Trip Start Jun 29, 2008
Trip End Oct 02, 2008

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Flag of Finland  , Southern Finland,
Friday, September 5, 2008

Barn and I spent one week in beautiful, peaceful Finland. We visited Helsinki in the south and Jyvaskyla and Kuopio in the central lakelands. 
Finland is home to the sauna (25% of all homes have a sauna), reindeers, Nokia, The Moomins (very cute cartoon characters), cloud berries (yellow berries from Lapland, 4 times more vitamin C than oranges) and the annual wife carrying world championships (unfortunately not on while we were there!). 80% of the country is covered in either spruce forest or lake, so makes for a relaxing holiday. 
Helsinki is more like a small market town than a capital city, we loved it. Great fish and fruit market, harbour, cafe culture and history on Suomenlinna island (Unesco world heritage site, "The Fortress of Finland"). 

After a couple of days in Helsinki, we took the train to Jyvaskyla (pronounced yoo-vah-skoo-lah) to explore the traditional Finland countryside of forests and lakes. We did a couple of small road trips from there; one south to Korpilahti and another further north to Kuopio. Kuopio has a few all season ski jumps, where we enjoyed watching a few of the nutters! Even Barn said he wouldn't be crazy enough to try that sport........

We'll leave you with just a couple of suprising facts about Finland:
They consume more coffee than another other nation in the world (20m cups per day for the 5.2m population);
They consume the highest amount of ice cream in Europe!
Slideshow Report as Spam
Where I stayed
Retkeilyhotelli Laajari
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