Archive for May, 2015

May 18th, 2015

Ahvenanmaa visit

Our extended family – us and my parents – spent three days in Ahvenanmaa, as Aapo participated in a football tournament.

For those that don’t know, Ahvenanmaa is an autonomous part of Finland with its own legislation, heritage, and culture. The only official language is Swedish and the whole place is somewhat in between Finnish and Swedish cultures.

We took a very early charter bus to Turku to embark our ferry to Ahvenanmaa. After a few hours on the sea, we arrived in sunny Maarianhamina, the capital of Ahvenanmaa – population around 12,000 people. The town was compact and very clean. Finnish cities are not dirty compared to London or New York, but Maarianhamina was impeccably clean.

We had two rooms in the hotel, one modern one for my parents and other 90s styled one for our family. As this was a sport trip, we had full board, so didn’t have need to explore Maarianhamina restaurants. That were plenty for a town of such size. There were also number of caf├ęs, and all very good. A couple of delis, too.

Most of Saturday and half of Sunday were spent at the football field. My son’s club had two teams in different divisions. My son’s team won all their games – they scored 20 goals and nobody made any goals against them. The other team scored 22 goals and only one goal was made against them. So, the both teams were at the finals that ended up in penalty shoots. My son’s team lost, but at the end all of the boys got to pose with the trophy.

Our return ferry was Viking Grace that has been sailing only 18 months or so – and has been designed by a renowned interior design company. The experience was way beyond the other ships on the Baltic sea – much recommended!

We had our mother’s day lunch at the ship – excellent food and excellent company. Finally the ship arrived to Turku harbour and we were on the bus on our way to Kauniainen – arrived there a bit past ten o’clock in the evening with very tired kids.