tiistai 12. heinäkuuta 2016

Finland, part 2

Summer in Finland has been so typical Finnish summer: too cold for me. :D We have had just a couple of warm days and I have enjoyed them! After visiting Norway I spent some time with my brother's family. Unfortunately I didn't see my brother at all because he was driving a truck some where in Europe. 

We did geocaching with my nephews and sister-in-law. My nephews are so amazing! There were so many times they just run ahead us and before Minna and I were even near the cache they found it. Couple of times we were still sitting in the car when boys already found the cache!

I have two cats, Julia and Romeo, who are living with my brothers family. Romeo used to take his own trips every now and then. He was wandering somewhere again so I didn't see him at all this time. Julia liked to come in to my room and in to my bed to ask me to pet her.

Finland is a country of thousands lakes (187 888 lakes witch are bigger than 500 square meter). Where ever (almost) you go you can find at least a small lake. And of course many summer cottages around the lake. This one is not a private summer cottage. It is Aitopirtti, owned by SDA church of Aitolahti, Tamperel

No matter how cold it is kids want to swim anyway.

I spent one weekend in Jyväskylä with my beloved friend and her family. As you can see, kids (and mum) had a lot of clothes on. Yes, it was a cold day!

I am not a dog lover but this dog is an exception. Nita is my real friend. She is Finnish Lapphund. Every time I visit my friends, Nita come to me, look at me with her big eyes and wait for petting. She stays next to me though I've been told she is usually hiding behind the sofa or some where else.

My parent's summer house is near Hämeenlinna, the city where I have lived about five years when I was studying to be a teacher. Hämeenlinna is quite nice city in the summer. This is the library of Hämeenlinna.

"Linna" means a castle in English. Häme is one part of the Finland. Above you can see the Häme Castle or Hämeen linna. Häme Castle is one of Finland's medieval royal castles. It is believed to have been built at the end of the 13th century, following the crusade by Swedish Earl Birger to Häme region.

During the Middle Ages the original fortified camp was built into a residential castle for its commandant. In the 18th century a third storey was built and curtain wall buildings partly replaced the original outer walls. The castle and its surroundings were in prison use from 1837 to 1972. The main castle is now presented as a historical monument.

The Häme Castle and its redbrick barracks are on the shore of Lake Vanajavesi. The promontary has been a meeting place for centuries, and the walls almost echo the voices from the Middle Ages. (http://www.kansallismuseo.fi/en/hame-castle)

In Finland you can take freshwater cruises quite a many places. We have some big lakes witch are connected to each others. There are many kind of cruises. You can choose to have a lunch or a dinner onboard or to take a day cruise or sunset cruise.

The city centre of Hämeenlinna is basically surrounded by the lake. That's why it is very nice summer city. There is a walk and cycleway by the lake around the centre.

Many cities in Finland there are very good cycleways in the city. Like here, half of the street is for cars and another half is for bikes and pedestrians.

The Lutheran church of Hämeenlinna.

There are many old, beautiful buildings in Hämeenlinna. This is the old city hall next to the main market place.

Main market place of Hämeenlinna.

In the centre of Hämeenlinna there is a pedestrian area with flowers, water fountain, trees, benches, cafes and shops.

maanantai 4. heinäkuuta 2016

One week in Norway

I had a great opportunity to spend a week in Fredheim lifestyle center, Norway, where my sister and her husband live and work. The week was full of hiking on the mountains, delicious vegan food, new friends, relaxing in the jacuzzi, massage, quality time with my sister and of course geocaching. :D 

First night in Fredheim. Full moon was waiting for us. It was about 11 pm when I took the photo.
Fredheim life style center. 

When my hosts were working I had a lot of time to hike on the mountains searching geocaches. I enjoyed so much hiking hours in the beautiful nature, admiring great views and having fresh mountain air. Most of the time sun was shining or it was partly cloudy. 
One of the great places for the goecache. 
And another place for geocache. I was not able to find the cache when I was there for the first time. Instead I found this. Later I ask one Latvian friend (who has found the cache) where the cache was. He asked did I find the "number two". That was the hint for the cache also. At the moment he said that I realised I even took a photo of the "number two"! I had to go back there later and that time I found it easily:
On the way to Fredheim there are an old silver mine. One cache I found from the mine area. This is the place where small trains take tourists in to the mine. I didn't go in this time. Maybe next time. 
I was lucky to meet Latvian young men Alberts in Fredheim. Together we had chance to search one cache. Of course we had to take selfie with the container.
One of the many dam lakes on the mountains. 
Korset. And again a great view. Little bit lower there were old ruins where I found one cache.

I haven't seen so many snakes in all of my life but after I started geocaching I have seen some. This was a baby viper. It is the only poisonous snake in Finland (and Norway). Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me so I had to take a photo with my cell phone.

At Midsummer my sister and her husband had some holiday. Finally we had time to go hiking together. On Midsummer Eve we took a hike to one of the dam lakes.   
In Finland we have some Midsummer Eve traditions. One of our tradition is sauna. Luckily they have sauna in Fredheim so we were able to have our Midsummer Eve sauna too. On the way to sauna I noticed that clouds were covered all the mountains in horizon.  
This time our Midsummer Eve sauna was totally different than usually. Instead of having lake next to the sauna we had jacuzzi. At least the water was warm enough for me! :D 
After sauna the clouds were gone and the mountains were there again. It was awesome to see how quickly the view could change and how many different kind of views there can be depending when you take a look. 
At Midsummer Day we took a hike to Knutetoppen. We climbed all the way to the top of the mountain. On the way there were couple of geocaches and when we were on the top I was able to log my geocache no 800.  
Happy geocacher on the top. 
The view for another side. It was still possible to see some snow on the top of the some other mountains. 
We took a short rest on the top before going back down. Hiking up and down regularly would make very good for your shape! 
Down again. It doesn't look so high but hiking there and back was quite a good exercise! We were where the tower is.

Cooking with my own sister is always fun. This time we had to borrow Fredheim's oven to get our pizzas ready. And when you are working in the real kitchen you need to have proper hat. 

Our vegan pizzas waiting for the oven. Pizza was the traditional Midsummer Eve food in my family when I was young.

This is home made vegan ice cream. It was super delicious with home made waffles! Spending a week in a place where it is possible to eat almost every day from the ready table - and it is very cheap way to eat - made me wonder if I should consider finding some this kind of place to work next...