chevy Ber Air used for daily commute. These kind of cars would typically, in many parts of the world, be stored in a climate controlled garage and shined over weekends and driven for 5-10 miles and stored again.

What cars are sold ?

All brands of cars can be found being sold in Finland. I've seen a few Suzuki Alto's (the one we in India still call Alto) and the Alto's (which we know as A Star)..Not surprisingly, Volvos and SAAB's are found in abundance. Some Russian Lada's have also made their way. German cars too have their entire line up available. in fact, most of the Cabs around are Mercedes E Class/Skoda Superb/BMW 5 series in either Sedan or Station Wagon. Haven't yet seen any other car used as a cab.

Also, a whole cottage industry caters to the people who want to buy a microcar. the cars with the ' TATA NANO' formula. well, not entirely. their 400-500cc Lombardini 2 cylinder engines are in the front and these cars are 2 seaters and for city driving only.
They end up being Student cars. The min. age limit for driving these cars is 15. They cost around 13000 . Not really cheap eh.

Unfortunately, the taxes are extremely high and this makes even thinking of a new car a big deal. So, it looks like I'll be stuck with my Xantia as long as I'm around in Finland..or untill I manage to figure out how to go to Sweden, buy a car, and drive it back to Finland and register it too.
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Old 24th September 2012, 12:16   #63
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Default Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

The points raised by you regarding the cars and their usage in Finland are actually valid all across Europe and UK. Station wagons are biggest sellers because you get practicality and fun factor. They are so popular that M5, RS4 and AMGs have station wagon variants.
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Old 25th September 2012, 02:47   #64
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Default Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

Absolutely loving your thread. Thanks for taking us to Vaasa.

As you mentioned about the tax liberty on older cars, going across Europe on a car hunt is worth it.
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Old 25th September 2012, 10:22   #65
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Thumbs up Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

Was so glued to this thread that I missed lunch..and I am not complaining . A well deserved 5 stars. Hope to write a travelogue some day...so many places..so much to tell..and no time :(
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Old 26th September 2012, 14:38   #66
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Default Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

Post deleted by the Team-BHP Support : Please do NOT post one-liners that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the overall quality of this forum.

Please read our rules before proceeding any further.

Last edited by GTO : 3rd October 2012 at 15:29.
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Old 29th September 2012, 22:30   #67
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Default Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

This thread makes me Nostalgic. I have not visited the Nordics yet but the whole Europe is the same.
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Old 30th September 2012, 06:52   #68
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Default Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

Really good way of explaining fins with respect to other parts of the world. Eagerly waiting to hear more about fins and their lifestyle.
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Old 30th September 2012, 12:37   #69
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Default Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

back from my Hiatus.
Was in India packing up bag and baggage to come back to Finland. must tell you, its an Arduous task this relocation.



Quote:
Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
The points raised by you regarding the cars and their usage in Finland are actually valid all across Europe and UK. Station wagons are biggest sellers because you get practicality and fun factor. They are so popular that M5, RS4 and AMGs have station wagon variants.
right said. 2WD SUV's are effectively Station Wagons on stilts. atleast, that is the way I see them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by A M View Post
Absolutely loving your thread. Thanks for taking us to Vaasa.

As you mentioned about the tax liberty on older cars, going across Europe on a car hunt is worth it.
you'll be taken around on all travels within Finland as well as out of Finland. keep watching.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adg_andy View Post
Was so glued to this thread that I missed lunch..and I am not complaining . A well deserved 5 stars. Hope to write a travelogue some day...so many places..so much to tell..and no time :(
.


Quote:
Originally Posted by vinayrathore View Post
This thread makes me Nostalgic. I have not visited the Nordics yet but the whole Europe is the same.
I am yet to see the rest of Europe..well, I recently went to Germany.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford5 View Post
Really good way of explaining fins with respect to other parts of the world. Eagerly waiting to hear more about fins and their lifestyle.
Sure thing. Keep watching.

Last edited by moralfibre : 2nd October 2012 at 13:00. Reason: Editing to remove a deleted post.
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Old 30th September 2012, 13:34   #70
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Default Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

Quote:
Originally Posted by PowerTrained View Post
14000rpm,
Very interesting TL, indeed it brings back memories of Finland when I lived for a while in Helsinki ( I worked for Nokia ). Its a beautiful country with most humble and honest people, unlike Germans, racism is absent. .
Its funny how many times the R word crops up in relation to Germany and Germans. Having lived in southern Germany for two years my wife & I have not been at the receiving end of a single instance of racism of any kind.

Sure there are many German folks who miss the good ol' days when the working population was mostly local & Turkish doner (fast food) joints did not exist at every street corner. But I suspect this qualifies more as nostalgia than a racist mindset.

While there are right wing radicals in the eastern part of the country their influence is limited. Its the same recipe : economic stagnation + a growing number if immigrants from eastern Europe = discontent among locals. But at the end of the day the rule of law prevails. Any kind of racial abuse reported is treated very seriously and the perpetrators are taken to task.

Consider this - A few weeks ago there was a regional meeting of a right wing extremist group in a town not far from where I reside. What it turned out to be was a few dozen bikers with tattoos and piercings representing a right wing group. As it turned out an opposition group, of the liberal variety, turned up in much greater numbers and politely asked the bikers to leave citing that they did not want any trouble in their town and guess what the bikers pretty much did. End of story.

In contrast I find the situation back home in India, with 'outsiders' getting thrashed in Mumbai on a regular basis, cars from neighbouring states getting torched in Bangalore and Chennai, Communal tensions still prevailing in many towns, to be a lot worse.

And the worst part of the narrative is that the perpetrators get away scot free more often than not. I would rate our country on a much higher scale of racial discrimination than countries that we tend to associate with R word. Does not mean that we do not have the right to point fingers at the outside world but its important to get the perspective right.

Sorry to go off topic - but I though it was important to highlight the situation in Germany since this thread that has many references to life in Europe.

Im sure there are members in here with expereinces contrary to mine - please do share.
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Old 30th September 2012, 14:36   #71
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Default Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zed View Post
Its funny how many times the R word crops up in relation to Germany and Germans.
Sorry to go off topic - but I though it was important to highlight the situation in Germany since this thread that has many references to life in Europe.
OT:
Zed, I too wanted to explain this "R" word things, but I didn't want to go about giving explanations because, it is something to be experienced and not explained. No matter how many times you explain it, someone or other will come out with this "R" word in Germany and Germans. Sometimes, we get into such fallacies like, "Since Germany and Germans were so, they will be so for ever!" OTOH, there have been a couple of instances recently by those "Right wing", but the perpetrators were nabbed within minutes by the Polizei. I am sure you would have read them in "Die Zeit".

14000RPM - you were in Germany recently???

Hey, updates please! By the way, one tip: Ask your finnish friends regarding the car from sweden, because, here in Germany, its never an issue to drive around with cars from neighbouring countries. My collegues have cars bought from Italy(with italian plates) and Swiss plates!(I did speak with them about it, and they say, its not a problem legally, just pay your road taxes here after a re-registration). They are Germans, have no residence in those countries. I guess the Open borders in EU have some rules in place to facilitate such things. Not sure about scandanavia, check it out though!

Last edited by AlphaKilo : 30th September 2012 at 14:37.
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Old 1st October 2012, 16:11   #72
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Default Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

Superb travelogue of a place less traveled as compared to the UKs and US of the world.
For me Finland was nothing more then the home of NOKIA. But this travelogue has given much more of insight of this beautiful little country.
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Old 2nd October 2012, 10:59   #73
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Default Cruise around the Archipelago

few weekends ago, a few friends and I went on a cruise around the Archipelago which starts from Vaasa and goes around a lot of islands. The archipelago in Finland has been identified as a World Heritage Site.

Before I go further, you really need to know what it is all about.

The Archipelago

By definition, it only means a collection of a large number of Islands. Archipelagos may be found isolated in bodies of water or neighboring a large land mass. For example, Scotland has more than 700 islands surrounding its mainland which constitute an archipelago. Archipelagos are often volcanic, forming along island arcs generated by subduction zones or hotspots, but may also be the result of erosion, deposition and land elevation.

The five largest modern countries that are mainly archipelagos are Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The largest archipelagic state in the world, by area and population, is Indonesia. The archipelago with the most islands is the Archipelago Sea in Finland.

The archipelago in Finland is due to Land Elevation.

How did it form?

The Kvarken Archipelago dates back to the Ice age. The land in the Kvarken was pressed down approximately 800 m due to the weight of the 3 km thick glacier above it. The inland ice started melting 10,000 years ago. The land began to rise when the pressure of the inland ice receded: at first the land uplift was more than one metre per year. Nowadays, land uplift is slower, approximately 8-8.5 mm per year. These factors, together with the inland ice, created the exceptional circumstances from which the diverse moraine formations in the Kvarken region were created.

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The land Uplift, our inheritance from the ice age, causes a constant and rapid change in the landscape and nature.
an example photo below :

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We hopped onto a 2.5 hr long cruise which took us around the islands close by and stopped at one of the island which incidentally has a restaurant too.

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The cottages you see on the islands are Summer cottages. Most Finns either own such cottages or rent them out during the summer vacations. Most of these are around the 1000 odd lakes all over Finland. they spend the entire month long vacation time around this cottage. some say it say therapeutic.

The rocks that you see jut out of water are the ones that have risen through time and continue to rise.
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Old 2nd October 2012, 11:04   #74
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Default Cruise around the Archipelago

Cruised around a bit more and stopped by at an Island restaurant..
we then spent some time around the island, had our lunch and got back to main land. pretty interesting stuff this archipelago.
The only way to find out of land has really risen is to go back to the same place after a few years and take the same pix and compare.

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Old 2nd October 2012, 11:39   #75
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Default Re: Times of Finland : How I live here

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Originally Posted by AlphaKilo View Post
14000RPM - you were in Germany recently???

Hey, updates please!
I was on a 4 day business trip to Munich, Hamburg and Frankfurt. I had very little time in hand for anything else. that is the worst bit. Next time around , I will travel with more time in Hand for roaming around. A friend has promised to take me around the Nurburgring in his BMW next time around. let's see how it will all Pan out. I will let you know for sure.
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