Following an amazing week or so in northern Sweden and Norway, we drove towards Finland. We were curious about these next few days because nothing had really presented itself as far as Finland was concerned. We had googled hikes, national parks, and other experiences, and while they were beautiful, nothing really grabbed us. We met a wonderful Finnish family on a hike in Abisko and asked for recommendations. They did not have any. Michael suggested driving to Haparanda, a town which half lies in Sweden and the other half in Finland. We thought why not? So, we entered the country of Finland, again with no fanfare or issues and it was silent. Still on holiday, families were gone to cabins and other places to celebrate and the city was empty. We drove on into Kemi, a little place on the gulf area of the Baltic Sea. We spent the night and encountered one of the two people meant for us in Finland. Katerina, who worked at the hotel was full of life and had the most kind heart. I think we could have sat and visited with her for hours. Katerina - I told you that you would be on our blog!! :)
After a morning run, we departed and explored. We came upon this cafe (Sata Maka Feila Nuotta), right on the water where we met Satu, the 2nd reason for our time in Finland. Besides the fact that she quickly sold us on the famous Herkkupannari, a pancake topped with strawberry jam and creme, she glowed as she engaged with us in conversation. The whole atmosphere was a favorite!
We said our goodbyes and began the journey back to Sweden where we would settle for the final few days; writing, reflecting and processing this amazing experience.