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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Helsinki, Etelä Suomen, Finland

Jul 10, 2019 - Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki has a population of 604,000. The city is on a natural gateway to the main harbor, where ships from Stockholm and Tallinn, Estonia dock. At the top of the harbor is Market Square, an outdoor food and souvenir bazaar. Nearby are two towering landmarks: The white Lutheran Cathedral and the red-brick Orthodox Cathedral. Helsinki's grand pedestrian boulevard, the Esplanade, begins right at Market Square and ends after a few blocks in the central shopping district. We visited the Sibelius Monument, located in a lovely park setting. It is...

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Jul 9, 2019 - Ivalo, Findland day 3 and Helsinki

Our dinner last night with a Finnish family was very nice. We had moose meatballs with potatoes, cauliflower soup and a chocolate cake spiced with cinnamon. The bread was homemade with a yeast starter, filled with seeds and grains. They basically grow their own food, shoot one moose a year, barter with neighbors to exchange goods. Very interesting. The husband gives snow mobile tours in the winter and does construction in the summer. The wife works for the community public health service. Their little girl is 4 years old and loves showing...

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May 25, 2019 - Viking Ship...Grace, Turku and Porvoo

So yesterday we were up at 4a.m. to drive into Stockholm along highwzy #73 to arrive at the Viking Ferry Terminal....at 5.45a.m. Like the airlines being there 1 1/2 hours early is a must. The 'Grace' left at 7.30a.m. Grace is a huge wind-powered new ship with back-up engines. She holds a lot of cars and trucks....and passengers. Trucks at the cargo area were backed up the street. We thought the trucks and cars coming off when she arrived would never stop...but they did. We were the first car to board. We were on the 5th floor. We found our...

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Sep 12, 2018 - day 18 of the trip, day trip to Estonia

12 Sept, Trip to Estonia Today Joy and I went on the ferry to Estonia. The trip was about 2 hours. We got up about 0545 and were down to get some breakfast and turn in our luggage to the storage room about 0615. We were able to grab a couple of items off the “early breakfast bar” and waited for the cab. Got to the ferry by about 0645 and loaded onto the ferry for the 0730 departure. This is a ferry where they have semi trucks (I counted 50 when we docked back in Helsinki), cars, and passengers. The passengers can have a room to sleep in...

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Sep 11, 2018 - day 17 of the trip, day 3 in Helsinki

11 Sept Busy day. I’m happy to note that after 1 ½ days of downloading all of the photos from the camera to the computer, I finally have my phone/camera back in business! I’ve been taking LOTS of photos and felt a little lost the time I did not have a camera/phone with me. Breakfast was in the hotel restraurant; had my usual of cereal, yogurt, nuts, etc. Also had some juice and fruit. To the bus at 0800 and we drove north to a music museum/lotta museum. A lady (don’t have her name with me), gave us a presentation on folk music in Iceland....

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Sep 10, 2018 - day 16 of the trip, day 2 in Helsinki

10 Sept After breakfast we had a lecture “This is finland, past and present”. I had to take notes to keep my self interested. Many in the group thought he was very good and humorous…..I did not. Suomi is Finland. It’s a very difficult language with many verbs for one word! He talked about where the finns came from….. In the 1200’s Finland was under Sweden; villagers had to pay taxes based on the village. Finns were very poor but taxed the same as Swedes. Finland is a tough place to live in the winter; very harsh cold conditions. Better for...

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Sep 9, 2018 - Day 15 of the trip, trip to Helsinki, day 1 in Helsinki

9 Sept Woke up before Joy and went out to watch part of the sunrise, take photos and walk around the deck. Had a little breakfast and back out to watch the islands go by and the approach to Helsinki. Found Joy at some point up on the deck. We watched as we landed and they threw the ropes to the dock; that was our signal to go to the room and get our stuff. Met the road scholar group as we left the ferry and then it was on to a bus. We had a bus tour of the city and stopped at a large square (was that parliament?). walked down to the water...

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Aug 26, 2018 - DAY 10 - At Sea (Helsinki to Warnemunde)

Day 10 - At sea (Helsinki to Warnemunde) A nice relaxing day at sea today, recovering from the last few days! Although fairly bright and sunny, it was quite a cool (15°) and breezy day, so not really one for sitting out on deck or our balcony. The four of us took part in this morning's Shuffleboard knockout, in pairs randomly selected by the activity leader. To our great surprise, Marilyn and I (with our respective partners) both made it through to the final, so we ended up playing against each other. Marilyn played an absolute blinder...

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Aug 25, 2018 - DAY 9 - Helsinki

Day 9 - Helsinki We docked in Helsinki at 8am, but after the last two hectic days in St Petersburg (which have left us both feeling slightly punch-drunk) it was wonderful this morning to have a leisurely breakfast and take a mid-morning shuttle-bus into Helsinki town centre for a relaxed wander around, taking in a few of the main sights along the way, including both cathedrals. It was interesting to hear someone practising on the organ in the imposing white Lutheran Cathedral which dominates the city, although the rather hesitant and...

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Jul 17, 2018 - Last days in Helsinki

Yesterday worked out ok despite the Trump Putin interruption. Many streets and major tourist areas were closed off but our city tour was able to negotiate the closed off areas and take us to many highlights. We finished the day with a traditional meal - fish soup followed by reindeer meat on mashed potatos with berries. Today everything was back to normal and we had a free day. We decided to do a three island hop on hop off cruise which was very good. The hot weather continues to follow us around - the locals say this hot weather is most...

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Jul 15, 2018 - Helsinki - we've been Trumped!!

Just our luck! We arrive in Helsinki for four days and the place is going into lock-down just because Trump and Putin want to have a meeting here. We arrived late yesterday afternoon and were met at the airport by increased security. We were able to get around ok today and had a good day exploring the main part of the city near the waterfront. The area was swarming with journalists and TV crews from around the world - CNN appeared to have the largest contingent. Tomorrow that whole area is going to be closed off. Our 14 day tour officially...

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Jun 17, 2018 - New day, new plan

June 16 - Saturday Our shore trip has been canceled & what is available is too much walking for Dick. So we went into Helsinki on the shuttle bus that dropped us off downtown. Don needed to find an HMITC cord to watch movies from his computer to the TV. Terry a round brush. We needed two decks of cards, $5.95 a deck in the ship store. A bottle of Vick’s and cough medicine for Dick. Observing the street names, corner of Kauppatori & Salutorget ,off we went on a treasure hunt for items we did not pack. After several false starts with...

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