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Holiday dates: 11th to 21st August 2017
Holidaying are: Jo, Duncan, Ashley & Peter, along with Kirstine and Tom.
Friday 11th August

After meeting at the Airport we boarded our flight to Helsinki, it was a busy flight. It was pretty late by the time we arrived at Helsinki and when we got to our hotel we went to bed.
Helsinki Airport
Hire car Saturday 12th August

We picked up our hire car and started the journey from Helsinki to Hankasalmi, stopping for lunch on the way. Hankasalmi is in western Finland. We arrived at our mokii (this is a cottage in Finland) and unpacked in our rooms and explored our surroundings. After dinner we lit the log fire and relaxed by the fire.
Sunday 13th August

After breakfast we went for a walk around the lake, outside our mokii and then had lunch. Once we had eaten we went to the beach . We had a drink and then decided to dip our feet in the water ! Later we headed back to our mokii where we had a BBQ for dinner.
dipping our toes
In the forest Monday 14th August

Today after breakfast, we went for a hike through the forest and found a lovely viewpoint of a lake. After returning from our hike we had our lunch outside in the sun by some stables. Jo bought some honey from a local bee keeper. After lunch we went back to the beach we had visited on Sunday. Jo, Peter and Kirstine went swimming whilst Ashley and Duncan dipped their feet. Later we had a BBQ for our evening meal.
Tuesday 15th August

This morning we had a relaxed start to the day, eating breakfast and staying at the mokii playing darts, table tennis and french boules. Duncan won the darts, Peter and Jo won the boules. Peter also won in the table tennis. In the afternoon we went for a drink at a diner and then played foot golf where Peter had to go for a dip to retrieve his football!
table tennis
canoeing Wednesday 16th August

Today we went out and had our lunch by the lake before going canoeing. Everyone had a go at canoeing and eventually got into their rhythm. Whilst on the canoe we did some fishing but unfortunately we did not catch anything. After all the activity we headed back for dinner. Then we made a log fire in the grounds and toasted marshmallows.
Thursday 17th August

After breakfast we headed into the village for a little shop and look around. We then came back and played some more games. Peter enjoyed winning the boules, Ashley won the table tennis and Duncan won the darts. We then went down to the beach for one last time and took in a drink and a last paddle in the water. We had another BBQ dinner and toasted marshmallows around the log fire.
camp fire
mokii Friday 18th August

This morning we said good bye to our mokii and drove back to Helsinki, shopping on route for a picnic lunch. We arrived at our hotel, pretty tired as we have had a busy few days! After dinner we went to bed ready for our flight tomorrow where we are hoping to see the wild bears.
Saturday 19th August

We woke, had breakfast and then headed off to Helsinki Airport. We flew to our new destination in Finland and were met at the airport and taken to 'Wild Brown Bear Centre'. The Bear Centre is a Finnish company specialising in Bear, Wolverine and Wolf safaris. It was a beautiful area by a lake and surrounded by forests. It was so peaceful. We explored the area, careful not to walk too far as there could be bears about !! Some of us then relaxed in the sauna and in the evening we watched DVD's all about bears.
bear Sunday 20th August

Today we had a relaxing day trying to rest up as much as possible due to the fact we could be awake all night. The reason we may be awake is because we will be in a 'bear hide' during the night. We made our way in silence to the 'bear hide'. We had to whisper and be as quiet as possible. We did not have to wait too long before we spotted our first bear. It was so exciting! He came up so close to our hide. That night we saw 4 bears and a wolverine. We all stayed up until it was too dark to see anymore. It was an amazing night.
Monday 21st August

After an early start we said our goodbyes and went to the airport for our flight to Helsinki. Once at Helsinki we took our flight back to the U.K. It had been an amazing time in Finland.

A picture of our 'bear hide'
bear hide

The beach near our mokii

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