Country #10, Day 76-79,
Finland (19th-22nd June)
It was tough to leave St. Petersburg, we fell in love with the city, it was even tougher given that we were now only three on the rest of the trip as Arundathi had to leave for India. Thus, with heavy hearts we moved on to enter Europe through Finland.
But Finland lifted our spirits pretty quickly! As much as Russia was about culture, architecture and cities, Finland was about living free, we were finally at the Baltic Sea. Adventure seekers will understand the feeling when the sea approaches and that too after being landlocked for months. We reached the Baltic coast after 2 and half months of travelling inland and through landlocked countries. What a pleasure it was too visit the harbour at Helsinki and get the cool sea wind blowing at us and since this is a cold country the humidity is lower and thus the sea does not get you wet in the face and full of salt like it does in India.
We quickly got ourselves a nice cruise to visit the island fortress of Soumenlinna and other pretty Helsinki suburbs which would have been impossible to cover otherwise. This was a great decision, we saw seagulls, cruise liners, docks, Helsinki coast line and much more while the sun was merciful in keeping the cold away.
But Finland has much more to offer than just Helsinki, it has the Arctic Circle to the north, 1,88,000 lakes and 1,79,000 islands. Yes, you read that right both are in lakhs. Another surprising fact is that the land here was compressed by glaciers until the end of the Ice Age and now with the ice gone, the land is on a literal rebound and thus rising. You will be surprised to know as the rising land turns more of the sea into dry land, the country adds 7sq. km. of surface area annually. Peaceful territory expansion!!!
So, as we went North to our next exciting goal of crossing into the Arctic Circle and further on to Norway to the Northern most point motorable point in Europe. We were constantly surrounded by lakes, rivers and lush greenery. As a result we also chose to stay as close to nature as possible and camped at sites and BnBs at the most secluded of locations.
We are also very happy to have crossed in to the Arctic Circle in Finland and onto Norway, will update you on that in our next post. Till then enjoy our clicks below.