St Olav Waterway …beyond those steps!

Remember those steps? Here they are from the top!

In preparation for our pilgrimage the week after next, and in view of the fact that we will set off from Turku in the evening, I thought I’d better see what happens after those steps.

Good thing I did, it’s not particularly straight forward!!!

I started off where I knew the pilgrim route would come out from Vaarniemi and worked back from the point where (reassuringly) there was a pilgrimage waymarker. A good start (albeit in reverse)

Since Jolanta and I had our adventure the description of the route has been amended so I knew it was futile looking for St Olav waymarkers in this particular section!

Interestingly, this is somewhat familiar stomping ground for me as we’ve sometimes walked the dogs here (though we call it by a different name) but nonetheless it’s still somewhat tricky to find the blue markings of the hiking trail. (A detailed map at the lookout tower – where there is St Olav Waterway marker would be helpful, I think)

I managed to hike up from Maastotie to the shelter (where there’s an outback toilet ( a puucee) and up the tower (and back to the top of the very steep steps) and with a bit less ease (because the blue markings are not easily visible and it’s very easy to veer slightly off piste) I found the car -and the reassuring st Olav sticker again. Success!

So far so good!

Next I wanted to make sure I could navigate with some confidence to nearby Auvainen, where we will stay the first night.

Yes! That worked. So very far so very good.

The next exploration was to check the start of the route from Auvinen (partly on foot, partly by car) through the suburbs of Kaarina until the road to the archipelago. This wasn’t that easy either (and I’d have liked a few more signs to reassure me that I was not only on the right road but walking the right direction), just having the street names isn’t quite enough … though on foot it’s a more straightforward than by car through the new builds because of the connecting cyclepaths! Fingers crossed!

One nice surprise was that the route takes you right next to Kaarina swimming beach , which was crowded today (a sunny Sunday) and looked jolly tempting even though it was only 9:30am.

The ice-cream kiosk was doing a roaring trade. If it’s as hot as this a week on Tuesday (unlikely) I’ll be hoping s/he’s open for business for us!

All in all a good morning’s preparation for our forthcoming St Olav Waterway adventure! This time next week I’ll be busy packing …

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