Finnish Archipelago. Part two

Moomin shop, Naantali, Finnish Archipelago

After quite pricy yet delicious dinner we dropped by our cabin to pick up some beer (Finn without a beer is not a Finn) and went to the beach. We were sitting there on the lonely bench in embrace, drinking elixir of Finnish gods and watching marvelous sunset.

Mossala Island Resort in the evening:

Mossala Island Resort, Finnish Archipelago

Mossala Island Resort, Finnish Archipelago

Mossala Island Resort, Finnish Archipelago

Mossala Island Resort, Finnish Archipelago

If you’d ask me in the morning when was the last time I slept so well, I most likely wouldn’t remember. Long walk in the forest and evening on the beach made its magic. I felt great, I felt energized and ready for whatever this day has planned for me.

I stood on the porch of our cottage, enjoying the bluish mirror surface of the Baltic Sea and the morning freshness of the last summer day. Looking at the peaceful Finnish landscape, it became clear to me why Finns tend to spend so much time in the nature, away from the noise, fuss and relentless movement of the city. It’s an amazing feeling when you can sit back, relax and just take your time. No work, no rush, no thoughts. Just nature and you.

We had breakfast in the same restaurant (no other choice, since it’s the only restaurant nearby), packed our belongings and hit the road.

Two ferries and an hour later, we finally reached Kustavi. Kustavi is one of the most popular summer resorts in Finland. There are more than two thousand summer residences of rich Finnish people. And that is the reason why population of this small town is increasing quite significantly during the summer season.

For those who do not have the possibility to purchase own estate or villa, local recreation center offers cozy cottages for rent:

Kustavi County, Finnish Archipelago

Kustavi County, Finnish Archipelago

This place turned out to be much livelier than Mossala Island Resort. There was a restaurant, an excellent bar and some small shops. But for complete relaxation Kustavi was too noisy and crowded, in my opinion. So, if I had to choose again between those two, I would most definitely choose Mossala.

Traditional fishing boats:

Kustavi County, Finnish Archipelago

Kustavi County, Finnish Archipelago

Local home décor shop:

Kustavi County, Finnish Archipelago

Kustavi County, Finnish Archipelago

Kustavi County, Finnish Archipelago

Kustavi County, Finnish Archipelago

A look inside (yes, that’s right, it’s a store!):

Kustavi County, Finnish Archipelago

Kustavi County, Finnish Archipelago

Interesting fact: Kustavi is the only place in the western part of Finland, where the Finnish-speaking population prevails.

* * *

Taivassalon church (Taivassalon kirkko or Pyhän Ristin kirkko), built somewhere in 1440:

Taivassalon church, Finnish Archipelago

Taivassalon church, Finnish Archipelago

Taivassalon church, Finnish Archipelago

Taivassalon church, Finnish Archipelago

Bell tower:

Taivassalon church, Bell tower, Finnish Archipelago

Taivassalon church, Bell tower, Finnish Archipelago

Another attraction of the Finnish archipelago trail is Muntin silta – a stone bridge that was built in 1850s at the expense of the inhabitants of volost:

Muntin silta - stone bridge, Finnish Archipelago

Muntin stone bridge, Finnish Archipelago

In 1982 it was added to the list of “museum bridges”, thus becoming a unique object of Finland’s heritage.

Last on our road trip list was Turku city. But since we didn’t have much time left for sightseeing, we decided to skip Turku altogether and went straight to Naantali – adorable old town that is loved not only by tourists but also by locals. Name “Naantali” comes from Swedish language – Nådendal (pronounced as Nodendal), which means “valley of mercy”. Founded around the medieval Brigittine convent Vallis gratiae (Nådendal abbey), it is considered one of the oldest cities in Finland. And the church that was built at the same time is still the largest in the city.

Naantali, Finnish Archipelago

Naantali, Finnish Archipelago

Naantali, Finnish Archipelago

Naantali, Finnish Archipelago

Naantali, Finnish Archipelago

Naantali, Finnish Archipelago

Naantali, Finnish Archipelago

Naantali, Finnish Archipelago

Naantali, Finnish Archipelago

Naantali, Finnish Archipelago

If you walk along the pier, the footpath will lead you to the wooden bridge that will take you to Kailo island. One of the most important city’s landmarks is located there – the famous theme park “Moominworld”. And next to Kailo is an amusement park for kids “Adventure Island”.

Despite the proximity of the former capital of Finland (Turku), Naantali is always quiet and peaceful. And while walking along the old streets, I often get a feeling that some invisible time machine has relocated me to the past.

And on this sweet note I am finishing the story of the Finnish archipelago.

Naantali, Finnish Archipelago

Naantali, Finnish Archipelago

 

Hope you enjoyed it!

TWVera

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