Cafes in tiny wooden huts lined the highway en route to the Russia-Finland border. We seven hours at the Russian border because we didn’t have the customs declaration form which was supposed to be given to us at the port of entry (which it wasn’t). Luckily for us, a group of students were entering Russia and were able to translate for us so that we understood the situation. If that wasn’t bad enough, authorities took dad into a seperate room and basically interrogated him. I’d normally be extremely amused but I’ve seen the movie Rendition way too many times not to be a bit worried. Crossing into Finland was relatively easier but we were still met with slight suspicion and plenty of questions were thrown our way. Finland can be called land of the lakes. There was a new body of crystal clear water at every bend with the sunlight reflecting over its smooth surface. The sun never sleeps here. 9:30 pm and there was still light in the sky!

The idea was to push it to Helsinki. On the way at about ten pm we stopped at a taverna for dinner. All of us hadn’t eaten any lunch and we were famished. Luckily for us, the tavern owner spoke English and we were able to place our orders without too much of a problem. We got talking to a gentleman who was curious about our journey. Just as we were about to leave, he mentioned a lake house that he generally rented out in the summer and offered it to us at a heavy discount. “It’s really my pleasure.”, he said with his hand on his heart and a smile on his face. Although the cabin was not on the way to Helsinki, it seemed like the perfect option. It was getting late and the Finnish capital was over two and a half hours away. As we drove towards the cabin, either side of the smooth narrow road was covered in grassy meadows. A thin layer of mist covered the green grass, seeming to float in mid-air- almost touching the ground but not quite, protecting whatever lies beneath it. It was something out of a fairy tale and Heiki was our very own fairy godfather.