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Archive for the ‘Finland’ Category

On Helsinki Day 40 seals, almost 7 feet tall, were placed in Senate Square to highlight the need to protect the Baltic Sea.

At the end of summer the seals will leave to square and take up residence around the city. In the meantime, they look wonderful in Senate Square…be sure to drop in to take a look if you are in Helsinki.

I think it is an excellent reminder to look after all our seas and oceans.

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I love the early morning light in winter in Helsinki…time for a walk to Esplanadi.

Helsinki

Helsinki

Helsinki

Helsinki

Helsinki

Helsinki

Helsinki

The harbour was waking up slowly.

Helsinki

There was still some snow at Toolonlahti.

Toolonlahti Helsinki

Toolonlahti Helsinki

Toolonlahti Helsinki

Toolonlahti Helsinki

Toolonlahti Helsinki

Toolonlahti Helsinki

Spring is not far away, but I love the winter landscape.

 

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The first snow of the season has fallen on Helsinki. It gives everything a magical appearance.

Helsinki

Helsinki

Helsinki

Helsinki

..no doubt there will be much more over the next few months.

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A day in Porvoo

Porvoo is one of only 6 medieval towns in Finland. It is first mentioned in texts from the 14th century. At one time it was the second largest town in Finland.

It is connected to the Gulf of Finland via the Porvoo a River, and this is how we arrived in town. We took a leisurely cruise on the Runeberg from Helsinki, 50 kilometres away.

Sailing into town on a gorgeous summer day was a delight.

Porvoo

The red coloured wooden buildings along the river were originally painted red in honour of Gustav III, king of Sweden.

Porvoo

Lovely restaurants line the river. We enjoyed a delicious salmon lunch at one of the waterside cafes.

Porvoo

The whole town is a living museum. Gorgeous wooden buildings line the cobblestone streets and laneways. The architecture is stunning.

Porvoo

Porvoo

Porvoo

There are some lovely shops selling all sorts of great things…and great restaurants and cafes.

Porvoo

Porvoo

Porvoo

Porvoo

The centre of the town is the pretty stone and brick cathedral. It has been burnt down several times, but is looking good today after the last restoration.

Porvoo

Porvoo

Porvoo

There is much to see in Porvoo. We enjoyed our day. We caught the bus back to Helsinki.

The disappearing town looked great nestled among the trees.

Porvoo

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Helsinki harbour is beautiful, perfect for a boat trip to Porvoo on the Runeberg.

Helsinki

Helsinki

We sailed out on a gorgeous morning, a little hazy, but great anyway.

Helsinki

We glided past Suomenlinna.

Helsinki

Helsinki

…past King’s Gate.

Helsinki

…and along the coast.

Helsinki

Helsinki

Helsinki

Helsinki

We arrived at the entrance to Porvoo.

Porvoo will be the subject of the next post…it is a wonderful historical town.

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Rally Finland happens in the very pretty town Jyvaskyla. It is the most iconic rally in the world rally circuit. My friends Jodie and Allan are rally fans and were there for the event.

Finland has produced some of the world’s best rally drivers, Marcus Gronholm, Juha Kankkunen, Tommi Makinen, Hannu Mikkola, Timo Salonen, Ari Vatanen and Simo Lampinen.

Here is Jodie with Finnish rally legend Simo Lampinen.

Rally Finland

…and Marcus Gronholm.

Rally Finland

The rally is run in the forest just outside Jyvaskyla.

There is lots of behind the scenes work done.

There is an Australian connection with Scott Pedder. Jodie and Alan were thrilled to meet him.

Jari-Matti Latvala won his third Rally Finland Championship this year.

The Australian round of the World Rally Championship will be run at Coffs Harbour from 10 – 13 September. I’m sure Jodie and Alan will be there.

http://www.rallyaustralia.com.au

 

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Last December we were in Finnish Lapland having a snowy Christmas. We went first to Rovaniemi and then on to Saariselka. It was a wonderful way to spend Christmas.

We met Santa, went dog sledding, looked for northern lights in reindeer sleds, listened to old tales around the fire in the darkness, rode skidoos, tried cross country skiing (with little success), ate some great food, made a snowman and enjoyed the stunning frozen landscape.

I hope to return one day.

Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS wherever you are.

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