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August 1st 2009
Published: August 1st 2009
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Roaming through Europe

Here's what we've done so far.

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.

Additional photos below
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Having fun in the lakeHaving fun in the lake
Having fun in the lake

She has no fear and Vasily CAN'T go swimming without her!!

He spent most of his time smiling and watching the action around him.

1st August 2009

We will need to schedule a BC night just for "Pam Adventures".. Wow, what a summer.. Take care. See you in SRQ.. When do you return?? Ciao, nancy
3rd August 2009

Absolutely Gorgeous
Jan and I had the chance to visit with one of our exchange students in the lake area of Finland many years ago. It is wonderful to see that little has changed. It's always rewarding to see our students all grown up with children of their own. Your photos are wonderful as always. Miss you both and can't wait to discuss your your most recent odyssey. Love to you both, Jim and Jan
31st August 2009

These pictures are great as always! Bea and Vasily's children are gorgeous and I can tell they must be very entertaining. Hope to hear all about Asheville next. I will catch you up in regular email soon. Hugsssss

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