Published: April 24th 2009March 22nd 2009
A good view of Porvoo from the foot bridge.
Rising early, relatively, Liz and I grabbed breakfast at the hotel whilst plotting out our course for the day. On the agenda is the town of Porvoo and the castle in Hämeenlinna. So, plan of attack in-hand we jumped in the Prius and hit the road.
We rolled into Porvoo around lunchtime, grabbed a tourist guide and headed to the closest cafe. Over coffee and pastries we decided to take the walking tour of the town. Porvoo is an old town, mention of it in documents begins in the early 14th century, with sufficient history. Taking it's name from a nearby Swedish riverside fortress, Porvoo gained notoriety in the 18th century when Sweden lost land to Russia and the town became the episcopal seat and eventually housed the Diet of Porvoo. It's a quaint town with many boutique shops; a B&B type of town. This Sunday was quiet as most shops were closed, but Liz and I enjoyed our walk nonetheless.
Satisfied with our tour of Porvoo we sought the Prius for our return North to Hämeenlinna. Unable to find a good restaurant open on Sunday we settled on the McDonald's in Hämeenlinna for a quick snack. Starving appeased,
Liz and I had to navigate these stairs for a great view across the river from Porvoo.
we made our way to the castle and, guidebook in hand, we started our tour. Häme Castle, or Hämeenlinna, has its construction reportedly connected to the legendary Second Swedish Crusade which would date the castle in the mid-13th century. Regardless of its origins the castle is impressive and includes far more history than I can present here. Instead you get a few pictures ;)
Since some of us, i.e. me, have to work in the morning we Prius'd it back to Tampere at a reasonable hour. Arriving in time for dinner I suggested the Viking Restaurant, Harald. I figured it's an experience Liz would appreciate. Plus, who can say no to food on a sword?
There are more photos below