Lunch time was approaching when I left Kirkenes and my first stop in Finland was for fuel at Neiden, only a mile and a half over the border where some of the locals came over to say hello.
The view from my door one morning. Typical scenery of northern Finland, trees and lakes, Lake Inari, Raudanjoki.
Later, I’d stopped in a picnic area near Raudanjoki when a couple of ambulances met up.
Reindeer are about the same size as a sheep but on longer legs and of course have those massive antlers. This one was bigger than many I’d seen and would have made a right mess of the motor.
In Norway on the E6 road where it crosses the Arctic Circle there was just the one tourist trap. On the E75 in Finland there’s a whole village dedicated to Santa Clause.
At Kemi I went to look at the port where the icebreaker Sampo is moored. During the summer, when there’s no ice to break, cruises are offered to the paying public. The Louie is carrying a cargo of wind turbine blades.
I’d lost a filling, nothing serious but want it sorted before it became so. It seems there is a central contact number for dental appointments in Oulu. When I phoned it was suggested I go to the central dental clinic attached to the university. As ever there is paperwork to be completed.
I was impressed! The dentistry (a temporary filling) all done and dusted within the hour including the paperwork. The anaesthetic used is better than in the UK. At home it’s got the most unpleasant taste that gets in the throat. No taste at all with the Finnish variety and very quick acting. The only painful bit was having to fork out €29.90. The Finns have a similar system as the UK, adults pay.
Both front tyres had worn to the point I didn’t want Mr Plod to see them. €291.50 for a pair of van tyres. Camper tyres were not available unless I was prepared to wait for about three weeks. This is the furthest I’ve ever travelled for new tyres.
The City of Oulu is the capital of northern Finland and stands near the head of the Bay of Bothnia where the Oulujoki River discharges into the bay. The waterfront market square is still surrounded by the old storage sheds now used as shops and cafés. Away from the market place most of the buildings are modern concrete and glass.
There are a few wooden and older stone or brick buildings but most are modern concrete and glass. The main roads are wide, some with tree lined central reservations.
There are lots of open spaces on including a five-a-side football ground and other recreation facilities. The tall circular building is a former water tower now used to teach people rock climbing. The former lightship Faros is now a restaurant.
On the island of Tahkoluoto north-west of Pori is the village of Reposaari. Almost all of it is one and a half story wooden houses that have seen better days. The only building that sticks out is an eight story block of flats.
Originally S/S Bomba, S/S Santtu was built as a steam tug in 1894 in Helsinki Shipyard when Finland was part of the Russian empire. She served the Russian Naval Base in the Gulf of Finland Sea Fortress. Upon Finnish independence in 1918, she was transferred to the Finnish Navy, renamed S/S Santahamina and was sold to industry in the 1920s. She was extensively refitted in the late 1930s and given her present name. During the war years, Santtu was used on guard duties and after the war on mine clearance. In 1948 a diesel engine was installed. In 1982 she was donated to the City of Pori as a museum piece.
Adjacent to the tower are wooden houses built for local workers.
The factory buildings are now used by businesses (inc a brewery/pub) and as an art centre.
I was passing the Plevnan Brewery Pub (immediately inside the arch) and it was the only place to sit down, honest. The Plevnan Vaalea Pils (4.7%) to kill the thirst. The Siperia Stout (8%) to taste. Both excellent beers.
The tour continues in Eastern Europe – Estonia