Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Seurasaari Island


Well, last night's dinner at an upscale chinese restaurant was another excellent experience, though I could have dressed a bit better. Pat looked exquisite, as usual. Her small jade necklace over a red and black rock art print blouse were the hit. Our lamb over curry sauce and vegetables and vermincelli noodles were just what we needed.

What we also needed was a good night's sleep, and that soon followed. The early morning wakeup lastedonly minutes for each of us, and we both beat the 8:30 alarm refreshed. At breakfast, we were much less hurried, and ate rather methodically through the many selections. I always seem to come away too full. We took time afterward to read the newspapers provided in the main lobby, and to make sure we knew which bus to take (and where to get it) to get to our main destination today.

Seurasaari Island is an open air museum just west of the center of Helsinki. From 1909 until the 1960's, the Finns have acquired and transported to the island over 80 wooden log cabins, chapels, and farm structures from all over the country to preserve their history and culture. Set in a forest with plenty of walking trails, and presented by costumed guides, it provides a rich understanding of life in Finland in the 18th and 19th centuries. In addition, the area includes the presidential residence from 1940 until the late 70s', and displays the personal furnishings of Urho Kekkonen, one of Finland's most beloved Presidents.

My camera worked a bit better today, and the photos I took are at:
Seurasaari Island

After grabbing a bite of Karelian pie (deviled eggs on rice pudding on a breaded muffin), a spinach pastrie, and some a berry juce which was a cross between cranberry and rasberry, we navigated by more busses and the metro to an abandoned cable factory near the docks now being used by the city to house some of its artists. Several photograpic exhibits, and many walls full of talented graphic and performance art later, we made our way back to the center of the city. We stopped at the Central Train Station to admire its classic old design, and to marvel at how well Helsinki has integrated all forms of transportation and shopping into a single location.

Arriving home, we can't seem to breakout of the habit of dozing off to sleep at 7pm, and have the stamina to keep awake until bedtime. I thought that tonight we might go see a movie (including Finnish subtitles), but I kept awake by typing this blog, and Pat's sound asleep. I haven't the heart to wake her, but I must.

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