Exploring Hanko, Finland

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Today I hit with Rosemary Everett and Peter Gard for an hour in the morning before matches began. None of us played today but we all play tomorrow and all on the same court (not at the same time!). Rosemary is up at 10, followed by Peter, followed by me, all on court 5. We are in the doubles semis and don’t appear to have a match, though our opponents do play their quarterfinal today.

After hitting and doing some maintenance exercises (and of course going to the store), I set out on my bike again, first to the four winds cafe (Neljan Tuulen Tupa – The House of Four Winds), which is about a 10 minute bike ride from my hotel. It’s a famous old house on a small outcropping (where the winds can come from all directions). It was quite busy (the wait for the fish soup was about 40 minutes). In addition to soups, salads and sandwiches, it served smaller sandwiches, cakes, and pastries and of course coffee, the Finnish national drink!. It was pretty cold outside to sit and some of those four winds were blowing so I sat inside by the window and people watched…and also wandered around the area a bit. The soup was pretty much a Finnish salmon soup and was good, lots of salmon and some potatoes, celery and onion in a thin milky broth. It was served with a dense, bitter (to my taste) rye bread and butter. It was a good Finnish experience.

After leaving the cafe, I took some photos of the old wooden houses, for which Hanko is famous (along with its beaches).

Hanko Wooden Mansions
Quiet beach in Hanko

I decided to try and bike to the southernmost part of Finland, and on the way detoured to the Hanko Lidl. On food in the stores:

  • Black licorice of all types is really popular. There must have been a dozen kinds or more at the Lidl, and it was black, salted licorice.
  • Potatoes arrive at stores in big cardboard bins and are turned upside down and the potatoes are sold basically as they come out of the ground. There were many forms of fresh potatoes but this was the most unusual presentation.
  • Peanuts appear to be the most popular nut
  • There are lots of salmon, smoked and fresh and also frozen
  • You can find Karelian pies (Karjalanpiirakka in Finnish) everywhere…both grocery stores sold fresh ones…basically rye/wheat bread filled with rice porridge (not sweet). They are traditionally served with a mixture of boiled eggs and salted butter.
  • Return plastic bottles to the store and get a credit to use..don’t forget to take them or to use the credit (I made both mistakes today, but there’s time to remedy them tomorrow.)

After going to Lidl I biked on to the southernmost point in Finland but did not realize the last three kilometers (just under 2 miles) could only be completed on foot. It was getting late so I biked back to the hotel…will take the Tulliniemi nature trail another time, after the tournament.

And that’s a wrap on touring Hanko, now for tennis!

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