Easter in the Finnish countryside

We don’t have our own cottage as most of the Finns do, but Henna’s parents live about 3 hours from Helsinki. The place is close to all the services, but coming from Helsinki it still feels like coming to countryside.

Spring at Isojärvi National Park

And it is only a 30 minutes drive to Isojärvi National Park. We went there on Friday with some friends. We only walked to the closest fireplace. It was our babygirl’s first trip to a national park! The path was still icy and it took time to walk the few hundred meters with the strollers.

Grilling sausages at Isojärvi National Park

We made a fire to grill some sausages and marshmallows. It was a good time, but still pretty cold. Especially the gusts of cold wind made everyone feel cold since we were not moving a lot.

Snow and ice at Isojärvi National Park

The weather has been changing really quickly. In a couple of minutes sunshine turns into snow fall. It still feels to me, that spring is coming.

Länkipohja, Finland

The next day we went for a a walk and the weather was exactly the same. It was snowing and sunny at the same time.

The ice is melting at Längelmävesi, Finland

During the day, the ice is melting quickly, but it has still been really cold during the nights, well below zero, so it might take some time before the lakes are free from ice.

 

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Exploring Montenegro and Durmitor National Park

After our stay in Bosnia & Herzegovina we headed to Montenegro and to the city of Zabljak. It is located right by the Durmitor National Park. We stayed at Šepić Accommodation, which was a great place! Aljoša and his mother run the place and we got a lot of ideas and instructions from them. And I also recommend having the breakfast, which was really good.

Crno Jezero Lake

We came to Zabljak in the afternoon and didn’t have too much time, so we headed to Crno Jezero Lake. It was just a few kilometres from where we stayed. There was a nice path going around the lake and we managed to walk around just before it got dark.

Hiking towards the lookout place over Tara Canyon

Aljoša gave us instructions on getting to the lookout spot above the Tara River Canyon. It wasn’t a long way, but it took us a long time. I had to stop to take pictures all the time.

Tara Canyon in Montenegro

The Tara River Gorge is a really spectacular place. It is one of the deepest canyons in the world, 1300 metres deep at the deepest part.

Looking at the Tara River Canyon in Montenegro

In October the tourist season is already over, but we were still amazed that there were no other people here.

Enjoying the views at Tara River Gorge

It was very silent and peaceful. I really recommend visiting this place. Too bad we didn’t have more time to explore the Durmitor National Park.

Sunset in Durmitor National Park

On the way back we stopped at another lookout spot. There were skiing slopes here and a lift. Maybe we need to come back here some day and do some downhill skiing. Aljoša told us that it is mostly local people during the winter, but the slopes looked good. So maybe there is potential here. And the prices are cheap!

In Zabljak we also went whitewater rafting on the Tara River. I’ll write more about that in my next post!

Hiking in Sutjeska National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

From Slovenia we continued our roadtrip south to Bosnia & Herzegovina. Our plan was to stay at Hotel Mladost close to Sutjeska National Park in the south part of the country. We only stayed for two nights, so we had just one full day to explore the place.

Hiking in Sutjeska National Park

The nature was really beautiful, but getting to the starting place of our hike was a bit of a challenge. Wereceived good instructions and a map from the Hotel reception. It was only a 20 kilometer drive to the starting place. The guy at the reception said that once we turn from the main road, the road turns into a dirt road. I asked, if it was still ok to drive with a normal car. He said it was. Well it took us about 2 hours to drive the 20 kilometers. Unfortunately we didn’t get any really good pictures of the road, because we had to concentrate on not breaking our car. But we managed still!

Enjoying the beautiful nature in Sutjeska National Park

We stopped at a few lookout places on the way and the scenery was amazing. And it was very quiet, no other people around.

On the way to Trnovačko Lake

There were several options from out starting place. We decided to walk to Trnovačko Lake, which was about a two hour hike from where we left our car. It was a well-marked route and the weather was great again.

Trnovačko Lake in Montenegro

The Trnovačko Lake is actually in Montenegro. The path continues from here to the top of Maglić, the highest mountain in Bosnia & Herzegovina. It would have taken us atleast 5 hours to the top and back, so we didn’t even consider going up. It was still worth just visiting the lake.

Autumn colors in Sutjeska National Park

We took the same route back to our car after a short break at the lake. The autumn colors were beautiful on the way. And the sun was shining!

Evening light in Sutjeska National Park

This were we started and ended our hike. We were happy to be back while there was still daylight left as we wanted to drive down before dark. It was a bit faster driving down, but it still took us a lot of time.

There is a lot of potential in Bosnia & Herzegovina for all kinds of outdoor activities. The nature is really beautiful, but the roads are not so good and the whole infrastructure needs some development. But if you are ready for some adventure, I can recommend it already now.

A short hike close to Bovec, Slovenia

We only stayed in Bovec for two days, so our time was limited. As we wanted to go whitewater kayaking on both days, there wasn’t much time for anything else. Our original plan was to also do a Via Ferrata route on Mangart, a mountain right at the border of Slovenia and Italy. There was too much snow at the higher altitudes so we changed the plan.

On the second day we did a shorter section of kayaking and had just enough time for a short hike.

Hiking in Lepena, Slovenia

The owner of the apartment we stayed at recommended to go to Lepena. It was a short drive along the Soča valley. The first part of the hike was a wide path through the forest. The trail was going up all the time and we needed to stop several times to catch our breath. It was mostly inside the forest, so you couldn’t see much. But when you could, the scenery was really nice.

Krn Lake in Slovenia

It took us about two hours to get to the Krn Lake. Very peaceful and quiet. There is also a mountain hut on the way here, but in October it was already closed. Because we started late in the afternoon, we didn’t have much time to enjoy the scenery. We had to head back, so we wouldn’t need to hike back down in the dark.

Hiking in Triglav National Park

The weather was great and up at the lake there were numerous paths going in different directions. Too bad we didn’t have more time. We managed to get to the car right as it started to be too dark to see without a torch. That’s why I don’t have too many pictures from the hike.
Here is a video a made two years ago doing a Via Ferrata route in the same area. I think we need to go back some day and have more time in the area.

The next post will be about our time in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

To the top of Kebnekaise

You can read about the first part of our trip in my previous post. The day before our scheduled top attempt the weather changed. The whole day was cloudy and light rain.

Hiking in the Kebnekaise area

We didn’t want to do anything too hard the day before the summit attempt, so we just explored the river close to the Mountain station. It was a beautiful place. In the evening we decided to have a nice meal at the station. There was also a meeting with our guides to go through all the gear and the route for the next day.  We were in the group starting at 7.10 in the morning.

 

As the forecast said it was raining in the morning, so I didn’t take the camera out until we reached the glacier and it wasn’t raining anymore. Until then it was just a steep path up the mountain.

The eastern route up to Kebnekaise

My favorite part of the day was the Via Ferrata style climbing up to the Kebnekaise hut close to the top (1880 meters above sea level). It was pretty easy, but enjoyable. Too bad we couldn’t really see too far.

The top of Kebnekaise

From the Via Ferrata part it is an easy hike up to the top. The top of the mountain is covered with snow and pretty narrow. It’s nice to have the ropes for safety. Here we are at the top (2111 meters above sea level) with Henna. With good weather you should be able to see 9 % of the land area of Sweden. Well we didn’t quite see that much. 🙂

Going down the Via Ferrata route at Kebnekaise

After a short lunch break we started our way back down. It was more difficult going down, but we managed just fine. Higher on the mountain it wasn’t actually raining, but as we descended further it started to rain again.

Altogether it took us a bit over 9 hours to go up and down. The start is at 670 meters above sea level, so although it is not a long hike, it is still pretty streneous. And our clothes were soaking wet. But it was a good day!

Hiking in the Kebnekaise area

It’s been a long time since I wrote anything here. I knew I would be busy with work in the summer, but still every summer I am suprised just how busy. It has been a good year, but also very demanding. So I needed a short break. Luckily I was able to escape to Sweden for a week of hiking!

I flew from Helsinki to Kiiruna via Stockholm. I almost got stuck in Stockholm. because my connecting flight was cancelled at first. But the airline company decided to operate the flight, so it was only a couple hours late. While approaching Kiiruna it was raining so hard at the airport, that we had to fly in circles for about 40 minutes before we could land. I am so glad we managed to land eventually. Henna was waiting for me at the airport and as I  got my backpack the sun was already shining.

We drove to Nikkaluokta, where we started our hike. After the long day we hiked for around 6 – 7 kilometers and made camp.

On our way to Kebnekaise

From our first camp you can already see the high mountains with snow. It was a beautiful evening, just a few mosquitos to disturb us.

Waterfall and small pond

There are a lot of people on the trail between Nikkaluokta and Kebnekaise. But it is still a very beautiful route. It is good to stop once in a while and look around. A lot of great waterfalls coming down to the valley.

Camping close to Kebnekaise

Our camp for the second night! A great place. We actually stayed in this same place for the rest of our trip. It is just before the Kebnekaise Mountain station. So if you don’t like camping, you can stay at the station. It’s basically a hotel with showers, saunas and everything. It is a 19 kilometer hike from Nikkaluokta, but if you are feeling lazy you can also fly here with a helicopter.

Day hike close to Kebnekaise

The next day was beautiful and warm. We hiked a bit higher up from our camp to enjoy some of the great views.

On a break

And the warmth of the Swedish summer!

Kebnekaise

We reached the plateau and from here we could see Kebnekaise, the highest mountain in Sweden.

On the way down

On the way down the clouds started gathering and it was raining a bit. Of course I wanted to take the shortest route down, which turned out to be pretty steep and skecthy with the wet and moving rocks.

Before the rain

We made it back to camp before it really started to rain. We had booked the guided tour to the top through the Eastern Route, which is shorter but a bit more demanding. I will post about that next week!

Back in Tenerife

I was guiding a week of hiking in Tenerife and once I got back to Finland, I have just been running around everywhere. Our new paddling center here in Helsinki is opening first of May and there is still a lot to do before that!

Here are some pictures from Tenerife. It was a great week and a great group. Also a big thanks to our local partner Teno Activo and our guide Nayra for making everything work!

Hiking in the La Orotava valley

On our first day we hiked in the La Orotava valley.

La Orotava

And we also visited the city of La Orotava. It is a beautiful place!

Masca ravine

The Masca canyon was great as usual. It rained a bit at the start, but eventually the weather was really good!

Hiking in Anaga, Tenerife

You could spend a week just hiking in the Anaga peninsula!

Teide National Park

There was still snow up on Teide and Pico Viejo.

Hiking in Arona

On our last day we hiked from Arona to Ifonche and visited Bodegas Reveron to taste the local wines.

Sunset in Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife.

We stayed in Puerto de la Cruz and the sunsets there are spectacular! It was great to be a week in Tenerife, but now I am looking forward to start the kayaking season for real!