TIP OF THE DAY: Watch a short documentary by photo artist Sanna Kannisto about the creation of bird photos at the Hanko bird station.

Tilja or winter bridge

Sara Wacklin

Of all the means of crossing the river, the rarest is probably the winter bridge. The story is from Sara Wacklin's book? Hundrade minnen från Österbotten? from 1844.

You could cross the river in winter in Koskenniska near Erkkola. When the river did not freeze at that point due to the strong current, an ice bridge, or tilja, was built there. The peasants searched for a spot in the solid ice of the river further away from where they could break off the ice raft, which was estimated to be the width of the river. The raft was allowed to drift with the current to the right place, where one end of it was attached to the shore, whereupon the current pushed the other end of the raft to the opposite shore. In the bitter cold, the ends of the bilge stuck more and more firmly to the shores, and eventually it was already carrying horse loads.

A bridge like this is built over a wide river every winter, and every spring it is precisely the detachment of the ice that foretells that the ice will soon start moving from the big rapid as well.

Translation translation; Sampsa Laurinen.

Svenska Kulturfonden has supported Sara Wacklin's ?Hundrade minnen från Österbotten? publication of stories.

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