cycling in finland

As I’m sure you’ve noticed it’s been very quiet around here for a couple of weeks and that’s because I’ve been in Finland, yes I could have blogged from there but sometimes it’s nice to not be tethered to ones computer 24/7.

As I’ve mentioned previously I have a very lovely Finnish girlfriend, during the trip we spent some time in Tampere with her friends, Lieksa with her family and Helsinki on our own.

Finland is INCREDIBLY beautiful and so different from the UK in pretty much every way imaginable. The country is around 1.4x the size of the UK but is 70% woodland and 10% lakes, we drove for around 7 hours from Lieksa to Helsinki and most of that was through woodland, it really is quite something. A country that is 80% trees and water can only be special, then when you take into account that there are only 5.5 million people in Finland (compared to 65 million here) you can start to get an idea of how quiet and peaceful it is there.

I didn’t take a huge amount of photos and many that I did take aren’t worth boring you with but here are some…

huru hercules dog agility finland

Trees, water and one of the country’s top agility dogs – Huru Hercules. As well as dogs Finland is home to elk, bears, lynx, wolves and wolverines but unfortunately I didn’t see any of those!

ruunaa finland white water rafting trip

We went white water rafting, the rapids were particularly tame due to the recent 30+ temperatures there but we had a great time anyway.

tampere sunset, finland

My first Finnish sunset, in Tampere. The evening light there is pretty different from here, it’s far more intense.

finland lake sunset

This was more like what we see here except that I was on my girlfriend’s dad’s boat and having a boat in Finland isn’t reserved for odd middle aged well-to-do people in stupid ‘sailing clothes’. In Finland everyone lives like a millionaire and enjoys nature without the government getting in the way trying to control where they can go.

lieksa sunset, finland

Another particularly magical sunset, so sue me.

I know what you’re thinking – “Tell us about the bloody saunas!”…

– EVERYONE has a sauna.
– I went in one for the first time, it was “only” 70 degrees and I found it to be very very hot indeed.
– Yes, I was naked.
– And yes, it was most embarrassing.

Well, that was a snapshot of the first half of my trip in Tampere and Lieksa. Stay tuned for the skinny on my time in Helsinki and a little bit of news.

Oh, and thanks to everyone that ordered stuff whilst I was away, I’ll be shipping it out to you by the weekend!