Rambling Robert's Travels

This blog chronicals the travels of myself, Rambling Robert, on my next adventure to South America.

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I am a world traveller. I do not work as such. I have been homeless and unemployed since 1October 2003. I worked as a chef for 30 years in America.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

travel update finland

Greetings from St Petersburg Russia,
I arrived in St Petersburg (SP) from Helsinki on 29 June at 7am. After a marvellous week in Finland, visiting with my good time friend and travelling mate, Samuel. After Sam met me at the Ferry station from Estonia, we went and got Tom at the Airport. Sam took us to an apartment of his friend Harry, who was going to allow us to stay there and use the flat for the duration of our visit in Helsinki. The flat was nice modern rather large one room studio, with a kitchenette. Harry had been in some kind of accident and his face was badly bruised. He was going to stay with his sister and therefore we had the place to ourselves.
For the first two days Samuel took us all around Helsinki and one of the islands in the harbor called Suomenlinna. This island had been a fortress island to protect the city against marauding Vikings, and invading Germans, Danes, and Swedes. There are lots of old fortifications and it is generally a beautiful green island with lots of birds and flowers. The weather was warm and the sky was blue and we had a great time there.
In Helsinki, we looked at all the old historic buildings and statues. Now, I enjoy this kind of thing. and truly, Europe is the best place to look at such stuff, but I get a little tired of it. We bought some beer and hung out at a lovely park where lots of people stroll down the center lane and sun bath. There was a jazz saxophone player who was very good and he was blowing that horn for free and we sat in the grass and listened to the sounds of the city with jazz in the air.
After two fine days in beautiful Helsinki, Tom and I went with Samuel and 4 of his friends, Sami, Katia, Ryah, and bruised face Harry, to the summer cottage of Katia, who is a work mate of Sami and Ryah. The cottage turns out to be more like a stunning compound of several cottages and a smokey sauna on Finlands third largest lake. We stayed there for 4 days, to celebrate the Summer festival called Jaunas Which means White Nights. The principle form that this celebration takes is drinking alcohol and eating way too much food!
The lake had stunning views. We got to experience the midnight sun, that is to say, The sun never really sets. Finland is on the same lattitude as Alaska USA. It is the farthest north I have ever been on planet Earth. The lake is only about 200 kilometers from the artctic circle. For 3 months per year it never actually gets what one would call dark. We had a great albeit drunken 4 days there.
The Finnish Smokey Sauna, is a Small well insulated room with a fire box and on top of the fire box a big pile of volcanic stones. They fill the box with wood and close the doors and open a small vent and the place gets very hot inside. The fire is smokey as can be, and after 2or 3 hours they open the doors and vent out the smoke and we get in and sweat. the aromas of wood smoke and the heat are fabulous together. I felt like a giant smoked salmon! While you are in there, you beat yourself with bunches of leafy birch branches. these branches and especially the leaves have a kind of oil in them and it feels and smells wonderful.
Ah yes and it is so and so it goes. Finally we drove back to Helsinki for more of the same Jazz in the park, but a different band. Actually I heard 3 very good jazz performances for free in the parks of Helsinki. It is a great place for people watching, ice cream eating and beer drinking. Samuel showed us all the best stuff, and translated everything we were interested in. Finally, our time there was done and now I am in Holy Mother Russia.
I will go to Moscow in 2 more days, and for now, i am just enjoying St.Petersburg, though Russia is already proving to be as difficult as the rumors from other travelers have told us. Enough for now.
Peace and love to all of you
"What would our world be like if we ceased to worry about "right" and "wrong," or "good" and "evil," and simply acted so as to maximize well-being, our own and that of others? Would we lose anything important?" Sam Harris
"Only the gentle are ever really strong." James Dean
"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."Albert Einstein


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