The ferry journey to Finland was not as long and boring as I expected it to be. Well, it was as long as I expected – 8 hours – but not as dull. We had to have a cabin as Uller was with us, but as it turned out, there wasn’t really anywhere to sit if you didn’t have one – just the restaurant and bar. D had plenty of work and I read, knitted and popped up to the deck occasionally.
The route took us through the Stockholm archipelago, via Åland and into the Turku archipelago. That’s a lot of islands/islets/skerries – 60,000 in fact – and our ferry navigated through them at speed, managing to avoid various yachts at the same time. Very impressive.
Our meals were included in the ticket price and were advertised as ‘buffets to cater to all tastes and diet requirements’. Brunch, which we had at about 10am was fine – plenty of rolls, cheese, eggs, salad stuff. Dinner, which was served at 4pm was predominantly meat and fish so our meal consisted of a fantastic creamy, garlicky potato bake, a scoop of kidney beans, tinned mushrooms and boiled carrots and peas. An odd mix, but not bad.
D took one look at the elegant narrow funnel on the ferry and decided that he was going to like Finland. I’m also expecting to like Finland – I’m just not sure I get the connection with a funnel?
We decided to go to a campsite on one of the Turku islands for our first night and ended up staying for four – more work and it is easier to get it all done when we are in one place. The campsite was great, particularly in the tent/no electricity bit where we were – a large open grassy area, a bit like a park. The campsite had a beach with saunas nearby for those nutters who think that cooking yourself and then jumping in a frozen sea is fun. I know you shouldn’t criticise something until you’ve tried it, but really.
The whole place was spotlessly clean and seemed virtually empty, despite it being the first week of August. I had read with some horror about 2000 pitch campsites in Finland and then realised that we were probably on one – it just wasn’t very busy.
Unfortunately it was a bit isolated, so work completed for the time being, it was time to get out and discover a bit more of Finland.