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Early Morning Train South

Morning train south from Vasa.

Finland’s Kvarken Archipelago, First Day of Spring, 2012

The air is bright and blue and clean. Talitiainen, the Great Tit, sings its squeaky wheelbarrow song. Trumpeter swans bark overhead. The first day of spring (my lovely daughter’s birthday…on the plane home this morning) but the fields are all covered in snow, the hillocks of forest are grey and icy.

The only voices on the train cackle in Swedish from the Old Ladies Club up near the door.

How can you still have that much to say at that age?

They giggle like teenagers.

Any old men are just silent.

Trumpeter Swans over Vasa, Finland

Tervajoki Is sleeping grain elevators metal cages under bare birch and red aitta out in the snow. Only one man climbs on. He is pale and drawn and sucking at a coffee. In his seat he rubs his eyelids with thumb and index finger, sighs, farts and stares.

Yesterday we packed for the kids to go home to New Mexico then a chilly storm of ball snow moved in. We drove to the impressive Replot Bridge Finland ‘s longest, out in the Kvarken.

At Berny’s, nothing much has changed since my last visit six months ago. Or my first visit ten years ago

for that matter. The clock still says” local time” (and is still one hour and seventeen minutes off). the blond girl still ignores my Finnish and insists on speaking English. The coffee remains stale, the pastries are hard and from the week before, the views are spectacular and it’s always a good place to stop.

They also still run the weather station.

In Helsinki I have to visit Honey the Egyptian and his hand-made falafel. I hope he still bans ketchup from his shop.

Thursday is Toulouse on KLM. Shockingly (read with extreme sarcasm) Frank bombed on the planning so I’ve got to play trains, buses and who knows what to get to tarbes.



Under the Replot Bridge


pictures of finland

photos of finland

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