A Beautiful Day in Helsinki

Trip Start May 10, 2012
Trip End May 27, 2012

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Flag of Finland  , Southern Finland,
Wednesday, May 23, 2012

We arrived at the airport in time to get everyone to their
flights.  Unfortunately we had the same
bus on the return trip so it was a rock and roll ride again.  Hugs were again exchanged and fond farewells
given.  Tervi arranged for the bus driver
to take 7 of us to our hotel downtown by the train station.  For some unknown reason he turned off the
right street in sight of the hotel and turned down a much narrower street
parallel to the other.  At first he acted
like he knew where he was going.  There
were cars and delivery vehicles parked on the roadway.  There was barely enough room for him to weave
in and out of the other vehicles.  We
shortly reached a point of no return.  He
could not go forward with his size, he couldn’t turn with his length.  His only choice was to back into another street
which somewhat miraculously he was able to do with a couple of attempts.  It was very warm in the hotel lobby but
fortunately it was cooler in our room. 
The room was right on the busy street on the second floor and if you
opened the windows it was pretty noise. 
The room was very compact with just enough room for our luggage and us.

We ate lunch at a Finnish-Mexican restaurant called the
Amarillo.  Then we checked at the rail
station so we would know where to board the train in the morning for St. Petersburg.  I was wearing a Boise River Festival tee
shirt and a guy came up to me and said he noticed my tee shirt.  Turns out he is from Eagle, ID and was just
visiting with some friends that had to move out of the country to renew their
90day Russian visa.  They had just
completed a mission for the LDS church in Siberia.  It was nice to visit someone from home.   Pat wanted to shop and Karl wanted to rest
his feet so Linda and I headed off to the Market to catch the ferry to Soumenlinna
Island.   It was an absolutely gorgeous
day with lots of sun and very little wind.  The fortress is a large military complex built
in the 18th century, I believe for the Crimean War.  It was constructed by the Russians originally
and then improved and changed when taken over by the Swedes.  There was a tremendous amount of
fortifications made by rock mined on the island.  Walls were 6-8ft thick, tunnels all around
and lots of large, old military buildings
The roads and walkways are all cobblestone.  We had a great view of the multitude of
islands around the Helsinki harbor.  Most
of the islands are quite small and they are all rock (no soil at all).  Linda and I were separated for about
45minutes.  I thought she was ahead of me
so I walked all the way back to the ferry port and back to find her at the far
end where I left her.  I don’t know just
how we lost track of each other  and we
were both a little concerned.   All was
well in the end.  On the ferry ride back
there was a cute little girl about 2years old in her parka and stocking
hat.  I was in my shirtsleeves.  I have seen many children In Finland that
were overdressed by my standards – all bundled up when it just wasn’t that
cold.  Sort of the opposite of what I
expected.  We finally got to bed with
earplugs and had a good rest.
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jackie pritchett on

Great picture of Linda on the ferry

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