A week ago I knew very little about Finland (capital Helsinki, Nokia, Mika Hakkinen, Santa Claus, Vodka and not much more), but after a few days there I've learned much much more and I intend to return.
The Finns are extremely welcoming - they are quite rightly proud of their beautiful country and want to show it off and share the peace and tranquility of the many lakes and forests.
There's lots to do - cycling, rafting, canoeing, kayaking, bear watching, hiking, fishing, swimming and of course lots of opportunities for a relaxing sauna. In the winter there's cross country skiing, husky dog sledding, sledging, downhill skiing and icefloating. Aswell as all of the outdoor activities and wildlife possibilities there's a lot of culture to explore - with museums such as the Winter War museum in Suomosalmi and the war monument, the silent people and the old Tar route to name, but a few.
One of the stranger things I noticed was that Emmerdale appears to be prime time TV - it's not something I usually watch despite being from Yorkshire, yet I found myself oddly transfixed to the Finnish subtitles juxtaposed with a Yorkshire accent!
I've only visited a small part of this beautiful country - they say Finland is shaped like a lady and if so I have just traversed her waistline from Oulu to Kuhmo and then travelled north to Kuusamo almost to the Arctic circle. The scenery was stunning - lots of pine forest and lakes, rivers and waterfalls and lovely quiet roads.
I can now say a few words in Finnish - kiitos (thank you), and of course kippis (cheers!) I know there are around 5 million Finnish people,
The food is delicious - salmon, reindeer, lots of berries (some I knew of already such as blueberries and cranberries, but I've also now tasted cloud berries and lingon berries) There is even a law called "everyman's right" which means anyone can pick berries anywhere without permission. Finland in Finnish is Suomi so "kiitos Suomi" for a wonderful few days and keep an eye on our website if you'd like to visit this beautiful country.
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