When it rains in Finland, it pours...for days. And apparently bus drivers don't feel obligated to stop for you just because you are waiting at the correct stop. Due to these two facts we found ourselves walking about 3.5 km in a Finnish downpour to the Silja ferry terminal. We arrived 2 hours after we started our "swim" only moments before check in, soaked to the bone with dripping wet luggage and righteous anger, not having eaten in about 10 hours.
After an hour long wait at the terminal gates, we found our cabin and started our journey out of the no longer beloved country.
Our first roommate was an older Finnish woman returning to her home in Sweden. She, like her Scandinavian counterparts, was a fan of the tax free shop on board. She also talked Jana into trading beds with her because she didn't want the top bunk.
Our 2nd roommate was a 25 year old art therapy student from Tampere, going to school in Helsinki and going only as far as the boat stop in the Aaland Islands so she could work for a few days on a cruise ship there. We decided to invite her along to dinner in yet another cafe, this one with incredibly bad food.
Her name was Setu. And she asked a lot of questions about the US. By the time the whole conversation was over, I think we might have scared her off a little. It wasn't so much the way that people seem to be in the states, well in regards to common traffic laws and the like, it was really our lack of a solid transit system. She was confused why we didn't just bioke to work and we sort of laughed at the idea. Jocelyn has to drive on 50 and would probably get killed on her way over. There is the potential for Jana but even she's a little reluctant to do that.
So the next ,orning we awoke to find Setu gone. She was up and out at 2am, but not without leaving a smqll note for Jana first. (I had left a small note for her wishing her luck and offering her a place to stay in case she ever ,ade it to the States)-- She left a painting offering us a place to stay shouldwe ever come back to Finland.
We arrived in Stockholm and it appeared the rain followed us. We took a hop on hop off tour by boat and saw all of the major sites... well sort of. We sqw Vasa, the last in-tact Man of War from the 1600s still in existence as well as the Royal Palace... from a distance. Before we left we went to TGI Fridays for lunch and geeked it out hard core before walking 12 blocks for a quick dip into the Hard Rock Cafe. Then it was a taxi cab ride back to the Silja Ter,inal where we had locked up our bags and off to the Bromma Airport, which let ,e just say is TINY. It had a grand total of 10 gates and it had hours of operation! Their airport actually closed after 10!
So we finally caught our plane and flew the two and a half hours to Brussels Airport only to hike about 2 km to the baggage claim. Our baggage was circling by the time we got there. Finally, we spent about 30 minutes before finally conceding defeat to the Brussels train system and hired a taxi to get us to the Queen Anne Hotel. And here we sit, hqving officially waited out the rain that followed us AGAIN. But it's sunny for the moment so we are outta here.