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Driving through Finland

Poro

In August 2005 our family had an excellent vacation in the mökki (cottage in Finnish) near Inari, Lapland. Our trip started with Silja Line quick boat Super Seacat from Tallinn to Helsinki. This trip takes 100 minutes and covers 80km. The weather was promising at 8AM when the boat departures.

It is 1150 km from Helsinki to Inari. We were aware that this is not as easy and quick as driving in Germany and therefore planned two days for that drive.

From Helsinki to Lahti (160km) E75 road it is motorway and the speed limit is 130 km/hour. Further the speed limit declines and is either 80 or 100km/h. And it seemed to us, that Finnish drivers follow the rules.

At that day WRC Neste Rally took place near Jyvaskyla, which gave us a good chance to see some WRC cars driving from one stage to an other.

Finland is beautiful flat country with over 56,000 lakes which are larger than hectare. Trees and water are the most obvious features of Finland’s natural landscapes. Forests cover more than two-thirds of the land, and lakes and rivers account for almost another tenth. When driving through Finland you have a great opportunity to see a lot of that.

We had an accommodation booked in Tornio camping for 55EUR for cabin. Tornio camping is at the north coast of Gulf of Bothnia. There is lot of space near each cabin; it also offers tennis, minigolf, bicycles, canoes, fishing and sauna. There is also a grilling possibility we were not aware of. Next time we will definitely take Finnish sausages (makkara) with us to grill. It seemed that in the area there are quite many campings that you can find the accommodation without pre booking.

Next day we drove ahead to north. After crossing the Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi, temperature started to decline and reindeers appeared near the roads. They look very calm and peaceful when crossing the road. It should be kept in mind that they can come to road very unexpectedly. We saw many marks of heavy breaking on the roads, which were most probably caused by the reindeers.

After Rovaniemi we made several stops to enjoy the beautiful views of the arctic wilderness. At Saariselka we stopped at the coffee on the tunturi Hill Kaunispää Fell. From that hill you will have a view on the nearby hills. The temperature here was very cool, approximately 10 degrees.

After Saariselka the weather changed, it was overcast and cool. I think this frightened us, because everybody was quiet in the car.

By 5PM we arrived in Inari, made some shopping of foodstuff and continued on local roads towards Sotkaniemi mökki. Sotkaniemi surprised us all very positively. The house stood at the very end of the cape at Lake Paatari.