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Archive for the 'Trips' Category

Tunel do Marques!

Today I had the pleasure to go through the Marquês tunnel!

Thanks go to Elsa for making the recording of this video possible 🙂


Ps.: no one has commented on my previous post about my gallery changes, which is kind of sad 🙁

posted by André Lemos in Car,Movie,Photography,Trips and have Comment (1)

And………. We're back.

From here:


Now 60% more tanned! 🙂

Ps.: that’s in here

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The Love Boat – PART II

So….After hearing my cabin mates get out of bed and leave the room, I’ve decided to do the same, as we should prolly be arriving to Stockholm, and right I was. There was already lots of fuss on the upper decks, as people were having breakfast and getting ready to get out of the boat. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t very nice, but the landscape was well worth the slight drizzle.

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Apparently we were following this other boat (you can see it on one of the movies on the previous post), though at some point the other point went to another harbor, while we proceeded to ours.

First video from Stockholm:

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The Love Boat – PART I

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That’s a nice start for a new blog entry, isn’t it?


It all started on a sunny Friday morning (22nd, June). Since it was a holiday here in Finland, I decided to sleep a bit more since the new hotel where I am at serves breakfast up till 11 o’clock on weekends and holidays. So after taking a bath, and do some previous planing for the trip, I’ve decided to go down stairs to take my power breakfast. Or was I….

When I got to the restaurant, the breakfast area was already closed to my dismay, and so I asked one of the bar employees where was the breakfast area (it was 10:40 by now), to which she replied that breakfast was over at 10, and it’s only available till 11 on weekends. bastards.

Anyways, the girl was really nice, and asked me if I wanted her to see if they could make me something in the kitchen, and so a few minutes later she came out with a nice big sandwich! 🙂

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Finland, the perfect place

That’s it! The jury is out!

Today, I’ve decided to go South, to the coast, as I’ve read somewhere that the best tour you can take during the Summer, is along the Finnish coast (seems obvious quite frankly). So in the afternoon, after some _lazy bumming_, I took my bicycle and headed to the unknown 🙂

During this small trip, I’ve noticed that the wealthier Finns concentrate near the sea, and not near the lakes (at least, judging from the neighborhoods I’ve cycled by).

Anyways, the trip was very nice, because as typical, bike tracks were available everywhere, lots of birds and stuff always around me, not too many cars, and lots of couples and _families_ walking by.

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Royale with Cheese

Summary of this entry:

  • I was unable to have lunch today
  • I’ve found out I know my way from Tapiola to Helsinki by bicycle without the need to use a map or the GPS
  • I’ve spent a bit more than 6 hours on trains
  • I got out of bed at 8 o’clock (ON A FREAKIN’ SATURDAY), and returned back at 22

Here we go:

Got out of bed at 8 o’clock (a little before that), without needing the alarm clock, because I was afraid I would get late at Helsinki. Got my super breakfast, as I always do when I’m about to go on a big ride (lots of cereals), oh btw, the hotel is filled with Japanese as it seems.

After the breakfast, I went outside to pick up my bike and head to Helsinki, where I had a train at 10:00 to Simpele. I’ve decided not to use the GPS, or indications to get to my destination, and lo and behold! I did it! I got at Helsinki’s train station about 1 hour earlier.

Now, here’s a tip for all you travelers on a foreign country. Always carry around a written paper with the place where you want to get to, or else people will simply not understand you, even though the correct pronunciation is pretty similar to your own. I’ve experienced this while buying a train ticket for me (43,30€) and my bike (9€). Luckily, I had the name Simpele written on my cellphone (I had a reminder with the hours of the train), and so the lady in the ticket office could understand where I was heading. She was also kind enough to write the number of the track on the ticket, and to explain me what the other numbers in there meant (carriage number, seat number, and number for the bike container).

The train station in Helsinki is very beautiful, img_5993.thumbnail.jpg img_5995.thumbnail.jpg and has lots of access doors, and some of them are even thought out for the people with bikes to get in (you don’t need to open any doors). I’ve also noticed that they have something similar to Portuguese’s Pendular (it was called Pendolini or something, yeah… it sounds Italian).

As I was one hour late, I got to see many trains come and go filled with Finnish people on cool looking trains img_5994.thumbnail.jpg

Anyways, after the train came in, I walked in with my bike on the assigned carriage (oddly enough, I was on the carriage 3, and my bicycle was in the position 333). There was in there this other guy, also trying to put his bike in place (he smelled like he was really drunk). They have this nice mechanism, where you use this kind of mechanical robot arm that pulls your bike up and leaves it secured on an upright position.

After having my bicycle secured, I tried to find my place, but first I saw someone from the train crew, and so I decided to confirm if I was in the right train, which I was. I then proceeded to ask, how could I tell that I have arrived at Simpele? He showed me this weird schedule with weird acronyms and some hours. And I was like… Well…. Ok…. How many stops till I get there? And so he started counting in Finnish! WTF? lol After he finished counting, I was nodding and stuff, but in my head I was VERY puzzled. Finally he said EIGHT. Well ok… So I proceeded to my seat.

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Cause I am strong enough




I just had the _gayest_ moment of my life this afternoon.

As of today, I started doing my commuting with my big headphones on (yes… I probably look like a dork), connected to the mobile phone, so that I can hear the radio, while doing the trip.

Well, as I was going back to the hotel, struggling to overcome a ramp, Cher’s music “‘Cause I’m strong enough” started on the radio. Holly crap! You just try to picture it! (please don’t, I have a reputation, you know?)

Anyways, I am 100% safe about my sexuality, and my girlfriend can prove it.


But now seriously:

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posted by André Lemos in Family Guy,Finland,Trips and have Comment (1)

Handheld video

To show you that this is a truly MULTIMEDIA AND 100% INTERACTIVE BLOG (well, sort of, I suppose…), here’s a video shot by me while driving my bicycle from work to my hotel room in Espoo, Finland


Ps.: no, I don’t know the girl that is most of the time in front of me, nor have we at any time exchanged eye contact.

and sorry for the quality, but it’s hard to make a video while hand holding a mobile phone riding a bike.

oh oh oh and yes! my hair does look funny when I enter the elevator (because of the speeeeeeeeeeeeeed during the bike ride. OH YEAH!!)

posted by André Lemos in Finland,Trips and have Comments (3)

Lake Bodom

Lake Bodom (Bodominjärvi in Finnish, Bodom träsk in Swedish) is a lake in Finland located on the suburbs of the city of Espoo, not far from Helsinki (60°12’34.92″N – 24°30’42.99″E). The lake measures approximately three kilometers in length and one kilometer in width.The lake is notorious for murders that occurred on the night of June 4, 1960, when four teenagers (two boys, Nils Gustafsson and Seppo Boisman and two girls, Tuulikki Mäki and Irmeli Björklund) went on a camping trip to the lake and were mysteriously attacked while sleeping in their tent. Three of them were killed and one survived. This event is commonly referred to as the Lake Bodom murders. In June, 2005 the only survivor, Nils Gustafsson, was charged with murdering his friends. On October 7, 2005 the district court found him not guilty on all the charges laid against him.The increasingly popular metal band Children of Bodom, who are also from Espoo, took their name from these murders.

got this from wikipedia.

So yeah… That’s where I went today (the GPS accounted for almost 47Km, but it was much more. You can see on Google Earth, if you load up my file, that there’s this straight line (that’s where I lost connectivity to the GPS), and of course, I didn’t do any straight lines). A great place btw 🙂

It started off just like the other days, except that I ate a good bowl of oatmeal in the morning so I had the strength for the rest of the day, and I’ve also did some coding in C++/QT/libssh (kind of a personal project).

I was told that that area in particular is really cool, with lots of lakes and trees, so I fired up Google Earth and tried to get my bearings. So…. That’s about NO from the hotel, right? And so I went.

KML file (opens with Google Earth).

You can see on the image above, the path I did, what time I took to do it, and some important places I think you should visit.

I saw, a cemetery, in the woods (really cool), because all the graves had lots and lots and lots of trees around them


, horses, a dog contest (the dogs were all like the one in the photo below, so I guess it was only a contest for this breed. One thing really funny that I saw there, was this little girl (her mom and dog were participating on the contest (well of course, it’s both of them :-P), that had lots of badges, as if she was a dog, and had won lots of categories. Really funny stuff!! This was right next to the Bodom Lake.


Also saw people having a bath on the Bodom lake, and some really cool forests (you can see from the map that I was surrounded by _green_ most of the time)! I love it when I can ride the bike on really dense forests, where you can only hear yourself (me doing lots of breathing obviously :P), and all the birds and stuff.

One thing that I have realized, and haven’t shared with you yet, is that when riding a bike, traffic really does stop for you on the crosswalks, which is surprising, and refreshing if you ask me.

When I got back to the hotel, I had to do, the now traditional, swimming thingy. The deal is, I try to swim for about 15 minutes (well… after such a long walk, you really can’t ask more from me :P) the butterfly, on a really cold swimming pool, but only using my arms (which gets you tired really fast, but develops your upper body a lot. Hey… My legs are having enough exercise as is!).

I will be in so much better shape when I get back to Portugal! You better believe it!

Random crappy shots:

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posted by André Lemos in Finland,Trips and have Comment (1)

Just another day

Today, wasn’t much different from all the other days.

Wake up, see the news, have lunch, go for a ride.

Although I took the GPS, I didn’t use it, so I have no map to show you today. I can tell you though, that I tried to do the same course, as I did with Holly Long Walk Batman, though the trip was a bit longer.

Below is a photo of _my_ bicycle with the direction plaques that you can find in most intersections of this tracks used only by people either on foot, or on a bicycle.


You can also have a grasp of the surroundings during most of my trips (notice the trees and the grass).

By the end of this trip, I finally came to my senses.

But oh well… What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger I suppose.

posted by André Lemos in Trips and have No Comments