So, this is the beginning of my ALMS-course-blog. Where shall I begin? First things first, let me tell you about my trip to Edinburgh and Amsterdam! Now I must say, the fact that we (I went there with two of my friends) even decided to book the flights was really exempore. We were just chilling at my place this one Saturday and my friend Samu talked with his brother about Scotland and their whiskeys. One thing led to another, and before we knew, we had booked flights to Edinburgh via Amsterdam. I remember waking up the next morning really early and just thinking to myself “what the heck did we do lol”. Next on the list was getting all of us together to book some sort of accommodation so that we wouldn’t have to sleep in a ditch or something hahah. That happened on the following Friday in Jyväskylä, where we all were visiting our parents’ houses. Well… actually Tomi, the other friend whom we were on the trip with, lives in Jyväskylä, so it was convenient. Anyway, now that all of these “formalities” were out of the equation, the journey was ready to begin!
Our flight was set to leave at 6:55 a.m. at Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport, so we needed to get up at 3:00 a.m. Needless to say, we were tired. Our layover in Amsterdam was just 55 minutes and we had to run to our departure gate because the flight wasn’t quite on time. Finally we arrived to Edinburgh. From the moment we got out of the plane, I really saw just how beautiful of a country it was. Sunshine met with light rain, and together with the rugged, harsh landscapes in the distance they created this really graceful and postage stamp-like view from the window of this tram-ish thing we used to get to the city-center. And oh don’t get me started on how much I fell in love with the city; it’s architecture, history, people, atmosphere, all of it. The museums were free as well, so I can assure you, we took an advantage of that. The National Museum and Gallery were spectacular. We spent our three days there walking around seeing the sights and just taking it all in within the best of our ability. The old town was really fascinating and full of history and scenic old buildings too. Of course we dragged our asses to a few pubs as well, and let me tell you, they were brilliant as you might’ve guessed at this point.
As time went on, our days in Edinburgh were up and we had to head back home. But, there’s a little twist. This time on our way home, the layover in Amsterdam was 22 hours! We had time, and I mean a lot of it, to visit this city as well and so we did. We wandered around and tried to see as much of the city as possible. Also, we met a Dutch friend of Samu’s in the evening which was really cool! We had booked a hotel for the night so we didn’t have to spent the night at the airport, as our connecting flight left at 7.00 a.m. the following morning. Yes, we had too many early mornings haha! Apart form them, the whole trip was amazing! I got to see many, many gorgeous things with my mates, speak English all day long and really take in all the things we don’t have here in Finland.
It’s kind of hard to estimate how much time I spent speaking English that counts towards this course. I mean it is a lot, because I spoke English every day for four days straight, and in fact we had these two nights where we decided to only talk to each other in English instead of Finnish, because… well, why the heck not! And it’s not only the speaking I did whilst abroad, I also read and heard lots of English too soooo… I would estimate the speaking hours to be around 16, the listening would be about the same. The reading aspect is much more difficult to ponder but I’d estimate it with the best of my ability to be more or less in the region of six to seven hours.