Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Historic Karolineburg Mansion Bed and Breakfast in Kajaani, Finland

Here we are again, blogging from Finland.  This past week we traveled north from Helsinki as far as the Arctic Circle.  We were visiting the apartments of younger missionaries, to make sure that they have everything they need and to do small repairs.

The country side her is beautiful, like one enormous National Park. 

 Traveling was wonderful ... on the way down from Rovaneimi to Kajanni we saw well over a hundred reindeer.  We've not sure what brought so many out of the woods to the road side to eat, but we were so glad they did.  We came upon on herd of about 6 on the road, and had to slowly weave between them.

In Kajaani (pronounced Kah-yahn-ee)we found that our hotel (always booked by the best available price on line)happened to be in this historic mansion, the Karolineburg.  The largest home ever built in Kajaani. It was built in 1836, by an older man for his new twenty something bride, Karoline.

The rooms are furnished mostly with nicely done reproduction furniture, and it is comfortable and beautiful.

 This beautiful, antique Swedish Mora Clock was my personal favorite in the amazing manse.

This spiral stair case led up to our room ... and I thought this happy vine laden plant was astonishing.  But then I am finding that the Finnish people love plants and their homes are filled with them.

This interesting sculpture of a headless turkey wins the prize for the absolutely most perplexing piece on site.
 Here is hubs, ensconced at the dresser with his lap top.

The next morning breakfast was all laid out.  The main floor of the Inn is made up entirely of dining rooms.  They can seat 100 people.  What an amazing place to host a wedding party.

The estate includes more rooms in this second house, as well as old barns and sheds, which are used for storage. They are all stand in a large square, and the entire effect is charming.  I see these old wood houses through out the country, and once in a while I get to enter one.  There was an ice cream parlor, a thrift store and another that was an antique shop, but I was thrilled to get to spend the night inside one.  All of these 1800's wooden structures are protected by antiquity laws.  I have great respect for a country that so honors its own heritage. They are amazing.

 This property goes down to the Kajaani river, in which a castle was built on an island starting in 1604.  The ruins of the castle are still there, in fact the bridge from one side of the town to the other runs right across the ruins.  The castle held two records for European castles in its day.  It was the smallest stone castle in Europe and the furthest north. 

What an amazing property.  We hope to get chance to go back for another stay before we head home next spring.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Cooking Time

So did you think I had fallen off the planet?  Sometimes. the world I live in now is so different, I sort of wonder.  My husband and I are serving a mission for our church in Finland.  We've been here almost a year and we are loving it.  So what does one do while serving a mission in Finland you ask? There are many different assignments possible for missionaries, but for us, as senior missionaries serving for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are part of a support system for the younger missionaries serving here.

So why the pictures of food?  One of our assignments is to cook for missionaries who come to the Mission Home for conferences.  I've never been an enthusiastic cook, so this has been kind of a new world for me.  I have learned a lot, and will probably be a better cook when I get home next spring.

Above is a favorite for the misionaries, taco salad.
Soup is always popular here in the winter.   
 This missionary is ready to chow down.  Did you notice his napkin and silverware in his breast pocket?  Nice touch!
Its amazing how long it takes to assemble 30 dinner salads... the best part is counting the ingredients so you come out even at the end.  Who knew I'd use my math skills this way.

Sandwiches, Rice Crispy Treats, chips, carrot sticks and pears with Lingonberry Jam!  Lingonberries are related to cranberries, and are very Finnish.  I've learned to like it on chicken sandwiches.  Kind of like the designer sandwiches you get at Bakery Sandwich shops at home around Thanksgiving time.

 This time its chicken salad sandwiches, chips, apples, carrots and brownies.  Yum
 My daughter in Texas even made me an apron. (She also made a Christmas Stocking out of her Dad's old ties for Christmas)
Sometimes the missionaries even step into the kitchen to help us.

 Other times its the other senior missionaries, who normally do office work, or have other assignments, will step in to help with a meal.  That's a lot of salad.

Surprisingly I still have enough interest in cooking, to entertain other senior missionaries on weekends.

We have loved our work here.  The Finnish members of the church are wonderful, as are the other missionaries we meet in the course of our work.  We are making so many friends and learning so much, that we feel younger than we have in years.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Senate Square Christmas Market.

When we arrived here a lot of people told us the Christmas Markets were a must.  This picture is taken from the top of a huge set of stairs in front of a church. This is Senate square.
The booths are all in these small buildings, brought in for the temporary markets. There are other markets that are less well housed and are open all year, with more participating in better weather. 
Some people make crafts all year for their booths. Others are filled with commercial products. 
The old fashioned Merrygoround was a hit. 
The knit hats with yarn or fur poms are very popular here. 
This is a statue of Alexander the Second, often called the good czar because he allowed the them self rule during his reign, is a permanent feature of the square. 
Here he is shown with other market features.   It was fun to see a hay wagon ride being pulled through the streets too. 

It was a great outing.