Day 1: Turku to Korpo - 41 miles - Biking and Ferrying Across Finland's Aland Islands - CycleBlaze

July 9, 2018

Day 1: Turku to Korpo - 41 miles

A two ferry day

Day 1 - 41 miles, two ferries
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Park Hotel in Turku
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After a decent meal in Turku and a night's stay at the Park Hotel, battling jet lag, we shuttled to a marina in Pargas and began the tour.

The start
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The ride started on bike paths but then transitioned to gentle rollers on the low traffic main road that runs across the island.  This would largely be the case for the entire week - the larger roads tend to have sections of bike path but there is never that much traffic, there are shoulders and drivers are used to sharing the roads with cyclists. My one complaint is  the bike paths are constantly switching from one side of the road to the other, but generally traffic is so light that wasn't a major headache.

Bill and Marths on one of the ferries
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In the first 19 miles to Nagu, there were two ferries to get across medium-sized rivers or inlets (mini-fjords?). The ferries caused an odd traffic effect: once off of the ferry, we had the road to ourselves for 15-20 minutes, as there was no traffic coming from behind us until the next ferry  load arrived. Then there would be a pulse of 20 or so cars all bunched up, then silence again. The roads were in great shape and with many traditional red Swedish houses and barns to look at along with the stunning water views.

I learned that the traditional red pain is called "falu" and back in the day was made by mixing water, iron vitriol and rye flour in a cauldron and cooking it for hours. I assume now they buy it at Ikea...

Carole at lunch stop in Nagu
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I had deer carpacio at the lunch stop in Nagu (plus a fresh baked cookie) while Carole made do with smoked salmon and a donut, as we relaxed at a shady picnic table behind Kopmans Cafe. From there, it was another 12 miles of peaceful biking to  the inn we would stay at, the Hotel Nestor in Korpo. This property had been a family farm for hundreds of years and was turned into a bed and breakfast/restaurant, run by the son who is a chef.

Hotel Nestor in Korpo
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I did an additional ten mile loop down to the town of Korpo. Not much there but an attractive old church and a grocery store. We all had a fantastic dinner at the Hotel Nestor restaurant and after dinner Carole and I walked the short path to the "beach" and enjoyed the "sunset" - this time of year in Finland, the sun briefly goes below the horizon at about 1am and we never made it up that late.

View from the Hotel Nestor beach
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Today's ride: 41 miles (66 km)
Total: 41 miles (66 km)

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