Helsinki and Peru
After my trip to Malasia via Google Street View, I went to Peru, found Lima and the aeropuerto without too much trouble, (though traffic to the airport is awful), and then decided to just wander around Peru for a while, since I was tired of being lost in Finland. The woven fences you see up there in Las Tunas are original with the Incas--they are flexible and sturdy and stop the wind and are very suitable for an earthquake zone. Peru has a lot of dramatically different landscapes, this is the moonscape near the coast south of Lima; and after poking around there for a while I went and looked at some of the interior cities. So far my least favorite was Iquitos, and my favorite Pucallpa. You will have to go look at it to see why, it's just really cute to me for some reason. I also peeked at San Ignacio, and look what they have:
No, not the toy store, the OTHER store--the fabric store! I wish there was a way to poke the Google driver and say Stop! I want to look at the fabric! But of course that is all you get driving in street view, is window shopping. There was a place in another town, Jaen, that has a restaurant that offers both Chinese food and pizza, which I vaguely recall being called Luigi's, and part of me wants to go in and look at the menu. Jaen also has a large, dire looking hotel, a strip joint next door, another more legit looking Chinese restaurant on the main street and a million places to fix your car or buy hardware. Jaen is a fun visit. It does help a lot to read Spanish, or at least enough to get the gist of the signs.
I finally decided I really needed to check off Finland, because it was just embarassing to be so lost. On the other hand, it is a pretty place to be lost in:
If someone tells you that they "Live by a lake near some woods and my house is painted red", make them write down the gps coordinates. So I "drove" for about an hour somewhere on the 3, then the 3022, and then the E63, and worked my way south enough to see a rotating restaurant by a lake..it turns out there are dolphin shows there:
I still hadn't found any big highway going south, though I did loop through the Pirkenmaa Scandic Tampere Station and pass a nice-looking coffee place. I finally found a main highway pointed south and I saw this:
YES HELSINKI! But then shortly after I saw this:
Helsinki nooo, not 169 kilometers of interchanges more! (if you use Google street view for long stretches, especially in urban areas, it is easy to "fall off" the highway onto the tiny cross roads passing underneath, and remarkably hard to get back up again and stay oriented. If this was an actual video game I would write a letter of complaint to the developers.) :D In any case, I just headed south, clearing my cache, and eventually I found this:
And at last, this:
WhoHoo! So having found the exit for Finland, I checked the map:
And went up to Norway and the Nordkapp to look at the "North Pole"--just type in Nordkapp and you can see it. Then I headed south to see some fjords
and some wandering herds of reindeer on the side of the road.
Oh, and I did manage to mow some of the back lawn and plant all the marigolds between Peru and Finland.