Imatra and Savonlinna

Imatra and Savonlinna

After leaving Lappeenranta we headed towards Savonlinna for the second leg of our vacation. On the way, we made a few stops to kill time.

Imatran Valtionhotelli and rapids

We first stopped at Imatran Valtionhotelli hotel. The hotel is a castle-like building in the national landscape of Imatra by the Imatrankoski rapids. The hotel was built in 1903. Prior to the castle-like hotel, two wooden hotels stood at the site that burnt down in the late 1800s. The hotel acted as a war hospital during the Finnish civil war and as the headquarters of the Army of the Isthmus during WW II. My parents actually spent their honeymoon at this hotel in the mid-1960s. The Imatrankoski rapids have been a famous tourist attraction since the late 1700s. Since 1929, the rapids have been blocked by a dam as the Imatra hydroelectric plant began operation and in the summertime, there are shows where the dam is opened. This is something I want to see one of these days and I would also like to spend a night at the hotel.

Imatran Valtionhotelli hotel from 1903.
Imatran Valtionhotelli
The rapids weren’t running wild
The rapids flow into Saimaa
Many visitors to the rapids have carved their names into the rocks, like Russian Empress Catherine the Great in 1772 and the Emepror of Brazil Pedro II in 1876
View from the bridge where you can watch the show of the rapids being released.
Imatran Valtionhotelli
Staircase inside the hotel.

Church of the Three Crosses

Before heading to Savonlinna we also stopped at the Church of the Three Crosses (Kolmen Ristin kirkko). The church was designed by Alvar Aalto and completed in 1958. It is said to be Aalto’s most original church design. The church gets its name from the three crosses at the altar.

The three crosses at the altar.
Church of the three crosses designed by Alvar Aalto.

Savonlinna and Riihisaari museum island

When we arrived in Savonlinna we checked in to our hotel Tavis Inn. The hotel building is from 1915 and the room was huge with a small kitchenette and tiny but functional bathroom. After settling in we went for a walk around town and visited the Riihisaari museum island. We checked out the exhibitions and I was so thrilled they had a temporary exhibition by my favorite photographer Signe Brander. We visited the two museum ships docked by the museum, tar steamer s/s Mikko (hubby’s namesake) and steam schooner s/s Salama. I had booked a table at Waahto Brewhouse for dinner. It was a nice pub. We both ordered fish of the day with pea risotto and grilled vegetables. The fish was delicious, but the sides were mediocre. We opted for dessert, I drank a Baileys hot chocolate and hubby had a lime pannacotta with strawberries. The meal was better than I expected from a pub.

Our hotel, our room was on the second floor with the balcony.
The sleeping area in our room.
Living and eating area of the room.
View from the balcony of our room.
Savonlinna’s best-known attraction – Olavinlinna castle.
Old boast moored by the market square.
Views over Saimaa.
Hubby’s namesake tar steamer s/s Mikko.
Steam schooner s/s Salama.
Streetview of old Savonlinna.
Another interesting looking boutique hotel.
Catch of the day at Waahto Brewhouse.
Dessert time.

Sorry for taking so long to post. I had surgery last week and preparing for it and recovery took some time. Two more Savonlinna posts will follow.

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