lauantai 28. elokuuta 2010

Weekend full of action and social life

Last weekend was reserved for The Event – friend’s wedding. As the wedding took place in Suomenlinna, there is first some travelling to do. With a lucky coincidence I shared the flight from Warsaw to Helsinki with a dear colleague, who has spent two years living in Poland, so we had lot’s to share! Two hours went pass flying with talktalktalk – what an enjoyable start for a weekend! In my Helsinki apartment I felt a little weird, like that I didn’t exactly know what I was supposed to do there. After long day I ended up watching a little TV with Finnish subtitles :)

Saturday – party day! It turned out to be a very successful wedding party with touching ceremony and relevant speeches, not to forget good food and drinks in fabulous surroundings. In addition friends and colleagues among the guests with who to chatter – not much else needed for good time! Afterparty at Kalle until 3:30 – that’s what I call a wedding :P

Then next in line there's a hang out day with a dear friend and very good (and very Finnish) food in here. And when we add plenty of “improving the world” a.k.a good discussions, there are all the ingredients for a splendid Sunday.

On Monday it was time to head to H9 for a change, and there were lots of people with who to exchange lots of lnews. The spree of good days just continues, what can you do! And some work was done also, from career point of view the day ended in surprisingly flattering discussion and interesting speculations of things to come… Now returning in sometimes December/January sounds better than it did before…

Flight to Wroclaw via Warsaw was a late one, and I reached home near 1 a.m. But no can do, to work on Tuesday and on the evening some packing is needed. There is a little Poland tour to do, purely for work! Off to Poznan very early on Wednesday.

Wroclaw seems to be full of dogs, almost every other pedestrian has a dog as a follower - and that is literally speaking, as leashes are rarely needed.
Here is one dog taking it easy on my home street. The dog did not mind the traffic as much as I did. There is more car than dog in the picture because I did not dare to concentrate on photography too much when several busy Wroclawians are heading home in their cars...

This probably gives you an idea why blog life has been a little slow lately – socializing with people in real life is priority 1, internet can wait ;)

15.8. Again city exploring – seeing a pile of useless bolted metal

New day and new ventures! Maybe today I would have better luck with the trams; I had used the oh-so-handy online route map to tell me exactly how to get to fountain. In the same location there’s also a great building “Centennial hall” and a zoo, as well as a Japanese Garden. So, lot’s to do!

In the tram I realized that on Saturday I had actually been in correct tram… For some reason the line took a long extra lap around a big park (so that was the thing with the woods…), and that’s why I was misleaded. Well, life is full of learning.

When I exited the tram I faced loooong queues to the Zoo; families with children had came to spend Sun-day to the Zoo. I didn’t feel like standing in a queue, so I took the different direction to find the fountain and maybe something else, too. Firstly I ran into (figuratively speaking) this huge building “Centennial Hall”, or nowadays known as People’s Hall. This building represents modern and innovative design (by Max Berg). One characteristic feature is the concrete dome with span 65 meters; at the time (1913) it was the largest in the world (The Pantheon 44 m, Hagia Sophia 31 m) and therefore there were doubts concerning it’s stability. There it still stays anyhow! The Hall was built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Napoleon’s defeat at Leipzig. Nowadays it is a place for trade fairs and concerts, and also a sightsee for tourists. For this part, thanks to “A Guidebook to Wroclaw” but also to Jarek and Michal.

Centennial Hall - People's Hall - Hala Stulecia - Hala Ludowa. Sorry for camera which does not handle taaaall items very well.

In front of the Centennial Hall there is a monument called Iglica. It is a memory from Soviet times, and the story of this monument is told by “Wroclaw in Your Pocket” guide in more amusing way that historical facts usually are, so I refer their text here.

“This 96 metre tall steel spire was erected on 1948 as part of propagandic “Recovered Territories Exhibi-tion”. It was meant to symbolize the soaring achievements of of the country’s newly acquired western ter-ritories since they were ‘returned’ to Communist Poland. Like many of the Party’s ideas, this one quickly went wrong”. Originally 106 m, Iglica’s peak was adorned with a spinning contraption of mirrors which would create a dazzling umbrella of light at night. The apparatus was ominously struck by lightning only hours after completion with much of it crashing to the ground in dazzling catastrophe. The remaining dangling bits posed quite hazard to the expected thousands who would attend the exhibition. To the rescue came two college students who were part of a climbing club and volunteered to dismantle the top of the structure after the military proved unable to sort the situation due to the inclimate weather. Scaling the Iglica took 24 hours 15 minutes, dismantling it another six, but the boys succeeded in becoming heroes of the enormous media spectacle. In 1964 the spire was reduced by 10 meters for safety reasons. During martial law, another daredevil climbed the tower and attached a Solidarity flag to its zenith. Today the ugly ribbed structure continues to stand outside Hala Stulecia and is probably one of the tallest pieces of useless bolted metal in the world.”

As I was at the fountain 15 minutes past 13 and the show to take place in every hour, I had 45 minutes to spend. I headed towards the Japanese Garden, when it started to wind and rain. Both garden visit and wait for the show in pouring rain sounded a bad idea. As it was a day off and on your free time you shouldn’t “execute” any activities, I jumped to tram and went back home to enjoy tea (with lemon as locals like to have it) and a good book. Let it rain!

torstai 19. elokuuta 2010

14.8. City exploring – Green and beautiful

More city searching to do! My colleagues gave me few good tips and hints about what to see, and then it is only matter of choosing the places to go. Botanical Garden and Wroclaw Fountain were my targets on Saturday.

Botanical Garden is located right next to Cathedral Island area, so it was very easy to reach. Something informative first: (see, my current role as trainer has already grown in; First theory and then practical exercises :))

"The garden has been opened already 1811. It occupies grounds of old fortification, and some buildings demolished during WW2. Garden is located right at foot of the Church of Holy Cross. In addition to the different garden and park-like areas, it included plant houses with water plants and cacti, to mention only a few. Main driving force of building the Garden was Heinrich Robert Göbbert working with city municipal gardens 1852-1884. Currently the garden belongs to Wroclaw University." That’s the most important things what “A Guidebook to Wroclaw” has to say about the Botanical Garden.

And in I went! At the very beginning there was one of city gnomes. These little statues are one interesting detail in Wroclaw, and I will later dedicate a whole chapter for them... That's also something learned useful in training; give teasers of things still to come :)

As you can imagine, a garden is FULL of things that just demand to be photographed. I decided to combine some of the photos into a collage; that’s in nutshell what the garden is; beautiful things with theme colour green.
click to enlarge...

Not only green… As mentioned, there was also house for cacti and other Mexican Succulents.

I am a fan of cacti! They are only plants that have agreed to grow on my windowsill more than couple of weeks.

I had looked the opening hours wrongly, and had only an hour to spend in the garden before closing. It was enough to walk it through, but definitely left few places unexplored. So, I’ll be returning later to see the deep and rich autumn colours.
Then, next destination would be Wroclaw Fountain. I had heard many people praise that sight, and website informed that the multimedia show at fountain would involve Apocalyptica.. So, that’s what really needs to be seen and heard!

The show was supposed to start only at nine, so I walked to Rynek (Market Square), sat on a terrace of a café, drank tea and enjoyed sunny and warm evening, beautiful buildings and life in general :) Then I checked updated fountain showtimes and learned that modern music show starts at eight instead of nine. Ok, time to go. I went to tram stop, equipped with two different guides telling me three possible lines to take. Sounds good, yes, but only fault was that according the tram stop listing on the sign at the stop said (or so it seemed to me) that none of those lines would be going to correct destination.

Intensive line map, tram stop listing and guide book reading and comparison didn’t help, but a friendly man showed intention to help me. Without common language we survived to communicate enough for him to instruct me to correct tram. And aboard I went again!

I followed the names of the stops during the way and after 25 minutes it seemed that I am in absolutely wrong tram. Scenery started to became very woody, and look suspicious in terms that I was going to a popular sightseeing place. What to do? My colleague (thank u Greg :)) had instructed me an online route map, but unfortunately “server was down” (go IT nerds go) and no help available from there. I was tired, hungry and therefore decided to give up, jump away from the tram on next stop and get back where I came from.

Of course return was not possible with a single tram, but for once I managed to conclude correctly the direction to which to walk after few stops in order to get to correct line! After dinner at a Greek restaurant Akropolis where service was despising but meat mix and crispy vegetables very delicious, it was time to call that Saturday a day and head home.

If you have to go astray, there probably could be worse looking tram stops where to do that.

sunnuntai 15. elokuuta 2010

Good week, indeed

The week went by quickly. Now I have found myself basic things; a hairdresser, a bank, a gym, a beauty salon for nails :P, new store to buy food and stuff for home – Prisma type of market :).

Two important investments made; Firstly a lunch box. My salad got lost one day from the fridge at work and I was told that strange things might happen to food which looks impersonal like it didn't belong to anyone.. Now I have a cute pink box, let’s see how it works!

Secondly; a coffee maker. Apartment didn’t have any, and first I thought I wouldn’t even need one. But then a total mood change out of nowhere. I haven’t been drinking coffee that much for at least half a year, but consumed green tea instead. One morning I took some coffee at work (to stay awake…) and it was gooood! So, decision: must have a coffee maker at home, too. I read about a nice coffee shop called “Afryka” which also sells different coffee equipment, and there I found a cute, hex nut shaped espresso maker. I also bought coffee which was grounded up in the shop, yumm how delicious the pure smell is! So, coffeeholic seems to be back. Pity that I didn’t take any pictures from the café, as the interior was very stylish, clear and delicate with white walls and furnishings given character to their texture. However, something about the style can be concluded here.

On the way to purchase coffee equipment. Sun is shining and it's raining at the same time - does it mean that summer might be coming in Poland, too?

Almost every day I get surprised positively on people being nice. Sound a bit weird to put it that way – but they really are! On trams men give women room – and young people to old. Sales clerks always wish you nice day with a smile in addition to “normal” courtesies…
And at the office; people are helpful and talkative – even those who I do not work with and therefore we do not know each other.
For example last Friday I was working late and did not know that anyone else was still at the office, as it seemed very empty and lights were shut down. But then a knock on the door, and a guy who I thought I hadn’t even seen before (maybe I was but with 55 new persons just can’t remember them all) came to stop by at my room and wished me good weekend. I did not know him, we haven’t worked together, but he took the extra effort to come by and greet :). Might sounds like small thing, but to me it was something very warming.
Also my team is sweet; they took me for dinner one evening, and we had a very nice time!

Now I should be able to have somewhat normal days at work at least for couple of weeks… The heaviest lecturing part is starting to be over, and we are proceeding to practical study – yippee!

People seem to be back to H9 office at Helsinki as well – it’s good to have even a messenger chat since I cannot join them for lunch or AfterworkPubs...

lauantai 14. elokuuta 2010

8.8. Exploring the city – Cathedral Island

Sunday evening sounded a good time to go and see the neighborhood. I have one Wroclaw guidebook, Lonely Planet and Wroclaw In Your Pocket (great and free guide btw), and I have been skimming and reading them through several times in addition to several websites – now some real action needed. Closest place to start is actually right next to me: Ostrow Tumski, Cathedral Island in English.

This place is first settled in Wroclaw, in the 8th century (listen to the wings of history!). First bishopric was founded in 1000, and the Cathedral Island was the centre of Wroclaw before 1240. Then the Tatars "razed the place” and city started to develop on the other side of the river Oder (Odra). However, the Island is still a religious center for Wroclaw. Without expansion of shops, cafes and bars it really feels like a sanctuary: beautiful and peaceful as it was kilometers from city.
Tumski Bridge – The Green Bridge.

Married couples bring padlocks and attach them to bridge to demonstrate their never-ending love.

Original gas lamps on Cathedral street.
Entrance of the Church of Holy Cross. Rare church as having two levels, and two parishes.
Monument of Pope John XXIII – erected nearby St Martin’s Church, exceptionally during communist regime. Church itself backs to the 14th century.
Cathedral Street and St. John’s Cathedral. The most outstanding historical monument on the island. The striking heights of the towers stand for the rank of the cathedral. Oldest parts of the building are constructed 1244-1272.

There was a mass going on when I visited the Cathedral, so I only shortly peaked from the main door. Stunning glass paintings and the beauty of the interior will definitely be worth for another visit.

(The facta parts are from sources mentioned above, the book being “A guidebook to Wroclaw by Rafal Eysymontt and Leszek Ziatkowski).

maanantai 9. elokuuta 2010

9.8. Shopping 'til dropping

Weekend was much about shopping. I had been keeping buying clothes on minimum since last spring, partly for not having inspiration then, partly keeping the amount of stuff to move here in minimum, and partly to wait for shopping possibilities Wroclaw has to offer. And that turned out to be a great decision! Oh what a weekend I had!

On the morning I went to Hala Targowa (market hall) to get some fresh vegetables and also to see it. On the outside the building could use a little tuning. On the inside there were lots of vegetables and flowers, which made the interior look nice. Travel guides tell tourists to go and see the real life of Wroclawians when they make their shopping in the market hall, so I almost felt local to buy food there!

Hala Targowa from outside...

The berries are absolutely best part of the fresh food offerings. They are very delicious and when compared to Finnish market place prices do not cost almost anything. I have ate at least 2 kilos of berries during the week – And now I bought even more :P Also chanterelles would have been on offer, but I passed them this time, since from dairy section I have not yet recognized what would be cream – needed to make chanterelle sauce!

Food shopping is a different story in Poland, or at least here in my neighborhood. I have a small super-market one block from me, and in addition to it there’s a bread shop, meat shop, vegetable shop, one minimarket and two 24h mini-minimarkets within 200 meters – and I have not yet even examined all the directions from the apartment. Bread shop is open in such hours that I have not yet been able to visit there. I have passed the meat shop, since I could not buy unpacked meat in Finnish so I will not (at least yet) try it in with me speaking English and salesperson Polish. In the vegetable shop I have went a little bonkers couple of times, and in addition to several boxes of berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries) I own now a fresh broccoli and a cauliflower. I am not sure what to do with them, but they looked so good that I just HAD to buy them. Offerings would have included much and much of different veggies looking delicious, so maybe I have to start some heavy greens-cooking-learning.

..and Hala Targowa  from inside
My food shopping includes at least two of the shops on one time. Nearest minimarket has ready-packed salads, which I take for lunch to work. I have not yet found anywhere plastic boxes where I could pack lunch if I made it myself, so ready-made salad has to do for now. Unfortunately the minimarket does not contain much else, so I have to go to supermarket as well. The selection there is not very extensive either, for example it does not include spices (or I couldn’t find them), so separate veggie shop was needed for that purpose as well :)

And I almost forgot; downstairs I have “Rossmann”, which sells cosmetics and hygiene stuff like sham-poos, soaps, hair things etc. And in addition to that some tea, nutrition supplements, basic medication and interestingly pet- and baby food… Nice shop anyway!

But back to market hall. On second floor there are small shops/stands which sell different items, like plastic kitchenware, kids clothes and religious decorations. Some of them offer services like hairdressers and shoemakers. From there I found first very nice handmade clothes, with the style I like – simple but with some special “thing”. The next finding; perfect scarf for my party dress – or actually two from which to select better! Now I am all equipped for the two wedding parties to come this autumn.

Then I aimed to Galeria Dominikanska shopping mall, and OH MY GOD, then it started. After visiting five shops I had five plastic bags full of nice clothes! On shopping tours I very rarely find things that I like, but seemingly my taste goes better along with the Polish than on what Helsinki has to offer. Or actually my taste cannot be purely Polish either, because big part of the things I bought were on sale, and as these most likely are the last moments of summer sales, there are only such things in shops which no one has not yet wanted ;)
But I found surprisingly lot of clothes, mainly for work – and that’s what I was in need for. So, as Hanna suggested, renewal of “garderobe” is in good progress! And then the shoes – so beautiful, so much differ-ent from which choosing is impossible task… They are good on feet (looks and comfort cannot usually be found from same pair of shoes, at least that’s the case with ladies shoes) and so not-expensive! I will be coming back to Finland with double or triple amount of moving boxes.

After the shopping spree I ended up with so much clothes, shoes and even couple of books that I had to stop shopping be able to carry my shoppings home. I went to tram stop and was amazed; on the opposite side of the tram stop to I came to, wasn’t any same lines than with which I came. Confusing. I tried another stop, but not any lines went pass it. Opposite stop on that one was in my opinion wrong direction. My tram line map is black and white printout, and as the maps’ logic is based on different colour for each line, it wasn’t very helpful in this case. It seemed to me that the map not necessarily in sync with reality either, but that might be also about me... I tried to continue with one tram to next, bigger stop where several lines should cross – but once again I took wrong direction. So I had to come back. After something like hour riding back and forth I passed the Galeria Dominikanska mall fourth time – but finally I was going to correct direction with correct tram. Damn I was proud of myself! After running between tram stops and getting in and out of trams with ton of bags, I again ended up postponing the gym search ;)

Galeria Dominikanska from the tram stop where I arrived - little did I know about the complexity of heading home at this point...
Sorry for non-existence of the pictures; my temporary internet connection from home is so slow that my patience is not enough for uploading photos. They’ll come later. //18.8. Photos added!

Also the layout on some texts is not-that-beautiful. I have trouble with Bloggers' user interface, and modifying text/pictures together does not seem to work. Maybe I need to BUY an “Html for dummies” book and learn some coding. Maybe in November when it’s dark - and I have spent all my money so no use going out anyhow…

torstai 5. elokuuta 2010

4.8. Lost in Wroclaw

Now there has been three days in the city, and not one of them has been passed by without someone get-ting lost. On the first day I bravely decided to go home by tram. Took wrong turn, noticed that but de-cided to find another tram stop, got on, got off on wrong stop and ended up wondering “somewhere not that far from Rynek” without a map. Finally I found way back home, and on the way I bought some strawberries in Russian :D (surprised myself with being able to do that...)

I have seen bigger and juicier looking strawberries, but being a strawberry is not a beauty contest; these were on absolute top 3 of strawberries I've ever had in terms of tastefulness and sweetness!

Second day was the due date for my moving stuff to get here. For some reason navigator kept instructing the truck driver wrong, so he was somewhere – actually it was not that far – but as I am not yet expert with the surroundings, it took some time to figure out how to get him into correct place. After all the hussle and map reading and instructing and phone calling and parking place finding with no success, I carried the boxes in myself – and the truck was NOT right down on the front door… So that much about full service moving company. I decided to leave finding a gym for later point of time.

Third day started with taxi driver both hearing and reading the address wrongly. Noting him in English about wrong direction did not work, but Finnish was useful! So, we read the map together (with no common language) and after extra round in the city I even got to work in time – in time only because I left home early as purpose to prepare material to present during the day, which I obviously now did not do. But luckily I managed with some improvising, and understanding audience ;)

After all the day turned out to be a surprisingly good day especially from work point of view, so I decided to celebrate it in the closest restaurant (which sells something else than pizza or kebab).

View from the restaurant's terrace. My home building is the white big one on the back.

The cod I ordered was good, but even better was to have a phone call with mum <3!

1.8. End of holidays

All good things come to an end at some point. So is now the holiday part of Poland, and hard work starts tomorrow.

We had a nice and easygoing morning; walking in the old town and having fairwell drinks.
A bit melancholic feeling, as it would have been fun to continue travelling, but also at the same time it is nice to get to work and get started.

Once again about the railways; I already was ready to totally change my opinion when an Intercity train came to the platform where I was supposed to leave back to Wroclaw, but then the conductor said that the train was not for me… So, the same old not-so-nice train and the same 4 ¾ hours back to Wroclaw – next time I will take a bus!

Weather is turning warm and sunny. This summer I cannot really complain about the weathers, but interestingly the sun comes to sight behind the clouds when the D-day to start work approaches…

I’ll need to learn into new schedule, as here people come to work at 7. Night owl that I am, it might turn out to be a bit tough. On the other hand, seems that at least TV will not be keeping me awake on the evenings. If some program is not originally in Polish, it is dubbed into it. And in an interesting manner; one voice actor is saying all of the lines, no matter whether a man or a woman is talking. And this far it seems (sounds) that they have employed only this one male guy – how does he have time to do all the programs alone?!?

keskiviikko 4. elokuuta 2010

31.7. Auschwitz

Yes. Trip to Auschwitz. I don’t think there’s anything to say about it that wouldn’t have been said before. Human evilness is beyond my understanding.


Execution wall. A lady from our group lit a candle to respect the victims. 


Remainings of wooden barracks on the back. Wood from the barracks was delivered to rebuild Warsaw after war.

Replica of train cars used to transport people to the extermination camps.
Memorial in Birkenau. Same text is written in 25 languages, for all the nationalities from which people suffered and died in the camps.

Remainings of gas chamber, destroyed by Nazis just before liberation.

"Those who do not learn from history are forever doomed to repeat it"

30.7. Cracow

I did not become a fan of Polish trains, not even after sitting in one for 4 hours 45 minutes in one to travel 256 km. Why oh why it takes that long?
But on the opposite, I was very positively surprised about the Cracow train station and how it is inte-grated in to a shopping center. More positive impressions of the city; as we were examining a big tourist map, a nice young man came, asked if we needed help, and instructed us to our hostel. It makes you feel so good when someone sincerely wants to help. And even more.. The hostel was great! Very friendly and helpful staff and the whole place was clean and nice. So, if ever going to Cracow and looking for hostel, try Mosquito!

On the evening we wondered through Wawel castle. Beautiful sight indeed!

View from the castle

But a question remains; what is the thing with Cracow and dragons? There is the dragon statue below the castle, and then all the souvenir shops are full of dragons in different formats. Google helped once again. Long story short; according to a legend the cave under the castle hill was once inhabitated by a dragon – as the story told. Boys did not believe the story, irritated the dragon which really did exist. As a result dragon tortured a nearby village, until a man called Krakus destroyed the dragon – and that is how Cracow got its name. Legends are always nice and interesting and give character to a place :)  Longer version of this one can be found at least here.

The dragon statue below the castle actually "spits fire" (gas flames I assume) in every 5 minutes or so. And it was doing it when I took the photo, but it was not captured on the "film"  :(  Magic? 

29.7. To Wroclaw – new home!!!

My dear travel mate had the shock of a lifetime when we saw the plane with which we were about to fly to Wroclaw. And if one is afraid of flying, I think that 1,5 hours in a tincan like the one we had does not help… But brave as she is, without any bigger whinings we ended up to Wroclaw safely – Us two and two other guys. How can that air route be profitable?

Taxi was waiting as agreed, and then we had experience about the Wroclaw traffic jams which have been mentioned basically in each travel guide and website I have read, as well as the driving culture which differs from Finland… Speed limits are only recommendations, and it is totally ok to exit roundabout using the grass in the middle as a shortcut. But we got home safely – and for me this really is now the home for next half year! Exciting, exciting… We had celebration dinner at Beergarden. Ok food, but house beer was not as good as Zywiec!

28.7. - why the date sounds familiar..?

We started the morning by getting lost in Gdansk tram network.. Well, maybe not that lost, but from two possible directions we took the wrong one. About this I have to blame the receptionist worker at our hotel; the instructions were not too clear – and us dumb tourists went wrong. But we are on holiday, we have time to get bit lost :)
 Some heavy shopping on the morning, and Sopot experience in the evening.

Sopot main street Monte Cassino

The Pier in Sopot, 516 meters directly out to the sea makes it the longest wooden pier in Europe.

And as we started the day with getting lost, it did not turn out to be much better on the evening. On the map it might look simple to get back to train station in Sopot, but believe you me, it is not!

27.7. To Hel (and back)

As the weather still does not allow lazy beach life and bikinis will stay on the bag, we decided to travel to Hel peninsula. Travel guide by Lonely Planet promised the trip to take 45-90 min from Gdynia, but for some reason our train travelled 2h 45 min from Gdansk.

Somewhere along the way...

This far I am not very impressed by Polish railways; schedules are not very clear, and guidance at stations or about stations in train could also work bit better. And the trains themselves, well, not that modern...

Hel itself was small and cute, and seemingly occupied mainly by Polish families with kids.

Still a bit more complaining? Guide at Hel tourist office did not speak English that well.. We discussed about tram and train, and merrily mixed those together. Well, we didn’t go to wait for another looooong train trip, but ended up to have ferry tram back to Gdansk. That was very pleasant, and I really recommend that method of transportation!

We have now seen the river to Gdansk three times. As interesting as harbors can be, I think I do not need to sightsee one in very near future. Btw; saw lots and lots of lifting devices, and for some weird reason felt professional pride about the booms and masts :)

As we took the last ferry of the day. we witnessed a beautiful sunset

maanantai 2. elokuuta 2010

26.7. Rainy Gdansk

When you have planned to have a nice and sunny days at beach and waterfront, you might disappoint when it’s 18 degrees and raining.. That’s how it was with us in Gdansk today. At some points there might have even been some frustration on the air, but turned out that Zywiec and good company helped with the issue! Deep thoughts about stupidness, men, friends and life in general – as well as few good laughs saved the day… Sari entertains me with using terms from “elderly” language.. Today we have heard; Tekipä se eetvarttia, vilunkia, ja vilakkaa. :D (Sorry non-Finnish readers, cannot translate...) That's what you get when working in a factory with old guys ;)

We sailed the Black Pearl (Czarna Perla) pirate boat!

Thanks to some work issues and urgent need to replan the trip, we found out that JetAir had changed the flight schedule (without bothering to inform about it), and Thursday flight at 18 will leave at 15 instead of of 18 as earlierly stated. Luckily we noticed it, I cannot even imagine the feeling if we went to airport 3 hours “late”…

Yesterday I became a fan of Turku (and nearby) people! Lady at the restaurant car in the train, taxi driver and some co-fliers waiting at Terminal 2 (for flight that was 2 hours late), proved that there is something good still left in mankind :)

24.7.10 The Polish Adventure – about to begin

So, now it is closer than it has ever been. Flight will be leaving tomorrow evening from Turku, and train to Turku in early afternoon. Some things have already been sent beforehands, but for some reason (bad planning, inability to forecast weather conditions, and the usual tend for overpacking) there is still three bags (one of them HUGE) and a laptop case to carry around Poland before reaching new home. Interesting to see how I’ll manage. Maybe I’ll finally learn something about reasonable packing.

This week – actually the whole three weeks of vacation have been quite full of happenings – some of them surprising - and also different emotions. But in only last few days there has been all of this: easy-going time and laughter with friends on the sun and terrace, peaceful times at countryside, nice and affectionate moments with a great person, disillusionment with another great (so I thought) person, deep thoughts with impressive art, big shared joy with close ones and their newborn, great love with family members <3 and admiration of energy which 8 (or was it only 6?) 8-year-olds can generate when put in the same place.. And then the sadness/wistfulness mixed with bit of fear came yesterday. I had been waiting and therefore maybe a bit prepared for that feeling, but it was still very overwhelming! But seemingly it was not anything a few cries wouldn’t cure. Still I’m prepared to have few more cries at the airport if necessary.

My co-traveller Sari is afraid of flying. So, we will be an interesting travel team – one is crying of fear of never getting safely back home, and one is crying of not wanting to leave home at all… Bon voyage! Well, plan is to help situation with glass or two of wine. Poland Poland, here I come! Starting with Gdansk tomorrow :)