I read about this competition on one of my favorite travel blogs- Almost Fearless. Idea is quite simple- write a blog post with photos from with your five best photos from these color categories: RED, BLUE, GREEN, YELLOW and WHITE. Then tweet the link tagging the competition organizer The Travel Supermarket and voila. I have to say the prizes are amazing! We are planning a big family trip to Down Under for this coming winter, so that cute little Fuji camera (not to mention the travel fund) would be all kinds of awesome :) However, what posed a bit of a challenge is that competition is all about travel photography. And we haven’t really traveled outside of Finland this year, saving up money and holiday time for the big trip. OK, I went to Poland with kids, but that doesn’t count as traveling- it’s homeland. But then I thought… wouldn’t it be fun challenge to submit the photos from our own backyard? I mean, after all Finland is an exotic destination in itself. Sauna, snow, log houses- you don’t get that everywhere. So here we go.
We spent part of the summer in our cottage in Kuusamo in Northern Finland. One of my favorite places in the area is the Oulanka National Park and specifically “Karhunkierros”. It’s Finland’s most popular hiking trail. One sign of this popularity is the wall of an old mill situated on the trail- scribbled all over with names, dates, places and what not. I haven’t seen that kind of white-washed logs anywhere outside Finland.
Sauna is such a quintessential part of experiencing summer in Finland. Sauna is an institution, mediation, medicine. It’s a lot of things. Our Kuusamo cottage is very basic- no electricity, no running water. So after-sauna bath is either a swim in a lake or some kind of acrobatic exercise which involves buckets and other water receptacles. I love how the old wood boards turn green when water is splashed on them.
Another great hiking area not far from Kuusamo: Kylmäluoma. This was a particularly lovely lake, with sandy bottom and lovely catch-lights. Even the dog was captivated :D
Finland = red houses. Simple as that. This was from our trip to Mustila Arboretum.
This one is really just our backyard, literally. These small play houses are such an integral part of childhood in Finland. Almost every backyard has some kind of a small building like that.