I came home last night – a flight was a little bit delayed, but otherwise nice an comfortable, and there were very few people on the aircraft. I am on the CTA on my way to the office, and I have a detail appointment after work, and somehow I need to squizz in a conference call on a non-work-related topic.
I still want to post another hundred pictures from Tallinn, which I hope to accomplish in the next couple of days. Life goes on.
And here is… well, I had an “economy light” fare, which meant no luggage… but I know how to use my carry-on wisely 🙂
While in Helsinki, I try to combine work and doing something interesting together. Until today, the weather was great, sunny, and not as cold as everybody told me it was going to be, so we went on long bike rides every day, including the very first day I came.
Boris discovered several new bike routes, and each day, our ride was different and very scenic. Boris often reminds me the story which happened to me on one of my early visits, when I thought that if I needed to get from one point on the shore to another point on the shore, I could do so by walking along the shoreline:)
I am not making this mistake anymore, but all three of our rides were along the shoreline (for my love of it :)).
Nobody bothered to tell me that the pictures in the previous post were not visible (and I know that many people saw that post). I just realized it and fixed the pictures, so if you are curious about what you’ve missed, you can check it out :).
Now – more pictures! This morning, my friend Natasha gave us a tour of the famous Oodi library. Boris and I visited it shortly after it was opened, but even then, we realized that we needed a tour with a Finnish-speaking person :). Then, it was COVID, and finally, it happened!
I think everybody heard about the Oodi library in Helsinki. One might say that none of the features is unique, but being brought together under one roof of the building designed to host the best library you can imagine makes it one of a kind.
Except for everybody wearing masks, I do not see any material difference between traveling now and pre-pandemic. There are not that many people traveling, but close to that. First time in a year and a half, I didn’t need to present a copy of my marriage certificate, just the passport, and the vaccination card. That’s all that was required for boarding, and the same thing in Helsinki – my passport and vaccination card. The border control office even joked like in old times about me visiting “for just a couple of days” and about being torn between two countries.
The food was close to normal (almost), and the new cameras on the aircraft are just OMG!!!
On Monday, I met with my friend Natasha, and we had a long walk. Let me tell you this: Boris does not like eating outside, and never did. I mean, he really dislikes eating outside. And I always loved it, and my kids love it :). It always surprised me, that in Finland, people love eating outside so much, even in a very cold weather. And they make it fun! I can’t imagine eating outside in Chicago at 10F temperature and not feeling miserable. But yesterday, sitting by the open fire at Regatta, I enjoyed it immensely!
it is pretty cold and snowy, but ironically not as cold as in Palatine – over there, it’s negative Fahrenheit, and in Helsinki, it is from 10 F to 21F. we are going fro long walks (because that’s more or less all we can do :)), and I sleep and do not work 🙂
There is still almost no snow in Helsinki, and we were biking almost every day. The surrounding is still beautiful, although Boris didn’t give me any chances to stop to take pictures. Except of yesterday, when he lost me :).
My Helsinki bike is a city bike, not very fast, although quite decent. As for Boris, he has a new bike now, which is really fast :). So most of the time he has to slow down, or to stop sometimes to wait fro me. Yesterday, it started funny, but ended up not being so funny. I wanted to stop for a bathroom break; I knew that there were several places along the bike path, and I called Boris to stop when I saw one, and waved that I am crossing the street to the facility. Somehow he didn’t realize what was going on, and when I got out, I saw him biking back. I yelled, but he didn’t hear me. I could still reach him if I would hop on the bike right away, but I was absolutely sure he has his phone on him, so I called… Both of his phones. And when I realized that he has none on him, it was already late – I could not see which way he turned.
I knew how to get home, but I didn’t have a key! And I remember how I stared at my key when I was about to leave the house, and thinking: we are going together, I do not want to risk losing a key! And so that you know, this key opens not only our flat, but also the building entrance and the bike storage. And it was getting cold and dark, and I didn’t have a light on my bike.