Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The best laid plans

We arrived in Oulu last night at 21:30. I need to add FINALLY to that sentence.

Our adventure began Sunday, but not as planned.

Bad weather canceled the NWA flight fr0m Marquette so we were bussed to Green Bay in the rain and fog, slept for four hours on the benches at Austin Straubel--love the all night music and blaring lights--an early flight to Chicago with an 8 hour layover before the flight to Amsterdam.

We took advantage of the Chicago visit to tour Ron's brother Denny's new condo downtown and see the city. A walk in the cold rain was delightful after too many hours breathing used air in the airports.

The flight to Amsterdam was smooth and we tried to sleep. When we arrived in Helsinki yesterday at 13:30, we still had 9 more hours of travel, 6 by train and 3 by bus.

The good news, we have all of our luggage, 10 pieces including Lyle and Amy's ski bag that looks like we're traveling with a 8 foot long black cordura covered pipe 20 inches in diameter that Lyle lifted from the project at work--but it's really Jeff Stasser's body bag.

We're a group to watch loading the train. Jo says we look like gypsies. I think we're even making the Finns crack a smle.

Once we got in the country, however, things started looking up. We were on the bus to the train station in less than half an hour. Then on the train within 30 minutes it just took some time to figure out our seat numbers but their transportation system is like clockwork and it seems folks take advantage of it. We have lots to learn in this country by reducing our carbon footprint.

The train and bus stations are also identified by the bike racks. They have as much snow as the Copper Country and still bikes are lined up outside ready to roll.

Instead of salt they put pea gravel, apparently lava rock, on the streets and sidewalks.

Again, we have lots to learn.

But now to finish our transport to Kuusamo.

We are all refreshed from a night sleeping horizontal and a shower.

More to come,


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