Home from Helsinki and what an exciting day!

Trip Start Aug 20, 2008
Trip End Dec 18, 2008

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Flag of Finland  , Southern Finland,
Monday, October 20, 2008

Just got back from Finland yesterday and it was a great trip! I have never taking a cruise ship that you sleep on and we did this on the way to Helsinki. We departed from Stockholm harbor at around 4:30pm and arrived in Helsinki around 9:45 the next morning. This was a fun time getting to know all my fellow german travelers who joined me on the trip with Eija. Eija is the Finnish girl who was going home to see her family and offered to show a few of us around the city.  She was very informative and helpful with getting around the city. Any way, on the boat we danced the night away and watched kareoke. We had a fun night exploring the ship and shopping in the tax free shop! When we arrived in Helsinki we got out bus passes for three days and our wallets full of Euros before we started our adventure. We had to go about 15 minutes outside of Helsinki to get to Eija's boyfriends family extra apartment. We were all kind of wiped out, and went to the grocery store to buy food for the next few days. This was when I was really thinking about Mom and all the times we have traveled together somewhere and i never had to worry about money or paying for a meal. She would take care of me always and i never knew how nice it was until i have had to start paying for my own food when traveling.  It was pouring down raining when we first arrived so we didn't get to really walk around the city area at first, but Eija took us on a lovely walk around her little community around the apartment. It had a lake near by and a few old buildings of the Old Town Helsinki. She said that two different kings have moved the city of Helsinki farther to the Harbor so that's why the old town was so far outside of the down town area. Our next day in the city was a little dryer and we were out the door to see the city. We started at right of the heart of the city at the huge Lutheran Cathedral that is the icon of the city. We were not allowed to go inside for it was the hour of their daily prayer they held and during that hour there were no tourists allowed. The building was so beautiful, it astonishes me wherever i go at all the detail they put into all their architecture here. We went to a huge Russian Cathedral that was build when Russia took over finland for 100 years. The inside was so amazing, it had so intricate paintings all over.
They had a special coffin that was chillin in there to just resemble Christ dying and rising from the dead. I thought that was pretty interesting. I picked up a russian coin outside the church because they had just had a wedding earlier on that day, I guess they throw the coins as the bride and groom come out of the church. We then went to the Harbor where we took a ferry across to a tiny island outside of Helsinki. At this island there was famous ruins that were built to protect the city from invaders. There was also a little Market Hall at the Harbor that looked almost just like the underground of Pike Place Market.
When we got on the Ferry to head back to Stockholm, it was like a dream. We went to the top deck so we could see the whole city. It was so surreal seeing Helsinki fade into the distance and the amber sun glowing on it. It was gorgeous and we sad in silence freezing in the wind, watching the sun go down over the Sea. I was soaking up each mintue as it passed by.
Can't beleive how blessed I am to be leaving the Harbor of Helsinki Finland!
So today was an exciting day because the local newspaper from Sundsvall called me and said they would like to meet with me to interview me about being an international student at Mid Sweden University. So I will be meeting with them tomorrow for lunch and they will be taking my picture. How crazy is that? Then also today we pitched our ideas for our movies in our narrative forms of media class, and the class voted on three movie ideas they would like to create. Mine was one of the three picked, so I will be directing our 10 minute long short film that I created. We will be working on these films for the rest of the semester and they will be viewed as a final exam at the end of the semester. It was quite an exciting day for me today and I couldn't beleive all that was happening for me! I'll share my movie idea with you all in my next entry. My fingers are kind of tired from typing now. :)

Life is great and it's amazing being in Sweden. It was lovely coming home to Sundsvall, it has become a great place for my home and I am loving every minute i am here. I am learning so much that i can't even put it into words!  I just know that every college student should study abroad atleast once in their life. I have grown so much and can't wait to come home and share it with the rest of the people i love in the world!

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Where I stayed
Eija's apartment

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