After the 8 hour long leg from Dirham (Estonia) to Hanko by motor, we were happy to finally reach the harbour. There was not even light breeze, the wind meter was showind 0.01m/s, which meant no slightest chance to sail. It was joy to see that the harbour was not fully packed, as it very often is during the short Finnish summer. Maybe one of the reasons was cool weather, that kept many people home. Anyhow, finally we were here again, after 2 years.
Many people are quite skeptical about this place and critisize it for being always full, noisy, not having good enough facilities and what not. But I personally love this little town! Each time we come here, I want to have an extra parking day just to walk around and enjoy its "southern" atmosphere, with crowds of people, little markets, small shops, hidden and not beaches, cafeterias etc etc etc... This time was not an exception :)
I fully agree though, that for the harbour fee you have to pay there, all the facilities should be renewed. And the reason why I love coming back here is absolutely not related to the harbour itself, but the town and life of its own in summer.
On the evening of arrival we had a pizza with K, M and D, same friends we spent time with on the Estonian shore, and later, after the "traditional" boat-check tour, had a proper rest.
In the morning it was a new day in all meanings: the weather finally got noticeably warmer, it was our first shorts&t-shirt day :) And the things to do in this lovely place were so many, that we had to wake up rather early to cover as many of them as possible!
The first on the list was "must-do": shopping. With the bikes we headed to the local Lidl and got refills of all the missing food. Of course, with plenty of bags and in hurry to do all the rest that was planned for that day, we attracted the Murphey´s law: one of the bike´s tires was flat already at the parking place. After wasting a lot of time for fetching the tools from the boat and trying to get it repaired by ourselves, we realised that we might need to use the local bike service... Luckily it was open and was relatively close to the harbour. After a couple of hours of lost time, bike was finally fixed and we could go on.
By all means I wanted to go and visit The House of the Four Winds! I have been there once during my Finnish holiday, before I moved here. The views are breathtaking not only on the terrace, but also on the way there. It was a perfect late lunch place and we enjoyed it fully :)
The smaller route to this place, meant for bikes and pedestrians, follows quite much the shore curves, after going through the gorgeous villa district, central beach and some hotels.
After the meal we were in a hurry back to the boat, my parents-in-law were coming over to visit us :) After nice time with them and dinner in one of the restaurants close to the harbour, we were meeting my ex-colleague for a drink or two.
The day seemed very long, as it was so full of all kind of events! But it was just what I expected it to be like...maybe I could skip the flat tire;)
Thanks to my ex-colleague's hint, we were lucky to be right in time for the market the morning after. It was a perfect idea to get all kind of fresh local goods to enjoy later in the next harbour.
Off we go, but will be back! :)