Saturday, December 17, 2011

Rauma Christmas Market

Rauma Christmas Market

Rauma Christmas Market

Turns out Rauma does have a better Christmas market than I thought. Tom had to work today (Saturday), so I walked to town, and I just happened to run into the market going on alongside the canal. There was lots of the same old stuff: smoked salmon, breads and cakes, woven baskets, fur rugs and lots of gloves and mittens. I found a cute vest for Cali for Christmas -- bought it from a guy from Estonia.

Check out the fur rugs

What it looks like at 11 a.m.
We are getting less than six hours of daylight. It is really interesting how the sun sits so low on the horizon. I took this photo at 11 a.m. And, as you can tell from the market photos, no snow right now. We've had snow, but it keeps melting. I wonder if there's even going to be a white Christmas here this year.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday fun in Rauma

Slush in Old Town 

We have finally been getting snow for the past week or so, but even though it has snowed almost every day, the temperature also gets above freezing, so it mostly turns to slush. Friday was the worst day -- the wind was gusting up to 31 mph, and the snow was blowing sideways -- I really thought we were in for a blizzard. But then it all turned to slush, which is really nasty to walk around in.

We had two pretty fun holiday parties over the weekend. The Areva party was Friday in this huge nightclub that we didn't know existed in Rauma. The food was good -- they had two whole roast pigs and good side items. Had to laugh at the DJ's music selections -- mostly '80s U.S. pop songs, with a few '70s songs thrown in for good measure. It was entertaining.

U.S. expat holiday dinner 
On Saturday, a group of the U.S. expats got together for dinner at a local restaurant. That was a nice evening, but also sad as some of them are moving back home soon. I know they will want to come back and visit, though! (Riiiigghtt!)

Counting the days until we come home for Christmas! And I just planned a trip to  Brussels for the end of February -- and my friend Kim is going to fly over from the U.S. and meet me there! Then, I'll fly to Washington to spend a few days with Kristen -- we're hoping to get tours of the White House and Capitol this visit.

More pictures at this link:

Happy holidays to everyone!

Monday, December 5, 2011

It's December!

Really tall tree at the Turku Cathedral 
We had a great Thanksgiving holiday back home in Concord. The bad thing was one week just wasn't long enough! We were very thankful to see Kristen and Scott, my parents and other relatives. Just sorry I didn't get to see any of my Concord friends -- will make up for that over Christmas when I am home for three weeks!

In all our years of travel, we have never had our luggage lost. Until this trip. Well, it wasn't lost exactly, just sent to the wrong country. When we landed back in Turku last Monday, our luggage didn't come with us. Instead, it went to Stockholm. To the credit of Scandinavian Airlines, they flew our luggage on the next plane to Turku, then an airline employee drove the hour to Rauma to deliver our bags to our apartment that night. So, it really wasn't a big deal.

Turku Christmas Market
 On Saturday, I drove to Turku to the annual Christmas Market. The market wasn't as good as the one I went to in Copenhagen. I hope the one in Helsinki is better. I actually did more shopping at my favorite Stockmann's Department Store. Love that place! Got some great furry earmuffs, among a few other things.

 We are getting about six hours of daylight. The sun rises just before 9:30 a.m. and sets around 3:30 p.m. It is really weird. It makes you want to stay in bed longer, because it just doesn't seem like morning. The afternoon darkness doesn't bother me that much -- yet, anyway. And the forecast this week is calling for snow showers every day -- although it was sunny today. We'll see.When it does finally snow -- and I know it will! -- I will post some photos.

Looking forward to the Areva Christmas party this Friday and the U.S. expats party this Saturday!

What's a Christmas market without sausages?