Even though there was hardly any snow in Helsinki before Easter, in Southern-Savo (Etelä-Savo) you could still walk on frozen lakes and unis were organizing ice fishing competitions. My trip from Helsinki to Karvio took 4,5 hours but it was worth it.
Already when the bus left Helsinki I felt this feeling what I always feel when going on the highway towards East. It is a feeling of freedom and also a feeling of going away and of letting go. It feels so that I can leave everything behind and who travels is a much lighter, calmer version of me being open to new experiences.
Many good memories connect me to this region. Memories of picking mushrooms in the forest, of being at the mökki(s), going by boat to fish on the lake. Of sauna evenings with friends at the university, of walking around small islands on a frozen lake, of coffee stops at ABC shops by the highway. Somehow already since my first stay everything felt so natural to me here and time did not change my connection to this place.
(The upper photos were taken not with a mobile phone from the bus.)
As I mentioned already before, the bus drive was long but the bus was quite comfortable and it was relaxing to listen to music and watch the landscape. At some point the moon came up and there was this really cool full moon over the forests and fields.
I was supposed to get off at Heinävesi but my friend called to tell that there is a station also in Karvio where she lives so I got off there. We went home and she asked me if i wanted to go to the sauna- what I wanted of course. I had a serious flashback while standing in front of the house cooling off after sauna because i remembered that also during my first Easter here there was a full moon. And we even went to take photos in the forest with this same friend of mine.
I was quite tired so I went to sleep early on my first night. My first day started with 1, a nice slow breakfast and 2, enjoying the view of the snow-covered streets through the window. In Savo region there is still quite much snow even in spring. Which was even more obvious now because unfortunately we have had really mild winters since couple of years in Helsinki (except the two weeks with minus thirties this year) with almost no snow at all.
I was sitting in the beautiful living room of my friend where the walls were covered with wood. I was reading newspapers and drinking coffee and i could feel how calm I became just from being there. Somehow I have had always this feeling that although also countryside homes have many of the compulsory Finnish design elements, functionality and individualism plays an even more important role here than in homes in Helsinki. In Helsinki you can find amazing flats and houses but sometimes you might have a feeling of uniformity. An other difference I have seen was that you can find much more items made of wood or natural materials here.
To be continued..In the next two posts I will write in more detail about Karvio and the place where I was staying and publish photos about our walk on the frozen lake near to my friend`s house.