Published by Johnny Ward on May 20, 2012
Finland has been good to me, arriving on their national holiday Vappu and partying in the park, crossing the Arctic circle and meeting Santa Claus. Most of all the people have been great.
This post is just as much a thanks as a recap of what I’ve been up to. Margus, a friend of Harri, our awesome couchsurfer buddy, and Harri took me and my 2 pals out for a picnic in Helsinki, fed us, gave us booze, chatted with us, they were already going above and beyond.
That evening Margus invited us to his office where we all had another sauna together, he gave us more booze, we enjoyed sunset on the balcony and had another great time. As we left he said that while we were in Lapland, we should go and visit his father, he’d be happy to have us. So we exchanged numbers, called his dad, and organized to meet him.
Margus’s dad was nothing short of a legend. He lives on the Swedish-Finnish border so we drove the 150km from Rovaniemi at lunch time. We arrived around 2pm on a Friday, when we came to greet us at the door. His house was a wooden cabin, perched aside a beautiful river, with Sweden on the other side. He had built the house himself, including the awesome sauna. He took us downstairs to ‘our’ rooms. We each had a room to our self, and I managed to sleep in the master bedroom, complete with a double waterbed and wifi! This place was paradise.
We moved back upstairs were Mr Pasula was waiting to greet us with 3 glasses of home brewed Simil, a traditional Finnish alcohol that normally should be fermented for a day, but Mr Pasula lets it go for 3 for a little extra kick. After our delicious drinks, a quick chat, we said he had designed a programme for us! Unreal.
First up, after hearing we had never been to Sweded, we jumped in the car and headed over the bridge to visit Sweden. We saw a quaint little Swedish town, took some snacks and headed back to the house in Finland. He fed us immediately with some delicious traditional fare and then took us down to the river side.
He had constructed a floating sauna which was designed to sit on the lake, right now the lake was frozen so it was sitting on the bank. We chopped up some firewood and got the sauna burning.
In the meantime, Mr Pasula taught had cut a whole in the ice and taught us how to ice fish. Before too long the sauna was ready, but we were under strict conditions on how to use it! We had to get our sweat on then leap into the frozen lake, then back in the sauna, then frozen lake again. We duly obliged, omg it was cold.
With all the excitement about the freezing cold water, we had forgotten to really do any ice fishing, but we didn’t wanna destroy our only clean clothes so back on the ice we went for a spot of naked ice-fishing, the boxers came on for the purpose of this photograph!
After a great dinner with Mr Pasula and an awesome nights sleep on the waterbed, we jumped back in our rental car and headed 700km south to Tampere, it’s Saturday today, FA Cup Final and Liverpool are playing, time to finish that cheap Russian vodka! Happy travels!