Thursday, July 6, 2023

Finland Day 5

 This morning we got up and did a 3 1/2 hour canoe trip (with a guide) on the Kemijoki river.  Finley had white water rafting on her list, but I could not find that trip, so this was the cloest I could get.  It was a beautiful ride.  It was cool, and a bit windy so that helped keep the moquitoes away.  There were two of us per canoe, and our guide was wonderful.  We rode and then half way we stopped for a little picnic ot Cinnamon rolls and warm blueberry tea (blueberry again!).  

Our guide used the time to tell us about the "Every man's right" to the land that Finland has.  All land is for all people.  Anything that grows belongs to the people.  The forest are filled with blueberries and ligonberries.  They do limit people to the amount they can pick each year, but that amount is still enormous.

It gets quite cold in the part of Finland in the winters - can get down to -30C.  The rivers are shallow because outside of winter, they don't get much weather.  A little rain, but not much.  So they freeze over easily.  By deep winter he said the ice is 27 inches thick - large trucks can drive right over it.

Cloudberries are a delicacy here.  They look like a rasberry except they are orange.  They have to have 6-8 hours of sun a day BUT they cannot stand warm weather, so they grow great in the Arctic.  It takes 7 years for the plant to bear fruit, so they are cherished.  We had them on a few different items - pancakes (which were more like a crepe), and some desserts and they were very yummy.  We are taking a few cloudberry itmes home with us.

We also learned about the reindeer being owned by people and that we have to be very careful when traveling the roads because the deer are everywhere.  If you hit one an investigation has to be done because it belongs to someone.  He was not wrong about them being everywhere.  After our canoe ride we got some lunch at a yummy Korean restaurant and headed 3 hours north to our next destination.  They were all over the roads.  IT is a beautiful drive on what seems to be the only road in Lapland, and we saw beautiful lakes and quaint little stores and reindeer.  

We landed tonight in a beautiful house (it became our families favorite stay once we got inside) in Sarriselka.  We decided to have dinner in tonight and found a sweet restaurant called Anne's Garden not far from where we are staying to grab some food.  We played cards and we all tried the huge Sauna that is in this house, and just relaxed for the first day since we arrived.

We couldn't take our phones out on our canoe trip in case they fell in the water, so these are the only pictures I had.  It was a wonderful trip - so beautiful.

On our drive to Saariselka - so many reindeer

Our house.  IT had 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms and a huge sauna.  It was tucked away in the mountains.  It was quite cold here - we are really far north - I think the high was 60 degrees F.

We saw these everywhere we went in Northern Finland and also in Svalbard.  These are heaters for your car.  They are in all public spaces.

Part of our dinner Mat and I got a cloudberry pancake - here is what they looked like.

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