Arabia is a famous trademark of Finnish designer dishes from Iitala in the Fiskars Group. As this year Finland has its 100 Years Anniversary celebrated of course throughout the country in many events, Iitala has released a 100 Years Edition with cups decorated in the design of each decade. I could not hesitate and got myself the pack of five cups from the second half while visiting the Santa Village on the Polar Circle north of Rovaniemi . Might try to complete the set, lets see…
You can purchase them in Finland online or in the iitala stores. I don’t know if the 100 years edition is available abroad.
This is purely for your interest as it is a souvenir that I brought home with me. I do not want to make advertisement with this post and I do not get anything from Iitala!
Here three of the five mugs…
To reach Finland from Germany without the long sea travel of 30 hours between Travemünde and Helsinki it requires crossing Sweden by car towards Stockholm which is quite a trip. So it comes handy to know nice places along the route to visit for a break. One of these places is the Löfstad Castle which is just some few hundred meters from the E4 at Trafikplats 117 (Lövstad). Close to the highway it is still a very quiet and nice place. The castle has a small park, that invites for a small walk. In summer there is a cafe in a flower shop and a restaurant. I stopped here already twice and like to return here as it does not require a long detour.
There are also guided tours through the castle, but up to now I havent participated in any. But let’s see what comes next trip… The castle belongs to the Östergotlands Museums. Check the opening hours prior to your visit!
Here some photos of the castle. ..
Quite often when I drive around and see a sign refering to a point of interest, I take the chance to see what is there to discover. Sometimes I fail with it because I simply do not find it or it is nothing really worth to mention. Other times I find really nice things. One of these moments I had when driving a road south of Salo, Finland. I saw a sign pointing into the deep forest saying Viitankruunu. There was a small parking and I had time, so I parked my car and followed the path. It turned out that there were two bronze age grave hills hidden in the forest. Some people might see only simple stones, but for me it is always impressive and there are the moments I think of the individuals that were buried here and those who worked here to build the grave. Wondering what kind of people they might have been… kind or cruel and would they be a friend or someone I should take care of. But before I bring you into such deep thoughts, please follow me on the short walk to the graves…
This is the magic symbol for all the sightseeing enthusiasts… we follow it.
Instead of driving I got a nice hike in the forest 🙂
For those capable of knowing the Finnish language the sign gives some information about the site. For everyone else there is a map and some sketches.
I love the northern forests.
Trying to find the bronze age burial site I learned that moskitos are not stupid. They know how to hide…
And then suddenly the huge pile of stones showed up. It is impressive.
Those buried here got a very nice place with a view. I am pretty sure that the choice was by purpose. Not only to place them on a hill, but also to overlook the area around.
In fact there are at least two large burial hills here, if you look at the google maps linked below, you will see them on the satellite view.
-> Information in Finnish from Museovirasto (use google translate!)
Let me take you into the church of Old Rauma, the Church of the Holy Cross. It has some really nice decorations that are absolutely worth to be seen. About the history of the church I pass you to wikipedia (link at the bottom of the entry), so you can check the short article if you are interested.
This is the view when entering the church.
Here the pulpit, all in beautiful wooden art.
That beautiful lady is by far the most religious citizen in Rauma. She is always there when I am in town visiting the church… impressive 😉
In my opinion the most impressive are the paintings on the ceiling. I can stand there for a long time looking at this beautiful art.
The candelabra bring a nice and special light into the church.
And the window is beautiful with the sun shining onto it.
-> Raumas Church of the Holy Cross on Wikipedia
A real beauty of an old wooden towncenter is the Old Rauma (Vanha Rauma). It found its place on the list of World Heritage Sites of the UNESCO. You can spend some hours to walk around through the small and larger cobble stoned streets. It is not a museum, there are stores, cafes and restaurants here. So be prepared that it can be quite busy around the main square. Actually during my last visit I found it really busy with cars driving through the streets, but if you leave the main road, you will find really quiet and cosy corners.
In some of the houses you will find museums that tell you about the history of families living there. Also you will see that making bobbin lace is an old tradition from Rauma. But let me show you the cosy beauty of this place in this blog entry. There are several more old wooden towns along the west coast of Finland, over time I will introduce you to them.
-> Old Rauma on UNESCO Webpage
-> Old Rauma on Visit Rauma
If you pass Uusikaupunki (Newtown) on your trip, stop by to see the old houses and the pilothill with the old church closeby, all of which I will feature in other blog entries. Here I want you to know that there is a nice place called Myllymäki, the mill hill. In town you will find a small hill on which there are four old windmills. They are nowadays a free openair museum. I really like windmills as first of all they are rare where I live and also keep us remember old times, in which work was tough and people had bright ideas to make things easier by using the elements around them.
The mills here are collected from other places and brought here. Notice that they differ quite much…
As stated in another blog entry, the Kurjenrahka National Park is a very important place for cranes to stop for their yearly journey. Here I planned to make a short hike after seeing the visitor center and having a look at the lake. The hike itself, if the short cirular hike, is only 1.4 km long. It is not much, but rain started and intensified quite much, affecting my camera and more important the grip of the wooden trail. So I made the decision to return back to the car after reaching the Kuhankuono, the small monumental stone. Still I think I made some nice photos and want to share them with you…
Knowing it might rain more heavily I started taking the photos quite late to get some meters done. Here is a photo of the Kuhankuono, which is an old boundary marker and according to the official page of the park it is sitting here for more than 600 years!
Here some wet memories of this really short hike… 🙂
-> Webpage of Kurjenrahka National Park