Friday, September 30, 2011

Fall in Finland

A few new photos I took this morning -- it's really looking like fall here, but it's going to get to 63 degrees today -- downright balmy! I went for a jog and it was great!

Apples all over the ground
Leaves changing colors near Old Town

Love the lace curtains 

Pretty sight in Old Town

Wonder if that provides insulation?

Thursday, September 29, 2011


I hope you enjoy reading my blog and find it entertaining and informative! You also can follow me on Twitter @goheels81 and add me on Google+.

My favorite hang-out -- Cafe Sali

Sunflowers in bloom
Old Town Rauma
Rauma Cathedral
Harbor in Rauma
A bit about what prompted me to start this (besides my daughter telling me I should write a travel blog): We have traveled to many places over the years, and I always have sent pictures and emails detailing our adventures to friends and family. For business and/or pleasure, we have been all over the U.S., and to Mexico, the Caribbean (our favorite island is Aruba), England, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Czech Republic, South Africa, and more. My husband works for  a French company, and we have spent more time there than about anywhere else, including a month-long stay in beautiful Aix-en-Provence.

Now, we are embarking on a really big adventure: Living abroad in Finland for two years. My husband accepted an expat assignment with his company to work on a power plant project in southwestern Finland. We visited the area in late August, 2011, and we made the big move to FInland a month later.

We are living in the small town of Rauma, about a three-hour drive from Helsinki. Rauma became a town in 1442 and its beautiful Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The current population is about 40,000 people, and while small, the town boasts lots of restaurants, shops, two huge "super store" (like Target), bike trails, and good for me, a very modern public library.

Unfortunately, we are living in a hotel until we find a suitable apartment. It's not so bad, though: Who can complain about daily maid service and eating on an expense account?

Everyone asks about the weather. So far, it has been great -- cool but not cold. I certainly don't need my Patagonia down parka and UGG boots yet, although people have warned me that it will be a shock to my system when the cold and snow really hits, usually in November.

The food has been pretty good. On our August trip, we tried reindeer braised in red wine sauce, which was excellent. As you might imagine, seafood is on every menu. I just had a whitefish called Zander that was excellent. There are quite a few Italian restaurants but no Mexican restaurants (boo hoo!). The pizza is pretty good.

Even though there are two big super stores, there are some things missing in Europe that we brought from home  -- Diet Sun-Drop (although I could only justify bringing six cans in two pieces of luggage), Lance sandwich crackers, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish, Bugles, Special K Bars, Jif Peanut Butter, White House Apple Butter, and a few boxes of good old Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Actually, one of the stores has a small shelf of "American" foods, and they had Kraft Macaroni. Only it costs the equivalent of $6. The same stuff I buy for $1 in the U.S.
Reindeer braised in red wine sauce
Thank goodness for pizza!

Well, enough for today. I'll talk about TV and my first Finnish language class next time.

Moi Moi! (Bye-bye; but you can also use it to say Hi),