Day 13. Kongosaari Island Ferry

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.

Rowing boat on Kongosaari island, Finland
Kongosaari island

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.

Kongosaari island ferry, Finland
The Kongosaari island ferry

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.

Onboard the Kongosaari island ferry, Finland
Onboard the Kongosaari island ferry

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.

A market cafe in Savonlinna
Market cafe, Savonlinna, Finland

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.

Lake Saimaa in Savonlinna, Finland
Lakeside views in Savonlinna

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.

Pancake House, Savonlinna, Finland
Pancake House, Savonlinna, Finland

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.

Lake Saimaa at Savonlinna, Finland
Lakeside in Savonlinna

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.

Hammock on Kongosaari Island, Finland
Kongosaari Island


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32 thoughts on “Day 13. Kongosaari Island Ferry

  1. Island life has a way of making you slow down. I love that ferry. I guess you know when it is time to leave the island if you can no longer row across to retrieve the ferry. It really does look like a lovely place Marion. Thanks for sharing. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Day 4.  A visit to Malbork Castle – Love Travelling

  3. Pingback: GOOD LUCK

  4. Wow how interesting about the ferry you operate yourself. I have never seen one before! Heheh, you are teaching me things about my own country I never knew 🙂 The Pancake House sounds like something for me. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The little ferry is so much fun but very time consuming if it’s on the other side. I’ve been over lots of times and only once shared with another car and that’s in July!! My friend uses it at night when it’s dark so she has to leave her headlights on to see where she is going if she needs to row!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this post! 🙂 Finland is so beautiful! I’m planning on posting about the islands around Helsinki that I’ve visited.
    “It’s a wonderful experience but you must never be in a hurry, life at the summer cottage is all about peace and tranquility when time never matters.” that’s how I like it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am very glad that You visited the town of Savonlinna. It is beautiful, charming and best of it is its marina and market, if we exclude the Castle of Olavinlinna. The market of Savonlinna is one of the most interesting markets in Finland. Man can make discoveries, which are amazing.

    In Finland, we still use ferries and in 2009, we had them about 40. If You do not mind, I show here photos from the market of Savonlinna:

    Savonlinna – old ships and market.

    I am curious about what next in Your gorgeous series presenting my country.

    Happy Tuesday!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. Finland is most definitely beautiful and I love writing these posts so that I can look back on them in the future. It’s so nice to have you following me along my Finnish adventure and to receive your welcoming comments!

      Liked by 1 person

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