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    Lahti & Lake Päijänne: the magic of slowing down

    I’m a lady of the internet and I rarely completely disconnect – it’s pretty safe to say that I have an unnatural relationship with my phone at this point. Over the Christmas holidays now I tried to really shut myself out from work things at least, turned off notifications and moved work-related apps out of sight. Spending time on the couch and not doing anything reminded me of our trip to Lahti with the Nordic Bloggers’ Experience – a trip I have yet to share with you. Maybe it was the peaceful vibe of the wintry forest, maybe it was the company or just the magic of the lake surroundings – but I had the urge to just switch off my phone and go on a bit of a Digital Detox over here – and many of my fellow travellers agreed. Here’s why.

     

    We’re all busy people, and especially those of us, who rely on their work happening online, reacting to and interacting with audiences and clients, it has become scarily difficult to switch that part off. I personally do find myself in a spiral of anxiety over forgotten e-mails and last-minute project updates or anything that needs to be handled quickly – especially during my campaign work this is what mainly gets me super hyped up, but not in the fun way. I’m not really a control freak or anything, but my tendency to a helper’s syndrome and my need for harmony in my life still stand in the way of dealing with things more calmly.

    Getting a break during wild times is something I have discovered as being essential. There’s always that time I need to take for myself, take a breath and try to let go, just for a bit. A trip to a destination like Lahti and the lakes surrounding it is the perfect place to put your brain on stand-by for a bit and enjoy nature and peace.

     

    Switching off devices and thoughts

    As we strolled over the frozen lake and felt the crisp and cold wind around our noses, we tried snow-kiting (which literally gives you no room to think about anything) the same goes for racing through the forests and over fields with a bunch of excited huskies.We met the beast of a wolf so magnificent and gentle, and fed moody reindeer. Tauho the wolf is an actual movie star, who appears in plenty of Finnish tourism ads and in TV shows all over the place.  You can visit both those, arctic foxes, all the bunnies and experience the magic of those animals and also go on a sledge ride with Koira Kikka. And that all of that can be experienced just 2 hours from the Finnish Capital never seizes to amaze me.

     

    Sauna magic

    One of the most memorable experiences from this entire year for me was the traditional sauna treatment we got. Traditional folk healing through a sauna bath, whisking with different kinds of vihta (branches for whipping, different kinds for different purposes), and deep cleansing of your whole body is something that has seemingly disappeared from today’s spa environments, which is both strange and a shame – especially for Finland. Maaria Alén is a folk healer who knows everything about natural wellness and traditional sauna treatments. The Finns have a strong connection with nature in many parts of life, and her aim is to bring this part of Finnish heritage back to the present. For me, this was an entirely new way to experience sauna and gain a deeper understanding of what it means and what it does.

     

    Where to stay to feel at home

    Lehmonkärki resort on the other hand, is a place of its own. Villas and luxury cottages for up to 20 people are the ideal spot to unwind amongst friends and explore the stunning nature around you. Plenty of activities available such as cross-country skiing during the winter, snow mobiling or for example smoke-grilling your own salmon over the fire – definitely a highlight for me.

    Mukkulan Kartano, right by the side of Lake Vesijärvi which is connected to Päijänne –  the second largest lake of Finland. Activities can be booked on site as well, such as snowshoeing and the kiting.

     

    This trip was organised by Visit Lahti for the Nordic Bloggers’ Experience 2017. Thank you!