Finland Day 4 and 5: Summerhouse, Games and Long Nights

My adventures in Finland continue and the last couple of days were spent at Heinola, at my reli’s summerhouse. This is just over an hour away from where they live… so it’s not far, but it truly is a whole different world, and not just the scenery but also the house and everything in it. It kind of reminds me of my grandma’s place which was filled with everything from a past era, it’s like walking into an antique store. Old knick knacks, old tools, old everything, even an outdoor toilet … but that’s part of the charm of it.

In Finland it is a common thing for families to have a summerhouse. It’s school holidays in Finland at the moment and those who work tend to take their holidays during summer if they can, and then all head off to the summerhouse. Some might get there a for a few days, others the entire holiday period.

Apart from the noise from roadworks that are happening nearby at the moment, it is incredibly tranquil, and you could totally lose track of day and time very easily. And remember it doesn’t even get vaguely dark until maybe 10.30pm … so you really can stay up all night, outside playing games, or whatever.

Sunday 2 July 2017 to Monday 3 July 2017
I won’t go into detail of the past few days, but with the nice weather we had breakfasts outside, went in their sauna (by the way the correct pronunciation of it is sow-nah, not sor-nah), playing games, reading, learning more family history, checking out the town centre, including the bird rescue centre and more. It’s been relaxing and fun, and I’ve taken hundreds of photos. Below are just a few.

great weather in Finland

the weather was lovely


Heinola, we’re in the right place

the summerhouse

the summerhouse at Heinola

the drop toilet

the old drop toilet, fortunately there is an indoor one too

the lake at Heinola

the lake


this is the view I woke up to

breakfast outdoors

enjoying breakfast outside

sunset at Heinola

you can see the glow of the sunset on the trees – this was taken about 10.30pm while we sat outside

genealogy time

I did some genealogy-ing

Flags … now let me tell you about flags. It seems that every house in Finland has a flagpole. And in the old days, people put a flag up (like the long one below) to show that they were home, and take it down when they weren’t. This isn’t done so much these days, due to crime. Still, it’s a nice idea.

Also the proper rectangular Finnish flag can only be put up on celebrations. As my visiting was classed as a celebration they decided to put it up, and got me to help. 🙂  Also there are rules regarding the official flag, it’s never allowed to touch the ground, and you can only have it up during certain hours. I don’t know if Australia has any such rules, as I don’t know of anyone who has a flagpole.

Finnish flag

the long Finnish flag

putting up the Finnish flag

I got to help putting up the “official” Finnish flag

Finnish flag

it’s up and flying

Games … I was introduced to the game of “kubb“. This is an old viking game, and uses pieces of wood which have to be knocked down. I can’t think of anything really equivalent to say what it’s like, but here’s a link for more about it. I also got to play my first part-Engish part-Finnish game of Scrabble. I made words in English, and my playing partners chose either English or Finnish. It was a whole heap of fun for all of us, even if I did lose. 🙂


it was a very interesting game

Custom … here’s a Finnish custom, they all take their shoes off to go into houses (it doesn’t matter if it is their own place, or elsewhere they are visiting, it’s still shoes off). This wasn’t a custom I knew about before, and I do keep forgetting.

shoes off

shoes get taken off at the door

Heinola was beautiful place to visit, so quiet and relaxing, and I’m so pleased my cousins took me to visit the place. Tomorrow it’s time to pack up and head home. But there’s more holiday still to come …

Note: The only downside of the summerhouse is that Finland’s entire mosquito population found me, so I’m thinking a hazmat suit would be the way to go next time.

2 Responses to “Finland Day 4 and 5: Summerhouse, Games and Long Nights”

  1. crissouli says:

    I’m loving all of this… next best thing to going there. What a fancy outside toilet.. not quite like ours were… I’m intrigued by the twin share.

  2. Anthea says:

    Love reading of your experiences.

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