lundi 18 juin 2012

16 juin: Vaalimaa - Ilottula

414.8km de Helsinki en 20h36. Petite ballade à travers la Finlande... Comme annoncé hier en Allemand, j'essaie de planifier un peu plus mes journée, histoire de ne pas passer à côté de tous les trucs importants: et comme il y a plein de trucs intéressants un peu partout, j'essaie de tout regrouper de manière à ne pas trop zigzaguer à travers le paysage... j'imagine bien les 3 petits vieux assis sur leur banc à se dire: "tient, cette année il y a plein de cyclotouristes sur des vélo bruns et avec un casque rouge" - "ah oui, tu as raison, et ils ont tous un début de barbe" - "ah ces jeunes, de mon temps on apprenait à se raser correctement". Bref aujourd'hui, j'ai visité 5 sites sans repasser par le même chemin... pour ne pas induire les papy en erreurs!
I began to visit Ylämaa and the Jalokivikylä. The only problem was that the museum was closed, so I had to go in a shop next to it to get all informations about this place... And there, I learned the following things: Ylämaa is worldwide famous for its spectrolite. spectrolite? "Spectrolite is a labradorite feldspar, a member of the albite-anorthite series with approximately 55% anorthite. It's composition is Na(AlSi3O8), Ca(Al2Si2O8), hardness 6-6.5, refractive indices 1.56-1.57, specific gravity 2.69-2.70 and double refraction 0,008". In other words, it's a gemstone (crystal) which is beautiful, hard and rare. During world war II, Switzerland discovered Ragusa and Finland spectrolite. Between 1940 and 1944, the Finns built a defense line on the eastern boarder from Vironlahti to Salla: the Salpa line (we can compare it with the Maginot line in France). The fact is, that they discovered spectrolite crystals in stones used as antitank obstacles. And today this stone makes Yälmaa a worldwide famous place for gemologist (there are 4 cutting and polishing workshops there).
Untitled After that, I went to Vainikkala an important place to cross the boarder by train. For Finns, this place is synonym with paying back damages done during WW II against the soviets (so not really positive). You can see on the photo a spectrolite watch with the form of Finland before WW II (today Finland is smaller).
I wanted to see the Saimaan kanava (canal): it is connecting lake Saimaa to the gulf of Finland and is the oldest canal of Finland (built in 1856, it is 43km long and covers 76m high difference). And wanted to see it... and I saw it. I saw also one of the 8 steps to bring the boats up or down.
After jewelry, transport and water, I went to visit Nuijamaa and its church. The special history of this building is that it is the first "Wiederaufbau-Kirche" of Finland: this means that during WW II, the church of the town has completely burned (it was in wood) and it is the first church which has been rebuilt after the war. 
And last but not least, I went to Konnunsuo: there is a penitentiary build in 1920. In my guide it stands that the architecture is very interesting... but I couldn't visit it because it is still working as a penitentiary. The last deception was, that the bar called Konnunsuo was also closed: it should be decorated on the style of the 70ies...
Ma route m'a finalement mené non loin de Lappeenranta (11ème ville du pays avec 60'000 habitants). Mais trop fatigué, je me suis dirigé vers l'est, pour trouver un refuge au bord du lac Saimaa où des particuliers m'ont offert leur plage pour la nuit...

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