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Published: September 25th 2007
yay! my first long distance train ride! woot!
What a day. I woke up today at 6am. Early in know! I quickly showered, ate breakfast and stuffed all my Helsinki guides and maps into my bag. Leena, dressed in her business attire, and I left the house at 7:20 and drove to Turku in pursuit of the train station! We arrived at the train station around 7:45 and bought tickets for the 8:00 train. We boarded the huge red train and went up stairs (yes!!! It had two stories) to find our seats. A woman came to stamp our tickets then sold us some “train food”…aka muffin and pineapple juice! On the train Leena and I looked at all my maps and she read one of the travel guides. It was pouring rain outside so the windows were all waterfally and beautiful. (and yes I have made up my own word. Waterfally.) We made many stops in towns with names I can’t pronounce then, after about two hours arrived at Pasila Station. We walked from the train station in Pasila a few blocks to the Habitare ’07 exhibit. The Habitare exhibit is a huge design exhibition where companies from all over Europe come and show their products. It is
a design fair where Nixi, the company Leena works for, was showing their cabinets to the public. It was extremely crowded with people from all over the world! I walked around there for two hours looking at all the exhibits then ate lunch and left Leena to walk back to the train station. I walked to platform 1 and took the next train to Helsinki. I found an empty seat and plugged into my ipodi. I asked the lady sitting across from me if the next stop was Helsinki and she said yes in perfect English. She asked what I was upto all by my self speaking elglish! 😊 I told her I was a vaihto-oppilas (exchange student) from America and I was planning on touring the city. She was very impressed and helped me find the tourist office when we arrived in Helsinki. The woman working at the tourist center gave me a map and pointed me in the direction of the National Museum of Finland. I exited the train station and walked across the square to a Metro Tram stop and boarded the number 4. I took it one stop to Finlandiatalo (Finlandia Hall) and crossed the street
facing backwards...eww sickness.
to the museum. Inside I started in the room of Finland’s history and saw many exhibits on the first inhabitants all the way to the Middleville times and then modern times! After an hour or so there I crossed the street in the rain to Finlandia Hall where I had booked a tour for 2pm. I joined a large group of Japanese tourists and 4 Finns in the foyer and we started our tour. The tour was in English (!!!!!!!) but there was also a guide with the Japanese group who would translate everything in to Japanese. I took a wonderful, informative tour of Alvar Ailto’s Finlandia Hall for 45 min! I took a bunch of pictures and made a movie of the interior of the hall. (All my movies are posted on youtube at: http://youtube.com/profile_videos?user=livelovelaugh3322 After the tour I went outside in the rain and took a few pictures of the exterior of the building. I was about to take a picture of the front doors when I realized there was a Rotary emblem near the entrance!!! I couldn’t believe it…so of course I took a picture!!! Rotary at Finlandia Hall! Awesome! I left Finlandiatalo and walked back toward
aka...muffin ja pineapple juice! :)
the train station. I decided I would see a lot more if I walked instead of took the Metro (which is an above ground trolley). I must have looked like such a tourist there walking with my map out and my camera on my wrist! I saw so many things while I walked toward the harbor! I passed the Saksa Theatre (German theater) a big, round white building, and I walked through a beautiful park with many statues and beautiful blowers. The architecture in that area (which is passed in movies as St. Petersburg, Russia) is exquisite. There are ionic columned buildings with zinc and copper towers, golden domes and marble veneer. Each building is so different from the next, yet they fit together in the city. When I got to the harbor I spent a few minutes walking around the smelly fish market enjoying the sea breeze. I looked at my map and decided to go to the Olympic station next. I walked along the right side of the sea a few blocks until two massive cruise ships came into view. I couldn’t believe how big these ships were; I was in awe! They were each over 10 levels
high with balconies and tall smoke stacks! I went to the docks near them to take pictures and I saw the tops of the Helsinki Cathedral far away behind some buildings. It looked so beautiful so I decided to go there next. I caught the next Metro going in that direction and got off at some street with an extremely long name starting with an M. (haha Leena is reading over my shoulder and it is called Monerheimintie) I walked in what I thought was the right direction ( I couldn’t tell now that other buildings blocked my view) and ended up at senate square right in front of the Cathedral! I ran up the many stairs to the door of the building. I took many pictures of the Corinthian columns and the green domes covered in stars! I entered and made a video of the simple interior with the high vaulted ceilings and giant organ! I walked around the inside and outside for half an hour before I ran back down all the steps and headed back to the train station. On my way I saw a little shop called the Sauna Market….of course I went in. It was
amazing. It smelled like honey, pine, pina colada, rosemary, lavender…and so many more I didn’t recognize…it was like a garden. It was so colorful! There were rainbow soaps and jars of honey, wooden spoons and little sauna gnomes. While I was inside Danie called me and reminded me to meet Debbie (another exchange student from Australia) and pick up his ice skates. Eddie from Mexico is living in Turku so i was bringing Danie's skates home for Eddie to use! I txted Debbie and we decided to meet at the train station. I walked to the train station and met Debbie and some other exchange students from AFS. We chatted for a few minutes but then I had to run and catch my 17:09 train to Turku! ]
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