Posts From Finland


Shopping spree and then a ferry (Helsinki, Finland)

Journal entry for Friday 4th Jul, 2014 (day 354, miles 1693)

On our way out of Pärnu we had a real shopping spree as we found a huge supermarket (actually a couple of them but we only needed one) and stocked up for our pending journey into the remoteem> Scandinavian North. Now it is not that we have not seen supermarkets anywhere else on this journey. But finding one with a very large selection and with a car park that allowed us easy access has been quite rare. So we reveled in the opportunity.

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A visit to downtown Helsinki (Helsinki, Finland)

Journal entry for Saturday 5th Jul, 2014 (day 355, miles 1693)

We decided to stay another day at Rastila. We spent the morning doing some chores around the truck - really boring. But in the afternoon we caught the Metro into the city for a bit of a tour.

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Which way Russia (Lappeenranta, Finland)

Journal entry for Sunday 6th Jul, 2014 (day 356, miles 1835)

A curious episode on our departure from Helsinki. As we approached the entry ramp to the E13 (the main road to the North East) we pulled up beside a large white truck pulling a large white enclosed trailer. The driver signaled me to wind down our window and promptly asked (in a language I did not recognize) something about St Petersburg. I pointed right onto the E13 and tried to also signal that we should stop together and look at our map. That seemed to work a few miles down the motorway we both pulled into a rest area. The truck was a mobile television production facility and the two guys in it were taking it to Moscow via St Petersburg. After some discussion over our iPad map they seemed satisfied and got underway. At this point in our journey St Petersburg is about 400 km east.

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Medieval Castle (Lappeenranta, Finland)

Journal entry for Monday 7th Jul, 2014 (day 357, miles 1930)

Well Russia got a lot closer today. At our mid morning rest stop near the town of Simpele we were within 600 yards/meters of the Russian border. Not surprisingly we had noted during the mornings drive that more signs where in Russian.

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A hill (Koli, Finland)

Journal entry for Tuesday 8th Jul, 2014 (day 358, miles 2077)

So we continued north today, more good highway and of course more trees. But the weather is good and life seems stress free - except for the water leak. I spent a little time trying to diagnose that issue during the drive but got no where. I really need to be able to pull the entire fresh water system apart but don't have the facilities, tools or parts to do that. The good news on the water front is that the isolation valves that were installed by GXV while we were back in the US have proven very useful. I have been able to isolate the hot water tank from the coolant system. That means I don't have to deal with hot components while I examine the area of the leak.

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A lazy day (The road, Finland)

Journal entry for Wednesday 9th Jul, 2014 (day 359, miles 2225)

Today was a bit of a lazy day, we traveled just under 150 miles. Considering that we are now far enough north that it does not get dark that represents a very lazy day. In addition to driving we had another shopping opportunity. In the town of Kajaani we found a number of large well stocked supermarkets.

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Another summers day (Juuma, Finland)

Journal entry for Thursday 10th Jul, 2014 (day 359, miles 2225)

We spent some time this morning at last nights camp site, and also at stops along the days route, looking further at our water leak. It may be hard for those that don't own motorhomes to appreciate the frustration of having a problem like this and not being able to diagnose or fix it; but believe me it is (in our case) high. Thus we were delighted that today we believe we found the source of the water and it is nowhere near as big a deal as I had been fearing. I will say more on this topic in an upcoming post on Plumbing, but for the moment let me just note that the leak was from the second stage fine grained water filter we have installed for our drinking fountain. Now mind you we have not proven this beyond a shadow of doubt just yet but feel confident.

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Piene Karhunkierros (Juuma, Finland)

Journal entry for Friday 11th Jul, 2014 (day 361, miles 2376)

As planned we were on the trail just after 8:20am and for a while had the pleasure of a cool morning breeze.

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The Arctic Circle (and reindeer) (Rovaniemi, Finland)

Journal entry for Saturday 12th Jul, 2014 (day 362, miles 2509)

Today we hit The Arctic Circle. This happened on our way to the city of Rovaniemi which is the capital city of Lapland, the home of the Sami people. Along the way we got our first sightings of reindeer and one very obscured moose. As an aside we have been looking for moose since Poland. There have been signs warning of moose every 5 km since we entered Finland, but his is first real sighting.

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Santa Claus (Vuotso, Finland)

Journal entry for Sunday 13th Jul, 2014 (day 363, miles 2622)

Just a little north of Rovaniemi there is a place called Santa Claus Village. It has lots of souvenir shops, cafes and a number of different Santa Claus's that you can visit and talk to. This is the place where children's letters to Santa are sent (at least if you are not from the US). We spent a while here walking around looking at the place, the people and giving Nina an opportunity to buy some of those souvenirs. Interestingly the place had a number of Russian tourists and hence many signs in Russian.

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Reindeer day (Inari, Finland)

Journal entry for Monday 14th Jul, 2014 (day 364, miles 2725)

What can I say. Finland provided yet another glorious summers day and we enjoyed it. We stopped frequently to photograph the industrious reindeer (they are occupied eating to the extent that they seem not even to notice people), had a swim in one of the very pretty and beckoning lakes (just to find that despite the sun they are pretty bracing).

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