This winter we didn’t have snow until 3d of January. It didn’t even feel very strange because last winter we didn’t have snow at all! But then around 10th of january started the “crazy winter” -we cot half of meter of snow in only 2 days and then crazy cold weather!
In the beginning of January we visited Imatra and we got to enjoy the real winter before it started here in South Finland. When the very cold temperatures started my working car’s heater didn’t want to operate anymore so it was impossible to work until I found what was wrong and it was fixed!
At the moment it seems that I have stop my business because Covid-19 and return to do ordinary work -but we’ll see what happens.
17th of January we got to see a rare halo in the sky! It was a cloudbow. I’ve never seen it before and now I got quite many pictures of it!
Now the sun is shining brighly in the sky, the day lasts more than 9 hours and spring is getting closer! 3 days ago it was still crazy cold when the sun was setting (-16°).
Kopparö recreation area is located in Raasepori and you need to take a short ferry ride to enter the Sher Landet (Skärlandet) island.
After you park your car and start walking the trail is very wide in the beginning. But soon you will see small bay on the right side and the trail is getting smaller. Here you will go across the suspension bridge.
The structure of the bridge is quite scary. I will share a video in the end of this blog about it. Right after this bridge we started to hear bird screaming with very high note. It was like “Kvik – Kvik – Kvik!” But the volume of the shouting was extremely loud. And only few minutes after this we saw them flying in the sky -Two White-tailed eagles!
This was a second time for me when I’m seeing this mighty bird. I guess these were two young ones because they were shouting all the time! (Mama! Mama! Look at me! I’m flying!!) Soon there was another bridge so we moved from Långön island to Stora Sandö island. This is like the “Main island” of the Nature path.
The trail goes almost around the island and because it was quite warm we chose to turn to the left. I knew there would be a place for swimming!
We didn’t have our swimming suits with us but it wasn’t a problem. We both did the the skin-dipping! The walk between Sandöedet and Stora Sandö grilling places is the most beautiful part of the trail! You can walk almost all the time very near to the sea and admire the clear water of the Gulf of Finland!
We reached the grilling place of Stora Sandö and took another break there to eat our snack. I also made a Droneflight to take few pictures and the video of this beautiful area.
After our snack my wife started to collect blueberries. Soon the half-a-liter bottle that we had was full of berries and we got to eat fresh blueberry pie at home! The whole trail is almost 8km walk and we did it all! In the map it looks like this:
In the beginning of this blog I said about the suspension bridge that I was little bit worried. So I made a video about it. It’s only in Finnish.
We woke up little bit earlier than normally and had breakfast. Then we took a short drive to Korkeakoski (High rapids). 08.10am we were ready to start exploring…
There was also a naturepath starting from the rapids but we didn’t read any reviews of the path. It was a bit disappointment since the path didn’t follow the river in the canyon. Anyway the thick Savonian forest was beautiful but there were totally too many mosquitos!!
After getting back to the cabin we started packing our stuff… But while we were packing we suddenly decided to stay in this beautiful place one more night! So we didn’t pack our stuff but we headed to the canal that was also nearby.
There’s actually 2 canals, the old one is built in 1866-74 and it was mainly used for log driving. But in the same time the population in Savonia was growing and people started to use boats to move around our country… The new canal was built in 1981-83.
The total length of the canal is few hundred meters and the distance between two block gates is 240 meters. The difference of the surface in these two lakes is about 3,5 meters. I made also a short flight over the old canal…
Since we didn’t actually drive anywhere I’m not putting the route… Ahkionlahti Canal is located about 6,5km’s northwest from Maaninka.
And again we had quite a perfect morning for swimming! And for morning walk near the Marjaniemi lighthouse.
There is actually an active fishing village beside the lighthouse and a pilot-boat station so it was very interesting walk!
And on the other side of the island there is a weird art-installation called “Organum”. This is a 3 piece echo-chamber in the middle of the forest. The artist has made few similar all over the world! His name is Lukas Kühne.
Then we started driving… First the idea was to stay on the western coastline but since the weather forecast didn’t promise too nice weather we kind of pointed rendom place on the map and it was Iisalmi. Then we started to find something interesting to see there and we found Korkeakoski. And that was actually located in Maaninka which belongs to Kuopio nowadays. It looked like a very nice place!
But the drive became also a race against the rain! When we finally arrived to Maaninka it started raining right away. We chose to rent a cabin and we were quite happy that we found very nice one just beside the lake!
Waking up beside the river in Lapland is quite nice. I took my drone up even it was max 50m.
Later the weather was not very nice in Finland either. But there was a chance that it wouldn’t rain so we decided to go up to Aavasaksa -after we crossed the Arctic circle…
Aavasaksa is one of the first “Tourist attractions” in Lapland. There was visitors from other countries already in 18th century. In 1881 they built “Emperor’s Hut” for possible Russian Emperor visit but it never happened!
Aavasaksa is 242 meters high “mountain” just beside border of Sweden and Torniojoki -river. On the top of the hill is also one of the Struve Geodetic Arc -points. We took a walk around 2,5km path on the top of the hill. We had to take our raincoats because it was raining a little bit.
We also checked little bit of the city of Tornio -I was very interested how they had arranged the check in points on the border? But it was just a border patrol car beside the road before Sweden. There is an old church in Alatornio. This was built (1797) only 11 years before Sweden lost a war against Russia. And the church was built honoring the King of Sweden -I would say quite bad luck for him!
Then we drove all the way south of Oulu to the island of Hailuoto! Because weather forecast was quite nice for the evening and for next morning! Yes, the evening was nice but there was also quite strong wind!
Trying to make a dinner in this kind of wind was interesting. Ok the food was great but there was some sand and small stones as a spice! Route for the Day 11 was like this:
It was beautiful morning beside Barents/ Arctic Sea. We started driving first to south towards Lakselv city and then to north towards Nordkapp. Even it was quite nice weather I knew it wouldn’t be like this in the North Cape -ofcourse I was hoping that there would be sunshine! We made the test cooking with our camping cooking system and I even called to Minna Jakosuo. I knew she would know the answer and she did!!
If you keep “The Heart” of this cooking system in the same package with all the pots, the steam from the burning fuel will catch the pots! And it is almost impossible to wash the taste away. Even this Alcohol Stove has a lid with seal the steam of alcohol is still going outside the heart!
So we didn’t have a proper cooking system anymore… All the pots were ruined by the taste of burning alcohol. Luckily we had quite a lot of food with us that you can eat if it is cold so we didn’t care too much about this. After very nice road from Lakselv to Honningsvåg (about 160km) we at least could check a little bit of this village and the views from the “Viewing point” from the military above this village.
So we didn’t visit the North Cape. It was my second time on this island and again I didn’t go to Nordkapp… (Shame on ME!) We had to drive the same beautiful road back to the mainland. The more south we were driving the more beautiful the weather was coming! On the southside of Skaidi we made a stop beside the road. It was amazing place with very nice landscape. I made even a drone flight.
We took a cabin from the camping area in Lakselv for the night so we could make proper food! The route for the day 6 was like this:
We started driving towards Norway. We shortly visited in the last shop to buy something sweet…
And very soon in Norway there is very nice rapids/ waterfall called Skoltefossen. We stopped to take pictures.
Our route was following the Varangerfjord and the views to this part of Barents Sea are beautiful. It was only few days earlier when one my friend visited Pykeija (Bugøynes) village so I was thinking I need to see this too! So even our weather wasn’t too nice we checked this small fishing village!
Our driving continued over Tana bridge. This is the only possible route from the “Western part of Norway” to the “Eastern Part of Norway” where this country has border with Russia.
After Tana we were still driving quite a lot before we entered the Silfar Canyon and ofcourse we stopped to take pictures!
We found a nice place for sleeping in the car beside the mainroad and we slept well!
It was almost 3 months that I didn’t ride with my XR! I didn’t even ride too much Enduro but at least few times… Now it was finally time to do some streetriding and because it was sunday I took also my wife with me! We checked our favorite places Fagervik and Mustio Castle.
The autumn colors are simply amazing at the moment so I took lot of pictures and I also had my drone with me. In Fagervik we made the walk through the beautiful area up to the church.
Then we stopped in a small hill beside the road to take some pictures. I took the pictures with my drone. The place where we made our stop was about here.
Then the last place to admire autumn colors was in Mustio. This beautiful garden aroung old buildings is simply amazing!
This autumn has been very nice with all the colors in the nature!
The morning started with the visit up to the “mountain” Kaunispää. We took few pictures there and continued to the next mountain (Urupää) and there we chose the “old road” which is called “The magnetic hill”. Long time ago it was difficult for bigger cars to climb up to the hill (especially in the winter) and somebody made up the story that there was strong magnet keeping them down!
We checked The airport in Ivalo but we only met one reindeer:
The road between Ivalo and Inari is very enjoyable ride but usually you will meet many rendeers here! We were lucky since we didn’t see any! We also stopped at “Karhunpesäkivi” which is a big boulder with kind of giant’s kettle inside the stone… And you can go there! There are few strange holes in the inside walls of the stone and this made it possible to make up many different stories about what happened and why…
But it is known that there was a bear in winter hibernation many times long long time ago…
Next time we stopped at the viewing tower of Toivoniemi. It is actually named as a bird watching tower but anyway there’s quite nice view from the tower to the Lapland nature around!
The actual “Toivoniemi lintutorni” looks like this:
This you can find near Kaamanen village and there’s also an old airport that was built by German soldiers… or actually their prisoners of war. So still after 70 years there’s nothing but “empty land” in the place where was supposed to be the speedlane:
From Utsjoki we found our cabin to stay for the next night. We took the luggage away from the bike and continued “naked” to the north…
There is one museumroad between Utsjoki and Nuorgam. It’s a gravelroad that climbs quite high above the river of Teno and you will have very nice views from there!
Only few kilometers more north and we were here:
And because the idea of this tour was to stay in Finland we turned around!!
Very close there is the road called “Pulmankijärventie“. If you choose this road you will find amazing place without any trees and open landscape everywhere around you!
This might be the only place in Finland where you can find this kind of view!
I also had to take a picture of my bike with this bridge (Sami Bridge between Finland and Norway):