Mariehamn castles and final goodbyes

On my last full day here in Mariehamn, Malin had to work, so I would be spending it alone.  Maybe catching up on my blogs, and who knows.

However, around 11 am, Malin came back home and said, I will leave you my car so you can go explorer while I am at work.  That’s pretty awesome.

The Island is only about a 30 minute drive from side to side, and half way up, there is a castle from the 1200s.  I have to check this out.

The drive up to the castle seriously only took 15 minutes and that’s taking my time.  There is no highways here, only one lane roads with a max speed of 90 kmh.  I love this Island life, slow, easy and relaxing.  Oh yeah, there are no stop signs, only yield signs and roundabouts.

Kastelholm Castle looks too cool!

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Just up the road is a few windmills, not exactly sure how old these are, but they don’t look new.

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On my way back, I stop at this restaurant for a coffee on top of a hill.  Pretty cool views.

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That evening and the next day we just chatted about different things, nothing too crazy.  I think I was drinked out.

Well, it is 3:30 PM and Mike is driving me to the airport where I am flying to Stockholm, then onto Lithuania, Vilnius.

It is a little sad knowing I might never see Mike or Malin again, but I will definitely try and make it back one summer.  I loved it here, and I couldn’t have asked for more hospitable people, especially Mike not even knowing me, and he cooked me food several times, and drove me around.  Pretty amazing people if you ask me.

Thanks for the amazing time!

Mariehamn Aland Finland – Super Trooper Malin and Crazy American

Day 2 started off with some fresh coffee and talks about what to do.  Last night I don’t remember their names, but two of Mike the crazy Americans friends stopped by and told us about a honey fair at Stallhagen brewery, which sounded cool.  So, Malin and I headed but on our hats and head off the fair.

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Since nothing is far on this Island, we were there in about 15 minutes and walking around.  The place is pretty cool, very nicely setup.  They even have a floating concert area, where they have live bands and theater.  Now that would have been cool to see.

The honey fair was pretty small, and only took about 2 minutes to see it all.

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Well, it is almost noon, so we head into the brewery to check it out.  Malin asks if they have a sampler rack, or something like that. They don’t, but they do have small glasses for $2 Euro and 10 different beers to try.  Sounds like we might as well as get 1 of each, and try them all 🙂

All of the beers are damn good! but I am driving so we stop after just sampling them. Either way, this is pretty awesome, sitting in Finland trying local beers.

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After our beers we cruise around for a little bit and then head back to drop off the car.  We then take a walk around Mariehamn and watch some of the Pride parade.  Why do I always show up to a down on Pride day?

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The parade was nothing special, so we decide to jump through a few pubs for some beers.  Malin is one hell of a host and pays for these rounds.  I am starting to love it here. 🙂

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Food in this town is way to expensive, so we head back to Malin’s for dinner.

That evening Mike’s oldest daughter invited a few friends over and the night starts all over again.  This time with even more of a bang.  By around 11 pm we head out to jump through some of the local bars.  I can’t give much details on this, because by then I was beyond happy. What I do remember is a lot of great beers, and talking to many Finish people.  Just don’t ask me what we talked about, or what their names are. 🙂  Here is one of them though.

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I think the night ended around 4 AM, and what a night it was.  🙂

Amsterdam to Mariehamn Finland

My flight was Amsterdam to Stockholm Sweden, was really easy and fast.  I had the front isle seat, and the flight was only 2 hours.  I arrived in Stockholm at 11 pm and got my bag.  I am in another country and no customs?  Oh yes, this is not the USA.

Well it is almost midnight and my next flight is not until 8 am.  It is pouring rain and dark outside, so no sense in trying to see some of the area.

I walk around the airport for a bit until I found a nice bench, out of the way, and decided to lay down and try to catch some sleep.  The sleep never happened, but at least I was able to relax.

8 hours went by OK, and I am now waiting to board my flight to Mariehamn Finland, where I will meet up with the famous Malin.  It feels a little weird because I only traveled with Malin for 4 days or so days in the Philippines, and she is OK with me coming to stay with her.  Who says trust is gone in the world.

I think this plane is going to be empty, as my flight leaves boards at 9 am and it is 8:55, and I am the only person at the gate.

As I am boarding the plane, 2 more guys show up.  We get to choose our seats, but this doesn’t really matter, it is only a 25 minute flight.

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Some great views coming into Aland the island.

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Our landing was one of the hardest I have ever had, and the pilot had to take a second run at it.  A lot of pressure just before the run way moving the plane up and down and the most sideways I have ever been on a turbo prop plane.  However, it landed and all was good.  I find these types of landing fun as you get too see how amazing some pilots really are.

I get my bag as it was the first one through, and it was also the last one. 🙂

As I walk out the door, there is Malin waiting.  I quickly remembered her pretty smile.

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We drove back to her place where I dropped off my bags, and then we headed out to meet her sisters husband and to pick up her nephew for the day.

I really enjoyed driving around and getting a chance to see the non tourist areas.

When we arrived back with her nephew, Mike her roommate was there.  Mike is a pretty chill guy, who is an american, but has been living here for 14 years.

All of us head out for some groceries, and beer.  🙂  I quickly find out Finland is not a cheap place to live.  Beer is about $5 CAD per bottle, and gas is around $2 per liter.

That night we had some great drinks and lots of funny conversation, which I don’t remember a lot of, and finally crashed late that night.

Well day 1 in Finland was a blast, lets see what day 2 will have to offer.