Day 38 – Tour de Finlande 2010: Hämeenlinna – Tammela

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During the one-day break in Hämeenlinna I went to visit the second castle of this journey, the first one being Olavinlinna. Hämeen linna, the Häme castle, was built in the 13th century and used not only as a fortress for defending the area, but also as the place where the representatives of the King of Sweden, as well as the fiscal authorities, resided. Later on in the 19th century, during the Russian domination, it was converted to a prison, and it worked as such until the 1980s. This means that just recently it has been restored and opened to the public.

The castle hosts interesting temporary exhibitions. One was related to silver crafts with a very nice documentary: I really like to watch these artisans at work, there is a sort of peace in such a job that you can really feel just watching them working. The other exhibition was about the so-called Finlandisation period, that is from the end of the Second World War up to the end of the 80ies, which was for Finland a period of close relationships with the Soviet Union through the Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance.

In the premises of the Häme castle there is nowadays also a prison museum, that was to me quite impressive, as I had never had the chance to be to a prison (yet, you never know, life can be full of surprises). It really resembled the atmosphere there was when it hosted inmates.

This morning I left Hämeenlinna (thanks again to Minna, Ilkka, Aksu and Stiina for hosting me!) and joined another historical road, the Härkätie, Häme Ox Road, one of the oldest roads in Finland, which connects Hämeenlinna with Turku. The weather was good and I also had the chance to meet some other cycling tourists (it happens really really seldom, I have to say).

After reaching Renko I visited its particular octagonal shaped church from the 15th century, the Pyhän Jaakon kirkko (church of St. James). Then I had the bad idea of checking my e-mail just to find out I had some translations to do. Fortunately there was a nice little library in the village with wireless connection where I spent the afternoon working.

I left again around six and finally reached Tammela with its wonderful lake, at its side I've put up the tent, just in time to avoid a few drops of waters which are now quite gently coming down from the sky.

Day 38 – Tour de Finlande 2010: Hämeenlinna – Tammela

Trip distance: 86 km
Actual trip time: 5 h 10 m

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