Ferry to Stockholm

Trip Start Jul 07, 2010
Trip End Aug 05, 2010

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Where I stayed
MS Silja Serenade

Flag of Finland  , Western Finland,
Sunday, August 1, 2010

It was my last morning in Helsinki, so I checked out from the hostel, left my luggage at th hostel's luggage room and went out. I visited Helsinki's City Hall, which houses free exhibitions (I saw the one about Tove Jansson, the creator of Moomins) provides free WiFi and has free washrooms (what else does a traveler needs?). Then I visited Sofiankatu (Sofia's Street) which has been transformed into an open-air museum of Helsinki's history: as you walk along the street you can see different types of cobbles, different street lamps and various street furniture (like phone boxes, water wells) that were present on city's street in previous centuries. Finally, I visited the Helsinki City Museum, which describes the history of Helsinki and Finland from Stone Age to modern days.
I also popped into the biggest bookstore in Helsinki and bought Rick Steve's travel book "Scandinavia". I should've done it before! I love this guy's books, they always give me a clear picture of what to do and what to see when I travel! Highly recommended. Luckily, I covered all the sites that he suggested for Helsinki :)
Then I had some fried salmon at the market square (bustling with activity as always), picked up my luggage and headed to my ship.
MS Silja Serenade is a stunningly large vessel: she carries over 2800 passengers on her 13 decks, has a spa, several restaurants, pubs and cafes, night club, casino, and much more. It feels like a floating Eaton Centre. Kids and adults are thoroughly entertained throughout the 16-hour journey: there are live shows, a parade, stilt-walking mascots, live music, slot machines, duty-free shopping, tons of food and even satellite internet! I wondered the floating palace until it got dark and cold outside, then went to sleep. I got the cheapest cabin possible - shared with 3 other guys. However, all beds had clean bedsheets, there was a washroom with a shower en-suite, and the cabin was very nice and clean overall. Luckily my neighbors were the best possible kind: 2 of them fell asleep immediately and woke up long after I did and the third one went away and never showed up again :)
Fun fact: wondering the sundecks of the ferry I discovered doggy "toilets", boxes with gravel for dogs to use. Seems like they thought about everything and everyone!
Overall the trip was very pleasant and comfortable and sleeping on the ferry in similar to sleeping on the train, except for the railway noise :)
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