Biking for Wolves project 2012Posted by Gianluca Gaudenzi Tue, October 30, 2012 19:02:20
30., 31. october & 1. november 2012
Today, I have "only" a distance of a little more than 20km to do - from Kerimäki to Savonlinna. But before leaving this beautiful peninsula, I make a short circle around the hotel, watching the old defense constructions from WWII.
Pictures: Defenslines from WWII and at the same time one of the most beautiful sceneries.
Being in Kerimäki and not stopping by the biggest wooden building in the world is simple impossible: Kerimäki church:
Pictures: Kerimäki church
Picture: the local news reporter catches me on the road.
Arriving at Savonlinna, I had been tipped by the local newspaper reporter of Savonlinna newspaper about a family owned, nice hotel: Perhehotelli Hospitz (www.hospitz.com). "They are wonderful people and it is a beautiful, stylish yet very cosy hotel right in the closest neighbourhood of the castle (famous for its opera-productions in summertime) and right at the lakeside." As I was asking for accomodation there - I nearly did not finish the first sentence as I already got a "yes of course, we sponsor you" from the owner. Phantastic welcoming and definitely the most beautiful room in the hotel - with a big balcony right towards the lake - it is amazing! I was really overwhelmed by the kindness of the owner and his family.
Pictures: from the in- and outside of the hotel & working with the blogg...
Pictures: the interieur of the room: superb in all ways, cosy and stylish
Pictures: inbetween the biking, there is always a lot of work to to: uppdating the blogg, signing the information sheets before putting up them in the different stores in town and central spots like tourist-information.
In order to be able to acchieve all that, it is most important to also be able to load the reserves - with this amazing breakfast at Hotel Hospitz - served in an old boat - this will not be a problem:
Picture: the astonishing morning-buffet at Hotel Hospitz - the last picture with the hosting lady of the house.
Pictures: View from the balcony towards the lake... breathtaking. Thank you very much for your support Hospitz!
Even Hotell Pietari Kylliäinen (www.pietarikylliainen.fi) wanted to sponsor the tour with one nights free stay as Päivi Poutiainen, the hotelmanager, kindly offered. As the project already had Hotel Hospitz as a sponsor, this was not needed - but it is great, that the hotel Pietari Kylliäinen was willing! Thank you very much!
Picture: Interview with Itä-Savo, the local newspaper. The reporter, Vesa Tapio (left) and the photographer, Timo Seppaläinen (right) came to Hotel Hospitz to meet me, and the owners of Hotel Hospitz kindly offered us coffee. The article about the Biking tour will be published in Itä-Savo on thursday this week (2 nov).
In the night, it snowed and it seemed not wise to go on with the tour without changing tiers to spikes and to have a close view on the non-functioning breakes. So I went to THE biking-shop in Savonlinna - Savonlinnan polkupyörähuolto Koponen Ky - the only one with true expertise - sadly closing up next month due to retierement - but Lasse Koponen: thank you - you did a great jobb with my bike and you did it for free!!! To support the tour! Lots of thanks to you and to Hotel Hospitz who let me stay for another day in order to have time with the reparation - it took many hours.....
Pictures: Winter truely has arrived in Savonlinna and spike-tires are now requiered.
Pictures: The biking shop of Lasse Koponen and he himself, who kindly supported the tour both with items and with his time: the changing of tires, the change of the break-wire, the ajustment of the gear-system as well as the ajustment of the axe of the trailer....again. These are very frigile systems, that have to be handled with great sensibility... the trailer is not of good quality and needs always to be ajusted to the axe. I got 200 Euro from Carina, but there is still 200 Euro missing to be able to by a new one...
Now it is 9.30 i the morning and it is time to start towards Pumala. It is a distance about 80km, along one of the most beauiful routes and landscapes of Finland - lake region Saima - but as it has been snowing and I got the spikes on now, it will take more time to bike.
I hope many of you who read the blogg will join me at Helsinki! Let others know the news! Meeting point: in front of the Finish parliament 9. and 10. of november.
Biking for Wolves project 2012Posted by Gianluca Gaudenzi Tue, October 30, 2012 18:54:54
29. october 2012
Yes... on the road again towards Tohmajärvi to meet the local newspaper:
Pictures: the road towards Tohmajärvi, in the area of Jouhkola, meetings along the road with Tapio and his wife, and of course putting up information at all central places in Tohmajärvi.
Pictures: Another pressconference and picture shooting, this time for the local newspaper of Tohmajärvi: Alasin.
It is not everytime that the newspapers are interested in the tour, but today I was interviewed by two different newspapers: another one at Kitee:
Pictures: Interview by Koti-Karjala. Due to a book-release, I was also invited for cake and coffee.
In Kerimäki, it was Hotel Herttua (www.herttua.fi), that kindly sponsored me. It is situated on a peninsula in lake Peruvesi, sharing the quiete nature with strange defense-constructions from WWII. The hotel seems to be built in the middle of a vaste variety of digged channels, where soldiers used to hide from the enemy. Today the hotels guests are both Finish and Russian and everything about the hotel breaths tranquility and well-being. If someone looks for refreshment and chill out, sauna, bath, massage and healthy food, this seems to be the place in the area. Thanks a lot Hotel Herttua for sponsering the tour!!!
Pictures: the inside of the hotel, delicious food in the evening and a fully equiped breakfast buffet in the morning.
Biking for Wolves project 2012Posted by Gianluca Gaudenzi Tue, October 30, 2012 18:07:24
29. october 2012
Today, the tour leades towards the Russian Boarder and Tohmajärvi.Pictures:
Tonight, I arrived after a distance of 81 km at Kartanohotelli Jouhkolan Hovi (http://personal.inet.fi/business/houhkolanhovi), a wonderful old manner, owned by the family Leinonen, app. 7km south of Tohmajärvi, at lake Tohmajärvi. The owners were already waiting and showed me the way to the guesthouse, were I would be the only sleeping guest for the night. There was snow on the roads and the landscape showed itself from its white side. Let me share some pictures of this beautiful location:Picture: the guesthouse, where my room was right behind the bicycle. The house is used mostly for guests that stay over night after weddings, birthday parties, but also Christmas-celebrations. Lots of space!
Picture: The entrance hall to the guest house.
Picture: some plain food when no shop is around the corner ...
Picture: the manner-house of Kartanohotelli Jouhkolan Hovi, where breakfast and eventually also lunches et al are served.
Picture: Beautiful karelian details on the fasade of the manner, that a Polish Architekt signs for. The building is from about 1900-century and stilish renovated inside.
Picture: Breakfast was served (Fru Leinonen cooked porridge for the biker!) together with nice company of the son of the house: Tomas.
We had interesting discussion about the radical forestindustry and about the issue of Wolves in Scandinavia and in the local region of Tohmajärvi. According to Tomas, the Wolf is no problem in the area. He agreed that many times, attitudes toward Wolves build on prejudies and ignorance about the Wolf and his living habitat.
Pictures: After having said good bye to the Leinonen family, time for departure towards Kitee and Kerimäki. In case you wonder, what happened with my big bags on the back of the bike, I got some help for some days with a very personal co-driver, who shares not only my baguage but also my heart.
But first, a short stop back at Tohmajärvi to meet with the local newspaper.
Picture: The road from the manner is now all white - 2km - to bike without spikes.
Bye bye for today!
Biking for Wolves project 2012Posted by Gianluca Gaudenzi Sat, October 27, 2012 21:52:02
26. & 27. october 2012
Yesterday I arrived at Joensuu, after 80km on the bike. I was kindly sponsored by Holiday Linnunlahti Oy (www.linnunlahti.fi), THE camping site at Joensuu. The cottages where only a year old, and everything was entirely fresh and bright inside the quite big appartments with lake-view.
pictures: Linnunlahti Oy Camping site
Even a sauna was provide in the bathroom, and after a bikingtrip of 80km, that is exactly what is needed. The camping site had arranged for a press-conference at the reception at 12.00 noon, but unfortunately all reporters seemed to be occupied with other local engagements. Instead, I went to the big mess-hall, where a handycraft-mess was going on during the day, with lots and lots of people entering and leaving the place. That provided me with the opportunity to put up the banners, my bike and to hand out information sheets about the tour. Many people at all ages stopped and really became engaged.
pictures: people interested to discuss Wolves: Simo Vaananen and his son Johannes Vaananen from Joensuu; a family from Kotka with the two girls Anna & Lilja.
Even Christiana Harle, a green-party politician, former running for parliament and really engaged in the issue of the Wolves, stayed to discuss with the project. She sent me an email this evening, that she has put up a link to the project on her facebook site - so I hope, now even more people will follow the tour!
Picture: Together with a.o. Christiana Harle, green party
Join me for the demonstration infront of the Finish parliament 9. and/or 10. of november! More info soon!
Tonight I will be staying over at the Scouts Youth Hostel, Partiotalon Retkeilymaja (www.youthhostel-joensuu.net) - thank your for sponsering my stay over night and providing my bike with a save haven in the backyard!
Picture: Together with Ari Tahvanainen, the Chairman of the Society of Scouts' parents, who provided me with one free stay over night.
The youth hostel (scouts) is situated in a very calm and nice area, not at all far from the center of the city and close to both university, exhibition-center and other recreation facilities. I was also provided with free sheets for the night and the use of the fully equiped kitchen was possible. As there where many mainly latvian students of forrestry staying at the hostel at the same time, the discussions at breakfast time where both interesting but did also show that the science of forrestry not really takes into account questions of ecological balance and diversity - only if useful to the industry...
Tomorrow morning the tour goes on to an area, that by many is known as an area, where Wolf-hatred is widely spread: Tohmajärvi. I am ready face and stand up against this hysteria and to take the verbal fight for the rights of the Wolves.
Biking for Wolves project 2012Posted by Gianluca Gaudenzi Thu, October 25, 2012 17:24:28
24. october 2012
After a short stop at the bicycle-shop at Lieksa, where I tried to find new break-wires without any success, as mine a totally worn out, and right now I am not able to use the breaks.... I went on for 27 km to the village of Vuonislahti and Kestikievari Herranniemi (www.herranniemi.com), where I will stay for the night.
This place is just wonderful - such a wonderful hospitality of the owners, Erja and Tapio and such a beautiful house (mannor) with place for app. 60 people.
Erja told me the story of the house: in Tapios family since the early 1800-century, it used to be a post-station, (thereby the name: kestikievari = poststation) where horses where exchanged and people could stay over night, until the railroad was built in 1910. First in the 1950's, Tapios parents reopened the place as a youthhostel and built up the business again. When I was sitting in the diningroom of the beautiful manner, I just thought how tastfully renovated this old building was. - But: Erja told me, that the house actually burned down to the ground in 2007! So it is rebuilt since then! And you would never be able to tell! Fortunately nobody was injured in the fire, but they lost everything. And with lots of energy, good will and help of neighbours and friends, they were able to restore what was lost - maybe it became even more beautiful - just look at the pictures above.
Apart from being hosted by such nice people, the dinner was delicious, and they are - not so surprisingly - also part of a culinary book from the region. So if you are looking for a beautifully situated place in North-Karelia, with good food, a great sauna at the lakeside and very nice hosts - then this is the place!
Erja and I also discussed the relationship between wolves and people in the area and she stated that most of the people here aren't afraid of wolves or bears. We live in the village, and the bears live in the forest, about 5 km from here - we don't disturb each other and are not afraid of each other, she stated. Some people might be, but I am certainly not. (This discussion actually was held in German - which Erja speaks fluently as she was an au pair some years ago...
Finally I also had some time to look through the book I received by Lassi Rautiainen, with astonishing pictures from sea-eagles, wolves, bears and other seldom observed animals.
Good night - tomorrow Joensuu is waiting!
Biking for Wolves project 2012Posted by Gianluca Gaudenzi Thu, October 25, 2012 17:14:54
23. & 24. october 2012
For two nights I have now been staying at Hotel Kaatrahovi (www.kaatrahovi.fi) in Lieksa, where Svetlana showed true hospitality - thank you very much. The hotel is located central in Lieksa, which made it easy to walk into the city to put up information about the bikingtour at all bigger stores. K-market, S-market a.o.
Picture: in front of Kaatrahovi Hotel, Lieksa
I also enjoyed the visit to a bakeri and tried their pasteries, informing them about the Bikingtour at the same time.
In the late afternoon, I went to the local newspaper, Lieksa Lehti and their reporter Marco Heikinnen. He interviewd me for halv an hour and went back together with me to the hotel in order to take pictures. In a couple of days, he will sent med the article by mail.
The next stop was at the police-station, where I made inquieries about the Wolf that has been shot only some weeks ago in the area of Lieksa and by order of the local police. I got the full written report handed over by a policeman - yet in Finish, but I will translate it in order to get a better picture of why it is the police that is making decisions on wolfs in this area.
Today I will go on towards Joensuu, to the village of Vuonislahti.
Biking for Wolves project 2012Posted by Gianluca Gaudenzi Thu, October 25, 2012 17:00:52
23. october 2012
Yesterday, late evening, I arrived at Eräkeskus Wilderness Lodge: www.erakeskus.com at Simone and Katja's place - they sponsored me with very good food, one nights stay and a wonderful breakfast. They even waited for me with their dinner - as I was arriving really late! Thanks a lot for all your kindness - a beautiful place to stay at!
picture: Eräkeskus Wilderness Lodge
picture: Rolf & Tanja at Eräkeskus Wilderness Lodge, posing with my bike
Next stop on the tour is Lieksa, "only" 30 km south.
Biking for Wolves project 2012Posted by Gianluca Gaudenzi Mon, October 22, 2012 14:11:45
22 october 2012
After several days at Lassi Rautiainens place at Kivikiekki, close to the Russian border, I am now on my way down to Helsikinki and then Stockholm. There I will be demonstrating in front of the parliaments of these two countries in order to point out the madness of the practiced Wolf-policy.
9./10. november in front of the Finnish parliament in Helsinki
15./16. (maybe some Days later depending on how the tour goes on) november in front of the Swedish parliament in Stockholm.
Organize yourselves and join me in this important action against the slaughter and hunting of the protected but endangered Wolf!
Join me at Helsinki or at Stockholm or organize friendship demonstrations whereever you are - at the same time!
Contact me so we can coordinate! firstname.lastname@example.org.