Going east

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Helsinki to Kouvola by train – Kouvola to Kotka by bike

Our Warmshowers host Hannu is a photographer, among many other talents. Here are the results of a photo session is his garden this morning!

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We had time before taking our 1.19 train to visit the Sibelius Monument in a park near the city centre. Note to others intending to do this: go early in the morning and beat the rush! It was seriously overrun with tourists who had arrived in large buses and then climbed on and draped themselves over the bust of Sibelius. Many photographs and selfies were taken! Two young cellists put on a free performance and played well. The sculpture is by Finnish artist Eila Hiltunen – not really to my taste.

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Our train ride was excellent –  free wifi, train left exactly on time, bikes in a special storage area. Because we were unable to take an earlier train our day was back-to-front with the riding part at the end. We had to cover just under 60km after leaving Kouvola at 3pm to travel to Kotka on the coast. It was warm and sunny with a cool breeze, flat terrain, low traffic, plenty of bike paths and an unremarkable but pleasant route through the Finnish countryside.

Kotka is an interesting town with a huge modern maritime museum. We had a beer in a grungy bar and observed a well-attended community singing session led by a musical duo (guitar and squeeze box) in the main square. We are accommodated in a budget Airbnb run by Igor who speaks only Russian – getting us into the vibe for the week ahead!

 

2 Responses to “Going east”

  1. Sartenada Says:

    Oh, what a pity that you missed two of our Small towns which have pittoresque colorful old wooden towns. Porvoo and Loviisa. Sigh.
    Our coastal costs are full of small historic wooden towns. When I for the first time commented to your blog asking where are You biking and I did not get any answers, I could give tips concerning about towns. Well, I can say that You missed a lot of beautiful Finland and its history. Sigh.
    Because this is my last comment to You, because You are entering Russia, I give the name of the town, which is the best biking town in Finland – Oulu. In Oulu, man bikes even in hardest winter among snow and ice:
    Winter biking1.
    Winter biking 2
    Happy and safe biking!

    • Rosalie Day Says:

      Thanks for your kind suggestions. I’m sorry we don’t have time to visit every place. We have enjoyed Finland a lot!

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