So my lovelies, I have decided to try blogging again. This time I actually have something worthwhile to talk about (aka Finland) although as we all must acknowledge, the midlife crisis a dryer is very important. Perhaps not to some, but for instance the Maytag man, I am sure he'd love the dryers here.
Anyway, gather around children as I tell the story of a magical land called Finland, where travelers can only hope to explore if they find the right wardrobe in the highest-rated hostel. It began a long time ago, two weeks, when our four heroes, Genevieve, Peter, Colin, and Kelsey found themselves left behind for the weekend in the international dorm while their fellow internationals were, well, being international. Many had left to see the old, yet expensive city of Riga (Latvia), while another when to Tallinn and Helsinki. In spite of their self inflicted abandonment, they decided to come together (over chili cheese hashbrowns, beer, and Blazing Saddles) and take a trip to Helsinki the next weekend.
That week they divided and conquered. Everyone had different tasks to accomplish such as finding housing, the cost of transportation, entertainment, and touristy things to do. The Finnish consume the most coffee when compared to other countries (oddly enough, never saw a Startbucks there). My guess is perhaps because the alcohol is SO expensive there (about $6 a beer). As a result, bringing beers in addition to clothes was also arranged. Planning the trip was not the only obstacle facing the four travelers, staying home that Wednesday night instead of going to Illusion, a club that used to be a Soviet theater, almost killed our favorite, Kelsey.
So Thursday morning, the sleepy excited travelers clambered down the freshly waxed stairs of the dormitory into dark snowy wonderland that is Tartu at 4am. On the bus ride from Tartu to Tallinn Kelsey (who really needed the sleep) managed to nap. Unlike her bus ride from the airport to the university many weeks ago, she managed to sleep without creating a waterfall of drool on window.
Now, the ferry that would take them across the Baltic to Helsinki, was going to leave within an hour of the group arriving in Tallinn. Surprisingly, none of them had extensive knowledge of the town; however, Peter managed to steal Kelsey's map of Tallinn and correctly navigate them to the harbor. Sadly, Kelsey slipped and fell so many damn times! It was traumatizing. Fortunately, her beer managed to make it onto the ferry without a single crack. In general they were lucky to make it onto the ferry (the people and the beers) because when the explorers arrived to the harbor, ticket sales had officially closed. But as fate would have it, the robotic-like saleswomen allowed all four to buy tickets. It was quite a scene, my dears. Wallets were flying, sweaty passports coming out of secret pockets located beneath layers of clothes, the steely sound of "Please hurry" coming from within the glass containers, the faint clinking sound of beer bottles rattling as the travelers made their way through the endless hallway to the boat, and the alarming warning beep to signal that the boat was leaving.
The travelers were on a boat, perhaps not with flippy floppies, but they were on a boat... in the icy Baltic!
h/o... will get back to this. (5 minutes later) Sorry, I had to decimate some pear yogurt.
So where was I? Mk, the Americans landed in Finland! And they were hungry! But before they could delve into a vat of Finnish goodness, they had to check into Helsinki's highest-rated hostel, of which I cannot remember the name. However, it was the best! The charming and wise hostel lady suggested to the weary travelers that the pizza buffet, Iguana was cheap and they could stuff their faces without looking to suspicious. Now, here comes one of the magical parts. Are you ready? ...The water was free! I know, omg! There were three kinds of pizza, salad, and chips/salsa! Once they had reached their fill, they returned to the hostel for a short nap of three hours.
That night due to the high exchange rate of kroons to euros, the group made spaghetti and played Spades. This time the loosing team had to eat a handful of spaghetti instead of the traditional chocolate vodka shots as punishment. After a few duels, they decided to go to a bar. Located in the basement of an Italian restaurant, the Ice Bar was as the name suggests, composed of ice. The walls were ice. The tables were ice. The bar shelves were ice. And there was ice in the drinks. Each person tried different vodka mix .