When the spring comes to Finland, we Finns tend to go a bit crazy. After a long dark winter we can't get enough of the bright blue skies and warm spring sun, so when it's out there - so are we. The weather is rapidly getting warmer and the days longer, and today we are already at almost 12 hours of daylight and +5 degrees here in North Karelia. So what else to do on a day like this than head to Koli National Park, one of our favourite places to be!
It is always exciting to see how the view has changed since the last visit, which was in early January. By now there are only some bits here and there left of the crown snow-loads that paint the national park white in the winter. Some of them make quite funny shapes and creatures, giving space for imagination and inspiration.
Day by day you can see more of the "No winter maintenance" sign that is peeking up from the snow.
In the spring the forest is not silent as in the winter. Everywhere you can hear the sounds of the nature waking up, and if you stop for a moment underneath a spruce, the dripping rain around you tells about the rapidly melting snow.
The sun is already so warm that you can sit for as long as you want in the middle of the snow on the top of Paha Koli, and not get cold.
While the treetops are already enjoying the spring sun melting the snow away, the thick layer of snow on the ground reminds of the winter. At least when you are hiking on unmaintained trails without snowshoes and every now and then sink down over knee hight in the snow.
After a beautiful day at the fells of Koli, we decided to change perspective and head down to the ice road on lake Pielinen. The 7km ice road goes from Koli to Vuonislahti village and it's the longest freshwater ice road in Europe. For me, who is not very keen on going out on the ice, I have to say that driving across a lake gives me quite an adrenaline rush !
Along the ice road there is also a tour skating track and there... there are hammocks and a mailbox with the daily newspaper in, reassuring comfortable resting places for skaters and skiers along the way. And of course, we could not miss the chance of enjoying this absurdly fantastic idea, so there we were on a thursday afternoon, in the middle of lake Pielinen, having our tea and enjoying the spring sun. What an amazing life we have!