Wednesday, March 3, 2010



President Haikkola offered to take us to the Airport in Vantaa so we could pick up our rental car. That was very kind of him because we were going to take a taxi. We quickly agreed to his generosity! Kiitos Paljon......
We got an earlier start than we had anticipated.....that was good. We had things we wanted to do along the way. Beautiful snow today.
Our first stop was in Tampere. Wayne had served in this area 45 years ago. We stayed here
1 1/2 years ago and remembered it being a beautiful place. We saw a HUGE hole where the 2-ward chapel used to be....until arsonist burned it down. Today, you can see this HUGE 2-story building under construction! It is coming along nicely.....and it really is HUGE!!
Here is our little rental car in the foreground. It drives very nicely. Not sure what kind it is.
While in Tampere we wanted to stop at the Lenin Museum. Lenin was a Russian who believed in the Finns. He was very, very instrumental in the freedom of Finland as a country. He and Stalin actually met in this very museum a number of years ago (obviously, since they are both dead now) and 'worked' our the freedom. It was quite interesting to read about.
Because this museum had to do a lot with Russia (or the former Soviet Union as it was at that time) the gift shop also has a lot of Russian things to buy!! Lucky for me!!! :-) I bought a beautiful brooch and a pretty little bowl. Both are made out of wood and hand painted by people in the Soviet Union!! I could not believe they were only 6 euro each!! The tourist don't know about the great prices here!! They are way over-priced in the Helsinki area.
Then it was on up the road to Seinäjoki where we would be staying at the Sokos Hotelli. We had hoped to see a few things while it was still 'light' and before things closed at 6 p.m. Well, hello is WINTER and most things are not even open.....say what!!
We tried to find the church building here and couldn't even find that. We later found out, from the Hotelli receptionist, that they rent a 'place' on the 4th floor of a local building.
This is a MEGA CHURCH which is located across the parking lot of the Hotteli. We had wanted to go up in the 'tower' and get a good view of the surrounding area. Guess what?? Yup.....CLOSED BECAUSE IT IS WINTER!!

Tomorrow we have a lot day of driving. We will end up in Kemi. That is on the Swedish border. We are hoping to get there early enough that we can drive across the border and see a small town on the Swedish side. The SNOW CASTLE is also located in Kemi. That for sure will be OPEN......ONLY open during the WINTER!! And the SAMPO ICEBREAKER. Only OPEN during the WINTER!! We may be in luck.

In spite of the disappointments, we are still have a great trip so far. While I am posting this 'blog' Wayne is able to relax and enjoy a SAUNA tonight.....and it is FREE!!

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