Easter Hike on the Baltic Sea

March in Kemi at the far end of the Baltic Sea allows on an early Easter to have a nice walk on the Baltic Sea. Not far from the arctic circle the winter are bitter cold and due to the reduced amount of sea salt the sea always freezes so deep that you can later walk on the ice for kilometers. The city officially opens tracks for hiking and cross-country skiing. So my Easter march was on the Baltic Sea to an island where I could have a cup of coffee. Only go on the ice if you know that it can hold you! It is risky otherwise. During my visit in 2008 so many people came here that I was sure it is ok to go… I was far from alone 🙂

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Day-visit to the Ice-Hotel LumiLinna in Kemi

Living in Finland for a year gives you the chances to visit places year round. So on my Easter weekend in 2008 I decided to drive from my hometown Oulu to Kemi at the far end of the Baltic Sea to have a look at the ice hotel Lumilinna, which is rebuilt each year. Lumi is the finnish word for snow and linna is a fortress. So it basically is the snowfortress. As you notice on the photos March is still tight winter up north just 200 km from the arctic circle and it is hard to believe that just a few months later after you have made a hike on the ocean ice you can walk around in a T-shirt.

I think the Lumilinna is nowadays at a different location than at the times I went there. Staying in an ice-hotel became more and more popular and so they increased size which might have caused the reason for moving to a more spacious place. You can find the current location on the embedded map below.

To see the interior you do not have to stay in the hotel overnight. It is possible for a fee to go inside and walk around at daytime. It is very nice!

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Southern Konnevesi National Park

Up to my last visit to Finland in 2017 I always thought that the Southern Konnevesi National Park particularly focusses on the lake areas and therefore there was no hikning option, but I learned the truth. So it was time to stop here and to do some hiking. My choice fell on the Kalajan Kierros, the Kalaja Round that is shown on the map in red. This circular tour leads up on top of a rocky hill from where there are beautiful views over the surrounding landscape. Please click on the map to reach the original map in pdf format on the pages of outdoors.fi (the official pages of the Finnish National Parks).

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As you see the first part of the hike is to walked back at the end, and once we reach the ‘kierros’ we reach also the border of the National Park, which is indicated by a sign.

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In the area you will feel quite remote. I am always glad not to be completely on my own as long as those people before or after me are quiet. Here also some people were hiking, but went the clockwise direction as proposed on the map. I went the wrong way round, but it was no problem. Steep parts are on both sides as you will see later.

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At some point we reach the lake. Here everything is well maintained and you will find a bbq place.

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I continued along the lake … and also took some photos look to where I came from.

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At some point it gets quite steep, but the ropes help to get uphill.

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But after a shorter while…

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… we are on top of the hill.

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Also the rocks of these massive hills were affected by the huge ice masses during the ice age, this is the reason for the very flattend surface.

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Nowadays it helps to walk over it, so the hiking trail leads along here.

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From time to time there is a chance to look over the beautiful scenery of Finlands forests and lakes.

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And also down to the lake at which we arrived when reaching the bbq place. But on the photo you see a place (tree gap in the right center) that we reach soon. It is time now to step down from the hill.

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Now standing in the gap we can take the photos in opposite direction.

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Up there we have been before!

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It is time now to follow the trail along the lake to the bbq place again.

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There on the left of the photo you can see it. Soon we turn right and follow the same path back that we came here. Hoped you enjoyed!

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Please click the symbols for the respective webpages… Thanks to Metsähallitus for maintaining the infrastructure!

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Finnish Airforce Museum

For quite a while I knew that close to the airport of Jyväskylä there is a museum that features the history of aviation in Finland. As most of the time I prefer to be in the nature it happend that I haven’t been in it up to my last tour through the country. This time in 2017 it was time to stop here as my route led me very close to the museum. It was time to check out the Finnish aviation history.

The museum is located in a hangar building. Outside you can see some fighter planes and radar towers, but the main exhibition is inside the hangar.

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So lets go inside the hangar. I was quite suprised how many planes fit inside the building. Some words now to avoid you wondering. You will see the symbol of luck and fertility that Nazi-Germany misused in their flag, but here in the color blue. It is related to Count Eric von Rosen a Swedish explorer who donated the first plane to th Finnish airforce. The symbol used to be the symbol of the Finnish airforce from 1918 -1945. After that it was replaced by a blue circle.

Entering the museum you will be quite overwhelmed by the amount of planes.

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There are not only planes, but also some helicopter and missiles.

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And the museum shows how some planes were used, like the one distributing notes.

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Not all planes are shown in completness. You will also find parts, like this cockpit.

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And obviously not all planes in wartime returned. Quite a bunch were destroyed and crashed. The remains that were found, partly are recovered and shown in the museum.

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I hope you liked to stroll through the museum with me and I recommend to stop here if you are somewhere around Jyväskylä.

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Serlachius Museum Gösta

In the west of Mänttä you can find the second part of the interesting Serlachius museums. Serlachius Museum Gösta combines an art museum and a mansion that is accessible through the entrance hall of the art museum. I came quite late and had to rush a little especially through the mansion as the staff was kind to let me walk through despite official closing announcement, but I had a good time there to explore the different rooms on three floors. But back to the art museum first.

The art museum is located in a huge desinger building and has its roots in the collection of Serlachius, the former founder and owner of the paper factory in town (see Serlachius Museum Gustav for his history). According to their website the museum won several awards for the architecture and the collection. You will find a permanent exhibition and some changing exhibition, which during my visit featured the subject of how Europe and the world deals with refugees.

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From this part of the exhibition you can continue down some huge stairs into a huge hall that houses some general paintings.

As mentioned do not forget to have a look at the mansion. Inside there is more art, but also the furntiture and information about its past.

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Keep an eye open for some stairs leading down into the painted cellar room, or should I say drinking room 🙂

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In the ground and upper floor you can see art sorted by subject, for example forest and winter.

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If you come here on a nice summer day, then you can enjoy also the park around the museum.

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I hope you liked this short tour through the Serlachius Museum Gösta. Have a look on their website that you can access by clicking on their banner below and of course make a visit there personally!

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Isojärvi National Park – Extended Heretty Nature Trail

I had been to Isojärvi National Park in a previous trip, but this time added it to my plans as it was on the route and I had good memories about it. The last time I hiked the Heretty Nature Trail, but this time I decided to extend it by a larger round bringing me further away and back via Kuorejärvi.

The map shows the normal Heretty Nature Trail marked in red, but this time I continued the large loop all the way to the information board marked with the ‘i’ in the top right corner. From there I returned along Kuorejärvi back to the parking. All in all the hike was about 7 km leading me through a very diverse landscape.

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At the parking inbetween several buildings we find the information hut from Metsä. The building complex was a loggers camp in the past.

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Excellent information for the visitors! Plan some time to have a look at the interesting information about the nature and history of this place.

IMG_0627At some point it is time to start the hike. A lot of remains from the ice age are still visible along the hike. Those big rocks were deposite here by the huge glaciers pushing the ice over the landscape.

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We follow the Heretty Nature Trail and after about 1.1 km we head to the right.

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There are no mountains here, but the trail is far from flat.

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After about 2.8 km we get a view on Hevosjärvi, the lake in the far north east of our hiking route.

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Despite Heretty being a loggers place in the past, the nature looks really unspoiled and it is really beautiful.

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This is the information board that is marked on the map. On my hike I was considering to make an even larger loop and turned right here for some hundred meters, but found the trail in a not optimal condition. So I returned and followed the trail as described in this blogpost.

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From the information desk it is not very far and we reach the next bigger lake… Kuorejärvi. With the weather I could enjoy the view, even took a rest here.

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As you see it is larger than a pond.

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Through dense forest…

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…and along thick moss covered stones I continued my circular hike.

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At some point we will need to take a bridge over a small bay of Kurkijärvi, the Kannuslahti. For a bbq place you need to turn right immediately after. For me it is one of the most beautiful bbq places I have been to.

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It is located on a tiny peninsulae in lake Kurkijärvi. As usual wood is provided and there is a dry toilet. Thanks for this! Just you need to cut it in pieces as it is only made storable there and not already in usable bits. But that is easy as all tools are provided.

The view from the fire place is great.

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From the fire place it is an easy walk back to the parking. I hope you liked joining me through Isojärvi National Park!

Thanks to everyone that helps to make the place so enjoyable!

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Evo Hiking Area – Little Nature Trail

I found on a map that there is a very small circular hiking trail in the Evo Hiking Area. It basically follows a little stream for a few hundred meters and then after crossing a bridge it returns back to the parking. As I had time and was curious I stopped at the parking along road 53 just north of Evokeskus and prepared myself for the short round. The first hundred meters were pretty wet ground and I had to find good steps not to have water in the shoes, but then I could enjoy the beautiful dense forest. The trail features that little stream that we follow. As far as I could see on a sign the stream was prepared with obstacles to reduce the speed of the water. If someone knows details, let me know. Anyhow I loved the nature as it was clear to see that the flora adapted to this pretty wet environment giving the feeling as walking in a rain forest.

Luontopolku means nature trail, so we know where to go…

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Hard to see but after entering the more dense forest the ground was pretty wet. Anyhow no issues with wet feet.

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After a short while we already arrive at the first bridge that we need to cross. From here on we are following the stream.

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As you see it is not very big and hardly flowing. I am sure with the melting of the snow in spring the situation is much different.

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The sign from which I interprete the adjustments in the stream…

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…and how it looks in real.

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Whatever it means I enjoyed the nature. It is very calm out here.

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We already have reached the farest part of the hike… the bridge leading us back to the side of the parking. Still we have to walk back.IMG_0615

Some more picture of the second bridge and the view from it over the stream.

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While standing on the bridge this fern was lightend by the sun while most of the rest was in shadow. It is a pitty that reality always looks better than picture. But I hope you get the point.

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Hope you liked this little tour.

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