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I had planned to post more during this trip. Oh well. I'll try to catch up now.

Stockholm: walking around the old town (Gamla Stan); walking around Skansen, the original open air museum. Boat ride around the harbor. Moose (Alces alces) meatballs (not moose balls) for dinner. Heated bathroom floor and towel rack: not really needed when it's warm and muggy.

On to Mariehamn: the reception desk is also the bar at the Hotel Savoy. I checked in with the press desk for the FIVB Beach Volleyball PAF Open. PAF is an Åland-based gambling, sorry I mean "gaming", company that was the title sponsor. It must also have been a sponsor of the Åland exhibit we saw at the Finnish National Museum in Helsinki. It was certainly described in glowing terms.

Anyway, I got my press pass and swag bag, and then was asked if I would be taking pictures. That would be a "yes", since I had described myself as a freelance photographer and was representing "Bartelt Photography" (but, hey, English is not her first language, though she seemed very fluent). So then I was given a black nylon-mesh vest (that said "Coca-Cola" in white) and told I would have to wear this to take pictures. OK; I guess size "medium" is supposed to fit everyone? I could get my head and arms into it, but that was about it. But I did later see one non-vest-wearing photographer shooed away, so I kept it on.

I've posted more about the volleyball on VB boards; I'll try to add a little more here later. Saw some great volleyball, including one marathon match.

The voyage from Mariehamn to Turku had a lot more drunken young men than the trip to Mariehamn. I guess they just need those cases of duty-free beer. Or maybe because it was a Saturday.

Turku Castle: the medieval parts were OK, but not great. But then the exhibits covering the later eras were pretty good. Plus 37 more rooms of museum.

We've heard a lot of American pop music in Sweden and Finland. Some of it originals, some of it covers (in English). But Wednesday (8/22) I happened to catch that great Zager & Evans hit, "In the Year 2525", being sung in Finnish. The arrangement was pretty true to the original. It was playing on a boombox in one of the small handicraft shops. Not sure if it was on the radio or playing a tape.

Perhaps more later.


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April 2014

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