Rosie’s Scanditour Postscript: Memories

Our trip to Scandinavia despite its ending was a wonderful experience with lots of beautiful places visited and people met. Here’s a few pictures to share with you.

Wild flowers

(More) Trees

Lakes

Doors

Buildings

Food

Drink

Statues

Friends

Wood

Museum

Textiles

Forests

Rucksack

And we made the local press …. look for the Leicester shirts!

And finally our Hosts, Ros and Sir O. Thank you for looking after us and giving us such great memories.

Rosie’s Scanditour Part 6: The Arctic Incident

July 13: FRIDAY!!!!

Not having the sun disappear day or night is amazing on one level but brings with it a few problems; not sleeping interestingly is not one of them. The first is you forget what time it is and end up staying up until 2 and 3 in the morning with Dubber and Sir O Morris dancing ( yes a few drinks had been had) or playing Skipbo.

The second is you take so many photos of trees because the light is so beautiful. It’s like having a continual sunset for hours.

Anyway Dubber wasn’t feeling too good this morning, all that late night Morris dancing or so we thought. Took some ibuprofen and seemed ok. We took a trip to Kemijaarvi to buy provisions and then came back to chill, because in such a beautiful setting and when it’s so hot (32 degrees, in the Arctic Circle remember) that’s all you feel like doing. Well no you take a sauna don’t you.

Now the Finns love their sauna and so Sir O was frantic for us to participate. I wasn’t too sure in this heat but the men went off for theirs.

The Finnish sauna is an important part of their culture being healthy and sociable. Usually involving little or no clothing it is a great way to relax – even in 32 degree heat. The boys were very brave and went in the lake a couple of times between saunas.

Followed by a beer…

Meanwhile us girls chill inside where there are no mosquitoes with our own beer.

Dinner followed, Sir O style, but during dinner Dubber wasn’t feeling well. Feeling unwell became struggling for breath and whilst trying to keep him calm, Sir O had already phoned for an ambulance. Twenty minutes later, bearing in mind we are in the middle of nowhere in the Arctic Circle in 32 degree heat, the paramedics arrived and very calmly dealt with Dubber. He had had an irritable cough for a few days, could he have cracked ribs.

Dubber ended up having a night in the local cottage hospital 25kms away with the very nice paramedic being on call through the night. It felt very strange leaving him there, particularly as very few staff had any English and were definitely of Russian descent, Russia being 30kms away.

July 14-16: new monia as opposed to old

The following morning we get to the hospital to be told he has pneumonia. Antibiotics administered we take him back to the cottage for rest and recuperation before we travel back to Oulu. It was worrying times.

I have to say Aviva, our travel insurers were very helpful from the word go. There was always someone on the end of the phone giving advice. The initial advice from doctors back in Oulu was that Dubber couldn’t travel and needed to rest and see how the antibiotics worked.

In the end we had an extra week with Ros and Oskari (see next post); Dubber made three visits to a clinic in town to get more antibiotics and blood tests or certificates for the insurers. Several phone calls and emails each day with the insurers and eventually we flew back on the day we planned to arrive home. Our car insurers brought Rosie back home, but only after Sir O moved her around on the drive. Oh he looks so pleased with himself. He finally got to drive Rosie.

Unfortunately we missed out on the return trip in Rosie. She did us proud doing 1500 miles and we would have enjoyed the car train to Helsinki and the Baltic Cruise but they will have to be done another day. We were duly recompensed by Aviva, who I would highly recommend and Rosie came back with Rick to be met by our visitors to England – you’ve guessed it, Ros and Sir Oskari (we were sunning it in Dorset).

And Dubber – he’s getting over the pneumonia and we’ve enjoyed a weekend away in Rosie since getting back. And we are already thinking of next year’s epic trip.

Rosie’s Scanditour Part 5: I spy with my little eye, something beginning with T!

July 10: Making ourselves at home

Holiday photos always have to start with the Haynes feet. So job done. Rosie gets a rest and so do we. Sir O and Ros have really done a lovely job in making their home together. And it’s not long before Sir O has his work gear on. Sorry forgot to get a photo.

We do a bit of food shopping whilst Dubber has a rest. Have to say thought it was a bit of man flu but it’s not shifting, not helped by the heat at 28 degrees. I love going around supermarkets whilst on holiday and seeing all the different things. Have to say there’s rather a lot of American brands but I did find some Moomintrolls.

Back at home we are served, as we are going to be for the next couple of weeks, by Sir O’s fantastic cooking, ably assisted by sous chef Ros.

Oh and we are so far north now that the sun really doesn’t go to bed.

July 11: It’s coming home, It’s coming home, football’s coming home….

Today is an important day because England are playing Croatia in the World Cup Semi-final. We have a day to chill and the live-in chefs prepare a barbecue. We are to be joined by Ros’ friends Tim (from Leicester) and Timo who we met last time we were in Finland, which we reckon was about 10-11 years ago.

Anyway we are fed and watered and ready for the match. Tim’s even got his Leicester shirt on. Unfortunately we were not pleased with the outcome but we are very proud of what the boys achieved and enjoyed another evening with friends.

July 12: off to the woods we go

Next day we say goodbye to Rosie, pictured here with ‘Rucksack’ and head off north in Bertie Beamer, later to be known as Dirty Beamer because he collected so much dust after this trip that he changed colour!

Now this bit of the trip comes with a health warning if you dislike trees. There’s going to be a lot of them. I’ve checked my photos and there’s about 500, photos that is not trees – there’s about several million at the last count. Oh you want to see them all? Ok then, here’s a few for starters.

We have about a four hour drive up to ‘the cottage’. Now all Finns have cottages, places away from where they live, in the woods, usually by a lake and they go whatever the weather, to be with nature and as I’ve been reading Sisu. More of that later.

We are headed north on what becomes a very straight road, with, yes you’ve guessed it more trees. But the further north we go and the more remote it becomes we have to be on reindeer watch. The problem is you see things ahead that are not trees, shout reindeer and then it turns out to be something else, so we had bridge reindeer, skid mark reindeer, stone reindeer and cyclist reindeer. But eventually Dubber gets the photo we wanted.

They literally walk where they please and at a pace they please and if it’s hot like today they come out of the woods to get away from mosquitoes and sunbathe.

On the way we stop at an outlet for a well known Finnish brand called Pentik. Well I was in heaven wasn’t I. Might have bought a couple of things 🙄. Boys didn’t seem interested.

Anyway whilst there for a spot of lunch we also visited their little museum about life in traditional Finnish houses. Lovely photo opportunities.

Anyway time to move on and into the Arctic Circle

and a little further on we reach the cottage. Wow!

Just look at the view. What a beautiful place. I will leave you with some pictures. Words can’t explain as well.

Well someone has to 😃