You know that thing I said in the last post about how annoyed I was with ‘busy-ness’ and people claiming it as an excuse for everything?
I’m totally guilty. And to make matters worse, here I am about to claim it as an excuse. Damnit.
You see, we’re in December now, and here I am only just getting around to editing and posting images taken in Finland in August. Whoops (I also have photos from holidays three years ago which I’ve yet to edit – you get the picture).
But here we are, already dealing with the winter chill, and I’m about to share some photographs taken during beautiful summer days spent in the wilds of the Finnish countryside. So turn the heating on, put on a t-shirt, and squint your eyes a little bit – it’ll be just like summer, I swear.
I’m the first person to admit that when I think of Finland, it’s usually of snow and husky dogs and all the cold-weather activities. And I’ll also admit, when this trip to Finland came around, I was a little puzzled. Finland… without snow? (cue gentle eye roll). Clearly I still have a lot to learn – because Finland was a dream in the summertime, and I didn’t get snow in my boots once.
Let’s start this little photo story, which I like to call:
HUSKIES & HORSES & BEARS, OH MY!
Horse riding in Kuusamo with my sweet Icelandic pony friend, Fiifa – who was very gentle on my city-dwelling bones
Arriving at our hotel just 2km from the Russian border, we were greeted by the calmest of views
And when the sun came out, everything was bathed in golden light…
Waiting for bears in purpose-built huts at Karhu-Kuusamo
Final tally: Ten bears spotted, including two cubs. An experience I will not easily forget…
This is Susi. He wears a knife on his hip and a feather in his hat, and owns over 200 husky dogs. He speaks of his dogs fondly, calling out their names and charms in obvious admiration. Of the quieter lead dog Pikku-musta he said “She is so sweet, we are very good friends her and I. We love each other very much, but she never licks my face. She’s proud like that. Her father and her father’s father never did either – they are such proud animals.” I’m not going to lie – I fell a little bit in love with Susi. And his dogs.
Coffee break and cook-up along the way
Even huskies can be total derps
Straight after our husky hike, it was onto a guided canoe trip along the lower course of the River Oulankajoki
It wouldn’t be a visit to Finland with the experience of an authentic Finnish sauna. No photos of the actual sauna I’m afraid (way too hot & steamy for a camera) but my favourite part was this – running down to the lake and jumping into the frigid water to cool off…
Finland’s ‘Everyman’s Right’ means you are free to pick berries & mushrooms as you hike.
I should explain where we are in these images – Finland’s a big and diverse place and we wouldn’t want you getting lost. So for the purposes of this blog, you should know that during this time we were mostly in the Ruka-Kuusamo part of Finland, on the far eastern border with Russia.
Note: I travelled to Finland with Visit Finland, and all images and opinions are my own – I just had a really amazing time and huskies are the best, you guys.