Terve from Helsinki!
There is just too much to tell you and show you all, but I can't get the pictures from my camera online yet, so you'll just have to wait. In short: the boat trip to the rock paintings was WONDERFUL! and the sights of Helsinki are many -- there was even a native American band in the Esplande yesterday, there are Lordi fans and goths everywhere. Anya's cousin Laura has already been a great tour guide -- we're off to the Gallen-Kallela museum this afternoon with her daughter Arla, too. Wow! I haven't spent all my money at the Moomin shop or the Academic Bookstore, but I will feel the bite by the time this trip is done. And we thought UK prices were high! But what great public transportation and what a clean city, and bustling with tourists from just about everywhere. I have heard and seen Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, English, Americans...Helsinki is a top tourist destination it seems, despite the costs. And there are ways to live cheaply (i.e. fill up on the great hotel breakfast which includes everything from cereal and eggs to meatballs, smörgåsor (sandwiches), yummy fruit flavored yoghurt, and Lipton tea that actually tastes like real tea!
I'm writing this at the Tourist Information Centre -- there are several terminals here and not much of anybody using them (only one other person at the moment). But I didn't come to Finland to do email, so I'm going to be on my way to the National Museum where I can see more of Ancient Suomi to fulfill my quest (and justify my Finlandia Foundation grant!). This trip has already given me so many new ideas -- new inspirations!