Finland is 96 years old today as an independent nation.

Statue of Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim and the Finnish Parliament building in the background
Statue of Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim and the Finnish Parliament building in the background

Finland has a long history as a country, a big part of that was spent being under the rule of other countries. During the Viking period there is plenty of evidence of Swedish settlements on the Åland islands and there is also evidence of Viking settlers having settled on the Finnish mainland. In the 1500’s when Swedish ruler Birger Jarl established rule over Finland during the Second Swedish Crusade in 1249 it was the beginning of more than 650 years of Swedish rule.

In 1809 Sweden lost control over Finland to Russia after a war. That was the beginning of more than 100 years of Russian rule of Finland. In 1917 Finland gained its independence from Russia and the Republic of Finland was formed.

Today Finland has about 5.4 million people.

 

 

Classic Car Week in Rättvik Sweden

Ford Edsel
Ford Edsel

Sweden is said to have the most restored 50’s U.S. made cars in the world. For example, although only 2 1958 Cadillac convertibles were originally sold in Sweden today there are over 200 of them registered in Sweden. Every year there are thousands of U.S. made classic cars imported into Sweden. In the town of Rättvik by lake Siljan in the landscape of Dalarna (Dalecarlia) there is an annual event called “Classic Car Week” , where thousands of proud owners show off their (mostly) restored classic cars. TheLosAngeleno was there and brought some pictures for your enjoyment!

It's a Chevy
It’s a Chevy
Low Resto
Low Resto

 

Thunderbird
Thunderbird
Volvo
Volvo
Vauxhall Cresta circa 1954-57 probably.
Vauxhall Cresta circa 1954-57 probably.

 

Chevy Impala, looks like it could be a 1959 model year
Chevy Impala, looks like it could be a 1959 model year

 

Looks to be a circa 1955 Chevy Bel Air
Looks to be a circa 1955 Chevy Bel Air

 

Dodge Coronet - looks like a late 1950's model
Dodge Coronet – looks like a late 1950’s model. Notice the open hood – it’s crusing on a warm sumer night in Sweden and it prevents overheating to leave the hood slightly open.

We will add more pictures shortly, stay tuned!

 

 

The King & Queen of Sweden arrives in Småland to spend time in their summer castle on Öland

I can highly recommend for any U.S. citizen that want to broaden their views to travel to Europe, spend some time in Spain, Italy, France and of course don’t forget Scandinavia. I just arrived in Sweden form southern Europe last night, and this morning I boarded a flight that essentially replicated my first flight (see earlier post). It was a different plane and a different airport in Stockholm, the old Bromma airport was the airport then, today Arlanda is the big commercial airport in Stockholm. As it happened, I found myself on the flight on the small Saab 2000 (50-58 passenger 2 engine turbo-prop)

Saab 2000 turbo prop
Saab 2000 turbo prop

with the King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf and his Queen Silvia. They were on their way to their summer castle on the island of Öland off the coast of Småland (birthplace of Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA) to spend some time there. I even had the chance of wishing them a relaxing time off at the castle. They are both very nice people and Queen Silvia has a most engaging smile – she is a beautiful Queen!

Here is the Queen in the passenger seat and the King driving for their trip over the bridge to the island and their summer castle.

King Carl XVI Gustaf in their Volvo wagon
King Carl XVI Gustaf in their Volvo wagon

The security detail followed in the standard issue black Volvo sedan.

IMG_5220

My first flight

I am sitting here at Arlanda airport outside of Stockholm waiting for my flight to Geneva and I just started thinking back to the first time I was on an airplane as a young kid back in 1961 or so. The plane was a Douglas DC3 operated by Scandinavian Airlines and I remember that when you boarded it, there was a steep climb up to your seat because the plane was leaning heavily.  Low at the aft and really high at the nose.

SAS operated Douglas DC3 late 1950's early 1960's
SAS operated Douglas DC3 late 1950’s early 1960’s
Closeup of the DC3
Closeup of the DC3

 

Douglas DC6 interior, but from what Iz recall it was very similar with curtains and all.
Douglas DC6 interior, but from what I recall it was very similar with curtains and all.
SAS Advertising material with hostess from as early as 1948
SAS Advertising material with stewardess from as early as 1948.