Finnish Countryside

Trip Start May 20, 2009
Trip End Oct 15, 2009

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Where I stayed
Koskinen home

Flag of Finland  , Western Finland,
Sunday, July 26, 2009

I was happy to get the opportunity to go to the Finnish countryside and to visit Veli's parents and his family home. We were in a small village near to Pälkäne, which lies between Lahti and Tampere. It is still quite flat with farms, lakes, and fields of wheat, oats, barley and a nearby strawberry farm. In the summer, the joys of Finnish life seem to be picking berries, eating fresh fish and hunting for mushrooms. I got to do all these. I had never seen black currents growing before, though I had eaten them in jam and tea. We also picked enough wild blueberries for a tart. I enjoyed the sauna immensely and thought my skin felt extra clean afterwards. Having a beer and sitting outdoors in a slightly cool evening (warm to a finn), in only a towel, is quite refreshing and relaxing. Unfortunately, there is no lake next to the house, as jumping in a cool lake is the perfect complement to the sauna. We did go swimming in a beautiful turf lake close by and I have to admit that it took some persuading (I think a chocolate bribe was needed, actually) to get me to jump in.
Being a suburban American type, I find freshwater lakes a little creepy but think nothing of jumping into a chlorinated cement square - go figure. Nicole, Veli and I continued our 'tradition' of  game playing long into the night.

After being together for 10 days and not seeming to be fed up with each other yet, Nicole and Veli delivered me to a local bus that returned me to Helsinki. A few things had to be decided while with them. One, I decided to mail my laptop back home as there was something wrong with the connection of the cord and I couldn't seem to fix it cheaply. It is just too heavy to carry if it doesn't work. The second was that I decided to come home about 5 weeks earlier than previously planned. 5 months is seeming kind of long. I can save a bit of money and also get started in earning again by returning in early September. I am very sorry to miss seeing Dayla and Michaelis in Greece and the community they live in. That just might need to be another trip. I am also feeling my age and miss my son. So, changing my flight was not difficult and I return to Dulles on September 4. I think Alex, will manage to drive to get me at the airport (probably the furthest he will have driven from home and the most lanes to navigate).

Thanks for listening and stay tuned.

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jazz_lark on

Thank you, Nancy!
Oh Nance- I've always wanted to travel, and am so grateful that you decided to take us with you on your travels! It sounds so delightful and your narrative is perfect . . . you really get a feel for where you are and what you're seeing and doing.

(My skin strangely feels better for just hearing about the sauna- I'm headed for the cold shower!!)

Love you, sweetie. Hurry home. Suz

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