Ah, Finland. Quite possibly the least gritty place on earth, and may it never, ever change! Our 10 days there just after midsummer were warm and idyllic: the strawberries were perfect and plentiful, the sauna was calling our name, and the grass practically invited you to sit on it, particularly with some friends. Highlights included:
Helsinki, the Finnish capital—home of the UNESCO World Heritage fortress Suomenlinna— plus streets so clean you could eat off them, and the kind of inhabitants who never, ever, cross the street against the light, even if there are no cars coming.
Savonlinna, another castle-fortress in the north, where the main draw might actually be the doughnuts after the tour.
Sarvikumpu, where the map looks like a lace doily of lakes and land, where the grass is made for the Finnish sport of Buttball (perhaps more accurately translated as A$$ball, but this is a family blog). And while the summer sun never sets, the days pass by in the happy company of friends and family and friends who are like family, and foraged berries and, did we mention the Sauna? If there’s heaven on earth, it’s here.