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.
This summer we are making our holiday trip with the car. Luckily last winter I bought a Station Wagon (Ford Focus) so we can even make the beds to the back side of the car. The bed will be a little bit too short for me but I was thinking it will be OK.
We started driving on tuesday 23rd of June to the north from Imatra. The first goal was one nice hill quite close… So I typed the address to google maps and we started driving. After about 50 km’s we stopped and I was looking around. It was a wrong place!! I had typed “Hukkavuoren…” when I should have been typing “Haukkavuoren…” Luckily the correct place was only about 20km’s away!
The first place we visited was “Haukkavuori” in Rautjärvi. It’s a hill 79 meters above the lake below so the views are amazing!
We continued to Punkaharju. This National Landscape is so beautiful that people of Finland have voted this road as the most beautiful road in Finland!
We checked one possible sleeping place near Punkaharju but it wasn’t ok… and it was still quite early. We continued to Kerimäki.
This is the biggest wooden church in the world. We had seen it before so we continued to check few bunkers close to Kerimäki. There is so called “Salpalinja” that Finnish soldiers built during the WW II against the Russian attack. Luckily we never needed to use this defense line. Finally quite far from Punkaharju and Kerimäki we found a place to stay for the night. It was only 1,5 km’s from the Russian border!
Vyborg is a city that was part of Grand Duchy of Finland from 1812 to 1917 and part of independent Finland from 1917 to 1940 but was finally lost to Russia after World War II. Russia made it now possible to apply e-visa for a short visit in St. Petersburg area so this is what I did. Me and my wife took the border crossing in Svetogorsk and because it was first time for me in Finland-Russia border it took nearly 1,5 hours to get through all the papers and documents. But we knew it will be like this so we were at the border quite early. We took a short stop at Svetogorsk centrum.
From this not-so-beautiful-city we took a one hour drive to Vyborg. There I made a short stop at the train station. There is still parts of the original train station left but that was destroyed in WWII. It was originally quite accurate copy (smaller size) of Helsinki railway station.
But finally I stopped my car in the market square. And we were lucky it wasn’t raining so we could explore the city on foot.
There are many buildings in very bad condition or totally ruined in Vyborg. But luckily some of the buildings they are renovating so there will be something to see in the future also. The city is definitely much more nice to see in the summer but we thought it was beautiful also now in the beginning of december… On a very grey weather. After the city tour we took a walk also in the famous Monrepo Park.
In tourist maps this area is sometimes called as a National Park. But mostly there are some buildings, Art, Statues and other “things” in this area so it’s not a “normal” national park. Half of the area is under construction so we could see only the other side of the park. This would be totally amazing place to visit on a beautiful summer day! I hope I will come cack to this beautiful town again some day. And of course Saint Petersburg… E-Visa makes the visiting Russia so much easier now!