Archive for August, 2010

August 27th, 2010

To Tallinn

I’ll visit Tallinn, once again. The Estonian city is so conveniently reachable by ferries leaving every hour, and there is plethora of good restaurants, historic places, and things to do and buy in the city.

This trip is mostly for the family, we’ll probably spend some time in our hotel’s spa and then visit Tallinn Zoo. Some good food and maybe a pair of shoes or a shirt would be the icing of the cake.

August 18th, 2010

Plans fixed

The trips to London and Japan / South Korea have now been booked. The process was slow and tedious, but we managed to get decent prices for flights and good / very good prices for hotels. We’ve visited the London hotel (No. 5 Maddox Street) before, and it was awesome — prime location next to Oxford Circus, big rooms in London standards, and very nice service. The hotels in Osaka and Seoul are unknown territory, but at least they seem to be of excellent standard based on their websites and Tripadvisor ratings. Reports will follow after the trips.

In the meanwhile, I’ve reserved a couple of other trips in Finland. Early October, I’ll go with the boys to North Carelia for an extended weekend. First the weekend, and then on Monday the boys will give run for the money for my parents while I’ll be teaching in local university of applied science in Joensuu. Two weeks after that trip, I, Aapo, my brother-in-law, and Aapo’s cousin Onni will visit Lego building fair in Ilmajoki, some 300 kilometers up north from Helsinki. I’ve been busy building our entry to the fair, and the three story old town hotel is now in final phases. I’ll try to provide report and pictures from the fair.

Besided these, I’m also planning a trip to Tallinn for a few days in early September, but my plans are completely open still. I’d like to go to US for a while, but it is still a long shot. Maybe early next year, depending how well the Far East trip went.

August 5th, 2010

To London and beyond

We have been working on our travel schedules for the fall, and currently it looks very promising. There should be one trip to London during September, combining business and pleasure, and another trip to Osaka and Seoul in November.

Both of the trips have been somewhat hard to plan — I can’t exactly pin down why, but it is probably related to Niilo getting older than two years and requiring his own seat in the airplane and a normal bed at the hotel. This hikes up all costs, and suddenly seemingly affordable hotel rooms or flights become pretty expensive.

I’ve also learned to hate every and all booking system that does not show the final prices, but you add a variable number of taxes, costs, and what-not to the final bill. In Japan, for example, some hotels are like 33% more expensive when the obligatory extras are calculated in. In the UK, some hotels have 12.5% “service charge” that is to be added to the invoice at the hotel, not in the web.

Despite these woes, we’ve got decent options and should finalise the trips this week.