All the way to Helsinki (Espoo), a great one!

Trip Start Jul 01, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Friday, August 18, 2006

August 17

So I had the luck to use the Internet for free at the youth hostel for a few minutes and to fastly catch up with someone from Espoo (next to Helsinki) on the hospitalityclub chat room. So after the short explanation for the way, I hurried to the bus station of Helsinki to catch the bus to Espoo and arrived at the stop where Tuukka (hc:dakkus) was awaiting me. Pretty great last minute contact. We moved to his place, relaxed a bit there and had just a short little snack. I also got the opportunity to start the laundry so that I could try to dry my clothes the next day. After some basic talk, I placed my things in his messy but surely welcomed room and get to sleep.
August 18

I could wake up pretty more late while Tuukka was gone for his social service job (he is doing is social service task instead of the military service while working at a kindergarten, Military service is an obligation for all Finnish men and the alternative is to do the social work.) I took it has a lazy day, worked on the computer on my previous days on the blog and on HC website. Later Tuukka arrived and we moved with the bus downtown to Helsinki to meet with a girlfriend of him where I could borrow a bike for the coming days and have some cheap mobility. And eventually doing a short city tour with the bike around the little lake on the central part. After it we went to meet other friends and also HC members for some drinks and chill out sort of party before everyone moved to the sea-side where there was a huge firework competition going on. We manage to find the people back after a long and lost ride and watched the firework that was, I admit, extremely impressive. I also spent a long time talking with some other members who invited me later on the week end to do something, but finally I never heard of him anymore anyway.

After the firework, all the drunken wasted Finns moved back in the city streets and we finally ended up searching for a place to hang and go out. I didn't feel to either drink or spend more money especially as I was getting tired. Its only later on the night that we cycle back to Espoo for a sleep.

August 19

Tuukka woke me up with a weird suspicious call, I have to admit that I couldn't entirely surround his behaviour but with a hurry preparation (which all looked like I wouldn't be staying there long anymore...) we moved to Helsinki. Greatly thought we took the scenery biking route and stopped on the way to look up at some things on the way. The lagoon lakes or simply the different architecture and planned suburbs on the way. We also stopped to have a look at Neptunus, which is a feature where you have the sun somewhere in the city at a certain scale and all the solar system planets are spread in the town at their real size and location according to that scale. It also seems that from each planets you can actually see the spot where the other should be standing... well we didn't.

After this sightseeing tour we moved to the same place than the previous night to meet up with Marius (HC:el_chico_fantastico) to simply talk and hang there. It's only later that we all moved to meet with another girl HC member (with somehow a typical Finnish behaviour... or Helsinki one which include mainly having conversation about sex... anyway). We went downtown for a drink on a terrass as the sun was still shining in a great way.

In the meantime we also went for a little sightseeing of the most important feature of Helsinki, its main church and square.... That is after I stopped by the harbour to look for some ferry information to Estonia. I have to say that it's a weird city and the Soviet influence is quite there, I can't say it's a pretty city, it looks a bit like London but also pretty much like Germany. There is still Russian sign from the old time that the country was part of Russia. The train station though, is in a perfect Soviet style.. of the 30s.

Then Marius was leaving by evening to catch his ferry to Germany, we said bye to him and went to hang some more while touring in town and getting a pita . Also taking the ferry to Suomenlinna, the old Swedish fortress on a island located in the harbour of Helsinki. It was fine and we did some cavern hiking in the pitch black tunnel of the fortress, nice!
We stayed there until dusk without paying for the ferry anyway.

On the nightfall we started cycling back to Espoo and on the way at the border of Helsinki-Espoo (next to the Nokia center), I noticed some Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) lighting the sky. It was great, and even Tuukka had never seen some so much south.

I worked late on the computer and therefore was lazy the next day.
August 20

I woke up and spent a lazy day by Tuukka's place. I went to do some grocery so that I could cook us some decent meal. Luckely, I shopped wise and could get a whole lots of things for pretty cheap, so much that I was still having too much left when I left his place. I made a nice pasta meal with fresh food and some ice cream after and we ate it.

For the rest, I spent most of my time on the Internet.
August 21

I had send some email to Daniel that I had meet already in Brussels and noticed on his profile that he was back in town. He answered me and we agreed to meet up in Helsinki by the afternoon. So I cycled back there, stopping to take pictures in the nice developed suburbs but also to take a nice KKK supermarket (Where you get all the stuff to burn minorities). And after taking the bad road, arrived to meet Daniel (HC:danield) in town. We walked around the sea-side and met with Tuukka also shortly before he went away again and brought back the bike to his friend.

There was also a huge smoke smog over the city, so thick that you couldn't see far. It was smoky and it was caused by the huge forest fire they had in Russia, luckily the wind blow most of the smell away later. We finally finished the evening in a park throwing the football before we said goodbye and I took the bus back with Tuukka. Then I cooked another great omelettes and went to eat it in the garden of his students flat area. Getting to sleep as I was picking my ferry the next day in the end of the morning but needed to wake up in time to leave to Helsinki.
August 22

The waking up went all fine, preparing and catching the bus and tram to the ferry station. Then I simply made the queue and jumped on the ferry sending some last sms with my Finnish sim card to Bianka that would host me in Tallinn and whom I contacted only the day before.

The 2-3h ferry ride went fine, I visited the whole boat. Which was anyway more little than the previous Viking Line ferry from Sweden. Relaxed and waited. Then I arrived in Tallinn, came out quite fast and walked into town finding also easily the meeting point where I would meet Bianka that arrived only few minutes after me.
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