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This blog is about my Comenius experience in Finland

Oulu

Tourism (pics:stvillinger.be)Posted by Sylvie Hendrickx Sun, December 04, 2011 22:52:21

History & Heritage

King Carl IX founded the city of Oulu in 1605 in the mouth of the Oulu River. The Oulu River delta is an ancient trading centre. From a city of tar and salmon engaged in international trade, Oulu has developed into a competence centre of 141.000 residents, well-known within high-tech circles all over the world.

A Fine Tourist Attraction

Also travellers from around the world find Oulu in numbers increasing each year. Oulu is easy to reach from the big centres of Europe. This, together with the busy airport in Oulunsalo, has made Oulu an excellent choice for holidays and conferences.

The Four Seasons

It is indeed easy to reach Oulu any time of year. Bright, warm summers and cold, snow-rich winters are both present in the cycle of seasons. Versatile shopping, cultural and restaurant services guarantee unforgettable experiences for travellers. Oulu hosts events throughout the year. Especially the summer is a time for numerous interesting events - such as Reindeer Feria and Air Guitar World Championships - that spice up the wide selection of events Oulu has to offer.

Experiences for Kids

There’s plenty to do and experience for visitors of all ages, including the youngest ones in the family. For instance Science Centre Tietomaa, the Vauhtipuisto speed park, the Oulun Eden spa and the wonderful Nallikari beach will be warmly remembered by the smallest travellers too. Thanks to the wide Oulu region, nature experiences are close to you.



From: visitoulu.fi

Turku

Tourism (pics:stvillinger.be)Posted by Sylvie Hendrickx Sun, December 04, 2011 22:49:44

Turku is a fascinating combination of both old and new. Turku has everything for the modern urbanite, but also for tourists interested in the treasures of history. Turku offers skilled and educated workforce, modern municipal engineering, good international connections and flexible services for companies and businesses.

Turku is a city of three institutions of higher education and high technology. In addition to the University of Turku and the Turku School of Economics and Business, the city is the home of the country's only Swedish-speaking institute of higher education, Åbo Akademi. The city can also offer studies at Turku University of Applied Sciences, Sydväst University of Applied Sciences, Humak University of Applied Sciences and Diaconia University of Applied Sciences. The city has altogether approx. 35, 000 higher education students.

The schools and businesses work in close co-operation at the Turku Technology Centre, which units are BioCity, DataCity, ElectroCity, EuroCity and the Old Mill. The degree programmes in animation, advertising and circus studies at Turku University of Applied Sciences are unique in Finland.

As the most famous cultural city in Finland, Turku offers many different types of events round the year. For example, the oldest rock festival in Europe, Ruisrock, and the bit younger city festival, Down by the Laituri, are held in Turku in the summertime. In addition, the Medieval Market, Music Festival Aurajoki Virtaa and the Turku Music Festival are also part of the summer in Turku.

In the wintertime the official Christmas City of Finland is filled with numerous performances, events and Christmas markets. The Christmastime culminates in the Ecumenical Christmas, and of course in the proclamation of Christmas peace on Christmas Eve from the balcony of the Brinkkala building, which is televised nationally.


From: turku.fi

Naantali

Tourism (pics:stvillinger.be)Posted by Sylvie Hendrickx Sun, December 04, 2011 22:45:01

With water lapping at its wooden mooring-posts in front of picturesque timber houses, Naantali (Swedish: Nådendal) is one of Finland's most idyllic port towns and makes a great, and popular, day-trip destination from Turku - it's only 18km away.

Once you get over the shock of the summertime crowds - and the fact that the majority of them are making a beeline for a children's theme park - it's difficult not to like Naantali. The compact boat-filled harbour is ringed with pleasant cafés and restaurants, the cobbled Old Town has a quaint (if slightly dressed up) old-world feel, and there's plenty of sights and shopping to occupy an afternoon. The main attraction for all those Finnish families is Moominworld, a theme park celebrating characters from the storybooks by Tove Jansson. Out of season, Naantali is pretty quiet, and feels a little like a filmset after the actors have gone home.


From: lonelyplanet.com

Lahti

Tourism (pics:stvillinger.be)Posted by Sylvie Hendrickx Sun, December 04, 2011 22:43:35

One of Finland's major winter-sports centres, Lahti is a modern town about 100km north of Helsinki. It's a good place to go if you're interested in skiing, with a good museum on the sport, alongside the city's frighteningly high ski jumps. Lahti has hosted several world championships, most recently in 2001.

Founded in 1905, the city isn't hugely interesting in other respects, and lacks anything that could be called an 'old town'. Most of the downtown area, in fact, consists of a series of linked shopping centres. The 10, 000 Karelian refugees who arrived after WWII have contributed their entrepreneurial spirit to what the locals call the 'Business City'. Lahti does make a good base for visiting nearby attractions. Its location by Vesijärvi (which is connected to Lake Päijänne) makes it the obvious place to start a ferry trip to Jyväskylä. One of the largest lakes in Finland, Päijänne provides Helsinki with tap water.

Tallinn, capital of Estonia

Tourism (pics:stvillinger.be)Posted by Sylvie Hendrickx Mon, October 24, 2011 15:20:47

One of Europe's most enchanting cities, Tallinn is a heady blend of medieval and modern, with narrow, cobbled streets set beneath the spires of 14th-century churches, and a wild mix of restaurants, cafés, boutiques and nightclubs hidden in the carved stone walls.

The World Heritage-listed Old Town has plenty of distractions for even the most ambitious itinerary. Although large art museums are nonexistent, you'll find some historic gems that illuminate both Tallinn's medieval past and its long grey days under the Soviet yoke. Meanwhile, its growing gallery scene showcases Estonia's most creative 21st-century artists.

Colour isn't limited to the art world. The flare of the streets is decidedly fashion-forward, with Tallinn's boutiques bearing the imprint of rising Estonian designers. This contrasts with the centuries-old artisan traditions of glassblowing, weaving and pottery, all of which make Tallinn such a shoppers' paradise.

Tallinn's café culture is hard to match. Art-Deco patisseries, cosy, candlelit anterooms and breezy, sunlit patios are the settings for strong coffee and people-watching - a fine prelude to the city's alluring restaurants and bars. Decadent old-world dining rooms, charming wine cellars and superstylish bistros provide the backdrop to exquisite dishes from every savoury corner of the globe.

Tallinn's nightlife rages until the morning, with steamy nightclubs, slinky lounges, expat bars and colourful gay clubs, all hidden inside the Old Town walls. Culture seekers can sate themselves with choral concerts, classical recitals, theatre (human or puppet) and plenty of pop, rock and jazz.

Outside the medieval quarters, there's lots to see. Delve into the past at Peter the Great's Kadriorg Palace, a baroque masterpiece surrounded by idyllic woodlands. Or when the summer sun arrives, make like a local and head to Pirita or Väna-Jõesuu for a slice of beach action. There are also coastal islands and a bizarre old cliff-top military base. But don't stop there; you'll find plenty more to discover in this vibrant city.

From: lonelyplanet.com

AULANKO PARK HAMEENLINNA

Tourism (pics:stvillinger.be)Posted by Sylvie Hendrickx Mon, October 10, 2011 14:37:55

Aulanko – since 1883. The oldest tourist attraction in Finland

Aulanko is an ever-evolving holiday and conference destination in Hämeenlinna, situated on the shore of Lake Vanajavesi across from Häme Medieval Castle. In the center of Aulanko you find the legendary park founded by Hugo Standertskjöld in 1883. Aulanko is considered a Finnish national treasure and has been highly popular with both travelers and locals since it was founded.

The goal of Aulanko is to become one of the most popular tourist destinations of Southern Finland. Our service products are developed in co operation with the other attractive sights and experiences of Häme; Lepa Manor, the popular family attraction Puuhamaa, the Häme Castle, Vanaja Castle, the other golf courses of the area, cultural events and trips in the wild. Through this co operation, Aulanko strengthens its position as a tempting and stimulating southern-Finnish destination. For our customers who appreciate a wider offer of different accommodation, we are planning new time shares.

From: www.aulanko.fi

SUOMENLINNA

Tourism (+ see pictures)Posted by Sylvie Hendrickx Tue, October 04, 2011 18:33:28

Situated on a group of islands off Helsinki, Suomenlinna was built during the Swedish era as a maritime fortress and a base for the Archipelago Fleet. Work on the fortress was begun in the mid-18th century. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Finland’s most popular tourist attractions. Suomenlinna is also a district of the city of Helsinki, with a permanent population of more than 800.

Built on a cluster of rocky skerries, the fortress consists of an irregular network of bastions. During the Russian era, the fortress was extended both towards the sea and on the mainland.

Suomenlinna has played a key role in many turning points in Finland’s history. It has been the property of three sovereign states. The majority of its buildings date from the late 18th century, the end of the Swedish era. From the early 19th century to the early 20th century, Suomenlinna – then known as Viapori – was part of Russia along with the rest of Finland. Russian-era Viapori was a lively garrison town. After Finland gained her independence, Suomenlinna became home to a coastal artillery regiment, a submarine base and the Valmet shipyard, where ships were built after the Second World War for Finland’s war reparations.

Suomenlinna today

Suomenlinna is the property of the Finnish government and is managed by the Governing Body of Suomenlinna, an agency subordinate to the Ministry of Education and Culture. The fortress was handed over to civilian administration by the military in 1973 with the exception of Pikku Mustasaari island, where the Naval Academy is still located. The Finnish customs authorities have an office on the islands, and Suomenlinna also houses the Suomenlinna prison. A substantial part of the repairs to the walls, ramparts and buildings are carried out by convicts.

The old buildings are still in everyday use as housing, working space, maintenance facilities and visitor service facilities. There is a continuous building repair programme going on. The restoration of fortifications and old buildings requires considerable expertise. The 18th-century dry dock on Susisaari island is still used as a winter storage and repair facility for old wooden sailboats. There are dozens of historical underwater sites around the fortress.

The natural environment on Suomenlinna is a mixture of indigenous Finnish archipelago ecosystems and centuries of horticulture. Many migratory birds stop on Suomenlinna, and several species of birds such as barnacle geese and swans nest on the islands.

From: www.suomenlinna.fi

HAIKKO MANOR

Tourism (+ see pictures)Posted by Sylvie Hendrickx Tue, October 04, 2011 18:32:39

Indulgence in historic surroundings, activities and adventure, relax and enjoy by the sea only 50 km from Helsinki. Hotel Haikko Manor, spa and conference center is a fascinating combination of history, elegance and modern hotel, restaurant and spa facilities. With its unique location by the sea and in the middle of a beautiful park it offers a wide range of services for everyone to enjoy.

From: www.haikko.ru

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