Almost there...

Trip Start May 02, 2005
1
6
12
Trip End Jun 27, 2005


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Friday, May 13, 2005

Well, we're almost at our final destination and are starting to get a little bit tired of living out of backpacks... only two more nights in a hostel and then it's our own personal rooms =)

Unfortunately I only have a few minutes of internet access left (as I've been reading everyone's personal emails - THANK YOU!! I love reading them and will reply to them all once I have free access in the coming weeks).

We're in Helsinki now, after riding an overnight ferry for 16 hours... and no, we didn't sleep (well, maybe for a three hours) as the ferries are filled with clubs, bars, etc... So we arrived a bit tired, but then ran into two young blonde girls who worked for Red Bull (the drink company) and of course I figured out a way to talk to them. We were walking beside them and I said loudly "I have absolutely NO idea where we are!" (even though I knew perfectly well) and one girl stopped me and said "Oh, do you need a hand with something?"... BINGO. It turns out too that she lives in Jyvaskyla (where we're headed, so we're hoping to hang out when we arrive). And, she gave us a free can of Red Bull and some tips... so we had our energy boost for the day.

A quick update about our time in Stockholm:

The first night I had NO sleep as there was an Aussie guy who was probably the most obnoxious snorer you could imagine (well, it's not like he could help it, but I wanted to put a pillow over his head!)... but I felt that wouldn't be too cool so instead I got out of bed at 3:30am and went to go and do some emailing... but, of course, as luck would have it their internet connection was down (the one place that offers it for FREE)... so instead I had to watch America's most insane police car chases (you know those pseudo-reality shhows) and a few shows in Swedish as their tv had very limited channels. I finally figured it was safe to return to my room after 3 hours and got a few more hours of sleep. The ironic thing is that when the snorer awoke in the morning, he honestly said "WOW, that was the best sleep I've had in weeks!"... Great, glad we all paid for it....

One cool thing about the hostel though is that I haphazardly bumped into a Greek girl! So we sat for about an hour and spoke Greek to each other. It was pretty cool to realize that I haven't lost what I worked so hard to acquire last summer!

Kris and I decided to take things casually in Stockholm and literally wandered the streets all day long. It was great because we didn't get lost (as you can't get lost when you're not looking for anything in the first place!). The city was very beautiful, and somewhat resembled Venice (from pictures I've seen) as there are many canals, and much of the city is floating on pontoons of sorts. The architecture is amazing as well and I will post some pictures shortly for all of you to marvel at.

Unfortunately our stay there was quite short as we needed to hustle to Helsinki so I could conduct some business for Co-op here in Helsinki. But we definitely did enjoy our time there. The second night was a lot better as I actually slept. The room was pretty much full of girls (fyi, for those going travelling in the future, try and get a room with girls as they don't snore!) and I got a good 9 hours of sleep - a record so far....

And the ferry ride was, well, interesting again. Our cabin was SO tiny - but adequate. As I said, we didn't really sleep anyways, so it wasn't a big deal. We ran into two kind of slimy Swedish guys who clung on to Kris for the night and let's just say we're really hoping they weren't any indication of what the people over here are like. We did meet a couple of really nice girls too though, so at least I'll be happy!

Shoot, my time's cutting out, but all is going well. We actually ate VEGETABLES last night!! It was a momentous occasion, believe me. And our stomachs have totally shrunk too... we eat snack-sized 'meals' and feel as though we've eaten a horse... so it's good for the wallet at least.

This morning we ate like kings too. We were staying in a hotel (the one and only time during this trip) and they provided a continental BUFFET breakfast. It was the most amazing food we've had to date - scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, fruit, yoghurt, etc, etc... too bad we couldn't pile up our plates though as our appetites are next to nothing now that our stomachs are conditioned to eating 2 pieces of bread and some butter/cheese/'yeast' as a meal!

Last night was like a dream, but tonight and tomorrow will be, well not so nice. We just checked into our hostel (a bit run down and scary as it was voted #1 hostel in Helsinki - by whom, I'm not too sure....) and I was greeted by two older men sleeping in my room (at 4:00pm) I can tell there will be a LOT of snoring tonight...

Gotta run. Will update you all again when we finally arrive in Jyvaskyla.... (with pictures...)

John
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