On the northside of Suomussalmi there is quite famous “art installation” called Silent People. It was originally put up to a private field in 1988 but in this field it has stayed since 1994! There is almost 1000 “people” standing in the field… It is such an interesting installation!
Quite soon after Haypeople we turned to Hossa National park. We wanted to check the deepest canyon in Finland! We took the 5 km walk to the new hanging bridge in the middle of the “Julma-Ölkky” lake. This is so beautiful Finnish nature!
If you want to visit this lake we recommend you will take the road from Hossa (from east)!This is only 8,5km’s. The road to west from the lake is in much worse condition and can be full of surprises and it’s 25km’s. We took a room from the old Omena hotel in Ruka. Omena Hotel in Ruka doesn’t exist anymore and nowadays there is few rooms/ apartments available from “Vuosselin Helmi apartments”. We also checked few possible places to sleep in the car but didn’t find any. The route for Day 3 was like this:
First night slept in the car. It wasn’t bad at all!
We ate breakfast (as fast as we could -the mosquitoes were eating us!) and packed the car. Soon we were driving again. First stop we made at one old ironworks area called “Möhkö”. Unluckily they have entrance fee to almost everything there is to see so we checked only the cafeteria that was built inside a boat and the old boatcanal.
After Möhkö there is very big museum-area about WW II called “Öykkösenvaaran battle zone”. There would be quite a lot to see but we wanted to continue driving. At least I took a picture of this:
The route I was choosing is marked pretty much as the main road… At least in some maps. But I can say that I was about to loose my faith many times! It didn’t seem like the road was leading anywhere! And when I tried to check from google maps where we were -there was no internet!! This was the road: https://goo.gl/maps/zsoDNcJEPmVnNNgL8 But finally we made it to the bigger road and after maybe 2,5 hours of driving we made it to the Ruunaa rapids! Amazing area with many different kind of wild rapids…
There is also some islands where you can walk and it was so nice to see a duck family there swimming!
You can also see the work of the Beaver in Ruunaa! In one place there was more than 10 trees fallen… It would be nice to see the “guy” in action!!
After Ruunaa we were still driving north, we visited Mätäsvaara mine. This used to be the biggest Molybdenum -mine in Finland but it stopped working already in 1947 because nobody needed Molybdenum anymore.
Finally we arrived to one camping area from where we booked one small cabin. This was in Suomussalmi (one of my own personal favorite places in Finland!) We still took a drive to the “city” and went swimming.
This summer we are making our holiday trip with the car. Luckily last winter I bought a Station Wagon (Ford Focus) so we can even make the beds to the back side of the car. The bed will be a little bit too short for me but I was thinking it will be OK.
We started driving on tuesday 23rd of June to the north from Imatra. The first goal was one nice hill quite close… So I typed the address to google maps and we started driving. After about 50 km’s we stopped and I was looking around. It was a wrong place!! I had typed “Hukkavuoren…” when I should have been typing “Haukkavuoren…” Luckily the correct place was only about 20km’s away!
The first place we visited was “Haukkavuori” in Rautjärvi. It’s a hill 79 meters above the lake below so the views are amazing!
We continued to Punkaharju. This National Landscape is so beautiful that people of Finland have voted this road as the most beautiful road in Finland!
We checked one possible sleeping place near Punkaharju but it wasn’t ok… and it was still quite early. We continued to Kerimäki.
This is the biggest wooden church in the world. We had seen it before so we continued to check few bunkers close to Kerimäki. There is so called “Salpalinja” that Finnish soldiers built during the WW II against the Russian attack. Luckily we never needed to use this defense line. Finally quite far from Punkaharju and Kerimäki we found a place to stay for the night. It was only 1,5 km’s from the Russian border!
Took a short testride today. Even I knew this is going to be great bike I was still surprised! What an amazing bike! The engine is marvellous! It gives smooth power already from 2000rpm and it sounds very nice too.
The suspension is totally with manual adjustments but it seems it made me very happy with the factory defaults (I’m 120kg’s!) And that is rare. I was also very happy with the riding position even when I was standing. Maybe I would add 2cm’s to the height of the handlebar if I would be the owner of the bike.
This bike would be big enough for me and for my wife. The power is ofcourse much smaller than in XR but I think I could manage with it. I did find ONE thing I didn’t like! When you’re filling the tank the lid of the tank doesn’t stay up! So when you take the gaspump you have to lift the lid up with your other hand to get the gas to the tank… Not very big thing but it made me think how easy it would be to change this! One interesting thing was the rpm meter in the TFT-screen! There was 2 of them!!! One on the left side and then another on the right side of the TFT… It seems they had (too much) space in the TFT screen to put it there twice 😉
This National Park is pretty close to Helsinki -only about 180 kilometers to Lapinsalmi parking area. This National park is mostly about lakes, hills and cliffs -the “official webpage” says like this: “Repovesi’s rugged forests are dotted with blue lakes and ponds. The park offers accessible adventures for everyone. Its hills and cliffs challenge keen hikers and climbers.” (Link) Me and my wife visited here few days ago. We were lucky to have very nice and sunny weather and not too many people in the park!
We enjoyed our walk in the beautiful and peaceful forest! And of course we had some food with us and we made fire.
The information about the possibility to walk around “the main route” wasn’t very clear! We saw 1 or 2 info board about the ferry not being in use in the winter time. But I was thinking “It’s not winter any more!”
This is self service manual ferry, you have to pull yourself to the other side by yourself. But it was NOT in use yet. So we had to walk back the same route we did so far… But it wasn’t so terrible because we got to see this another time:
This bridge was opened in november 2019. There was old bridge but it was collapsed in the summer 2018. This new Lapinsalmi bridge is very beautiful!
We don’t have a lockdown in Finland. We are allowed to go out but meetings with more than 10 people is not ok. There was only 4 of us in a beautiful sunny weather and almost +10 degrees celsius. This time I didn’t choose any difficult tracks… and I finally made a video of this interesting route:
This was a narrow railroad in Finland and it stopped working in 1967. But the track has stayed and it’s kind of in use as a road. But for example now in spring it can be tricky if there is still snow (and there was!!) Unluckily my riding ended with the flat front tyre in Karkkila (65 km’s from home).
I was lucky that there was one big bike (KTM 1090 Adventure) so I could take a ride with him back home and then I picked my bike with my big car…
This season I started later than in a long long time! But there’s quite obvious reason: Covid-19. Last week there was already quite nice days but finally when I made the decision to go out on sunday it was quite cold! +3 (celsius) was the highest and -1 was the lowest. But at least we had sunshine!
Because we didn’t ride far enough on previous day I made the reservation for the ferry From Tallinn to Helsinki for the next day. I was thinking to ride to Pärnu today and spend nice evening there and then ride to Tallinn next morning. The ferry was about to start 1PM. After 60 km’s of riding west from Jēkabpils the rain had stopped and the road was dry enough to take of rainsuits.
The riding was doing well! The road was in very good condition and there wasn’t too much traffic. Maybe about 100km’s later we’re already on the north side of Riga and I asked my wife that maybe we should ride all the way to Tallinn?? Se said “lets do it!” And it was only about to change the ferry tickets to this evening… and it was ok! So we had ferry already today from Tallinn to Helsinki! I was filling the tank somewhere before Pärnu and it started raining there! But luckily it was just a short shower and we got even another somewhere in the middle between Pärnu-Tallinn. But when it wasn’t raining it was nice weather and the clothes were drying fast! We took a little bit of shopping in Tallinn and we even had time to enjoy dinner at our favorite restaurant Sevan before getting to the ferry.
And we got very nice sunset on the way to Helsinki!
We were home a little bit after 10PM… Quite late, quite tired and exhausted! The whole trip was very successful and full of nice moments and incredible places! I really can’t say what was the best place or moment… There was so many of them! I’m remembering very well the Hungarian roads -they were very nice! Slovenia -I really need to go again!! And Cesky Krumlov was very special also… My wife is answering: Krk island in Croatia and Grossglockner were the best places/ moments. The total route was about 5900 kilometers. We visited 12 countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic and Germany). In 2 of these we didn’t spend night (Slovenia and Germany). The best accommodation was in Croatia and the worst was in Hotel Luiize/ Latvia (last night). The 520km’s route for the last day was like this:
The idea was to ride from the south parts of Lithuania to Riga, Jurmala or Sigulda. But the weather forecast didn’t agree with my idea! There was crazy thuderstorm in that area and it wasn’t moving anywhere!! So I choose the route more east.. and the whole day was about trying to avoid the rain! So almost all day we had dark clouds on our left side…
It seemed that we would finally enter the Daugavpils (again) and I wasn’t too excited about this! -I didn’t wanna spend the afternoon and night in a same town where we were before! Just before we crossed the Latvian border we at least saw something nice! But this windmill was pretty much ruined already -what a pitty.
There was a chance to choose the road straight north… And we were also talking that maybe we could ride in the rain also to get further… And when we arrived to Jēkabpils I had to stop and fill the tank. This was perfect timing!! While I was in the gas-station it started raining (like crazy)!
So me and my wife decided to stay here if there was a hotel or a nice guesthouse. And there was! Unfortunately this place was the worst in our trip!! It was very old house where they had made somekind of renovation but it wasn’t very good quality! The door was hanging about 1cm and it was difficult to close it. The worst part was the bed… It didn’t have any mattress pad… And in the morning when we wake up we both had some pain in the back! Luckily there was at least something to see in this town and the restaurant was very nice!
So we were already by the same sea where we live and it really felt like home is close. Today we were riding small countryside roads of North Poland. Some of the roads were not in good condition at all!! After one road we had to keep 10 minutes break just to give some rest to our butts!!!
The northern parts of Poland is beautiful! And also if the road is in good condition it can be very nice ride!
Then we also crossed the border to Lithuania and it really started to feel that we are going home… Except the weather forecast didn’t look too good for next day!
We took a guesthouse in Marijampole town and after quite nice dinner we made a short walk in local city park.