Our Trip to Europe
April 29 - June 26 2005
Lynda Edris and Pete Grant

Page 28 - Karkkila, Hyvinkää, cruise to Hämeenlinna

Monday, June 13th.

We continue our trip to Finland by visiting the town of Karkkila where I was born.  We drove to Karkkila in our rented car, an Opel, a very nice little car.  We drove it from Tampere to Karkkila and back.

Our little Opel. Entering Karkkila.
 
Our plan was to try to find the exact place where I spent the first six years of my life.  Not that I expected the house to be still standing,but just t see if I could find something that I recognized.  Much to our surprise, the housing area had been declared a "Workers Museum", and there were a number of buildings, one of which looked like the one my family lived in.  I can't be sure this was the exact house of my youth, as the community consisted of several similar structures, many of which had been torn down -- but its position on the hillside sure seemed familiar. I recall having had my tongue get stuck onto the metal railing one winter, my mother coming to the rescue with a pail of hot water -- stupid kid.
Workers Museum sign.
 
The house where I lived (?) The steps I may have taken many times.

We drove around Karkkila, including the factory where my father worked, but I failed to recognize aything else.  We then drove a short distance to Hyvinkaa and dropped in to see the Finnish Rail Museum.

There were many interesting old-time trains -- steam engines, cabooses, luxury cars, etc., but photography was difficult due to the limited space so we didn't take many pictures.  The two vehicles above were used to inspect the tracks.  At left is a toilet from one of the super-luxious cars.  Some of these luxury cars carried the president and his staff around the country.

We left Hyvinkaa mid-afternoon, drove to Hameenlinna too our hotel for the night.  The next morning we drove back to Tampere, dropped off our rental car, and took a taxi to the port for a cruise back to Hameenlinna.

The weather was less than good -- cloudy and overcast, but at least it wasn't raining.  We considered cancelling the cruise but decided to go ahead in spite of the conditions.

 
Our cruiser. Approaching a narrow passage.
.. getting closer.. ..and we're through!
 
Scenery along the way. One of the several canals.
 
Even small islands have cabins. Passing by the Hameenlinna castle.
 
A sauna on the lakeshore is a must for a Finnish family.
 
A good part of the cruise was spent inside the ship, mostly in the dining hall (although we didn't order any food).  The weather was simply cool and damp, with occasional light sprinkles.  I'm sure the cruise would have been a wonderful experience had the weather been a little more user-friendly.

After debarking the cruise ship in Hameenlinna, we boarded a train for Kuopio.

 

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