josephbrowning (josephbrowning) wrote,
josephbrowning
josephbrowning

Finland

We have arrived in Finland! To be more precise, we have arrived and slept, and have woken up at 4am because of that great thing we all know and love: jet lag. It was an interesting journey, mostly moments of banal mundanity coupled with surreal WTF moments, such as when we have 45 minutes to connect in Stockholm - 45 minutes to disembark, go through customs, go through security again, go all the way across the airport and get on the flight to Helsinki. We were 3rd to last to get on the plane (only because they held it) and our luggage didn't make it. It did arrive on the later flight so it was waiting for us when we finally got back to the hotel after a day upon the town with our new Finnish friends, Jukka and Katri.

Katri is very outgoing and, at least from my perspective, very organized. She spent most of the day yesterday showing us the old city center wherein we took a tram about town and I admired brickwork. It's a strange pastime of mine - I love to see the different styles of construction based upon such a simple item. From a role-playing perspective, something as simple as a particular pattern of brickwork for one town is an easy way to provide the illusion of reality for a world. We traveled from the more well-to-do places into the former worker's quarters (apparently there's a bridge we crossed that is the traditional divide between these two worlds) and you could see an immediate change in the ornateness of the work - although he practical qualiies of the construction remained at least outwardly similar.

Jukka is a wry one with a dry sense of humor who appears to be as organized as Katri. Perhaps being organized is a trait commonly associated with the Finnish, but perhaps it it just our two primary hosts who are somewhat self-selected. One doesn't successfully run conventions and host strangers from foreign lands without having at least some quality organizationally abilities, after all.

Finland proper has so far been a beautiful place and we have been blessed with beautiful weather. We had an excellent light lunch on the Baltic Sea coast, an drink on the tallest tower in downtown (great views) and, IMO, a very well done dinner at Elite such that I haven't had before in terms of presentation - pure quality. The taste was excellent as well, with the rhubarb soup and vanilla parfait dessert being the highlight of a very good dinner.

We've managed to catch a bit of sleep, but we're jet lagged quite a bit right now. Soon breakfast at the hotel will open up at 6:30am, although the sun opened up a good two hours ago (sunrise a 5am is a unique experience) and we'll get some food in our stomachs and maybe that will urge us into another hour of two of nap before heading towards the museums today.
Tags: finland
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