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Helsinki 3 – by David

by on July 15, 2017

We had a nice walking tour of the old downtown area, and learned the history of Finland and stuff.  

Turns out they had a VERY complex series of alliances in WW II:   As Germany and Russia went back and forth from being friends to fighting, Finland tried to roll with it. You wouldn’t notice unless the tour guide pointed it out, but when you see a modern building the middle of a block between older buildings, that’s because the Russians bombed that spot.

They did have a good trick…. at night they turned off all the lights in the city, and lit torches on the uninhabited rocks out in the bay, so the Russians bombed the rocks.

In the end they paid Russia a bunch of money after the war, and went on their own.

We walked up to the Rock Church, only to discover that they were actually having services in the church and not letting tourists in.  The nerve of them!

Here’s what a reindeer looks like:

And then Renee got together with an old friend from 25 years ago, and I washed all the laundry (we’ve been warned that there are few laundromats in Russia)

It’s 9pm, 68 degrees, beautiful sunset (well, in a couple of hours), the cruise ship tourists have left, everyone in town is out in the sidewalk bars listening to live music and enjoying the summer.  Renee and I just had a very nice dinner of  roast reindeer with lingonberries (sorry, Rudolph), cauliflower soup, and rhubarb pie while the kids had pizza with Aunt Ginny.    Quite a nice evening.

And just to validate the decision we made last year at this time that “next year, we go somewhere cool”….. tomorrow it’s 97 degrees and humid and hazy in Beijing.

Onward to Russia tomorrow.  We have no idea what kind of Internet connectivity to expect….   maybe the blog will continue, maybe not.  


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