The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Features

August 29, 2013

Travel: Tour the wonders of the Finnish Lake District

(Continued)

There’s so much to see that visitors can easily spend the day, mentally digesting the museum’s four major exhibitions. Begin outdoors at the Old Logging Site, which harkens back to the old days of loggers, frame saws and timber floating to market on water. Another contrasting exhibit shows contemporary tree harvesting technology along with displays of the massive machinery used to get the job done.

To replace what has been harvested, the Century of Forest Healers exhibit shows what has been accomplished to improve forest growth. My personal favorite exhibit deals with forest folklore -- myths, stories and beliefs told from ancient times.

One very interesting special exhibit focuses on the bear, Finland’s national animal. Starting with a look at the bear cult that began its decline with the advance of Christianity, the exhibit considers the bear’s current situation as a controversial large predator and hunters’ most sought after catch.

Be sure not to miss the Room of Silence, where you can sit on comfortable benches and gaze at a pond-side autumnal vista on a huge screen that covers the entire front wall with nothing to disturb the tranquility but the occasional sounds of swans flying off on their annual migration, fish splashing about in the water and elk rustling in the woods.

For those that want a more in-depth visit, guided tours of the exhibitions, the ridge area -- a seven-kilometer ice-age esker, and the Finnish Forest Research Institute’s arboretum can also be arranged.

For more information on Finland’s Lake District attractions, visit website www.savonlinna.travel. For more information on Finland, visit website visitfinland.com.

Dave Zuchowski is a travel writer for CNHI News Service. Contact him at owlscribe@yahoo.com.

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