Holy crap...can't believe it's been such a long time aready since my last post.
After Stockholm, Nathan jetted off to London for a week to catch up with some friends while I returned to the field station to finish off my experiments. I met up with Nathan on his return from the UK and, together with my friend Topi, headed off to Tampere (Topi's home town).
Nestled between two huge lakes, Tampere has to be one of the most amazing places I have ever visited. We stayed with Topi's parents who live in a beautiful house (which his dad built) on a ridge with a breathtaking view out across one of the lakes. His parents had a lavish dinner waiting for us when we got there, consisting of freshly smoked salmon and new season potatoes. This is where we ate the dinner which is actually on top of their outdoor sauna.
Finns are very proud of their saunas (the word 'sauna' is actually Finnish).
We spent the next day exploring the city and caught up with Topi's sister's boyfriend for drinks in the arvo.
The boyfriend is very talkative (for a Finn), extremely funny and one of the campest straight guys I have ever met. He had already had a few beers when we met up with him and apparently woke up the next morning with very little memory of the afternoon at the beer garden and our dinner at the steak restaurant afterwards.
After Tampere, we all headed back to the field station to celebrate mid-summer. all the big cities are pretty much deserted over the midsummer weekend as everyone heads off to the country side to visit their summer cottages or congreggate with friends around big bonfires. We ended up having a pot luck party with some friends in (of course) the sauna area at the field station.
The next morning, Nate and I had to leave to go back to Helsinki but not before going fishing for pike with Topi. Topi caught two (for scientific purposes) within an hour and, as part of the research deal, was allowed to take a fillet which we cooked up before we left the station.
Before leaving, I also managed to find some wild strawberries around the field station. No, I don't have gigantic hands. Wild strawberries are very small, but boy are they tasty.
Flew out of Finland on Monday evening and got back to wintery Melbourne this morning. A whole month away doing fieldwork... I love my job.