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And so to Finland...











Quiet by mistake, we had not planned to visit Finland until early June, we went into a town called Pello and sure there we were accross the border. So we decided to stay we headed east for Rovaneimi the capital of Lappland. The drive was noticeably uninhabited. This is reindeer husbandry country. We are black bags on sticks to give warnings for herding reindeer. The reindeer here are not road shy, at first we would slow to a crawl flash on coming traffic, put on hazards (as you do in the phoenix pk.) but they saunter along minding their own business look up occasionally, (bloody tourists they were heard to say always with their camera's). Soon they became a familiar sight and we just acknowledge them and bit them good day. We took a turn off to investigate a little village in a cul de sac in this tranquil wilderness. There were three fishermen sitting under a bridge on a frozen river . They had drilled holes into about two feet of ice and were fishing.




There was a "Rastuga" and a hut full of logs along side the river. We later discovered the significance of the rastuga, they are places of shelter and rest for all who need it. They have a cooking area like a barbeque in the center, all have logs provided, one had a small hatchet, cooking utensils, fresh water, and blankets for the weary traveler. It also had a guest book, and while there were hundreds of travelers who had been so glad to avail of this resting place we didn't see any other Irish listed. We met this friendly skater on the road in the middle of nowhere


There is a lot of road skating in the towns and on country roads all over Scandinavia, some are like roller blades, others are like ski's with small wheels front and back. Skiing is a winter and summer pastime, the cross country championship probably has a lot of influence. We arrived in Rovaneimi well into the evening and found a place to spend the night. We took a short riverside walk before settling.

We awoke to beautiful sunshine, by late morning we took a walk around town got the maps of the area and went to the library to check emails as we were unable to get a wireless connection. We sampled a pint of Guinness in The Irish Times bar, (best one we had yet), The bar is not owned by an Irishman but a great Irish fan, there are no Irish living in Rovaneimi and Irish visitors only arrive in winter, for the skiing and Santa.......... "Santa we are on our way" !!!!!Or so we thought, all the adds and brochures said that he is home everyday of the year to welcome visitors. We headed out once again crossing the Arctic Circle to say hello Santa, "remember us"!!!! But woe is me he is on holidays until June, well I suppose he needs all the rest that he can get, and there's always a chance to see him when he comes visiting next year !!!!!!!!

27th April




.Another beautiful day and as we having breakfast this guy on the left lands on top of the tigin skylight and decides to seranade us and indeed very nicely too.She bids us good travel and now we are on our way to Kuusamo. It's near the Russian border. the drive to here is long and it's mostly trees with very small villages along the way We make some enquiries about crossing into Russia but we feel there may be problems with Molly so it's back across Finland to the east coast of the Baltic sea. Again the drive is as last one ,trees trees trees...and more trees.So it's a day for taking some sun and relaxing.Eventually we pull up for the night and capture another sunset.......



Looks like this guy came just a bit too far up river



28th April

Got to Kimi about midday was not a town we would spend too much time in,just got the new stuff uploaded. It was 12 days since the last upload this was due to travelling in very rural places, and the time is flying by. So lunch and it's across the border to Sweden without a hitch