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Thursday was both leisurely and taken up entirely by travel. After a lazy breakfast, I could the train from Deventer at 11am. Local to Schiphol, then the Thalys to Brussels, the Eurostar to London, one train up to York, then a change for the last leg to Durham. The changes all had plenty of time to find my platform, but never really enough time to stop and look around or do more than grab something to eat later on the train.

Wednesday was another ambling around Deventer day. Irina and I went off to various shops to pick up so specialty cheese and wurst to take to Sara & Co. on my next stop. (Also some cheese for me to take home, once I'd verified that their packaging technique would pass customs.) Then just more wandering with tour guide: tracing the old city walls (both the earthwork built against the Vikings and the medieval stone wall that can still be seen in fragments and lasted into the early 17th century (IIRC).

When I thought about what I wanted to do to extend my trip a little (because it seems silly to fly all the way to Europe and not do a bit of extra traveling), I decided that rather than focus on museums and castles and whatnot, I wanted to spend the time visiting people--especially people that I've known for quite some time and had never met in person. I met Irina way back during Usenet days on rec.arts.sf.composition, so that would be about 20 years ago or so. She's been a beta reader for a number of my stories and books, but up until last week we'd never been in the same time and place.

This will be an irregular chronicle of My Summer Vacation, beginning in Helsinki, Finland. Seeing all sorts of online friends reporting late planes and missed connections, I have to count myself lucky at getting a non-stop flight (though we were delayed an hour taking off, so good thing I didn't have a connection to miss). I spotted several other Worldcon-bound fans in the waiting room for my flight, in some cases due to strategic use of the "Helsinki 2017" bright blue t-shirts, but in some cases because it was someone I actually knew (waves at David Peterson).

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