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!
Vyborg is a city that was part of Grand Duchy of Finland from 1812 to 1917 and part of independent Finland from 1917 to 1940 but was finally lost to Russia after World War II. Russia made it now possible to apply e-visa for a short visit in St. Petersburg area so this is what I did. Me and my wife took the border crossing in Svetogorsk and because it was first time for me in Finland-Russia border it took nearly 1,5 hours to get through all the papers and documents. But we knew it will be like this so we were at the border quite early. We took a short stop at Svetogorsk centrum.
From this not-so-beautiful-city we took a one hour drive to Vyborg. There I made a short stop at the train station. There is still parts of the original train station left but that was destroyed in WWII. It was originally quite accurate copy (smaller size) of Helsinki railway station.
But finally I stopped my car in the market square. And we were lucky it wasn’t raining so we could explore the city on foot.
There are many buildings in very bad condition or totally ruined in Vyborg. But luckily some of the buildings they are renovating so there will be something to see in the future also. The city is definitely much more nice to see in the summer but we thought it was beautiful also now in the beginning of december… On a very grey weather. After the city tour we took a walk also in the famous Monrepo Park.
In tourist maps this area is sometimes called as a National Park. But mostly there are some buildings, Art, Statues and other “things” in this area so it’s not a “normal” national park. Half of the area is under construction so we could see only the other side of the park. This would be totally amazing place to visit on a beautiful summer day! I hope I will come cack to this beautiful town again some day. And of course Saint Petersburg… E-Visa makes the visiting Russia so much easier now!
I got myself DJI Osmo Pocket and I can say that it is quite amazing device! I totally don’t know all the functions it has but here I’m testing how it takes Panorama-pictures. You can take 180 -degree panoramas and 3 x 3 panoramas with Osmo pocket and I’m choosing the 180-degree pictures:
Maybe I wasn’t thinking too much what I was shooting. But anyway this Hvitträsk museum area is very beautiful place and I haven’t seen too many panorama-pictures from there before (maybe I wasn’t even looking!) You can see the rest of the pictures here.
Spring arrived slowly. Already in the beginning of march it was possible to hear these sounds in the forest. During the month the sounds became stronger and stronger and now finally almost all snow is gone! (You can still find it from the shadowplaces…)
Soon there will be motorcycle stuff again! I did start riding anyway…
We had an idea to do some hiking today. But first we needed to ride to the place where we wanted to hike… So we started quite early, we rode only about 190 kilometers to reach out destionation in Kilpisjärvi. On this ride we only made short stop at Enontekiö/ Hetta to fill the tank and in Muotkatakka which is the highest point of the road in Finland.
After midday we were already changing clothes and shoes and starting our Hike up to the Saana mountain. The motorcycle was parked behind Kilpisjärvi hotel, the elevation was about 500 meters there.
And we had about 4 kilometers walk up to the mountain where the maximum elevation is 1029 meters. So at the same time when we were walking 4 kilometers to the top we also had to climb about 530 meters up!
After first kilometer the trees are gone. This was the easiest part. The path was very rocky and we had to use also hands few times when the hill was very steep.
The landscape was simply incredible! It was difficult to concentrate to climbing when you have these amazing views all around you!
Can you see my bike?? It’s waiting there…
After 2 hours and 10 minutes we were at the top! 1029 meters above sea level and 550 meters above the lake Kilpisjärvi!
On our way down the weather was even better and more clear. We got some amazing pictures!
We had a nice apartment with sauna to spend the night. This was maybe the most amazing day of our holiday trip!
My wife made a video about this day:
This day was little bit cloudy and it wasn’t so hot. We started to ride the beautiful road to Karigasniemi. The route follows the Teno river and you can see to the other side of the river (Norway) almost all the time! From Karigasniemi we turned to Norway, this had to be done because it’s a really nice shortcut to Enontekiö (in western Lapland) -the road in Finnish side would be 340 kilometers:
And if the take the road from Norway side, it will be more than 100km shorter!
Almost right after we crossed the border it started raining! And we were riding in the heavy rain about 5 minutes and then the rain was light and it didn’t bother anymore -but the road was wet.
In Vuottašjávri we made a short sidetour to a small cape in the lake. There was quite nice sandbeach and I’m already regretting that I didn’t go to swim!
I also fell with the bike here but it was so soft sand so no marks to the bike!
It took awhile before the road was dry again and we could actually see some sun peeking behind the clouds. It was very nice to stop beside the road and take a good look around you. This part of Norway is called Finnmark and the surraundings here are simply amazing!
Maybe our visit to Norway was a bit short… We were back in FInland much too soon!
We chose the road to Näkkälä village (40 inhabitants) and this was again a very good choise! This kind of totally empty landscape (beside the road) is very rare in Finland!
This picture is about from the end of the road. There’s a beautiful creek (or a river) and this small village with few houses. Ofcourse in the deepest winter it’s little bit different here! (The sun doesn’t come up in 2 months, it can be -30 celsius with more than 1m of snow…)
We had very nice cabin from Kelotin Rantamajat and we went to have a dinner in Galdotieva -this was unfortunately the worse meal in our trip. Wife had the reindeer kebab and I had the “local steak”. Both of the portions were mostly terrible! Meat was almost burned and you couldn’t tell if it was pork, reindeer or pieces of soil from the yard… We do not recommend this at all!!
This cabin had the kitchen and toilet! It was very nice!
My wife made a video of this day:
It’s been quite many years since we had a real winter here in south Finland. Now we have! The snow came finally in the end of January… and now we have about 30-40 cm’s of snow. You can do cross-country skiing almost anywhere and the lakes and the sea has a thick layer of ice.
First picture from Hirsala (Väransby) is taken in 31st of January
Here I also made quite nice Droneflight:
8th of february we visited on the ice in the near lake. Took this picture:
And this video:
It was a long time when temperature was around -5° centigrade and when it was sunny it felt quite nice!
This picture is taken in 18th of february. So is this next one:
Video was taken in 17th of february:
Last week the temperature went down! -24° centigrade was the lowest we had. But it was very nice that we had better weather in the weekend… So again I got some very cool pictures:
On sunday we took a walk around the lake nearby (Meiko lake). It wasn’t totally sunny day but quite nice anyway. My wife was shooting a video in many places… Now we can enjoy these snowy landscapes: