Trip Start Mar 07, 2006
22Trip End Jul 11, 2006
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Now down to business...serious stuff this travel blogging. Arrived Helsinki last Wednesday, beers and sauna and delicious Finnish food Wednesday night, Thursday was a day in the city with Netta and the kids visiting markets, parks and sites and getting acquainted with the art of managing a double pram containing two energetic toddlers in a variety of city challenges like roadworks and crowded trains
Saturday, once awake and breakfasted, we were off to Marianne and Jyri's summer house in the country by a huge lake. We were blown away by the incredible setting and the thought that has gone into creating such a beautiful retreat. In the afternoon we went to the Lock between two big lakes and we got to see the way the boats get from one lake to the other (there is about a 3m difference in water level). Saturday afternoon was spent in the sauna and what a heavenly experience it was. It is a woodheated sauna in its own little house by the lake with a big window and great view. We three ladies went first, the woodheating felt much softer than an electric sauna and I felt so lucky to get a taste of what the real Finnish tradition is about, there was buckets of various temperatures under the window for washing or cooling off, a bunch of young birch branches in a bucket of cool water for whacking yourself all over (smells and feels great), icy beers waiting out on the deck when the heat got too much, swimming in the lake, chatting and sweating and just feeling alive and wonderful
Sunday we checked out Lahti harbour and also the huge ski jumps used for world championship events. Whoah man, they looked seriously scary. Lovely country drive back home, chilled out then blissful sleep! Monday was operation get our arses to Estonia. Got the ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn found a nice room and settled in for a few days. Spent time roaming the impressive old town, caught a bus to the busy beach Pirita, shopped, did a cool bicycle tour of Tallinn, checked out the nightlife, ate, drank and were merry. Ray if you are reading this Andy says to tell you that Estonian women outdo Czechs!..and they all seem to like the skimpy clothes....apparently it has something to do with the oppression under Russian rule up until 1991, maybe because it has been so hot lately but it was pretty hard not to gawk when girls walk past with skirts so short you can see their undies and some with shorts so tight they dont bother doing up the zipper! I'm not kidding...glad I got Andy out of there before he needed glasses or put his neck out!!
Anyway back in the safety of normal life at Netta and Antti's now but only for one more night. Had our final Finnish sauna for a while and just said goodnight to Antti...still waiting on Netta to get home from the Guns n Roses concert...what a cool mumma she is!