Finland: 25/04/14 – Day 9

So todays our last full day in Finland as tomorrow is just a travel day.

As we had a train to catch we just went for a walk by the river near town for the morning, it was nice and relaxing and there was bits of floating ice still in the river! We walked along the river a few hours before heading back to town and eating out for lunch at this buffet place before heading back to pick up our bags from the guesthouse and catching the train to Kajaani.

It was a long journey with a change but yet again I enjoyed looking out the window, daydreaming and reading as well as a nap. We arrived back at 11pm so wandered around to grab a bite to eat before walking to a hotel. We only managed to have 2 hours sleep before heading to the airport the next morning!

Day 10 was spent in airports, falling asleep in airports and reading. I on the way out I sat backwards on the aeroplane which was different but better!

Here are some pictures from day 9:

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 I apologize for lack of blogging recently, started work for the summer so been pretty busy most of the week, I am working at a polo club tomorrow so then next blog will be next Friday 🙂 I have a Richmond Park blog, Beachy Head and a some up of Finland blog to do. I also have a video to edit from Finland and tons more pictures to go through and upload, which I will probably do during the week 🙂

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Finland: 24/04/14 – Day 8

Today we went to the Santa village (being tourists for the day….or kids). We got a bus from the station, though I must say it looked more like a coach and you get on the bus, from the other side then what you do on the UK, was slightly confused for a second.

Once we got there it look different then expected, it was deadly quiet, loads of shops and not much snow :P.Though there was tons of nice things in the shops, I couldn’t resit a go on a swing, which was iced over underneath and I fell through…opps. After looking around we stopped for lunch before continuing shopping and getting the bus back. The time we got the bus back happened to be school time, so we ended up sharing the bus with the school kids. Once back in Rovenimeni we wandered round the town for a bit and visiting the supermarket.

 

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Finland: 23/04/14 – Day 7

Wow its been a week already?!. I woke up feeling slightly groggy and boiling (strange waking up in a warm room and bed rather than a hide). After getting ready and breakfast we walked into the town centre to look around and find tourist information. The centre looks a lot better to the outskirts, much more modern. We also popped into the souvenir shop ;).

The tourist information booked us onto a 3 hour snow shoeing trip later that day, we headed back to the guesthouse to get ready for our trip. At 1.30pm we got picked up and drove to the office to get the equipment (snow boots and a big puffy overall). The forest was a 20-30 minute drive out of Rovenimeni and here there was tons of snow compared to the town.

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It took me awhile to figure out how to put the snow shoe on, once this was done we set off (I sunk a lot, I think I’m heavy footed). It was actually pretty simple and fun, though running is a different story! I only fell over twice! the last time my stick got stuck in the ground…not sure how that happened. It was good fun though :).

Later on we had dinner in the town centre at a place called Martina.

Finland: 22/04/14 – Day 6

Woke up this morning to wolves! It pottered around for a bit, disappeared came back, got chased off by a bear they came back once the bears had gone but then got chased off again. But we did get to see 2 wolves! It was amazing. I could still see them walking around the parameter of the swamp, staying the trees. The bears finished off the remains and also left.

We got picked up, went back to the centre and had breakfast, showered and packed ready to leave for the station to go to Rovaniemi.

The drive was nice, I love looking out the window at the scenery there really is lots of trees! We sat in the station and waited for the train (people cross the train tracks to get to the next platform, I thought this was quite bizarre!) The first train was nice so was the second it was a double decker which is a first I’ve seen for a train! The view was nice out the window, I’m not sure why but it reminds me of Canada (not that I have ever been, just watch tons of Heartland!). Finland have these cute little houses with panelling, mostly in the middle of nowhere. When we got off the train at Rovaniemi it was quite bitter, no snow, and didn’t looked like what I had imagined. We found the guesthouse and walked into town to find somewhere to eat for dinner.

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IMG_3015First sighting of Grey Wolf (Canis lupus)

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Grey Wolf (Canis lupus) and Brown Bear (Ursus arctos)

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Grey Wolf (Canis lupus)IMG_3041

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Brown Bear (Ursus arctos)IMG_3078

 

Finland: 21/04/14 – Day 5

It’s freezing in the hide this morning, I am currently watching out the window – there is nothing apart from gulls and ravens….oh and one wagtail 🙂

We got picked up and drove back to the centre, we dropped our bags off and went over for breakfast. Whilst eating breakfast Kari (the professional photographer) spotted a wolverine in the trees near the yard! It moved around a bit and then tried to get into some feed bags near a shed, which was rather amusing watching it tug away. On the way out from breakfast it was still there so managed to get a closer look! We sat outside for awhile to see if it would come back, when we had our cameras. It didn’t come back, but I did managed to get a blurry blob of a creature taken on my phone.

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Afterwards we napped, went on a walk to the lake, came back and sat by the bird area where we saw a brambling, great spotted woodpecker and a red squirrel. We then had lunch and headed out for the hide for the night!

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Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)

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Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

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Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla)

We waited quite awhile then the bears came! yay, the light was beautiful so I was rather chuffed! 🙂 Whilst waiting for the bears I did a bit of biding and saw white wagtail, green sandpiper and lapwing.

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Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus)

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Yellowhammer (Emberiza citronella)

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White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)

The three bears stayed till dark which in when we went to sleep.

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Brown Bear (Ursus arctos)

Finland: 20/04/14 – Day 4

This morning we went for a walk after a breakfast of porridge and bread. On our walk we came across a number of tracks, bear poo and bear prints! It was quite a weird feeling knowing where we was stood a bear had been rather recently!IMG_2213

We wandered around quite a bit in the forest, and along a road!

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After a good few hours we headed back to charge equipment and have lunch which was Bolognese and a warm berry and ice cream dessert before headed off for our first night in the hide at Boreal Wildlife Centre.

It took about 5 hours until the bears arrived! Which was possibly the longest we have had to wait, we saw 3 just as it was getting dark. Many pictures and videos later we went to bed to see what the morning would bring.

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Finland: 19/04/14 – Day 3

Woke up stiff, hip aching, and rather cold. It was not a comfy sleep it was like 3 peas in a pod…Looked out the hide windows, bitter cold but one bear was outside it looked as if he had not moved all night as he was in the same place as the previous night.

Got packed and dressed and after a bit more snapping it was time to leave the hide. It was very icy outside, there was bear prints and poo outside our hide (last night we heard a tapping/scratching on the hide door….a visitor perhaps?). Apparently a bear sniffed the sleigh and walked over the sleigh! Maybe he wanted a ride.

Once back in accommodation, we freshened up and packed as today we move to our next location, the Boreal Wildlife Centre in Viiksimo.

We left at 11am, the journey was good and scenic, I love looking out windows on journeys! Again loads and loads of tress and quite a few lakes! Though they do call it ‘The land of many lakes’. Once we arrived we relaxed in the room until lunch at 3pm which was chicken rides and salad and a berry dessert which was delicious!. After we looked around across the road, by the bird feeder and down by the lake which was completely frozen over for a big lake!  We then napped and woke up at 11am to get some night shots. The sky was slightly purple and green!

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For the first part of the trip we stayed at Martinselkosen in Pirttivaara, Suomussalmi and would defiantly recommend paying them a visit if you are ever going to Finland or looking for somewhere to go bear watching! Even though we went near the end of April when bears where just coming out of hibernation we saw plenty! The accommodation was lovely and the people very friendly and helpful!. You can visit their website here: http://www.martinselkonen.fi/index.php?id=7&la=en


 

Finland: 18/04/14 – Day 2

Fell asleep in the hide bunks last night, woke up around 4 as heard the guide saying that there is 2 bears outside. I dozed off again for a bit then woke up to ”3 bears”, I looked around no … Continue reading