Cross-country skiing at a Finnish winter cottage

Intact winter forest My family spent a week of vacation in a rented cottage house around Kuopio (Finland).
This was an utter joy for me. I love winter, that is, the real winter – meaning lots of snow, frozen lakes, and beating the ski track through the intact surfaces. Recently it became clear to me that this pleasure is rather exclusive – probably more than 99% of the Earth population can’t afford it. By the way I feel almost like robbed, as in latest years we must go north from my home Helsinki or Saint Petersburg to enjoy such conditions. Just 20 years earlier it was pretty much possible to do the same at the 60th parallel. Not any more.
Most days we took off for a skiing venture twice a day, after the breakfast and after the dinner, taking in turns one or another kid (they are not yet capable of speeds and distances of their parents). My routes passed by small countryside roads, which were often perfect tracks for a skating style, by motor sledge tracks – they are officially maintained by the state, or just across the fields, lakes and forests without any previously beaten path at all. The picture above is from such shortcut. Once I recorded my trip to a Google map. I was surprised to meet other skiers very rarely, maybe just two times.
Winter spruce During the last two evenings, we built a real igloo on the lake ice; probably this would be a lifetime memory for the kids, at least judging by the amount of their shouting around. Seen lots of animal traces on the snow. Opened a laptop screen… I think just once. Turned on the TV once (we do not have one at home, so it was interesting what’s going on there), found the usual junk and quickly put it off. Enjoyed some fundamental simplicity and common sense: the clothes is needed to stay warm, not to show anything to anybody around; to get from one point to another, you have to cover that distance by own muscle power; and so on. Again and again started thinking in direction “maybe I shall relocate from the slushy capital to some lost place to the North” (such ideas visit me regularly).
Long live snow!

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