North of Helsinki

Finally left the hectic pace of Helsinki to travel 370 km to our rural retreat, Varistaipale. En route we visited the old town of Porvoo, making a quick dash into a lovely local gallery.  We have had warm sunshine, rain, light snow and a cold,cold breeze in one day.  Sounds like a normal northern summer!  We will be visiting Valamo to organise final details for the workshop and exhibition.  In between we managed a walk along the canal in front of the house.  The canal has 3 locks which enable local boats to be raised or lowered 14.5 m to travel to the next lake. But we have seen no activity yet as it is early in the season. Thank you to all the lovely folk who have responded to the blog – it is great to hear from you!

The pic is Villa Sillanpaa, our lovely artist accommodation.  We have the full top floor which is really well furnished and have access to a studio space if needed. We are indeed spoiled!





20 thoughts on “North of Helsinki”

  1. Oh dear Helen! Lovely to follow you in such a creativ art-trip! I feel as I am take a part in this. Beautiful pictures and your stories. Lovely!

    1. Hi Helen,
      This reply is not coming from home, but I hope you like this one too!
      I will follow your blog to get all the information about your experiences so far from home. Exciting isn’t it!
      Of course you noticed all the birchtrees in Finland, as common as Eucalyptus in your country.
      Many regards from the Netherlands!

      1. Thanks Christel. We do indeed notice the pine and birch which are the main trees here. Already the spring plants are beginning to come out so I am busy with my camera!

  2. Great to hear you have arrived and settling in Helen and Ric. Exciting that you are sharing your artistic energy and skill with others on the other side of the world too. I have to mention I will be collecting my West Australian flora this week from the framer. Can’t wait to see them properly housed and on show! Will send pictures when I can! Coochi has dropped in temperature overnight to remind us that the Aussie winter has arrived! Enjoy your new digs and exhibition planning. Anne

    1. Thanks Anne. We are so enjoying the differences (and similarities) of life on the other side of the world. Can’t wait for more spring plants to pop up. Tomorrow we go to Valamo for our first visit. The workshop starts next Saturday. You will get pics of this!

  3. Looks really nice but for the weather but I suppose with the right warm clothes very enjoyable. Look forward to reading more ….love June

    1. We are learning the art of layering clothing. I realised yesterday that I had 4 layers which were donned or discarded according to where I was. Ric is outside when smoking so he is very aware of the temperature!

  4. But where are the photos of Helsinki May Day? Show me show me show me! I can’t swap you for photos of Zürich May Day because I was so tired that I was basically a zombie. Good Gözleme, though.

  5. Really enjoying your blog. Keep us posted on your activities, impressions and thoughts. Love all the photos too! Keep warm, especially Ric (will this inspire him to give up the ciggies??!!) Love from the Henkel Mob xx

  6. OK you lot… where’s the green eh?! Jaana said there’d be ‘green stuff’ about, because spring does indeed exist in Finland! 🙂

    Good to see you guys there and I’m really looking forward to hearing about what you’re seeing there. Woohooh – well done to both of you!

    Regards, Ron Jnr

    1. Thanks Ron! Jaana found something green yesterday and will send the pic! We visit Valamo today to start the real work. We have the workshop starting on the weekend, have to hang the exhibition soon too. Weather improving, certainly more inviting than when you were in Helsinki!

  7. Always nice to see one enjoying their journeys through rural lands. Some people don’t know how to appreciate the country, it’s a shame.

  8. Great to follow your travels….but please put up a pic or two of the artist in the Finnish surrounds! Otherwise how do we know you are really there?

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