The Saimaa Canal

This canal connects the Baltic Sea with lake Saimaa. It took the RTG TV team 5 hours to get from one side to another by a little motor ship.

The first efforts to build the canal were undertaken in the year 1500, but there wa s a lack of money. A new project appeared after Finland had been annexed to Russia. The building of the channel with sluices was priced at 3 million tzar's rubles. The work was held rapidly and the navigation was managed to be opened four years earlier than it had been proposed. Surprisingly, the building turned out to be economized on. The managers Finns were quite careful and honest. The workers were paid modest salary. The meaning of the Saimaa Canal was great. In the honor of navigation's opening excited poems were written. To take a steamship was a very fashionable activity. In the most popular seasons there were 27 regular-route motor ships a day. The chicest ships get tourists from Saint-Petersburg to Finland. Up till n ow the trip over the Saimaa Canal is a very popular tourist's itinerary.