Saturday, March 12, 2011

O * U * L * U

The last time we took a 'night train' and had a sleeper cabin was one year ago when we went up to LAPLAND. It was a great trip. We sleep well in the beds. Likewise, we slept well this time too. Just not long enough is all!! The beds were just as comfortable as we remembered them to be.
We got to watch a beautiful SUNRISE as we approached our destination of OULU.
It was 'fun' to watching the passing scenery.......
and see lots of beautiful things. They have just as much snow up here as we do in Espoo!!
The train station is a quaint place. Love all of these train stations that have the 'old' flair to them.
One of the things we remember most about OULU is the POLICEMAN STATUE in the marketplace TORI!! It is just so cute.
And, of course, we did a little shopping while we were there. This is a great little shop when we went a year ago. And we were there again this time.
One thing our 'car rental guy' told us to do if we had time was to drive over to the HAILUOTO ISLAND and to take the ICE ROAD!!! WHAT?? IS?? AN?? ICE?? ROAD??......just exactly what it says.......JÄÄTIE (Ice Road)!!! There was an 'optional' ferry to take us there. But NO, could we be as simple as that!! Of course, off we went on a 5 mile (8km) adventure over the BAY OF BOTHNIA (same place where we did 'ice swimming' from the Sampo Icebreaker last year)
I have to admit that it was quite an ADVENTURE!!! A little (or maybe a LOT) nervous until we made it to the Island. When I saw all kinds of cars and trucks driving across I figured it must be safe!! After all, we ARE in Finland and they are used to things like this, right!! There were some cool WINDMILLS there too.
Cool LIGHTHOUSE there on the other side that we drove to.....on snow-covered ground. NOT on the ice!
This fellow and his boat won't be going anywhere until 'spring' thaw comes....say, about the end of May or June!
Wayne convinced me to STOP our rental car part way across the ICE ROAD for a foto op. Was I crazy or what.....but I did!!
L * O * O * K ...... he says. It is perfectly safe out here!! Yea....whatever!!
But this 'little' puddle of water in the middle of the road did not give me warm and fuzzies!! We did drive across it but I wasn't sure just how safe it was. Needless to say....I was most grateful to be on the Island and back to the 'mainland' safe and sound. With yet one more adventure under our belts!! Now that we are safe I can say.....THAT WAS FUN!!
This 'draping' snow off the roof of this house was so pretty.....just had to capture a shot of it.
It has been a great day. A little tired from not getting enough sleep last night on the night train.....only because we weren't on it long enough!!
Tomorrow: We will be speaking int he OULU BRANCH!! Looking forward to seeing lots of wonderful folks that we have met in the Temple over the past almost 2 years!

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