Sunday, August 7, 2011

At Helsingfors the landlord speaks German, and keeps a very good inn

Borgo is esteemed a town of consequence in Swedish Finland, has a Gymnasium, and carries on some trade by a river, which is thus far navigable for small craft. From that place to Helsingfors, I found it excessively hot, much more so than I experienced near AEtna, and in Lombardy. The inns were at a great distance from each other, and by no means good. They looked neat and inviting, but in general nothing was to be obtained at them except very sour beer, very coarse bread, and very bad butter. These inns were the post-houses, and I observed that they were not kept by very conscientious people, for the posting charge was frequently added to my expences. I suppose the good Swedes thought me an eccentric kind of character, who ought to pay for his whims. The Swedish miles are extremely long, and the charge for posting is not heavy. The traveller proceeds with great rapidity, and only with a single horse when alone and unincumbered with luggage as I was. I therefore seated myself in a carriole, first to escape the heat, secondly to expedite my journey, and thirdly because it cost me no more but perpaps less than if I walked. In Italy probably these reasons would not have all had their force. At Helsingfors the landlord speaks German, and keeps a very good inn. At Swensky I even met with a postillion who understood my native tongue, and had often been on board of ship to Reval. Near Mialbosta, there are several very fine situations upon a lake, with some country-houses.

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