And the Italian journey?

Leaving from FlorenceThe journey went well. I took one (1) picture during the three weeks I've been on the road. Fortunately Tommi and Hannu brought also their cameras. Here's one by Hannu taken in Florence, just when we were about to live, the battery decided to die. Well, we made it anyway 🙂

So, almost 6000 km. Yes, the expectation pre-journey were quite wrong, or maybe I didn't take into account some delays.

From the beginning, then. I've inherited a car from my uncle who lived in Sicily, and I decided to take it to Finland. At the beginning of this month I had to go for a working trip to Bari, so I decided to kill two stones with one bird (maybe vice versa, think of the blood otherwise). So, I organised the trip in the most complicated way, inviting also two friends of mine from Finland (the two mentioned above) to fly to Italy and come back with me by car.

Guess what? Everything went fine. That's easy to tell, but read again the underlined sentence after you've read the rest of this message.

Finland – Italy – Finland in 23 days

Dates: 30.6-22.7.2006

Means of transportation: Aeroplane, Ford Escort 

Participants: me, Hannu, Tommi

  • 30.6.2006: Oulu – Stockholm – Milano – Sicily
    By aeroplane. Then by car from Catania to Mazzarino, where the Ford Escort was waiting (with his battery well charged)
  • 2.7: Km 0 – 775 – Sicily – Bari
    Leaving on a Sunday morning (quite late due to the previuos evening) from Sicily heading to Bari, I realised that my Ford Escort doesn't have any air conditioning system. Damn. I put the fan on max, and then immediately off. The air came out a bit too hot. After a couple of hundreds of km I realised I was driving with the heating system on. Outside it was 35 degrees. Inside better not to know. Arrival to Bari in the late evening (early night) after the battery discharged completely in the middle of the journey, and had to stop a few cars before I manage to get someone to help me start the car again
  • 3-7.7: Km 775 – 909 – Bari
    While working there, I've been driving around Apulia with the Finnish partner of the project
  • 8.7: Km 909 – 1627 Bari – Firenze
    Reaching Florence to see the final of the FIFA World Cup
  • 9-14.7: Km 1627 – 2250 Firenze – Pistoia – Siena – Chianti – Firenze
    Tommi arrives the 10th after having been a couple of days in Rome. Hannu joins the crew a day later, after visiting Bologna and Rome. We've done together several journeys to Pistoia, Siena and the Chianti area to see landscapes, music, and to buy wine, of course
  • 15.7: Km 2250 – 2953 – Firenze – Ferrara – Graz (Austria)
    First leg of the journey to Finland. After a stop in Ferrara to see an example of Italian renaissance, we just go ahead to get stuck in several unbelievable queues on the motorway. Golden rule: NEVER travel in Italy by car duing the summer. Reaching finally Graz in the late evening, we stayed overnight at Kati's place (thank you Kati!). She also guided us on a quick tour of Graz. Now I have to go back there to see the bar in the river open
  • 16.7: Km 2953 – 3729 – Graz (Austria) – Bratislava (Slovakia) – Brno (Czech Republic) – Krakov (Poland)
    Second leg of the journey. Hannu forgets his phone in Graz, so we had to drive back (not long way, though). Later during the day, at the border between Slovakia and the Czech Republic, a Czech border policeman stole us 20 EUR. He explained me (in German, he didn't speak English) that I did'n buy the Slovakian motorway sticker, and I had to pay a fine for it. Well, that's fair, except that he was a Check policeman and he didn't give me back any receipt. Well, I gave him the money anyway. I wouldn't even have been able to argue in German. And he had our passports, so better not to mess too much around. Also because we had another four borders to cross 🙂
  • 17.7: Km 3729 – 4550 – Krakov (Poland) – Warsaw – Kaunas (Lithuania)
    Third leg of the journey. Quite hard to find the wat to the border between Poland and Lithuania. Well, who cares, I was sleeping at that time 🙂 But, hei, the Polish road are really bad! Guess EU can give them some money for that
  • 18.7: Km 4550 – 4869 – Kaunas (Lithuania) – Riga (Latvia)
    Fourth leg of the Finnish journey. Hannu leaves in the morning on his own to Vilnius to meet a friend. We continue the journey in two. And once arrived in Riga, after eating and getting stuck in Riga traffic jams, we get to the airport from where Tommi flies back to Finland. Oh, I'm on my own now
  • 19.7: Riga (Latvia)
    Just visiting the town and buying Jonathan Livingston Seagull in Latvian
  • 20.7: Km 4869 – 5226 – Riga (Latvia) – Tallin (Estonia) – Helsinki (Finland)
    Fifth leg of the Finnish journey. Hannu arrives to Riga from Vilnius, we continue the journey together to Finland. Once arrived at Helsinki harbour I get the temporary Finnish plates for the car. We stay in Helsinki overnight
  • 21-22.7: Km 5226 – 5994 – Helsinki (Uusimaa) – Tampere (Pirkanmaa) – Oulu (Northern Ostrobothnia)
    Sixth and final leg. After meeting Erika in Helsinki, we head finally back home. Before that, we decide to stop in Tampere to meet Tommi who, after getting back to Oulu, went to Tampere to play a gig with his band. We arrived at Oulu the 22th at 3:20 a.m. Unfortunately all pubs close at that time in Finland, so we had no other chance than going to sleep. Which wasn't a bad idea after all 🙂