I am aware that you all have been waiting for another post, and that I have been really lazy in the last few days. I do however have excuses ( I broke the computer turn on button, which was awful and I felt horrible but it was fixed eventually, and then the Internet was super slow.) I wanted to write on Sunday, seeing as it was the day I left, but I didn´t get to. So I will have to write a short ( ha) over view of the last few days, which have been some of the most amazing so far!
Thursday we went to visit Äiti´s sister and family, ate snacks with them, and then went to the horse races down the road. It was really exciting, because one of their friend´s horses was racing, and came in third place! Äiti´s sister bet 3 euros on that horse and won a few more euros when it got third. She gave me the 10 cent coin as a ´lucky coin´haha. Friday we went to the amusement park Säarkkänniemi, where I rode my first real roller coasters. One was called ´Tornado´and it was fantastically scary! That was a fun day. Saturday, well nothing special, just hanging around the house and packing a little. Sunday, my last day, I finished packing, and prepared to leave... I also fell on my bike and skinned my knee really really bad... it has a huge sore spot and i am sure it will scar a little! It has caused my some discomfort during the last few days...! Sunday evening was great... we had a traditional Finnish summer meal for dinner, and then the family surprised me by announcing that they wanted to try making snores again, even after the horrible mishap from the first time. So we did them again, with great success and happiness all round. Then they gave me a Mummin mug, with four chocolate bars in it... I was sooo happy... oh and a card too. Then the girls acted out some little skits for me, which was adorable, and I taught then some that I knew. Then sauna... which was extra nice because Ilona came with me this time, and we had a great talk about everything... including how she felt now and thought now after having me for the summer. Then I said goodbye to the girls, and went to bed. I got up at 4:30 the next morning, Simo drove me to the train in Tampere, and off I went to Helsinki! The train was fantastic, because it was so smooth you could barely feel that you were moving! Petra´s mom met me off the train, and I went to the port where the other kids were. It was amazing, talking to them... all through the Tallinn trip we swapped stories, and talked up a storm. I learned that they all had similar problems and adventures as I had had! We got on the ferry, and off to Estonia. The Tallinn trip was well worth the 120 euros I spent for it... nothing has ever been so amazing. The place where we got off the boat was totally different looking form Finland, there were tons of ruins from the Soviet Occupation, crumbling buildings and sidewalks etc. Further into the city though was beautiful. There is the new city, which is slowly being rebuilt to be all modern looking... all glass buildings and such. There are the malls and the allys and the city looking areas. Then there is an aciant wall ( called the city wall) that separates that part form the old city, which really is a huge tourist attraction. But I know now why, because it was totally and completely beautiful. Old old buildings with red roofs, made of plasterish stuff of brick, beautiful cobble stone streets, tons of gorgeous shops, dozens of fantastic churches, and looooads of beautiful people. It felt like a place straight out of a fairytale, I have never seen a more beautiful city. We went on a 3 hour walking tour there with the Estonian guides who had been exchange students themselves. So many churches, and streets and shops and museums, all so little and beautiful and closely packed. IT really was a perfect old European town. I could feel the centuries of history I was walking on! We climbed the steeple of a church, up a tiny tiny stone spiral staircase, which was quite scary because you were always afraid you´d fall! The view from the top was amazing, I could clearly see the change from the new city to the old city. Then we walked to the upper part of the old city, where you could see the whole thing laid out below. Dinner was at a African Kitchen restaurant ( very funny, African food in Estonia) which was hilarious... the room was like a cave almost, painted with African designs and with couches instead of seats! We stayed up super late talking and finally slept ( in the hotel in the new town). The next morning( this morning) we ate breakfast in the hotel and then went off for our three hours of free time. I met Stina at the hotel, and she took me shopping in Tallinn! It was amazing seeing her. So strange though, because we´d just seen each other in Stafford Springs, and now I was there in her home town IN ESTONIA! She couldn't´t get over the thought, and kept repeating it. We shopped ( I bought presents!!!) and had a really really great time. She left me outside a hotel with the group and we went off the lunch at a Cafe Tao ( ha ha, another foreign restaurant). After that we had some more free time, so four of us went back to the old town to buy some flowers and sat in a cafe for a while. The weather was lovely and the place was heavenly. Then back tot he ferry, and back to Finland. Petra´s family met me at the port, and took me to a nice restaurant for dinner. I am currently in Petra´s room, at her computer and practically falling asleep on the keyboard! It is incredible to be here, in her home, since she has spent so much time in my home in the US. These past few days have been a whirlwind of change and movement... but I am not scared by it. I know I would have been just a few months ago, but now I can handle it. There was a moment on the train from Tampere on Monday morning where I was filled with such a thrill... I as going somewhere, I didn´t know exactly where or what to expect, but I was going and I was loving it. I guess that is the travel bug! love to you all... I´ll try to write soon.
p.s. please forgive the spelling errors, I am DEAD TIE RD. DEAD I tell you :)