Finnish flags are flying high up on the ski jumps, the games flame is burning on the edge of the forest, the audience is flocking around and streaming towards the focal point of the Lahti World Ski Championships, the famous Lahti Sports Centre. The ski jumping qualifying round is about to begin, and sprint skiers, whose turn will come later, are already warming up on the ski tracks.
Päivi and Ari Ervanen are following all this from their living room window. In their apartment, they also have a direct view of the competition area from their balcony and the window of their sauna.
“The best thing about having an own grandstand view is that we can see the ski jumps from the window and follow the landing more accurately on TV, the fridge is nearby and we don't need to freeze out in the cold,” Päivi and Ari say with a laugh.
The market stalls spread over the whole length of the couple's home street, Paasikivenkatu. In spite of having their own grandstand view, Ari also goes to the actual arena for a few days to watch the games.
The best thing about this home is its location
In fact, the view was not the decisive factor that attracted Päivi and Ari Ervanen to move into this apartment. The real attraction was the location of the apartment in the centre of Lahti, close to services, city life, opportunities for leisure activities as well as nature. The market square is less than a kilometre away, and the trails of the Salpauselkä outdoor activity area begin almost from the front door.
Päivi is a native of Lahti. She grew up only a stone's throw from the current home. Päivi and Ari both attended the former Lahti Vocational School, located across the road from their apartment.
The magnificent views from their seventh-floor apartment came as a surprise.
“We lived in Mukkula, five kilometres from the centre, for more than 30 years. In our senior years, we wanted to be in the centre, close to everything. It’s nice to start off from here, when you always see people and run into someone you know, and I know this neighbourhood like the back of my hand,” says Päivi.
In 2005, the Ervanen couple saw a newspaper advertisement about an apartment of a suitable size in the city centre. When they moved into their new Lumo home, the amazing views from their seventh-floor apartment came as a surprise.
“On the day we moved in, Lahti celebrated its 100th anniversary, and there was a wonderful fireworks above the ski jumps,” the couple reminisces with a smile.
“We find ourselves between the landmarks of Lahti, as from our bedroom window we can see the radio masts of Lahti, which often glow in various colours in autumn and winter evenings. Not a bad surprise at all.”
Area full of possibilities
Päivi and Ari, who used to work in the food industry, are now retired, and have the time to enjoy and use the various opportunities for leisure activities in their area. Päivi is an avid swimmer who is delighted at having a swimming pool, the outdoor swimming pool in the landing area of the ski jumps, and the beaches of the lakes Vesijärvi and Mytäjäinen near her home.
“I begin my summer mornings with a swim in the outdoor swimming pool. The parks, such as the Fellman Park and the Pikku Vesijärvi area, are also nearby. I have been skiing, jogging and practicing orienteering in this landscape since I was a little girl,” Päivi says.
In summer, Ari can be found on a biking trail, on a walk or in a group of people playing Mölkky. Earlier, he participated about a dozen times in the Finlandia Ski Marathon, so, in the World Ski Championships, skiing in particular is close to his heart. Päivi describes her husband as being always on the move. He also uses time on the internet, where he follows harness racing.
“You’re always supposed to push your body to its limits, even though not as far any longer,” Ari points out.
Ari also often attends a variety of events in the Sports Centre, which is a nice pastime for a pensioner with a sports background. The world championships got even Päivi to watch sports.
“As children and in our younger years, we always went to see the championship games, and we had family and friends from other towns staying over during the games. We have good memories of the world championships,” Päivi says.
“We would be very delighted if Finland succeeded this year. If we get any medals, we will definitely cheer the winners – and maybe even pop open a bottle of bubbly!
Päivi and Ari Ervanen
Two-room apartment 50.5 m2 on the 7th floor
In the centre of Lahti, next door to the Sports Centre
Spectacular view over the Sports Centre and ski jumps
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