Saturday, September 19, 2015

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Helsinki one more time

Posted by Hippo Bean at 9:36 PM
The Tallinn harbor was just 5 minutes from our hotel. Inside the terminal, I spotted a souvenir shop and scanned my ticket to get in through the shop doors. Little did I know, the ticket once scanned, it wont let me out and could not be scanned again to go in to the departure hall. So someone who also wanted to check out the store, scanned, and held the doors to let me out. When the time came, I couldnt get in to the departure hall, so again someone scanned his ticket, held the door and I went through. whew! so much for shopping. Gangplank was a long walk and once on the ferry, massiveconfusion as people crowded just inside the boat and queued up for the luggage room. We stood on open deck to say goodbye to lovely Tallinn and the skyline was spectacular. the wind picked up as the ferry picked up speed on the Baltic sea. Last time I've made this journey, it was a small hydrofoil. This time, the boat was big as a cruise ship, furnished with restaurants, shops, bars and sitting areas in the aft and an enormous theater at the bow and that's where we parked ourselves. song guessing games and bingo to entertain the passengers. The boat even had sleeping cabins, and business class compartments. After exploring the entire vessel (the shop had my hippo mugs!) I settle down at the theater. but after a while, the boat picked up speed and it became quite nauseated just sitting there so I went back out on open deck with small snowie. it was cold and windy with some drizzle. The sea smelled fantastic and I throughly enjoyed the ride.

Helsinki

In cold and rain we arrived at the Helsinki harbor. Our hotel is soviet style and hungry we ordered ham and cheese panini at the hotel. simple ham and cheese pressed in a panini never tasted so good. Our afternoon walk through town brought us to the rock church, national museum, music hall, of which the interior reminded me of the Disney music hall in LA, the central railroad station and buzzling square, with McDonalds at every corner, up to the lutheran church and down to the harbor, where years ago, I've had some really fresh seafood, then slow stroll through the main drag, starbucks to purchase the city mug, saw the Itala store but didnt go in and finally back to the hotel. Didnt even go to the Sibelius park. Many in the group expressed their admiration of the architecture and the city. But not me. Didnt like it then and didnt like it much this time either. Not meant to be a grand city, it lacked an old town and medieval architecture that I loved. Modern city yes, lots to buy but otherwise, dull and boring.

Second best dinner we had on this trip happened here. In a small Ma and Pa place, we had a buffet (real buffet this time, all you can eat), of reindeer meat in some mushroom sauce, elk and beef meatballs, savory chicken, lamb ground meat, pancakes, beets salad, smoked salmon and herring, salmon soup. the Hippo was in heaven! I've stuffed myself to the max. At least one good thing in Helsinki.

Helsinki Photos:

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