What an enjoyable existence, fresh blueberries and yoghurt for breakfast followed by a car journey into Savonlinna. We arrived on to the island by boat but today we were travelling by car so we needed to take the ferry across to the mainland.
This ferry is very unusual, it only holds a maximum of four vehicles and passengers operate it for themselves. It’s a chain ferry and has a motor but if you are not confident to drive the ferry by motor you can just pull the chain and slowly glide across the water. There is only one small ferry so if you arrive at the crossing point and it is at the other side then you must take the rowing boat and row across the water remembering to attach the rowing boat to the ferry to bring it back as there always needs to be one rowing boat on each bank.
Finally, you can bring the ferry back, tie the rowing boat back to its mooring and then drive your car on board and set off on your travels. It’s a wonderful experience but you must never be in a hurry, life at the summer cottage is all about peace and tranquillity where time never matters.
We journeyed by car to Savonlinna and had a walk through the market which is bustling with activity during the summer months. As well as fresh foodstuffs one can buy local handicrafts and enjoy good food and drink in a wide selection of cafes.
After taking morning coffee we continued our stroll along to Olavinlinna Castle which we had viewed from the lake a couple of days earlier. On a previous visit to Savonlinna we had taken a tour of the castle but for now we just admired it from outside. During July the Savonlinna Opera Festival is in full swing bringing some of Europe’s finest opera companies to Savonlinna which stages its opera productions in the backdrop of the fairytale castle (feature photo above). Visiting the opera is still viewed as a grand occasion and families dress up in their finest clothes for the performance.
After taking a look at the castle we retraced our steps and wandered back along the lake front before crossing a white painted wooden bridge near to the casino. On the casino terrace a jazz trio were entertaining the clientele so we stopped to listen for a few minutes before walking over to a nearby island where there is a delightful wooden building called the Pancake House that serves the most amazing sweet and savoury pancakes. Diners can eat indoors or out on the terrace and it’s only a ten minute walk away from the town centre.
After enjoying our snack we continued further along the waterfront, sitting down for a few minutes to admire the beautiful Finnish lakeside scenery, green with waterlilies, pine forests and fresh air.
Returning to the summer cottage we cooked dinner and sat on the terrace enjoying the tranquil scenery and stunning views for one final evening before returning to Helsinki the next day.
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