Donkey Crossing

Welcome to Donkey Crossing! Donkey Crossing is an on-line account of one Limey and one Yank living one Dream. From September 2006 until the end of 2007, we plan to visit friends and family on five continents and immerse ourselves into various cultures, natural phenomena and ways of life. We hope you enjoy our tales and visit often! Cheers, Jason and Rachel Napoli

Thursday, June 14, 2007


After our time in the wooded bliss of central Finland with the Wuethrich family, we packed our bags and headed south to Helsinki, Finland's beautiful capital city. We had to get our passports to the Russian embassy in order to apply for our visas, knowing the processing time would be one week. We stayed in Helsinki long enough to drop off our documents, eat some delicious salmon soup and realize we looked forward to a longer visit the following week. After completing our business in the capital, we headed west to the quaint coastal town of Naantali.

The peaceful view from the one-room cabin we rented at the Naantali campground. The town is surrounded by numerous islands and bays, which all lead to the open sea.
Naantali still has plenty of traditional, wooden Finnish architecture which is quite an attraction for visitors. In much of the country, many classic Finnish buildings were demolished in the 50s and 60s to make way for more modern and durable construction.

The old church tower is an iconic landmark in Naantali and can be seen from many points around the area. Every evening a musician climbs up to the belfry and serenades the town with a couple classic tunes on the trumpet.

For most of the Finnish population there's only one reason to visit Naantali...Moomin Land! The closest thing Finland has to Disneyland, we fortunately left a couple of days before the park opened for the season. We weren't too disappointed to miss the swarms of excited children and traffic heading to Naantali for some Moomin mania.
At first glance this may only look like two old people walking with poles. Spend a couple weeks, or even days, in Finland and you will learn that "Nordic Walking" is all the rage. Young and old alike can be seen up and down the country with their thin poles and aggressive struts. There's also "Nordic Gliding", which adds a pair of in-line skates to the fun. Apparently adding poles makes for a superior arm work out.

Another new recreational sport we stumbled upon was "Billiard Golf". A simple combination of billiards and putt-putt golf, we quickly decided this sport would be a hit across the States and UK in no time!

This simple picnic dinner in front of our cabin consisted of pickled herring, fresh salad and smoked trout stuffed with prawns and Roquefort cheese. We certainly continued to eat well as we made our way up the western coast of Finland!

A final shot of Naantali's posh, yet modest harbor.

We were very lucky to find such a beautiful and pleasant village to relax in for a few days before our time back in Helsinki. Check back soon to read about our urban adventures in the capital and life with our Finnish friends Pauliina, Pete and Tarek.


Anonymous Emily said...

Who knew that Finland would rock so hard? It looks amazing there! Keep up the great writing and photography. It's so fun to travel "with" you.

9:48 PM  

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