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Today while the blossoms....

 We got up too early!  We took the train to Turku!   We got to sit in the top car!  Tero met us at the station with his little girl and a picnic basket! He drove us to the island of Parainen!  Our room is overlooking the harbor!  We had a beer on the terrace!  (I've decided that all outdoor places with little tables are places to have beer.  Even Finnish beer - which is mostly pilsner & lager, not my faves.  Not that I've had that much - but I now believe it anyway.)  We took a nap!  We went for a walk and found a farmers market and bought homemade blueberry pie, and walked further along the canal and found the tourist office and got all our questions answered about taking a 3-hour boat cruise to tomorrow's island and what ferries we can take to island Selli where the seals are when we get there!  (Me worrying about whether we need reservation - guy says, "Oh, yesterday he was only half full.  And if it's like today....[i.e. perfect beach weather]..."  So behold me not worrying.)  We went back to that fish cafe we'd passed (oh, whyyyy didn't I take a picture of the sign???) and at 5 pm convinced them to give us plates with samples of everything (well, not everything) in the display case:  home smoked Norwegian salmon, stuffed smoked local salmon, broiled Baltic something, "sweet" pickled herring, herring in mustard/dill . . . with salad & new potatoes that I swear must have known Mother Earth this morning!  Tea came with the meal! Delia & I fought over the last scrapings of the mustard sauce.  We sat outside!  We took out our pie and had it with the tea!  We'd eaten half of it before we realized that what the lady had been trying to tell us may well have been "bake it in the oven at 375 for ten minutes!"  (Though I still don't think so - I mean, the berries were perfectly cooked.  The underlayer was kind of like a giant butter cookie.  It could have been meant to be still crumbly....)  We found a tiny flea market!  I bought an illustrated childrens' book from 1949, and some knitted hedgehogs!!!!!   We came back to the hotel!  I checked out the sauna for later!

And here we are, typing and looking out the window of a fairly modest hotel with a perfect view, after a string of tiny pleasures of the sort we particularly love.  I knew I'd forget if I didn't write them down.

For a more balanced, reasoned & aesthetic narrative of our travels (with maybe a bit less food) . . . read deliasherman .  (And tell her you love her - I sure do!)

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( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Jul. 21st, 2010 04:04 pm (UTC)
I don't know you but
stumbling into this has made me happy today. i smile broadly to myself even though i am alone right now. <3
csecooney
Jul. 21st, 2010 04:04 pm (UTC)
I LOVE that song! My mother used to sing it to me for a lullaby. I like this line best:

"I'll be a dandy and I'll be a rover
You'll know who I am by the song that I sing..."

But I ALSO really love this line:

"I can't be contented with yesterday's glories
I can't live on promises winter to spring."

But you know what I REALLY LOVE?

All your happy exclamation points! I think you must be having a marvelous, marvelous time!
miep
Jul. 22nd, 2010 02:26 am (UTC)
today is my hour
and now is my story
I'll laugh and I'll cry and I'll sing.

my mom, too.
janni
Jul. 21st, 2010 05:34 pm (UTC)
"... still cling to the vine / I'll taste your strawberries / I'll drink your sweet wine ..."
teroyks
Jul. 21st, 2010 06:26 pm (UTC)
Glad to see you're having fun in Parainen! And the hedgehogs are very cute. :-)
ellen_kushner
Jul. 21st, 2010 07:31 pm (UTC)
You will meet them soon!
la_marquise_de_
Jul. 21st, 2010 06:56 pm (UTC)
The hedgehogs are adorable.
jay_of_lasgalen
Jul. 21st, 2010 07:33 pm (UTC)
You sound excited! And with good reason; it sounds like a wonderful day - apart from the fish, which I can't eat :( I could never live with Alec :( :(
ndgmtlcd
Jul. 21st, 2010 07:46 pm (UTC)
I hope that you'll have time to visit Turku Castle. It's much more beautiful than it looks in the "standard" pictures. It's also much bigger. There's a huge museum inside. When I was there I zipped through in scarcely more than one hour when I sould have taken five to really enjoy it.
ellen_kushner
Jul. 22nd, 2010 02:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the advice! We plan to storm the Crafts Museum - and if there's time, now we'll try to capture the Castle as well.
movingfinger
Jul. 21st, 2010 10:47 pm (UTC)
Keep alert for fresh cloudberries!

No one on earth does summer as well as the Scandinavians. No one appreciates it as much, I do believe.
ellen_kushner
Jul. 23rd, 2010 01:44 pm (UTC)
This was such a nice (and true) comment that someone quoted it in Twitter!
miep
Jul. 22nd, 2010 02:27 am (UTC)
ohhhhhhh hedgies!!!

please eat some ice cream on the street for me. I have such fond memories of Finland from my short stay there when I was young and wild...

and if you find out what those breakfast savory pastry thingies are called, that seem to be rye pancakes folded around creamed rice, please tell me.
(Anonymous)
Jul. 22nd, 2010 05:52 am (UTC)
Those things are called "karjalanpiirakka" in Finnish, the word translates to carelian pie (although it's actually not a pie ;) ). Wikipedia to the rescue: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karelian_pasties

-Ben-
miep
Jul. 22nd, 2010 01:26 pm (UTC)
Aha! from Karelia, you say? they are so good!
kondooritar
Jul. 22nd, 2010 06:31 am (UTC)
Glad to see you are having fun! Blueberrypie is often slightly raw on the cookie dough, so not to worry, it was probably just as it was supposed to be. Even better with some vanilla ice cream or sauce.

I am so happy that your tour of Finland is in such a good week, it's always good for us to show the great sides of our little country to such guests like you, who will definitely take the message of Finland way beyond our borders:)
ellen_kushner
Jul. 22nd, 2010 02:00 pm (UTC)
Oh, hullo there! Nice to see you here! And thank you for confirming that I was RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT about the pie. I have just posted a photo of its timely demise.

We are making everyone as jealous as possible with our descriptions of Finland - whether or not they can make it here, now they all want to, anyway!
keeloca
Jul. 22nd, 2010 12:20 pm (UTC)
This sounds all very nice and all, but why do all the authors go to Finland, and never to Sweden? Sweden is very nice. We have ale and porter and stout. And then there's weissebeer. And, yes, a whole lot of lager, too.
ellen_kushner
Jul. 22nd, 2010 02:00 pm (UTC)
Because, my dear, authors are invited by Finncon & paid for by various strategems & government grants.

There, wasn't that simple?

I am sorry, though. Your beer sounds so much better.
teroyks
Jul. 22nd, 2010 04:00 pm (UTC)
Sweden has many interesting authors visit their conventions every year - maybe you've just missed their reports (or they have been the not-so-much-blogging kind)?
keeloca
Jul. 23rd, 2010 01:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, no, I've been to quite a few of these conventions - but by 'all' authors I pretty much mean Hal Duncan and Ellen Kushner, two of my favourites. And two of the few whose blogs I do read.

Hyperbole. Gotta love it.
teroyks
Jul. 23rd, 2010 01:12 pm (UTC)
In that case, have to gloat a bit: Hal is visiting Finland again later this year, for the fourth time in the last few years. :-)
ellen_kushner
Jul. 23rd, 2010 01:46 pm (UTC)
Ah - I saw Hal's Tweets that he was Finland-bound . . . did you seduce him, too, by way of Finncon? From now on I shall be *horribly* jealous of his ability to jump across the little water to see you whenever he takes a notion....
teroyks
Jul. 23rd, 2010 01:59 pm (UTC)
Hal was the GoH of the first Åcon a couple of years back, and that's where the Finnish fandom fell in love with him (and vice versa). He also set the bar for Åcon GoHs quite high, staying up all night partying for every night during the convention…
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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