Monday, 28 July 2014

Meripäivät - Kotka Maritime Festival

If you're wondering why I've been a little quieter than usual on the blog this weekend, it's all down to what's been happening in the small city in which I live; Kotka - Finland. Every year at the end of July, the town gets a makeover and over 200,000 people flock to the streets to participate in the maritime festivities. Which largely translates to soaking up the lively atmosphere and enjoying a beverage or six at one of the many outdoor bars and beer tents. As you can imagine, it didn't take much to convince me to participate!

The fun took place over a number of days, with so much to see and do. The festival drew it's inspiration from the Baltic Sea and on Thursday; the city saw a parade run through one of its main streets. The sun was out in full force and it was strange to see so many people lining the roads in such a usually, quiet place. 

The parade wasn't as focused on the, 'Baltic Sea' theme as I would have expected; however it was still interesting to see some of the clubs and local businesses taking part.

Scott and I skipped the festival on Friday as we had a pair of sore heads from the night before and decided to attend a BBQ at a friend's house instead. On Saturday we were up bright and early... Okay, maybe not so early, but we headed down to the harbour to check out the variety of stalls and food vendors. We took full advantage of the beer tents, which were a welcome pit stop in the scorching heat! Sunday consisted of pretty much the same, minus the alcohol. (Sore heads... again!) Nothing changes, right?

As well as the delicious food stalls and pop-up shops; there was a variety of live music on offer to suit everyone's tastes. There was a good mix of Finnish and English music being played, which really added to the party atmosphere. The day concerts are completely free, which is an added bonus and many of the beer tents/areas around town had smaller bands playing throughout the night. So wherever you ended up, there was always something going on to keep the crowds happy. 

Finally, I will leave you with some lovely pictures of Kotka so that you can see a little more of what the town has to offer. If you ever find yourself in Finland during the festival period, you should absolutely pop by and join in the fun!

For more information on the Kotka Maritime Festival, click here



  1. This is such a lovely post and some great pictures. I've always wanted to go to Finland since I was a teenager. Do you like living there?xx

    1. Thanks lovely. It's such a beautiful country and a great place to live. I have my moments of missing home comforts and things but on the whole, it's such a peaceful and relaxed place. It's great if you're an outdoorsy person. I'd definitely recommend a visit. Helsinki is a nice city with some great shops and bars and it's such a short flight from the UK. xxx


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