wilderness on the Baltic'|
Visiting Finland is like stepping into a refreshing shower on a
very hot day. Even in the cultured capital, Helsinki,
the air is clean, and the countryside has a cool but seductive beauty.
The western coast is fringed with countless islands, and the southern
Saimaa district is drenched by myriad sapphire
lakes. Here you can sail, fish, or take a relaxing sauna and of
course a dip in the lake.
In Kuusamo, there are ancient forests where the
bears and wolves roam, where succulent berries grow, and where lichens
glisten on the trees lining the many marked walking trails. In Lapland,
far to the north, the indigenous Sami people still
tend their reindeer herds – when they’re not surfing
the Internet. Finland is now one of the
most technologically switched on countries in the world.
Finland’s rich, sometimes turbulent, history is revealed in
its buildings with onion-domed Orthodox churches speak of the days
when it was part of Russia, Finland has the world’s only Lenin
Museum, while fortresses like Suomenlinna Castle
recall centuries of Swedish rule.
During the winter, luscious snows create a sporting wonderland crisscrossed
by ski trails, while in the warmer weather you can catch an opera
at Savonlinna, go canoeing, river
rafting or gold panning, or simply join
the Finns as they dance the tango under the midnight