Mariehamn and Eckerö

Mariehamn and Eckerö

I apologize for the short hibernation on the blog, I’ve been on vacation and suffering from a bit of a blogger’s block. Well, at least, I’ve collected material for posts while I’ve been away.

Vacation trip kicked off

To kick off our summer vacation we headed to Turku for a night to catch the morning ferry to Åland. We stayed at Original Sokos Hotel Wiklund, which turned out to be a positive surprise. The hotel has been recently renovated and the room was spacious and modern. My nephew lives in Turku so we met up with him and his girlfriend at the hotel’s rooftop bar Walo that offered yummy cocktails and great views. After catching up, me and hubby headed to dinner at Tårget. The restaurant was cozy, service good and food tasty so I would absolutely eat here again. On Monday morning we had an early breakfast at the hotel before heading to the ferry terminal. The ferry trip to Mariehamn takes about 5 ½ hours, considering the COVID situation I’d booked a cabin so apart from having a bite to eat we spent most of the time in our cabin.

Strolling along Aura river in Turku
Deep fried cauliflower, satay sauce and chili oil 
Sesame marinated salmon, pickled kohlrabi and wasabi sauce
Chantarelle risotto, roasted pine nuts, fresh spinach, parmesan and cherry tomatoes
Pasta with creamy crayfish sauce, marinated crayfish and pickled fennel
One of my favorite buildings in Turku is the old main library
The hotel room had a cute Smeg fridge for your beverages and funky pegs for hanging your clothes.

Exploring Mariehamn

When we arrived in Mariehamn we drove to our hotel, Park Alandia Hotel and checked in. After unpacking our car and settling into our room we headed out to explore the town. We strolled around the center and walked to Sjökvarteret where we explored the area and enjoyed a local beer. After strolling around town, we headed back to the hotel to freshen up before dinner (I’ll make a separate post about the food we enjoyed on Åland). The following morning we decided to explore the Maritime Museum and the museum ship Pommern after breakfast. If you ever visit Mariehamn I think both museums should be on your list of places to visit.

At Sjökvarteret
Time for a beer
Entrance to the Maritime museum
One of only two remaining authentic pirate flags is located at the maritime museum in Mariehamn.
Aboard Pommern

Visiting Eckerö

Our next step was to collect our car from the hotel and head to Eckerö. Our first stop was Käringsund, a lovely little guest harbor that unfortunately was closed for the season but offered some lovely photo opportunities. Then we headed to the Post and Customs House. The building is impressive, it was constructed in 1828 and was the Russian border post to Sweden for over one hundred years. It was one of Russia’s symbols of power to show the Swedes they ruled over Finland. The building was designed by architects Carl Ludvig Engel and Carlo Bassi and is considered one of Engel’s most important architectural works. On the way back to Mariehamn we made a stop at Eckerö church.

Eckerö Post and Customs House
Eckerö church

After a second night at Park Alandia Hotel it was time to leave Mariehamn for a couple of nights but more about that in the next post. I want to recommend the hotel to anyone visiting Mariehamn. The entire hotel has been renovated between 2017 and 2019 and the rooms are fresh with modern bathrooms. The hotel even has a new pool and sauna area. The service was lovely, and I’ll definitely stay here again when visiting Mariehamn.

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