Once we had again explained that to Barbara that this was a Baltic cruise and Helsinki was the capital of Finland and not somewhere in Japan, we headed off. We had planned to take the bus into the city but again at the last minute, madness prevailed and we decided to walk it. The walk was not too bad, only around 3km....it would have been 2 but we got lost. ooooh before we left we saw the Regal Princess pull into a berth alongside us. She is one of the huge Royal class ships in the princess fleet and she has the coolest air horn ever.... if any of you remember LOVEBOAT and the theme tune...she plays that whenever she is near or passing another Princess ship. I managed to catch it on video and it really is something to hear, especially from so close. Take a listen....
I had free roaming data and managed to use google maps to find our way. Wooooot! The city is small bt city standards and, being honest, really is a little bit bland compared to gems such as Talinn in Estonia. It has all the usual city type shops and some interesting architecture but nothing which really got us excited.... until..... we found the traditional indoor market. This was a real gem and showcased local products like bear meat and lots of reindeer type edibles. Little little did not come with us into Helsinki because she had heard that they hunted and sold bear meat....she boycotted but allowed Mister Pew Bunny to go along in her absense. He had a grand old time and especially enjoyed a beer in the indoor food and drink market.
I felt quite wheezy in the market but i think it was due to the sheer amount of nuts and other allergens on display. So long as i did not touch anything, i would be okay and so i sat on my hands when we stopped for a beer. Finland is also famous for its salted liqorice and i got to try some...it was so good that i purchased a bag. nom nom..
During our stay in Helsinki, we thought it was only right that we visit the Moomin cafe and shop....finland is the homeland of the, frankly weird, moomins and Mister Pew Bunny really enjoyed this particular stop because he had the opportunity to punch a moomin on the nose. (he punched a few moomins actually)
We also enjoyed a coffee in a local cafe before heading back to the ship. we finally decided to get the bus back and i was not the only one grateful for this decision. It had been a tiring few days with 5 ports in a row!
Once back on board we headed straight down for our first afternoon tea of the cruise. Mister Pew Bunny joined us and enjoyed noodle sandwiches followed by a bloody carrot martini up at crooners. Pew had never been to crooners in his life and was quite overwhelmed by the experience. We were, naturally, quite concerned that little little would be a bit miffed and we did attempt to hide the photos of Pew's exploits from her. She did though, of course, find out...pew being the excitable bunny that he is.
Formal night was last night and to make up for her absense from afternoon tea and crooners, little little donned her tartan tuxdeo, hats and shoes and came down to dinner with us. The waiter actually asked if we would like a table for five.... well, obviously...did they expect her to sit on the floor??
After a lovely dinner dave and I retired to crooners where little little graced us further with her company. She got so much attention that she completely forget about Mister Pew Bunny overstepping the mark and she herself had a brilliant night.
We were really shocked to hear this morning about the Royal Princess in Alaska and send our thoughts to those families and cruisers affected by the accident. (two tour planes collided in mid air)
We have made, as we always do, friends for life at crooners bar this cruise and it brings it home that, whilst accidents do happen, we are thankful for the time that we have had with our new friends on board. We can't imagine what a shock it would have been for those friends and family on the Royal.
Last night was another good one at crooners, we have to shout out here to Steven who is, by far, the best piano man we have EVER experienced on any princess cruise. He comes over to talk to us every night (he is very interested in my bow ties) and he plays and sings brilliantly. He is the perfect crooner... but sings songs such as lying eyes alongside the classics like Mr Bojangles. He is a talent and we love him.
Today is a well earned sea day and time for rest and relaxation. I will post the blog later but will give you a taster..... gary and dave are involved and..one ends up with a bloody nose. Not my fault!!
more later xxxxxx
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