Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Z_CNHI News Service

August 28, 2013

Travel: Tour the wonders of the Finnish Lake District

Using Savonlinna, a small town in Southwestern Finland in the heart of the lake district, as my base, I joined guide, Tanja Honkonen, for an auto tour of several major attractions in the area. Fortunately, Tanja drove, which freed me up to soak in the beauty of the forested area into which Lake Saimaa makes numerous indentations.

Our morning started in Savonlinna with a quick look at some of the region’s cultural history and life on the lake through the centuries at the Provincial Museum, housed in a restored granary on the island of Riihisarri, a stone’s throw away from Olavinlinna Castle. In the summer, a tar steamship, passenger boat, a tug and a schooner are moored just off shore and open to visitors for tour.

For lunch, we sampled the most popular delicacy from the lake, a mild white fish called vendace (miukku in Finnish), served on a wooden platter on the sixth floor, roof-top terrace restaurant of the Sokos Hotel. Besides giving us a unique taste treat, the dining experience overlooks the town from one of its loftiest vantage points.

A quick drive to the hamlet of Kerimaki took us one of the Finnish superlatives, namely "the biggest wooden church in the world." Rumor has it that the architect designed the massive structure in centimeters, but the builder misunderstood and erected the church using inches, which are 2.54 times larger than centimeters. At any rate, the structure is 148 feet long, 138 feet wide and 121 feet tall, big enough to seat 3,000 worshipers and another 2,000 standees.

I particularly enjoyed the view from the choir loft, which gave me a better appreciation of the expansiveness and spatial grandeur of this truly remarkable structure.

On our way to Lusto, the Finnish Forest Museum, we stopped at a vista overlook high on a rocky crest with a view of the seemingly ever present lake. The gorgeous expanse was a mix of gray stone boulders, water of the azure blue lake, purple clumps of primrose, white birch, and green spruce and pine. Here and there, farmer-planted plots of grain added even more interest. On the way back to the car, Tanja pointed out wild lingonberries, red in their ripeness, growing close to the ground. A smaller and juicier cousin of the cranberry, lingonberries are to Finns as blackberries are to Americans -- summertime staples free for the picking.

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • HallofFameBraves.jpg Hall of Fame adds businesslike Braves, Frank Thomas, managers La Russa and Torre

    Atlanta Braves pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, and their manager, Bobby Cox, dominated much of baseball during the 1990s. This weekend they went into the Hall of Fame together.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brother sues W.Va. senator over business loan

    U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin's brother claims he's owed $1.7 million that he loaned to keep a family carpet out of bankruptcy in the 1980s.

    July 25, 2014

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Inequality crisis shot with factual problems, hypocrisy

    President Obama, various media and political liberals say inequality, of all things, is the defining issue of our times. Yet this message is delivered by multimillionaires and a president who jets from tee time to stump speech on the taxpayer's dime.
     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona's prolonged lethal injection is fourth in U.S. this year

    Arizona's execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood marked the fourth time this year that a state failed to dispatch a convict efficiently, according to the Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal group.3

    July 24, 2014

  • Police Brutality screen shot. Technology plays key part in battling police brutality (VIDEO)

    Allegations of police brutality are nothing new -- as long as there has been law enforcement, citizens have registered claims that some officers cross the line. But in the last few years, the claims of excessive force are being corroborated with new technology from cell phone cameras, police dash-cams and surveillance videos. 

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Facebook continues moneymaking trend

    Facebook seems to have figured out - for now at least - the holy grail for all media right now: how to make money selling mobile ads.

    July 24, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.