“Kuopio? Where is Kuopio?” Last spring, I was invited to Finland for a friend’s wedding in Kuopio, a city I knew only to be the home of the same dear Finnish friend of mine with whom I’d spent a semester abroad and kept in close touch ever since. Jumping for joy at the prospect of a return trip to Finland, a country I’ve grown to love, I sat down immediately and googled the location of my soon-to-be-planned trip. As it turns out, Kuopio is located in Northern Savonia, about 4 hours from Helsinki and is, apparently, the 8th biggest city in the country.
Having heard all about the quaint attraction of Kuopio from my friend, I was excited to have the opportunity to pay the city a long overdue visit, working it into a journey that included a stopover in Stockholm and Helsinki and continued with an epic 3 day adventure in St.Petersburg. As we pulled into the Sokos Hotel, our accommodation for two nights stay in Kuopio, the sun had set and we were all headed for a good night’s sleep before the festivities began. Waking up early Saturday morning for a quick run before my long-time friend said her “I dos”, I was shocked to be greeted by one of the most serene starts to the day I’d had in a while:
In addition to offering an incredible web of trails for runners looking to get some fresh air by the water, Kuopio itself also boasts a lovely town square, a beautiful old church (where my friend said her vows however of which I apparently took no pictures) and a market that offers everything fish.
The wedding itself took place a short drive from the hotel but somehow, once again, we found ourselves in a beautiful landscape, not dissimilar from Canada, but holy welcomed after spending the day before parading around Helsinki. And so, relaxed from my morning run, I gathered with my fellow friends and guests and enjoyed a splendid evening of fun, merriment and Finnish wedding traditions including the stealing of the bride!
The next morning, to complete the perfect weekend, we picnicked at a small beach near the harbour. and wished Kuopio a fond farewell… for now.