Finland is rarely associated with the word “the most” … well, really, there are no tallest skyscrapers in Europe, the richest people, the fastest highways and the largest festivals. And it was more pleasant for me to delve into the Internet searches and find for you a Finnish destination, which can be called number 1 in Europe. Today we are talking about … the icy road.
Ice road between Vuonislahti and Koli on the lake Pielinen is the longest “ice” public road on the inner waters in Europe (7 km). It allows you to significantly reduce the distance when you moving from Koli to Lieksa (about 50 km.).
The frozen Pielinen began to be used as a road in 1980. In 1984, 1992, 2001 and 2012, the ice road was not officially opened due to the insufficient ice thickness, but in the 2010-2011 season, the road was open from December 15 to April 4.
The Pielinen ice thickness in winter is more than 40 centimeters, which makes it completely safe to experience this North Karelian ice extreme 🙂
To be honest, I associated ice road with dirty drivers with blowtorches trying to start their trucks on the side of the road, cars frozen in the ice-hole and other “road romance”. But everything turned out to be much more civilized. A lot of cars are slowly moving along the wide and completely flat ice path, sometimes gathering into small groups or striving to pass the “extreme” 7 km alone. The feeling after such trip are no different from a trip on any Finnish road, if you do not focus on the fact that under the ice there are several meters of cold water.
To keep things interesting, next to the ice road there is a track for skates and Finnish sleds. Both skates and sleds in the day of my arrival were offered to be used completely free of charge, what, of course, was a pleasant surprise for my girls.
Sometimes on the ice road is a horse-sleigh. To see such miracle on the background of modern rushing cars is interesting – not every day you can see how old and new Finland meet … 🙂
Location: Tiiliniemi, 81590 Lieksa, Finland