Thought of the Day

I don't believe in morality, but I believe in ethical conduct as set out by His Holiness the Dalai Lama: "Ethical conduct = a way of behaving that respects others’ right to be happy".

Friday, 5 October 2007

More places... always in Finland

Valamo Orthodox Monastery
Tel: 017 570 111 (info)
Hours: 7:30am-9:00pm

The Valamo monastery, Finland's only Orthodox monastery, is a hidden gem. The original monastery was annexed by the Red Army during WWII; the latest church was consecrated in 1977. Like all good monks, the clergy at Valamo produce their own wine (which visitors can buy) using crowberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackcurrants.


Although the old town of Rauma was recently placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, it is not a museum but a living town centre, with many artisans, lace makers and goldsmiths working in small studios, most of which were erected in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The old town is the largest wooden town preserved in the Nordic countries.There are several interesting house museums and a 15th-century Franciscan church, which used to be a Catholic monastery until Lutheran reformers kicked out the monks in 1538.

Lemmenjoki National Park
Tel: 0205 647 793 (info)

The largest national park in Finland, Lemmenjoki offers some of the most exciting trekking in Lapland. You'll see desolate wilderness, rivers, arctic landscape and the Ravadasköngäs waterfall. You may even bump into a lonely gold panner in the middle of nowhere.
The steep slopes of the Lemmenjoki River are a terrific vantage point from which to see the Ravadasköngäs waterfall; you can also walk to it from a nearby hut (there are several free wilderness huts in the park to stay in).

Olavinlinna Castle
Tel: 015 531 164 (info)

Olavinlinna Castle is in the beautiful Savonlinna lakes area, and is the best preserved medieval castle in northern Europe. Founded in 1475, it was meant to protect the Swedish-Finnish empire. Russians occupied the castle early in the 18th century, adding the jaunty red towers and a yellow house inside its walls. Take a tour for the lowdown.

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