We finally picked up the van from our rental place in Helsinki. It’s awesome. It’s also very dirty, inside and out. I personally don’t care too much about the outer appearance but the filth inside has to go. I admit that I expected the car not to be as clean as I would like it to be, however, the thorough cleaning procedure wasn’t exactly part of our Saturday agenda. Fortunately, we have all the bags ready to go (I’m skipping the post on packing here, by the way, because I’d like to find out how it turned out before writing about it) and no schedule, so it really doesn’t matter when we leave Helsinki.
When we finally have everything ready to go, all bags and utensils and a few food supplies safely stored, the child seat adjusted between driver’s and passenger’s seat, we cannot help but to feel as excited as our kid who has just learned how to turn the built-in CD-player on and off. It’s been a somewhat grey and windy day, but as we make our way west through the city the sky clears and the sun comes out eventually.
We want to take it easy in the beginning, giving everyone the chance to get used to the vehicle. After a short drive of about one hour we find a lovely spot right by the water in Tammisaari. It’s still fairly windy but we face the car towards the west so we can have our first ‘camping dinner’ outside and in the sunshine. Thank goodness we have prepared a pasta salad at home so we only need to sit down and enjoy.
After dinner, we take a casual stroll through the old town, giving Mats the opportunity to get rid of any extra energy that might be left from sitting in the car. He seems awfully tired, still the most exciting part is yet to come – going to sleep in the van for the first time. The VW T4 has got a hard top with an extra bed in the roof. Mats loved exploring the area when we were still packing in the yard, now he doesn’t seem too excited to go up there. He falls asleep on the fold-out bed Markus and I were intending to sleep in and has to be transferred ‘upstairs’ later. Unbelievably he sleeps through the first night without any trouble even though he manages to squish into the small nook between mattress and back of the car while I wake up about once an hour worrying he might be stuck there or fall out respectively.
Even though this is a very crappy night from my perspective, I am rewarded with stunning views of the water I can see from my bed and the most beautiful light outside in the early morning hours. And after my Moomin cup has been filled with delicious coffee I might as well face the next day.