This article was originally posted in 2016 in Finnish. Some things have changed and some feel they have happened ages ago. I still want to keep this as much the same as it was.
I think that most people have done some kind of a road trip at some point of their lives. So have I but there is one thing I had never done before. I had never done a kind of a road trip, which would have been totally planned around the video, that is going to be created out of it.
I have test driven and written articles about cars to blogs and car sites since 2011 and some of them have even been published on Readers Digest -magazine. I’m also a member of Car Journalist association in Finland but I still don’t feel myself as a real journalist. To be honest, I didn’t know what I was until this spring. I am a content creator, thanks to PING Helsinki business festival. I feel myself at home in that category. It’s open to new ideas and possibilities and not restricted to “old” views as just being a journalist might be.
So, because what I do and what I’m part of, I get opportunities to test drive new car models. I will write a story about these and take photographs and video as well. Making a road trip -video is another thing than just talking to a camera or driving past it. I had seen some videos from Youtube and Vimeo and I wanted to test what kind of a video I could make. Before making a real documented road trip, I wanted to make a test run. Little did I know that it would become a starting point for the Scenic Road Hunters.
As you will see from my future articles, planning very far ahead is not exactly my cup of tea. Such was the case in this first one too. I had checked a route from Google Maps from Turku to Huittinen but I hadn’t planned any routes for the return trip. So I had to choose the roads while we were driving. One thing I had planned and reserved well before was the car suitable for the trip. It was a Volkswagen Amarok Canyon and that is for European standards a pretty big Pickup Truck. It’s suitable for all kinds of roads and terrains or even off-roads so I didn’t have to worry about the condition of the roads ahead.
It was Saturday 22nd of March 2014 and the alarm clock woke me up at 05:30. I packed my stuff, ate a small breakfast and drove to Turku to get Marko. The parking lot was totally full around the buildings were he lives so I drove to a field nearby. I as mentioned previously, we hadn’t really planned much. One thing we hadn’t thought was the starting point for the trip. Well, actually we had already started but since we were making a video, we needed a starting point for that.
There we were sitting in the car and made a quick decision to start the trip from Ruissalo. This is a narrow peninsula where you can see the Ferries to Sweden go very near and where really big and old oaks grow. It would fit in our purpose just perfect. The more precise location would be “People’s Park” which is better known of the Ruisrock -music festival held each summer. So we shot some kind of a starting scene and were sad that we didn’t have time to wait for the Ferries to show up. That would have been an awesome set.
That was the beginning of the actual road trip. Our first stop was a cafe since I hadn’t had any for this morning yet. It was still early so none of the cafeterias were open. We drove around Raisio ja ended up to a 24/7 gas station at Oriketo, Turku. There we had our coffee and donuts with it. That was also a possibility a plan this trip a little further.
Plan for the day was somewhat like this:
After the morningmeeting, we were supposed to head towards Kurjenrahka national park using only small roads. Getting out of Turku turned out to be hard even though we were both somewhat locals. Some roads had been closed and re-routes brought us next to the new Prison (which they built to replace the old Kakola Prison) and past that back to the same Gas station where we left. So we decided to skip the “small-roads only” -plan for a while and drove bigger roads to Rusko and Vahto. It took us an hour and a half from the beginning to even get out of Turku. Crazy!
After Vahto the scenery changed to a forest and we were driving on small gravel roads. Amarok was on the right place. Spring is hard on gravel roads because the freeze start to melt. Roads go to a bad condition which could mean wet and surfaces, crushed edges or holes in the middle of the road. Luckily we did not have a ground-skimming sports car.
We arrived at the national park and did (a very short) walk around the forest before moving on. The upcoming scenery was beautiful countryside and winding roads until they changed to tarmac and we were about to arrive in Yläne. We found an old wooden church and decided to have a photosession.
From here we continued to the Pyhäjärvi at Säkylä and there we saw an ongoing ice-surfing competition.
So it was time to move on again. We continued to Huittinen and noticed we hadn’t eating anything for quite some time. It was around noon at this point. Marko ate a chicken basket and I ate reindeer with mashed potatoes with lingonberry jam on the side. Oh my that tasted good.
We started to film one river after the lunch and after that we started to follow one named scenic route called “Taikayöntie” (road of the magic night). Spring might not be the perfect time to drive this road but it was pretty ok now and then when the road was following a river and it went through small villages. This road takes you from Huittinen to Urjala, which would be our next stop.
We stopped at Nuutajärvi, more specifically to the area of an old glass factory. We took some time to watch the students of the glass school to do their art and then we visited the shop of Tiffany-Lasi Uskelin (finnish page) where glass art is created using Tiffany technic.
After we had seen the art and some coffee, we continued on the small and windy gravel roads, that had once been also the special stages for the Finnish Rally. I got to admit that these curves were pretty hard, so if you were driving on them the pedal to the metal, it must have been pretty hard for the rallydrivers and keep the car between the treelines.
After some time we arrived to an old Sawmill that now looks like an abandoned ghost house. Something that couldn’t be passed without taking some photographs first. I have to admit, that this was not something you wanted to visit after sunset. The featured headline image is from this location.
Apparently that tower was at the neighbor-village at some point and the people of this village went there for a visit. They offered a lot of alcoholic drinks to the Russians there until they were asleep. Then they took the opportunity and loaded up the tower to a carriage and burned everything what remained of the tower. Russians thought everything had burned down but the clock tower was brought to Jokioinen and is still there with the clock working.
Our jouney continued towards Ypäjä. This is a commune, which has a school for horse carers, horse riders and breeders. I believe that’s pretty much all there is. We are more interested on horse power and scenery so we continued on without stopping.
Our journey started to be near end and the last stop was a fast photosession at Loimaa. There was big silos near the road and the sun was setting between them. Something not to miss. This journey of ours lasted about 12 hours. We drove about 300 kilometers which is not much compared to the time spent, but it just shows how much more time is consumed when you try to photograph and video the journey. The goal of this trip was fulfilled. We had gathered experience on documenting our road trips.
I hope you stayed along this far. Now it’s time to see the video that was filmed on that trip. There is some elements on this video, that I would like to get on the future videos as well. I’m more than happy to receive your suggestions and comments about the video, if there is something I could have done better or maybe about the route we chose.