I’ve been in Oulu, Finland for a few days now, and thankfully last night I actually got to go out and see a few things. Jari and Seppo were nice enough to take me to a pretty fancy Russian restaurant last night where we had some great food, nice wine, and of course some type of random vodka shot. Afterwards, we sort of started our own mini pub crawl, checking out a few of the bars in the Oulu downtown. I really love the architecture over here. I’m not sure how you’d really describe it, but everything is really quant and different looking. Last night was pretty cool because there was this fog over most of the city, and it made everything feel slightly dreamy (or maybe that was just the beer?) Poor Jari had to get on a plane at 5am, and around 1am (after ample amounts of liquor) he was looking pretty rough. Thankfully he called and reserved a cab last night to take him to the airport.
Tomorrow evening I head back to Helsinki. I’ve sort of tossed a few ideas around of what to do after that.. Originally I was going to spend a few days in Helsinki and then maybe try and get to somewhere else in Europe. Unfortunately though, the airlines haven’t been cooperating. I was hoping to change my Helsinki-London leg of the flight to be a few days earlier so that I could see London and Paris possibly. No go — I’m not allowed any stop overs in Europe with that fare class. Next I debated just tossing that segment completely and showing up in London on my own. Jason told me I might not be able to do this, and after checking into it, I’m definitely not allowed. If I don’t show up for my first leg, they’ll basically cancel and resell my seat on the second leg, so that plan got tossed pretty quick. I briefly debated buying a return ticket to Paris from Helsinki, but since I don’t really like flying, and am a little broke lately (thanks to my new laptop and vacation in Seattle), shelling out $1000 for a flight and a few hotel rooms to walk around one of the world’s most romantic cities by myself didn’t really excite me enough.
So, I had to make a pretty big compromise. Almost all the flight segments I could change my ticket to were full except for the one on Saturday. So, I’ve changed my flights around and I’ll be coming home this weekend. I fly from Helsinki to London early in the morning on Saturday, and leave for Vancouver later than night. I’m going to take the train from Heathrow to downtown London and spend Saturday snapping photos and enjoying the warmth of the 51st parallel. I think the high is around 13C, and it will be a nice break from a week of snow and cold. Maybe I’ll save Paris for my next girlfriend.
Around 6:30pm on Saturday (Vancouver time) I’ll break through the clouds above Vancouver and catch a glimpse of the sun setting over the pacific ocean once again. Either that or a whole bunch of rain.