Tervetuole Vantaalle!

Trip Start Jul 25, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Finland  ,
Thursday, September 6, 2007

Welcome to Vantaa!

After less than two hour flight, our pilot softly lands the airplane on Finnish ground. I'm relieved. Next time, I want to travel on land or water. I despise airplanes. Leaving the airplane, we don't have to present our passports anywhere. The European Union (EU) is amazing. We just travelled to another country, yet we don't have to show our passports nor exchange money. The EU is the best thing that has happened to Europe so far. By the way, the EU is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

After we collect our luggage, we hurry towards the exit. Mari is excited. On the other side, Pia (the girl whose teeth I operated) and her daughter Jasmin are waiting for us. The moment we see each other, all the excitement is released in happiness. Everbody hugs everybody. The girls start chatting in Finnish immediately. Jasmin is really surprised that I speak some Finnish. She soon figures out, however, that I cannot carry on a simple conversation. I focus on pushing the luggage to the car in a cart. Then we leave for Pia's apartment.

Swedish Food and Feeding the Ducks

Once we're at Pia's beautiful apartment - everything looks really Finnish here - she prepares some food for us. Everyone is really excited, so we do a lot of things at the same time and try to exchange as many news as quickly as possible. Jasmin turns on the TV to watch the Disney Channel. Then she shows us her guinea pigs "Tikku" and "Takku". Those are the Finnish versions of the names of the cartoon characters "Tic" and "Tac". When the excitement has dissolved, we sit down and eat the excellent meal that Pia prepared for us. I'm so hungry that I take more than three portions. The food is meat-balls with mashed potatoes. Actually that's Swedish food, but we don't care, because it tastes so good. Finnish people don't hate the Swedes, but there is a healthy competition in everything between the two nations.

After lunch we rest for a while, drink some wine and coffee, eat some sweet goodies from the bakery. Everything tastes so much better here. Either its because the ingredients are better, the air is cleaner, or both.

Jasmin is really excited about duck feeding, so we go out to feed the ducks. Since Jasmin wants to learn how to ride a bike (she's only six years young), we take her bike along. Unfortunately, she fell off her bike a few days ago, so she's a bit scared. Pia secures her all along and gives her confidence. So in the end Jasmin tells her mom to go away. She can ride the bike on her own now. We go to the down-town of Vantaa to buy some bread for the ducks. Vantaa is a typical Finnish town. It's very modern and peaceful and sort of small. What is the most striking feature of the town is the quietness. Although people are on the streets and everybody is going somewhere to do something, it's all so quiet. On our way to the supermarket we come by Vantaa's biggest attraction: The Heureka.The Heureka is a science museum for children and youth, but also for parents. It looks amazing from the outside. There's a huge outdoor terrain with water games. Next time we're in Vantaa, I'll visit the Heureka. Right now duck feeding is much more important.

After getting the bread, we continue to the lake. Jasmin and Pia start feeding the ducks. Mari enjoys the scene. I take some pictures. Afterwards we go back home to enjoy Pia's satellite TV. Tired from travelling and working, Mari and I fall asleep very soon. The night we spent sleeping peacefully. Sleep has a higher quality here. It must be because the air is so clean quiet.
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