We boarded the train north from Helsinki Central Station. The trains were very comfy, especially since we travelled first class. It had plenty of leg room, free wifi and reading material (although they were all in Finnish), even a tea/coffee making station.
We had little idea of what the Finnish landscape looked like, except that there was a lot of forest and water. Well, we got plenty of both. This is photo I took a few weeks later when I was in Lapland, but it showed the landscape we passed through during those 6 hours – forest, more forest, on very flat land, broken up by the odd swamp/stream/river/lake.
To me, this seemed like the Arctic equivalent to the Australian outback, where you can pass through thousands of kilometres of red sand, rock, and low-lying scrub. This kind of landscape is vast too. It starts west of Finland in Sweden, and stretches across Russia all the way to Siberia and beyond. It would have been pretty hard-going navigating such a place for the early settlers, who were mainly hunters and woodsmen, since the woods were dense, and everything looked the same.