Monday, June 27, 2011

the border

On Sunday we went to my mom's cousin's house, which sits right on the border with Russia. We had to get a special permit just to visit there. Their yard was (again) amazing! So green. I swear the air is so fresh in Finland. (Deep inhales coming from me everyday.)
I'm not sure if these are gooseberries or unripe lingonberries... 
they have everything lingonberry in Finland- juice, jam, etc. 
Now I know why we had both plants in our yard growing up. :)
Finland has lots of rocky land... like huge masses of rock like this one. It's everywhere, and I think it's neat. Eric and Tagen went to see the LDS temple in Helsinki and said it was built on a rock too!

Cute Mister Will

Sister-in-laws, Leena & Ilmi
On the other side of this field where the trees start is Russian territory.

Elliott was discovering the whole way, finding bugs and 
nests, touching the spongy forest floor- he loved it. 
(Linc and Ollie were jet lagged and asleep in the car.)

Walking on the forest "carpet".

The cousins took us on a walk right on the border. It was beautiful.
Those rocks in the middle are strategically placed to divide "no man's land" and where the trees start on the right it's Russia. Adam didn't realize the severity of the situation and we caught him on the other side of the barbed wires checking out the painted signs on the rocks. Cousins weren't too happy with him...

forest floor
We kept running into these giant anthills everywhere- yikes!
on the border

This is where Adam got into trouble. On this side it says, "Suomi" (Finland) 
and he saw on the other side it said, "CCCP" (Russia) Crazy guy.
I asked my cousin if they had ever done it as a crazy high school prank- 
he said no way- it was too risky and he wouldn't want to get jailed in Russia...

The red poles down the way are Russian. I'm not sure why the border is so fascinating to me, but it is.

"star of Finland"

Ollie and Linc fell asleep on the 5-10 min drive from Seppo's. 

We ventured into their house too- an old oven.
Rugs on the floor- so Finnish.
Weavings on the wall.

We found this hanging on the wall that my mom sent 30 years ago- 
I'm the top left! I really was bald until I was three!
These are my grandma's siblings on the top shelf... where's my Mummi?

This is an aerial shot of the house- you can see the river on the left that divides the countries, and the ocean on the top- which is really South (the Gulf of Finland I think?) 

Linds and Will were a cute little couple for this trip.
My mom's cousin, Leena, her husband and their son Johan... yep- he's single ladies!!! ;)

This place was fun to see!


rachel said...

I am loving all these pictures of your trip! What an amazing experience. I totally would have been facinated by the border as well. Of course Adam just did his own thing and wondered over! hahaha

Emily Fotheringham said...

Sinika you look so gorgeous in these pictures!! I love seeing all this and you definitely have added Finland on my list of places I would like to go. What a great experience!

Mrs. Ham said...

ohh i'm so happy to see E in all of the pics! and your boys prob just could stay outside all day long here and explore the forest!! miss you guys.

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