Vaasa – Finnish Navy

The way my time in Europe has been going, I just roll with the adventures. If someone or something comes along and suggests something, unless there’s a reason, I go with it. With Tiina and Antti, they had several things they wanted to show and do so I put myself in their hands and let myself see a Vaasa I’m sure very few others get to see. Continue reading “Vaasa – Finnish Navy”

Vaasa – There’s hot and then there’s HOT

My time in Vaasa started in Tampere, Finland’s 3rd or 4th largest (and fastest growing) city. It is a two hour train ride from Helsinki and I stepped onto the platform and immediately spotted Tiina. I was worried about that. I mean, I had spent just a couple of hours with Tiina and Antti and that was several days before, so I was nervous about recognition. I shouldn’t have been. I saw her, called her name (which I almost never pronounced exactly right) and then we met up with Antti, who was at the other end of the platform. Continue reading “Vaasa – There’s hot and then there’s HOT”

Helsinki – a taste of culture

Bic Mac Economics
Bic Mac Economics

Friday in Helsinki… Both Tommy and Jennica are at work and then going to an Iron Maiden concert (it was sold out, months ago, in 17 minutes or I would have gone along – approximately 1% of the population of Finland had tickets) so I was pretty much on my own for the day. I figured I was in a world capitol, I might as well do a little exploring. First stop – The Money Museum! Continue reading “Helsinki – a taste of culture”

Helsinki Day 1&2 – Attack of the lokki

The ferry to Helsinki was uneventful, save for a very expensive buffet. At one point I tried to find a comfortable place to sit and maybe sleep for a few minutes, but discovered all the good spots were already taken by folks who were already sleeping! That appears to be the thing to do on the early morning crossing. Pulling into the Helsinki harbor, though, I saw the most brilliant

Summer house
Summer house

thing – a tiny island with a tiny house on it! Continue reading “Helsinki Day 1&2 – Attack of the lokki”

Talkin’ ’bout Tallinn…

Let’s start with a little geography lesson. Tallinn is in Estonia, which is the northernmost of the Baltic States and it is a port city, about 80 kilometers from Helsinki, Finland. It is north of Riga and Vilnius, which are both capitols of the other two Baltic States and all three were, at one time, Russian properties. Okay, got that out of the way. Now, on to my day in Tallinn. Continue reading “Talkin’ ’bout Tallinn…”

You Say It’s Your Birthday…It’s My Birthday, too, yeah!

After my grand tour, I headed back to the hostel. It was Saturday the 12th and my birthday was fast approaching. I had no grand plans so on my way home I stopped and took myself to a movie (Hancock – which lost its way half-way through) then the supermarket to pick up dinner fixins then back to the Hostel.

I get in, fully expecting to have a nice, quiet night, maybe write up a blog or two and generally be chill. Continue reading “You Say It’s Your Birthday…It’s My Birthday, too, yeah!”

Crazy Day In Vilnius…

So I took a train to Warsaw, then I had an hour or so layover until my bus to Vilnius. I must have looked incredibly helpless because when I asked for directions, the woman at the information desk actually CAME OUT of her little glass box and walked me to the stop. So I was good to go. Of course, I was hungry and set out to find food, which wasn’t an easy task at 22:30. I did find a McDonald’s but I was feeling rebellious (I was in Warsaw after all) and thought they were price gouging so I didn’t eat there. My bad. I ended up having potato chips and Coca Cola Zero for dinner. Yum! Continue reading “Crazy Day In Vilnius…”

Krakow – land of the Dragon…

I got up and made it out fine and in time (I only had three beers spaced out over the course of the whole evening – but the common room was a mess. I left it as a tribute to the reputation of the English lads). The only problem was the tour company I booked through never bothered to tell me they weren’t the ones who ACTUALLY conducted the tours. So I’m there but I almost missed it since I didn’t know. No worries, I made it. Continue reading “Krakow – land of the Dragon…”

Always a Pleasure, Never a Chore…

I got back from Auschwitz (the first time) at around 19:30, feeling pretty sober and not sure I wanted to do anything. But I was hungry. I went down to a local store and after much hand gesturing and nodding with big smiles, the guy behind the counter made me a couple of sausage sandwiches. The conversation went something like this: Continue reading “Always a Pleasure, Never a Chore…”

Auschwitz…

I’m not sure where to begin. It started on Monday and continued on Wednesday, my visit. I went twice. The first time I went with an organized group. They picked us up at the hostel, drove us directly to the camp, and had us planned out so we met with a tour guide, got our audio systems and headed out.(the audio systems are actually rather interesting in that you are wired into your guide so they don’t have to shout and you can still hear them. Continue reading “Auschwitz…”

Vienna, Krakow, and the Very Late Bus

My last day in Vienna was fairly uneventful… this seems to be my pattern now. I got up, and Imbi and I went and dropped my bag off at the bus station before grabbing breakfast (well…trying to find breakfast was an issue and we finally just settled for Starbucks where we could get free wifi). She tried to talk to her mum and dad and sis on skype on my computer but it was too Continue reading “Vienna, Krakow, and the Very Late Bus”