After our time in the Åland Islands we spent a night in Turku and made plans to head east in Finland with minimal research. We decided to explore Lappeenranta on the shores of lake Saimaa.

The town is very close to the Russian border so the influence can be seen in the local architecture and tourist population. In Lappeenranta we found an eclectic mix of tourists, an American car festival, and heavy metal music.

These buildings are on a hill inside an old fortress.
International sandcastle competition.
Second picture for scale.
The Finns are often outwardly a quiet people, but they do love their heavy metal music, and they aren’t afraid to take small kids to the show.

After a day in Lappeenranta we decided that we would prefer the peace and quiet of the Finnish forests so we returned west towards Kouvola, and then headed north to Repovesi national park.

The fox mascot of Repovesi national park.
Finnish forests never disappoint.
This could easily be mistaken for Canada.
The camping was free, and there was lots of firewood to be cut and chopped!
We camped at this lake for several nights and made long day hikes away from it.
We explored beautiful moss filled valleys.
And had a wonderful day back in Helsinki before heading home.

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