News and Views

From my kids accomplishments, to my heretical perspective of the world

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June 22nd, 2008 · 2 Comments

Today was lots of fun. We rode bikes around the city. It was about a 10 mile ride, and took about 3 hours, so it was a leisurely pace. Gisele was a little aprehensive, especially after the bad experience we had riding bikes in Peru (steep mountain path), but it turned out very well and she was glad she went. It rained briefly during the ride, but we were prepared with rain coats. We barely got them on before the rain was over. The high for the day was about 65 degrees; perfect bike riding weather as far as I am concerned.

Helsinki has lots of bike paths, almost always separated from the city traffic so you feel pretty safe riding around. I didn’t notice as many bikes on the street here as in Copenhagen, but there were lots more than you would see in a US city. It is a great way to see the city; much better than from a tour bus.

In Denmark and Sweden I could sometimes read the signs. Swedish, Norwegian and Danish are all apparently Germanic languages, as is English, and in fact those three Scandinavian peoples can usually understand each other. But Finnish is completely different, and I had no idea what I was reading anywhere. I understand that it is more closely related to Hungarian.

Tomorrow is St. Petersburg, but we put off buying tour tickets so long that we are not sure we will be able to go into town. Russia won’t let tourists without a visa enter the country unless they are part of an official tour. We’ll get up in the morning assuming we have tickets and see what happens. Since we will be here two days, there’s a chance we will be able to get in the second day even if we can’t the first.

Internet connections on the ship are very expensive; 75 cents per minute, and it’s through a satellite so it is barely faster than dial-up. Fortunately I have my eee mini-PC, so I can compose everything first, then connect for just 1-2 minutes to do downloads and uploads. If I had to use their computers I would be over $50 by now, I’m sure.

Tags: Family Updates

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Derek // Jun 22, 2008 at 11:27 am

    I made a couple recommendations on my blog. Hopefully we’ll be able to meet up at the Hermitage somewhere. I need a reply though, since I only have 12 minutes left, and I’ll check once more in the morning.

  • 2 Donna // Jun 22, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    I wondered if you took your little pc with you. That’s cool.

    Sounds like a great bike ride. I bet Apollo would have loved that, especially in the 65 degree weather! You probably enjoyed not having him tugging you along. Enjoy the cool because we are having a heat wave here — 115!

    Do you visit Norway on your return route?