Finns/Suomalaiset, please check my itinerary.

Started Jun 23, 2010 | Discussions
PhotoKhan Forum Pro • Posts: 11,408
Finns/Suomalaiset, please check my itinerary.

On the wake of this thread I posted some time ago and the excellent inputs provided there by fellow Finns/Suomalaiset, DPR users, I am now on the final stages of setting things up for our trip to Finland.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1018&message=33771085

I would love if you could add any significant inputs, according to dates and places. (i.e any activities around the places will be visiting, or a particular photographic treat nearby).

Please, don't propose alternate itineraries/schedules as things are quite advanced on this one.

Day 1 Lisbon - Helsinki
Day 2 Helsinki
Day 3 Helsinki -Tampere
Day 4 Tampere - Virrat - Tampere (Poet's Way)
Day 5 Tampere - Helsinki
Day 6 Helsinki (probably a baloon ride)
Day 7 Helsinki -Talinn -Helsinki
Day 8 Helsinki - Lappeenranta - Savonlinna
Day 9 Savonlinna - Kuopio - Koli
Day 10 Koli - Joensuu - Varkaus - Jyväskylä
Day 11 Jyväskylä - Turku
Day 12 Turku - Mariehamn (via island hopping)
Day 13 Mariehamn (archipelago sightseeing)
Day 14 Mariehamn - Turku - Helsinki (by ferry)
Day 15 Helsinki - Lisbon

So any ideas or special notes?

Thank you for any inputs.

PK

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Topi Senior Member • Posts: 1,488
Re: Finns/Suomalaiset, please check my itinerary.

Well, the trip between Helsinki and Tampere really is less than 150 km, if memory serves me right. So you'll have plenty of time along the route. I'd recommend a stop at Hämeenlinna; with maybe a visit at Aulanko, the Hämeenlinna castle and, if you're interested in such stuff, a visit to the Finnish Tank Museum (Panssarimuseo) at Parola.

Also, if you're interested in military stuff, there's a Messerschmitt 109 on display at Utti, along the route from Helsinki to Lappeenranta (otherwise that stretch of road is seriously boring). There's also the Tykkimäki amusement park along the road, near Kouvola, if that sort of thing interests you.

In Helsinki I'd not miss Suomenlinna.

Cheers,

-Topi

Archer66 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,787
Re: Finns/Suomalaiset, please check my itinerary.

This site has links to happenings.

http://www.expat-finland.com/connections/events.html

HTH

Tapio Taponen Regular Member • Posts: 195
Re: Finns/Suomalaiset, please check my itinerary.

You are going to Tallinn so I would suggest overnighting there. Late evening in "The Old Town" -area is quite pictorial although there is lots of people and most of them are drunk... Suomenlinna is also one of the most interesting places in Helsinki as Topi recommended. You have lots of travelling in schedule so be prepared to stop whenever You see a possibility of photos. Between Turku-Mariehamn route it's good to stay on the deck of a ship, archipelago begin's from Turku harbour already;-)

Cheers,

Tapio Taponen
Helsinki

TapioH Regular Member • Posts: 206
Re: Finns/Suomalaiset, please check my itinerary.

So you are spending two weeks in Finland and not getting to the north?

If I were you I'd just skip Tampere and Tallinn and drive to Tromsö (Norway) through Tornionjokilaakso (Tornio river valley) and Kilpisjärvi. You can make that in three days (e.g. between Koli and Turku), if you want to.

But of course I'm not you, and you may like the south more than a long drive and strenuous northern insects.

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Tapio

eric burrows Senior Member • Posts: 1,501
Re: Finns/Suomalaiset, please check my itinerary.

I'm a boat nut so when I was in Mariehamm many years ago I spent most of the time at the clipper ship museum. As others have said northern Finland is good to visit too. I came down for Kirkenes in Norway to Turku and still have great memories of my time in Finland.
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eric

OP PhotoKhan Forum Pro • Posts: 11,408
Thank you guys!

Exactly the kind of replies I was looking for.

...In what relates to northern Finland, the country is just too big, we will be traveling by car and my family kind of prohibited me from planning the long driving hours we had on our trips to Ireland and Norway

In the very early planning stages I was contemplating a trip up to the Nordkapp, in Norway. It soon became obvious that it would mean too much driving and very little fun.

...Also, things didn't go very well, planning-wise.

Initially, based on the recommendations here, I included an incursion up to the north as far as Lapland (Rovaniemi and some other recommended places) but I really wanted to take opportunity of being so close to St. Petersburg to take a short 3 day-hop there, by train.

So, Lapland was abandoned in favor of the Russian city and I planned and booked hotels accordingly.

Later, when I went to the Russian embassy in Lisbon, I was appaled at the demands the Russian state impose on wanna-be tourists.

Some of them are difficult to comply by a self-planner (i.e. "invitation" letter from a Russian tourist agency), some are absurd in financial terms (travel insurance from a restricted list of 5 "approved" insurance companies, when I already have wide travel insurance coverage from other companies).

All in all, the sovereign Russian state seems to be dead serious in discouraging any visit attempt and almost creates more hassle to their prospective EC tourists than we do to their emigrants...go figure!

For a longer stay in Russia, I wouldn't mind to turn things up to a travel agency to deal with all the bureaucracy but for 3 days, no way...

So, suddenly, I was left with a 3-day "hole" out of Helsinki by the beggining of the trip, as moving all the reservations around wouldn't be easy (...and probably not feasible, at such a late stage...).

I fixed that up with that planned incursion into Tampere/Virrat and back in the beginning of the trip. Because of the short distance, it will allow for some slow pace traveling and sightseeing on secondary roads but, overall, the whole trip will not be as "effective" as I would like it to be.

It is a pity we won't be able to go to Lapland.

Thanks, once again!

PK

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_timo_
_timo_ Contributing Member • Posts: 781
Re: Finns/Suomalaiset, please check my itinerary.

Some suggestions.

1. Going from Helsinki to Tampere: stop at the castle in Hämeenlinna ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H äme_Castle ), or the medieval church at Hattula (maybe 15km north of Hämeenlinna; http://kirkko.kanakoto.net/page3.php?qid=1 ).

2. In Tampere, be sure to check out the terrific murals by Hugo Simberg in Lars Sonck's Tuomiokirkko (main church). Also, the local specialty of blood sausage is quite good.

3. In Helsinki, Suomenlinna (an island fortress in Helsinki harbor, and UNESCO world heritage site) is not to be missed. Spend a whole day here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suomenlinna

4. Just to the west of Helsinki, in Kirkkonummi: Hvitträsk. Very cool artist/architect compound from the turn of last century. http://www.nba.fi/en/hvittrask_en

5. In Helsinki proper I am also partial to Seurasaari, an open-air museum: http://www.nba.fi/en/seurasaari_openairmuseum

6. In Jyväskylä check out the Aalto university buildings.

7. Near Jyväskylä is a pinnacle of 50s modernist architecture, and one of Alvar Aalto's masterpieces: Säynätsalo Town Hall. http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildings/Saynatsalo_Town_Hall.html Well worth the detour.

8. In going to Turku I'd also see if you can't check out old Rauma. http://www.oldrauma.fi/english/index.html

Alternatively, you could day trip (or boat) from Helsinki to Porvoo, which also has an interesting old wooden town center.

9. Rent bikes on at Mariehamn. The archipelago is beautiful.

Have fun. Finland is wonderful.

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HACY Regular Member • Posts: 138
Re: Finns/Suomalaiset, please check my itinerary.
OP PhotoKhan Forum Pro • Posts: 11,408
Thanks Timo! (nt)

PK

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OP PhotoKhan Forum Pro • Posts: 11,408
Re: Finns/Suomalaiset, please check my itinerary.

HACY wrote:

PhotoKhan wrote:

...
Day 8 Helsinki - Lappeenranta - Savonlinna
...

From Lappeenranta to Savonlinna, don't miss Punkaharju scenic route

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=lappeenranta&daddr=61.784163,29.320278+to:savonlinna&hl=fi&geocode=FYutowMdTBmuASnZn6vKlpWQRjGXD4ipgKxkdg%3B%3BFWkPsAMdtqy4ASmlHfdXeFCaRjFOvGfNSJ0VrQ&mra=dpe&mrcr=0&mrsp=1&sz=13&via=1&sll=61.777669,29.343109&sspn=0.077525,0.223846&ie=UTF8&z=13

Harjutie, Road 4792.

Exactly the kind of pointers I am looking for...Thank you so much!

PK

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pannumon Senior Member • Posts: 2,972
Re: Finns/Suomalaiset, please check my itinerary.

Your plans look very good to me. You will see what I think is the most important for the Finnish national identity. The same that inspired the Finnish artists during the Golden Age of Finnish Arts 100 years ago.

In Savonlinna, there is annual opera festival ( http://www.operafestival.fi/In_English/Front_page.iw3 ) the whole July. This is a major event and worth noticing, even if you did not like Opera.

I would recommend a short visit to some of the bogs, because they really dominate the landscape in Lapland. Since you are not actually going to Lapland, this would give you some perspective how the lansdcape looks up there. Perhaps you can have a break from driving and stop at some of the national parks, such as Valkmusa during day 8 or Puurijärvi-Isosuo, Torronsuo or Kurjenrahka during day 11? As others have suggested, I also warmly recommend a quick stop at Aulanko near Hämeenlinna (day 3). And (though not related to photography), you should really try the lake sauna!

I hope you get inspired and welcome to Finland!

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Jorma M Contributing Member • Posts: 679
Re: Finns/Suomalaiset, please check my itinerary.

Some events to take into consideration during your stay in Mariehamn:

http://visitaland.com/en/do/events?month=7&year=2010
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Jon Rty Veteran Member • Posts: 3,838
Re: Finns/Suomalaiset, please check my itinerary.

One possibility would be to take a night car-train to Rovaniemi, that way you'll be able to expierence Lapland wihtout the driving. I've it done a couple of time when flying or driving wasn't a option, and it's really one of the most comfortable ways to travel. You board, sleep a good nights sleep and in the morning you'll be in Rovaniemi with your car.

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