Sunday, July 19, 2015

Ainola, Jean Sibelius, Finlandia, Finland

 The instructions on Tripadvisor said' 'take the H train from Helsinki and the stop is Ainola.' That was what I did this morning. Ainola is in the middle of nowhere and the minute you alight from the train, you know this was a special place. Its the countryside and though the roads are paved now, still wild flowers line every lane and there are fields and fields of it all around. As I followed the signs I could smell the fragrance of the wild roses that are everywhere. I was on my way to Ainola, the house and estate of Finland's beloved composer, Jean Sibelius. The way we see the house today is attributed to his wife, Aino Sebelius and this place was named for her. They even named the train stop for her. The estate was sold to the Finnish government and is now opened to the public in the summer months.
 I left Helsinki so early that I had to wait hours before it opened at 10am. All the time I was thinking, 'they say there is a coffee shop but I don't see anyone around.' 'Who is making the coffee? What about the 'pulla.' I was hungry but when they opened, I smelled the coffee and the cinnamon buns (pulla), 'heaven' I thought. It was. The estate is so beautiful. I've been to quite a number of estates belonging to writers, composers and painters, and straight away one can tell how inspirational each place was and still is. Ainola is no different. It is set in the most beautiful countryside, by Lake Tuusula. In fact a few other painters and writers also live nearby.

The house is set above a hill and overlook the garden below and the surrounding fields. It is so beautiful. A friend reminded me of how short this glorious season was. But surely God did give them a long cold dark and wet winter without giving them great recompense! This glorious few summer months!

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