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Published: August 10th 2014
Kuopio Finland 7 & 8 August
We arrived in Kuopio (100,000 people founded under Swedish rule in the 1500s) at lunch time after travelling on some excellent secondary roads...past many lakes...and pine forests! We were really disappointed because we missed an excellent event that is held in this town in the 1st week in July: the 'Wife-carrying World Championship' which has the theme attached ' she aint heavy, she's my wife'!!!!! Yes you guessed it, the husband has to carry his 'wife' over his shoulder 253.3m obstacle course, through water traps and over hurdles to achieve the fastest time. The winner gets the wife's weight in beer!!!! How funny is that?
Non-the-less, we parked in the city centre and found the very helpful Tourist Office on Market Square, and had lunch. We were given the address of a mobile home retailer and repairer as the gas phase on our 3-phase fridge had stopped working and we also had a hole in the muffler. As soon as we arrived at this company, several guys, of different English capabilities, got the information they needed for us and set to work. The young guy did the work under the council of the
wiser blokes. We were astounded. In less than 50 minutes, the fridge was working and Mollie was purring like a kitten again....and it cost 80 Euro.
There was the senior woman of the outfit who beckoned me over to her. She wanted to show me this cleaning product. After going with her and watching her clean their toilet, the walls, doors, then out to our motor home, cleaning the duco, windows, benches, all this with no exchange of English. Well I was impressed so bought it for 9 Euro.
One of the older guys who had very broken English, and of course I had no Finnish, told me about travelling from Kuopio through all the lakes and then the Russian Canal which then flowed into the Gulf of Bothnia, and then to the Baltic Sea. He also showed me on our map what territory the Finns had before the Russians took some of their land.
We went away from Kuopion Vaunuhuolto Oy, at address Vanttitie 2, Kelloniemi 70460, feeling fantastic and so impressed. We also had a few laughs with them and they learned how appreciative and fun loving we Aussies are.
We were so elated
that we booked into the 5-star camp site, Rauhalahti after visiting the Puijon Torni tower which is a distinctive landmark and can be seen from afar. The tower is a telecommunications tower and has a cafe and restaurant up the top. The view was spectacular too. We could really see how many islands and lakes there were, sprinkled between the forests.
The current tower is the 3rd on the site. The 1st one was burnt down, the 2nd was too short and the 3rd and current tower is 75 metres tall and was built in 1963.
It was then back to the camp site where we experienced a traditional Finnish night in one of their restaurants, with a roast smorgasbord, including smoked salmon and yoghurt with loganberries. We rode our bikes to the venue which took about 10 minutes. The dinner was followed by a show put on by a lumberjack who bounced from log to log in the lake, performing all these antics. We had no idea what he was talking about during his performance but the locals were laughing!
We then followed all this up with Tom & I going into a smoked sauna which
is very popular amongst Finns, even in winter. They roll in snow after they have the sauna in winter, but in summer they jump into the lake. This is what Tom did - too cold for me!!!! It was very relaxing....except for the fact that the lumberjack was also having a sauna (it's a mixed affair) and he didn't stop talking for the full 15 minutes I was in there for . I wish I knew what he was saying.
After a magnificent shower, we hopped back on the bikes, got back to our motor home feeling amazing. It was a good night.
There was a short shower of rain overnight but the morning was fine. Last night, we actually went to bed in the dark, which we hadn't done for over a month. At 11.30 it was dark, with 11.00pm twilight. We are travelling further south so the nights are getting shorter and the weather is heating up.
The next morning, we did some computer work, called Kerrie & Adam and got going very slowly. We went down to the harbour of Kuopio and walked through the market square again before driving out of the city
by 1.00pm after lunch.
We then drove SE to Savonlinna, which is also in Lakesland District as is Kuopio.
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