Northern Norway: Day 13: Vaasa-Helsinki

The last day of the trip was here and it started as usual with the hotel breakfast. We didn’t expect anything special, but the breakfast at Radisson Blu Vaasa was extravagant! The selection was massive and the food was good, so we actually ate quite a lot. Originally we were thinking of maybe checking out Vaasa and take a small cruise to Kvarken archipelago. The reality was that I was dead tired and couldn’t even think of sightseeing. Boyfriend had a bit more energy, but we ended up sleeping until it was time to check out at noon.

Route of the day: Vaasa-Helsinki

Finally we were heading back home to Helsinki. On the way we wanted to drive directly to Tampere and have lunch there, but it didn’t quite work out. After driving for an hour or a bit more we ended up in the middle of end-of-the-world type of rain. The day so far has been really hot, so I was only wearing a t-shirt and a riding jacket both of which became soaking wet within first five minutes. The raindrops were so big that it actually hurt when they hit even through the jacket. The pants were wet especially in the crotch area (what a nice feeling that was!) and the shoes and gloves were soaking wet as well. At this point I could’ve given anything just to be home as I’ve had this experience way too many times during the last two weeks. We stopped after driving away from the heaviest rain and I had a chance to go to change a dry shirt on. I also added a rainproof layer under the jacket and changed gloves to dry ones, so I started feeling a bit better. We continued driving and when it finally seemed like the pants were almost dry then we were hit by another huge shower. We couldn’t see anything, so we had to stop at the nearest gas station. The rain was so heavy that the water was flowing everywhere. All wet once again we sat for some time drinking coffee at the gas station among families with kids waiting for the rain to pass. It slowed down, but didn’t seem to stop and we wanted to get home, so eventually we had to get out and continue driving.

I would like to say that the rest of the way went better, but it didn’t. We were hit by rain twice more one of which was again really heavy. While we were driving by every bus stop had a biker hiding from the rain under the roof. 🙂 At this point we were so wet that it wouldn’t have made any difference whether to keep driving or to look for a shelter.

Finally we reached Tampere, where we wanted to stop for lunch. Neither of us knows Tampere all that well and even though we looked up the place in advance, we needed to put the address into GPS. It turned out that the GPS was accidentally turned on in the backpack, so it didn’t have any power left. We looked the route on the mobile phone GPS, but it wasn’t very simple, so we couldn’t remember it and the mobile refused to work with the helmet headset, so we just decided to have lunch at Ideapark mall a bit outside of Tampere. Of course somebody had removed the signs pointing to Ideapark (we read about that in the newspapers afterwards) and we drove past it, so we had to turn around and drive back. Finally we arrived there and were looking for a place to have lunch. At this point some beauty product salesperson tried to make me sit in their chair and try some beauty product they were selling, but after seeing the look on my face he backed away pretty quickly. What was he thinking anyway? I’m sure I looked like I needed some beauty products at the time with being wet, having messy hair, and looking properly fed up with everything, but come on! How many women wearing biker gear would actually sit in the chair and try some beauty products?

Anyway, we ended up in Daddy’s Diner and had hamburgers and cherry cola. I was just happy to get some food and not to be in the rain, so I wasn’t in the best condition to evaluate the food. It was pretty good though.

I have to admit that the mood was much better after lunch and we reached Helsinki without any issues. We didn’t get wet anymore either. We finally got home a bit after eight and it felt really great to unpack the bags for the final time and get home.

Finally back in our own garage

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