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Maier Sports TripFINLAND’S WILD TAIGA

On the trail of the brown bear, moose and wolverine

Wild Taiga! Oh, how that sounds! Wild, of course, because at a latitude of 65 degrees north, in the east of Finland, there are extensive areas of forest, countless lakes. An unspoilt piece of nature with a variety of flora and fauna. The top 5: Brown bear, wolverine, wolf, lynx and the rare ringed seal. According to the Global Wildlife Travel Index 2019, Finland has been named the world’s best travel destination. The ideal place for varied hikes and other outdoor activities. Menina from Berlin and Constanze from Hamburg followed the call of the wild. Their luggage included the new Maier Sports outdoor collection fall/winter 19/20 and lots of adventurous spirit.

MENINA AND CONSTANZE TEST MAIER SPORTS PRODUCTS IN FINLAND NATURALLY WANDER-FUL

To answer a vital question, yes, there are bears in Finland. But it is much more likely to be killed by a cow or an elk crossing the road and colliding with your car than by a bear. They are very shy and toddle off as soon as they hear sounds. They also prefer to eat mice rather than humans. If you want to see the animals in nature, you should spend a night camping in the cabins of “Wild Brown Bear” right on the Russian border. Rule number 1: Do not leave cabin, rule number 2: at most, whisper. And, indeed, Menina and Constanze manage to be very quiet. A small miracle. Just like the unforgettable experience of seeing Mama Bear, her children plus eight other brown bears strolling past the shelter. Pure nature. Another highlight of the trip is a wildlife safari with Sabrina Logeais, who walks through the forest with visitors on the trail of wild animals: Scratch marks on trees, hoof prints from reindeer and moose as well as other traces are there to be discovered. The forest is incredibly quiet but full of life!

Trail running, light jogging in the forest and the hike with Aki Käräjäoja from Routa Travel and his huskies present more of a sporty challenge for the ladies from Germany. In winter, the dogs pull sleds through the snow-covered landscape, in the summer months, they encourage hikers to pick up the pace on a long lead. But then they are happy to let themselves be stroked at the blueberry tart picnic afterwards. The sweet forest fruits grow everywhere in the woods in late summer and can be eaten straight away.

“I was deeply impressed by the vastness, silence and pristine nature of the Finnish forests.” Constanze Buss

Those who hike a lot have earned a bit of relaxation. At Hotel Kalevala in Kuhmo, Menina and Constanze can first splash around in the hot tub and then become acquainted with the custom of the peat sauna. Peat is black turf. It looks funny if you are rubbed with it – but, afterwards, your skin is as soft as the tender reindeer meat and the wild mushroom risotto served for dinner in the hotel. Goodbye, Finland, näkemiin Wild Taiga. It was so beautiful! We will come back again!

BY MENINA AND CONSTANZE TESTED MAIER SPORTS PRODUCTS

Pictures: ©Leander Mundus