8th Unlock the Past Cruise: Day 9 Helsinki, Finland

8th Unlock the Past Cruise: Day 9 Helsinki, Finland

Sunday 19th July 2015 was day 9 of our cruise, and it was HUGE day for me, so big in fact that I’m actually going write it over two posts.

Why was it such a big day? Well it was Helsinki day. For most of the cruisers onboard it was another day to do a tour or a wander around and explore. For me it was a day to visit the home city of my great grandfather. The day to meet family that I’ve corresponded with for a number of years, but have never met. The day to go to the cemetery to see some ancestors. The day to see some places around Helsinki that are relevant to my family. So to say that I was rather hyper-excited is an understatement.

As mentioned before I’ll write two posts to cover my day in Finland – as there’s simply too much to put in one. This one will be in the overview style like the previous posts from this cruise, and in due course I will write more about meeting my family and the rest of my BIG day at Helsinki.

After docking early, as our captain seems to do on this voyage, we docked at a shipyard just a few minutes out of the city of Helsinki. After disembarking and making our way through the mini market that was set up on the dock to cater for the tourists, we met up with one of our relatives who kindly came to collect us and take us around and looked after us for the day. By the way, when I say “we” in this post, I’m referring to my mum, dad and myself – as we’re all on this cruise.

The first stop of our day was the Helsinki cemetery to visit a grave or two, but we ended up seeing more than we ever expected. It was truly amazing, and the cemetery itself is just like a park, it was gorgeous (more on this in the later post).

The rest of my day onshore was spent with relatives, chatting about family and family history, viewing the old family photo album, walking the streets of Helsinki, visiting the markets and enjoying afternoon tea at a local cafe – again more on this later.

“I can’t believe that you’re here …”

One of my relatives said this to me, and he’s right, I really couldn’t believe that I was there. It really was a dream come true. Sadly we only had a few hours to meet, but still a few hours was better than none … and I already want to go back, so I’d better start saving.

Back onboard later afternoon, there were two talks scheduled for the afternoon/evening and I went to both.
– Rescuing water-damaged photos from Hurricane Katrina – Gordon Nuttall
– Researching our health history – Helen Smith

We all know about Hurricane Katrina don’t we. The mega-hurricane that hit the US in 2005 causing over US$100 billion worth of damage, and about 1800 deaths. We can’t imagine the devastation and heartache this caused. One company that is helping ease the pain for those affected is Gordon Nuttall from Flip-Pal, who are involved with a project to supply scanners to groups who were or are involved rescuing photographs that had been found in the aftermath, and reuniting them with owners. It’s an an amazing project, and the stories of those who have been reunited with their precious photographs is heartwarming.

For the second talk for the day Helen spoke on Researching our health history, and discussed the WHY you should do one, the HOW it can help you personally and genealogically, and HOW to collect your health history. She explained about risk factors (genetics, environment and behaviour), and how to assess your own risk factor, as well as explaining the usual symbols that you’ll find on a genograph (health history chart), as well as programs that you can use the help you create one. All good stuff, and she received great feedback from others who attended this talk.

 

we've arrived

we’ve arrived at Finland

view of the dock at Helsinki from the ship

view of the dock at Helsinki from the ship

stepping on Finnish land for the first time

stepping on Finnish land for the first time

of course we visited the Helsinki cemetery

of course we visited the Helsinki cemetery

Otto and Hedvig are my 2x great grandparents, taken at the Helsinki cemetery

Otto and Hedvig are my 2x great grandparents, taken at the Helsinki cemetery – and the others mentioned are also relatives

a wreath that we placed on a family grave in the cemetery

a wreath that we placed on a family grave in the cemetery

coloured pylons are the best, aren't they!

who said pylons were boring … well these coloured ones in Helsinki most certainly aren’t

this building use to be a cigar factory and that's where my great great grandpa worked

this building use to be a cigar factory and that’s where my great great grandpa worked

walking the streets of Helsinki

walking the streets of Helsinki

walking the streets of Helsinki

walking the streets of Helsinki

the Helsinki Archives

this is the most important building, as its the Helsinki Archives

flowers in the park

flowers in the park

the Helsinki cathedral  is the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran cathedral

the Helsinki cathedral is the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran cathedral – the dome is actually green, but doesn’t show against the cloudy sky

a building in Helsinki

a rustic looking building in Helsinki

the outdoor markets

the outdoor markets

the indoor markets

the indoor markets

this tram reminds me of the old Adelaide one

this tram reminds me of the old Adelaide one

here's THE family photo album

here’s THE family photo album

Coming next is Day 10 Stockholm, Sweden …

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3 Responses to “8th Unlock the Past Cruise: Day 9 Helsinki, Finland”

  1. GenieJen says:

    What an amazing experience for you all.

  2. Sharon says:

    How Wonderful! I can understand and feel your excitement!

    I hope that you were able to scan some photos and wrote lots of notes 🙂

  3. Daryl Tester says:

    Awesome babe!

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