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.

 

Motorcycles and Canal Boats

Day 3 here in wonderful Holland was a more relaxing day, but just as fun as all the rest.

Peter had an appointment today, so he suggested I take his 2003 Honda Fireblade 954 out for a ride around.  Which was a prefect suggestion.  I love his bike and getting a chance to learn some of the roads here would be amazing.

I left Peter’s with a smile from ear to ear, at around 1:30 pm and started to follow the route he had configured on his GPS.

The route was pretty awesome, going along side a few canals, over bridges and even a few minutes on the freeway.   My thought during the entire ride was, how lucky am I to be living this life.  Here I am cruising through the Netherlands on a sport bike.  How many people from Canada can say they have done that?

A little over 2 hours later I make it back without running any red lights or running over any cyclist. 🙂  My smile is even bigger now than when I left.

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The rest of the day was relaxing with good conversation.

Day 4 and my last day with my family.

We left around 10 in the morning with Marije and Mariëlle, to go for a canal ride,  lunch, maybe some beers and then the airport.  The sun was out and I knew it was going to be fun.

The canal boat we rented was about 12 feet long with an electric motor on the back.  Maybe the top speed would be 1 KMH, I think.  Was the perfect cruising speed for this day.

A few pictures of us cruising along.

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Some of the highlights were when Peter stood up and rocked the boat, Mariëlle screamed like a little girl.  The next one was when I rocked the boat, Mariëlle yelled at Peter, and I can’t believe he did this, but he pointed at me and told her it was me.  I thought we were best friends 🙂 The next highlight was when I ran into the land, while looking at my phone.  Yes, texting and Canal boating is dangerous.  However, Marije said it was OK, we made it out alive.

These were some great memories.

We ate lunch at this nice little patio where I had a traditional dutch pancake with cheese and what they call syrup.  Not like our Canadian Maple syrup, but still full of sugar goodness. 🙂

After lunch we dropped off Marije at the train station, and Peter, Mariëlle, and I headed through the crazy Amsterdam tourist traffic to the Windmill were we will have a few final beers.

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The beers at this place are always awesome, and the atmosphere is just as good.  I could not have asked for a better last day, and to spend with with Peter and his girls made it even more special. I love visiting them, as they always treat me like I am a best friend and not a distant relative who they have only seen a few times.

Peter is truly the nicest person I have ever met and hope he never changes.

Peter, Karin, Marije, Mariëlle and all of my family/friends in Holland, thank you and I hope to see you all again, maybe in April 2017, if not, 2018 Island of Man TT 🙂

Little clip below!

Great times in Alphen, Netherlands

Day 2 was a pretty awesome day.  Peter, Marijie and I took the bicycles into Alphen for lunch and then a little tour around town.  As you can see below, Marijie had the hardest ride of the day.

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Selfie on a bicycle, and yes, I am still awesome.

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Peter treated us to lunch on a nice patio where you could sit and watch people attempting to water ski.  It was pretty cool.  There is a cable pull that goes in a loop that pulls the person.  I loved it when people fell.

Check out this kid ripping it up!

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After lunch Marijie showed me how to play Pokiemon Go.  She caught one on Peter’s head and one on my butt.  I see Pokiemon have no respect 🙂

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Peter told me this is a man made lake, and the sand was used to raise the land around Alphen.  All of this area is approximately 60 meters below sea level and how they use dykes and canals to mange the water is dutch engineering.

Our ride continued around the town were at times I thought I should have a sign on my bike that says “Tourist, Look Out!”.  But in the end I did not hit anyone or cause any accidents.

In Alphen, Peter treated us to ice-cream, and a walking tour of the streets.  He also showed me where his mother and father were buried.  A very nice little cemetery beside one of the churches.

One last picture of our ride, when we were waiting for the bridge to lower.

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Later that evening Peter and I went over to see Karin’s, her girlfriend and Mariëlle at their new house.  It was a nice relaxing visit, and again some good laughs and stories were had.

Another sunny day in Alphen!