First time visiting foreign country in more than 2 years! Tartu is second largest city in Estonia. It has very long history since it got the city rights in 13th century and it was already quite important town for Teutonic order. Only place/ building that is left from medieval times is the fortress hill and the cathedral that stands on the top of the hill. It is quite interesting church because it’s mainly ruined but one part of the old church is reconstructed and they are still using it! We came to Tartu by car to spend 2 full days exploring the area. And The city of Tartu is not that big so we also checked Lake Peipus (Lake Peipsi) and few villages close to it.
We also checked the Tähtvere park and the area of National museum. That museum is quite amazing building (Built in 2016) -to take a picture of this I should have my Drone with me! But you get the idea from the picture in Wikipedia.
Then on the second day we visited Lake Peipsi. The first village that we visited was Räpina (Sillapää Loss), then Mehikoorma lighthouse and Meerpalu rand, then Kavastu Praam (manual ferry) and finally Alatskivi Loss and Kallaste rand.
Estonia is not very big country but there is so much to see. You should stop in every small village and probably you will be surprised by the history or by the people! And it’s only 2 hour ferry trip from Helsinki Finland!!
Yes! We’ve had so many nice sunny days so far and we really have been enjoying the spring. And it’s been coming fast. In Hanko (The most southern town of Finland) there’s almost no snow anymore!
These pictures have been taken east from “Neljän tuulen tupa” cafeteria. There is area “Furuvik Nature preserve” (Furuvikin luonnonsuojelualue) where you can freely walk around and even take suntan but just don’t destroy anything from the nature.
Visited Inkoo Kopparnäs area once again. It was quite nice sunshine on this day but also little bit windy. This area belonged to Finnish energy company Imatran Voima long time ago. Since 2003 it has been recreation area -and very nice one!
We visited once again. It is always so beautiful and relaxing. The Seurasaari area has multiple museum areas and buildings -you need to buy a ticket if you wish to go inside those buildings. But area has also a lot of hiking pats around the island and the most amazing thing is that so many animals are so used to the people and you can feed them from your hand… You can easily feed bluetits, great tits, squirrels, mallards, swans and geese from your hand if you bring some nuts/ seeds with you. Didn’t take too many pictures this time. I had my videocamera with me!
We visited with my wife in this marvellous place on Maundy thursday. This place is famous because the Russian emperor Aleksander III built a fishing lodge there in 1889. The imperial family visited several times there!
This time of the year the rapids are very powerful and there is lots of water running down! Took quite many videos with my mobilephine and edited 5 minutes video to YouTube.
Kopparö recreation area is located in Raasepori and you need to take a short ferry ride to enter the Sher Landet (Skärlandet) island.
After you park your car and start walking the trail is very wide in the beginning. But soon you will see small bay on the right side and the trail is getting smaller. Here you will go across the suspension bridge.
The structure of the bridge is quite scary. I will share a video in the end of this blog about it. Right after this bridge we started to hear bird screaming with very high note. It was like “Kvik – Kvik – Kvik!” But the volume of the shouting was extremely loud. And only few minutes after this we saw them flying in the sky -Two White-tailed eagles!
This was a second time for me when I’m seeing this mighty bird. I guess these were two young ones because they were shouting all the time! (Mama! Mama! Look at me! I’m flying!!) Soon there was another bridge so we moved from Långön island to Stora Sandö island. This is like the “Main island” of the Nature path.
The trail goes almost around the island and because it was quite warm we chose to turn to the left. I knew there would be a place for swimming!
We didn’t have our swimming suits with us but it wasn’t a problem. We both did the the skin-dipping! The walk between Sandöedet and Stora Sandö grilling places is the most beautiful part of the trail! You can walk almost all the time very near to the sea and admire the clear water of the Gulf of Finland!
We reached the grilling place of Stora Sandö and took another break there to eat our snack. I also made a Droneflight to take few pictures and the video of this beautiful area.
After our snack my wife started to collect blueberries. Soon the half-a-liter bottle that we had was full of berries and we got to eat fresh blueberry pie at home! The whole trail is almost 8km walk and we did it all! In the map it looks like this:
In the beginning of this blog I said about the suspension bridge that I was little bit worried. So I made a video about it. It’s only in Finnish.
After packing our stuff and cleaning the cabin it was time to drive again. It was 50 km to Kuopio where we made about 2 hours stop. It was 1st time for my wife in this beautiful city. We parked the car to the new garage they have under the market square and came up to make a walk in the city center.
I have a BIG minus comment about the parking garage!! We went down to our floor (underground) from the side of this market hall and there was a sign that there will be this payment machine. But there wasn’t!! I had to walk to another elevator to find the damn thing! KUOPIO! Not like this! Our route went off from E4 highway in Juva but I had chosen quite small gravel road. Finally we entered the Pistohiekka & Lietvesi area. There is one special viewing point just beside the road.
From here it was only 80km’s to Imatra so in the afternoon we’re back in our house in Meltola. The summertour was over. The route for this day was like this:
We woke up little bit earlier than normally and had breakfast. Then we took a short drive to Korkeakoski (High rapids). 08.10am we were ready to start exploring…
There was also a naturepath starting from the rapids but we didn’t read any reviews of the path. It was a bit disappointment since the path didn’t follow the river in the canyon. Anyway the thick Savonian forest was beautiful but there were totally too many mosquitos!!
After getting back to the cabin we started packing our stuff… But while we were packing we suddenly decided to stay in this beautiful place one more night! So we didn’t pack our stuff but we headed to the canal that was also nearby.
There’s actually 2 canals, the old one is built in 1866-74 and it was mainly used for log driving. But in the same time the population in Savonia was growing and people started to use boats to move around our country… The new canal was built in 1981-83.
The total length of the canal is few hundred meters and the distance between two block gates is 240 meters. The difference of the surface in these two lakes is about 3,5 meters. I made also a short flight over the old canal…
Since we didn’t actually drive anywhere I’m not putting the route… Ahkionlahti Canal is located about 6,5km’s northwest from Maaninka.
And again we had quite a perfect morning for swimming! And for morning walk near the Marjaniemi lighthouse.
There is actually an active fishing village beside the lighthouse and a pilot-boat station so it was very interesting walk!
And on the other side of the island there is a weird art-installation called “Organum”. This is a 3 piece echo-chamber in the middle of the forest. The artist has made few similar all over the world! His name is Lukas Kühne.
Then we started driving… First the idea was to stay on the western coastline but since the weather forecast didn’t promise too nice weather we kind of pointed rendom place on the map and it was Iisalmi. Then we started to find something interesting to see there and we found Korkeakoski. And that was actually located in Maaninka which belongs to Kuopio nowadays. It looked like a very nice place!
But the drive became also a race against the rain! When we finally arrived to Maaninka it started raining right away. We chose to rent a cabin and we were quite happy that we found very nice one just beside the lake!
Waking up beside the river in Lapland is quite nice. I took my drone up even it was max 50m.
Later the weather was not very nice in Finland either. But there was a chance that it wouldn’t rain so we decided to go up to Aavasaksa -after we crossed the Arctic circle…
Saariselkä is one of the first “Tourist attractions” in Lapland. There was visitors from other countries already in 18th century. In 1881 they built “Emperor’s Hut” for possible Russian Emperor visit but it never happened!
Aavasaksa is 242 meters high “mountain” just beside border of Sweden and Torniojoki -river. On the top of the hill is also one of the Struve Geodetic Arc -points. We took a walk around 2,5km path on the top of the hill. We had to take our raincoats because it was raining a little bit.
We also checked little bit of the city of Tornio -I was very interested how they had arranged the check in points on the border? But it was just a border patrol car beside the road before Sweden. There is an old church in Alatornio. This was built (1797) only 11 years before Sweden lost a war against Russia. And the church was built honoring the King of Sweden -I would say quite bad luck for him!
Then we drove all the way south of Oulu to the island of Hailuoto! Because weather forecast was quite nice for the evening and for next morning! Yes, the evening was nice but there was also quite strong wind!
Trying to make a dinner in this kind of wind was interesting. Ok the food was great but there was some sand and small stones as a spice! Route for the Day 11 was like this: