Highlights 28 + 29 + 30 / 2011

I only heard "WIUUUUUUUUHHHH" and the summerholiday was over. But that's what they say - time flies when You are having fun!
From the shop of the Mechanical Music Museum in Varkaus.
Miroslove's holiday started a week later than mine and the first thing we did, was hitting the road and driving to Lahti - Chicago of Finland. After visiting family we drove to the summerhouse next to the lake Suontee.
Nothing beats the traditional sauna + lake combination! Especially when the water in lake is crystal clear and freezing! The only set back was an accident between Maro the Dog and his father. Here we are still happy together. 
And only seconds after, they are on each others throat, blood coming out from paws and mouth. The same thing happened summer 2009, but not anymore. Hmph. 
From the summerhouse, we started our "Tour de Finland". First we went to Varkaus for a quick tour in Mechanical Music Museum. And just a word of warning, that Jürgen guy has a lot of (political, incorrect, strange & exhausting) stuff to talk about. But there was a lovely parrot hanging in the garden.
From Varkaus, we drove to Joensuu to see the fabulous exhibition "Hellcat and Heavenly Creatures" by Petra Innanen. It's still on until september, so if You have a chance, go and see it!
Also Leila Halkeama has a little part in the exhibition.
After Joensuu, Miroslove took me to Punkaharju and Retretti. The best part of the whole exhibition entity was Mourner’s Flock and Glutton by Matti Kalkamo and Heli Ryhänen. Freakish, bizarre, calming and macabre, more or less site-specific installations in a dark cave. Beautiful!
Me hugging the hotel sign in Joensuu. S is for Suvi as well!
From the cave and "high art", the only right destination was Parikkala and the statue park created by D-I-Y artist Veijo Rönkkönen. If You want to see how hundreds and hundreds of figures doing yoga in a fenced yard look like, I strongly suggest You visit this place. There are no words to describe the athmosphere.
After a cup of coffee next to the Russian border, we packed the dog and ourselves and continued to Artjärvi via Lappeenranta, Imatra and the legendary highway stop Pukaron Paroni.
Beautiful old coffee advertisement in Joensuu.
A "little" S T O P sign on the roof of Pukaron Paroni.
Artjärvi is the birth village of Miroslove's mother and they still have a summer house there. The whole village was buzzing 'cause it was time for the 31st annual Artjärvi Days. 
Miroslove was doing a bit of detective work with the elderly of the town - from the village's archives we found a photo from a punk gig in 1978 and they were trying to found out the name of the band. Which was Aarnen Valinta - the band was named after local supermarket.
After a couple of days it was time to come back home for a while before a little trip to Moscow! 
I can't even begin to describe how fabulous, inspiring, magnifique, lovely and relaxing visit I had. And major thanks go to darling Masha de Bordeaux - my gorgeous friend and our travel guide who knows Moscow like her own pockets! And to Bettie Blackheart, who is always the best choice for traveling companion.
Furry mini-us.
A little collection of strange, russian souvenirs.
Masha's gift for us, love them
 During the holiday in Moscow, started the last week of my holiday and since I wanted to keep the feeling going on, hubby and puppy came to pick me up from the airport and we went back to the summerhouse. And it was so good, I could manage the first day at work on Friday "quite" ok.

Especially after returning home and seeing 15 small tomatoes growing!

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