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My travel in Europe:
I got a cruise to Turku in Finland as a birthday gift. I haven't been in Turku since the 1970s so it will be exiting. As you maybe know Finland was a part of Sweden during 700 years, we lost it in a war 1809. What can we find in Turku today that remind us of that era?
Going onboard the cruiser:
It's very easy for us to get to the harbor where the cruiser is anchored in Stockholm. Just a 25 minutes travel by the metro. The harbor is at Stadsgården in the city of Stockholm. We went there early to be sure not any delay cause us to miss the cruiser. It depart at 8 pm.
Here we step onboard the cruiser, a view along Stadsgården. It's an important harbor in Stockholm both today and in earlier time.
On the other side of the cruiser we have a view to the amusement park Gröna Lund.
Now we start moving on our 14 hours cruise to Turku, we will arrive at 7:30 in the morning next day.
This evening is very warm and no wind, 23 degrees Celsius. A bit strange why it's so empty outside.
At midnight we pass by Jungfrusund, an important pilot place for the ships that come and go to Stockholm.
Archipelago of Turku:
Very stressful in the morning. Breakfast served at 5:30 and the ship anchor in Turku at 7:30.
We have to leave our cabin because we take another ship back to Stockholm later this evening. We have to carry our luggage with us, but we planned for that and we have a very light package.
At 7:41 am we get on land and in front of the ship is this hotel and restaurant. Earlier it has been a market place.
More info about Turku, in Sweden we call it Åbo:
This is about how we walked in Turku during the day:
A 4 km long walk to the Cathedral and then about the same way back, lot of stops along the way.
Most of the things we want to visit is closed and don't open until 11 am. We have three hours to walk around until then and we start with the environment to the castle.
This castle was built in the 12th century, that's a part of our Swedish history. Once we had a similar castle in Stockholm, Tre Kronor (Three Crowns), but it was burnt down 15th century.
More info about the Swedish castle Tre Kronor:
A very beautiful castle, we will come back later to get inside it.
The river Aura that we follow:
We want to visit the cathedral 4 km upstreams the river Aura. In the background I see something familiar, a ship.
MS Bore ship:
What's this, it looks like one of the ships placed at Stockholm at the 1960s. There were three of these MS Bore ships at Old Town in Stockholm. Nowadays this Bore ship serve as a Hostel. With these Bore ships you could travel to Åland or Finland from Stockholm, this ship is built 1952.
More info about the ship MS Bore:
There are more old ships here and they belong to the marine museum.
This is Suomen Joutsen and it's a sailing ship, a big one. It was built in 1902 by Chantiers de penhoet.
More info about the ship Suomen Joutsen:
It's hot today, already 23 Celsius degrees in the morning. Along the harbor there are many places to make a stop and take something to drink, a cold soda tasted very well.
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Crossing the river with the ferry Föri:
We are walking on the sunny side of the river and we want to come over to the other side of the river where there are shadows over the walking path. There are no bridges here but we found a ferry that could take us over to the other side of the river.
This little ferry Föri, more than 100 years old go back and forth all the time. Very quiet and we later found that it was driven by an electric motor. When it moves there is a rattle sound from a chain, in the link below they say hundred years ago it was common with chain ferries. Never seen anyone earlier.
More info about the ferry Föri:
If we get hungry there isn't any problem to find somewhere to eat. Lot of boats along the harbor with restaurants.
An old fishing boat, even this one was a restaurant boat. It's very nice along this river Aura we follow.
More info about the river Aura:
The white building in middle on the other side were a custom and weighing building.
Walking back to the sunny side once again. This is the third bridge and has the name Theatre Bridge, no traffic on this one. In total there are ten bridges crossing the river.
We have now walked half the way to the cathedral, about 2 km. Very happy about the nice weather and we enjoy the views we get along the river.
Back on the Western side of the river we found more old wooden houses, most of them used as restaurants today.
Red wooden houses as we have in Sweden, it's very old, maybe it's a Swedish house.
Time for a new rest, we found a calm place with view over the river.
Now we have come to the bridge that take us over to other side again where the cathedral is. This street is the Castle Street and there is a nice square here with even more restaurants.
The Cathedral bridge:
From here we got our first close view of the cathedral, it's impressive.
Looking back from where we came. We strongly recommend to walk this path along the river Aura.
Now the clock has past 11 am and we can enter into the cathedral. The tower's height is 85 meter.
Turku is maybe not a big city but they have a very big cathedral. About the same age as the castle, 800 years.
The inscriptions on the tombstones are in Swedish.
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It's dark and cold here and now we want to get out in the sunshine again. But first I asked the church staff if there are any rock carvings here from the Viking era, no was the answer.
More info about the Turku Cathedral:
Out in the sunshine and looking for somewhere to eat. But we feel it's a bit early and continue walking slowly to the marine museum.
Came to the museum after a long walk back with many stops at the river. After we had bought tickets we enter the museum. The first hall is full of outboard motors, never seen so many and strange models. Many of them Swedish made, Volvo Penta etc.
A small steam machine, looks fun to play with.
Can you guess what this is? It is a machine that packs mackerel in small tin boxes. Often placed at the fishing boats if I understood it correctly.
A periscope for a submarine ? I think so even if the submarine itself is missing.
An old 45 cm torpedo launcher. Old torpedo engine use compressed air, short range compared to modern electric driven torpedoes.
A welding unit, it's maybe from the 1930s. My father was trained to weld with such welds.
More info about the Forum Marinum museum:
A lot of things to look at at this museum. We could had add another ticket to have a look at the old ships in the harbor too. But we were exhausted and sat down for a while, we have more to do before we go back to the ferry.
The last thing we have to do here in Turku is to visit the castle. Came by this park with this little nice bridge when walking towards the castle.
The castle is open now and the entrance is on the side towards the city.
At the courtyard, this part is a bit younger than the central building, maybe 500 years old.
This time I remember that I'm retired now, half the cost of the ticket. There is a path through the whole castle and we follow it. Lot of narrow passages and lot of signs to read interesting information from.
Room after room we walked through, read about our king Gustaf Vasa's son Johan III, he became Duke of Finland.
More info about Gustaf Vasa and John III:
This castle was earlier almost totally damaged and it wasn't sure Finland could afford to restore it. Something we didn't do with our own castle Tre Kronor in Stockholm, very sad.
Old graffiti on a wall has been preserved.
Of course every big castle has its own church.
Now down to the basement.
Here at the basement we find the prison cells. A rugged place where you wouldn't want to be locked up.
More info about Turku Castle:
After two hours of walking in the corridors of the castle we were finished, a very interesting tour. Now we are really hungry, found a restaurant at the castle where we could eat. Not so much because we shall eat on the ferry on the way home too.
We are a bit early to the ferry and we sit down in the castle's park and listen to beautiful music. It's a group of women who have their workout to disco music.
Two hour left until we could check in to the ferry. Close to the ferry there are many nice old wooden houses to investigate.
Back to the market hall where we started our Turku walk in the early morning. A great birth day gift !
Now we had booked a new cruise to Helsinki, also a city in Finland.