Looking ahead to Levi in April... then the summer too!

>> Thursday, March 05, 2015

We've never holidayed twice in Finland during the same year, until now. We've never come to Finland to ski before, until now. We've never been this far north- in fact we will be in Lapland for the first time, and we'll be more than 150 km north of the Arctic Circle. And, it's the first time since Anna and I got married that we'll have booked a package holiday, as usually I organise everything myself.

But this is different.

The tiny airport at Kittilä in Lapland. 
For a start, it's simply too difficult to organise flights from Edinburgh in Scotland to Lapland in Finland without having to take three flights there and the same back! So, we're flying to Gatwick, staying overnight there and then flying to Kittilä using Monarch air's Inghams ski service, which also means we have had to book our accommodation through Inghams too.

However, we are all looking forward very much to something that promises to be different. Very different from the past couple of years when we have skied in the French Alps close to Grenoble. So, during the first week of the Easter holidays, we plan to have a great time in Levi!

And then, in July, we will spend our summer holiday (for the 4th year running) at our favourite place in Finland... the wonderful Lake Palvajärvi, close to the central town of Jyväskylä. Over the years, we have stayed in many cottages dotted around the lakeland areas of central and eastern Finland, but this place is by far the best place we have rented. A beautiful cottage, in a spectacular setting with the house facing south-west over the lake ensures that it gets the full blast of the summer sun from mid-morning until late evening. It's only about 15 minutes from the centre of Jyväskylä, which means that although it's completely peaceful and quiet, it's easy to get into town and to the shops.

Looking from the lake back to the sauna and the cottage behind. 
What a setting this is!
  To be quite honest, I never thought I'd spend 4 years summer holidays in the same place. Nor did I ever think I'd look forward so much to each new holiday at the same place. So it's quite difficult to explain just how wonderful this place is. We've had truly outstanding weather there, and we've also had average weather there. But it doesn't change the fact that it is, for us, a unique and special hideaway, far from the pressures of life in Scotland. It's peaceful beyond imagination. Silent, but where you can actually hear the sound of silence. Strange expression I know, but you have to actually go there to understand what I mean.
The sunshine means it's a great place to relax.
View from the front of the cottage. Who wouldn't want to leap into that lake?


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Silja Line - Sweden to Finland

Silja Line - Sweden to Finland
A fantastic way to arrive in Finland is by using the Tallink Silja service from Stockholm in Sweden. These are magnificent boats which take you overnight into Helsinki's centre, and to travel by car with a good quality sea-view cabin is relatively inexpensive. Buffet dinners are outstanding!

Viking Line - Sweden to Finland

Viking Line - Sweden to Finland
An inexpensive way to arrive in Finland is to take the Viking Line ferry service from Stockholm to Helsinki. This overnight service gives the opportunity to sleep in a spacious cabin, taking your car, and arriving the next morning in central Helsinki. This service operates at the same time as the Silja Line service each day.

Finnlines - Germany to Finland

Finnlines - Germany to Finland
On several occasions over the past few years, we have used the excellent FinnLines ferry service from Travemunde in Germany, to sail right up the Baltic Sea to Helsinki. It's an expensive option, but it is a truly memorable journey on what are very modern and extremely comfortable boats. Highly recommended!

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