Expensive but nice

Trip Start Sep 23, 2009
Trip End Apr 23, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of Finland  , Southern Finland,
Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Our trip finally got under way with a lift to the airport and then an early flight to Helsinki from Heathrow. Hotel Ava is a little way out of the centre and took some finding but we eventually managed it. Ava is more of a hostel really but it did the job.

Helsinki looks and feels like many other European cities in that it has some large blocks on the outskirts but the centre is a mix of trams and large public squares crossed with beautiful old buildings and huge neon signs.

It is very expensive here so be warned if you come! A medium pizza at Pizza Hut is 21 Euros and a basic bus tour 25 Euros. There are not too many tourists about, or locals for that matter, and there are some interesting buildings to see, most of which are quite close to each other near the impressive Central Station. The best ones we saw were the Helsinki Cathedral in Senate Square and the Uspenski Cathedral just off Market Square but we did see many others too.

Perhaps the best tourist destination we found here though is Suomenlinna which is an old fortress island that is reached by ferry. It was nearly totally destroyed but large parts have been reconstructed very nicely and has great views.

Also, I did slightly underestimate how cold it would be here in September - the winters must be frightening! Overall though the people have been friendly and it has been a good start to the trip.

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