Finland Day 1: Squirrels, Porvoo, Korona and a Moose

Thursday 29 June 2017 was my first full day in Finland, and despite me figuring that I’d need days of straight sleeping to catch up from the trip over, I was up early, and out enjoying the blue sky and warm day and watching the squirrels play in the backyard.

My relatives live in Vantaa, which is not that far from Helsinki (Finland’s capital), but it’s a whole lot quieter and a whole lot greener too. Very picturesque.

map - Porvoo Finland
It’s holiday time in Finland (not just for me), so my morning started with sitting out enjoying the sun, watching the squirrels, and enjoying a Finnish breakfast.


out on the balcony enjoying the morning

Karjalanpiirakka = Karelian pie

traditional Finnish breakfast: Karjalanpiirakka = Karelian pie


isn’t he a cutie … can I take him home?

After that, my reli’s took the opportunity of the great weather and took me out to Porvoo (pronounced porr-voe, like toe). Porvoo is old, and I mean REALLY OLD. When Australian’s think of old we think 100 years is old, but most other places in the world ‘old’ means hundreds, if not thousands of years old. Porvoo fits into that category.

Wikipedia says the following:

“Porvoo is a city and a municipality situated on the southern coast of Finland approximately 50 kilometres east of Helsinki. Porvoo is one of the six medieval towns in Finland, first mentioned as a city in texts from 14th century.”

So this is a town that was founded back in the 1300s … and is STILL STANDING. This means two things: 1. it was built THAT well, far better than anything is today, and 2. developers haven’t come in to demolish and build apartments or businesses instead, which is a blessing as Old Porvoo is a very picturesque (although a little touristy now), place to visit. So if you ever get the chance … go visit.


shops and cafes at Porvoo

houses at Porvoo

steep cobblestone streets seem to be a thing at Porvoo

sign post at Porvoo

sign post lists everything in Finnish, Swedish, English and Rusaain

caution moose sign

we have caution kangaroo and koala signs in Australia … Finland has caution moose signs, although this one was in a souvenir shop


one of the many stunning old buildings at Porvoo

We visited the Evangelical Lutheran Cathedral which sits on this hill and is seen as you come into the town. This also has a LONNNNG history, dating back to the 1400s. While is has been damaged, and burnt down, part of it is still original. You can read more about that here.

Cathedral at Porvoo, Finland

the Evangelical Lutheran Cathedral dates back to the 15th century

ciling of the church at Porvoo

the ceiling of the church is beautiful

Porvoo, Finland

Porvoo is lovely very picturesque

all signs are in Finnish (top), and Swedish (bottom)

all signs are in Finnish (top), and Swedish (bottom)

After a day out, we had tea at home, and it was light enough and warm enough to eat outside. My cousins introduced me to the game of korona, which is vaguely like pool or billiards. Though rather than a big table, this is played on a 1m square board. And rather than balls, you use pucks (like hockey pucks). But you still use a pool cue to “shoot” your big puck, and try to get your little pucks into the holes, so it’s not unlike it. P.S. I lost … but hey, that was my first time playing … so I think a rematch is in order.

Korona, Finnish game

playing korona with my cousins

Finn, my Finnish moose

this is Finn, my Finnish moose – a present from one of my cousins

And you may have heard of the “midnight sun” … basically means the sun doesn’t really go down during summer in the northern part of the world. Well this is a view from my room at 10pm. Seriously it looks like mid-afternoon doesn’t it.


view from my room at Vantaa at 10pm

Anyway now I’m off to bed, so I’m ready for more adventures tomorrow.

2 Responses to “Finland Day 1: Squirrels, Porvoo, Korona and a Moose”

  1. Crissouli says:

    Loving your adventures!

  2. GenieJen says:

    I’m loving your posts; they are so interesting. What a stunning house and garden your relatives have.

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