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Why Should You Travel To Finland?

Apr 14, 2008
Finland may be in the most northerly corner of Europe, but it is easy to reach. As well as Finnair, which flies non-stop from cities across Europe, Asia and North America, many other airlines fly to Helsinki Vantaa International Airport. Alternatively, you can take your own car on one of the many ferries that cross the Baltic from Sweden, Germany and Estonia, or catch a train to Helsinki from Russia.

Below is a list of potential airlines and ferries. For centuries Finland was either part of Sweden or Russia.

Its position between these two larger countries has inevitably shaped its development. Today it has a culture, language, and personality all of its own. Finland declared its independence in 1917, establishing its present constitution and status as a republic in 1919. This independence was successfully defended in WWII.

Finland became a member of the United Nations in 1955 and the European Union in 1995.

During the summer, there is a multitude of music, dance, and theatre events staged in the most imaginative locations. The artists represent the best local and international talent, yet ticket prices remain affordable. It is no wonder that the events attract over a million visitors a year.

Folk culture

The Kalevala, the national epic compiled by Elias Lnnrot in 1835, is the driving force behind Finnish culture. Besides stimulating Jean Sibelius, Finlands greatest composer, it encouraged a whole range of 19th century artists such as the painter Akseli Galln-Kallela. Even today modern music played by folk groups such as Vrttin and Loituma finds its roots in the epic.

Kalevala also helped the creative endeavours of non- Finns, such as the English author J.R.R Tolkien. His famous book, the Silmarillion, was partly inspired by the epic and he even based the elven language he created on Finnish.

Today, the Finnish Folklore Archives are the biggest in the world. Even without including sound recordings and videos, they still fi ll 47 metres of shelf space. Folk culture is not, however, only to be found in archives. Every summer, the Kaustinen Folk Music Festival attracts thousands of performers and an audience of over a hundred thousand from both Finland and abroad.
Architecture and cuisine Finlands past has left it a unique architectural heritage.

There are a number of old wooden towns scattered along the coastline, including Porvoo, Tammisaari, and Raahe. Another, Rauma, has even been declared a UNESCO world heritage site. Besides witnessing the neoclassical influence of the Russian era, particularly in Helsinki, you will be able to admire some of the fi nest art nouveau and functionalist architecture in Europe.
This cocktail of east and west also adds its distinctive flavour to Finnish gastronomy.

Dishes in Finnish restaurants range from meatballs and smorgasbords to blinis and fi sh roe, spiced with the latest trends in international cuisine.
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Gordon Warre writes about cheap homes in bulgaria
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