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... inside Tilly and we were on our way. We stopped at the first major town, Lappeenranta, changed our Russian money to Euros and bought a SIM card for Internet.
We drove north towards Rovaniemi for several hours and found a nice spot by the water to park for the night. There are a lot of small lakes and a lot of trees in this part of Finland.
Tuesday saw us driving most of the day to Rovaniemi. Very similar country ...
... made of strawberry, lingonberry and apple, lingonberries and pickied cucumbers. Lots of mashed potatoes. Followed by berry cake.
After the farm it was back to town. About half a dozen of us went down to the river and across the bridge to see how the bonfire was going for the night's mid summer pagan festival. As it was all pretty quiet so we walked back to our hotel and caught up on washing and emails. I asked Yolande about 11.30 am ...
... a cafe mocha in a coffee shop and then did the 45 minute walk back to my cabin.
This is my fifth and last night in Rovaniemi and I have my fifth sauna before taking a bit of a hike (clothes on) to try, one last time, to see the northern lights. For the first time during my time here the skies are cloudless and I can pick out the Big Dipper and Orion easily. I think I found the North Star too but it was almost directly overhead. Perhaps thats ...
... open the chalet door ... same culprit as the Paris key and passport issues. Feels like true fontier country up here. It seems remote, tranquil without too many people around. A true winter Wonderland. Can identify with the setting of Hannah Kent's Burial Rites quite easily, even though it was set in Iceland. We happily settled into our new modern chalet-gorgeous Finnish design, lights etc. I am in seventh heaven! It has even got a Sauna. It was a day of true ...
... one in each country, that focused on the traditions and lifestyle of the Sami people, the original settlers in this area known as Lapland. Tuesday, 9/23, we left Ivalo to go to Rovaniemi, about a 4 hour bus ride. We took a quick detour to a hilltop ski resort for a scenic view. The resort was for downhill skiing rather than to more popular cross country and was not yet open for the season. The scenery along the road ...