It’s been a couple of days since we wrote an update, so I’d better get it down ‘on paper’ before I forget. Not that much happened really. On Friday morning, on our one full day in Palange, Greg went out for a walk around the village while I drank coffee and tried to wake up.
In the afternoon we went out for a drive around the area and as I was scraping ice off the windscreen, our host Petr came out for a chat. He’s a night-shift worker at a nursing home in the next town. Works 5 nights a week, and also runs his Airbnb accommodation & the attached campground (summertime only). There seems to be quite a lot of summer accommodation in the area as it’s close to an inlet, so there are lots of water-related and outdoor activities for locals and visitors. There’s some agriculture, but we’re not sure what else the locals do for work … maybe like Petr, they work in the larger towns around.
Petr recommended that we drive, then walk, to the highest point in the area, so that we could see the inlet and the surrounding countryside. We drove a couple of kms, then turned off and went down a road which is maintained by the military – there were radar towers and a few closed-up buildings, and lots of snow plough tracks. We walked a km or so to get to the top of the hill. Great view from the top, and the walk warmed us up.
Yesterday we were up and away by just after 8am, to head to Finnish Lapland and our next Airbnb accommodation, where we’re staying for the next week. We stopped for a smorgasbord brunch at Ikea at Haparanda, on the Swedish-Finnish border. And yes, we drove our Volvo there. The only thing missing was some Abba music to really remind us of where we are. Then across the border to Tornio to buy a local Sim card for internet data, which was the best deal we’ve ever had – EU25 for unlimited data for 30 days. Greg is in heaven!
We drove up the border on the Finnish side on the E8, which follows the mostly frozen Torne River for quite a few kms. Stopped for the obligatory photo at the Arctic Circle and kept on going to our Airbnb cabin in the woods & snow at Yllasjarvi. We had the usual minor hassles finding it in the dark and with minimal signage, but we eventually found it and were all settled in by 6pm. Really lovely place, we’re delighted with it all and very happy to be spending a week here.