Day 5 - The weather gets colder

Trip Start Jul 27, 2008
1
5
41
Trip End Sep 11, 2008


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Friday, August 1, 2008

Hehehe, from day 3 to day 5, seems as though I missed something in there somewhere.  If anyone (other than Julie) is actually reading this I am sorry I didn't update you yesterday as to the adventures of the day.  But Jasper was using the computer to watch a movie with some of his and Lotus' girlfriends.  Yes they have friends.  I think it has taken them a while but they seem to be very nice girls.
As for me, filling you in on yesterday activities, not much actually happened yesterday, I played Nanny to Slade yet again.  I took him, Jasper and Lotus downstairs to the play area, to leave Lauree and Jason some quite time to finish watching Underbelly.  Yes they got through the entire season.
After we took Jason to the airport, we did some grocery shopping, which is very fun and very hard.  Do you have any idea what it is like trying to work out what the meat is without reading Finnish, or what the food is??
Last night I did a traditional Finnish thing.  A sauna.  Which about 99% of people have in their houses.  What usually happens in you spend 15 minutes in the sauna then go running outside into the freezing lake, dive in, or roll around in the snow.  Then back into the sauna.  Did I mention this is all done naked...  Lucky for me, there is no snow so I had my 15 minutes, then sat on the balcony for 5 minutes, then back into the sauna for another 15 minutes.  I must admit, my skin has never felt so nice and open.  It was lovely, maybe if I ever build myself a new home, I might have to get them to build me a sauna.
So today, the sun seems to have disappeared, it is overcast and fresh.  Not warm, not freezing (not like the Gold Coast before I left) but chilly and fresh.  Quite nice, will actually be a good day, I hope, for some walking and sightseeing.  Now if I can just get Lauree out of bed, nah she can rest for a little while longer. 
It is very strange looking out the window this morning and not seeing the throngs of people in playing and walking in the park, or seeing no boats on the lake.  I guess it is too chilly for them too, not just me (that is nice to know). 
Have I mentioned that the windows are doubled glassed with about 8 inches between the 2 panes of glass?  This apparently keeps the heat in and cold out in winter, considering that there are 8 months of snow and sleet the windows would be a life saving device I reckon.
So today we went into Tampere city for lunch and to see how much it would cost to catch a boat from Helsinki to Estonia.  When we found out it was only €70, we booked a trip then and there, so now on Monday evening we are catching a boat / ferry from Helsinki to Estonia.  The boat ride itself is only 2hours 30minutes long but because we are leaving at 9.30pm we get to sleep in a cabin onboard on Monday night, we have to disembark at 7am Tuesday and we have the day in Estonia.  Boarding at 6pm on Tuesday night.  Tomorrow, weather permitting we are going to go to Viikinsaari island for a picnic lunch on a Tammer Line cruise. 
Today Lauree took me to Pyynikki Tower and I took these photos of Tampere and the surrounding lakes.  The lakes are so beautiful, and looking at them now it is hard to imagine that they freeze solid over winter, yes all of them...  When I think of the cold that I am used to I find it so hard to imagine what it would be like to live here all year round.  I mean the Finnish prefer -30 than -10.  Apparently this is because at -30 the air is very still and fresh, whereas at -1 it is damp.  When it is wet and damp, this turns the snow to ice and makes it hazardous and the cold is less bearable than what it is like at -30. I don't really understand it too much, but that is the jist that I got from Lauree.  She said the she has gone a over t a couple of times, same with Lotus, who never seems to do anything else but run from place to place.  She has compared it to the humidity that we get on the Gold Coast, I guess where we have an extremely hot day we hate it, preferring the bearable days with low humidity.  Here they prefer the colder.  I guess the colder the better.  Yeah for me I can't understand that.  I think I know one person (KerryS) who would love this place because of the cold.
I am reeling at how green everything here is, it just seems to pretty to be true.  I would love to see everything covered with snow, will have to get Lauree to send photos, not too keen on seeing it first hand.
The people here are nice, but I feel so out of place because I don't speak the language.  I don't think there is anyway I would ever learn to say anything else other than, kittos (thank you), Hei / Moi (hi / hello), Hei hei / Moi moi (bye).  The language is so strange, and listening to people speak it is even stranger, because they speak at different speeds.  Trying to buy something is hard so I look at the register to know how much I have to hand over.  The good thing about shopping is that everything is SO cheap.  Shampoo, conditioner, body wash and the likes range from €1.90 to about €3.  I can understand why Lauree says she is going to stock up when she comes home at Christmas and then when they move to wherever they go next.
So I should sign off now, been a long day and the day is no way never being over, while all my lovely friends are sleeping back in Australia it is only getting to be late afternoon, early evening here.
Will be back tomorrow with more I am sure.
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