Ruskeala Marble Canyon and WWII in Karellia

Monday, July 7, 2014

the next morning just down the road it became paved! This is pretty typical as soon as one district ends and another begins there can be a huge difference in road surfaces
Welcome to Karelia
The pavement lasted all of 10 miles then this dirt road monstrosity. The sign says something like WARNING DANGEROUS ROAD.
You want to see Russian life, not Moscow, this is it!
This is the first time I have sen something like this. 3 monuments all together in one square. This one Soviet for the war
This one Finnish from 1918
This one Finnish from WWII
Behind them were some old ruins from another Finn Church
Some drunks wouldn’t leave me alone so finally they took my picture for me and I paid them like the equivalent of a quarter.
The road changed back to dirt and I found this little old church thing on the side of the road
It had another old graveyard behind it
The road and the bridge wasn’t it to bad of shape
The north end of Ladoga! Pavement started back up again!
Monument to the Russian fleet that served in Ladoga during the war
Then I stumbled across this pleasent town Sortavala. if you ever in the area its a nice quiet town with some interesting buildings
I had planned for failure when I started the day, July 7. I wanted to get a little over 400km. I knew a lot of it would be over not the best roads but thought what the **** I will try and if it works it works if not well I have a tent.
Main stop for the day was Ruskeala Marble Canyon. There is a lot of marble here and the Swedes started mining it way back in the day and it has been continued. Now the old mining sites have filled partially with water and formed a canyon of sorts.
its hard to tell how clear the water was! Just amazing and a beautiful sun shining day!
This is one of the few times I hate being alone. I wanted to do the boat ride but its something I didn’t want to do alone. You could rent the boats but you had to row. So I ended up not renting on and heading down the road
A little info
Then it was down the road towards Ladoga again. head east a few km then north on what would become about 50 miles of gravel road, fairly decent though
And their old CLUB!!! I don’t know if it worked or not but if I was a betting man………. well I still wouldn’t bet on it you just never know around these parts.
Then I started running into all kinds of stuff south of Souyarvi
These were everywhere. old bomb craters that have grown over. It was quiet interesting to see them and brought a whole new perspective to everything. Its one thing to see old trenches and stuff preserved as a museum but this, and they were everywhere, here in the forest forgotten by most. just amazing
There was a whole row of burials of soviet soldiers and across the river a whole row of Finns.
When people find things they bring them here and leave them
As I was about to leave an old truck pulled out and 2 drunk guys got out and we talked. They told me the fighting here was crazy serious and a lot. I don’t know much about this area of the war, I believe it was the winter war 1939-1940, I need to research it more now. While we were standing there 3 Finnish guys drove by on bikes I tried to wave them down but they didn’t stop. I figured they were headed to the same place as me. These people have a cottage in their yard and they open it in the summer to anyone but more specifically bikers.
This is where I ended the night