Thursday 29th June
Today was gloriously sunny; probably the best weather we’ve had in the 3 and a half weeks we’ve spent in Scandinavia. We celebrated by doing some acroyoga on the grass, which is one of Lex’s least favourite things.
Lex wailed like a baby behind us the entire time, and tried to run at us to break us apart. He has a long-standing hatred of acroyoga. Here you can you see him madly telling us off as we practice in the New Forest last year:
Lex continued his grumpy streak by throwing his breakfast all over the floor, in protest at not being given any of our bacon. (I usually don’t eat meat, but living in the wild for nearly a month has apparently turned me a bit feral, and I occasionally crave it.)
I fully embraced Finnish culture today by jumping into the cold lake by the camp site, then immediately getting into the sauna. When I got so hot my eyeballs felt like they were sweating, I jumped back in the lake, then repeated the whole process again. The contrast between the extreme heat of the sauna and the startling cold of the lake was pretty damn great, and left me feeling pleasantly invigorated. Morgan, of course, thought I was mad and avoided both activities like the plague. Lex couldn’t understand why Morgan wasn’t rescuing me from the deadly sea.
When we finally left the lovely campsite, we drove into Savolinna, a pretty little town in Finnish lakeland known for this castle:
Olavinna castle was built by the Swedes to defend their border against Russia, long before Finland became an independent country (Finland was a part of Sweden, then Russia before it finally declared independence in 1918.) A cool thing about Olavinna is that the lake around it never freezes, which is super rare in Finnish winters. And super useful, because it stops attackers walking over the ice to get to you.
Alas, as with many things, Lex was not allowed inside the castle. As the person most excited about it, I went inside as the pack representative whilst Morgan and Lex had a wonder around the grounds, and Lex stared continuously at the walkway where I’d disappeared into the castle from.
The rest of the afternoon was spent driving south towards Helsinki, until we found a lovely patch of middle of nowhere surrounded by bluebells, that became our home for the evening.
Tonight, it was Morgan’s turn to hear animals outside the den.
“There’s something moving outside!” he said suddenly, signalling me to be quiet so he could listen. We could hear twigs snapping on the ground and leaves being brushed aside, very close to where we sat frozen in place.
“Do bears live here?” I whispered to Morgan.
“Probably!” he replied keenly, fumbling around for a torch, and eventually poking it outside to peer around.
But the forest was too thick to see through, and the snapping branches had long gone. He came back to start Googling what kind of creatures live in the area. He deduced that it wasn’t as big as a bear, so it was probably a badger, or perhaps a lynx, but… there was still a tiny chance it could have been a lone wolf wandering past!
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