Yeah, believe it or not, but we’re back in business. Or almost. I anticipate a flurry of activity for this blog, since another major project is on the way. But more about that in the last paragraph of this post, and now for a bit of an update.
I have not been sitting idle since getting back from the European Tour, and by that I don’t mean work, which is continuing to be an utter curse and an unholy burden. No, me and my precious ginger companion went on another Tour of Europe, this time together! Birdy has some buds living in Munich, so flew there on the 23rd of April, and came back on the day of my birthday, 1st of May. We didn’t really plan it this way, but instead of just staying in Munich for a week (a wonderful city, so green and so pretty) we drove to Italy via Austria, staying in Verona for three nights and even visiting Venice for a long day trip! I am still overflowing with experiences and impressions, I never thought Germany and Italy could be so much fun. And Venice? Gosh, I was stumped for words. I thought it would be a caricature of itself, so to speak, a faded Disneyworld version of what it used to be as described by authors centuries since
gone, but even packed with throngs of tourists it was magnificent. Well worth the visit. On our way back we saw the slimy old man of the mountains, Mr. Ötzi, his twisted glistening mummy behind the bulletproof glass in a damp and musty room lined with panels of stainless steel, also an unforgettable experience. Once back in Munich we attended Frühlingsfest (a spring festival akin to Oktoberfest but on a smaller scale) and wandered around its plentiful beer gardens. Time came to leave the fun behind and go back to the grind, and so we took the train to the excellent Munich Airport. Speaking of flight, I seem to have gotten rid of my fear of air travel almost entirely, I even enjoy it to some extent. So when the captain announced that there was some sort of a malfunction in the starboard engine fuel pump when we taxied around the runway I remained as calm as a dead ox. That just meant a few more pints at the airport! Unfortunately that also meant that I would smash my prized bottle of JD while attempting to juggle hand baggage and tax free bags. You had to be there to believe the collective groan that escaped the throats of all the Finnish passengers waiting for our flight… Happy Birthday to me.
But yeah, we are now embarking on a truly epic expedition. Starting 1st of July we will be departing from Helsinki to Moscow, then on to Irkutsk, staying on the shores of lake Baikal for four days, then on to Ulanbataar in Mongolia for a week, and after that on to Beijing for three to four days, after which we’ll take an overnight train to Shanghai from whence I will fly on home to Helsinki via Moscow. Phew. That will all (with the exception of my flight home) be accomplished using rail transportation, 11871 kilometers of train travel all in all. To top it off, girlie will be traveling to the Philippines for a week after I leave, all by her lonesome, in the height of the typhoon season since she has an extra week off work. Damn that woman and her incessant one-upmanship! So yeah, watch this space for progress reports and galleries, and even some sort of a gonzo documentary I might be able to produce using my new Nikon D3100 camera and HP Pavilion dm1 travel lappy!
All this travel of course means that good old Blowfish will be left all alone, unused and unloved, at the pier for most of the summer. Well, maybe not. I have a couple of prospective buyers lined up, and perhaps already next week she will be all set with a new owner and many happy miles ahead of her. Does that mean that I am finally hanging up my Captain’s cap? Of course not! I have amassed quite a boat budget over the past few years, and with Blowfish sold I will be purchasing a bigger, seaworthier boat in order to continue my maritime adventures in greater waters..!