Saturday, 18 July 2015

The Great Finnish Road Trip - Day 2

Right, I have a Lonkero in hand and I'm ready to tackle the second installment of The Great Finnish Road Trip! (You can catch up on the first part here.) When I last left you, the sun had almost set on our first evening of travel, (it barely justifies the term 'setting' at this time of year) and we had called it a night ready for the long day ahead. 

The sleep was better than expected, considering we were in a glorified van. I woke up feeling refreshed and not in the least bit inclined to strangle Scott, (as is usually the case where early mornings are involved.) After smearing my face in totally lazy make up job fashion, we set off to cover the short distance into the centre of Kuopio. 

We arrived to a bustling market square and not much of an idea of what was going on. Stalls were scattered all over the main square and there was music being played over speakers. We made our way through the crowds and set about exploring.

The first thing we stumbled across was this:

Kuopio Rock, funny

What ensued was a debate on whether or not we were looking at a sign for Rock rock or Rock cock. I'll take answers on a postcard please.

The Great Finnish Road Trip, Kuopio Catherdral, church
The Great Finnish Road Trip, Road Trip Finland, Kuopio Catherdral

We'd factored in time to have a wander around Kuopio Cathedral but sadly, it was closed due to maintenance. Typical! I managed to sneak a few snaps over the fence though. 

The Great Finnish Road Trip, road trip Finland, Kuopio marina
The Great Finnish Road Trip, road trip Finland, visit Finland, Kuopio park
The Great Finnish Road Trip, road trip Finland, view Kuopio,
The Great Finnish Road Trip, Kuopio view, Puijo Tower Kuopio,
The Great Finnish Road Trip, Kuopio view, Kuopio Puijo Tower view, visit Finland
The Great Finnish Road Trip, Kuopio views, Visit Finland, road trip Finaland

Standing 75m tall, Puijo tower in Kupio was a great spot for us to get a bird's eye view of the surrounding area and we quickly discovered why this part of Finland is described as the Lake Region. I swear that my crappy iPhone pictures do not do it justice, it really was such a stunning view!

Before hitting the road again, Scott and I decided to fill up on bacon and eggs, we had a long drive ahead of us to Kuusamo - the gateway to Lapland.  

The Great Finnish Road Trip, bacon and eggs, food,
Camper van cuisine at its finest!

We set off with our tummies satisfied and just under 500km of road to tackle. The journey should have taken us around 5 hours to complete but with so many stops to take in strange sights, stock up on mosquito repellant, (yes, they're everywhere up north) and stuff our faces with pic and mix, the travel time ended up around the 7 hour mark... ouch! 

The Great Finnish Road Trip, scarecrows, visit Finland, Finnish road trip, road trip Finland, strange sights
The Great Finnish Road Trip, Scott and Kirsty

The most incredible and surreal part of the day was bumping into several reindeer along the way. Just casually strolling across the road and walking alongside our van without a care in the world. Scott and I had hoped we'd see at least one of these fine creatures whilst on our journey, little did we know we'd see around 30 of them before our trip was through. I'll leave you with pictures of these magnificent animals because, nawwww, and we can pick up the rest of Day 2 in my next post as this has already reached monumental dissertation levels. Next time you see my face, we'll be in the jaw-dropping Oulanka National Park, walking part of the 80km Karhunkierros trail - it's definitely one not to be missed! 

Moi Moi...

The Great Finnish Road Trip, Reindeer Finland, Reindeer in the road, Wild Reindeer Lapland
The Great Finnish Road Trip, Reindeer Family, Reindeer in road, wild reindeer, Lapland
The Great Finnish Road Trip, road trip Finland, Visit Finland, Reindeer Finland, reindeer spotting,

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