Once again we learned that the travel plans for this family can change just like that. After arriving to Finland and visiting my family, we had planned to drive from my hometown Kokkola to Norway via Sweden. Our final destination and goal was to see the Lofoten Islands. But here we go again... all of our plans have changed again!
So we arrived to Finland just on time to celebrate the longest day of the year, the nightless night of midsummer. It was raining but we did do a little to Tankar Island in Kokkola and visited Tyynelä Elves. It really looked the Lofoten had become the number one destination to Finns this summer. I saw so many postings on social media from my friends where they were in Norway, one after another. Many of my friends told us that the drive is very long and there is not much to see on the way, so we started wondering wether it is wise to drive so far with a baby. When my best friend invited us to their summer cottage in Eastern Finland, we decided to leave Norway to some other year, and make all new plans.
FROM TRIP TO NORWAY TO A DAY CRUICE TO RUSSIA
So we drove from Kokkola to Rääkkylä to spent some time my friend's summer cottage. On our way there we stopped at the Valamo Monastery at Heinävesi. I have always wanted to visit there but I never had a chance. We stayed in Rääkkylä for couple nights and also visited a town of Kitee to see Nightwish Exhibition. Nightwish is a Finnish a symphonic metal band. After that we drove to Lappeenranta together with my friend's family, and we did a cruise to Vyborg in Russia. It was a long but very interesting day, and after that we ended up staying the night in Lappeenranta. I wrote about that night earlier since it wasn't a success story. Even though we didn't like the hotel, we did like the city of Lappeenranta. The next day we visited the market place and a giant sand castle.
FROM PORVOO TO HELSINKI
This summer we had planned to spend some time in the capital city, Helsinki, and we got invited to Radisson Blu Aleksanteri to test their Rock'n Rose theme room. So we headed over there. Before that we had one night to kill, so we decided to go to Porvoo where neither of us had never been before. And it turned out to be a great place, we really loved the old town.
We didn't have a lot of time to tour around Helsinki this time but we did visit the Temppeliaukio Church. I have wanted to visit there for a long time already. Otherwise we enjoyed the summer weather, city life and our awesome hotel. Then we continued our road trip to Turku.
SUMMER DAYS IN TURKU AND NAANTALI
We stayed in Turku several nights. We visited friends, got to know a program called Turku Food Walk and visited some museums and churches. After that we planned to drive to Naantali and visit Moomin World. We ended up visited Moomin World earlier than that because of the weather forecast, but we did stay the last night in Naantali Spa.
BACK TO KOKKOLA VIA MR CLUTTERBUCK'S HOUSE
Then we only had a drive back home ahead. The map gave us two equally long routes but I remember a tip from my friend; There is Mr Clutterbuck's House along the way. Mr Cluttebuck's is a Finnish cartoon character and very popular among the kids. So did a quick stop to the house on our way back home and had lunch there as well. More about Mr Clutterbuck's and all the other adventures from this road trip coming soon!