Photo blog: Finland

Posted by: Kate Gunn on May 6th, 2014 IN Fun stuff

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Our Creative Director, Neil Thompson, recently went to check out what Finland has to offer.  He was bowled over by the landscape, vistas, hotels, spas, restaurants, hospitality, and of course, the opportunity to pursue his own passions – the plethora of winter sports on offer.

This photo blog gives you a taste of Finland seen through his eyes but keep an eye on Crane’s Eye View for a Destination Focus on this winter wonderland destination later in the year.

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I recently spent the most incredible 3 days in Finland and would like to thank the Finland Convention Bureau for their hospitality.  Below are just a few images that will give you a taste for this magical place.

Our trip began in Helsinki…

A highlight for me in Finland’s capital was this memorial to Finish composer, Sibelius.  Is it a tree? Is it a musical instrument? Is it the Northern Lights? You can walk around and under the monument, so you can view it from any angle and decide for yourself.

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Dinner at the neo-Renaissance style Sautorget will please anyone with an eye for design, architecture and art.  And the food is fantastic too!

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I was lucky enough to have a ride in a real reindeer sleigh in Kuusamo, which is just an hour’s flight from Helsinki. This was followed by a very welcome coffee around the fire…

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Ruka Adventures’ safari offers all kinds of fantastic snow-based activities.  The ice karting was great fun – perhaps helped slightly by the fact that I won!

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Lunch at the stunning wilderness retreat at Pyhäpiilo is a must.  The food is all gathered from the surrounding wilderness and its beauty is awe-inspiring.

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My first experience on a husky sled is one I will never forget and one of my top ten experiences ever! You don’t get the full sense of the power in the pack, until your feet fall off and you have to catch up still holding on for dear life…

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Equally exhilarating but for very different reasons was the ice sauna.

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The magical forest retreat Iisakki Village is such a peaceful place at night when it’s all lit up with decorated trees and warm light glowing from the windows.

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I was so desperate to see the Northern Lights but no such luck.  However, this was compensated for by a truly magical sunrise the following day.

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A 20k ride on a snowmobile in this stunning countryside ticked all my boxes. Sadly I couldn’t fit one of these in my luggage…

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I had to content myself instead with admiring the slopes at the Ruka Ski Center.  The groomed slopes looked so inviting, the après ski is close to hand and there are some great hotels, such as Hotel RukaVillage, Hotel Rantasipi Rukahovi and Congress Center.

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From there a 3k walk took us to the Chalet Ruka Peak.   With uninterrupted views across Kuusamo we could just make out the edge of the Russian border, with the help of our guide.

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My final destination that day was Rukan Salonki , a stunning chalet set in the wilderness by Lake Salonkijärvi.  There are 14 chalets here with a restaurant, a wellness centre and a sauna.

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Finally, Pohjanseita Wilderness Lodge is another magical resort, steeped in Nordic mythology and with a surprising welcome – a 4 meter brown bear arching over the doorway.

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If you want to have a chat about what Finland has to offer, then give me a call.

Or if you’re considering ParisNew YorkAbu DhabiMarrakeshSorrento or Singapore for meetings or incentives, why not check out our other reviews elsewhere on this blog?

Kate Gunn

Kate Gunn

As Line Up’s Head of Logistics, Kate is a multi-tasker extraordinaire and expert problem solver. Her knowledge of destinations and venues is second to none – the walking, talking Google of the event and incentive world. Her passion for food is right up there with her passion for travel and she claims there is nothing she won’t try!

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