Bluberry juice in Finland - a review

The first thing that comes to mind when you hear of Finland might be the white snow. But in the summer, Finland turns blue due to its blueberries (and maybe a few other colours as the wild gets rich in berries in this berry berry beautiful berryland). My first stint with it was on my Finnair flight from Helsinki to Kuopio where they served the blueberry juice. A sip and it was instant love. The blueberry juice is a signature drink of the Finnair. I wish the Delhi - Helsinki flight was not cancelled due to Covid or else I would have got another few cups. 

It was only after reaching here, I learnt that the Finnish forests are full of berries in summer, and it is everyman's right to pick a berry from the forest. If you are here in summer this is something you must try hands-on. However, if you are in Finland in the freezing winters just like me, I suggest you grab a tetra-pack of the blueberry juice available at all major supermarkets. Finnair has also started selling its branded blueberry drink through the K-group chain. 

As this was the first love, I am taking this as the standard to write this review of blueberry juices in Finland. (Disclaimer: I am not a food expert. I am just adventurous enough to try all sorts of food). 

Why not to use SBI?

State Bank of India is undoubtedly the most popular bank in India. The State Bank group offers a wide range of services starting from daily banking to mutual funds, insurance, corporate banking and may be many more that are out of my knowledge. However, after being their customer for around ten years, here I present a list of reasons why you would avoid them (especially for banking).

Finland : first travel experience and tips

Hello from Finland!

I have relocated to Finland to join as an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) at the University of Eastern Finland. And this would mark my first travel outside India. After 3 years of getting the Indian passport, it finally got stamped at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi on 3rd December 2020. I started my journey from my home town in Tura, Meghalaya early morning on 3rd December for Guwahati - the nearest operational airport. From Guwahati (GAU) I flew to Delhi (DEL) and from there onward to Kuopio (KUO) via Frankfurt (FRA) and Helsinki (HEL). My flight exiting Delhi was at early morning at 3.35 a.m (IST) on 4th December and reached Kuopio the same day at around 9.00 p.m. (IST). 

Here I present a summary of all the preparations, experience and tips for first time international travellers like me or someone who would like to come to Finland. Apart from my experiences, I have also listed some other resources that will be helpful while travelling in Finland and international travel as a whole.

Felu'da the traveler

The Feluda series by Satyajit Ray is usually listed as one of the finest literary works in crime thriller genre. But beyond each crime is hidden a wonderful travelogue. This series has always been my favourite but the current lockdown due to corona pandemic has helped me see it in a new light. Like everyone else, I was craving to travel - more so because the lockdown foiled atleast two planned trips. I found my refuge in these stories by Satyajit Ray through movies and audio stories by Radio Mirchi Bangla. I had read, heard or seen the stories earlier but this time I also discovered how the master craftsman through his words carrys us to a different place. The experience is further elated through the sound scapes created by DJ Richard in Sunday Suspense version of the stories. There are 35 stories in the series published between 1965 and 1995. My personal favorite currently is Ebar Kando Kedarnathe. In June 2019 I had visited the Valley of Flowers and Badrinath and was planning a trip to Kedarnath or Madhyamaheswar in 2020. As I heard the story through the voices of Sabyasachi Chakrabarty, Jagannath Basu and Soumok the familiar scenes came flashing before my eyes.

For those who haven't yet read the stories, do get a copy of the collection from Amazon or Flipkart. You can also enjoy the audio stories and movies but they are mostly in Bengali. I have tried listing the available audio-visual contents based on these stories. Enjoy!!!

24 hours in Panchgani

Before the Covid pandemic struck I was fortunate enough to make two trips in 2020 - Pune and Panchgani in February and Chennai in March. I have written about my Chennai trip in a story earlier as a part of  Tripoto's contest my last trip before lockdown. This is the story of my first trip of 2020 or the second last before lockdown. I was actually in Pune for a conference organised by CDAC and held at IISER. After the conference concluded I had kept on hand an extra day to explore this region. Not to mention that there are numerous hill stations in this region that serve as weekend getaways for Punekars. But the best time to visit the region is during or after the monsoon when the landscape is at its best green. Unfortunately, I was there at a time when there were only dry leaves and grasses on the hills.