We’ll be out for North Karelia early the day after tomorrow. There, beyond a very long drive, lies a little lake. Over the rounded cliff on the lake’s eastern edge one finds two small raw timber cottages. There lies my newest Paradise on Earth (also known as my in-law’s family summer cottage).

From previous experience I know that wifi or 3G (no hope of 4G) or even mobile phone calls seldom work out there. It’s very remote and the nearest link tower is blocked by the rough terrain. There’s also some ore in the soil there, as even radio channels tend to get a little choppy.

Personally, I’m from the very west of Finland which is very even and in places also rather treeless. The western Finns made their forests into permanent fields when the eastern Finns used a burn-farm-leave -tactic. In the west, there are less lakes or hills but the river valleys provide better soil than the rocky eastern territories. In the ancient times, the farming strategies made sense. In the modern time, they ensure that it looks like a different country going from eat to west or west to east.

The East is lake territory. There are also the worn down roots of an ancient mountain range, worn to it’s last by the last Ice Age. This means there is a lot of hills, cliffs, boulders and rubble. All the lakes tend to take the same direction, north-west to south-east, also due to the movements of ice some 25k+ years ago. All the hills go like that too, in little strings. This picture is one very very good example, although replace hills with island.


From Ukko-Koli, a view that has inspired many famous Finnish painters. Photo from personal archives.

Also due to the farming tactic mentioned earlier there is a lot more and a lot older forest there than elsewhere in Finland. I wish I’d had the sense of getting a pair of good rubber boots there so I could go wander around in the woods and not worry about snakes (or pits I could get stuck into or thorny bushes or old Russian bombshells or whatever else I could stumble upon, because rubber boots can take it all, for reals). Maybe I will this year.

I don’t know if there’s really any chance of any bombshells there, but whoever knows? All kinds of crazy things happen during wars.

Also this year my parents will be visiting us there, so I guess I’ll be playing the hostess. Funny being a hostess to your own mother somewhere. I mean, when they came to my apartment they started doing the dishes and vacuuming (which I had already done, thank you very much). I doubt they’d do that there, or anything similar as I don’t think there’s a vacuum cleaner there. Surely not?

(My husband’s grandparents are hoarders or something very close. There’s tons of crap at the cottage no one dares to throw away before they pass away. I counted four coffee makers the last time we were there, and you wouldn’t want to use one of them.)

Now, just so you understand, this post has absolutely no other point than for me to inform you that for the next two weeks updates are unlikely and only remotely within any realm of possibility. I’ll be writing something while there, undoubtedly, to be published later.

That is, if I’ll have the time from all the relaxing, drinking and bathing in the sauna.


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