Poppy McVee, Porvoo, Finland


Posted May 29, 2009, 6:30 pm
Poppy  is ready to go on her Grand Adventure.

Posted Jun 15, 2009, 11:16 pm
Hey :)!

I arrived at my new home today. It was a long travel, but I feel really good after coming out of the envelope. I met another ToyVoyager already. She is called Ninni and a guest of BlackCat, too.



BlackCat showed me her lovely pets. She has 6 budgies, but you can see only 3 on the photos. The others were too shy.



Have a nice day,

Posted Jun 21, 2009, 3:29 pm
Hey :)!

Today we went into the botanical garden in Essen. It is called Grugapark. It was a sunny day, so we decided to spend some nice time there.

That is a painting on a playing house for children. I really like the Winnie the Pooh painting.

Flowers everywhere.


It was smelling so nice.


We were sitting on a palm. It is really nice.

That is the Hundertwasser house in the Grugapark. It was built for parents of the ill children that are in the clinic next to the Grugapark. The parents are living there, while the children are in the clinic.

We went into the rainforest house after that.




It was really nice there.

After the rainforest house we came into the desert house.




That was our day in the Grugapark. Maybe we will go there again, because it was not the whole Grugapark. There are still a lot places in the park, where we didn't went.

Greetings from Germany,

Posted Jul 1, 2009, 10:25 pm
Today I had to say Goodbye to Ninni. It was really sad. Now I am alone here, but BlackCat said, that I will have a new friend here, soon. She is waiting for him already.

So let's wait.

Goodbye Ninni...

Her package...

The box where you put the packages.

Now she is away




Posted Jul 1, 2009, 10:27 pm
Since Monday I was alone here. But then BlackCat came in with an envelope and said, that I am not alone anymore.

I opened the envelope and there was someone inside...


It is Benny :)! Welcome here Benny.


Posted Jul 1, 2009, 10:30 pm
BlackCat got some postcards today. A lot postcards, because her mum brought her some from her holiday in Bavaria.


Benny and I had fun looking at them.

BlackCat is sorry for not updating so much, but she promised, that we will do something nice on Sunday with a friend of her. We will see some musicians. I am scared, because she said there will be a lot people. But we will see :)!

Posted Jul 11, 2009, 11:18 pm
Today we went to Bochum. To a festival called Bochum Total. It was in the city of Bochum. There were a lot stages and a lot nice music. We saw 3 different bands.

The first band was One Fine Day:

The second band was Indica:


And the highlight for BlackCat was Van Canto:

The last photo is not so good. BlackCat was feeling so bad and she had to sit down at the side. So we just saw the stage from the side. But that was okay. The music was loud enough ^^.


Posted Jul 20, 2009, 3:25 pm
Sorry for not updating so long...first we had no time to go somewhere and now when we went away at the weekend, the camera didn't work :(! But now it is fixed again and BlackCat hopes to go out with us this week again :)! Will show you the photos, then!


Posted Sep 12, 2009, 12:12 pm
text will follow later...




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Posted Sep 12, 2009, 12:13 pm

today there was a big thunderstorm. But BlackCat and her boyfriend had to go shopping. So we went with them in the car. We made a lot photos from inside the car.







That's us at the coal mine Zollverein. An UNESCO world heritage site.




It was a nice, but rainy day.


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Posted Mar 15, 2010, 4:25 pm
I just arrived in Finland! I'll show you a photo tomorrow when I have rested enough to go play in the snow :)

Edit: here's the photo! The spring is approaching so there isn't as much snow as there used to be. My host said they rarely have even this much snow in the winter. It's been a proper winter she says  :D

Posted Apr 2, 2010, 9:21 am
Happy Easter!
Iloista pääsiäistä!

Posted Apr 7, 2010, 6:10 pm
Due to my mentor contacting the Foster Care Home and due to Delenna's personal inspiration: I'm staying with Delenna for a while before I go back home  B) I celebrated it with Delenna by eating the last chocolate eggs  :D


Posted Apr 7, 2010, 6:25 pm
After eating all the chocolate eggs my new host decided to show me  the Baltic Sea. It's just that the archipelago is blocking the view... And the fogg  :rolleyes: Fogg is not that common here so we're hoping it'll clear out soon. Then I'll come here again to see the views ;)

Anyway, somewhere over there, quite nearby is the small island where Tove Jansson, the creator of Moomin spent her summers. Did you know that the Moominhouse was drawn after a lighthouse that really exists?

Moomins are very popular here (and in Japan where the newer animations have been made) - year after year  :) Here, I found you the theme song in English!

Posted Apr 7, 2010, 6:39 pm
As the sea view didn't turn out "seeable" I went to the local sightseeing tower with my host. We walked from the other side of the hill where you can see to the old town. In the tower I got a relly good view over the city of Porvoo! Porvoo is the 2nd oldest city in Finland. It has almost 50 000 inhabitants of which 33% is native Swedish speakers (finnishswedish). Porvoo is only 50km east from Helsinki, the capitol of Finland. It takes less than an hour to drive there.

The story tells that the sightseeing tower was made by a giant: he heard that they were building a church in Porvoo and got angry (apparently giants don't like churches) and threw a stone all the way from Sipoo (where he lived, a place not too far from Porvoo). He didn't either aim it too well or his arm wasn't in good enough condition as he missed the church.

The stone has been a place to gather for festives a hundred years ago. Kids were told that babies were picked up from under the stone. Around 1880 they made the stairs and it became a sightseeing tower. Nowadays kids are told that a stork brings the babies - which is weird because you very rarely see storks in Finland...


Posted Apr 7, 2010, 6:43 pm
After the views in the tower we walked back to our car. I got a closer look on the red shorehouses. They are also part of the old town - and the most wellknown attraction in Porvoo. The brochure tells this about them: The shore houses are now red, but they got their colour only in the late 18th century. Red ochre paint was used to paint the shore houses in honour of King Gustav III's arrival from Sweden. All of the houses along his route were painted, in order to make them more beautiful. The red ochre also helped protect the logs from wind and sun damage. Exotic fruits, wines and spices were brought to Porvoo, and the shore houses also served as intermediate storehouses for coffee an tobacco. Today the shore houses are used as private living quarters and storage space.

Posted Apr 12, 2010, 5:06 pm
Today was a really nice day with sunshine and warmth! The sandbox had melted too - I mean the piles of snow above it had melted  ;) The girls let me play with their toys - I liked the turtle mold most. Do you know what they say here in Finland when they pat the mold full of sand? They say "tule, tule hyvä kakku, älä tule paha, kakku". It's translated something like "become, become a good cake, don't be a bad cake", as they hope it'll be a good sand cake  :) The girls also made me a sandy house! Although I'm glad my host took me back in when we were finished, it might've become a bit too chilly to stay there the whole night...

Posted Apr 14, 2010, 6:19 pm
I'm by the Baltic Sea again! And now I can see something more than just the pier  B)

Posted Apr 19, 2010, 2:41 pm
We made a small trip to Castle Hill! I've seen this hill from further away (see three posts back - 7th April, second photo).  In the 14th century here stood a wooden fortress. Now you can only see the hill and the castle moats. My host said this's a good place to play Robin Hood!

Also a famous artist (Albert Edelfelt) has painted this view. He painted other views from Porvoo as well - and tons of not-at-all-Porvoo-related paintings. After all, he spent years in Paris.

The view where you can see all the bridges from here, and the Old Town is my host's favorite spot. She has taken a photo here which she made into postcards! Very cool!

Posted Apr 19, 2010, 6:26 pm
My host's daughter attended her first ice show (named "Mary Poppins in Porvoo") and of course I was there to watch too! We weren't allowed to use a flashlight during the performance so the photos aren't that good. My host had volunteered to put the scene in place plus to sell lottery/raffle tickets. Of course I volunteered to help her  B) We sold all 286 tickets! Every other won. I was hoping I or my host would win a cool Moomin book but no...

The show was awesome! Everyone did very well  :)

Posted Apr 23, 2010, 12:56 pm
This is Finnish spring: first snow melts away and ices leave the sea, sun shines and swans fly back, bikes are taken out and flowers start to bloom - and then it snows.  :stare:

I hope we'll have sunshine again on Sunday when we're scheduled to go sightseeing in Helsinki!

Posted Apr 28, 2010, 6:48 pm
My host had got a free ticket to the Child Fair which included also Pet Expo and Model Expo. Therefore we went there  :D It was held in the big Fair Center in Helsinki.

We just wandered around watching until my host found a place that gave away Moomin postcards for free! She did buy some stuff too, for her daughter's birthday. At the Pet Expo we just admired the cute pets and watced bunnies have a hopping competition.

At the Model Expo we... well, there were the Star Wars people! And a grandma doing yarn the old way :)

Oh yes, the cars in the first photo are police cars. "Polis" is swedish for police. In Finnish (on the other side of the car) it's "poliisi". I didn't do anything! They were there to guarantee the safety of the Fair  :)

Posted Apr 29, 2010, 7:24 pm
After the "triple Fair" we went to see a Moomin exhibition "The Great Adventure" at Päivälehti Museum. It was smaller than my host had expected but nice anyway (and she got more free Moomin postcards!). Now I've also learned the names of the Moomin characters in different languages! See that poster...

That museum shows also the development of Finnish newspapers but we wanted to concentrate just on the Moomin side  B)

Posted Apr 29, 2010, 7:32 pm
The third stop on our day in the capitol was the Recycling Factory event. It was awesome! I saw tons of fun & cool & amazing stuff people had made of--- well, crap  :cyclops: Even candy wrapping can be turned into small pouches!

There was also a section where people could bring their stuff (basically anything) for other people to take it. My host brought a few things but didn't take anything. She said next year she'll be here with a backbag of stuff - and a bigger budget  :D

Oh, wait, she didn't leave emptyhanded! There was also a table about Bookcrossing and my host took two books (one in English & one in Finnish) - and registered into bookcrossing.com in the evening. It was only fair as one of the bookcrossers got really inspired about us toyvoyagers!  :cyclops:

Posted Apr 30, 2010, 4:05 pm
After running in Helsinki we could concentrate on walking  B) And sightseeing. We started from the Opera House, walking down (or maybe up) the mainstreet. We passed by Finlandia Hall and the National Museum of Finland. Then we saw the Parliament and climbed the stairs up to see the view. Someone had written "Perustulo!" in front of it, that means "basic income".

Then we walked down to the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma. That rider in fron tof it is C.G.E. Mannerheim, one of the former presidents of Finland (like the statues in front of the Parliament).

Those huge  strawberry "statues" were quite cool!

Posted Apr 30, 2010, 4:33 pm
We continued our sightseeing at The Cathedral. We climbed the 42 stairs up to see the view - and take a peek inside the cathedral. Or was it 41 steps up... I lost track!

Then we walked to the harbour where you can see not only ships that sail to Tallin (Estonia) and Stockholm (Sweden) but the Uspensky Orthodox Church and the Presidential Palace. The President of Finland is Tarja Halonen, the first female president in this country.

After the harbour we walked back to the center via Esplanade Park. Bethween the park and harbour is the famous fountain of Havis Amanda. She's the nude lady that caused talk 100 years ago when she was put there. Nowadays the students give her a graduation cap during the Mayday/Labour Day (finnish: vappu) festival.

After the park we took a turn right to see the Helsinki Central Railway Station. As you can see, many of the houses in the Helsinki central area are quite old stone nuildings. Even the modern, expensive store Stockman in one of them! It's in the second last photo. The white house before it is the Swedish Theatre.

Whoa, this is quite a lot to digest... So many places and events on one day!

Posted May 13, 2010, 6:14 pm
Today we wish a happy Mother's Day to all mothers in the world!

These are the flowers kids usually pick for their moms on Mother's Day :)

Posted May 13, 2010, 6:52 pm
Today we witnessed a sunny summerday with +22'C! It was so lovely we decided to do a bicycle trip with picnic  B) On our way we saw firemen practising! That was cool. When we finally decided to stop we had small Carelian pastries (rice filling) and juice.

There was a bird watching tower so we climbed there to see tons of swans! My host said there has never been so many swans, only a few pairs and now there were like 15 couples! It was quite a view  :stare:

Posted May 15, 2010, 6:16 pm
Today it was even hotter with +25'C and over. Despite the heat (and partly because of it) we went to a local indoor playground (called HopLop). There were slides and bouncy castles and sea of balls and tons of maze-like places to run! Actually the place was one big maze  :D It was really fun! You can spend 2 hours there with 10e/kid (under 3years olds cost less) - adults and toyvoyagers are free of charge!  ;)

It's possible to arrange birthdayparties here too! Hmm, that sounds great! B)

Posted May 23, 2010, 6:49 am
There was the annual spring market fair at the market place in Porvoo. Spreading to two long streets. Selling all kinds of stuff - postcards, clothes, shoes, candy, sunglasses, toys, household items, music, paper... It was a sunny and warm  :stare: Usually it rains during the market fairs  :rolleyes: They have two annually: spring and autumn fairs.

My host got "some" postcards and clothes. At the end we treated ourselves with ice cream  B) I had strawberry  :)

Posted May 28, 2010, 6:29 pm
This is me in the famous Finnish Sauna  :D In Finland every household has a sauna - or in case of a block of flats, then there usually is one sauna for the whole highhouse. Anyway. This is my host's sauna.

Sauna is a room that you heat up (there are saunas that are heated with wood and saunas that are heated with electricity), preferably 60-80 degrees Celsius (that varies, some people like it even hotter). Then you take a shower (just to get wet, it's not pleasant to be dry in a sauna) before you enter the sauna (naked!). In sauna you just sit and relax and maybe throw some water on the hot stones (to get more heat and steam). Sauna relaxes your muscles and opens your skin pores, which makes you clean from the inside  :)

After a while (when you feel like it) you go to the shower again to get wet and re-enter the sauna. You can repeat it as many times as you want. In the end you shower to wash yourself.

In summerhouses people also have saunas. There it's tradition to make (or buy) a birch whisk with which you beat yourself gently in the sauna. The whisk has the leaves on so it won't hurt.

There are saunas in gyms and swimming halls but there men & women are divided in separate saunas. Otherwise, with friends and family, it's normal to go to sauna together.

Finns even have a Sauna Society!

Posted Jun 3, 2010, 5:47 pm
I helped my host bake LadyBug cupcakes for a birthday party! She also made a Hello Kitty cake for the birthdaygirl. The theme was Ladybugs as you probably noticed... It was a sunny day and the kids blew soap bubbles and drew with street chalks - and basically ran back and forth laughing  :D Adults merely sat and drank coffee  :rolleyes: Oh, and my host made balloon figures! She made dogs, fish and bunny ears mostly.

The party was a success - and so were the cupcakes  B)

Posted Jun 11, 2010, 9:38 pm
It was a lovely day and we had a field trip planned  B) We visited a Domestic Animal Farm called Fallkulla in Helsinki.

Their website gives the following information
At Fallkulla you can get a taste of rural life in the middle of the city. You can see traditional farm animals: sheep, goats, pigs, cattle, hens, ducks, rabbits, cats and horses and help take care of them. Fallkulla Domestic Animal Farm is the only municipally owned youth centre in Finland where young people can take part in practical work with livestock.

Fallkulla is a popular destination for excursions. In addition to families, groups from day care centres, schools and homes for the elderly are among the many people who visit the farm each day. Sundays are reserved for families to see the animals. All in all, Fallkulla attracts over 40,000 visitors each year.

We did see many Finnish domestic animals, had a picnic and saw a "maitolaituri" (the last 3 photos). That's translated as "milk platforms". My host explained that in the old days (1920- 1970) milk was left in big metallic "bottles" on a "maitolaituri" and dairy farms picked them up from there. The places were also popular places for youth to get together. Also mailboxes were ofteen situated on the side of the platform. There's even a museum for the milk platforms, Velaatta in Tampere!

PS. those are not real storks on the roof!

Posted Jun 13, 2010, 7:49 am
After the Farm we visited IKEA, a huge store where you can buy basically everything you need in a home. IKEA is a swedish brand (hence the colors blue&yellow) known all over the world. It was a busy afternoon with many people shopping - my host couldn't take more photos indoors. The food was delicious - and cheap, as most of the things in IKEA  ;)

Posted Jun 13, 2010, 8:14 am
This is the Baltic Sea! Yes, well, at least the archipelago that leads to the Baltic Sea  :D I don't wonder why Finns like boating so much. Oh, and the creator of Moomin used to spend her summers on an island nearby! wait a minute, I've told you that allready haven't I... These beautifull views make my head spin  ;)

Posted Jun 13, 2010, 8:21 am
It's been quite a nice weather here and we've been to playgrounds and stuff. Here are some pics of me in the newest one we found. Can you believe that my host has lived here for over 2 years and only now she found this playground - and it's not even far away (they've ben using the ones closest to them)  :rolleyes: But at least we can go there now! It's cleaner than the other big one as the teenagers haven't yet found this one...

Posted Jun 13, 2010, 8:28 am
After the park we got back home and drew on the front yard with chalks. It's really fun! The girls drew "houses" for themselves  :D They weren't finished yet, that's why it looks so empty. Usually the pavement (and the girls) is full with colors!

Posted Jun 18, 2010, 3:17 pm
Today I got to walk in the Old Town of Porvoo and not just look at the shore houses  :D

There are many many small shops that sell all kinds of quality stuff, mostly handmade. My host's favorite shop is a toy shop called Riimikko. It sells good toys made of wood or tin or such - basically anything but plastic. This store has a Moomin house on its window all year round - they just change the decoration by the season.

The painted boxes are "electricity boxes" painted by local art school students a few years back. They painted all boxes in the old town and they look a lot nicer than the un-painted dull greyish-brownish-greenish boxes. It says 'Sekatavarakauppa' which means 'general store'.

We had hot chocolate and a "doughnut" in one of the cafés before walking back to our car - which is not the long white limousine...  ;)

Posted Jun 18, 2010, 3:49 pm
From Limo to Library...  :p

Today we visited the main library in Porvoo. The childrens section was quite interesting with fish and all sorts of decorations! I read some Mauri Kunnas' doghill books and different versions of Moomin. Today they also had a small exhibition of socktoys! We all agreed they would make wonderfull toyvoyagers  :D

Posted Jun 18, 2010, 3:53 pm
From Limo to Library to... ummm... I can't think of anything suitable beginning with L in this update!

I'm standing on the river (quite exactly on the spot where the Lat. & Long. take you), looking around. The riverside is a popular place for bar&restaurant visits in the summer. On the other side of the river they're building a campus area with a movie theatre and art exhibitions. The houses on the shore are modern versions of the old shore warehouses. People have paid good money to get to live in those :)

As you can see the river is full of boats! All newer but there are some old ones - mostly for cruising purposes. one of them is the old wooden schooner is called Marita, built in 1947.

That orange'ish wooden thing before the schooner photos is an old well  :o It's been moved from the original spot when the new bridge was built (a few years back - after 30 years of bebate) so no water runs in it anymore.

Posted Jun 26, 2010, 8:38 am
We went to the city to play in a park that is bigger than the ones near my host. At first we were allmost the only people there but then suddenly more and more people came there. They came to celebrate Midsummer! The park personnel had organized a small festival  :o mu host grinned to me and I just know she knew that this was going to happen  :D

We got to put flowers on a "pole" (this has something to do with the swedish speaking Finns, they call it a "maypole"). There were different games to play - oh, and the fire trucks came and an ambulance and we got to see inside them! Then there was a chance to barbecue and all sorts of food (my host had brought our own  sausages to barbeque so she definitely knew abou the festives)! It was really fun  B)

Wikipedia says this about the Finnish Midsummer:
Before 1316, the summer solstice was called Ukon juhla, after the Finnish god Ukko. In Karelian  tradition, many bonfires were burned side by side, the biggest of which was called Ukko-kokko (the "bonfire of Ukko"). After the celebrations were Christianized, the holiday is known as juhannus  after John the Baptist (Finnish: Johannes Kastaja).

Since 1955, the holiday is always on a Saturday (between June 20 and June 26). Earlier it was always on June 24. A lot of the celebration of midsummer takes place on midsummer eve, when many workplaces are closed and shops have to close their doors at noon.

In the Finnish midsummer celebration, bonfires (Finnish kokko) are very common and are burnt at lakesides and by the sea. Often two young birch trees (koivu) are placed on either side of the front door to welcome visitors. Swedish-speaking Finns often celebrate by erecting a midsummer or maypole (Swedish midsommarstång, majstång).

In folk magic, midsummer was a very potent night and the time for many small rituals, mostly for young maidens seeking suitors and fertility. Will o wisps were believed to be seen at midsummer night, particularly to finders of the mythical "fern in bloom" and possessors of the "fern seed", marking a treasure. An important feature of the midsummer in Finland is the white night and the midnight sun. Because of Finland's location spanning around the Arctic Circle the nights near the midsummer day are short or non-existent. This gives a great contrast to the darkness of the winter time.

Many Finns leave the cities for Midsummer and spend their holiday in the countryside. Rituals include bonfires, sauna and spending time together. Heavy drinking is also associated with the Finnish midsummer.

Many music festivals of all sizes are organized on the Midsummer weekend. It's also common to start summer holidays on Midsummer day. For many families the Midsummer is the time when they move to the countryside to their summer cottage by the lake. Midsummerday is also the Day of the Finnish Flag. The flag is hoisted at 6 pm on Midsummer eve and flown all night till 9 pm the following evening.


Posted Jul 9, 2010, 3:16 pm
It's hot in here!  B)

It's +28'C (which is 82F)! After taking the photo it rose above +30'C (86F) - in the shadow!  :o It's summer allright  B)

Then it finally started to rain - for about 20 minutes... The raindrops were huge! Kids ran outside with their clothes on  :stare: And like that wouldn't have been enough, they filled buckets with water and threw at each other  :rolleyes: When the rain stopped they danced hand in hand in a circle signing "more rain, more rain, more rain"  :D

Posted Jul 20, 2010, 6:29 pm
My host took me with her to the annual visit to Tampere, a city about 2h drive north/nothwest from Porvoo. First we attended a Postcrossing meetup in the city center. It was a mini meetup as there were only my host, her daughter and one other postcrosser... hey! Wait a minute! What about all us toyvoyagers and the Moomin characters of the other 'crosser?!? It was no mini meetup but a mega meetup!  B)

After the meetup we went for a refreshing swim in one of the lakes  :)

Posted Jul 20, 2010, 6:34 pm
We started our tour at the other end of the main street Hämeenkatu. There's Alexander Church and next to it the main library. We were there so early that nothing was open so we just hang out, waiting for  Tampere to wake up.

There are over 200 000 inhabitants (second biggest after Helsinki) in this city that lies between two lakes but you couldn't guess it on a Saturday morning  :D

Posted Jul 20, 2010, 6:38 pm
Finally we got to see a Moomin exhibition! There's one constant display of the original Moomin artwork - and even the original Moomin house! We weren't allowed to take photos inside the exhibition but we took some outside and by the door... You can see some photos from the inside here.

After the Moomins we walked back the main street, to the city center. I'm standing on the Häme bridge, looking around with the stone statues. The yellow stone building is a theatre and the tall building behind the water is a hotel.

Did you know that the very first McDonald's in Finland is in Tampere (since 1984) :D Nowadays there are 82 McDonald's restaurants in Finland, one of them in Porvoo  ;)

We found a pink candy buss  :stare: Bought some sweets and continued our walk down to the harbour/market place called Laukontori, the place where several lake cruises start.

Posted Jul 20, 2010, 6:48 pm
The real reason we came to Laukontori was Ankkaralli, a duck rally  :cyclops:

4000 numbered rubber ducks were dropped in the lake and 60 fastest swimmers got prizes. People were able to "buy" certain ducks for 5 euros each. Our number didn't win anything but the money went to a good cause: the internationalization of students at Proakatemia.

If you have Flash Player 8 and JavaScript, then you should be able to watch this video of the event  ;)

Posted Jul 20, 2010, 6:51 pm
After a hot, long day of sightseeing, duck rallying and Moomins... we went for a swim in the lake Näsinjärvi. You can see the needletop tower in the background, right? That's Näsi Tower in Särkänniemi adventurepark. That's our destination tomorrow  :D

Posted Jul 20, 2010, 6:56 pm
This is Särkänniemi Adventure Park! It's more than just an amusement park as it has a dolphinarium, a planetarium, an aquarium, art museum, children's zoo and the observation tower Näsinneula.  B)

We started with the dolphin show and continued to the rides. We also saw the planetarium show and zoo.

It was hot and sunny but not too crowded  :)

Finally we went to the tower...

Posted Jul 20, 2010, 11:32 pm
Last but not least we went to the Näsinneula observation tower. With the top at 168m it's the highest observation tower in the Nordic Countries. The views are seen at 124m. The lift goes 6m/second so your ears might "get locked".  

The views are quite amazing up there! You get a really good look over the city and the lakes. It was a perfect way to end my trip in Tampere.

Posted Jul 23, 2010, 10:10 pm
To took a stroll in the city today. This is the very center of Porvoo. There's the busstation and market place. It was pretty busy so we couldn't take many photos (ha, my host got shy!  :p ).

Posted Jul 23, 2010, 10:25 pm
From the city center a few blocks away is the "Empire district". Most of the buildings are made of wood around 1850. One of them is the "highschool" on the other side of the park (after the colorful "electricity boxes)- looks like a manor or something! Another is the former deafs' school (1846, first school for deaf people in Finland!) - before the colorful "electricity boxes".  :)

The playground is brand new as you can see  ;) Small in size but full of opportunities to climb and jump and slide and...

Posted Jul 25, 2010, 3:20 pm
I got to visit the local Cathedral from the inside. The Cathedral was built in the 15th century, although the oldest parts date from the 13th century. The Cathedral was the site of opening of first Diet of Finland March 28, 1809 where Finland was declared an autonomous Grand Duchy, with the Emperor of Russia as the Grand Duke of Finland.

The church has been destroyed by fire numerous times; in 1508 by Danish and in 1571, 1590, and 1708 by Russian forces. In May 2006, the outer roof collapsed after arson, however with the inner ceiling undamaged and the cathedral interiors intact. An 18 years old male was found guilty and convicted to three years and two months imprisonment in August 2006. The Court of Appeals later increased the sentence to six years and six months on May 2007. A further appeal is pending. The Cathedral was reopened in July 2008.

Posted Jul 29, 2010, 9:14 pm
I'm now in this envelope, waiting for the mailman to pick me up! I'm starting my journey back home - I really hope I'll arrive there fast so that I can tell my family all about my adventures in person  B)

PS. on October 2010
I've been infornmed (a month or two ago)  that Poppy McVee has returned home :)