Helsinki's Hello

Trip Start Oct 04, 2009
Trip End Mar 06, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of Finland  , Southern Finland,
Monday, October 26, 2009

After spending a rough night on the night train from Rovaniemi we arrived nice and early at Helsinki. After reading from the hostels directions online, we headed south for what was supposed to be 1.5 km. So what should of been a short walked turned into a full tour of the city - which was nice, but not when you're lugging your heavy backpack around. Eventually, we found a map and studied it well, only to discover we should of got off at the first train station and then head south. We were actually at the other end of the city wondering around the ferry ports. So after a couple of hours we reached our hostel which was the stand for the 1952 Olympic stadium. Later on after throwing our bags into our room, we walked into town to consult the Information Center and visited the indoor market, which was conveniently just over the road. There we tried freshly-caught local seafood and delicatessens (prawns, squid, octopus, blue-cheese stuffed baby pumpkins, mussels and vegetable mixes) and I (Kt) had a piece of locally made passion fruit cheesecake. Mmmmm :) ! From there we went to the Helsinki Cathedral (Tuomiokirkko), the Russian built church (Uspenskin Katedraali) and the Temppeliaukio Kirkko church (which is built into the rockface). We had a well-earned early night and relaxed back at the hostel.
    The next day we went up the tower that was adjoined to the stadium and what was our hostel, which was 150 meters or so high. An amazing panoramic view of the city! Afterward we caught the tram into the center of town, which also acted as a tour, as we were given a small leaflet from the Info center which said about a few of the sites on the way down. We stopped off at a small outdoor market and then continued down to the harbor to catch the ferry to the fortification Island Suomenlinna. Whilst waiting for the ferry, we visited the
Uspenskin Katedraali (Russian Church) and went inside, as it had been closed the previous day.
Once at Suomenlinna, we walked around the now-listed World Heritage site, which contained fortresses used from 1500 - WWII, for about 4 hours. We caught the ferry back to the port of Helsinki (after Ashley took a photo of me outside The Chapmans restaurant!!), where we bought dinner from a local supermarket and then caught the tram back to the hostel. We gained a few tips from a Frenchman who had just come from St.Petersburg then went to bed.
    After packing up our stuff again (I (Kt) feel that I have actually got my packing down to a 'T' now!), we made our way to the Port where we were to be catching the ferry to Tallinn, Estonia, our next stop!
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