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Stop 4 - Sir Sisu

Sir Sisu

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OK, Libby arrived the same morning that we left for our return trip to the cabin. She could not have arrived at a better time, otherwise she would have been stuck in the mailbox for almost a week!


Here are the photos from the trip:


On the road north from Helsinki




We stopped for a short lunch break in the city of Hämeenlinna, and Libby got a brief view of the Häme castle:




At the entrance gate into the castle


at the base of the castle proper



along the moat


she is very photogenic



and back on the road again in the hot car heading north towards the region of Keuru


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After the long trip sitting in the hot car, Libby was glad to arrive at the cabin. She immidiately took to the water to cool off on a lilypad




but it was not enough to cool her down so she decided to take the plunge all the way in.



The water was colder than expected so she was happy to hear that we heated the sauna. It was obvious that Libby had not been introduced to a sauna yet as she jumped straight on to the hot rocks of the stove itself!! Here is a short video clip.


However she soon learned that enjoying the sauna was best done by sitting on the wooden benches of the sauna.




Remembering how cool the water was, she was a bit hesitant to join us for a swim break.



You can see the reluctance on her face



But she decided to try and do as the locals do and found the swim to be refreshing!



And drying off on the small dock after the sauna and swimming session




After all the little children had been tucked into bed, Libby joined the adults at the grilling gazebo for some late night snacks and beverages and good conversation



We eventually called it a night and she found a comfortable place to sleep:


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Libby slept well that night and was a bit slow to start the morning, but after a cup of coffee and a quick dip in the water to revive herself, she was ready to go into town





The town of Keuruu has many old wooden structures that have been preserved and are still in use. Here is the railway station




Libby was starting to show her wild and daring side a bit :ninja:



We stopped inside a cafe for a little snack and Libby got to see the slot machines that can be found in cafes, supermarkets, gas stations, etc., nearly everywhere in Finland. This one is called a pajatso



At least the coins have a window to see outside, said Libby.



Next to it was a fruit slot. Libby wanted to try and free up some coins to have as compantions, but I did not have any change on me at the time:




We continued on our walk and stopped for a snapshot of the old wood church of Keuruu, built in the mid-18th century



Libby stopped to look for any interesting info at the tourist map of the region


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Well, we headed back to the cabin and prepared ourselves for a visit to the owners of the cabin. They invited us over one evening for some horseback riding for the kids, along with sauna and dinner.


Libby had quickly learned how one enjoys a sauna.



After a hearty dinner at their grilling shed, the drinks and conversation began to flow freely.




and the grilling shed is perhaps not the best term for it as it is quite large. Here is a view of its veranda



The grill is actually made of bricks and morter.




Libby had no problems fitting in and getting to know everyone. In fact as the evening turned into night, she and our eldest daughter's god-father from Sweden began clowning around. :ninja:



From the grilling area, Libby took in the view of the northern sky at midnight in late summer.



Libby's cheeks were glowing by this point, so we decided it was best to thank our gracious hosts and call it a night.


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On the day of our departure, Libby took a quiet moment to herself near the shore.



On the road again, this time towards the in-laws. Here she gets a good view of Lake Päijänne from a high bridge.



We decided to stop near the bridge for a picnic and the views. This photo was taken at the end of the old road (before the bridge was built) where a ferry had taken cars across the lake at this juncture.



At the in-laws Libby oversaw the building of the new 2 car garage that we went to help with.37.jpg




At the end of the day we had gotten this far:



The next day we got the side paneling and even some painting done.



And we put the roofing trusses in the morning before we left for home:




That was our brief journey over the past few days. Libby is now at my home and I hope to show her around here a bit during my last week of vacation before returning to work. Then I will send her off to her next destination. More pictures to come. :ninja:

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The next day after we arrived home, we went biking. My daughter was showing Libby the eastern fork of the small Vantaa river. The small rapids are a popular spot for fishermen.



Nearby is an outdoor cafe where we stopped for refreshments. The girls were painting their faces with ice cream, while Libby was cozying up to my beverage.



The river forks at the end and the other branch was long ago harnessed for power generation. Normally the water is flowing over the wall, but it has been so dry this summer that it has slowed to a trickle.



In the background is where the power generator station is; the water flowing from right to left. (The small falls are behind the island on the right.) The hill in the background is where the Swedish King Gustav Vasa originally founded Helsinki to compete with Reval (Tallinn). This area was eventually abandoned as it could not support deep sea vessals. The port was moved to the west and there modern Helsinki has developed.


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Libby went grocery shopping with us. Here were some interesting things that she noticed:


Bottles and cans here are recycled on a deposit basis. With a few minor exceptions, bottles and cans can be returned to any grocery store and most have an automated machine like this that gives a receipt:




Customers weigh the produce themselves. The machine prints out a sticker that has the price along with the UPC barcode.




Libby came out at an even 60 grams, but there was no corresponding number to press for "One Dollar" coins. :ninja:




Shopping carts are reigned in by using a deposit system as well. Libby was too large to help out here.


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I had a quick errand to run in downtown, so all that Libby got to see of it yesterday was the square next to the main railway station. We were waiting for the bus to go home.



On the bus




And today Libby came car shopping with us. One of the gears shot out on our old car during our vacation, so we had to get a replacement. Anyhow, we have been looking to upgrade to a station wagon from our sedan after our third child was born. So there goes my impulsive coin buying budget for the forseeable future. :ninja: Our old car is on the left and the new one (used mind you) is on the right. Libby is on the headlight.


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Are those cuties coin collectors yet?




No, not yet. Though my eldest daughter used to give the most excited expressions when I showed her pictures from my coin catalogues, like the Red Book for example. She was only under 2 years of age at the time though mind you. (I should have a clip of that somewhere.)

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I went into town yesterday to meet up with my bandmate for a pint, so I took Libby for a brief tour of some of the sites.


The granite building in the background is the Finnish Parilament and the tower to the right is the National Museum.



The National Theater



The Central Railway Station



The Lutheran Cathedral at the main Senate Square. The statue is of Tsar Alexander II.



At the corner of the Senate Square is the Mint's retail shop



Libby took a quick peek at the coins dressed up in the window, wondering whether they were haute or harlots.




I then met my friend to go for a pint. While my friend and I chatted, Libby watched the people and traffic pass by.




In the evening Libby joined me as I went to band practice for some jamming. She wanted to try the drums, but the sticks were too unwieldly.



Libby was enjoying the jam session, so she decided to grab the make and ad-lib some vocals.



And the night ended with that.

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The past weekend was my last weekend of vacation. We spent it together as a family. In fact Libby has become our 4th "child" for the past 2 weeks, as even Lady Sisu is always concerned about Libby; "Is Libby O.K.?", "Did you remember to take Libby?" etc. :lol:


Saturday we spent some time around home and then went swimming and had a picnic at a nearby lake that is a popular swimming spot.



The next day we went with some friends to a an island off the west side of the peninsula that Helsinki is located on. A small ferry brought us there.



There is a HUGE bunny called "Sugar bit" that lives there, approximately 2+ feet in length, who was a favorite with the children. (She sent greetings to our own Bunny. :ninja: )



Our picnic lunch. The box of cookies that Libby is in front of was was my baking contribution.



While walking around the island I took a couple of photos of Helsinki. This is a power plant on the southwest peninsula of Helsinki.


A view of the central peninsula. The white tower on the left is the Olympic Stadium tower. (Downtown Helsinki has a relatively low profile when it comes to buildings; I believe the max allowed is something like 7 or 9 stories tall.)



I have been at work for two days now and have been so occupied that I have not been able to take any other pictures of Libby, so I think it is time for her to leave to her next destination. I hope to have her off either tomorrow or Thurday at the latest. I will post whatever farewell pictures I take after she has left.

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Libby's last day with us. Fortunately I had a day off yesterday, so I had one last free day . Breakfast outside on our patio



We went for a walk in the early afternoon. Libby got to see first hand how dry it has been here. Normally this grass is a deep green, but now most everywhere it is a crispy brown.



Libby also noticed the variety of manhole covers everywhere. She joked that since they are metal, round, and have normal versions as well as commemorative versions that I should start collecting them too. :ninja: Libby modeled next a few before the camera battery went empty







Libby found the behavior of the local wildlife to be...errr....peculiar....



And finally Libby says her farewells to some friends as she gets ready to board her traveling compartment.




She is leaving today. It definitely was fun having Libby here especially during a portion of my vacation. Lady Sisu ended up considering her as one of the "kids" as she was always keeping tabs on her. The children loved holding her as well. And she also aroused the curiosity of many of my friends and relatives as she was always present and having pictures taken of her. I hope she has a safe journey and that her future hosts will have just as much fun as I did! :lol:

Näkemiin Libby!

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Libby also noticed the variety of manhole covers everywhere. She joked that since they are metal, round, and have normal versions as well as commemorative versions that I should start collecting them too. :lol:



Great pictures! I am sure Libby had a great time in Finland ...



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