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30 July 2011


Day 62: Thursday, 21 July 2011

We arrived in Turku from Tampere in the evening. Without a map, it could have been difficult to find the apartment where we staying with our hosts, Marko and Ksenia, but I hand-drew a few streets in my notebook that guided us there within 10 minutes. Ksenia was meeting a friend to practice some schoolwork (they were speaking Finnish so they went into the kitchen as Lisle and I got settled). Since they had to work early, we decided to stay in.

I woke up in bed next to Lisle. It was already like 9:30, and Marko and Ksenia had already left for work. We helped ourselves to breakfast - muesli and coffee, but we couldn't find the sugar. And we headed out into the town.

Our goal was to get to the ferry ship terminal so that Lisle could buy her ticket (it wasn't working online). We walked along the river, seeing many pretty buildings. There were a set of giant rubber duckies just floating in the river as part of some art installation.

The riverwalk somehow reminded me of that in Paris. We passed several bridges and interesting ships, and a cool art installation of an oversized daisy.

The weather was cloudy and the forecast had called for rain. After walking for a couple kilometers and stopping at a cafe/museum to use the toilet, we soon found the ferry terminal. It was deserted, except for one ticket office. Lisle got her ticket, and we walked back. Soon, we we at Turku's castle.

The castle was interesting, relatively unassuming from the outside but beautifully medieval inside. We walked around a bit and then continued walking the few kilometers into the city center. There wasn't much worth mentioning, save for a few sprinkles that began to fall on us. We had become very hungry by the time we reached the city center, and Lisle had developed an insatiable appetite for a good burger. So she asked some locals for some advice, and they recommended a place that was pricey but by the river. We checked out the food market then walked back into the city center. Rain began to fall, so we ducked into a bar that served a buffet and some burgers. It was pouring outside, as we ordered our €6,00 burgers, which were gourmet and delicious. But I wanted more quantity, not quality!

After eating, a guy heard us speaking English and asked if we were American. He was Garry, from North Carolina, who is now living in Turku playing soccer.

We returned to Marko and Ksenia's place, where Marko was having a nap. Lisle and I chilled for the afternoon, then we all went out to dinner together. We went to a Mexican restaurant, which served pretty good food (but the recipe and ingredients were all wrong!). Our dinner was rushed, as Lisle had to catch the bus to the ferry terminal. So a quick good-bye to her, and I walked back with our hosts to the apartment.

The evening was spent watching a movie from Denmark, In China They Eat Dogs. It was interesting, supposedly funny, but neither Marko nor I understood the Danish humor properly.

Day 63: Friday, 22 July 2011

My alarm went off just before 7am, at which time I was waking up in the morning. I had to be fresh and go downstairs, but first I had to have my bowl, cereal. Said bye to Marko and Ksenia, I was rushing; had to get down to the bus stop, where I caught my bus. Totally true. And I was looking forward to the weekend. Fun fun fun fun.

I made it to the ferry terminal with plenty of time. I boarded the ship and settled on a table next to a food service area.

On the ship, I listened to Madonna's "La Isla Bonita" as we sailed between the islands of the Finnish archipelago. How appropriate.

Apparently I left myself a message saved as a draft on my phone. I must have done it when I was in Helsinki.

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