Itâ€™s been a lazy day and Laura was quite busy with her home things and so, so I asked to borrow a bike to cycle around, I did for a while but was without energy so I came back and relaxed some more until I went with Laura by car to do some grocery and for a short and fast tour or Kuusamo. We came back and simply cooked and had a relax evening talking a bit with Lauraâ€™s parents.
Another quiet day, Lauraâ€™s father called that he had seen a pretty cheap special on tent in town and asked if he should buy it for meâ€¦ I said we can go see it first.
Later that day we went in town and to the shopping center and looked for the camping gear. The tent was 10euros, little and light. So I took after some thinking and also took a matrass for 5euros more. Then we looked for a cooker and all the stove things but those were more than 60euros for the kit so I couldnâ€™t afford that. Then we looked for the food and I took lots of noodles and other stuff, also dried feta cheese that could easily be carried when I will be in Lapland and even in Norway.
Beware of reindeer!
Then I came back home and started packing, preparing things for the laundry too and had a relaxing evening after a short bbq on the terrass.
It rained a bit today and this has had for effect to drop the temperature of several degree from the nearly 28 degree it was to about 18 degree.
So it was a bit more chilly and wet outside. Not a good sight when I imagine I bought my tent for the journey. Laura went out to visit her family so after a while her parents has invited me to come over to visit Kuusamo, the museum, the church and so. Which we did and it was pretty cool. We went first to the local museum to learn more about Kuusamo history and so on. Also having a look at some Finnish military cemetery and so. After the complete city tour we stopped where Laura was at, at some of her family for cake and some talk her aunt and uncle and cousines. It was all funnyâ€¦ then the whole evening was calm back at Lauraâ€™s parents.
View from Laura's parents house
Today, we went to join Laura's parents at their cabin in the wood along a nice Finnish lake in the countryside, spending the whole afternoon there enjoying some traditional food outside by the lake and relaxing inside, I did nap most of the day lying on the sun in the canoe. We also went to visit the Russian border, seeing dozen of reindeer and being spotted by the border camera as we were having lunch by the fence the bring us the Russia.
In the Finnish Sauna
Tomorrow I'm leaving to the Arctic and while cross the polar circle and hope to eventually reach the Arctic sea.
Yes i'm heading to Nordkapp... I will have to hurry up as it started to get cold now here in Kuusamo. I bought myself some camping gear and will probably have to use it if the hitch-hiking does not go well.
I have some host for some northern city and villages that I can reach to stay and cook... but I have to get a lift there first.
More escaping Reindeer
So tomorrow, short grocery and preparation and then awaiting the mail (I forgot my towel at my previous stop in Oulu last week and it was sent by mail... which we hope arrive tomorrow.) Then Laura drives me to Rovaniemi the capital of Lappland from where I will try to hitch-hike through Sodankyla, Ivalo and Inari. In Inari I can stop to visit the Sami museum, of the original people living there, and maybe camp there if its late... otherwise camp before. There is a member in Inari but I havent heard from yet. Otherwise the first member I could reach is in Karigasniemi at the border with Norway. Then its Norway, which as been told to be horribly expensive.. and so far my search proves to be the case. The bus could be about 100$ for just 100km and so.
I shall pass through Lakselv and then Honningsvag where members could welcome me and in Honningsvag I can head to the most northern point of Europe in Nordkapp on the island there.
Then I head back by Alta and I wonder if I will go to Tromso the biggest city in the area, I will pass near anyway but I dont know yet. Then back down to Finland following the Finnish-Swedish border. To some cities there undeterminated but I will see. I also wonder if I will follow the coast or cut to Helsinki faster.
On the Russian Border
I havent been talking about my stay in Finland so far... I saw lots of Reindeer.. lots lots... lots of pine trees. lots of lake and its been cool. We got one day of rain and the temperature has dropped for nearby 10 degree here in Kuusamo last friday. I can say that its nearby freezing point by night. My time in Kuusamo at Laura's parents is great, I could relax and prepare my northern journey. I have had finnish sauna, visit the russian border and spent time by the lake at their cabins in the wood near the russian border. The meal are great and all the atmosphere reminds of home, except the talks! It look like I'm in RiviÃ¨re-Ã -Pierre... but in more flat. There is no mountains at all and Finland is rather a flat country.
I arrived in Kuusamo nearly a week ago, before that I spent a night in Oulu from where Laura's father pick us up and we drove the 200 km through the forest to Kuusamo.
Oulu was cool, I had a subway and they still use the stamps so I can have my free sandwich on the next visit... I wont have lost my stamps as I would have in Canada. Before Oulu, I was in Tampere for a night too and we hitch-hiked all the way from it to Oulu. Tampere was nice but a bit of an industrial city.
Before Tampere it was Turku where we arrived from Stockholm with the ferry, we spent some nights there relaxing from the previous road and the first day was busy with the city festival having plenty of young drunk finns on the streets. I also got my first rain of the journey there while visiting the city.
Sadly it appears that all finnish cities have been bombed or burned down in 2WW either by the german or the russian or by the ones not wanting the others to have a single house left to shelter or take over... Therefore the lack of historic building. Some architecture are pretty great though... for the rest it either look german or scandinavic... or Kuusamo downtown like a midwest american city.