On the ground in Helsinki 
Wednesday, July 27, 2011, 10:47 PM
Ah my babies, I've landed in Helsinki, and the striking beauty and tranquility of this city has made my travel woes a distant memory. From the moment one arrives in the Helsinki Airport, he or she realizes that this is a unique city like no other. The airport is open, airy, full of natural sunlight--and remarkably quiet and devoid of noise....and people. I felt more like I was in a library than an airport.

I hopped a local bus into the center of the city (and unknowingly got off at the train station at the advice of locals--little did I know that the bus stops behind my hotel. Alas, the 3K walk to the hotel gave me a chance to get familiar with the city. Finding lots of Twisted Sister fans and plenty of metal heads about town. My sources have told me that ticket sales have been up, so I anticipate a nice, packed house Friday night.

Helsinki is VERY clean, environmentally conscious and relaxed. The people here are quite friendly and helpful--the only way I can describe it is a complete lack of xenophobia. I strolled around the lake across from the hotel, and saw lots of folks having picnics, bike riding, jogging--it's hard to explain it but the people I've met here seem very happy and content. Their conversations very direct and to the point--but they have a genuineness that is refreshing. (Baltimore is such an angry, paranoid city!)

I dined this evening on reindeer steak--my apologies if your Christmas presents are late this year as a result, but it was simply delicious. I walked into a local grocer to try out my Finnish--to my delight, I was able to say good evening, purchase a water, say thanks and bye...and she never spoke English to me once. A good sign.

I don't believe the band and crew have landed here yet--I could be wrong but I have no "band sightings" to report, and I don't feel that stirring in "The Force" that tells me that they are in the building.

Tomorrow will be a day of sighting in Helsinki, and then bus or train to Kotka on the 29th. I'm particularly excited to hear "Hardcore Superstar"--another band who employs our own Johnny, the Twisted Sister lighting technician. Hard to believe that the Village People and Katy Perry are playing the night after Twisted Sister--another Spinal Tap moment, perhaps.

Can't wait to see y'all in Kotka

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