tiistai 24. tammikuuta 2017

Trip To Finland By Land & Sea (Part 2)

You know how some smells just belong to certain places? The crispy December morning that our ship arrived to the Vuosaari harbor, I knew I was home. I knew it already from smell of the air. The incredibly bad coffee we had had on board had already informed us that we were approaching my dear motherland.

Our schedule was packed all the way from the first day until the last one. I had to get directly from the harbor to an other city called Lahti to attend my driving licence course. In Finland the driving licence is unfortunately passed in three parts and I still had to finish the two last ones. Luckily I had found a driving school that would arrange me to pass the last parts in just three days. Buuut this meant that right from the beginning I would have to sacrifice so much time on something else than being with my family and friends. Well, duty is duty. What marks still this holiday in my mind is the incredible, painful, tiredness! We didn't waste time on such things as sleeping!

We certainly spent our time efficiently, but we were not quite prepared to just how short our time in Finland would feel. Already a few days before having to get on the ship again, we found ourselves really sad. I'm not in general a homesick person, but this time I can really say that I had really missed being in my own country. How easy it was to communicate and how natural everything felt. Of course I did discover also the things that annoy me about Finland (non existent customer service, people don't talk to each other, nobody says hello etc..), but it is still where I come from and despite of everything; the place where I have my roots.

The eleven days we spent there were wonderful and made us determined to come back at latest the next summer. 

So we started our journey, descending slowly back from the north to our southern home. We stopped for New Year in Strasbourg. Of that stop I just remember the cold that had been eating me alive the whole day (the cold of southern Europe has nothing to do with the north's) and the hunger. Our New Year's eve was pretty much us two on the streets of Strasbourg looking for food. To our surprise everything was closed (security measures?) so finding something to fill our bellies was a kind of a mission. Finally, we found a restaurant that was fully booked for the evening, but allowed us to eat outside. They had heat lamps and blankets so we accepted since it seemed like our only chance to have something to eat that night. Eventually other desperate tourists joined us for a freezing New Year's eve meal on the terrace. But everybody was on a good mood and we were happy, we were back safe in France. When we arrived to Strasbourg, we noticed immediately the change of the common mood compared to Germany and Finland. People smiled to strangers on the streets and treated each other with more politeness.

Next day we hopped on the TGV and were back in Avignon by early afternoon :)

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