Sunday, April 3, 2011

Eastern Uusimaa's treats

The whole day long tour didn't end at Rutum manor, but continued to a completely different surrounding, a place called Seikkailulaakso (direct translation: the adventure valley). I must add though that I highly recommend the Rutum manor for any kind of event. The hosting couple was excellent; friendly and welcoming, but also very efficient and professional.

Seikkailulaakso, as the name tells you, is specialized on the other hand on adventures for groups. We only had a few hours time to get to know the place, located in the city of Porvoo. Still, we got to try four different activities there.

The first activity was axe throwing. We had to throw axes towards a wooden wall where there was a stubble attached to the wall. It was as it sounds; dangerous. For a small girl like me it was difficult, even though axe throwing does not ask for a lot of force but actually only the right swing. It got easier once one tried it several times.

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Can you guess the second activity?

Yes, snow shoe walking. It was a lot of fun! It was actually my first time ever trying them out, even though I'm a Finn! We even have them in Helsinki! But here in Helsinki the winter season is coming to its end so by now it might be close to impossible to find some anywhere...but I still recommend them for everybody. I stumbled upon an upexpected problem-my feet for too small for the shoes, hehe! I had some difficulties in keeping the snow shoes on me, but at least I got to try it and enjoyed it very much. Next time, I might take shoes more equipped for this activity. Have you tried snow shoe walking yet?

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The third activity was paintballing. Even though it might sound harmless, in Seikkailulaakso they took it seriously. I don't like any kinds of weapons, so I found that this was not the activity suited for me, but I'm sure it's a lot of fun for those who like it.

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I enjoyed maybe the most the last activity we did, we drove with some bug cars! They were fast and fun!

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After seing one castle, one manor and doing all those activites, we were ready to hit the road back home, but on the way we still had one stop: Haikko manor. The fact that we were supposed to have some chocolate tasting made us think that it was an excellent way to end the eventful day. And so it was. The manor is very beautiful, even though I prefer the villa close by to the waterfront.

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In the manor, like I mentioned, we had some chocolate tasting. That meant we compared chocolate types with different kinds of wine. What can be better than that?!?? We got to try chocolate treats from a chocolate factory working in Porvoo called the Small Chocolate Factory. It specializes in truffles, brownies and chocolate glazed cakes. Heaven!

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The chocolate factory has a fascinating story about its creation:
"In 1809, at the Porvoo Diet, Tsar Alexander fell in love with Miss Ulla Möllersvärd. Later the Tsar visited Porvoo several times in this building in the Old Town, where the Little Chocolate Factory is now located, and where Ulla´s half brothers, captain Johan Adolf and Gustaf Reinhold Möllersvärd lived. The Tsar and Ulla would sit in a candlelight room and taste the chocolate delicacies that the captains had brought from their military expeditions."

As we sat and enjoyed the wine combined with chocolate, we also got to hear some history concerning chocolate in general. All this, inside the walls of a manor. I had to pinch myself so that I would know I wasn't dreaming...

Like I mentioned earlier, I preferred believe it or not, the villa of Haikko over the manor. It looked like the ideal place for a hmm...wedding. So romantic. It had the waterfront just outside of it. The hostess even told us that one could arrange fireworks right outside the villa. Aaaw.

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After a long day getting to know Eastern Uusimaa, it was time to return home to Helsinki with a lot of gatherned knowledge. Now when visitors ask me what to see in the countryside outside Helsinki, I sure have a better answer than before.

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