Thursday, November 26, 2015

Two days in Nagu with a day trip to Högsar

Day two of our Finnish summer bike trip on the Turku Archipelago Trail became a short ride. The 24 km stretch from Sattmark to Nagu ended with another round of pesky hills, which completely out powered us and had our legs turned into boiled spaghetti - figuratively speaking that is. The thought of throwing myself off the bike and onto a soft green lawn grew greater for every mile we got closer to the town. Finally, we passed the town sign of Nagu. Both of us breathed a sigh of relief. AHH, TIME FOR A BREAK! We found a small spot outside the tourist office where we sat and restored our energy. My legs were still shaking slightly at this point. Originally, our plan was to camp at Grännäs Homestead which was the closest camping site, however, we just couldn't get ourselves to bike the last 5 km. Pathetic much (heh). No words needed, we simply looked at each other and agreed. Seeing as we were in no rush and the weather was top notch, we decided to stay and just chill in this popular tourist town. After all, a bike trip is not a race
Crossing the town sign of Nagu had us jumping off our seats of joy
Nagu is a nice little town and offers a wide range of restaurants, cafés, hotels & other accommodations as well as a guest harbor and a lovely small beach. We asked in the tourist office if there were any camping grounds in Nagu, but unfortunately there were no official place to pitch our tent. Best thing we could do, was to ask the different accommodations if they had space outside for us and our little tent or simply just get a room. So we did. Rather quickly Nagu's popularity became apparent to us as finding a place to stay (within our price range) was pretty darn hard - not surprising, considering it was peak season after all.

Eventually, we managed to squeeze us in for two nights at Martha's Inn: One night tenting in their backyard and another in their comfy bed as a heavy rain storm rolled in that second night. Martha's Inn was such a lovely place and the old traditional Finnish buildings gave us that warm spirit as in a grandma's house. The interior was old fashion; we felt that antique and romantic atmosphere as soon as we pooked our heads into the main house. From the second we stepped inside we were greeted with warm smiles and great hospitality. We were sold! :) During our stay at Martha's Inn, we had a few chats with the owners. They really took their time to talk with us which only added to the overall positive experience. We treated ourselves the luxury of eating a good morning meal at their amazing breakfast buffet and had it not been for our laziness we would have pampered ourselves with some Finnish Löyly spirit of their sauna.
Since we were staying in Nagu for two days, we decided to make a small day trip to one of the smaller islands nearby. We decided on Högsar about 11 km away. There isn't anything special or spectacular on the island - well besides for the sceneric countryside, the beautiful lakes and natural forests ♥ We spent the day chilling on the rocks by the lake, walking in the forest, got all exhilirated by a fox running right in front of us, laughing & talking and just forgetting the time. I seriously don't remember the last time I had so much fun doing absolutely nothing. This was life. Simple, carefree and full of happiness. After spending a few hours on the island, we were forced to leave our bubble of solitude. The first rain drops started falling on the tip of our noses. It was time to go. Another day trip in play was a visit to the island Själo - only a ferry ride away from Nagu. The island is known for its church and nature, the Archipelago Research Institute and the former hospital facility with many of the present-day buildings on the island being built for a former mental hospital.
Taking the ferry from Nagu to the tiny island Högsar
The darkness of the night did not hurry on us and we enjoyed the slow evenings with walks by the silent water and with reflections on future life as the sun danced its way towards the horizon. In Nagu we chilled at the beach to the wee hours of the night and watched the locals take advantage of the extra hours of light with a refreshing late-night plunge into the sea. Viking blood isn't exactly running through our veins so we stayed safely on shore getting all warm and comfy with cups of earl grey and Finnish liquorice. We simply love those long summer nights that are blessed upon us living in the Nordics. Winters might be cold and dark but these days of endless revitalizing rays of light surely make up for it.

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