So it is June already. That long awaited summer when we pack our things and head to Europe again. Our Kindergartener still has less than two weeks of school and we are still in our daily routine; breakfasts, walks with the baby, pick ups from the school, homework, park dates, cooking and so on. After that we will try to get used to the nightless nights and foreign beds for a while. But we are looking forward to all of it! And our baby will be boarding on her first long flight.
THREE COUNTRIES, ONE WEEK
We travel over to my home country, Finland, where we will start our vacation by celebrating the summer solstice. Once we have recovered from the jet lag and have spent some time with my family, we will hop into a car and head north. Our first pit stop will be in Kemi, where we will visit my relatives. We always have fun when we are there. After Kemi we will cross the border and drive to Sweden. Our plan is to visit Norway, but we might have to stay the night somewhere in Sweden, maybe in Kiruna, and then drive to Narvik, Norway. Unfortunately, since we mostly want to see Norway this time, we won't have a lot of time to spend in Sweden. I know there is a beautiful national park in Kiruna called Abisko, and we would also like to see Kukkolankoski rapids on the border of Finland and Sweden, but we will see if we have time to stop at those places. Hopefully we will at least see some reindeer in Swedish Lapland.
Our destination in Norway is the Lofoten Islands where we want to see all the small fishing villages, go hiking and just admire the views. Tourism in Lofoten has exploded in the last few years so we are a little bit worried how crowded it will be in the busiest season, but this really is the only opportunity to go there for us. We will drive back on the same route and hopefully can fit all this into one week.
CHILLING IN FINLAND
It has been a while since we have been to Finland. Last summer I was very pregnant, and for some reason the dark Finnish winter didn't inspire us to travel. We will stay mainly in my hometown Kokkola from which we've planned to do a day trip to Tankar island to see their lighthouse. One day we will probably drive over to Härmä to an amusement park called PowerPark. We adults would also love to visit the Kyrö Distillery, a home of world famous Napue Gin, but let's see how organised we are. We will also visit the city of Vaasa for sure, and maybe check out the ruins old Vaasa.
At some point we will also hit the road in Finland. For a long time we have promised our first born that she gets to visit Moomin world, which is an amusement park with the characters from a Finnish cartoon and books. Now it is time go since soon she will be so big that she will no longer care about Moomins. On the same trip we will visit Turku where they have a medieval castle and some very cool museums. From Turku we plan to drive up to the capital city, Helsinki. Hopefully we have some time to visit some museums there too and I would really like to see Temppeliaukio church, which is a church built inside a rock face. We also hope to be able to see some friends on this trip as well. At the end, we will drop my husband off at the airport and he will head back home while I stay in Finland for a little bit longer with the kids.
For the rest of my visit, there are no plans. Hopefully we get to spend plenty of time with my family and friends. Maybe we will visit some national parks and a couple other towns while we are still there. We'll have to see. But I'm sure there will be many stories to tell you guys after the summer.
We are really looking forward to this trip and already planning what we should pack. Travelling with the a baby is always a little challenging but luckily, we have some baby items there already waiting for us. We hope this will be a fun sunny summer since it has been a long time since our last visit!