June, 2009. We're off to Finland for a vacation and family reunion.
Day one. We have a six hour layover in Amsterdam. We decide to take the train into town.
On the train; do these guys look like they have been sitting up all night on a plane with no sleep!
Ready to explore Amsterdam
Days 2 and 3: In Helsinki
House where Mom's grandfather lived.
The Helsinki Cathedral.
Some detail on the National Museum (where Mom's grandfather, Juhani Rinne, was the curator)
Two guys in the rain with the parliament building in the background; one holding a bag of treasures from Stockmanns.
On to Turku
The luxury condo complex where Mummo lives.
Inside the complex
Mummo in one of her favorite chairs:
We rent some bikes and take a day trip to Ruissalo island.
On the Ferry to the island
That's the island, straight ahead.
Lunch on the island
View of the Baltic Sea
Next, a visit to the Turku Cathedral (Tuomio Kirkko) and other sites around the town.
The building where Mummo went to school as a young girl.
Neat stairway at the edge of one of the city's parks
Here's Markus inside the Turku Castle (Turun Linna)
We rent a car and take a day trip to visit Maija and Matti in their farm house. We go through this typical Finnish forest on the way.
Here stand the three travelers on the left with Maija and Matti on the right. We were there on Midsummer eve and, as tradition dictates, a birch sapling has been cut and tied to a porch post to mark the occasion.
Next we're off to the family reunion on Elf island. Below you see Jussi, Heikki and Mom on a ferry.
Some scenes from the reunion. I'll not identify all the people.
Our next day trip is to Jussi's mokki.
Our last day trip is to Nantali, home of Mummimland (See second picture below).
On the way "home" we stop at a large grocery store. You can see from the bike rack what the most popular form of summer transportation is.
Our last full day in Finland is a busy one. First to the Helsinki Temple:
Then to Jussi's place for a snack (Karjarlan piirakat) and to see a video of Markus and Mikko when they were little boys.
And, last of all dinner with some old friends.
On the way home. Again in with a layover in Amsterdam. Not enough time to go into down, but time for a bit of pizza.