Tuesday, September 9, 2008

More Cats and Dogs

Day 182
I was up early and I headed to the market square. I braved a boat ride to Suomenlinna Island. This had been a military fort for about the last 300 years and I wanted to check it out.

Althought it had not been raining when I left the hostel, by the time I got to the island it was pouring down rain and incredibly windy. I headed straight to the history museum.

In the 18th century Finland belonged to Sweden. The Swedes decided to build a fort here to protect the area from Russia. It is because of this fort that Helsinki became the large city that it is today. Previously it was a small, poor town. Construction created jobs and brought more people to the city. In 1750 Sueaborg was completed.

Not much later Sweden and Russia were at war and the fort was put to the test. The Swedes won. This did not happen 100 years later when Russia attached again and gained control of the fort. Finland became an autonomous duchy, but was under Russian control. In 1855 the French and the English threw the Russians out of the area.

In 1917 Finland became an independent country, a year later there was a civil war. Political dissidents were imprisoned on the island. When the war was over the island was renamed Soumenlinna, the fort of Finland.

Today the fort is a lovely place to explore with several different museums to check out. I had really wanted to spend the day exploring. It was so cold though and it was raining quite hard, it was also very windy. I was just too cold and the rain was making me miserable. I wanted a warm bed. I decided just to leave.

Back in Helsinki I got some potatoes and sour cream for lunch. I then managed to find an internet cafe that I could actually update the blog at.

Eventually I had to run though, I was meeting up with one more of Mirvas friends, Johanna. Johanna brought another friend along, but I'm really bad and I cant remember her name. We had a good night out at a couple of different places in Helsinki. After saying goodbye I headed back to the hostel and went to sleep.

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