Ir a Utö e voltar

Hotels in Turku. Enter. Em 0,21 segundos, a espiral de links criada pelo algoritmo do Google levou-me a hotéis, hostels, centrais de reservas e outros sítios dedicados à promoção e recomendação de alojamento na terceira cidade da Finlândia.

Querendo visitar Turku em lazer depois de ir a Helsínquia em trabalho, planeei a minha viagem como de costume: em cima da hora e com muito pouca pesquisa. Turku é uma daquelas cidades onde sempre quis ir apenas por causa do nome; outras incluem Odessa, Tegucigalpa, Samarcanda, Antananarivo, Fulda e Esmirna. Fundada no século XIII, Turku chegou em 1809 a ser a primeira capital do Grão-Ducado da Finlândia, o estado autónomo que em 1917 se tornou independente do império russo. Mas a sua glória durou pouco: há 200 anos perdeu o título de capital para Helsínquia e nos últimos 50 o de segunda maior cidade finlandesa para Espoo. Foi, portanto, com o orgulho das primeiras capitais e eternas segundas cidades que, no ano passado, Turku voltou a ostentar um novo e também efémero título: o de Capital Europeia da Cultura.

O que haveria, então, para visitar nesta pequena cidade com uma grande história? Em Helsínquia, a resposta que mais ouviria a esta pergunta continha o bondoso desdém típico de quem vive numa capital de facto: “Turku vê-se numa tarde.” Entretanto não conheci ninguém que tivesse alguma vez ido a Utö.

Ainda nessa noite soube que Turku fica a duas horas de comboio de Helsínquia e que Utö fica a cinco horas de barco de Turku. Cinco horas para chegar à última de 20 a 50 mil pontos de terra que emergem do Báltico para criar um arquipélago tao extenso e concentrado que, além de maior do mundo, tem direito ao seu próprio mar: o Mar do Arquipélago.

Utö, que em sueco significa ilha “de fora” ou “exterior”, fica no fim desse mar. A mais periférica ilha do arquipélago é também a mais meridional de todas nele habitadas. Isso faz desta a ilha mais remota e mais a sul da Finlândia. O Sul do Norte. Como é que eu não ficaria obcecado em lá ir?

Na manhã seguinte adiei o meu voo de regresso a Lisboa. Reservei, por email, uma noite no Utö Hotel, uma base militar reconvertida depois de o exército a ter deixado em 2005. Eu ficaria não no Utö Havshotel (100€ por pessoa), nem numa das casas geminadas junto ao mar (a mais pequena fica a 130€ pelo primeiro dia, 100€ pelos restantes), mas no Tourist Hostel Fågelli: 25€ por cama, sem lençóis nem pequeno-almoço e com casa de banho e cozinha partilhadas. Quem disse que dormir numa ilha remota tem de ser uma experiência cinco estrelas?

Não precisei de reservar bilhete (50€ ida e volta) no M/S Aspö, o barco que durante o Verão liga Turku a Utö às quartas e sábados, regressando no dia seguinte. Quando embarquei, às dez da manhã de 15 de Agosto, no centro de Turku — onde estive pouco mais de uma tarde —, o céu estava limpo e eu estava de t-shirt. Ir a Utö já no fim do Verão finlandês é como jogar à roleta meteorológica: a chuva, o vento e a ondulação são quase imprevisíveis. A mim saiu o jackpot.

Passei as cinco horas no convés, a acabar um livro e, inadvertidamente, a apanhar um escaldão. Nas mesas à minha volta, casais de amigos sessentões, bem-dispostos e bronzeados, bebiam garrafas de vinho branco enquanto mostravam uns aos outros fotografias dos netos em iPads. A sopa de salmão servida ao almoço pela jovem tripulação enchia a sala de refeições com um inconfundível aroma a endro. Fora do barco, as ilhas que iam passando no horizonte, como num longo e lento travelling, foram ficando cada vez mais rarefeitas e despidas de casas, de pessoas e de árvores. A paragem em Pärnäinen, a meio do caminho, foi como um mudar de bobine.

Uma criança em 50 anos
Chegado à ilha, pergunto à senhora da recepção onde se posso “ir à água”. Diz-me não há uma “praia” e fala-me das algas venenosas que infestam este mar durante o Verão (já as tinha visto, do barco, à superfície). Deseja-me boa sorte. Inabalável, procuro e encontro numa pequena enseada pequenos cais de apoio a duas saunas. A água é limpa, pouco salgada e está a 20 graus. E eu estou finalmente de férias.

Heini e Jussi são finlandeses, Perry é alemão e chegaram comigo no barco. Têm vinte e tal anos, estudam. Vieram a Utö por uma noite, entre dias passados em festivais e casas de férias. Sentamo-nos a conversar perto da torre de vigia, de onde se vê a aldeia mas não se vê vivalma. Ouvimos os gritos das gaivotas e o ruído surdo do radar. Concordamos que Utö poderia ser o cenário de um filme de Lars von Trier (todos nos lembramos de Dogville). Nessa noite, numa rocha junto ao mar onde partilhamos cervejas compradas na mercearia da ilha, fomos os primeiros em toda a Finlândia a ver o pôr do sol.

Na manhã seguinte, durante a obrigatória visita guiada ao vetusto farol de Utö, soubemos que em Marcço nasceu aqui a primeira criança em 50 anos. O que fez a  população da ilha subir para 46 almas. Um número mais flutuante do que parece, diz Hanna Kovanen, que além de nossa guia é também a simpática dona de um bed & breakfast e do único café da ilha: enquanto muitos residentes trabalham fora, há quem se mude para cá por um ano para, por exemplo, terminar a sua dissertação.

Poderia continuar a descrever as rochas e os líquenes, as cobras de água e as libélulas desta ilha, ou tentar saber o nome da sua mais nova habitante. Mas não preciso. Se Turku se vê numa tarde, Utö vê-se de uma vez só. A melhor parte de lá ter estado é mesmo lá ter ido.

 

3 Comments

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