10 Oct 2007

Raiders of the lost castle

Posted by walterheck

After having a lazy day yesterday, I decided to have a more productive day today. I woke up early so I could leave to the city with Saara. She was going to a big sale for some big department store. This department store has these sales once every year and supposedly people stand in line before opening hours to be the first to get in. Normally I would have said no, but since I’m experiencing different cultures I decided to tag along.

It was indeed absurdly busy for a Wednesday morning at 9 am! Saara wanted to go there with a specific target: buying a birthday gift for Grant since next Sunday would be his birthday. We went in and straight to where we needed to be. We got what we wanted and found a cash register that didn’t have a mile long queue in front of it (as opposed to the other cash registers 🙂 ).

After getting out, Saara had to go to uni and I was going to walk around the city. There was a castle that I wanted to visit. Before going there however, I needed to get some breakfast. Saara had suggested me to go to a place called Kauppahalla, which is basically an indoor market. You find a lot of these places here, simply because it gets too cold in the winter. I went there and bought some salmon salad which I eat in a mall just down the street somewhere (it’s warmer inside than outside where it was almost freezing).

I decided to finally print out the pictures for benny that I had promised him. I passed by some photo shop and printed them out there. After doing that, I went into the mall nextdoor to take a nap. Then I went to the post office to mail the pictures to Benny. After doing that, I was finally ready to start walking around.

I walked to a hill that I saw on the map. I walked around some park, saw a swimming pool, a football stadium and an athletics track but no castle. Afetr wondering around I decided to walk down on the other side of the hill and make my way back to the city. Since I didn’t exactly know where I was, I decided to go to a bus stop to figure that out (tip: in most countries, bus stops have good detailed city maps in them!).

When I got there, I felt very stupid: I saw on the map that I was in the wrong part of the city! What happened was that I only took a brief look at the city map that morning, and thought I had seen the castle being located on this side of the river. In combination with that, Saara had told me to walk along the river until I saw the castle. I did walk along the river and although I didn’t see the castle itself, I did see a big rocky hill that if it would’ve been my choice, I would have built the castle on 😉

Anyway, big fuckup but luckily it turned out that I was quite close to the real location of the castle so I decided to go take a look after all. I found it quite easily (now that I was looking in the right place 😉 ), but it turned out to be closed. Well, there was a man there but he would reply no to any question I would ask him and the gate that separated me and the castle and security guard was closed so I figured that was a good sign the castle was closed.

I took the bus back to the city and sat down at a random café in a shopping mall. And of course there was an open network there, so I could catch up on mail and other stuff. This country has a very high internet coverage, there is internet literally everywhere, even on busses (!). Sidenote: that can lead to some serious trouble though: http://www.wired.com/politics/security/magazine/15-09/ff_estonia

Anyway, I sat there until six and then headed back to Grant and Saara’s place. When I arrived, we made homemade pizza (delicious!) and had some nice conversations. After dinner we watched a british comedy show called extra which was pretty funny. Even though it was funny, I fell asleep halfway through (surprise, surprise!).

When I woke up a bit later, Grant and Saara had gone to bed. This kind of thing makes you really feel at home, which is very nice from time to time when you’re traveling for a longer time. I watched some tv and updated my list of blog bullet points (that way I still know what I did whenever I finally get to writing the blog entries themselves 🙂 ). After watching some shows on my laptop I went to bed around 1:30.

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3 Responses to “Raiders of the lost castle”

  1. Pity you didn’t get to see Turku castle, it looks really beautiful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turku_castle. Well maybe you should go here instead: http://www.thecastle.fi/. They’re supposed to have “excellent Whiskies & Beers from Ireland, Scotland, England and the rest world”. You’ll miss out on all the medieval stuff, but at least you can get drunk while doing so.




  2. You fell asleep during Extra’s? Shame on you, man! Ricky Gervais is a real comedic talent.

    If you ever decide to come back here then remind me to feed you a couple of Extra’s and The Office DVDs. 😉




  3. …and then there is Ashley Jensen, who really doesn’t have any kind of talent (comedic or otherwise) but who IS really hot…