In October 2018, we decided to embark on an adventure. We finally went visiting the land, which we had seen so many times in photos, unsure of what to do, with so many questions in mind, and afraid of making a mistake.
Moving to Finland was by now our goal, longed and desired, for the realization of our future dreams. However, choosing the location was not so simple. First, the only things we knew was what we learned from books and videos on YouTube. Second, the only word we knew in Finnish was hyvää päivää (good day). Third, we did not have the slightest knowledge of Finnish legislation, bureaucracy, or taxation. With hindsight, we can safely say that luck has been on our side for a long time.
We decided to restrict our search to Central Finland, for climatic reasons favorable to the installation of the greenhouses we want. After countless emails and refused phone calls, someone finally paid us attention. Of course, we had to expect this: an Italian and a Frenchman, living in London, contact an agency scattered in the Finnish woods via an email written in English, with a few finnish words copied on google translate to impress them. Supposedly, something smelled fishy to them.
Finally, a very kind and helpful agent contacted us, curious and amused by our story. We explained him what we were looking for, and he offered us one land on sale, confirming that it was the one we saw on their website.
We agreed on a date and booked our flight tickets to Helsinki.
Our Odyssey begins in London: to reach Gatwick Airport, we took a bus, a metro, and a train. The plane left at 7 pm, and we landed in Helsinki at midnight. As there was no train leaving until 5 in the morning, we decided to sleep at the airport, finding it useless to waste money on a hotel for only a few hours.
At 5:20 in the morning, we went on the first train and traveled for more than 4 hours. We arrived at Jyväskylaä station around 10 am and, as soon as we got off the train, we got hit by fresh, clean, fragrant air. Tall evergreen trees and an explosion of autumn colors welcomed us. So used to the noise, the hectic life, and the smells of London, now, here, we instantly felt at home.
The agent picked us up, and we drove 40 minutes through trees, forests, and lakes. We looked like two children in Disneyland, with our faces stuck to the window, with the intent on taking as many mental photographs as possible.
We arrived at the property, and after only 10 minutes of visiting, we exchanged an eloquent glance: it had to be ours. One hectare of land with two immense forests and a few minutes' walk from a small beach by the lake. The only problem: 4 old ruins, full of junk and furniture, to be destroyed before you can build anything. But instead of seeing an obstacle, we exclaimed: hey, free firewood!
We wandered in ecstasy in the woods, and we discovered old reusable hives, an underground cellar, and a stone wood stove in excellent condition and of great value.
We said goodbye to our trusted friend with a promise to hear from us in the following weeks, and we jumped back on the train.
Estimating having to move initially to Helsinki, we decided to spend two days in the city.
Like good tourists, the first thing we did as soon as we left our bags at the Hotel was to look for a restaurant where we could taste salmon, reindeer, and elk. We found it and, to date, after two years, it remains our favorite restaurant.
Helsinki impressed us for its calm, cleanliness, and organization, as well as for its beauty. We were happy as we could be.
On our way back, only thing on our mind: within a year, we had to move.
And so it was.