Midsummer

Sunday was perfect. It was the Midsummer, and it was the first time in my life I was in Helsinki on this day. Also, it was unusually hot (and still is) – the temperatures were in the mid-upper 80s. On Saturday night, we talked about going to Hameenlinna on Sunday but decided to sleep on it. In the morning, it still looked like a great idea, so we purchased the train tickets and went!

It felt like a perfect day. And it was weird because it was right after the Roe/Wade overturn, and also, it was the day of Russia’s shelling of Kiyv, so the two worst things were so much there and happening, but I still felt immensely happy, and I do not feel bad about it. It was not for a while that I didn’t worry about things and what I needed to do today and tomorrow. I liked that the weather was so nice and that we were going to see this new place, which we had planned to visit so many times, but never did.

We were not sure whether it was a good idea to go there on a big holiday weekend, but it looked like everybody who wanted to visit the castle did it on Saturday:). There were almost no visitors to the museums, and we had a great time. The only disappointment was the Birthplace of Sibelius museum; it was closed from Friday to Monday for the Midsummer.

I think we will visit Hameenlinna one more time. There was too much information in all museums to take in in one day!

Montcalm Royal

The hotel I stayed in was fancy:). And surprisingly, less expensive than many other hotels close by. I remember what Vlad taught me about the quality and level of service when he worked at Peninsula, so I recognized the level :). Interestingly, it was Peninsula Plus quality of service for half the price. The staff was exceptional. The room was great. The rooftop cafe where we had breakfast was above and beyond.

Just one funny thing I wanted to mention. The room lights, conditioner, and heating were managed from this cool panel, and there were no regular switches (except for by the bed).

Imagine how I felt when the morning of the conference I woke up, and could not “wake up” this screen! after several attempts, the following message appeared:

In London

I only stayed in London for two days, mainly at the conference, but the same as five years ago, it was great! Now for the second time, no rain all the time I stayed.

Last time, we went with Vlad, which meant that I didn’t have to worry about getting around. This time, I was a little bit nervous about how I will get around, even with Google maps, but everything turned out fine. Mostly because of exceptionally friendly people. Each time I would start to slow down and look at my phone, and then around me, somebody would ask me where I needed to go and help me get back on my route. It was truly amazing! Also, whenever I would emerge from yet another passage in the tube, somebody would ask me where I needed to go, and if that was the wrong train, they would not only tell me where to go to get on the right one but looked back to make sure I actually made all the left and right turns!

loved the hotel I stayed in (I will show the pictures in a separate post), and I enjoyed the conference, met many of my co-workers in person, met many people in general, and had a great time! I wish I had had time to do more things in London, but I hope it wasn’t the last time!

A New Twist In Biking In Helsinki

Boris had a very bad bike accident on Wednesday. He says that’s because the sun was bright and because he was not looking at the road but looking back, making sure I was not left behind. In my opinion, the problem was his state of mind. Before we went, I asked him whether he was sure we should go, and he said – yes, it might become better.

He had very serious reasons to be upset, so all is understandable, but as a result, he ran into the rear of a police car – at full speed! I am not even going to describe his face (it still looks very impressive, and actually worse than right after the accident), but the most amazing thing is that he broke a police car bumper!!!

The police filed a proper report, and the hilarious part of this story was that the officer said: we hope our insurance will cover the damage, but we need to check. Most times, it’s not the bike hitting a car, but the opposite, so we need to check whether they would cover the situations like this!

We will Keep Fighting!

My Apple watch flashed on the news in the middle of the conference, and right in the middle of me trying to figure out all the flight changes. I didn’t blog about it yesterday, because of all the other things going on, but this was the worst news of the day.

I said before that I am sorry to miss these warm summer days in Chicago, but what I really miss now – is not being able to march with others, and not being at the Federal Plaza yesterday. I just saw Igor’s pictures, and I am glad that people turned in instantaneously, but OMG… I did not believe SCOTUS will do it for real! Igor’s pictures below:

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March along Ida B. Wells Drive

So…

I thought this trip felt a bit too perfect to go as planned. I am not flying to Ireland tomorrow, and it is very sad, mostly not because of Ireland but because I won’t see my friends. The only consolation is that it would be much worse if we found it out tomorrow! I spent two hours rebooking and rearranging my life for the next five days, and somehow it was rebooked and rearranged with virtually no financial loss.
I will cover the last three days later – they were great, but now I am infinitely sad and disappointed that things didn’t happen as planned.

Suomenlinna

We didn’t plan to go to Suomenlinna on Wednesday, it happened spontaneously. I too an unplanned day off, and then a couple other unplanned things happened, and we desperately needed something positive, so we went there for just an hour and a half at the end of the day.

It was amazing, as always, and we saw a couple of newly restored buildings, and had a fancy dinner at a restaurant that we didn’t check out for a while.

It Does Not Go Away

Although I didn’t see that many refugees on a trip this time, the sense of a more massive war approaching is here. And t does not really matter whether you are now in Europe or anywhere else. Each day, the news from the front leaves me paralyzed with horror, and every day, my mind is running circles asking – why, why, why there is so little help?! I said it already multiple times, and I can repeat it again: if Russia continues pressing the Ukrainian forces out of their territory, if Russia is left victorious, it won’t stop there! There is no hope for Ukraine; there is no hope for the world; there is no hope for Russia’s rebirth as a different kind of state if this won’t be stopped