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El albergue

El albergue

Monday, August 27, 2012

So long for now, my friend


According to the vendor, hats are the cheapest way to
get a face lift...who knew?

Helsinki now lies many miles behind.  I glance across the stiffly tumbled bodies of my two sleeping neighbors out the window at an expanse of fluffy white clouds that occasionally part to reveal glimpses of some country below – which it is I have no clue.  And yet just a few hours ago I was saying goodbye to my friend before she headed off the work.  I was looking around the quiet apartment to make sure I had left nothing.  I was walking between train and bus on my way to the airport.  Now, behind me is a truly beautiful country, one whose plants seem to be fairly be bursting forth with fresh life and vigor as they make the most of the sunny hours before dark winter comes, one whose interesting architecture and sweeping landscapes both make for pleasant vistas, one whose people are quietly friendly and inviting.  

Picnic time!
I’ve really enjoyed my week in Finland.  I had my doubts at first about being on my own so much, but I passed many a pleasantly contemplative moment in silence, with no need for making conversation and no worries about whether I might or might not be boring my travel partner out of their mind.  It was quiet.  It was peaceful.  It was thoughtful.  

Of course the observation deck would have a fighter jet
And the rest of the time, I really enjoyed spending time with my friend Elina.  We hadn’t seen each other or even talked a whole lot for a year and a half due to our separate busy lives, and yet right off from the start our friendship felt as sure as it had when we were hanging out in Madrid in the fall of 2010.  We had lots of lovely and fun conversations as well as plenty of moments of companionable silence.  She showed me around and took care of me – she was quite a wonderful hostess.  We shared delicious food, went on walks, ventured out in kayaks, picked wild blueberries and raspberries, enjoyed an afternoon at the public sauna, rummaged through a flea market, picnicked on rocks overlooking the bay, watched a marathon, visited important city sites, and generally packed quite a lot into these days we were together.  Overall, a most excellent, excellent trip.

Picking blueberries in Central Park

Go, go, go!

Such peace, such peace...

Until next time, Elina!

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