Finland is one of Europe’s most culturally isolated and least understood countries. A country dominated by forests and glacial lakes, its first habitants can be traced back to the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago. Two famous Finns include the great modern composer Jean Sibelius and the famous architect Alvar Aalto - whose unique style was successfully applied to libraries, civic centers, churches and housing. Helsinki, the country’s capital city, is the center of cultural, financial and economic activity. With many parks and waterways, the city is a pleasant one with many fine examples of 19th century architecture and some of the best art galleries in the country. The city of Turku is the country’s oldest city and has its most historic building - a castle. Nordic skiing is very popular in Finland and there are cross-country trails of varying difficulty. Hiking, trekking and canoeing opportunities abound. Sample some traditional Finnish fare.