Saturday, September 08, 2012

Finland: The Other Scandinavia

For many travelers a trip to Scandinavia means a quick stopover in Copenhagen and than a visit to  Norway and Sweden.  I know that was our circumstance in 2001 when we used a Scanrail Pass to skitter all over Denmark, Sweden, and Norway.

The thing is we never really considered adding Finland to our itinerary back then and quite frankly it hadn't risen a lot on our "bucket list" in the intervening years. Then came a vivid bolt out of the blue.  Last summer our 47 year old batchelor son married a young Finnish woman he had met on a ferry between Stockholm and Helsinki.  Shortly after that came the announcement that the young couple  intended to live in Helsinki rather than Minneapolis.  Lo and behold  Finland jumped up to the top of our trip list. We quickly discovered that an eight hour direct flight from Chicago's O'Hare would get you there. 

To top it off we had our lovely and charming new daughter-in-law as a local guide and a whole new family to meet.

David and Lotta


So  



Upon our arrival we were taken by our son David and his wife Lotta to the home of Lotta's sister and her family.
Lotta's sister, her husband, and their two delightful children

We were given instructions on how to take our very first sauna. We did it. And we can attest that it may be the ideal way to battle jet lag. Refreshed and ready we were then treated to a magnificent first Finnish meal.


Jan, David, Lotta



Later in the afternoon we checked into our hotel, the Scandic Continental on Mannerheim in Helsinki.


After getting settled we met Lotta and David for dinner and took a nice walk along the lake that was just across from our hotel. 


Lotta, Dave, Jan looking out over Lake Toolenlaht




The sun was sinking and the light began to edge toward gold.

On the far side of the lake and up high on a hill is Linnenmaki Amusement Park

On the near side a boat rental was just closing up for the night.



Finland!

Next week we shall tour Helsinki.


 

 











 



 




 


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