When I woke up this morning …

This morning I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 1:30am. Being awake I did the Facebook thing, contacted nearest and dearest and then forced myself back to sleep. It will take time to get used to this 7 hour time shift.

When I woke up the second time, Hetty and I had breakfast and headed off to a local museum. We followed this with a visit to an intriguing island – Suomenlinna or Sveaborg. It is essentially a giant fortress originally built by the Swedes in the 1700s in their battles with the Russians. From 1808 to 1918 it was under Russian control. In 1918 the Fiins rebelled and took it back. Today it has been decommissioned and the island is a haven for artisans – glass blowers and the like.

The church on the island is particularly interesting as its fence is made of “retired cannons” – a bit like turning swords into ploughshares.

We have finally made some sense of the Helsinki transport system. Not only are the trams painted like Melbournes rattlers their inter city trains are run by VR!

Sibelius is a highly regarded Finnish composer. We were able to get to see his memorial in a park to the north west of the city. When we arrived there was a bus load of Japanese tourists. Note to self, I must learn “All aboard” in Japanese. When they left I was able to get few photos of this fascinating piece of art.


the pipes are meant to resemble organ pipes


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