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Is the “lossi” going extinct?

September 30, 2007
A few weeks ago we were up visiting the Mr.’s parents near Vehmersalmi. While we were there I decided to take my little one for a walk in Vehmersalmi "city" (it’s a little village actually) and go and check out the Vehmersalmi Bridge. The bridge spans Kallavesi, the main marine transport corridor between Kuopio ans Savonlinna. The bridge was opened in 2001 with the area having been serviced by a "lossi" or car ferry for many years. On a clear day, you can see the Vehmersalmi Bridge from the Puijo Tower in Kuopio. I would guess that the bridge is about 150m long, but high enough to allow sailboats to go underneath. (See the attached pictures for views from the bridge and of the bridge itself. The weather on that particular day was squally – intermittent rain and hail – luckily my little one slept through it all.)
More on car ferries – car ferries are maintained by the Finnish Road Administration or Tiehallinto ( – click English to get to the English pages). According to a Wikipedia entry (in the Finnish version) these car ferries are mainly used to cross lakes, rivers and sounds. The smallest ferries carry eight cars, while the largest ones carry up to 30 cars. Car ferries will also carry large trucks and transports (see attached pictures). Generally they are operated by one person and run 24 hours a day in some places, with an hour scheduled for maintenance breaks – for example the Puutossalmi lossi near Kuopio. In recent years car ferries have been replaced by bridges (as in the case of Vehmersalmi), which I suppose reduces costs in some ways, but means expensive bridge maintenance when it is required. These little yellow car ferries are free to travel on.
If you travel by car in the southwestern archipelago there are several large car ferries which you must pay to travel on. (Bikes are free – the Mr. and I found out in 2004 when we did a bike trip in the Åland Islands.) These ferries travel longer distances and operate year round as modes of travel for tourists and mail and goods delivery for residents of the outer islands.
One Comment leave one →
  1. ray permalink
    October 11, 2007 3:54 am

    I’ve got a few things posted on my blog, if interestd, drop in.

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