Spring in Finland

Written on 06/03/2014

I'm in Finland and today I woke up very early because I'm going to visit the Lake Pielinen, the fourth largest lake of Finland, with a drainage basin area of 12,823 km2.

Unbelievably, the spring is arrived even here... A bit late since we are almost at the end of may.

The main factor influencing Finland's climate is the country's geographical position between the 60th and 70th northern parallels in the Eurasian continent's coastal zone. In the Köppen climate classification, the whole of Finland lies in the boreal zone characterized by warm summers and freezing winters. Within the country, the temperateness varies considerably between the southern coastal regions and the extreme north, showing characteristics of both a maritime and a continental climate. Finland is near enough to the Atlantic Ocean to be continuously warmed by the Gulf Stream. The Gulf Stream combines with the moderating effects of the Baltic Sea and numerous inland lakes to explain the unusually warm climate compared with other regions that share the same latitude, such as Alaska, Siberia and southern Greenland.

The Lake Pielinen is inside the Koli National Park is studded with islands, which are glorified in the Finnish national anthem as an important Finnish symbol. It was declared a National Park in 1991, after an intense debate between the environmentalist lobby and the owners of the land property over the location of the Hotel Koli, which stands at the top of its namesake hill. This park and its environs, which spread over a width of 347 m (1,138 ft), has inspired Finnish artistsPekka Halonen and Eero Järnefelt to create artistic paintings with its scenic beauty. It is approachable by ferry from the mainland. As a popular winter sport resort, this park provides the adventure sports of hiking and boating during summer; it has a network of walking paths, which cover nearly 90 kilometres (56 mi). A road link is also available to the hotel from the car park at the lower level. The highest point on the hill top is called the Ukko-Koli,which is linked to another peak called the Akka Koli. On the western side of Akka Koli is the "Temple of Silence," which is a place for meditation. There is stone altar here and a cross mounted on the rock. Another peak close nearby is known as the Paha-Koli and to its south is the scenic view point known as Mäkrävaara. The Koli Village, within the park premises, has the information office, Internet facility and a post office. The visitor centre at the park is called the Luontokeskus Ukko (Ukko Nature Centre), where exhibitions are held on the history, nature and geology of the park. Two ski centres, used during the winter, are established here; they are known as Ukko-Koliand Loma-Koli, both of which boast nine lifts and 60 kilometres (37 mi) of cross country trails, with lighting along 24 kilometres (15 mi) of the trail. It is one of the most accessible ski resorts in Finland. The hills here are covered with pine and birch trees. The national park has nine basic huts and camping grounds. There are also a marina and swimming beach on the shores of the lake, where a Finnish dancing stage called the huvilava stands. Row boats are also available for rowing across the lake.