An Easter Trip to Hanko 
Monday, 17 .April, 2006, 12:01 - English Entries, Finland, Photographs, Travel
Wooden House in Hanko, Finland

On Friday evening Sari and I took a train to Hanko, where friends have a flat which we were allowed to use over the Easter days. When I said that I would go to Hanko during that time, most of the Finns that I talked to were asking "What do you want there?" and predicted that we will only see ice and snow. I was not too afraid of that, knowing that Finish people usually exaggerate when they talk about the disadvantages of their beautiful country.

Wooden House in Hanko, Finland Emigration Monument, Hanko (Finland)

In December 2002 I brought my car to Finland (that is part of a longer story, that I will tell at another time) and arrived one night with the ferry from Rostock to Hanko. That time it was snowing and I just took the road to Helsinki, without seeing anything. In 2004 I came back, but only for a two hour visit and also did not see much of the Southernmost Finish city.

Wooden House in Hanko, Finland Wooden House in Hanko, Finland

What I missed all this time is the Western part of the Beach and town, where one can find many beautiful wooden houses, which all have different colours that brighten up any grey the Winter might hold. Many of these houses were built around 1890, when Hanko started serving as a place for recreation, mostly for Russian nobles. Finland at that time was a Grand Duchy under Russia.

Wooden House in Hanko, Finland Wooden House in Hanko, Finland

The Hanko water tower looms high over the city. It is very different from other water towers in Finland and serves the city as a landmark.

Hanko Watertower Hanko Watertower

Also the Germans left their &ndash as usual belligerent &ndash footprints in Hanko, when Imperial German troops landed in 1918 to support the so-called Finish "white" guards against the Finish socialist and communist "red" guards during the Finish civil-war.

Monument of Liberty, Hanko (Finland) Monument of Liberty, Hanko (Finland)

Walking along the beach in Hanko is a special experience during spring time. The sun was shining, the sand on the beach looked inviting and the sea was still frozen. We walked to the "House of Four Winds", which is opend as a cafe in during warmer days.

Tree at Hanko Beach during Springtime The house of four winds

Although the city center is not as outspoken as the villa-area it is worth a visit, as a small muesum with art of local artist Carl-Gustaf Lilius is located there.

Art by Carl-Gustaf Lilius Art by Carl-Gustaf Lilius

We found Origo, a restaurant in a red wooden house at the harbor. Most of the restaurants are closed during this time of the year, but Origo just had opened on Wednesday for the upcoming summer season. The atmosphere in the restaurant is very special. The low wooden ceiling is held by a wooden structure and the side walls of the building are made of stones, on which candles are placed, from which wax drops down in beautiful shapes. The food is exceptionally good and should be accompanied by a bottle of wine, to make the evening a complete experience.

Restaurant Origo, Hanko (Finland) Candles in Restaurant Origo, Hanko (Finland)

It is obvious that Hanko must be very beautiful during summer time, when the sunlight emphasizes the colors of the houses and nature. But that does not mean that the town would not be attractive in winter and spring as well. During our visit we met very few people on the streets or the beach, most of the time we walked by ourselves and sometimes even were able to catch some sun. All was quiet and relaxing &nadash; a very beautiful Easter vacation.

Spring Sun in Hanko What's coming throught the mist?

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