“It has been just amazing summer in Finland. So many sunny days and so incredible warm swimming waters. While cycling I love the most that cooling wind that pulls gently your t-shirt while rolling up and down the sandy country roads and stopping for photographing and for a swim. This is definitely an paradice for a laid back cyclist.”
Day 1, distance 65 km
Tampere – Lauko Mansion – Vesilahti
Early at tuesday morning I packed my gear bag on my bike´s rack, filled my water bottle and started the trip from Tampere towards Nokia. My trail followed lake Pyhäjärvi passing beautiful Pispala hills and swimming beaches – but it was not time to swim, not just yet. Quite soon I reached tiny Nokia city and there I made my first stop: “Old Fabrik Island” and there the Summer Cafe Tehdas 108. This place is interesting because of it´s rare milieu. Cafe is inside an old fabrik hall but you can also enjoy your drinks at the yard.
From there I continued towards Sorva village, which is also part of Nokia. Now I was definitely at the countryside.
Sorvantie (Sorva road) last 11 km and it´s partly sandy road with old farm houses and plenty of forests.
This place was perfect for cycling, so peaceful and quiet. Because heat was high (almots +30 celsius) I really felt like swimming already. Luckily I spotted a Riihilahti Camping center sign and turned there. Place was empty, but there was a long pier and cooling lake. What a thrill!
After floating and diving a good while I returned to my bike and continued back to Sorvantie. Soon I reached Vesilahti-sign and turned my wheel bar to south. Now I was back on tarmac.
After cycling for some kilometers I saw charming old wooden building – Tottijärvi church. This was a great time out for some photos and closer look of this beautiful discovery.
I hoped on my bike again and past some golden oat fields, cows and swetty farmers (as I said the day was really hot). Luckily my eyes spotted another swimming oppurtunity and I surely wasn´t going to miss it!
Now I was getting closer to Laukko Mansion which was a relief because my stomach was yearning for lunch. And it was so good – all sorts of treats on that long and fully buffet table.. to be honest I ate too much, but it was way too delicious… After lunch I wandered around Laukko´s beautiful milieu and enjoyed this historic mansion´s yards and buildings and of course attended the art exhibitions. I filled my water bottle and steared back to the road again, now towards Vesilahti village.
It was not suprise that today was gonna rain. Air was so warm and pressured that I knew to wait for at leats a some kind of burst… And then it reached me at Narva village, but I just got in to this tiny village market, so I didnt get totally wet. Good time to buy some snacks.
After the rain air was fresh and the burning heat was gone. Riding the hills up and down towars Vesilahti was great fun. Air and nature smelled so good! I heard locusts loud concert on the field.
Turning to Vesilahti road brought me back to sandy roads again. After a while I reached my destination: Ala-Orvola Farm where my room was ready for me. But before that I of course went to sauna and swimming. And then to bed.
Day 2, distance 30 km
Vesilahti – Valkeakoski
I slept well but I was waken up quite early by the cows on the field – the same charmers whom I passed while I began my trip again. Now I was searching for a breakfast but since I couldn´t find one I ate some mysli bars (which are great because they dont melt in the heat) and visited Kurjen tila (Crane Farm) an ecological farm at Vesilahti.
At the center of Vesilahti village was a swimming spot where some kids were jumping from pier to the lake. I didn´t join their game, but I made a long swimming trip by myself. The village road was lovely, Vesilahti´s wooden church stood right in the middle of everthing and I also visited an interesting Clay Art House Samotti (which was great cause it was so cold inside there!). Since I had missed my breakfast I enjoyed early lunch at Lunch-Cafe Kurkitupa.
During these days on my trip I have witnessed so many golden fields, listened various conserts from locusts and birds and felt rerfeshing wind on my face while rolling down the hills on these serene country roads. Travelling on my own phase, no hurry to anywhere, pausing and swimming and just simply enjoying.
I continued my road now through Koskenkylä towards Viiala village. From there I bought ice cream and some drinks from the local market. It was again time to look for a swimming spot and found a big one – Luttunen beach was full of swimmers and sun bathing people but there was still space for a one lonely rider.
I only had one goal left for today, so I got up on my bike and rolled the last leg to Ilola Farm. In here I was about to eat and sleep.
Hamburger was great (meat was made from their own local cattle) and after that I was more than ready to fall asleep in my private cottage.
Day 3, distance 25 km.
Today was my last day on this trip and also quite short biking day, because most of this leg I was going to do by a Silverline boat. I had to be at the harbour at 13.30 so after large and excellent breakfast at Ilola Farm I jumped on my lojal companion and started cycling towards Sääksmäki and there Rapola Hill Fort. Before coming that far I also passed old Rapola mansion.
Right next to this was a Voipaala Art Center which offered exhibitions and a cosy Cafe. Large garden with beautiful big oaks escorted the traveller up to the hill, all the way to the Finland’s largest ancient hill fort! Here in the very top you could see lake Vanajavesi like a little ponds some where down there.
Under the Voipaala art Center lies historical and old Sääksmäki Stone Church. The guide told about the wall paintings and about ancient times happenings around this very area.
Still I had a one more target for today and the way there I crossed the long bridge of Sääksmäki.
Visavuori Museum was a home and atelier for a famous finnish sculptor Emil Wikström and the whole location and the three houses are just macigal. The Museum area is actually so mesmerising that I wasn´t sure if I was dreaming or awake… There are also gardens and under the hill I found the harbour where the Silver Sky boat was going to arrive.
Then my ship arrvived. I led my bike down the stairs to the pier and the staff packed my lojal companion on the deck. The ship turned, whistled and we took of. From the bar I got my self a cooling drink with plenty of ice and sat down admiring Vanajavesi lake and it´s islands.
What a trip!