04 September 2017

Day 18 - We're On A Boat

3 Sept

We were able to have a relaxed start to the day, only about 350 km to get from Vaasa to Turku.

With the GPS set to scenic, we took a tour through some of the suburban and rural areas outside of Vaasa. One little gem we stumbled across was the meteoria. We took a dirt road that ran between wheat fields. Along the road were posts set in the ground each with signs attached describing a planet. At the cross roads, there were a few buildings including a tower of about 10m high. We had arrived at the site of the Söderfjärden impact crater which was made at least some 640 million years ago. In recent history the site was a flood plain which was manually drained and is now under cultivation. The site is also an important stop off point for migratory cranes. We could hear the farmers’ bird cannons sounding off in their attempts to scare the birds away from their crops. We spent quite a bit of time there even though it wasn't open. It has some really interesting visualisations of the size of the solar system and the age of Earth (Tellus).
The Soderfjarden Meteor Crater

Each planet had a spot

All in the middle of wheat fields

No Pluto, of course

Eventually we found ourselves back on E8. Although there were the drops in speed from 100 to 80 at intersections we travelled for an hour or so without seeing a speed camera or as the locals call them ‘tin police’. And then they were back!
This pretty spot in Kristinastad(Finnish: Kristiinankaupunki) is a winterswimming spot for the locals.

We had a couple of stops along the way and finally found ourselves at the harbour of Turku. We still had a couple of hours before check in so we drove into Torku proper for a look around.
Cobblestone streets - for the motorcyclists.

The riverside walk ran beside a number of different boats. There were some competitors from the 2017 Tall Ships Race from July tied to the docks. Also there is a nautical museum with a range of boats to inspect.
Beautiful wooden three-master that saw plenty of the world in her day.

Slightly more modern but now a museum piece as well

Turku Harbour fountain

Finally it was time to head back to the harbour. We went into the building where the ticking information directed us. Turns out we needed to be in the queue for the cars which was back towards town. Good thing we didn't leave that until the last minute.

All checked in, we waited. Slowly a large ship filled the dock. This was the “ferry” we were taking to Stockholm. It’s much larger than the Spirit of Tasmania for those who are familiar with that vessel.
Even has a helipad on the 11th level.

Our cabin is on deck 9 in the forward section. Hope we don't have rough seas. It's an overnight journey and we are expected to dock in Stockholm around 7am. Oh, and we gain an hour as Finland was in a different time zone. Tomorrow is a big driving day, so it's time for some shut eye.
Cosy cabin

Charleen on deck with friendly UFOs  OO

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