A Travellerspoint blog

Day 85

Old Rauma - Happy Midsummer - Hyvaa Juhannusta

semi-overcast 22 °C

Today is Midsummer Eve. There were some businesses open in the morning but few by the evening, as this is the time of celebration. Traditionally, you would spend the weekend with your family, preferably at a lake or cottage or camping. You would have a bonfire and serve hot dogs, potatoes with dill, and corn on the cob. Our niece says she has introduced marshmallows to her family.

The city of Rauma is having a Music Festival and the staff at our hotel have warned us many times that when their other guests return "in the morning" it will be very loud. We survived Bergenfest, we think we will survive this.

We went out this morning to the harbour area but the security people already had a lot of it barricaded off. We did get down one street that had beautiful homes with views of the Gulf of Bothnia and a marina.

We then returned to our hotel and walked to "Old Rauma" which has about 600 old wooden buildings and narrow cobblestone streets. There was a market going on this morning and Old Town was pretty busy.

Interesting building in Old Rauma Town

Interesting building in Old Rauma Town

Side view of Holy Cross Church

Side view of Holy Cross Church

Old Rauma Town Street with market

Old Rauma Town Street with market

Interesting building 2

Interesting building 2

Old Rauma Street

Old Rauma Street

This afternoon we went in search of the ruins of the Holy Trinity Church. The sign said it had been built about 1300 and was destroyed about 1640. The stone walls appeared to be 6 feet thick.

Rock walls about 6 feet thick

Rock walls about 6 feet thick

Size of interior of ruined church

Size of interior of ruined church

After dinner at one of the few restaurants open, we walked along the canal across the street. We found some geese which Wikipedia tells us are Barnacle Geese.

Barnacle Goose

Barnacle Goose

Barnacle Goose 3

Barnacle Goose 3

The evening has been quiet so far. There are people out walking and cycling around and enjoying a calm and warm evening.

Posted by A-RPoulton 10:21 Archived in Finland Comments (0)

Day 84

Hanko and Rauma, Finland

semi-overcast 21 °C

We woke to a bright sunny morning. After breakfast we drove to Hanko on the southwest shore of Finland.

Hanko is known for being a summer resort along the Baltic Sea for the wealthy Finns and Russians in the late 19th and early 20th century. They built lovely summer homes which are called villas. These villas were given women's names so today they are called the "Old Ladies". This resort town is getting ready for the "Midsummer" festivities which begin tomorrow.

One of the celebrations revolves around "maypoles". We found one ready for tomorrow on Hanko's beach.

Beach scene at Hanko

Beach scene at Hanko

This beach building must have been one of the grand villas. It is very lovely.

Beach Building Hanko

Beach Building Hanko

We found an "old lady" that has been turned into a summer guesthouse.

Grand Old Lady Villa

Grand Old Lady Villa

It had lovely yard art.

Yard Art

Yard Art

A bit further down the road we found a beach complete with little "beach houses" or change buildings.

Beach houses at Hanko shore

Beach houses at Hanko shore

As we walked back to the car we found a bee busy in a wild rose flower.

Busy bee

Busy bee

We also noticed these rabbit rocks.

Rock Rabbit 1

Rock Rabbit 1

Rock Rabbit 2

Rock Rabbit 2

We then drove to a town named Halikko and found a store called Prisma which is like a Walmart. We picked up some groceries for the next few days as stores will be closed Friday to Sunday to celebrate Midsummer. While we were in the store it started to rain and it was coming down in sheets by the time we got to the car. We ate our lunch in the car and drove on to Rauma.

Here we are at Rauma on the Gulf of Bothnia. We have a nice hotel here. Rauma is known for its lace making tradition and has UNESCO Heritage designation for its "Old Town" with 600 wooden structures. We will explore the town tomorrow.

We can see these things out our hotel window. There is a canal with fountains and a park.

Canal across street from hotel Rauma

Canal across street from hotel Rauma

There is also a painted bronze sculpture called "Rauma Girl" which was installed in 2014. She even has a sculpted purse next to her on the bench.

Rauma Girl

Rauma Girl

We will be here at Rauma until Saturday when we will return to Helsinki.

Posted by A-RPoulton 11:13 Archived in Finland Comments (0)

Day 83

Goodbye Sweden, Hello Finland

sunny 22 °C

This morning we were out waiting for our airport bus at 6:30 AM. While we waited we noticed the beautiful tree that our friend Ferdinand and his flowers sit under.

Beautiful tree that Ferdinand and his flowers sit under

Beautiful tree that Ferdinand and his flowers sit under

We got to the airport in good time. Our flight from Stockholm to Helsinki, Finland went well. We are now in country 13 for this trip.

We got our luggage, got our car and were on our way.

Our car is a Skoda Fabia. It has a standard transmission but cruise control, air conditioning and automatic locks. It seems to have enough room for us and our stuff so all is well.

Our ride in Finland

Our ride in Finland

We set off for Verla, a city about an hour and a half northeast of Helsinki. This city has the Verla Mill Museum. This mill opened in 1882 and operated until 1964. It was a ground wood and board mill. It is well preserved. We drove out there and realized the day was slipping away from us so we took a picture of a beautiful scene across the parking lot and scurried back to Helsinki.

View of rocks and trees and lake at Verla, Finland

View of rocks and trees and lake at Verla, Finland

We got checked into our hotel and met our niece after she finished work for a walk around the neighbourhood. We sat by the harbour and had an ice cream treat before she caught her bus home. It was certainly good to see her.

We found two interesting pieces of furniture in our hotel room. Both the chair and sofa have very high backs.

High backed chair in Scandic Paasi, Helsinki

High backed chair in Scandic Paasi, Helsinki


High backed sofa in Scandic Paasi - Helsinki

High backed sofa in Scandic Paasi - Helsinki

We are off tomorrow to visit other parts of Finland but we will be back on the weekend to spend more time with our niece and her husband.

Posted by A-RPoulton 11:48 Archived in Finland Comments (0)

Day 82

The Longest Day

semi-overcast 24 °C

Today is summer solstice - the day with the most hours of daylight. The sun rose here at 3:31 AM and will set tonight at 11:08 PM. We are seldom awake after 11 PM but in the last few days when we were, the daylight extended after sunset so we could be in the "land of the midnight sun".

Our day started bright and sunny but by afternoon the clouds had accumulated and the temperature dropped. The high temperature for today was 24 C ( 75 F).

We got going this morning and drove to the laundramat that we had used in Stockholm earlier in the month and got our laundry up to date.

We then drove to the Vasa Museum. The Vasa is a war ship which set sail on August 10, 1628 and sank in Stockholm Harbour. There were 445 persons aboard the ship when it sank. 145 were sailors and 300 were soldiers. This wreck was salvaged in 1961 after being submerged for 333 years. The reconstructed vessel on display in the Vasa Museum is 98 per cent original. This was a very beautiful ship but poorly designed. We asked why the ship sank almost as soon as it was launched and we were told that it was top heavy and the bottom of the ship was not big enough to support to top part.

The preservation and reconstruction of this ship continues today. This museum was opened in 1990.

We took some pictures but Reta assumed that as in most museums they request that you do not use a flash so did not use a flash. The museum is very dark. The ship is very large. It was 69 metres (226 feet) long and 52.5 metres (172 feet) high.

Reta's pictures are not as clear as she would have liked.

Decorated Bow of the ship Vasa

Decorated Bow of the ship Vasa

This picture shows a model of Vasa on a 1:10 scale.

Model of Vasa scale 1 to 10

Model of Vasa scale 1 to 10

The stern of the ship is lavishly decorated. When this ship was launched these decorations were painted and very colourful. The reconstructed version of the ship is all brown but models have been made of some of the carvings and have been coloured as the reconstructionists think the originals may have been. Some of these models are on display.

Reconstructions of decorations on Vasa

Reconstructions of decorations on Vasa

They also had a reconstructed porthole cover that shows that even such a mundane item was decorated.

Decorated porthole for a cannon

Decorated porthole for a cannon

After touring the museum we had a hot dog and ice cream lunch.

We noticed this beautiful gate to the Djurgarden Park which is across the street from the Vasa Museum.

Beautiful Blue Gate to Djurgarden Park in Stockholm

Beautiful Blue Gate to Djurgarden Park in Stockholm

We drove back to our hotel and made sure that we had cleaned everything out of the car.

The AutoEurope representative arrived just a bit before 3 PM and after inspecting the car and hearing our stories, he drove it away. Our little Ford Fiesta will be driven back to Italy.

Tomorrow we will take the airport bus provided by our hotel to the airport early in the morning and fly to Helsinki, Finland.

Posted by A-RPoulton 11:20 Archived in Sweden Comments (0)

Day 81

Dals Langed to Stockholm

semi-overcast 21 °C

We had a beautiful sunset last night. Sunset was at 11 PM. We are sharing a photo with you.

Sunset June 19th Dals Langed, Sweden

Sunset June 19th Dals Langed, Sweden

We woke to a bright sunny day but by the time we had dressed and got ready for breakfast the clouds had moved in. We had a cool drive to Stockholm but, shortly after our arrival here, the sunshine returned.

We packed up the car and were on our way back to Stockholm by 9:30 AM today. We took some photos on the grounds of the Baldersnas Herrgard property. This property included a main building, two modern buildings of rooms, a farm and many other out-buildings.

Main Building, Baldersnas Herrgard, Dals Langed, Sweden

Main Building, Baldersnas Herrgard, Dals Langed, Sweden

The flowers were lovely so we are sharing some with you.

White rose

White rose

Close up of Peonies

Close up of Peonies

We drove through mostly agricultural land. This part of Sweden is mostly flat with many trees.

We were remiss yesterday when we did not tell you about the beautiful, forested mountains of Norway that we drove through yesterday morning. We were often driving along a river or by a lake. It was a lovely drive and we did enjoy it until we realized that our GPS had led us astray.

Today we found our hotel easily and had Swedish meatballs and potatoes with pickled cucumbers and ligonberry jelly for supper/dinner. When we looked across the street we spotted "Ferdinand, the Bull" hiding in the grass with his flowers.

Ferdinand the Bull - Joined us for supper

Ferdinand the Bull - Joined us for supper

We are at an airport hotel which is very modern and convenient for Wednesday morning when we fly out every early in the morning to Finland.

Posted by A-RPoulton 10:49 Archived in Sweden Comments (0)

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