Back to Joensuu

Trip Start Jul 25, 2007
1
10
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Trip End Ongoing


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Monday, September 10, 2007

A Tired Drive through Finland

As a matter of course, the girls sleep very long today. Their partying last night must have been pretty rough. I heard that people in Finland drink lots and lots of alcohol... ;-). Mari didn't get so much sleep. In the morning we pack our things together. Then we have a combination of breakfeast and lunch. Around 1 p.m. Pia drives us to the Heureka parking lot where we met Mari's father, Matti. The welcome is short. People are talking in Finnish all the time. I don't understand anything. Then we say good-bye to Pia and get rolling.

We drive from Vantaa to Joensuu. In Between there is nothing much but beautiful countryside. Trees, lakes, hills. In Finland there are over 300000 lakes. That's why its called the "country of the lakes". As watching trees, lakes and hills gets boring after a while, I start playing the Big Brain Academy on the Nintendo DS. Thank you so much, Frank, for letting me borrow it. The Nintendo DS surely saved my life during these first two days in Finland. And I have a feeling that it will do much more for me during the next two weeks.

When we arrive in Joensuu in the evening, everything is the same as we had left it about one year earlier (Joensuu 2006). Mari's mom and Nappo welcome us.


Getting Around in Finland

Finland is a big country. It doesn't appear to be big on the map, but that's because of the curvature of the earth. It's really big and scarcely populated. Driving around by car might be the best alternative. In Finland Hertz and Europcar are the biggest car rental services. Just go to their website and find out about the rates. Driving around might get a little boring though. The speed limit is mostly 90km per hour. Streets continue straight forever. You always have to be aware of mooses. Going by train might be a less stressful and tirening alternative. It's also faster than going by car. Train connections are excellent in most of Finland. Only in the very north there are no train connections (because nobody lives there). The website of the Finnish rail is www.vr.fi. It has multilingual support. You can book tickets online and print them on your printer at home. Another alternative of getting around is the bus. www.expressbus.com is the website of a bus provider that connects all of Finland. The website works in Finnish, but you can call them. Somebody's gonna speak English. Or get your Finnish friends to help you. The bus is cheaper than the train, but it also takes longer.
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