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Headed Across the Pond in May (Finland Trip)

As some of you know, I’m the Guest of Honor for Acon 5 in Mariehamn, Finland. I am SUPER EXCITED ABOUT THIS.

Also, my husband Dmitri is coming with me! This is awesome, as he rarely gets to accompany me on Fairyland adventures.

After the con, we’re staying in Europe for about ten days to take advantage of, you know, being in Europe. We can stay in Finland, but we can also go elsewhere. We have not yet decided what “elsewhere” entails yet.

Would any of our Euro/UK friends like to see us? We are very nice, and do not take up much space. Let us know, it may shape our geographical plans.

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

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London is a possibility. Especially as D has never been to England and I need to go to Yorkshire for research.

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Oh neat!! My sister lived in Mariehamn as an exchange student:)

Helsinki is a great town. Very kicky, with a Seattle kind of vibe. Recommended.

Yes! I live in Helsinki and of course I recommend it. :)

Here's a vote for northern Italy near Bologna (though I don't think anyone would really blame you if you just decided to visit Finland...) :)

Bologna is small but very radical (in good sense) university town with very good food.

I think you really need to see the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. It would be totaly up your alley. Crazy guy builds super fantastic fairy tale castle.


Plus, German Meat! Lolz!!!!


Copenhagen is very lovely (I'm biased, of course, since it is my city) - lots of history and I know a lot of it.

Frederiksborg Castle north of Copenhagen is wonderful (wrote my thesis about it and the history paintings it contains) - it was a favorite of H.C. Andersen.


Edited at 2012-04-10 10:19 pm (UTC)

Copenhagen is on our list of strong possibles, actually. My father's family is Danish and I've never been. We are slightly afeared of the expensiveness of Scandanavia, though.


Might be relevant: if anyone who reads this wants to go to Åcon, you might want to become a member ASAP as there's a risk the con won't be able to fit everyone who wants to attend.

Glastonbury is lovely - as are Bath and Cornwall....

Helsinki is a really lovely city, and I recommend it.

However, if you are looking for the magic in Finland, you should travel up into Karelia. Pretty much no one visiting Finland goes outside of Helsinki, and it is a pity. Eastern Finland is beautiful, yes, but can also be spooky, in a deeply wonderful way. There are many wild places still left in Finland, it's just that foreigners (and city people!) don't know about them. Well, like any country, I suppose.

It's too bad you are going to be here too early for the Savonlinna Opera Festival - it's not every day you get to hear opera in a real live medieval stone castle.

If you and the Mr. do decide to travel outside of Helsinki and you'd like a tour guide, let me know. I speak passable Finnish (and have a lovely Finnish wife who speaks excellent Finnish) and I'm not too creepy. Also! I cook! Really well! And! We even have one of those fabled Finnish summer cottages you always read about! It sits in the shadow of the ruins of a thousand-year-old stone fortress, and we get regular visits from foxes, lynxes, and even a bear or two. (This is the kind of thing I am always trying to sell visitors to Finland on. Finland can't match central Europe for the castles, or England for the fairies, but our cottage is only 30 miles away from stone age shamanic rock paintings. If you listen to Hedningarna's "Tuuli" and that appeals to you, then eastern Finland is the place to go.)

The small towns along the coast of Finland are quite adorable as well... Like Porvoo & Tammisaari.

Here's a couple of picture collages from Porvoo from last spring:



yay hooray for European jaunts!

You and Dmitri are always welcome at Casa Pachamama (an hour by train outside London) -- it would be wonderful to meet you both in the flesh! Even if you don't make it out to Colchester, if you get to London and are feeling sociable, please let me know and I can travel in to meet you.

Re: yay hooray for European jaunts!

Also, which part of Yorkshire? I may have people up that way who could be of use....

I believe you're booked to be a guest at a bsfa meeting next year (July?). I'm the new meeting organiser, so it would be good to have a chance to say hello. In case you're inclined to come along to one of the regular fan meetings, we've got a First Thursday meeting on 3 May (and 7 June), and a bsfa meeting on Wednesday 23 May. (Meetings of other fandoms are available.)

I am, and I'm super excited about it!

We're leaving on the 15th of May, Acon ends on the 22nd, and we fly back from Finland on June 1st, so I'm not sure any of those dates would work, unfortunately.

Also, if you're in Helsinki, consider making a daytrip down to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. It's a charming town with the medieval fortress still standing in the town center, ringed by cathedrals. I will have left Estonia by then, but visiting here is a great experience!

I can introduce you to some friends (writers and translators) in Estonia, too, if you decide to go! :-)

Just thinking about going back to Finland makes me horrifically homesick - I thought I'd be able to scrape together a trip back this year, but no, not in the slightest...

I sadly didn't have much money for travel when I was in Helsinki (I blew almost all of it to spend a week in Russia & three days in London.) I think that you can get a good one-day tourism impression of Helsinki - there's a lot to see just in the downtown area. If you do go, a short ferry trip to Suomenlinna is worth it. There's a big stone fortress there and some history, but more importantly the island is just absolutely beautiful in May.

Like above, I ditto visiting Tallinn - Finland and Estonia seem very similar from afar, but the differences in culture, history, and architecture are interesting once you're there on the ground.

I did absolutely and utterly love London, but I spent three days there and didn't feel like I had nearly enough time. I sort of felt like just London alone really needed a week. (But alas, London is also so expensive, even by my elevated been-living-in-Helsinki standards.)

This is also on our list of strong possibles. Dima has never been. I would love to see more of the countryside than Paris (which is my luxury as I have been to Paris) but of course we're at sea there.

Turku is a charming town, just a ferry trip away from Åland. I think you might like Aboa Vetus/Ars Nova which combines Modern Art with an archeological site about medieval Turku.

If you come to Helsinki, Suomenlinna is a must visit. I also recommend at least a day-trip toTallinn, which is a 2-hour ferry ride away from Helsinki. Tallinn old town is beautiful and has lots of interesting stuff to see, wonderful restaurants,etc.

In the vicinity of Helsinki and Turku, Porvoo/Borgå old town and Tammisaari/Ekenäs are also very beautiful places to visit in the Spring. Like many South-Western coastal towns, they have a Finnish-Swedish speaking majority.

I'm sure your hosts will help you with more suggestions :).

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