Taylors in Finland

The Grand Adventure

Mary Ann's Fulbright Exchange to Oulu, Finland
August 2001 - June 2002

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30 August - 5 September 2001

5 September 2001
Wednesday 2220
Sunrise/sunset 0609/2025
Sprinkling, 9°C (48°F)
Oulunsalo, Finland


We saw in the VallejoNews.com there was a bad fire at docks used by the car companies in Benicia.

I made banana bread on Monday. It is a little tricky getting the cooking temperature correct in C°.

We had a glorious time in Helsinki. The weather couldn’t have been better. On Sunday, when we returned to Oulunsalo there was a definite nip in the air and today it is raining. They say that the fall has rain and wind, so maybe our fall weather has begun. The days are becoming much shorter. It is now dark around 2200, instead of 0030. So you can see things are changing quickly. We will have been here a month on September 6th.

Helsinki Fulbright Orientation
Highlights from Mary Ann:

30 August 2002, Thursday:

It was great going to the Fulbright Center and meeting all the people that are available to help us and who helped to make the matches for the partner exchanges. We also meet more Americans that are here as exchange students and professors that have come to teach at the universities.

After being in meetings until 1530, six of the American Exchange Teachers went to a lovely hotel on the waterfront. We all agreed to meet for dinner and then we all wanted to check out the night life, especially since there was an end of the summer celebration called “The Night of the Arts City Festival”. We did a lot of people watching as we walked around and listened to the street musicians. The best group was a trio that was playing and singing Torch Songs from the ‘40s and ‘50s. We all took the tram, reminding us of the trams we rode in Vienna, back to our hotel around 2330.

31 August 2002, Friday:

We all met at 1000 for a sightseeing bus tour of Helsinki. It is a great city with a beautiful skyline and waterfront. Of the three cathedrals we saw I really liked the Temppeliaukio 'Rock' Cathedral, which is carved out of solid rock. They have a terrific esplanade to walk along. The most unbelievable part of the tour was looking out the window and seeing the Finnish President walking to work without a bodyguard escorting her.

When the tour was over, they left us at the Residence of the Ambassador of the United States for a buffet luncheon. It was hosted by the Charge d’Affaires Carol van Voorst, since we don’t have an American Ambassador to Finland right now. It was a very special affair and I felt very honored. We had a fabulous lunch and ate out in the garden under a tent.

After the luncheon, we walked along the waterfront watching the beautiful sailboats in the Baltic Sea.

We then walked through a lovely park and into a Flea Market. I bought one of those Russian Dolls that you open and keep finding a smaller doll inside. There were six in mine.

We had all decided to meet at 1830 for dinner. One of our Finnish friends took us on a ferry ride over to a little island restaurant for a delicious Finnish meal. I tried the braised reindeer and had Tar ice cream for dessert - very interesting.  It was fun listening to a group of Finns sing as they enjoyed more and more crayfish and schnapps.

01 September 2002, Saturday:

We were out and about by 1000 for a day of sightseeing on foot. We headed to the local Farmer’s Market. Some great clothing and craft items were on display at good prices. We may need to visit this market when we are there on another trip.

We then took a ferry to an island called Suomenlinna, where a fortress was built by Sweden in 1748. We walked all around this island and watched a video on the history of the island. We bought lunch from a small café on the west side and sat at tables overlooking the bay.

We took in a few more museums after leaving the island. Then again we met the six Americans for dinner at a glass-walled restaurant, Kapelli, on the Esplanade. Another great meal, this time I had Scandinavian Hash. It was very tasty. We decided to go to the Hotel Torni that had a bar above the tenth floor and a fabulous view of the city as a way to end our wonderful day.

02 September 2002, Sunday:

We had a chance to do a couple more museums and then headed to the airport after saying good-bye to our Fulbright friends. We have set up dates in the near future to visit each other. This way we will get to see different parts of Finland.

What a weekend. It is going to take a couple of days to recover from the nonstop four days.

Must go and try to catch up on my sleep.


Mary Ann

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Lunch service at the Residence of the Ambassador. (EMB06)

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The refreshments service. (EMB10)

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Everyone ate outside. (EMB11)

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Mary Ann, Marie-Camille Havard and John at Cafe Piper overlooking Helsinki Bay. (SUO15)

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Jennifer Ancell, Marie-Camille Havard and John at Cafe Piper overlooking Helsinki Bay. (SUO14)

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A view of Helsinki as we ride the ferry back from Suomenlinna. (2481)

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Approaching the dock. (2482)

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Museum of Modern Design. (2492)

Last Update 2003 11 14

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