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Published: August 1st 2009
Countless lakes, dense forests, moose, fireweed, and endless hours of daylight, it could be Alaska, but it's Finland. The pristine countryside of Finland was a feast for the eyes and the soul. Our 5 days in the remote woodlands and lakes of the Lakeland region were wonderful. The weather was glorious and the time spent with good friends was precious.
Picking wild strawberries and blueberries, looking for mushrooms, rowing on the lake, walking in the woods, playing with the children, and exploring the nearby town of Savonlinna were some of our main activities. We were able to experience a Finnish hot tub which was really interesting. Lake water was pumped into the wooden stave tub and was then heated by a wood fire pit built into the side of the tub. Unfortunately, in the filling of the tub, a small fish was pumped into the tub and became a bit "over-heated" by the time we discovered him. The long hours of daylight gave us lots of time to eat, talk, play, and enjoy our time with Bea's family.
Savonlinna hosts an Opera Festival every year and we were here during the festival. The operas are held inside the castle
located in the town. The setting was magical and the performances were excellent. Upon arrival at the airport one of the opera singers greeted the plane with an aria from Carmen. It was very cool.
Our road trip to the Valamo Monastery was lovely. The route led us through miles of dense forest to a Russian monastery built in the 1940's on Lake Juojärvi. We were able to stoll the peaceful grounds, visit the churches and exhibitions, and have a fabulous lunch in the monastery refectory.
Thanks Bea, Vasily, Alicia, and Adrian, we had a wonderful time!
PS - The photos are a joint effort of Bea and mine.
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