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Seen from the hill

Riding from one hill (Linnamäki) to the other (Näsinmäki) while overlooking the old town!
Even if the ascent is not that long, it is quite steep, enough to start sweating 😉 But it’s all worth it! Then you step out of the bike and contemplate the scenery. Getting people up here to stare at the urban landscape in full silence for minutes weighs gold to me.
Not a sound from here, just the whistle of the wind in the pinetrees…

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The lunchplace Honkala revealed itself an ideal stop by then. Fortunately, it is located on the same hill. On the menu house-baked herring with mashed potatoes. Yammi! It got me revigorated 😉 The interior was also quiet, nicely furnished with pictures on the walls and objects from the old days on the shelves. It all made me feel like I was in a familiar place despite being there for the first time.

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Then I went down the path on my right and ended up to a viewpoint where Albert Edelfelt came to portray Porvoo’s uniqueness in the late 1800’s. He is one of Finland’s foremost artist who was the first Finn to be recognized internationally in his field. And he had a tremendous influence on Finnish society for years to come thanks to his drawings for Johan Ludvig Runeberg’s epic poem The tales of Enseign Stål.

AE_Näsinmäeltä nähtynä
Credit picture: https://www.finna.fin

That view has barely changed 116 years after Edelfelt immortalized it.

One of the blogger I have come to appreciate for her high-quality pictures is Milla from Porvoo. She’s previously written a post here about that place many of her fellow citizens but also foreigners do love.

Do you, dear reader, also have a favourite place near your home you wander to when you want / need to find peace or just relax? What’s then special about it?

Swans are back

The sun rose today at 6.46 and is due to set at 19.58. We enjoy longer daylight hours now that we have switched to the so-called daylight time.

This morning I decided to go and have a quick tour to one of the birdwatching towers in the neighbourhood. As usual I realized I had forgotten my binoculars at home… Still I was surprised to spot some swans along with ducks and gulls. Swans at least are on their way back to Finland. They stop each year in this bay called Kodderviken for some weeks before heading further north where they’ll mate.

When riding back home I couldn’t resist making a detour on Albert Edelfelt’s path where I spotted other couples of swans bathing in harmony. As you’ll see in the short clip I made the creatures are able to rest on the thin ice with no fear of slipping through it.

In Porvoo and in many other places in Finland people practice birdwatching or birding as I learnt from wikipediaIn Porvoo there’s been a local association called Porvoonseudun Lintuyhdistys since 1962. It has engaged in promoting birdwatching and raising awareness to the protection of birds. In Kodderviken especially the association members propose guided tours on April 3rd, 2014.

They’ve also come up with a tradition, that of laying 2000kg of oat on the usually ice-covered bay in order for birds to feed when these are back to Finland and the lakes are still covered with ice. This year the bay is already free from ice though and I wonder how they’ll manage to lay the oat. You can listen here to a radio report where two people are interviewed by the Finnish broadcast (in Finnish).

 

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