Day 28. 120km. Yyteri – Kristiinankaupunki

Posted: July 5, 2013 in Cycling, Finland
Tags: , , ,

I couldn’t resist to use the Finnish name for this beautiful Swedish speaking city – Kristiinankaupunki. Try pronouncing that!
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Forest, forest stampeding cows, Finnish Pavlova, clouds and Swedish language. Yay!

Day 28. 120km. Yyteri – Kristiinankaupunki. Map and gpx.

The language borders in Finland are complex. There are small pockets of Swedish speaking country that pop up from time to time. Helsinki had signs in both Finnish and Swedish. Tammisaari/Ekenäs had both languages, and now Kristinestad/Kristiinankaupunki. Suddenly I can understand things – more than my small Finnish vocabulary – kiitos (thank you), mansikka (strawberry), and a few others. I soon got into the flow of pronouncing all the Swedish signs as I cycled, with my attempt at a Swedish accent. Such a beautiful language. Now the street names have meaning. I even learnt some new Finnish words thanks to the bilingual signs. I miss not speaking the local language.

The day started partly sunny and the Eurovelo route took me along a gravel road. I had my doubts but these were soon abandoned. What a beautiful road. Deep into the forest on a little bumpy track. Every now and then the sun poked out and cast shadows from the trees into the clearings of grass. The road followed a bubbling brook.
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Joining the ‘main’ road which was also quiet, I noticed that the distances between places are getting greater. There are now long stretches of forest, and 30km between places that are more than just a few houses. There were stretches of road near the coast that had countless holiday houses at the end of little dirt tracks, and apart from that, it was just forest.

It was market day at Merikarvia. Of course, the standard mansikka (strawberries), a handful of cherry tomatoes, and a bratwurst. It was really getting overcast, quite cool, and the first spots of rain started to fall. Time for an extended lunch which I continued in a lovely little café opposite the market square. Among (many) other things, I had the Finnish version of a Pavlova.
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With it grey and wet outside, I had a long chat with the friendly owners of the café. I was not in a rush. Kristiinankaupunki was not that far away.

After leaving, it was forest again. And then, suddenly, a small clearing jam packed with cows. They saw me and panicked. The whole herd stampeded out of the clearing and into the forest. Branches cracked as they ploughed through in their rush to escape.

More forest. The occasional beach.
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and then Kristiinankaupunki. A beautiful cute little town with rows of streets lined with adorable little wooden houses. Quite photogenic. Shame the sun was not out.
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Tomorrow is Vaasa and possibly Sweden. 🙂

Comments
  1. Sartenada says:

    Thank You for this great post. If You had selected Lake Region instead of coastal region You would have seen more spectacular landscapes with lakes. In Finland we have 187 888.

    Happy biking!

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