Kuivasaari Coastal Artillery Fortress – standing guard over Helsinki


Of the coast of Helsinki, on the island of Kuivasaari (“Dry Island”), the Kuivasaari Coastal Artillery Fortress stands. Until not to long ago, Kuivasaari was a working coastal artillery fortress guarding the approaches to the capital city of Finland but the guns have now been removed from active service and … Continue reading

Reijosfood – a great Finnish Restaurant and Food Blog from Helsinki

Finnish Restaurant

Reijosfood is a great Finnish Food Blog which concentrates on Restaurant and Wine Reviews in Helsinki. It’s also in English, which is really useful for those of us who aren’t Finnish as most local blogs are in Finnish. The Blog has been running consistently since 2012 and there’s a great … Continue reading

Reindeer Recipes from Finland: Now that Rudolph’s surplus to requirements…..

Reindeer Recipes

Christmas has just passed, the season that always brings reindeer to mind. And what better time of the year to try a few reindeer recipes from Finland. It did occur to me that these dishes might not be so popular with my kids – feeding Rudolph to children does raise … Continue reading

The Life and Art of Sigfried August Keinänen

Sigfrid August Keinänen

Sigfrid August Keinänen (born February 7 1841 in Kuopio – died September 25, 1914 Lempäälä) was a Finnish painter and teacher of drawing, known best now for his portraits and landscapes as well as for his Kalevala artwork. Keinänen’s father was a carpenter in Kuopio carpenter and he himself worked … Continue reading

Maximilian Maksolly – Estonian War Artist


Maximilian Maksolly (actually Feichter, the original spelling of his first name was Maksimilian) was an Estonian painter who is now possibly best remembered for his war art from the time of the Estonian War of Independence. I touch on him in this blog largely because of his series of war … Continue reading

The Life and Art of Pekka Halonen

Pekka Halonen

Pekka Halonen was a painter of Finnish landscapes and people who would go on to become one of the more notable painters in the world of Finnish Art. This Post provides what’s probably the most detailed information you’ll find on Pekka Halonen in English (there’s not much….) as well as … Continue reading

Nakkisoppa (Hot Dog or Sausage Soup from Finland)


My kids happen to like sausages, and in Fall and Winter they like soup as well – so how better to keep them happy on a cold Fall day than Nakkisoppa! Sausages AND Soup! The perfect weekend lunch! Now the recipes I was browsing through say wieners, but for myself … Continue reading

Merimiespata – or Sailor’s Stew

Here’s another Finnish recipe for a filling stew (Merimiespata – or Sailor`s Stew) that’s great for one of those winter evening’s that are fast approaching us up here in the frozen arctic wastes of Canada (well, OK, Toronto). Now historically, Finland’s harsh climate meant that fresh fruit and vegetables were … Continue reading

Valaam Monastery – Step to the Skies – a documentary

Valamo Monastery

Valaam Monastery. Valamo Monastery. The heart of the Orthodox Church in Karelia and an outpost of Russia within the lands of the Finns. Mount Athos of the North – so was called this ancient monastic dwelling, which was founded a thousand years ago in the dawn of Christianity in Russia … Continue reading

Valamo Monastery – former heart of the Finnish Orthodox Church

Valaam Monastery

The Valamo Monastery is an Orthodox monastery in what used to be Finnish Karelia but is  now part of Russia, located on Valamo, the largest island and part of an island archipelago of the same name in Lake Laatoka (Ladoga), itself the largest lake in Europe. The archipelago consists of … Continue reading