And Finnally, Mad Music And Murky Meals: #finland


And this is the last Finnish post, or should that be the Finnish Line? Lots more pictures and some ott weirdness

Why is it that, miles into a Finnish forest my phone had 4 bars of signal, 4G too whereas at home in south London it has nothing, nada, buggerall, zip? Are we rationed? Do the Finns have something we don’t? Maybe, I mused, as yet another email buzzed in my pocket, it’s the Nokia legacy. Not that we noticed much of that once huge company. Well, other than one of the two national sports being phone throwing, as long as it is a Nokia. Prescient really because I often wanted to toss my Nokia as far as I could.

(The other sport? Wife carrying.


a long, long drop….

We drove south from Kuppio and Eevantalo, intending to enjoy a couple of days near Mikkeli, on the shores of Lake Saimaa, the largest lake in Finland.


It was a decent drive, the roads aren’t bad – there’s little traffic in truth – though there isn’t a lot to see beyond water and trees.


But one thing stood out on our route – The Museo Mekaanisen musiikin (mechanical music museum) near Varkaus. Believe me I’ve done weird but this is up there.


Partly it is the exhibits, these extraordinary machines that produce mechanised music using normal instruments but mostly it was mine host, a cracked German expat with a deep antipathy for Germans, Brexit and anything politically correct.


We laughed – a bit – we cringed – a lot and we had a quite splendid two hours.


If you do wander into this part of the world then do visit.


Just make sure you take a thick skin with you.

It seemed wrong to leave, oddly disloyal but the eco lodge we had booked into called us so off we set.


The lodge we were allocated was perfect. Idyllic really. On the lake, with trails and bike paths everywhere it promised lots.


During our first day we took time out to drive to Suomenlinna which is a chocolate box of a castle that sits in a lake and once guarded the Swedish-Russian border. It was worth the detour though, once again the fact we were out of season even in mid August threw us rather with a number of cafes and restaurants already shut.


At least, we thought, we had the eco-lodge and the promised fine food.

the wall of the restaurant in the eco lodge: yep, plastic ducks as decoration – you need to be Finnish to understand.

Hmm, we hadn’t banked on a storm, nothing particularly wild, that took out our power. Goodness are we dependent on power. And how are we spoiled in the UK with the sanctity of our supplies. I can’t remember a power-cut longer than two or three hours. Here it lasted 27 hours and was still counting when we left.

On the upside the toilets flushed. On the down we had four meals by candle-light with an increasingly frazzled waitress. We lost the boat that was tied up to our private jetty before the storm hit. But we did take some lovely shots of the 6 of us as couples.

In the end, despite the lovely scenery and plentiful time to read, it was good to set off south again and hunt out some power to recharge phones and ipads. If I didn’t know it before I am now fully aware that on a self-reliance scale of ten I barely make first grade.


Still I do appreciate my good fortune. It was a lovely holiday, especially with the whole family and other halves in tow. Now they are all in their 20s that is something of a treat.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. 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.
This entry was posted in holidays and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to And Finnally, Mad Music And Murky Meals: #finland

  1. Ritu says:

    It really is idyllic 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s looks absolutely stunning.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. willowdot21 says:

    It’s looks lovely but looks can deceive and I am not entering the carrying the wife race… Sounds like a new book for you Geoff. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Darlene says:

    No electricity can be a real bother, even at an ecolodge. Great pictures of all of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The next year it would be carrying the ex-wife if I entered that item. Ecolodge? Come on people. That’s what eco is all about.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sartenada says:


    You are the first during my blogging history who visited the Mechanical music museum in Varkaus. My hat and thank you. My post from 2010.

    Mechanical Music Museum

    Happy and safe travels!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m pleased you enjoyed it. Even in my prime wife-carrying may have defeated me

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Charli Mills says:

    Lovely trip! I live among Finlandians who still speak their native language and hold to their skills of self-reliance which are pretty much off the charts. How fun to travel with your kids and their partners — 20s are a great age!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Widdershins says:

    OK Finland is now firmly ensconced in my TBV list! : D … these adventures are wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.