21 September 2008

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Sunday, 21st September 2008

We all got to sleep a bit later this morning (the adults at least were most grateful!). We met at the Kauppatori Market Place from where we took a 10 minute ferry to Suomennlinna, Finland ’s fortress island.

It is a beautiful island with many trees and expansive lawns, making it a favourite picnic spot for Helsinki inhabitants. The weather was PERFECT, not a cloud in the sky and hardly any wind, something that is apparently not too common for the island. After a short film about the history of the island we had a while to enjoy our packed lunches before a guided tour of the fortress. The tour took us into the fortress and we were glad for the flashlights borrowed from our hosts. It was cold, dark and narrow and altogether not a healthy place to live!

We hardly made it back to the ferry in time (the way these children are spending money one would think South Africa has not a single shop!) before busing off to the St Laurentius Church and the neighbouring restaurant for a traditional Finnish lunch of potato and salmon soup. Thank you to our hosts who kindly dropped off the concert clothes at the church so that we would not have to carry them around all day. Some girls even had their clothes washed AND ironed! Although our concert was technically quite a difficult one and Prof Troskie had to work on his fitness levels up and down the stairs, the choir did not disappoint and provided the appreciative audience with some classic South African sunshine through their music. A number of audience members commented on the choir’s wonderful sound and Lucretia once again received many compliments.

Tomorrow we have an early start and the ferry ride to Tallinn . The excitement levels just don’t drop!

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