Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Land Where 'Angry Birds' Was Invented

By now you may have figured out that we are in Finland. It's probably the last of the Scandinavian countries you'd mention if we were to ask you to list Scandinavian nations. It's a bit more obscure than the others. In fact, many people confuse Finland with Iceland. Well, it is cold and icy here through most of the year. But this time of year it's moderate and ready to welcome summer with days of near-endless daylight. We're in the capital city of Helsinki -- a cozy metropolis of about 600,000. Helsinki is an easy-to-learn, eminently walkable, intimate city defined by its proximity to the Baltic Ocean and its numerous islands. In fact two-thirds of Finalnd is waterways and the nation contains literally thousands of lakes. The land is defined largely by forests, lakes and rock formations inasmuch as it was created by glaciers. For a long time Finalnd was part of Russia. But in 1917, Finland declared its independence and Lenin supposedly opted not to challenge that move, arguing that the people must be allowed to determine their fate. Still, after the second world war, 12 percent of Finland fell back into Russian hands and has remained part of Russia till this day. Finland was once also part of Sweden and even now signage in the nation is written both in Finnish and Swedish. Today, Finland is part of the European Union. A leader in design and innovation, Finland has given birth to the Nokia telecommunications and cyber empire (recently acquired by Microsoft) as well as Marimekko and the well-known online game, Angry Birds, among others. Here you will find some of the best design and architecture in the world -- practical, sleek, functional, eye-appealing and efficient. We'll post pictures as soon as we can. Stay with us as we move along in our journey!

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