Topic: Trip to Finland  (Read 1521 times)


Superelastic

« on: May 28, 2018, 03:26:40 PM »
Hey folks

I'm going to be in Finland in about a week's time and playing UnReal World has inspired me to go visit some of the lakes whilst I'm out there.  Initial thought is to head out to Kuopio by train from Helsinki but wondered if anyone who's been out that way had any other suggestions?  Would Tampere or Jyväskylä be better (I'm only around for a few days).  Public transport only sadly.

Cheers
Superelastic

Erkka

« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2018, 06:14:31 PM »
It depends on what you prefer to experience.

If you want to see some ponds and lakes in the woods and walk a forest trail, that can be accessed via local buses of Helsinki-area - there's Nuuksio national park.

Also, if in addition to nature you'd like to see Iron Age history, you might consider Pukkisaari in Helsinki.

I think Helsinki, Kuopio, Tampere and Jyväskylä all offer some possibilities to take a boat / small ship touring the sea / lakes. There probably are UrW players in all of those cities, anyone willing to be a local guide?

Also, if our dates match, UnReal Adventurers are always welcome to visit my place - I'm located one hour train trip north from Tampere, and I have a rowing boat and access to the local lake. Or, I'd guess you can also ask Sami if he has free time to host an adventurer for a day or two - he is in Kuopio-area.

Superelastic

« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2018, 08:14:28 PM »
Cheers Erkka

I'll be in Helsinki for a few days so I'll check out the park.  The iron age experience looks interesting if it's ok to just to turn up (would loved to have seen the market).  I'll sort out the trip once I get to Helsinki (on Friday) but I'd definitely like a taste of wilderness after too many years in London...

Erkka

« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2018, 08:36:46 AM »
Ah, yes, if your stay in the country is only for a few days, I'd guess there is no need to leave Helsinki.

It is a long time since I myself visited the iron age place of Pukkisaari, and that was an organized event. But I'd guess it is free to go walk around having a look at the buildings etc. Also, it is located next to Seurasaari museum which has buildings from past few hundred centuries. The oldest ones pretty much resemble the ones we have in Unreal World, so it might well be worth a visit, too, if you are interested in cultural heritage. On the plus side, Seurasaari is not a big museum building, but actually an outdoors place with the old buildings scattered around, so it makes a nice place for a walk.

Only a year ago I discovered the archipelago of Helsinki. There are boat cruises starting near the city central area, stopping at various isles. You could either just cruise it there and back, watching the scenery. Or take a stop at Vartiosaari (number 4 on the route map), for Vartiosaari has plenty of paths to walk around.

One of my favourites in Helsinki is Cafe Regatta, located a short walk away from the central railway station, sitting next to a bay of the sea, a tiny small cafeteria with a live camp-fire burning on the yard. The only downside is that I'm not the only person liking the place - sometimes it is crowded with foreign tourists and there is a long long queue if you'd like to buy coffee. But maybe worth taking a look.

But, yeah, I think the Nuuksio park offers a plenty to explore, and gives an impression of the typical Finnish woodlands nature.

Also, in the city, Helsinki Central Park is a nice place to walk around.

These are just my tips,
wishing you a pleasant and interesting experience in Finland  :)

« Last Edit: May 29, 2018, 08:45:25 AM by Erkka »

Superelastic

« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2018, 02:33:35 PM »
I'm currently one of the foreign tourists clogging up cafe regatta :) lovely area! Mostly just been walking the parks- found a really nice cafe on the east side of toolonlahti.

After seven hours I am feeling "slightly fatigued" and that's without carrying 200 elk cuts and an iron age armoury!  Thankfully my journey has been njerp free.

Off to turku Tomorrow then hopefully tampere on Wednesday. Anyway, thanks for tips!

zuberbohler

« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2018, 08:00:23 AM »
Hi,

I think this topic seems to be adequate so...
Next summer me and my wife plann a trip to Finland for about 10-14 day depending how our babysitters(moms  :D)would agree and I would like to ask you for some help in planning this adventure :). We like nature and kayaks A LOT so we are going to spend A LOT time in both. Basic concept for this trip is to buy something like this ->https://e.allegroimg.com/s512/01c6b0/9f21bd3b4fe0a9e80ee699c21f2e<- here in Poland, backpack it(only 17kg), take a flight to Helsininki and spend every single day in beautiful finnish scenery, camping somewhere in the woods with help from this site ->https://www.tulikartta.fi/index.php?type=Kaikki&lataus=1<- and our trusty tent. Every night in different campsite.
These are main assumptions but I need help with details:
1. Where to go? :D Depending on our canoing concept, please post your suggestions in this matter. Preferably not so common places, standing aside from main courses - beautiful and wild. Of course visiting URW fans would also be great option! :)
2. Pneumatic kayak. Maybe this is not best solution, we always uses normal, inflexible ones. I also thought about buying kayak or canoe directly in our start area and leave it or sell in the end. Maybe you could help -  is it expensive? Is there some internet sites where I could contact with potential seller?
3. I plan to fish but I am totally green - maybe you, more experience forumers have some advice for a novice? :) Basic equipment, tips and tricks... I also heard that you could fish with the rod in Finland without license, is that true?
4. Buying food (and of course alcohol;) ) . Let's suppose that I won't catch a single fish :D - Some advices regarding supplying?
5. Traveling in Finland. Quickest, cheapest way of traveling - by bus, train or maybe car sharing? Again I would be very grateful with help in this matter :)

For now this all that come to my mind, probably I would have more questions later. Once again thank you in advance for every single advice! I hope that with your help it would be amazing journey in country that I always wish to visit and get know better:)

Best regards,
Szymon
 

PALU

« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2018, 11:57:09 AM »
What about renting kayaks or a canoe? The disadvantage to that is that you have to return to the starting point to return them.
I know nothing about rental services in Finland, though, and they'd reasonably be located at places where they get customers...

Tervaskanto

« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2018, 02:18:22 PM »
Hi, and Welcome.

My first suggestion is for your map site, just in case you don't know, to use green markers (laavu=lean-to) or red (kota=kota, duh!) for sleeping, orange are places you can make fire at but not necessarily for sleeping. Blue markers labeled autiotupa are small cottages free to sleep in, päivätupa are intended for short stops, not sleeping and varaustupa need to be rented. Grey markers are either sights or bird watching locations. Sorry for rambling if you already knew this.
Second, this map might be usefull for planning your trip if you want to find more "natural" places.
Their main site at http://www.nationalparks.fi/, particularly the self-guided tours section for ready routes is worth checking out, but I'm guessing Päijänne is the kind of place you are looking for? Lahti would make good starting point (I am in no way biased just because I live here  ::)) since it is in the southernmost bay (it's name literally means "bay") of Päijänne region with straight train lines from Helsinki. Lahti-Vääksy-Heinola is popular water route there and south-east of Heinola river Kymi connects city of Kouvola to Kotka by the coast, but I'm not sure how accessible that route is since there are few dams, might have to carry your kayak.
Right next door is Saimaa, largest lake in Finland and probably another place you want to visit, with Savonlinna worth a special mention.

Saimaa and Päijänne together make up the so-called Lake Finland (or "Lakeland" as some PR guys want to name it) region filled with lakes and rivers, many of them connected to either Saimaa or Päijänne (this seems to be present in URW as well, I've noticed), so it's probably the place you want to focus on. There's plenty of islands off the coast as well, especially near Helsinki, Turku and Kotka, but I don't know how kayak would handle that.

But that's all popular commonly visited places. Hossa is the most recent National Park and doesn't have much in the way of turist crap yet (aside from that one steel pontoon), and from the map it seems to connect to Oulujärvi lake, where river Oulujoki runs to city of Oulu at the coast. That route would take you pretty much across the country, east to west. That might be your best bet at "wilderness" (unless you want to go all the way into Lapland, Lake Inari would be worth visiting), since most river and lakesides are populated to some degree, summer cottages at the least.


Cheers, and remember not to drink and paddle.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 02:23:12 PM by Tervaskanto »

Erkka

« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2018, 12:01:51 PM »
Quote
1. Where to go? :D Depending on our canoing concept, please post your suggestions in this matter. Preferably not so common places, standing aside from main courses - beautiful and wild. Of course visiting URW fans would also be great option!

I think 'where to go' depends on timing and your choice of equipment. Like, would you prefer river routes with rapids, or would you prefer criss-crossing the lake networks? If you have a canoe which is better suited for lakes, then shooting rapids isn't necessarily a wise option. And if you don't have a lot of earlier experience, going out to the sea might not be the safest option. In any case, the the options are plenty.

For river routes May or early June are usually best, as the water levels are at their highest after the snow has melted. Later on in the summer some river routes might become so shallow that they are uncomfortable to navigate.

In addition to great suggestions by Tervaskanto, visiting my place is always an option. I'm located roughly 100 km north from Tampere, and there are several canoeing options nearby. For example Haukkajoki route starts from Helvetinjärvi national park. I'm not exactly sure but to me it seems that the Haukkajoki route could take you all the way down to the city of Tampere, in case you plan to switch locations by public transport.

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2. I also thought about buying kayak or canoe directly in our start area and leave it or sell in the end. Maybe you could help -  is it expensive? Is there some internet sites where I could contact with potential seller?

I'd guess there also are canoe rental services, and some of them are fine with starting at point A and collecting the canoe from location B. But I'm not so familiar with them so on top of my head I can't recommend any webpage listing rental options.

For second-hand equipment here is a link listing 'for sale', 'for rental', 'to give away' options. At the moment second hand canoes seems to sell from 500 € - 2000 €. If you decide to try this option, I think I could personally offer you some help with selling away the canoe once you are done with your trip.

But, of course, a pneumatic kayak would enalbe you to see various locations using the public transport. If you'd buy a second hand canoe, you either need tranportation help from local UrW players, or you are stuck in one water system (which won't be a problem, as all the major lake networks are big enough to paddle around for the whole summer)

Quote
3. I plan to fish but I am totally green - maybe you, more experience forumers have some advice for a novice? :) Basic equipment, tips and tricks... I also heard that you could fish with the rod in Finland without license, is that true?

Yes, a simple fishing rod with hook only and no reel - that you can use without a license. With a little bit of luck one can catch enough perches worth a meal.

My tip would be to consider a foldable / expandable portable fish trap. In the evening when you start to settle to camp for the night, you expand the fish trap and set it somewhere nearby. In the morning you go check the trap, fold it and pack it in the canoe for the day's voyage. That, of course, would mean more stuff to transport in your canoe, but gives the option to catch fish while you sleep.

Using a fish trap would require paying the national-level fishing license (they sell for 15€ / week. If you pay that, it would also allow you to drag a lure while you paddle around. Another nice way to possibly catch a pike while you go.) To be precise, a fish trap would also require a local-level license depening on the waters where you are. But my personal opinion is that if you are switching places every night, and you aren't highly experienced fisher then you catches are likely to stay so small that paying a local fee isn't that necessary.

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4. Buying food (and of course alcohol;) ) . Let's suppose that I won't catch a single fish :D - Some advices regarding supplying?

Regarding alcohol, anything stronger than 5.5 % is only sold at special liquor stores, which can't be found in every small village. So if you want to have that bottle of dark rum to warm you up in one of those rainy evenings, plan to buy it beforehand while you are in a city or a town with liquor store (they are called "Alko"). Otherwise I'd guess it is the basics of camping food. Dry and canned stuff. Things are a bit easier if you have a portable stove - that way you don't have to start a fire every single time you'd like to have a mug of tea. (Ah, especially in May / early summer most of the water is safe to drink. And becomes safer once boiled. So packing a lot of drinking water isn't absolutely necessary. You can boil lake water every night and store it for the next day.)

It never hurts to have a bar of dark chocolate for quick energy if in situation where you need it.

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5. Traveling in Finland. Quickest, cheapest way of traveling - by bus, train or maybe car sharing?

Trains are the quickest and often the most comfortable way of travelling. Buses can be either a lot of cheaper or more expensive. (Like, where an ordinary train ticket would be 30 € / adult, with a luck you can buy a bus ticket for the same route for mere 2.50 €.) I think train and bus operators all have such a pricing scheme that the earlier you buy your tickets the cheaper the prices.

For buses see matkahuolto.
For trains see VR.

I know there are car sharing services out there but that's pretty much all I know about them. That they exists.

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For now this all that come to my mind, probably I would have more questions later.

So, if you are planning for summer 2019, feel free to start a separate topic when you get into more detailed planning.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2018, 12:07:56 PM by Erkka »

zuberbohler

« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2018, 04:37:43 PM »
Thank you guys for informations, your help is priceless!

What about renting kayaks or a canoe? The disadvantage to that is that you have to return to the starting point to return them.
I know nothing about rental services in Finland, though, and they'd reasonably be located at places where they get customers...
Yes, I considered it of course but this option has major cons:
- rental price (almost equal to cost for new pneumatic kayak for rivers scale III)
- lack of mobility (pneumatic can be packed very quickly and weights 'only' 17-20kg)
- 1 time event (with some luck pneumatic one will survive more than 2 weeks and we could use it for the next trip:) ) 

Hi, and Welcome.

My first suggestion is for your map site, just in case you don't know, to use green markers (laavu=lean-to) or red (kota=kota, duh!) for sleeping, orange are places you can make fire at but not necessarily for sleeping. Blue markers labeled autiotupa are small cottages free to sleep in, päivätupa are intended for short stops, not sleeping and varaustupa need to be rented. Grey markers are either sights or bird watching locations. Sorry for rambling if you already knew this.
I'm already aware of it but thanks :)

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Second, this map might be usefull for planning your trip if you want to find more "natural" places.
This is just great, man! Great site, very useful.
 
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Cheers, and remember not to drink and paddle.
Just a little ;)

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I think 'where to go' depends on timing and your choice of equipment. Like, would you prefer river routes with rapids, or would you prefer criss-crossing the lake networks? If you have a canoe which is better suited for lakes, then shooting rapids isn't necessarily a wise option. And if you don't have a lot of earlier experience, going out to the sea might not be the safest option. In any case, the the options are plenty.

Timing: I would say - the most warmer month, so july probably -/+ 1 month. Equipment: 90% pneumatic kayak, tent, cooking pot, wife, fishing rod and strong back.   
Unfortunately, we have no experience on sea level but I read that pneumatic kayaks are much more suitable on sea than PU ones. We will sea... see :D Nevertheless our priority goes to inland waters. For now.
In past we both were on rivers class III but I'm not 100% sure about pneumatic kayaks hardeness so let's play it safe - criss-crossing lake networks with no hardcore rapids would be just fine.

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Using a fish trap would require paying the national-level fishing license (they sell for 15€ / week. If you pay that, it would also allow you to drag a lure while you paddle around. Another nice way to possibly catch a pike while you go.) To be precise, a fish trap would also require a local-level license depening on the waters where you are. But my personal opinion is that if you are switching places every night, and you aren't highly experienced fisher then you catches are likely to stay so small that paying a local fee isn't that necessary.

Great, thank you Erkka! Fish trap is very good idea, especially because it's foldable and my skills are far below novice. I don't quite get this part about local fee... It depends on size of the catch?
Lately, I read about more primitive fishings methods and maybe I would go that way, but for now let's stay with commercial fishing rod and plastic fish trap.


So, for now (thanks to you!), I have 4 main target areas. Of course every comment on these and new proposal are very welcome:

1. Lapland - as whole but further north the better :D Something is calling me from out there but I have to be cautious with wife, she is excited but not as much as me :D Also, myself would like to see more 'civilized' side of Finland first, afterwards this more cold and harsh. I have 1 year to think about it and talk with my other side.

2. Kolovesi National Park and/or Linnansaari National Park - this look quite easy and pleasant. Main objection is how popular it is. Especially in June, July or September. If you could help in this matter I would be more than grateful.

3. Hossa National Park - very promising not well know place with beautiful sights and route to Oulu where I could try kayak on the sea. Great idea, thank you!

4. Visiting Erkka, Helvetinjärvi national park and other nice places around, Tampere - thank you for invitation Erkka. Even if it won't be our main destination we consider to stop by for a day or two or seven :) 

Once again thanks guys and take care
Szymon

EDIT: Just found fellow-countryman blog with pictures from trip Savonlinna-Kuopio in pneumatic kayak! It takes him 13 days. Look at those beautiful photos! - https://paragonzpodrozy.pl/15333/pojezierze-finskie-kajakiem-wyglada-najwieksza-kraina-jezior-swiecie/
« Last Edit: July 01, 2018, 06:30:12 PM by zuberbohler »

Erkka

« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2018, 07:43:26 PM »
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Unfortunately, we have no experience on sea level but I read that pneumatic kayaks are much more suitable on sea than PU ones.

I was thinking about the shape and structure of the underside of the kayak. On wide open lakes if if gets windy any lightweight vessel with a roundish underside gets easily just pushed around by wind and waves. But, if a pneumatic kayak is OK for seas, then I'd guess it will also manage Finnish lakes no problem  :)

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Fish trap is very good idea, especially because it's foldable and my skills are far below novice. I don't quite get this part about local fee... It depends on size of the catch?

Strictly speaking, the local fee is per equipment / per year. The system is mainly designed for us who permanently live in one place, and if there are that many people accessing the same lakes, there needs to be some regulation to control overfishing, and to share costs fairly among those who fish. (The money is then used for maintaining and supporting local fish populations). Also, the local areas are smallish. At worst a single lake can be divided among three different "board of local people collectively managing their fishing waters". So, depending on which corner of the lake one wants to set a net or two, one needs to buy a license from a different person... It all gets messy rather quickly, especially if you aren't a local and don't know who manages which lake and so on. To make things simple and easy I'd lean on the common sense side, and say that having a single fish trap set on one spot for one night is such a minimal activity that it doesn't require a local license.

Although, it might be a bit different in the national parks and other such officially maintained outdoors areas. When you get to plan the details of your trip you can send them e-mail to check if it is okay to use a fish trap at that time at this national park. Restrictions might apply to protect local wildlife.

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1. Lapland - as whole but further north the better :D Something is calling me from out there but I have to be cautious with wife, she is excited but not as much as me :D Also, myself would like to see more 'civilized' side of Finland first, afterwards this more cold and harsh

Especially in June / July Lapland might occasionally get hotter than the southern part of Finland. So in the summertime it is not the coldness, but all the insects which fly, bite and sting. They tend to come in bigger flocks up in the north. But you'll encounter them anywhere in Finland, so be prepared  :)

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4. Visiting Erkka, Helvetinjärvi national park and other nice places around, Tampere - thank you for invitation Erkka. Even if it won't be our main destination we consider to stop by for a day or two or seven

One possibility to consider is to start your trip by visiting my place. With my rowing boat I could accompany you out on the local waters for a day, and then you could continue exploring the nearby islands for a few days on your own, to get a better feel on your equipment. After that few days of 'test run' if you have questions or need to re-arrange some of your equipment, I could act as a local guide. But, I trust that you can also manage on your own, so if you prefer to start straight with a longer voyage on some other water system, I fully encourage you to try that. Adventures are made of .... well, adventuring  :)

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Just found fellow-countryman blog with pictures from trip Savonlinna-Kuopio in pneumatic kayak! It takes him 13 days. Look at those beautiful photos!

Ah, yes, that is how the Finnish lakes look like. Looking at the map of his trip, in the start had he chosen to follow the western shores, that route would've taken up to Kuopio passing next to a place where a certain indie-game developer lives. If you choose to ponder that route, consider sending a message to Sami in case he is not following this thread.

Ametsala

« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2018, 06:30:03 PM »
I'm not really that familiar with canoeing, but I decided to give some (hopefully helpful) comments anyway:

Travel:
Maybe you've already found it, but here's our national rail company's route maps for areas outside Helsinki region.

The company offering cheap bus tickets is Onnibus. Here's their route map. (I think the SKI ones are only active during skiing season.) These days their tickets can also be bought through the Matkahuolto website.

I've only spent two hours in an Onnibus and didn't find it too comfortable. Wouldn't want to sit in one from Helsinki to Oulu (or even Jyväskylä). Maybe you're both smaller than me and will find it comfortable enough though.

Hossa:
Difficult to get to - the buses go there during school days, i.e. August to May, monday to friday (This year the first bus goes August 9). In June or July one would need a taxi from Suomussalmi or Kuusamo and that will cost 100 - 200 euros (we just got new taxi legislation starting this July (i.e. yesterday), so no-one knows how the prices will be next year.)

I managed to dig up some Kainuu area bus timetables, and the closest to Hossa one could get by bus right now is Peranka (only mon-fri, once a day), a radio mast and a house in a crossroads 30 km from Hossa. (Turns out there's a Hossa taxi just for getting people from the bus stop to Hossa. No idea on the price though.)

Paddling to Hossa from Peranka (or Kuusamo, maybe from Suomussalmi. Google Maps doesn't really show how navigable rivers are.) is an option, but a plastic canoe is suggested for that. (According to Suomussalmi travel guide. An inflatable kayak doesn't sound like it likes sharp rocks.)

Lapland:
You'll want June / (first half of) July, if you want to experience midnight sun. Though the summer nights wont get that dark anywhere in Finland before August. (I suggest you bring sleep masks.)
(The Finnish Meteorological Institute's weather forecasts have sunset and sunrise times. Here's the current one for Kemijärvi (some 40 km north from the arctic circle), showing that the sun rose June 4th and will set July 9th.)

Like Erkka mentioned, Lapland's known for mosquitoes and other blood sucking insects. Early summer the insect populations will be smaller so travelling will be more comfortable. (Though people live there throughout the year, so managing two weeks there shouldn't be impossible :) )

If I was going to travel in Lapland, I'd want to do it in the first half of June.

Other location options:
My initial thought when I saw your post was to suggest traveling to Lappeenranta, renting a kayak, and paddling around Saimaa.

Another place to consider is traveling by train to Lieksa or Nurmes for Lake Pielinen and the Koli National Park. Pielinen drains to Saimaa through the Pielisjoki river, but I'm not sure how navigable that is. (There's the Karelia Rowing Tour for church boats and small boats every July rowing/paddling in the area so it should be navigable. If you decide to paddle around Pielinen, and want to travel by yourselves you may want to avoid that event.)

In Lapland there seems to be good canoeing areas in Inarijärvi (You can get to Inari by bus from Rovaniemi couple times a day) and Kemijärvi (where you can get by train).

(By the way, I'll be moving to Mikkeli in the end of this month, so I might be canoeing in Saimaa next summer.)

Edit: The National Land Survey of Finland has a nice map with topography/aerial images/whatnot.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2018, 02:45:54 PM by Ametsala »

The_Hobo

« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2018, 02:10:03 PM »
Just wanted to say how jealous I am. I would be wonderful to go to Finland in the summer I'd think. But living out on the olympic peninsula is the closest ill get in the states to that sort of untouched beauty short of moving to alaska. Unfortunately it hasnt been such a nice summer for us. Hellishly hot and way too many fires.  I'm hoping the rains come soon and half the country will stop burning down and I can enjoy my fall. Maybe i can make some money running around the forest like a crazy lady looking for mushrooms.  :)

That and hunting salmon with nothing but a dip net. That is definitely my favorite past time in fall.  ;D

zuberbohler

« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2018, 12:04:46 PM »
Hi guys,

Sorry for late reply but now a lot is going in my life, a lot of mini projects like building sauna(yeah! ;D). Thank you all for answers, like I said before every information, every link is priceless. The idea of the trip is still alive, I almost gathered money for pneumatic kayak so progress is better than I could imagine. Detailed plan for the trip will arise later but for now I think that Lapland and Hossa would be too much so I'm dropping it down on the list. Probably we will end in southern/central parts of Finland. Erkka, Ametsala, we will try to vist you guys in that time, for now it's too soon for such detailed plan.

The_Hobo: The Olympic Peninsula looks great and i'ts close to Vancouver(always want to visit this city), pacific ocean and of course Roslyn where they film my beloved "Northern Exposure" - I envy you! :D
But sadly droughts all around the world are very disturbing :( Here in Poland we also have huge problems with that. Even in Sweden there were big forest fires in this summer. Shocking. I also don't remember the 'real' winter in our area with tons of snow and freezing cold, ech :(

Take care and play Urw!
Simon