The next in the Winter Travel Talk series at the Woods Hole Public Library will be an illustrated talk on Monday, February 29 at 7:30 PM by Betsy Gladfelter about her recent trip to Finland and Norway where she traveled by bicycle, ferry, train, and bus.
Starting from Finland’s capital of Helsinki, she and her intrepid companion Madeline Markin, also of Falmouth, took a short ferry ride to the islands of the World Heritage site at Suomelina. Then they traveled by train to Turku on the western shore of Finland. From there, they began a six day cycling trip through the islands of the Archipelago Sea, taking ten ferries and crossing numerous bridges in an area some consider to be the largest concentration of inhabited islands in the world. As Betsy describes “The landscape was rolling and rural with a few small villages on the larger islands. Getting to the ferry on time added adventures to the trip, which we enjoyed sharing with two Swiss couples traveling the same route and staying at the same small B&B’s along the route”. From Turku they traveled north by train to Rovianemi, the heart of Lapland, and the “official home of Santa Claus”, though Betsy says disappointedly “We didn’t catch a glimpse.”
From there they traveled by bus north looking for moose and reindeer along the way to Tana Bru a small, mainly Sami village in the Finnmark region of Norway. They braved cold and sleet to watch traditional salmon fishing in the river, one of the very few in the region that does not allow salmon farms at its mouth. A short, local bus ride east took them to Kirkenes, a town with a fascinating WW II history and interesting economic ties, located a short distance from the Russian border.
A few days later they boarded the M/V Vesteralen, a coastal ferry in the Hurtigruten fleet, and sailed along the Norwegian coast for the next 6 days visiting 28 ports on their way south. They saw spectacular scenery and wildlife, including great views of sea eagles, and took a small boat trip out to the Vega Archipelago, famous for its ancient tradition of eider down cultivation. The trip ended in Bergen, where they visited some of the beautiful and historic sites.
The talk will be amply illustrated by Betsy’s superb photographs, and will be filled with lots of detail on the adventure. As always, the talk is free and open to the public. For more information, call 508-548-8961.