Åland, neither Finland nor Sweden

I visited the Åland islands for the first time two years ago, soon after our move to Sweden. The archipelago is the region of Finland laying closest to where I am located, yet despite belonging to the Republic of Finland (and the eurozone) Åland has always been enjoying a status of almost independence, raising its own flag and speaking its own language – Swedish. The islands are notable for their peaceful rural landscapes, the red granite beaches and for having one of the highest employment rates in Finland. Quite an intriguing combination. Continue reading

The sleeping pod experience at Helsinki airport

I love airports. I love everything about airports. Their timelessness, placelessness, the way they always seem disconnected with the world outside. They’re transit places, frontier spaces, concrete representations of the neither here nor there. Although 95% of the times I transited through an airport it was to catch a flight within Europe, sometimes I ended up being stranded there for hours, at times my layovers being longer than the actual flights. Every time I did so, it was because this was the cheapest way.  Continue reading