At the beginning of umaze’s journey, we decided to also walk and film physical mazes and labyrinths.  The first labyrinth we found to walk through, close to Turku (where we are located) is in Nagu. This is a stone labyrinth.

To reach Nagu from Turku one can drive (approx. 1.25 min, 55.6km). Alternatively, in Summer one can take a boat from downtown Turku to Nagu.  In this particular trip, as the weather was outstanding, we decided to take the boat.   Is it possible to say that reaching Nagu by sea might imply to go through a labyrinth of islands?  Actually, yes it is possible.

Nagu is located in the Finnish Archipelago Nationalpark, and according to the the official website: “[t]he labyrinthine Archipelago Sea, off Southwestern Finland, has more islands than any other archipelago in the world.”   In this case we didn’t navigate this labyrinth, we let an experienced captain to do this work for us.  Through the photos below, you might get an insight about how beautiful the archipelago is and why it is also a labyrinth.

 

Now we might be able to say that Nagu’s labyrinth is embedded in a labyrinthine archipelago sea.  This idea is a tangible example about how  mazes and labyrinths are everywhere in our daily lives. They are just amazing!

 

 

Preliminary information

Once in Nagu the expedition toward the stone-labyrinth started. According to labyrinthos, one can find a number of stone-labyrinths in Finland, and they “have been confidently dated to the late medieval period, from the 13th century through to modern times, with a distinct peak during the 15th and 16th centuries.”

Different tourist have published something about this particular stone-labyrinth, for example, the Rotary Club (in Swedish),  Historian Kaisa Kyläkoski  (in Finnish), and in English we find the pages of outdoor enthusiasts who are collecting interesting places to hike in Finland. The stone-labyrinth is also included in a website that promotes the  European Cultural Route of  Saint Olav Ways.

Unquestionably, this stone-labyrinth is located in the crossing point of different topics, connecting different labyrinth threads.

Tarja from outdoor enthusiasts,  explains:

“A rock maze has many names: it is often called ‘Troy Town’, which references the city of Troy, an ancient city that defended itself by building a complex network of mazes. In Finland these rock mazes are called Jatulintarha, which means a giant’s garden, but they can also be referred to as maiden’s dances. No one knows for certain why these mazes have been built but there was a sign in Finnish and English next to this one stating that a romantic way to look at it was to see them having been built by the fiancés of sailors when they waited them to come home. The Troy Town in Finby is about 8m across, thus middle-sized when compared to others. The maze motif was used in Finnish churches in the Middle Ages to ward off evil. The most important thing it said was: The Finby maiden’s dance is very old. Please show respect for the historical masterpiece.”

 

Stone-Labyrinth:  The maiden’s dance

We were by foot from Nagu’s marina to the stone-labyrinth. It took us some effort to find it, as we didn’t see the marked path.  Apparently, we are not the only ones who had this challenge. According to Tarja’s post, they also missed the path when reaching the labyrinth.

Nagu’s stone labyrinth

Once at the spot,  there is only one information board available, and it is next to  the entrance of the stone-labyrinth. This information board indicates the name of the stone-labyrinth:   maiden’s dance.

Information board at labyrinth: maiden’s dance

Filming with a drone

One can walk through the maiden’s dance, however one has to be careful, as the stones are not attached to the floor or anywhere.  In our case, we wanted to film “The Maiden’s dance” from above, to have an aerial photo and video from it. This offers a different experience.  Hence, we asked a friend of ours, who has a Phantom 3, to help us in this adventure.  He agreed and joined us in this journey.

Preparing to fly the drone

 

The following video, you can see our drone in action. Also, you can notice that one of its propellers was failing.

Photos from the maiden’s dance taken with the drone are beautiful.

Maidens dance from the sky

 

Maidens dance looked from the sky, further up

 

In this video you can see one of us walking out of the maiden’s dance.

 

Taking advantage of the view the drone can share us, thanks to its altitude, we also took  a photo towards the sea.

Aerial view from Nagu

 

We were getting inspired in our filming activities when suddenly, our drone lost its propeller, and then you can realize how useful is the technology to help you to locate your falling drone.

 

Summarizing:  It was a wonderful day with friends, playing with modern technology while experiencing an ancient labyrinth, learning history and geography. If you have the opportunity to visit Nagu, we encourage you to visit the maiden’s dance!

In Nagu: embedded labyrinths, tourism and adventures with a drone
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