Finland Days 7 and 8: Research Fun, Libraries and Touristing

The last two days have made up for my lazy days at the Summerhouse, as I reckon I’ve walked every street in the centre of Helsinki. Some probably twice. And my Fitbit can prove it.

Anyway I was fortunate enough that another Finnish cousin of mine was happy to play tour guide for Wednesday and Thursday, and as a bonus as he’s also into research and libraries took me to all the fun places, as well as a heap more.

Wednesday 5 July 2017
Wednesday was pretty much a visit-libraries-and-research-day. I think I went to three libraries, one museum, and the National Archives of Finland. Sound fun doesn’t it … well it does if you’re into that type of thing.

Fortunately for me my tour guide cousin, also played interpreter when we were at the archives. I can read names, but don’t understand the record that I’m looking at otherwise. Anyway it was a great day at the archives as we found a death duty record for my 4x great grandma, Ulrika Winter! Who would have thought, eh? But oh so very cool!!

the National Library of Finland in Helsinki

the National Library of Finland in Helsinki

the Helsinki City Library

the new staircase in the old Helsinki City Library

National Library of Finland (previously the University Library)

another library called the National Library of Finland (previously known as the University Library)

the National Archives of Finland in Helsinki

the all important National Archives building

the National Archives of Finland in Helsinki

proof I found the place …

the National Archives of Finland in Helsinki


the National Archives of Finland in Helsinki

we looked through beautiful old books from the 1800s

the National Archives of Finland in Helsinki

great great great great grandma Ulrika’s death duty record

the Lutheran Church in Helsinki

the Lutheran Church looked spectacular against the stormy clouds

Thursday 6 July 2017
This was set aside to be another another research day, but rather than heading back to the archives, my cousin and I spent a couple of hours comparing information, before heading off for a day of touristing. First stop was Suomenlinna (previously named Sveaborg which is the Swedish name for it). Founded in 1748 when Sweden owned Finland, this sea fortress which is built on a group of islands was so they could defend themselves against Russia. Soumenlinna is is now UNESCO World Heritage Listed and is really something to see. The scale of it is phenomenal, and it is all so well built that even after hundreds of years the buildings are still standing. Below are a few photos I took, but you can find a heap more here.

a birdseye view of Suomelinna

this birdseye view of Suomenlinna gives you an idea of how big the place is


one of the outside walls of the fort


the walls are about 1-2 metres thick, with holes for cannons or guns


a bridge from one island to another at Suomenlinna

After our ferry ride back to Helsinki city we wandered around, and suprise, suprise I found more to photograph.

view of Helsinki from the ferry

view of Helsinki from the ferry

the Finnish President's palace

the Finnish President’s palace

aLove Lock bridge in Helsinki

a Love Lock bridge in Helsinki, for more info on these you can read about them here

old cigar factory

this building was a cigar factory that my great great grandpa worked

Another place we visited was the Seurasaari Open-Air Museum. This is a collection of traditional old original buildings from all around Finland, brought together so you can see the different styles, all in one place. And we drove past the Sibelius Monument, my photo is lousy, but wikipedia has a heap of info about it, and a better pic.

Seurasaari Open-Air Museum

one of the traditional old houses

Seurasaari Open-Air Museum

this is a treehouse style hut is used to as a place to store meat so bears can’t get it

Seurasaari Open-Air Museum

a traditional Finnish windmill

Sibelius Monument

Sibelius Monument, made in honour of the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius

And the day ended with fresh, hot homemade cinnamon and vegemite (yes, vegemite) scrolls!

cinnamon scrolls

cinnamon and vegemite scrolls

Next up … another we’re off to another Summerhouse.

2 Responses to “Finland Days 7 and 8: Research Fun, Libraries and Touristing”

  1. Susie Zada says:

    I’m enjoying your trip so much – thanks for sharing it.

  2. Jill Ball says:

    So many memories of a beautiful city. Thanks Alona.

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