Winter wonderland!

Trip Start Dec 16, 2012
Trip End Jan 21, 2013

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Flag of Finland  , Southern Finland,
Thursday, December 20, 2012

It is so lacking in originality but I can only think of one phrase - winter wonderland!!! Helsinki in December is truly beautiful!

Woke up to a snowy paradise outside our window. The hotel overlooks the port and even the sea is frozen! There is at least a foot of snow on the ground and it snowed all day - just what the doctor ordered. The city is absolutely beautiful and truly seems magical with the Christmas lights everywhere, the snow on the trees, the cars, the roofs and everything else, (did she say "snow" again!!!!) and the pretty pastel coloured buildings. The architecture is gorgeous.

We did a sight seeing tour around the city and then hung around the main square Senate Square) where Mum shopped at the Christmas Market, Dad took photos of old buildings and the kids played in the snow. Tom couldn't get enough of just being in the snow - cars buried in snow were a particular favourite, along with snow ball throwing and just kicking every snow pile in sight. I don't know if it would have been as exciting for kids who ski regularly, but our guys were just wide eyed with excitement and it made the trip so worthwhile even without getting to Lapland.

Tom then discovered he could slide down the 100 or so snow covered stairs in front of the Senate Building (Cardboard Hill eat your heart out Wynnum folk) and then the Asian tourists had to all try it too. Quite a little party in the end climbing the stairs and then tearing down on their wet and cold bums to the bottom. Mum had to have a crack too and of course it was brilliant fun.

Checked out the Marrimekko shop (famous Finnish designer) then trammed back to the hotel for some R&R before dinner. Can't wait until tomorrow!!

Saturday was clear and sunny with no falling snow, but still bitterly cold.

We caught the tram to a famous church carved into the snow and then walked through the residential streets for a look see. Found a great little park with Lappset play equipment (which we investigated for the Sts Peter & Paul's playground) and had a play, made out first snowman and had another snowball fight.

Visited the National Museum of Finland and learnt about the history of this beautiful country. Tom enjoyed the weaponry and Penny admired the costumes. Mum found the parallels with our indigenous culture interesting - the Sami used the same type of fish traps as Aboriginal people in Australia.

More wandering in the afternoon to soak up the Christmas shopping atmosphere in the city centre and then back to the hotel for hot chocolate and a rest. Our feet are frozen by the end of the day and have that funny burning feeling that I remember from early morning winter swimming training.

Tomorrow we fly to Lapland - can't wait!!!
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Julie and Bill on

What a fabulous time you are having! Your account and the photos are wonderful and we are so happy it is all going so brilliantly.
Merry Christmas to you all,with our love and best wishes.

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