Taste of Finnish hospitality

Trip Start May 20, 2010
Trip End Sep 09, 2010

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Flag of Finland  , Eastern Finland,
Friday, June 4, 2010

A four hour train journey from Jarvenpaa to Suonenjoki  took us through the Finnish countryside past farming communities, lakes and forests. We went to visit  a retired  cousin and his wife who  picked us up from the train and we drove the short distance to Rautalampi.

The one warm day that we had enjoyed at Jarvenpaa  once again turned cold and the wind added to the chill factor.

We went sightseeing around the countryside close by and also did a few walks around the small town. On the second day we went to Kalajarvi where we were to walk up the mountain up a path of boulders but after getting half way to a large rock had to turn around because of an approaching thunderstorm. We managed to get back down to the " Laavu"  where we sat out the storm and completed the walk in sunshine.

We were well catered for with many different types of berries which she had in her freezer from last year, as this years berries are only just flowering. They often do trips to collect berries from way up in Lapland or then closer by to fill their freezer ready for another year and to share with family and friends. They also have some berry bushes growing in their yard as well as three apple trees and a veggie patch which is still under a cover to protect it from the frost but all the little seedlings had come up. We also visited their daughter and family who lived nearby and were introduced to their cellar which was built outdoors under  a big mound. They use it to store their root vegetables through the winter as well as juices and conserves made from the berries in summer. Many of the berries are also frozen whole  and defrosted when they wish to use them.

On our last evening we enjoyed taking a sauna and are looking forward to many more. They didn't have  a lake nearby but the cool air outside was enough to help cool down.

Friday the 4th of June was  Defence Forces Flag day and on this day the Finnish flag is raised around the country. There are numerous special days when the flags are flown and many private homes also have flag poles so Antti raised his flag as well. He was very proud to have his flag flying and  happy on this occasion that it was windy.

Really enjoyed our stay here and caught a bus to our next stop in Jyvaskyla only a little over an hour away. The weather has been  cold and windy but warmer sunny days are coming. So they say.

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