Friday night, I met up with a few new friends for dinner. My friend from Lithuania, Justina, cooked a delicious meal of fajitas and Swedish meatballs with potatoes. Her friend, Annette, was visiting from Hungary for a short weekend. Annie, another girl from the US, baked some mini apple pies. Since I didn’t have time to cook anything, I brought some wine! The four of us girls played games, shared stories, laughed, and managed to down three bottles of wine. It was such a fun night! This morning, I was up bright and early to go on an adventuere with Luis, a guy who works in the neighboring lab at Abo Akademi. The sky was very cloudy and looked like it was only going to get darker. We went on a 60+ km journey through the Archipelago Islands to have lunch in Korpo. While we were driving/on the ferry, the clouds slowly went away and the sun began showing itself. The day ended up being a beautiful, sunshiny 64 degrees! That is almost unheard of in Finland for this late in the season - it’s already October! I am very thankful the nice weather held on so long this year so I could enjoy it! The restaurant we stopped at was called Buffalo and we both had the “Fish in Season”, though neither of us knew what fish it was. It was served with mashed potatoes and veggies along with the salad bar and bread, of course (it is normal to include those with a meal in Finland). After our lunch, we drove to a gorgeous location right on the Baltic Sea to grab a cup of coffee. Although the cafe was closed, we managed to make the most of our trip by walking on the dock, watching others fish, and taking photos. Right off of the dock, we spotted a half dozen jellyfish! That’s the first time in my life I had seen a jellyfish and it was very exciting for me! I might have taken a few (at least 20) pictures of the little guys.
After catching some rays, we got in the car and headed back towards Turku. The trip involved two ferrys - one was very short and the other was a bit longer. Neither one took longer than 20 minutes, though. Luis decided we should stop for some coffee along the way so we found a nice cafe in Parainen called Mindes. We finished the last leg of the trip and enjoyed all the beautiful fall colors - Finland has a lot of yellows and the pines are still green so I get extra excited when I spot an orange or deep red color in the mix. Tomorrow, I’ll be exploring some more with my coworker and friend, Ulriika. She will be my tour guide and share some of her favorite places with me! Stay tuned for some details and pictures from our excursion!