Saturday, July 28, 2012

SAIMAA Lake


 We were invited on a spring adventure to Saimaa Lake by our new Finnish friend!
It is common for most Finns to have a cottage or "moki" to travel and spend weekend time, holidays, or even extended vacation periods during the good weather months.
We were so excited!!!


Saimaa Lake is 30 meters deep at its deepest point.  As you can see it spreads over a very large region.




Friday evening we traveled by motor boat to the island where the "mokki" or summer cottage was located.
Our new Finnish friend is one of the kindest most generous people we have ever met.  
 
It was a rainy weekend, but the skies and the lake beauty were amazing!


This is the boat house and dock.



Built in 1879 by our friend's grandparents.

Look at the handmade wood pattern in the front door of the cottage.
I especially liked the inside door handle.
It grew that way...what a find!  See the numbers carved on the logs below.
The cabin had to be moved to this island, log by log,
so they labeled each log and moved it piece by piece.
Then they put it back together just like "Lincoln logs".
Cool!



See the telescope to the left...for birdwatching, of course.

No electricity, running water, or indoor toilets.
This custom built fireplace heated the large livingroom delightfully.


On the right is a cook stove, but it is also a wood stove.

Our accommodations...every room has its own wood stove.
We were cozy comfortable!

Builders of the cottage.






We had deliciously simple meals of salad, meat, cheeses, bread, and vegetables.  
Our host is a wonderful cook.  Each meal was unique and wonderful!


It was a rainy Saturday...one of our indoor activities was to work on puzzles together.
Yummy treats were shared...you know, brain food!
These candies are a wonderful marshmallow mousse inside
and covered by dark chocolate. My new favorite!

These puzzles were handmade wood puzzles.
This one is a famous painting and a very intricate puzzle...

Victory!  Victory!  We did it!



So skillfully handcrafted...I may try my hand at this craft when I get home.
Our friend's father painted this...he was a well known Finnish painter.
We saw the original when we had dinner at our friend's home.
Beautiful still life...
Such a peaceful place for quiet reflection and activities...it was rest and recuperation for us!
This is a true Finnish "smoke sauna".  The fire is built and the sauna is filled with smoke and heat.
Then just before using it, the smoke is released and water is thrown on the stones.
It is much different from the saunas we had been using.
It created sweat unlike anything we had previously experienced.
We then went outside and jumped into Saimaa Lake.  WOW!  So invigorating!  

 
















Dock where we jumped in!
Small changing room attached to the front of the sauna.



Another amazing puzzle...I did this one all by myself.  I love doing puzzles!


Grandpa being silly and making Grandma laugh!  He's been doing that for a long time...
it's one of the best reasons for marrying him.  Laughter is good for the soul!
Beautiful duck we saw through the telescope sitting on her nest...
it rained all day on Saturday and she faithfully guarded her nest. 
She never traveled far from her nest...here is a photo that shows the beautiful colors of the water and surroundings,

Sunday we went to church and our friend came with us!  He took us back to the shore and we traveled a short distance to Lapeeranta where the chapel was located.  While there we went to a small museum and visited an Orthodox Church there.  Both were great to see, but the highlight for us was the fast and testimony meeting at the Lapeenranta Branch.


The spirit of love was so strong ...the Holy Spirit surely attended the meeting...A young man bore his testimony of the power of prayer in providing strength to face the challenges of the world.  An old man bore his testimony of how the missionaries visited him forty years before, the day after he prayed with all his heart for help from God.  It was a lovely building and the spirit present made an impression on my heart.











There was special exhibit of this man's photography of Finland...an amazing talent.
The photos were of the typical everyday Finland...
we enjoyed his work very much.


We didn't take a ride on the city tour.

Fields and fields of this plant which is one of Finland's staple oils...not soy.  We don't have it in USA.

An intricately handmade Finnish fence...those clever Finns!

Typical Finnish home and yard.



Old gnarly tree...unusual!  Water slide...Lapeerenta is a tourist spot in the summer months. 


Typical Finnish farm.
  
Water, water, everywhere!















After church we came back to the island, packed a lunch, and set out for a rowboat ride around the island.






This man is so knowledgeable and answered every
question with patience and thoroughness.


Sea gulls dive bombing us because
we rowed to close to their nests on a rock.  




















Back at the moki...
 Power cleaning the gutters...human power...stick has a special hook on the end...

Our toilet...out house.


Flowers around the mooki...
using the "macro" setting on our camera.




  


Time to go...(sigh!)


Final stop...beautiful statue in Lapeeranta depicting a famous storm that struck Saimaa Lake.




 Riding home a full moon...picture doesn't do it justice.  
What a fabulous Finland adventure!
Thank you Lord for these memorable moments... 





1 comment:

Vacation Rental Owner said...

What a serene and romantic setting . . . looks like you guys had a really nice time. Just sitting by that fireplace looks heavenly.