I'm 1/4 Finnish from my dad's side of the family. My great grandfather came to the US from Oulu, Finland in the very early 1900s. He moved to Michigan initially and then on to Minnesota. He then sent for my great grandmother, who arrived a couple years later. They were married. The rest is history.
I never knew my great grandparents, so I didn't know much about the Finnish side of my family. I identified myself mostly as German and English. However, I've always been interested in family history and a couple of years ago I became addicted to Ancestry.com. So, this past September I decided to visit Finland.
I arrived in Helsinki. I had booked an (expensive) room in a hotel located in an old castle. Right up my alley, I thought. The exterior of the hotel was very cool. However, I was surprised when I got to my room and found laminate flooring and prefab furniture. Oh yes, I reminded myself, I was in the region of Ikea and modern design.
But then I started to wander about the city. Those of you that have done your homework and have a keen eye will start noticing something. In hindsight it is all so clear, but it had not hit me yet.....
I'm warning you. I took a lot of photos. I fell in love with doorways, windows and balconies.
|Front entry to my hotel. Very cool.|
|Check out the paint colors. Look familiar?|
|Seriously. How on earth is a tourist supposed to deal with street names like this?|
|The hotel I stayed at on my arrival in Helsinki|
|The main market.|
|The Deco train station|
|Train station exterior|