After breakfast we had a lecture “This is finland, past and present”. I had to take notes to keep my self interested. Many in the group thought he was very good and humorous…..I did not.
Suomi is Finland. It’s a very difficult language with many verbs for one word!
He talked about where the finns came from…..
In the 1200’s Finland was under Sweden; villagers had to pay taxes based on the village. Finns were very poor but taxed the same as Swedes. Finland is a tough place to live in the winter; very harsh cold conditions. Better for hunters than for farmers!
The life expectance in 1786 was 9 years old for boys/men. It was a very sparse population; famine, war, etc. In the late 1600’s, this culture was very close to disappearing due to health issues.
Early 1900’s the people were still very poor.
Peter the great wanted to take over and moved the capital from Moscow to St Petersburg where it would be closer to the water/sea for his ships. Petersburg was in Swedish territory at that time.
In 1742, the border of Finland moved west
1809 the 3rd war between Russia and Sweden; Russia occupied all of Finland (still a part of Sweden then). Finland was given to Russia by Sweden (too poor a country and the Swedes did not want it!). Also during this time was the American revolution (slaves, women cannot vote, etc). 40% of the population could vote; in much of Europe, only the king voted. The idea of a republic was spreading; decreasing the power of the king.
Alex under the 1st ruler of Russia/Finland (???) Was a smart guy; he wanted Finland to govern themselves; he did not need this poor country.
1830 Live expectancy went up to 37-39 for males.
Elias Lonrot (1802 to 1884) from the back woods of Finland; a priest taught him to read, write in multiple languages. He became a physician and roamed the country. Was called “the walker”. People could not pay him for his assistance; he wrote down their songs and stories. Collected 600 verses of folklore and music. The “Kalevala” was an epic poem; best selling in France for 4 years!
1863 Bilingual country (fininsh and Swedish)
1800s golden age for Finns
Nicoli 2nd wanted to charge taxes of the finish people; changed signs from Finish to Russian.
Many immigrated to the US for a better life.
1904 Olympic games; fins marched in with the Russians but broke off behind them and raised their own flag!
1905. Senate Square; Russian governor (Bobrikov) was shot to death by a Finn. Could have led to an uprising, but it did not
1907 Women got the right to vote; Finland was a territory not a country yet; very poor.
WW1 1917; Lenin was hiding in Finland. 6 Dec 1917, Finland declared their independence. Lennin said ok on New Year’s Eve
1918. Reds vs whites; a finish civil war. The war lasted 6 months and the same number of people who were killed in the American Civil war died in Finland over these 6 months; quite a nasty war. The whites won; the gathered the reds and put them in camps; executed 1000’s.
1970’s there was still a sense of the reds vs whites, but today that is gone.
Hockey is the #1 sport!
In 1939, the Finish territory was expanded back to near St Petersburg; 30 Nov 1939, stahlin bombed Finland. The fins fought the winter war in 105 days; a very bad winter; finland did not win the war. Gave land in the SE back to Russia. Finns were close to aligning with the Nazi’s but they did not. Discussed with Stahlin that Finland was not worth his war efforts; so he focused on the war in Germany.
Finland has a debt to pay to Russia.. it was 300 million dollars! So for 7 years, the finns worked 6 days a week for 3.5 days of pay to repay the debt.
In 1956, they elected Kokkomen as president (he was a high jumper in the Olympics). Was president from 56-82. In 1980 he caught pneumonia, had a stroke and died.
Look up the 1995 hockey game with Canada (?). The finnish coach was from another country; hired to help the fins hockey team. When they came home from this game they had an Air Force escort; the TV’s showed the coach with a tear in his eye.
Went to the rock church (joy got the photos) and then to lunch at the symphony hall. Had a tour of the music center of Helsinki/symphony hall. The silver artwork in the entry was of “mother nature”. It weighed 4400+ pounds. Includes 28 endangered plant species from Lapland (where the artist was from). Outside there was another sculpture that represented an eel/pike with its mouth open; going up to the trees to sing. The concert hall was designed by a Japanese man names (Toyota?). the wood vibrates, is circular, has a concrete dome at the top (a canopy). It was opened in Sept 2011.
Joy and I left early to meet a caching buddy.
About 2PM?, we met a friend of a someone Joy had been messaging about caches in Helsinki. The original guy was sick with the flu so his friend came to the hotel to see us. We thought we were going to spend the afternoon with this gentleman, but when we met him, he seemed to need to get back to work. That was fine. He brought us a list of his trackable items (joy took a photo of his bar code) and then gave us some info about local caches. He is a lawyer at parliament and is an avid cacher. He walked a little bit with us and then he was off to work and we were off to cache. We walked about Helsinki and got a few caches; did not find them all, but had fun. We were coming up to the hotel about 6:30 PM and all of a sudden, there was the guy (nuutti I believe is his name). He asked us if we wanted to go get the oldest cache in Finland (GC 72). Although we were tired, we said yes. So we bought tickets for the metro/subway and went with him to the park and ride where he leaves his car each morning. This was on the east side of Helsinki and we soon were off driving to the north of Helsinki. There was a little rain and it was getting dark. Parked in a forested area and he put on his rain jacket, rain pants, different shoes and his headlamp. Soon we were off! As we walked it rained harder and there was some thunder and lightening. It was a little bit of a walk to the cache (3/4 of a mile maybe). The cache was in a boulder area; got a picture and it was back to the car.
Then he asked us if we wanted to go to another “favorite cache” and we did… it was near a grave yard and ended up being a concrete tower about 3 feet high; you pulled up on a sword that was in the concrete and a drawer opened and there was the cache. Very clever.
Off to one last cache; an earth cache about a hole in the ground.
It was a fun evening; where else would you be out in the dark, in the rain, with out proper rain clothes/shoes with a lawyer who works in the finnish parliament? Only if you were 2 crazy cachers!
Home about 1100 and I worked on my photos; the computer had finally downloaded them all and I was moving them to the respective days.
A short night…..