Saturday, September 15, 2007

Finland, Paimio (9/9/07)

Today was an easy, laid back day to enjoy our last day in Finland. We took our time waking up, getting ready and eating breakfast. When we were ready for the day Mette took us to see a few final things in Paimio. First we went to see the indoor (cross-country) skiing rink ... burrrrr, it was cold. We decided that we didn't want to rent equipment and ski since it was quite expensive.
Instead Mette drove us to the ski jumping competition – the same place that Chris and I went with Lassi and climbed the stairs to the top a couple days before. This time of course, there were people actually flying down the ski jump and landing on the plastic “ground” beneath them. We saw crazy people of all ages – men and women – jumping for the longest distance prize. Girls and boys as young as 11 & women and men into their later years were competing and Chris, Mette & I watched in amazement. We all agreed that we could not (rather, would not) ever attempt that sport!

Later that afternoon we returned to the house and waited for some of my friends to come over. Mette arranged for Leena & Rosa – two – of my good friends during my exchange year – to visit that afternoon. Once they both got to the house we had tea and coffee and just talked a lot about how our lifes were going now and what had happened in the last 12 years. A lot had changed. Each one is now living outside of Paimio and doing really well. Neither one had changed much (they said the same about me, I guess 12 years isn't really all that long in the grand scheme of things) and I was really glad that we had the opportunity to see one another again. It was a sad goodbye – again – but our visit felt just like the old times when we would sit around gabbing and drinking coffee. Hopefully we'll be able to see each other again.

Shortly after Leena & Rosa left the house Mette told us that she too would head home soon. Her house was about an 1.5 hrs away and as everyone knows, Monday mornings come early! It was hard to say goodbye because we had such a great time during our visit but hopefully we will see each other again before too long. Chris and I headed off to our last sauna in Finland and then packed our bags for the next part of our journey. Kassu and Sari would take us to the boat dock in the morning and we would be heading out to Sweden. Our sincerest thanks to Mette and The Gronlunds for their hospitality ~ we really hope to be able to return the favor someday when you visit us in Sacramento.

OH ... here are some pictures of Chris tasting the jarred herring with potatoes that is a traditional Finnish food, mostly eaten at Christmas time. Considering that he doesn't like fish in general, he got major points for trying it out :)


  1. Rico and I just returned from Dan and Lori's - another wonderful dinner w/great friends. We had a great time and we talked a bit about your trip and the last time they were in Helsinki ... they talked about the church in the big square (senate square?). Richard and I are going to drive to the condo tomorrow and check it out. It's been incredible weather here so we might take a dip in the pool... and then get some exercise in the gym. We'll check the condo to make sure all is well.. Love you lots. Give Lisa a big hug for me.

  2. BTW - was that Rosie? or another Rosa?