Finland, Turku – Port City
Walking along the river from the cathedral towards the port can get you to other points of interest. It always is a very pleasant trail. There is no traffic. However, you can always get closed to desired location by public transport. Moreover, almost every Finn speaks Englisch. Usually, they are very kind and helpful.
Walking the river across the Kirjastosilta pedestrian bridge (built in 2013) and we continue down Kauppiaskatu street. Then we reach Turun Kauppatori square. There is a shopping mall, clubs, all kind of markets take place there. Also, by taking a bus you can get basically to any district in Turku and all of the islands in close proximity (e.g. Naantali, famous for the world of popular Finnish cartoon figures - moomin). An orthodox church dominates the square. There is even a Czech pub in one side alley. They have Krusovice beer there (not of Czech quality and price).
When we return back on the leisury walk which follows the Aura River. We walk another 3 kilometers to Forum Marinum maritime museum. At the museum anchors the three-masted Suomen Joutsen (Finnish Swan) sail boat Bit further, there is a smaller sial boat Sygin. The tour in the musuem is also very interesting and I recommend it.
Bit down the road, we enter a park which surrounds Turku's medieval castle (Turun linna) which, just like the cathedral, was constructed in the 13th century. The castle houses a museum today. When walking the interior you can even try period costumes. The castle is situated almost on the Baltic Sea coast. Only a port separates it from the sea. Ferrys set seails form here to Åland (Mariehamn) or Stockholm, Sweden.
Turku is a student city there is Turun yliopisto university. Many different events are held there throughout the year. It is great experience for tourists. Every student has a overall of different color depending to the faculty he belongs to. He or she stitch badges gotten at different events. The largest and most popular event is Vappu – it is a holiday which begins on on May 1st. Apart from overall, high school students who are done with their final exams wear typical white caps (there is a moment when they put on these caps at this festival). All in all, it is a large party which looks like Majales in the Czech Republic.
Next to typical landmarks, there is even an interesting open air museum Luostarinmäki. There you can see original 18th-19th century dwellings. The museum covers the largest area which was preserved after the great fire (Turun palo) in Turku of 1827. Then it was the largest fire in the history of Finland..
Turku is surrounded with by nature. You can take wonderful walks around the city. There are many paths which can get you either to the sea or deeper into the woods. There you can, for instance, feed squirels.
Text and photos: Veronika Schubertová
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