Finland, Finland How I Miss You #reprise #holiday

Four years ago today, I was on holiday, abroad. How strange those concepts feel now. Still it is lovely to return to the bonkers world that is Finland, if only for a while

Finland is full of trees. When it’s not wet. After Helsinki we ventured north, to the Lakeland and, boy do they have a lot of lakes. We flew about 400 miles and hired a car and then looked at the map. A to B as the Finnish Alpino Swallow flies was 25 miles. To avoid motorised water surfing, the road was 72 miles. This was something we had to get used to.

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Confession number 1. I assumed the trees would be pines, like in the Alps. All very nice on a postcard but a tad effing dull if you drive through canyons of the buggers as you meander around lakes that you know are just there but are buggered if you can see them. Wrong. As long as they were tall and thin with few spreading branches they got the gig. Rowan and silver birch, white beam and… well that’s about it but still. Better than I expected.

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We stayed in two places from which we explored.

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The first a splendid one woman operation at Eevantalo – Eeva’s House. Eeva was a dynamo. She did absolutely everything. Including cardamon buns freshly cooked. Now, when it comes to spices cardamon isn’t in my top three but in Eeva’s hardworn hands they were delicious.

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We managed several walks while hearing about some of the tough winter weather we were avoiding – ‘oh last year we had minus 46..’ Now pardon me but at that temperature the glib crap about ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing’ begins to look like so much bollocks. I mean that will freeze the inside of an atom.

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We thought, it being August and all, that we were still in the summer paradigm but the turning of the leaves and the plethora of fungi rather disabused us of this notion.

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And the nights did get a touch parky.

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So we stayed indoors, and played several ridiculous games of charades that Eeva watched but I suspect didn’t follow (and probably reinforced any notion she may have had that so far as the rest of Europe is concerned, Brexit and hermetically sealing off the UK might not be such a bad idea).

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One highlight that I did pass up, but which the Le Pard Youth undertook was the smoke sauna, involving regular dips in the fast flowing river. What is it that makes sweating such a pleasure? I sweat without a sauna. Indeed without any artificial heat. Just give me a pair of walking boots and a hill and I’m a pedestrianised puddle. But whatever floats your boat, even if it is saline…

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We left Eeva to rest up before the next guests and headed south. An eco resort awaited us, as did a 27 hour power-cut, a castle of Disney-esque beauty and bloody history and the most extraordinary museum imaginable

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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37 Responses to Finland, Finland How I Miss You #reprise #holiday

  1. Chel Owens says:

    “Pedestrianised puddle” about sums up my experience as well. What a beautiful country.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have also been to Helsinki, Geoff, and it was also in August. It was pretty cold and I had to wear my winter jacket.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. willowdot21 says:

    Absolutely remember reading this before, loved it so vivid. But I am afraid the stones and fungi scared me ridged this time…. willow pull yourself together! 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  4. JT Twissel says:

    I really enjoyed Finland too! A magical place.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. trifflepudling says:

    Wouldn’t it be lovely to just book somewhere and go like in days of yore …
    Sounds interesting and different. Was reading last week about the Oodi Library, Helsinki, which you might touch on in later posts.
    You look slimmer now (ahem, chins in that photo!)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ritu says:

    Beautiful Finland!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Suzanne says:

    Great to share the travelling bug [not literally] with the next generation.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We did a backcountry trip to Canada. The cabin had a wood-fired sauna and the best part was jumping in the 50-degree lake. Thanks for the photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Norah says:

    I’d love to visit Finland. I wonder if I’ll ever have the opportunity again.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Can’t wait to visit that mysteriously pretty place!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Joy Pixley says:

    I visited Finland about ten years ago and absolutely loved it! But I only saw cities and towns (mostly involving lots of Finnish food and history museums), so it’s lovely to see the countryside through your photos. Lucky for me, I *love* cardamom. And. actually, pretty much everything I ate there. Although some of it is obviously niche cuisine. I was the only non-Finnish person at the conference who not only tried the mustamakkara (blood sausage) at the breakfast buffet but went back for more every morning (with lingonberry jam, mm).

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      Ah brave! Not sure about blood sausage but then again I like black pudding and that’s pretty much the same. Maybe it’s just the translation

      Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        They’re all actually blood sausage — some cultures call them something else to pacify the squeamish. Probably would have the same problem if we called the rest of them flesh sausages, ew — not sure why blood should feel any worse, come to think of it. You can just think of it as black sausage if that makes it sound more appealing. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • TanGental says:

        It helps suppress my inner vampire…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joy Pixley says:

        Lol! Your inner vampire wouldn’t be much impressed, I think. There’s more juicy red blood in a steak than in blood sausage, where it’s all cooked to black.

        Liked by 1 person

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