56: Saturday … Moving and moving monuments
Last night we thought we had found another lovely waterside pitch. Just look at these pix of our pitch and the third photo of the setting sun on the water at after 100 p.m. Gorgeous.
However, one tramp rummaging through our rubbish, several boy racers on screaming mopeds either side of Chardonnay and what looked like a drug deal … and we decided to go with our instincts and vacate. It was 11.00 but this time, but thankfully it was one of K’s dry nights so she could drive. We moved to the Bomba House not far away … next door to the Spanish we had seen several times yesterday. Not stalking them, honest!
In the morning, after our exercise regime, we wandered around the Bomba House restaurant. it is a large structure made of logs, a reconstruction of a house that was made after the owner had to vacate the russian part of Karelia and made in Karelian style. K’s Nork along the lake had been more interesting as it was through the complex of Karelian style houses and a lot of summer houses. Have you ever come across public carpet washing facilities? Well, in Finland they exist and are readily available. Thanks to reading some of Matti’s blog, I knew what this was.
Can’t quite remember why J was stuck here, but took a pic anyway!
We drove then to the museum and memorial to the Winter War 1939-40. The Spanish motorhome was there also! This was another Matti suggestion. Understandably, when taught history at school, one is taught about how WWII affects Britain, but this was really interesting and moving. Stalin and Hilter met up, carved up Europe deciding who should have what and agreeing not to fight each other. Russia was to have Finland and unannounced bombed Helsinki. They mobilised massive battalions of troops and attacked northern Finland. No country supported Finland, not even other Scandinavian countries. The Finns were outnumbered 100 to 1 – they fought a guerrilla war – attacking on skis with only light weaponry – after 105 days, the Russians retreated leaving thousands of their troops dead in the snow. The museum and monument are at the end of the Raate road which saw some of the heaviest fighting. The Finns captured a lot of armaments including 43 tanks. However, in the subsequent Treaty of Moscow, they were forced to concede 10% of their territory. They just did not have the man power for sustained conflict. During the War of Continuation, they had to get the Germans out of their territory, who had troops positioned in case of a Russian affront. At the end of the war, Finland lost some of its land in Karelia to Russia … only 70 years ago … and had to pay massive war reparations to Russia as they had attacked first – Not!
The field of stones represents the dead and affected by the Winter War. The impressive sculpture of 105 bells refers to the 105 days of the war …..‘the absurdity of war’. Have we learned ? Think Ukraine today…..
Back on the main road, we stopped off at the Silent People art installation. It was so fitting after the War memorial. 1000 figures standing erect and facing the some way. Heads made of peat and grass clods. Clothes change biannually through donations. Silent, except for the occasional passing car. Quite erie walking amongst these semi human forms.
ff to south of Kussamo to park overnight in the car park of the Predator House – bears, etc in the wild – for the morning. Watched two Finish girls (age 5 and 10) play horsey and gallop around, feeding their horses. Lovely.