Helsinki - where everything works

Trip Start Aug 08, 2013
Trip End Oct 23, 2013

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Flag of Finland  , Southern Finland,
Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What would you expect of Finland - clean, no graffiti, no road rage, no souvenirs in your face, all good quality, efficiency everywhere, courtesy always on display     Yes plus everything works, wifi everywhere - we are currently in the ferry terminal and free wifi - everyone speaks English, they smile and are eager to help.  Herewith extract from wikipaedia ref Finland...

With a nominal per-capita income of over $49,000 (2011),  Finland is one of the world's wealthiest nations. According to some measures, Finland has the best educational system in Europe and has recently been ranked as one of the world's most peaceful and economically competitive countries. It has also been ranked as one of the world's countries with the highest quality of life.  In 2010, Newsweek magazine ranked Finland as the overall "best country in the world" after summing various factors.  ...  We are not the only ones to be impressed!
Finland started at St Petersburg station where we boarded a smart, streamlined, clean, train for Helsinki.  It proved to be fast (200+ kmh), quiet and comfortable for the 3.5 hour trip.  Even the efficient money changer did not rip us off.

First impressions on a drizzly Sunday afternoon were not too exciting.  Seemed very uneventful and uninspiring.

But the next day after touring the city on a Hop on Hop off bus and taking a harbour cruise on a sunny day it took on a new light!  A very livable city.  Full marks.

A note about our hotel - no surly service as no service!  The hotel/room was booked over the Internet, thereafter our room number and access code were all conveyed by email/SMS.  The front door, floor door and room door all required the access code (therefore no key to lose/forget) and one felt safe.  The room was very functional and had all we needed.  We didn't need service ie check in, check out, check mini bar.  We never saw anyone so no need to talk - great! Top service - no smile!!  The electronic age is upon us. 

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