Hosting enterprise: Majatalo Torppa , hostess Pauliina Lunna, LAG Sepra region in Finland
Visitors: hostess Sirje and host Rein Kuusik, Kuusiku Naturefarm from LAG Development Centre region, Estonia
May 02, 2017:
Our trip to Majatalo Torppa started by travelling over the Baltic sea by new ferry Megastar and further from Helsinki by bus. Our hostess Pauliina see us at the bus stop Karhula and we travelled to her home and firm Majatalo Torppa. We got accommodated in her B&B comfortable room and had lunch together. Pauliina introduced her services, including main farm building accommodation rooms, sauna, separate cottage for 6 persons and summer house room accommodation. We also met there another contact person from exchange trip to our farm in November 2016 – Sini, who was practising in May 2017 at Pauliina’s tourism company. After lunch we participated in Sepra joint tourism product development (programmes and packages) seminar for King’s road/Kuninkaantie for 4 hours. Our host’s company Majatalo Torppa is a member of King’s road network. It gave us a good possibility to compare our joint tourism products packages in our Lahemaa National Park region with their situation and plans.
May 03, 2017:
First, we visited active tourism firm Kultaankosket Kymijoen rannalla.
This firm provides different services for fishermen, including couses. Kymijoki is an important river in the region’s tourism as it attracts fishermen and it is also an important action tourism river. Also Majatalo Torppa clients often visit Kymijoki for fishing or other activities. After that we travelled to Elimäki village, Mustila arboretum. It has a territory of 120 hectars and was founded in 1902. Today it is unique area of horticultural plants from Northern Europe.
Arburetum has a cafe and shops of suvenirs and plants. They also organize guided tours. Nearby there is Mustilan winery’s wineshop. As we have a small evergreen plants collection at our farm, it was very interesting experience to visit the arboretum and also study their services.
We had lunch at Majatalo Torppa, and in afternoon, we visited some Kotka town’s beautiful parks: Sapokan waterpark and Karhulan riverpark. The parks were really nice with lots of differently designed corners and lightening.
Finally we visited Merikeskus Vellamo, which is huge building, telling stories about Kotka region sea and seaside life. It also has many exhibitions – an interesting building and a good level museum. Lastly, we visited Siikakoski waterfall.
In the evening we enjoyed Pauliina’s sauna.
May 04. 2017:
In the morning, we visited the Kotka town market. It was interesting to see the offer and compare it to such markets in Estonia. Then, we visited the big firm shop near the main road Helsinki – Russian border. It had a good choice of fish with quite good prices. After that we visited some Hamina town shops (local products, handicraft etc) and a local food cafe. The cafe had interesting choice of local breads and cakes. Next we visited the farm Hyvinvoiva hevonen, where hostess Sanna introduced their animals (traditional Finnish horses, ponies, goats and rabbits). They use animals for therapeutical reasons. We got a possibility to experience the goat tour in the forest. It was really interesting experience to walk with goats and learn, how to deal with goat and see how it behaves. They use goat walk to help disabled people to support their health (so-called green care services, nature and animals together). We had a very tasty cafe pause with farm cakes at their terrace.
In the afternoon, we visited the former summer residence place of Russian emperor’s family. Currently, it is a museum and nice place for walk near Kymijoki river.
Finally, we had a very nice restaurant dinner in Kotka together with Pauliina.
May 05, 2017:
After breakfast in Majatalo Torppa, we took the bus back to Helsinki and had a ferry trip back to Tallinn.
The visit gave us lot of information for our own tourism products development. It was also useful to study Majatalo Torppa’s services and discuss with Pauliina about their development issues, target groups and networking aspects. We invited Pauliina to visit our farm again in the future with the offer to provide her free of charge accommodation. It would be good to stay in contact. We also would like to visit Kotka region again and see more of it and its tourism services, as well as Majatalo Torppa developments.
Sirje and Rein Kuusik, Kuusiku Naturefarm
May 18, 2017
Tareq Taylor, a chef and TV-personality from Sweden visited Soomaa for filming new series for his highly popular show, “Tareq Taylor’s Nordic Cookery”, broadcasted in over 100 countries all over the world.
The international entrepreneur exchange of the project “Sustainable entrepreneurship In Countryside” has started. All participants will write about their experiences in the blog here.