We flew into Helsinki and spent a night there at a hotel located in the outskirts. We were pretty tired after standing in the long cues at Schiphol airport before being able to board our flight. On the following morning it was back to the Helsinki airport go get a flight to Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland and situated in the south of that northernmost region of Finland.
As we came into land, there was a fine view of the landscape – and all of a sudden, it dawned on me that we were now in a different country, an immense land thinly populated and covered in forests and lakes. That great feeling of about to be immersed in a different place – and new horizons…..
The symphony Finlandia was composed by the famous Finnish composer Sibelius prior to the Second World War, when Finland was invaded by the Russians – and fought them off for 6 months – an act of unbelievable courage from such a small population. I attended the performance of Finlandia by the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra earlier in the year – and how it resonated with the audience with the Russian troops invading The Ukraine.