“In the middle ages, people took potions for their ailments. In the 19th century they took snake oil. Citizens of today’s shiny, technological age are too modern for that. They take antioxidants and extract of cactus instead.”
One of my favourite authors is Ken Follet. I like his way of telling stories and depicting the events of the medieval times, e.g. the joys, love, sadness, greed, cruelty in his book Pillars of the Earth in particular.
In fact, anything medieval fascinates me. I like even the basic speech or phrases of those times:-), but churches draw most interest overall. I can almost smell the sweat of those peasants who did all the physical labour when building those beautiful churches, I could almost hear the conspiracies and plots behind closed doors all in pursuit of power . That is why I participated in a cultural trip this past weekend to get a glimpse of the Finnish medieval times. The event was held in Turku, the oldest city and former capital town in the southern part of Finland.
I had the opportunity to learn more about the Turku cathedral which is one of the country’s famous landmarks and one can see it from almost every angle when in the area. It has gone through a transformation of it’s own, from being originally built from wood in the 13th century, destroyed by fire in 1827 and was rebuilt and restored using stone to what it is today.
Then it was to the medieval market, as Turku is known as the city of business and culture, to enjoy the atmosphere and tasting most delicious of the Finnish cuisine. Vendors indeed answered the call to participate in the hottest pot of melting cultures, and there was everything for everyone.
The castle did not disappoint either. Ha..ha! I have to say I found the ablution facilities on the king’s chamber very humble. Well, I’ve never actually saw how ablutions are like in other castles I’ve visited before. So, I can’t tell whether it’s the simple Finnish décor or was it the same in other countries:-).
The accommodation Herrankukkaro, few kilometres outside the city centre was the cherry on top. In keeping with the theme of earlier times, it was a perfect location with astounding views.It’s simplicity and traditional setting which included a Finnish traditional island cuisine,a traditional Finnish sauna (savusauna = smoke sauna), and so was everything else. Someone obviously had a clear vision of what they wanted to create, a traditional setting with modern facilities.
Rain had cleared up the next morning when I woke up and I was slightly confused about my whereabouts. I thought I was in some exotic island but quickly gained my senses and realised that I was indeed in an exotic island. I was only short of calling for a wench to bring my breakfast on the décor whilst I soak in the sun. I think I would have been a dame in the medieval times. Aah…sigh:-).