|Rapids on Kymijoki River|
I am now cycling towards Kotka in the Baltic Sea coast and try to camp close to town. My quest for a nice, flat and morning shade campsite brings me to quite an attractive spot. I had turned off the highway towards the Kymijoki river when I hear some rumbling in the distance. Following the noise I come to some impressive rapids and I am glad I am cycling and not paddling. There even is a flat and shady campsite and not a single car comes down the dirt road all night long.
I can't find a good swimming lake before setting up camp but next morning I pass a swimming beach and can't be bothered what the guy mowing the lawn on the opposite shore thinks about me skinny dipping. Lovisa has a Lidl and a Hesburger. I am not eating fast food but Hesburger has free wifi and I spend an hour outside (luckily in the shade) organizing my couchsurfing stay in Helsinki. Then onwards to Poorvo where I arrive late. Finding a campsite so close turns out to be even more difficult than expected. There aren't that many Finns but every single one of them seems to have a summer cottage here. Wherever I turn there is a cottage and now in summer people are also staying there. It is getting later and later and all I can find is more cottages. Finally a piece of pine forest with nice duff and even flat spots. There is morning shade but I can't enjoy it. I want to get up early to get into Helsinki in time to see the art museum.
As usual the last kilometres into town drag on forever. I stop to buy icecream. My GPS performs the usual nightmare and shuts down several times. Maybe it's too hot for it. But I finally arrive at the Ateneum with 2,5 hours for sightseeing - and a hefty entrance fee of 12 €. It is not really worth it because one entire floor is being renovated and not accessible.
|Helsinki Rock Church|
I am a bit sad to leave Finland where I have had such a good time. But I have one consolation: in the travel section of Helsinki's biggest bookstore I found brilliant nautical maps of the Finnish Lakelands - I am already thinking of coming back for a paddling trip.
So now I am back in the Baltic States where I will slowly cycle along the Baltic Sea coast towards a ferry back to Germany and my next trip. But I guess I'll still be cycling for another three weeks or so.