Family Vacation :: Tampere & Turku


While getting our residence permits many moons ago, a Finnish native commented to us that we should be sure to visit Finland before going elsewhere. If we chose to visit other countries first, we'd find that our native land gets less and less interesting and we'd end up never seeing what Finland has to offer.
With that ringing more true than we'd like with previous experiences, we decided to heed her advice and during a week off, go visit two towns in Finland : Tampere and Turku.
This was our first road trip with a toddler. This was also our first trip in a country whose official language isn't english. We also planned this trip as little as possible. 
All of this culminated to a wide assortment of lessons learned.
The first lesson arrived when we landed in Tampere. We rented an apartment through airbnb, a really cool site where people can offer their homes as a  place to stay in lieu of a tiny hotel room. It sounded like an awesome idea. What we didn't realize is how often non-air-conditioned flats with no blackout curtains make for terrible places for babies to sleep.
At about 9 o'clock, with Eowyn still fussing and us sweating, we decided to cut our loses and check into a holiday inn. Lucky for us we had our airbnb stays covered for free through points, so all wasn't lost, but we definitely learned a valuable lesson on what to look for for next time.
We also learned that on small little country roads there is random speeding cameras. If you're going over by more than 5 km it takes a picture of you and will administer a speeding ticket. We looked it up, because we were like "woah, what was that flash!?" and learned that often foreigners luck out and the police don't bother sending the ticket, assuming that they were just driving enjoying the view (which was true.) So we shall see. Cross your fingers for us.
Also, european parking garages are part of the devil's schemes.
But we have our rule, just like always: Three things can happen that really suck, but we don't get to get too overwhelmed until it happens a fourth time. And like all other times, there was never a fourth time.
The cool things that happened were the burritos by the water, the great pizza place, the 80 year old donut recipe that was delicious. The great breakfasts at the hotels....yes I realize this is all food.
The scenery of the drive, the fun walks through the woods, and even discovering so much about ourselves through this trip.
It was pretty wild, but when we were driving home, I realized that this last leg was familiar and it felt good to come home.

This realization alone made the trip worth it.

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