Friday, 12 September 2014

007 Travel Story: Kotka (FINLAND) 2014

KOTKA 5.-7 September 2014


007 Travelers visited Kotka in Finland, like James Bond did in the book”James Bond, The Authorized Biography of 007 (1973) by John Pearson. All quotes in this 007 travel story are from this book.


Pirita's, Mika's and daughter's own family trip for three.

Accommodation:

School in Haapasaari, Haapasaari, (Kotka), Finland
20,00 EUR / person / 1 night, no breakfast included, booked www.haapasaariseura.fi

Hotel:
Seurahuone Kotka, Keskuskatu 21, Kotka, Finland
132,00 EUR / 1 night, breakfast included, booked www.sokoshotels.fi/en/

Travel informationOnnibus
Route: Helsinki – Kotka – Helsinki
Price: 30,00 EUR / 3 persons / direction
Duration: 2 h / direction

Shipping Company: FINFERRIES/KYMEN SAARISTOLIIKENNE OY
Ship: Otava
Voyage: Kotka – Haapasaari - Kotka
Price: Free
Voyage duration on boat: 2 h / direction

Friday 5 September 2014

On this really beautiful sunny day we traveled from Helsinki to Kotka by Onnibus. Tickets are available on Onnibus website. Book online early to secure the lowest price and special fares.

Bus Features:
Free Power and Wi-Fi
Air Conditioning
Modern Fleet
Reclining Seat
Professional Drivers
Toilets
Limited Mobility
Safety First Seat Belts





Our trip from Helsinki to Kotka took 2 hours and went well. When in Kotka, we bought some food from local market SALE, where is an extremely good service and helpful staff. They helped us to get a taxi and we headed to harbour Kuusinen / Sapokka where our boat OTAVA was waiting for us.






















We knew that James Bond had a blue motorboat and he traveled to island which was

located about 10 miles from Russian border. We figured out on basis of the coordinates
that the island might be Haapasaari. On his way he saw uninhabited islets with lots of pines on them. 




“The sun sank early and the dusk was gathering when he saw the Lublin. Her masts were standing like a far-away lopsided tree on the pale horizon. Bond steered towards her.
The island lay just half a mile beyond, a chunk of rock, crowned with a scalp of pines.

He also saw an old ship Lublin on his way. We asked about this ship form the staff of Otava. They were really friendly and told us that there has been a boat called Lublin, which might have been an inspiration to author John Pearson, when he described the boat. 



Lublin

“Bond was to go to Kotka, a seaport and the last big town before the Russian border. There he would take a motor-launch – Birkin explained, at length, the trouble he had taken getting it – and sail for a tiny island some ten miles from the frontier.”


"There were two wooden huts and a small jetty, but no sign of life. Bond steered towards the jetty, tied up and jumped ashore."

Bond stayed the night out on freezing island where he had found a little cottage, but we stayed cozy inside the cottage. Bond saw an empty convertible bed and another bed with blankets. He made the bed look like he was lying there.

Our beds was just like them in Haapasaari school. We achieved the atmosphere just right.




"He was early and explored the island. It was empty, but, to his surprise, one of the wooden huts was open. He looked in. It had been roughly furnished – chairs, table, blankets on a trestle bed. Bond drew his gun and entered. There was no one there."

Haapasaari
Haapasaari is an island in the Gulf of Finland in Kotka city and a former municipality in Finland. Haapasaari residents of the island is 17 (31.12.2012). Haapasaari Island is located 23 kilometers south-east of the City of Kotka. The island resembles the shape of a double horse shoe.
























Haapasaari School
The school was operational between 1890 - 1973, sharing the knowledge and skills for almost 50 childrenNow the school can be rent for accommodation. It is hosted by Haapasaari-seura.







Haapasaaren Osuuskauppa
Haapasaari Cooperative Society is Finland's smallest independent cooperative. 007 Travelers bought the food from there during our trip. It serves customers throughout the year, four days a week during the winter and during the summer every day.
 



During our visit there was wedding preparations going on. The people were all involved with helping, and they were really helpful to us also, they gave us some stored water because the water system of the island was temporarily closed down for malfunction.

















The wedding was held here in Haapasaari church.



















Saturday 6 September 2014

We left Haapasaari and traveled again with OTAVA boat to Kotka. There was some old army equipment in the harbour.





We checked in to our hotel Seurahuone.





















We explored more Kotka and found the factory chimneys that were mentioned in Bond the book.



































“Kotka was reached by lunchtime. It was a small bright modern town clustering round a glass works and a mammoth paper mill. The air smelt resinous. It was a crisp autumn day; Bond felt revived. Birkin had screwed his monocle firmly into his eye and proudly showed James Bond the motor-launch that he had hired for him.”



We also saw the beautiful waterfalls of Sapokka Water Garden.





The Sapokanlahti bay beside Tallinnankatu protrudes from the sea, forming a marine cove in Kotkansaari. The Sapokka Water Garden has become an important place for local residents and tourists at all times of the year.

Renovation of the park commenced in 1990. Four years later, the park was completed for the recreation and delight of the inhabitants of Kotka.




In addition to the abundant and varied vegetation, the primary elements of the Sapokka Water Garden are water, stone and lighting.
Sea water, fed from the outermost breakwater via 500 meter pipe cascade into the bay from a 20 meters high waterfall.


Our visit in Kotka was about to end. Before that, we had dinner in restaurant Fransmanni.


Pirita & Mika




Other things to do and see in Kotka:

Maretarium
Maretarium – fantastic underwater world of Finnish fishes


Maretarium is a unique aquarium of Finnish fishes, where our scaly friends live in harmony with the seasons. Maretarium is not only entertaining but also an exciting and useful experience for the whole family. There is plenty to capture your attention and lots of information.
Maretarium suits everyone's taste!



Maritime Centre Vellamo

Maritime Centre Vellamo - not just an ordinary museum but a versatile meeting place. Maritime Centre Vellamo is a new-build house constructed for the Maritime Museum of Finland and the Museum of Kymenlaakso, and it has attracted attention in Finland and internationally, thanks to its award-winning architecture. The wavelike and monumental building rises proudly up to 30 meters high with a length of 300 meters in the old City Port of Kotka, near the city center.

In the book Bond travels later to Cairo. We also have new Bond trips on our minds.


Haapasaari




Haapasaari

See more Kotka´s tourist attractions here
Kaupunkilehti Ankkuri´s interview of us here (in Finnish)


See more 007 Travel stories here



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