Sunday, July 25, 2010

FINLAND!!!! MARATHON!!! SWEDEN!!! LONDON!!!!!!!!!! TRIP!!!!!!:)

Well I suppose it's time now, with most of my photos being uploaded, FINALLY, to tell all about my trip to Finland, Sweden, and London!!! First off IT WAS AMAZING!! And just TOO many things to go into detail about each one!! Soooooooo let's do it like this: BULLET POINT STYLE!!!

Finland (June 25 - July 3)

Helsinki (June 25)

  • Arriving in Helsinki had about 5 hours to tour Helsinki, so walked in ONE big circle around Helsinki, seeing these sites:
    • PAAVO NURMI STATUE (at the Helsinki Olympic Stadion)
    • Helsinki Olympic Stadion (and YES that is how Finns spell Stadium!!)
    • A number of beautiful cathedrals!! (pics on picasaweb, link will be below if you want to check those out)
    • Two or Three beautiful Government buildings
Like I said for Helsinki you just have to look at the pics to understand what I did and saw!! Words cannot describe the beauty of the city!!:)

Turku (June 26 - July 3)
  • Biked a LOT!! 4 out of the 8 days I was there was biking!! Now understanding that I had to rest up for my marathon, otherwise it definitely would have been 8 out of 8 days of biking!!
  • Saturday (First biking day) was really dissecting Turku which was basically going wherever, no goal or point of arrival set!! The best way I think to see a town!! Bike riding total = 9 hours!!
  • Found a REALLY REALLY REALLY AWESOME park that day!! Check the pics out!! You'll see!:)
  • Sunday (Second biking day) was along the North West shore of Turku following the river up to the most Northwestern point one could get without going to Ruissalo (the island)!! This was more industrial and some parts residential!! Bike riding total = 8 hours!!
  • Monday (Third biking day) was the North East and South East part of Turku which was more parks and residential!! Bike riding total = 10 hours!! 
  • Tuesday (Fourth and last biking day before resting for the marathon) was the Islands!! In the morning was Ruissalo Island (Northwest) and in the afternoon was supposed to be Hirvensalo but missed my turn to the bridge and ended up just biking around random parts of the South West of Turku!! BEST missed turn outcome ever!! Found some beautiful cross country skiing trails and followed those!! Then around 8:30pm headed back out to conquer Hirvensalo, now that I had a map and knew where I was going!! Biking total = 15 hours!!:) And that was Tuesday, 4 days before the marathon!!;)
  • Wednesday - Friday up to the marathon (Saturday) were rest days!!
  • Wednesday I moved from my Hostel to Hotel Harriet (more downtown then along the shore) and vegged in my OWN room watching some tv!!
  • Thursday and Friday just walked around Turku and tried to hit places I didn't see on bike, and found a REALLY cool Renaissance type fair of Old School Finland!! Definitely check out the pics for that!!:)
  • Saturday was RACE!!! Paavo Nurmi Marathon was scheduled for a 1:20pm start which definitely was unique and played a big factor on how the marathon played out for me!! I ran a 4 hrs. 31 min. 24 sec marathon and was NOT happy when I crossed the finish line! My goal time was 3 hrs. 10-20 min. To put into perspective on how the first half went I ran a 1 hr. 40 min half!! Meaning the second half of the marathon was almost 3 HOURS!! Yeah ran out of steam at the 15-16 mile mark!!!
  • Sunday was transition day!!! Meaning goodbye Finland (sadly) and HELLO Sweden (happily)!! To make this transition a reality I rode Viking Ferry (a beautiful ship) from the Port of Turku to Åland Islands to the port of Stockholm, Sweden!! All in all a 15 hr. boat ride!!:)

Sweden (July 4 - July 11)

Stockholm (July 4 - July 11)
  • Monday (first biking day) was the first day back on the bike again after the marathon and I had no clue what to expect from my muscles, BUT everything felt GREAT and not too sore in the hammies!!:) Monday was South East Stockholm and about 6 hours total on the bike!!! South East Stockholm is mostly business, residential, and shopping!!
  • Tuesday (second biking day) was North East Stockholm and that was a lot different than Monday!! A lot more biking paths/trails and peaceful!! Very nice day it was!!!
  • Wednesday (third/last biking day) was South West and North West Stockholm!! This was a lot more residential and Churchish!!! A bunch of beautiful Cathedrals were tightly packed into this area!!
  • Thursday was KAYAKING all day!!!! The launching site was North West Stockholm and I got as far East as Old Stockholm Island, then kayaked South for about a mile, then headed West around Longest Bridge Island, then headed home!! All in all started at 10am and finished around 5:30pm!!! It was a FANTASTIC day!!:)
  • Friday was walking around Central Stockholm day!!! I covered All corners of Stockholm via bike, and planned to cover Central Stockholm which is cluttered with tourists, traffic, and businesses by walking!! Way to cluttered and frustrating to be on a bike during that time!! Visited 2 museums (one was a Viking's exhibit) and ate at Hard Rock Cafe: Stockholm!!!:)
  • Saturday was another traveling day!! Walked around Stockholm a little before getting on a bus to the Arlanda Airport in far North West Stockholm!! Waited around the airport for a couple of hours, slept, went online, THEN took off for London!! Arrival time in London was 8:55pm, we arrived around 8:45pm!! Another perfect flight!! I was going to just stay up all night at a local 24/7 cafe or something BUT could not find one and checked into a hotel instead!! Got the smallest and cheapest room available and that was still at 40 Euros ($70) for one night!! Ridiculous!!:)
  • Sunday was TOUR LONDON day!! Because I'm heading back there this next summer for WIMBLEDON and an Irish Marathon I didn't want to see too much of London, just the major sites in Central London: Big Ben, Parliament, Eye of London (didn't ride it though), Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace, and the several bridges!!! The rest of London/England is for next summer!!!:) 
  • Sunday/Monday was the other MAIN traveling day!!! Departed Heathrow Airport (London) around 9:25pm and was heading to New Delhi airport non stop!! Arrived in New Delhi at 10:11am and thought there was still chance I could catch an earlier train out of Hizzmudin Train Station!! HOWEVER, there is only ONE train that departs for Dehra Dun and that was at 11:50pm (overnight)!! Soooooo I arrived at the train station at 11am and slept/ate/relaxed there for 12 hours!! Which anyone that has been to an Indian train station knows how LUXURIOUS that is!!!:) Train left at 11:50pm and I arrived in Dehra Dun at 6:10am and was out of there via taxi by 6:20am!!! Arrived HOME, IN MUSSOORIE, AT 7:30AM!!!! Took a nice 3 hour nap then SPENT THE REST OF THE DAY WITH THE FARLEY'S AND THEIR LAST DAY IN MUSSOORIE!!!

The End!!!!:)

If any of you want to check out the 3000 pics I took from this trip you can click on the link below to my Picasa Web Album!!! ENJOY!!!:)

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