Nuuksio and Naantali

On Sunday we had planned to make a trip to the local Ikea, to look for some closet fittings that our store in Massachusetts no longer has in stock, but the bus that was supposed to run between the center and Ikea never showed up. Instead we had lunch and a nice walk in the center.

On Monday, we took a shot train ride a little ways out of town, and then a bus to Nuuksio National Park. It’s a stretch of wilderness with walking trails over some low hills and around a few ponds northwest of Helsinki. The area is beautiful and tranquil. We walked in the woods for a few hours, stopping to pick handfuls of blueberries from beside the trails, and were able to get a bus back to civilization in time for dinner. It’s wonderful both that you can take public transportation to a place like that and that there is a place like that within the area of the greater Helsinki public transit network.

Tuesday we did some shopping in the center and then got a train to Turku to meet some of E.’s friends who live in Naantali, a town just a little ways up the coast from Turku. We spent the night with them there.

On Wednesday we got a bus from Naantali to Turku in the morning. We had tickets for the train in the afternoon, which left us some time to kill. First we browsed in a textile outlet shop. Then we took the local bus to Ruissalo, one of the many islands just off the coast from Turku, to visit the Universtiy of Turku botanical gardens. We enjoyed a stroll around the gardens, then took the bus back to the train station.

At the station, I was checking for my return ticket to Helsinki, and could only find the ticket to Turku. Finally we realized that I must have used the Helsinki ticket by mistake when we came to Turku! Fortunately, we had time to go to the service counter and they were able to replace the ticket for only a small fee.

We met up with Leena back in Helsinki. The three of us went for dinner, then we met up with Lissu and all of us went to see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

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