Hiking around Iso-Melkutin

Proceeding my trip northwards through Finland I decided to stop at the lake Iso-Melkutin to hike there as the pages of outdoors.fi sounded promising. Have to say that in the past years I was hesitating a little to go here as the map shows an airport just beside the hiking area and I feared to have the noises to be disturbing. Before reaching the car I passed the airport and I saw not much activity, so I was in a good mood. Later on the day I could hear some planes, but it was not problem. So with my arrival I parked my car at the parking “Pysäkointi” grabbed my stuff and started the roughly 7,5 km hike.

To reach Iso-Melkutin we will first hike about 1 km through the forest, the same way will later be the trail that leads us back to the parking.

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We will pass another smaller lake called Iso-Mylly. It feels very calming to look into the nature.

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Trees stand very close to the shore.

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After completing the first kilometer we get a first glimpse of the beautiful and clean Iso-Melkutin. Here we will have to decide which direction we circle the lake. I decided counter-clockwise.

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From now on I keep the lake located on my left side.

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The trail follows a kind of esker providing a view on the lake from a little higher ground.

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But soon as we get further parts are following directly the shore line.

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I talked to other hikers on the way back to the parking. They only came here to stop at this tiny beach to have a swim. But they also said, it felt cold when coming out as it was a little windy.

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We continue our hike without a swim and keep following the shore.

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At many places you will be able to see what is mentioned on outdoors.fi as a very clean water with a good sight. Here people come to dive.

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That is why I suddenly came to these stairs leading into the water. I used them to have a rest with a very nice view. The colors look quite extrem, but they were like that in real.

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Not far from the stairs you will find a bbq place. I did not use it as I did not go shopping that day and it was still at the very beginning of my trip, but I found it a nice place for a rest and will keep it in my mind for some other time that I pass that area.

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I found the view on the dead trees in the cristal clear water really beautiful…

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And along the shore there were water lilies.

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At some parts we will need to cross small creeks, there are quite massive bridges for us.

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Nature was quite late this year (2017), but some interesting indicators for autumn already showed up.

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With some views over the water we slowly manage the opposite side of Iso-Melkutin and a little later reach the crossing from where we follow the trail that we came from.

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I hope you liked it. For me the hike was very nice as I noticed that the next days at least promised sunshine which is not always like that during my trips through Finland. With a good mood I reached back my car and continued for more adventures 🙂

More information on the area Melkuttimet you can find on outdoors.fi.

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Hiking in Vaisakko Nature Reserve

As so many beautiful places also this hiking destination came to my eyes and mind while doing some travel research on the nationalparks.fi pages that are maintained by metsa. Being close to Salo and therefore somewhere on my track towards the north of Finland I decided to mark it on my travelmap for my trip. After visiting Teijo Nationalpark I arrived here to do this rather easy hike.

You can see on the map the trail leads after about 1,6 km to a 1,1 km loop and we will need to return the same way.

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The parking is remote inbetween farm land.

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I was quite surprised about the good quality of the trail at first, but unfortunately that should change after some minutes. Lets assume that the restoration of the trail will continue soon to make it easier for the visitors of the nature reserve…

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… cause after some minutes I ended up trying to find the duck boards inbetween the high standing grass. Sometimes I step into gaps or simply missed the boards while defending myself from horse flies.

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After the worst part seen on the previous photo things became a little easier and the hike turned more and more  fun.

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I have to say that the nature here is different to many places in Finland that I have been to. It more reminds me of forests in central Europe. Continueing the trail I passed big rocks.

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You will pass some grass areas. Especially there is one located in the loop of the trail. Signs set up there explain that there used to be a farm in the past.

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This is the point at which we reach the loop. You can eiter go clock or counterclockwise. I decided to go counterclockwise, taking the right side.

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Looking at the signs that were put up by metsa, you will learn a lot about the specific plants and animals that live here. There are several really rare ones here making the reserve a special place.

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I really loved those very big trees that are standing in the reserve,

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After the loop we return the same way back to the parking as it was marked on the map. Note that there is no service like toilets or bbq places in the reserve. Please keep it clean and in shape!

Find the official internet page for the Vaisakko Nature Reserve here (in Finnish only).

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Syöte – On the trace of bears

Hiking in Finland is often a combination of admiring the beauty and keeping an eye on anything that could harm me. In opposite to Germany where you have almost nothing to really worry about when going to the forests, in Finland you have predators roaming the nature. Often talking to people there they say I should not worry as their numbers are really rare and it would be a like a win in a lottery, this time I got a glimpse of what could be the jackpot. On a planned hike around Lake Soiperoinen at the Eastern outskirts of Syöte National Park I found the fresh traces of a bear in the mud of the hiking trail. Being far from any help and alone, I have to say that I was quite afraid. Already having hiked a good kilometer that moment I decided not to risk anything, returned and kept close to the parking at the resting area. Just a few days before after staying at the cottage of a friend, I heard a bear was seen there in the area days before and another friend told me that in Sweden a bear chased a hiker during my trip, but died by rushing against a tree. So it seems that you literaly can get the jackpot. Take care what you do and keep eyes open. They are really hard to see in the dense flora of Finnish nature. To get an idea, I recommend to visit the zoo in Ranua featuring animals of the North. They also have brown bears. Below I linked to the Scandinavian Bear Projekt page where you find some instructions on how to behave in nature to avoid problems.

Photos from Lake Soiperoinen I will post in another blog entry coming soon…

Here a photo from the bear trace. You can clearly see the toes and nails. The size is about an adult hand.

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About Brown Bears on the Large Carnivore Initiative For Europe page…

Scandinavian Bear Project, guidelines on behavior regarding bears in nature…

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Arabia – 100 Years Edition

Arabia is a famous trademark of Finnish designer dishes from Iitala in the Fiskars Group. As this year Finland has its 100 Years Anniversary celebrated of course throughout the country in many events, Iitala has released a 100 Years Edition with cups decorated in the design of each decade. I could not hesitate and got myself the pack of five cups from the second half while visiting the Santa Village on the Polar Circle north of Rovaniemi . Might try to complete the set, lets see…

You can purchase them in Finland online or in the iitala stores. I don’t know if the 100 years edition is available abroad.

This is purely for your interest as it is a souvenir that I brought home with me. I do not want to make advertisement with this post and I do not get anything from Iitala!

Here three of the five mugs…

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Teijo National Park – Hiking the Matildanjärvenkierros

Teijo National Park is very close to Turku and therefore a very good starting point or end point for a trip through Finland if you enter or leave the country via the Turku ferry. The national park offers easy access and a very pretty nature. You can find several hiking options of which I chose the circular hike around Matildanjärvi. In case you saw an older post of Teijo NP, you might notice that the very first meters are leading the same trail, but this time I continue to follow the shoreline of Lake Matilda counter clockwise. If you see the map below you can see the broken line around the lake in the center. In the west of the lake you can see that you will need to walk some kilometer along the road, but there is hardly any traffic and it is speed limited as it is inside the village. But now everything in the right order…

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We start our hike at the main parking area of Matildanjärvi, which is located at the camping ground and the visitor center. In case you need some additional information or you want to have a cup of coffea you should stop at the visitor center. To continue you follow the trail leading around the right side of it down to the lake. From here it is about 5 km to walk. I have to say that in the area of the village I lost the trail and basically returned to the parking directly making me not really sure how long my hike actually was. But looking at the map it comes pretty close to the 5 km.

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The trail along the lake is in a very good condition and easy to follow. What I really like here is the very varying terrain.

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Following the trail at some point we come to a crossing. At this place the former hike that I did here in Teijo NP left the lake for a clockwise hike, but we keep following the shore.

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Already here in Teijo NP on my first day in Finland this summer (2017) I noticed fast that this year seemed different regarding nature. I could not remember that the heather was blooming so intense. My friends told me later that spring had a very slow start delaying nature by some weeks. I could not complain with these nice flowers and it also had a positive effect on moskitos and particular mooseflies of which I only caught three during the entire trip of three weeks. That is normally the rate of mooseflies that land on me in some places within one minute when only looking at some information board.

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Along the lake there are plenty of beautiful spots formed by water.

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It is nice when the views open up to the lake and you can admire the large water surface. You notice maybe that there were some clouds. They became pretty dark and I was not sure if thunder and lightning might start, so a little worried I continued my trip. But it stayed ok until the end.

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Quite at the far end of the lake you will need to cross this bridge.

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After forest, bridges, rocks we also have to crosse a remarkable piece of swamp. I loved the view that I took the photo of as it really looks like the trail would vanish.

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More rocks and some ascent for us, but there is not much difference in altitude along the entire trail.

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Looking backwards we can see the rocky nature along the lake. Also here as in entire Finland (and generally Scandinavia) the nature was strongly changed during the ice age when the enormous masses of glacier ice reformed the nature making the surface of the rocks pretty smooth with long scarves by scratching stones.

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At some part we directly follow the lake. Beatiful views!

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After we have passed the village we need to cross the forest to reach back on the shore. To do so you will need to keep going along the road and then following the dirt road that you drove to the parking. At some point the trail will leave the dirt road to the left into the forest back to the shore.

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Here roughly 500 meters before the parking we pass a bbq and resting place. I had no idea that this hut would become the place for my ‘goodby’ bbq before heading to the ferry. But it became so handy to stop here in Teijo NP on my way to the ferry that I could not resist.

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As always for the Finnish National Parks I recommend warmest the official page of Teijo National Park. You can get there by clicking their emblem below. It will bring you to the main page of Teijo NP. Have a look at their downloadable pdf there, which gives a good summary. Enjoy your stay at Teijo NP!

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Löfstad Castle – A nice stop along the E4

To reach Finland from Germany without the long sea travel of 30 hours between Travemünde and Helsinki it requires crossing Sweden by car towards Stockholm which is quite a trip. So it comes handy to know nice places along the route to visit for a break. One of these places is the Löfstad Castle which is just some few hundred meters from the E4 at Trafikplats 117 (Lövstad). Close to the highway it is still a very quiet and nice place. The castle has a small park, that invites for a small walk. In summer there is a cafe in a flower shop and a restaurant. I stopped here already twice and like to return here as it does not require a long detour.

There are also guided tours through the castle, but up to now I havent participated in any. But let’s see what comes next trip… The castle belongs to the Östergotlands Museums. Check the opening hours prior to your visit!

Here some photos of the castle. ..

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Landskrona Citadel

On my way to Finland Landskrona is often one of the first places in Sweden that I try to find shelter. If weather is fine I sometimes already try to get to the Camping in Bärsebäck, but in 2013 I wanted to have a look at the citadel of Landskrona, which is beautifully seen on the townmap of this small city. It is possible to enter the citadel as it is partially a museum. For its history I recommend to have a look at wikipedia, where it is well documented. I don’t like to repeat what is easily accessible, rather want you to get some impressions by the photos I took during my short walk.IMG_0216

The whole citadel is surrounded by water as a protection against infantry. IMG_0181

To enter it, use the bridge.IMG_0186

I came across several birds of completely different temper. These guys were so friendly, while a seagull those I was an intruder into her nesting area… not so much fun. But its nature… I was the guest.IMG_0195

The building has some exhibition to look at. It is in the very heart of the citadel.IMG_0199

After leaving I took this photo which gives a quite good view on the citadel. I think it is worth to go when passing Landskrona. By the way, Landskrona is the access to the small island Ven, on which Tycho Braahe made his research in astronomy. It is high on my list of open things…IMG_0214

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