Nature is the most beautiful piece of Art
Art and Nature are important sources of inspiration for me as they probably are for most of you. Art influences me in a strong and beautiful way; it leads to the subconscious’s finest emotions, if allowed.
Nature invites me to connect with the most authentic experiences when all the unnecessary is removed and the senses are allowed to rest. On the other hand the tranquility makes me to be open to all the good that nature offers.
With these thoughts, I began my journey towards Hossa National Park in mid September 2019 – in responsible way, of course, and out of peak season.
Slow travelling by public transport
Many people have been visiting Hossa for years as Hossa received the status of the State Outdoor Activity Area (Retkeilyalue) in 1979, but it really became well known among Finns in 2017 when Hossa awarded the status of a National Park. Finland celebrated the 100th anniversary of independence and Hossa National Park was a beautiful gift to the Finns. It can be considered as an indication of the values in Finnish society. It was then when I added Hossa to my bucket list.
I travelled from Hyvinkää to Hossa by public transport as far as I could. It was four trains, one bus and 7,5 hours later when I met my friend Aija in Suomussalmi.
When your destination is Hossa, you can travel by train to Oulu ( 240km from Hossa) or to Kajaani (200km). Some of the trains stop also in Kontionmäki (170km).
Thanks to my friend Aija, who also happens to be Travel Manager in Suomussalmi community, I had easy way to travel the last 80 kilometers from Suomussalmi to Hossa by Aija´s car and had a very good plan what to do in Hossa National Park.
There is also a solution for those who don´t have friends in the area. You can order taxi to Suomussalmi – Kuusamo -road (5 tie) at Peranka bus stop and take the taxi for the last 30km to Hossa National Park. In summer season there might operate busses till Hossa and also internal transport in the area can be available.
To be honest, once in Hossa area, moving from one place to another is not easy without any kind of vehicle. But there are lot to do without any need to visit all the places and hiking and cycling are always good options if you have enough time.
To compensate or not to compensate
Ever since I have become more aware of the impact of travelling on climate change, I have chosen train and ohter public transport to travel wherever possible. I tend to combine business and leisure when travelling as I did also this time. My first three days were based on leisure and the last two days on business.
Most of the transport suppliers offer emission calculators and now we are hoping to have calculators also to compare emissions caused by accommodation, restaurant and activities.
In this concrete case the transport from Hyvinkää to Kajaani return by train caused about 3-4 kg CO2 emissions, by plane the emissions would have been apr. 120kg – to offer some kind of comparison. (The average Finn´s annual emissions are 10.000 kg/year and should be count to 3000 kg by 2030).
The best climate action is to reduce emissions and the second best is to compensate. You can find many options how to compensate on suppliers websites or you might know reliable projects where to donate money.
It´s about conservation of carbon sinks and it´s about financing projects which aim is to develop new solutions to reduce emissions globally. Mood of Finland Company is piloting one concept: Love Forest Finland where a symbolic tree is planted and money donated to Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation
Nature experiences in good mood
I appreciate the Service Design Thinking when planning and commercialization Tourism services. The selected theme should be taken into consideration in all contact points of the visitor; transport, accommodation, activities, food and beverage. My trips are mostly based on nature and on local culture – and I had it all in my stay in Hossa.
We had accommodation in a modest but clean and cosy cottage at Camping Hossan Lumo. I was happy to have this cottage with yellow door as yellow is the color of happiness and hope as well as it the color of Mood of Finland company.
Having a nice shared Sauna by the lake and possibility to have a refreshing swim as the first activity in the morning and the last one in the evening in natural clean waters is my kind of luxury!
After arriving we hired fatbikes at Hossan Lumo camping and had a nice ride with beautiful views. We had perfect weather during the whole stay and had the opportunity to enjoy – not only the silence – but also the most beautiful sunsets. The temperature during the daytime was about +8-14C, at night the temperature dropped below 0 and the water temperature was about +8-10C (mid September).
Nature and mysticism
I found this nice introduction on Hossa´s webpages: ”Hossa invites you to experience both its gentle and mystical side. The beauty of the easily negotiable paths amid the pine trees leading from one ridge to the next and the crystal-clear waters are a joy to behold.”
In Hossa you really can experience some kind of mysticism, which gives a special meaning to the visit.”The landscape’s mysticism derives from the ancient paintings of Värikallio and the monumental canyon lake Julma-Ölkky. For a long time now, Hossa has been a favourite among hikers and excursionists who experience peace of the wilderness.”
Biking, hiking and canoeing
In our second day we visited Hossa Visitor Centre to get some maps and brochures. We also watched an interesting video promoting the park and had a good lunch to start new day of exploring the nature. We hired a canoe from Visitor Center and got instructions where they will be found. It´s worth of asking some basic instructions if not given by supplier – just to ensure the safety during the experience.
We had a beautiful excursion without any rush. We took pictures and had a picnic (eväät), which is by the way, very important part of the excursion for Finns. We had a small walk and crossed the canyon lake (Julma Ölkky) along the suspension bridge and then continued again canoeing. We had our silent moments and we had moments of lots of laugh.
In the afternoon we discovered some more attractive places by hiking close to Visitor Center. Accessibility has also taken into consideration in some of the routes. You can ask for more information about the routes from Visitor Center and contacting the authorities in the area ( find contact information by opening the links above.)
On the third day I still had opportunity to have one more hiking experience in Hossa, now starting the hike from ”Lihapyörre” parking place. During this route I passed by one of the most famous attractions in Hossa National Park called ”Värikallio” ( Color rock).
I was impressed by nature and by art and I felt connected to the past and to my roots.
The paintings of Värikallio, made with blood and red ochre, are estimated to be 3,500–4,500 years old. More than 60 figures can be identified from the sheer rock wall rising out of Lake Somerjärvi. The mystical animal and human figures are believed to be related to hunting or shamanism.
Nature and wellbeing
Going back to everyday life after a nature experience is always a bit difficult for me. But then I remind myself that my everyday life is also nice and full of beautiful encounters so there is not really any reason to complain. And nature is always there, ready to receive me back whenever I want.
Encounters with reindeer – with respect as I was visiting their living environment.
The Silent People
This time it was easier to go back to everyday life as we still had a nice stop: we visited beautiful an meaningful instalation called ”The silent people” – peat-headed beings designed by Reijo Kela who is a well known dancer and choreographer born in Suomussalmi.
People often ask what precisely is the idea behind the Silent People. A state of psychological withdrawal? The mute Kainuu soul? A forgotten people? Reijo Kela refuses to provide any answer. Viewers are free to come to their own conclusions. It may, however, be of interest to learn that if the Silent People were to be completely undressed there would remain some one thousand wooden crosses standing in the field. (Suomussalmi webpages)
I am grateful for the opportunities to visit beautiful places and to meet wonderful people. Nature and Art indeed have empowering effect on me and meeting warm-hearted people brings joy and happiness to my life.
This time my very special thanks goes to Aija Laukkanen! KIITOS!
I also want to send my best regards to Maija (Hossan Lumo) and all the active participants of Wild Taiga in my Sustainable Travel Finland – coaching day in Kajaani 17.09.2019. I had wonderful time with all of you!
Please note: writing this blog article does not involve commercial collaboration.
There is also a short video available of my stay:
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