Day 9: Return to Lahti and a trip to an island!

>> Sunday, July 12, 2015

Today we made the long journey back down to Lahti, where we arrived at 3.00pm in good time for the train that would take Anna's folks back to St Petersburg at 3.50pm. After a round of coffees and cakes, we gathered the luggage together on the platform and awaited the train, which arrived from Helsinki a few minutes early at 3.45pm.

We were visited by a family of ducks this morning!
At Lahti station, saying our goodbyes.
After saying our goodbyes, we then headed north west for 45 minutes where we travelled down some incredibly rural roads to meet up with our German friends Gabi and Carsten from Cologne, and their family, who we had first met at Mas Manyaques on the French-Spanish border in 2008. We've seen them since, in 2009 when they holidayed in Scotland, and last year when they were over at Durham staying with their daughter Alina who was studying there. Alina, as well as Jonas and youngest daughter Hannah were all there to meet and greet us, and to ferry us across the lake in two rowing boats to their cottage... on an island!
Saying hellos to Gabi and Carsten!
Olivia and Hannah hit the water!
The sauna in the late evening sunshine.
What a beautiful setting it was too! We ate, drank, had saunas and swam in the lake there, spending a great few hours with these super friends, before leaving at about 9.45pm to travel back up the road home. With a bit of luck, we will have our German friends up here one day next week too, as they are here in Finland until next weekend, before they travel home on a familiar route to us, via Stockhom, driving through Sweden to the bridge at Malmo that links Sweden and Denmark, across Denmark and on to Germany.


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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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