When I heard about Steffi’s blog parade ‘Silvester unterwegs’ – ‘New Year’s Eve abroad’ I was very excited to take part since I knew I would spend the change of the year in our new home in Tampere, Finland, already.

However, it turned out that my New Year’s Eve 2014/15 would be very different from how it had been the years before!

After traveling to Finland by car including 2 nights on the ferry from Travemünde to Helsinki we arrived in Tampere the day before New Year. Happy to finally be here, we immediately started setting up our house and making plans and to-do lists for furniture shopping. Instead of preparing for a big New Year’s Eve party we spend most of the afternoon strolling through different furniture shops trying to ignore the rocket fire all around us which started already in the early morning hours.

Big plans for 2015

Because of our plans for 2015 including hard training for the Tough Viking race (and beyond) and quitting cigarettes and alcoholic beverages in search for a healthier lifestyle (yes, it’s true and so far we’ve been quite successful!) we decided not to go out celebrating the New Year, but instead to chill in our new home. A few times during the evening we went to the balcony from where we’ve got quite a view over the neighboring areas and watched the rockets in the sky, sometimes slightly doubting our decision of staying at home. The noise outside resembling a war zone made it quite difficult to focus on a movie.

One hour paparazzi tour

As passionate photographers, we wanted to take some pictures of the fireworks and the parties. So we left just before midnight – completely sober (!) – to observe the partying people. We basically saw the Finnish New Year’s Eve in a nutshell: Lots of drunken Finns, rockets, champagne, more champagne, and a street fight.

Finnish New Year in a nutshell

Everybody seemed happy and drunk! The streets were full of people walking around with all kinds of alcoholic beverages: women mainly with sparkling wine or champagne, men with beer or vodka bottles and even drunken kids surely not older than 14.

We left the crowded main street to walk towards the harbor where the biggest firework show was supposed to take place. At Laukontori Square hundreds of people had gathered and more and more kept joining the crowd, everyone waiting for the big fireworks to start. It really was worth waiting!

Finnish New Year in a nutshell

After an amazing rocket show at the Laukontori square we started walking back to our car when a fight broke out in front of us. First it started with just 2 guys but suddenly it escalated and several people including a security guard were involved. I have heard that fights like that tend to happen in Finland a lot although I have to add that I never had any problems or did not feel safe at night.

Finnish New Year in a nutshell

On the way home we stopped at a gas station and bought potato chips and a big bottle of coke. We ended up on our mattresses on the living room floor (where soon our new couch will be placed) watching another movie until the war zone outside calmed down and we could go to sleep.

Morning run instead of hangover

We slept very well that first night of the New Year and woke up in 2015 without hangover and empty wallets. We went for a morning run and enjoyed the cold, fresh air and the peaceful atmosphere while everybody else was still sleeping, curing their hangovers or – in the case of Finnish people –  maybe still drinking…

Finnish New Year in a nutshell

That was my impression of my first Finnish New Year and a good start into our new life in Finland! We’ve been without smoking and without any alcohol for almost 4 weeks now (we stopped already on Dec 28 on the ship) determined and motivated to train hard and live healthy in 2015 🙂

How did you spend New Year’s Eve this year and what are your resolutions for 2015? Are you still sticking to them? Tell me about it in the comments below!


2014 - living the dream (part I)
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