I'm back after a long and relaxing Easter break! If you caught my unusually titled post - Coriander, you will have read that Scott and I spent the hols in a cabin by Lake Paijanne in Padasjoki, just a couple of hours north (ish) of where we live. Funnily enough, it's the place where we spent our last Easter together in Finland; however there was a little more ice on the ground, or should I say lake; this year.
We arrived around mid-afternoon on Friday, dumping our bags and almost immediately firing up the BBQ. Yes, the icy lake and freezing temperatures weren't going to deter us. After layering myself up with almost all of the clothes that I had packed for the weekend, I was ready to sit outside with a glass of vino and enjoy the view.
Despite being grey and gloomy, the surroundings still gave me that inner fuzzy feeling and reminded me why Scott and I love this place so much. It's probably one of the most peaceful places I have ever visited. I think we saw one other car the entire time that we were there and the only noises were the birds and a couple of very brave ice fishermen who took to the nearly thawed out lake to try their luck.
Just before my fingers were about to fall off, Scott summoned his inner cave man and lit us a roaring fire down on the water's edge where we sat drinking Lonkero until the last of the light had all but gone.
We slept in late on Saturday morning and kick started our lazy day with a Finnish sauna. I was hoping to fully dip in the lake as I had chickened out last year; however I didn't fancy having to break through the ice, so made do with sitting on the rear deck to cool off.
After lunch, (technically breakfast) we whipped out the chocolate and set about making ourselves some Easter treats.
Classic Easter Krispy cakes are pretty hard to beat!
Once we had demolished our body weight in chocolate, we jumped in the car and set about driving through the beautiful National Park to do a spot of, 'sight seeing.' I was secretly hoping we would see elk; although I pretty much wish for this every time we drive through anywhere with trees.
After a fairly short drive, we ended up at Karisalmi bridge, a 175 meter long suspension bridge that connects some of the islands on Lake Paijanne.
We pulled into a small, road-side parking spot and jumped out of the car to explore. Even with my thick, woolly gloves on, my hands were trembling taking snaps. I imagine this place would be amazing in the Summertime.
We headed home to warm up in front of the fire, (and to eat more chocolate of course!)
Sunday's script was very much the same. A late breakfast/early lunch, several cups of tea and a relaxing sauna to start the day. Scott was feeling a little tender from the night's drinking before, so we took it easy before hitting the road home in the early evening.
There's a lot of things I miss living in Finland, but never have I loved a place more for enjoying the peace, the quiet, the stunning scenery and relaxing with friends and family.