There is a restaurant at this hostel, but we decided to get some bread and stuff we could barbecue. The hostelowner drove with us to town to do the groceries. We barbecued each day and had lots of fun chopping the wood for it. It was also great because it was a good way to keep warm in the evenings.
Favorite Dish: Marshmellows!
Sit on the dock and just watch the sunset all the way. It might change several times, the clouds are so unpredictable. Expect the most beautiful views.
I was there in late August when it got a little colder outside. If it would be middle of the summer it would be wonderful to sleep outside on the dock (except when you are a rolling sleeper, then you'll end up wet.) You can fall asleep while looking at the stars, this must be a perfect place for couples!
The Finnish are very proud of their sauna-traditions. Everywhere I had read that you can't leave Finland without having a sauna-experience. Because of an allergy I was avoiding the saunas, until I got to Sulkava. Here at the hostel I had to do it otherwise...no shower! I tried it and got hooked to it, my allergy didn't bother me. We had to chop the wood for the saunastove ourselves. And after every 10-15 minutes we all took a dip in the lake, all naked! We had so much fun running in and out. There was only one other couple we could see in the distance along the lake, they were also having the naked sauna-experience.
At the cottage you have to chop your own wood for the fire at night, but also for the sauna. This is great, and I loved to do it, but it's not something I do daily. I thought I could do it fairly easy. Kaoru sure made it look that way. Well, it wasn't as easy as I thought, instead of the wood I almost chopped my hand, leaving a scar behind. Later on Kaoru showed me how to do it carefully. I would advise you to let someone show you how to chop before you let yourself get out of control, because that axe is extremely sharp!
Take a raincoat with you when you go paddling, and take a plastic bag to put your camera in. We were in the boat a few times when suddenly the sky changed so quickly we could never row so fast to make it back to the cottage in time.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Matches or a lighter for starting your own fires, it will probably be there, but just in case...
Look at my accomodation tip! This hostel is out of the way, and you won't find it by accident. So if you plan to have a full Finish experience take the phonenumber of this place with you!
World´s biggest rowing event is held in Sulkava annually in early July since 1968.
Number of participants is nowadays between 8000 and 10 000. It´s quite lot compared to that fact that there are less than 3500 permanent inhabitants in Sulkava.
Of course there will be lot´s of spectators in Sulkava during this weekend and it is estimated that total number of visitors is around 30000. That´s why the whole village is a huge party area during rowing competition.
The race distance is ~60km. Route goes around Partalansaari, fifth biggest island in Finland.
Every participant get a souvenier medal and a special diploma. Lots of categories: singles, doubles, long boats...Boats can also be rented.
Been there, done that.
Lots of info on website, also in english
Taking the boat out on the lake was one of those fun things we did a few times a day, the best time was early in the morning, there was a damp layer on top of the lake and it looked amazing.
The views you get, the skies you see, the reflections in the water, the peaceful moments...truly wonderful!
If you go a little out of the main season you will have a boat to yourself if there are more people you have to share, which is not that bad, the owner has several boats.
Equipment: Boat and paddles