Saturday, March 24, 2007


Odysseus (or Ulysses, if you are Roman and prone to misspell things) took a 10-year detour on his way home to Ithaca, and

We are fascinated by travelling and exploration. To boldly go where no man has gone before is an ideology that brings special kudos to those who live by that creed. And you don't need to go to space to capture people's imagination. Often it's the style that matters, and as far as odysseys go, the trip is as important as getting "there".

4 Finns are currently somewhere in the eastern Turkey, or perhaps already over the border in Georgia, on their way to Baku in Azerbaijan. They are going there to see a football match, a qualifyer game between Finland and Azerbaijan for the Euro 2008 tournament in Austria and Switzerland. There will be about 100 Finland fans in the Baku stadium next Wednesday, but most of them have gone there with a charter flight from Helsinki. These lads decided to drive. And as they were driving through much or Russia, Ukraine etc., they thought it would be great to drive with a Lada. They chose the vehicle also because one of the boys is acar mechanic and specialises in Ladas.

This trip has got some attention in the press, the Finnish Football Association and of course the football discussion forum where the idea was developed and where the Russian-speaking member of the troupe recruited.

The boys started off in Oulu, in northern Finland, drove to St Petersburg, then Moscow and then Kiev, Ukraine, and were hoping to get a ferry from Odessa to Georgia, but since there was no room in the ferry, they decided to drive around the Black Sea instead. So, the trusty Lada was pointed towards Moldovia, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey. Driving straight through Russia to Azerbaijan isn't possible, as the border is closed. You know, all those Chechnya-issues and other fun things like rebel groups, kidnappings and death patrols going on there, not really easy to get around.

Hope they make it to Baku in time for the match, and hope they get back home in one piece. So far everything seems to have gone smoothly and they are enjoying their trip.

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