May 25, 2018 – York Minster‘s nave. This cathedral is truly beautiful, next to Salisbury and Chartes it is the most beautiful high medieval gothic cathedral I have ever seen in person.
It has been a thirty year, since spring 1988, goal / life list to come visit this beautifule high gothic cathedral. Rather than go to Spain, my Mom and I decided to travel to Oxfordshire and to Yorkshire via train this week and I am very glad we did.
York is a lovely city.
Sun 06.24.12 – In November of 2009, in a flurry of dreaming about traveling, I made a Life List that was mostly crazy, off the beaten path travel to-dos. This last week and weekend I checked off #16: Spend a week in a cabin / summer house on a lake in Finland.
When I originally wrote my Life List, I had hoped to be able to spend a week in a Finnish summer cottage on or by a lake, but when it came time to book, in early May, such an event for the last two weeks of June, I was unable to find a rental cottage that was not HUGE in my rental price range. By HUGE, I mean for 18-24 people – overkill.
Carol Chen came to the rescue when she found out that I was planning on attending Devaamo 2012 in Tampere, Finland, by offering to let me stay in her extra room at her apartment in the wooded & lake’d Tampere suburb of Hervanta.
For one week, I had the opportunity to get to attend Devaamo, hang out with amazing geeks, wander around Tampere & Hervanta, and walk around local lakes. Not quite the summer cottage by a lake, but close enough for rock’n’roll without the mosquito bites!
This weekend, Carol and I went to Turku on the far southwestern coast of Finland, which is the jump off area to visit the Finnish Archipelago – Saaristomeri. We left Tampere via the Inter-City train mid-day on Friday, which was Midsummer’s Eve and arrived in a very shut down all closed Turku on 2 hours later.
Luckily for us a few of the tourist options were open, like the Turku Cathedral and a few riverfront bars and restaurants. We had dinner at a nice jazz bar with a swing/ragtime live band, as well as bought tickets to tour a bit of the inner islands on the S/S Ukkopekka for the next day.
Yesterday, Midsummer, we went on two island cruise trips on the S/S Ukkopekka, the first one a day tour to Naantali that included four hours of wandering around old town Naantali and the Moomin island, and the second was an evening dinner cruise to Loistokari Island. Due to rain in the evening, dancing on the island was cancelled, but dinner on the boat with a sing-a-long band was still a lot of fun.
Today I returned to Helsinki with much of life still shut down for the national holiday weekend. I am very fortunate to be able to visit Finland in the summer, particularly over one of their biggest holiday weekends of the year.
People, do not allow any Finn to convince you otherwise, but the big secret they like to keep is how amazingly beautiful Finland is in the summer, even if a bit cloudy and rainy at times. Finland is a truly lovely country.
For years I have told friends and family that I really want to visit Central Asia, climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, and eat Chinese food in Greenland. I didn’t know that this activity was called a ‘Life List’ or a ‘Bucket List’, but I had one in my head and most of it revolves around the intersection of my love for nature/mountains, history, culture, and travel.
Given that it is now meme-able to post your life list on your blog, I thought I would write down the list items that have lived in my head for years and will add to this list as I think of more.
Ms. Jen’s Life List, in no particular order:
1. Travel to Greenland, eat at the Chinese restaurant.
2. Sit under a wild apple tree in bloom on the foothills of the Tien Shan mountains.
3. Go into space.
4. Travel around the world in less than 4 hours, stopping in London, Mumbai, Sydney, Tokyo, and LA.
5. Hike up Mt. Kilimanjaro before the glacier melts.
6. Travel the Silk Road.
7. Visit Tuvalu
8. Visit Tuva and Mongolia, go see some of the Mongolian carved megaliths.
9. Spot a Blackburnian Warbler in the wild.
10. Learn to fly a plane.
11. Learn to fence properly.
Spot a Vermillion Flycatcher in the wild – Fulfilled on March 1, 2009 at Buckskin State Park in Arizona.
13. Live in central London for a couple of years at some point.
14. Live in a loft at some point and actually paint in it.
15. Stay overnight at the Pic du Midi Observatory in th French Pyrénées.
Spend a week in a cabin / summer house on a lake in Finland. – Fulfilled June 24, 2012 in Finland. While I was not able to find a summer cottage for rent over Midsummer, I did stay for a week in Hervanta near Tampere within 1/2 a mile of three lakes and then for Midsummer weekend I went to Turku and spent Midsummer’s day & evening on the water in the Finnish Archipelago.
17. Visit at least 2 of the Verracos, particularly the Bulls of Guisando.
18. Live in central Helsinki for a couple of months at some point. [Added 06.24.12]
19. Visit the Steilneset Memorial in Vardø, Norway. Bicycle the path along the Arctic Ocean. [Added 08.23.16]