Back into Europe

Trip Start May 12, 2009
Trip End Dec 22, 2009

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Flag of Finland  , Southern Finland,
Wednesday, July 15, 2009

We took a train out of Russia, which again went relatively smoothly, considering the visa issues that could've come up again. No problems crossing the borders, though we think every Russian had the suitcases searched as they crossed into Finland.

Helsinki was our only stop in the country, but it was quite lovely, and very relaxing. It was much smaller than the cities we'd visited in Russia, the weather was beautiful, and in general everything was quite laid-back.

We did have a bit of confusion when we first arrived about our hostel. The address we had said: Olympic Stadium, and that was it! So we made our way up to the old Olympic park, and sure enough our hostel was in the Olympic Stadium, which has been partially converted into a hostel...pretty neat!

We walked a lot around Helsinki, enjoyed the beach, and a national museum. The fish and fresh food market was lovely, and we tried some scrumptious reindeer. We also watched the newest Harry Potter film which had come out with Finnish and Swedish(?) subtitles. And shortly before leaving, we stopped into a great traditional sauna, which helped us relax even more.

Heading out to Stockholm on an overnight ferrie, we were amazed at the luxury of the ship! The place was like a mall on the inside, with loads of stores, a karaoke and disco area, a casino and mainstage area, a duty-free shop, a movie theatre (which we had to ourselves...we nerded it up watching Star Trek) and various performers (including Moomin, a Finnish cartoon character). It was basically a cruise ship for an overnight trip!
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