Few weeks ago we had our very first guests to visit our Mummola! I picked up Riina, Pierre and their two year old son Felix from the bus stop.
It is common that you meet cousins and other relatives in Mummola (granny's place) but I surely didn't expect that to happen in this case. But we saw again how small the world is. Riina's cousin from Helsinki had moved to Rovaniemi a week before and had decided to visit Kaukonen for the 6th Silence Festival. So there was a surprise reunion and we welcomed her to stay in Mummola.
The arrival day was full of action for us. Kaukonen was participating in Open Village Day where villages around Finland were organising events and giving an open invitation to people from cities and towns to visit and get to know countryside villages. On a festival street there was flea market, rosy summer café, food and music. At the same time it was the last day of the Silence Festival and village actives and the festival organisers combined their forces for a dance in the old Community Hall.
Jaakko Laitinen & Väärä Raha playing Lapland-Balcan music at the Community Hall. I, Riina and her cousin Tiia took the chance to dance!
Making kampanisu with kids makes a beautiful mess
The addition of rain to the chilly weather made us stay inside for one day. And so I thought we could bake Mummi's kampanisu (comp bun), which is traditional pastry from Lapland. This is Olavi's favourite baking. He really likes to use the wheel cutter to make the buns to his liking. Also Felix got quickly the hang of the action.
Surprise birthday cake in the forest
Ylläs in only 40 minutes drive from Kaukonen and it is a part of the larger Pallas-Ylläs National Park. Ylläs offers good skiing in the winter and the region is full of different kinds of hiking and cycling routes. We took the one where we could take the trolleys for the comfort of the kids and went to Lake Kesänkijärvi. Child carrying backpacks are also handy for this kind of small trips in the nature.
I had forgotten Kimmo's birthday (!!!) so I grabbed mud cake to go from the local shop. Ha, actually a good idea for any short distance hiking trip. Easy to prepare on the way inside the backpack. We had also potato salad alongside the sausages.
Escape from the village
Last day was also spent outdoors. Our friend Marja took us for a little hike to Fell Aakenustunturi.
Actually the mosquitos really arrived just a few days later. At the moment there are lots!
This is an easy path to walk with kids.
After the hike Marja prepared us a lovely meal from the local ingredients. Reindeer stew, smashed potatoes and delicious dessert made in a oven. Heated bread cheese with cream and cloudberries on the top! Very traditional.
When we got home we sent Riina and Pierre on a "date" to see Särestöniemi-Museum. We took care of Felix during that time and everything went well! Boys had made friends so it was easy task for me and Kimmo.
Notes from the guests
Here are thoughts from Riina and the family (published on their permission):
When we had a chance to visit Lapland, we jumped on it as neither of us had ever been that far up in north. For Pierre it is understandable but for me as a Finn, it was bit of an issue.
We were both very stressed before vacation and had no time to look into what was in store for us. And that turned out to be a good thing as we didn't need to worry about any of that. Our lovely hosts, Paula and Kimmo (and not to forget Olavi!) had planned plenty of activites where we just needed to pick the ones that were of most interest to us. The activities were perfectly thought through as with Felix it would not be easy to do full day trips or difficult hikes. It was lovely family time for all of us. And as Paula and Kimmo joined in the activites, it felt like we were amongst friends. The accommodation was a charming and old (but with all modern conveniences!) farm house with its original furnitures and decorations.
We made many wonderful memories of our trip but for me the most amazing thing was the midnight sun. In south of Finland I have never experienced a light like that. For Pierre, the nature and the magnificent river Ounasjoki made a lasting impression. Felix was most impressed of collection of tractors on the farm. But I think we only saw a fraction on what this beautiful part of finland has to offer. We are hoping to make a winter trip sometimes soon.
Kimmo and I got new friends too. Thank you Riina, Pierre and Felix, it was good to meet you! And thanks for being our first guests and all the tips and advice we got afterwords!