Blogs from Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland, Europe


Europe » Finland » Uusimaa » Helsinki April 28th 2020

Finland day two. The hotel is a bustle with people, a conference is being held in the hotel. The lobby is stuffed with people, groups of people laptops open, discussing topics important to them. We make our way to the breakfast bar, just off of the lobby. A lovely mix of old brickwork, and contemporary furniture. Giving a lovely vibe of traditions held, living alongside new. The smell of breakfast offerings dances in the air, a greeting for our senses. I find the usual fair of cheese, crackers, bacon and eggs. As well as the object of my desire, local delicacies. I try a pastry with rice in the middle, that is traditionally served with butter mixed with eggs. They have ginger snap type biscuits, and an Oreo type cookie that contains a minty filling. The ... read more
Lamborgini in the street

Europe » Finland » Uusimaa » Helsinki March 21st 2020

Finland day 1. A city of romance and steam. Arriving at the airport, we head down the gangway, open minded of what the country will deliver to us. Their terminal is bathed in light, as it streams in through floor to ceiling glass windows and the walls encased in wood. We pass by these portals into the outside world, the landscape has changed since Iceland. The Stark black rocks, lichen hung cliffs. Moss and sub-Tundra plants, are replaced with trees as far as the eye can see. The Icelandic saying goes "If you are lost in the forest in Iceland, just stand up." We blearily travelers wander to the baggage pick up. Standing there we watch people move too and fro, in a chaotic choreographed dance. Dodging and weaving between each other. The language is foreign, ... read more
dry docked sub
Reindeer hotdog
The hot dog

Europe » Finland » Uusimaa » Helsinki August 17th 2019

The first 4.5 hr sail out of Stockholm was incredible weaving through hundreds of islands of every size from small treeless rocky outcrops teeming with sea birds, vast forested & uninhabited islands to idyllic island locations with private homes ranging from traditional red log cabins to palatial homes many with flagpoles flying proudly. Don’t know if they’re only holiday houses or permanent homes but would certainly be less idyllic in winter. We checked into the Hotel Arthur for a two night stay before an orientation walk around the city’s landmarks Including the Lutheran cathedral on Senate Square & the Uspenski Orthadox Cathedral. The rest of the old town is not that interesting with much off the city’s architectural design occurring during Russian occupation. We had our last group dinner for three passengers finishing today but will ... read more
Uspenski Orthadox Cathedral.
Stockholm archipelago
Sailing through Stockholm archipelago .

Europe » Finland » Uusimaa » Helsinki May 29th 2019

Wednesday 29thMay 2019 Hello from Helsinki After an early breakfast we made our way by taxi to Ferry Terminal D at the docks in Tallinn for the two-hour journey across the Gulf of Finland to Helsinki, Finland. Helsinki has been on our list since that wonderful mid-summer in 2005 when we entered Finland from Sweden in the north in our motorhome and only managed to get as far south as Oulu. Time was the enemy then as ever and we promised to return one day and visit Helsinki. Getting around Helsinki is remarkably easy. A €3, two-hour ticket, took us by tram directly to our ‘hotel’, The Hellsten Senate, a fairly basic apartment complex with our own suite – lobby, large bedroom and bathroom, kitchen, lounge and diner with TV and really great value in this ... read more
The Orthodox Uspenski Cathedral
Harbour-side market
Indoor market - Helsinki harbour front

Europe » Finland » Uusimaa » Helsinki May 14th 2019

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 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 ... read more

Europe » Finland » Uusimaa » Helsinki May 14th 2019

Barbera didnt really want Gary to come up and play basketball with me and dave but, like a trooper, he completely ignored her and joined us in a game. We played 1x1 with one watching and, once I beat Gary, he and dave had a game together. None of what happened next was my fault....I was a mere spectactor. Dave threw the ball and it richoched off the hoop and onto Gary's head...unfortuneatly, he had his sun glasses on and it was this which did the damage.... The glasses were impaled onto his nose and cut the bridge quite badly.... we did not see the blood at first but once Gary had walked over to us it was bleeding quite badly. Oops!! we then told Gary that he was not permitted to return to Barbera until ... read more

Europe » Finland » Uusimaa » Helsinki February 8th 2019

I was up super early to head to the ferry terminal. I was departing from a different one to that I had arrived in and it took a bit of finding. It didn't help that it was dark and that there weren't a lot of people about. I took a few wrong turns but got there in the end. The check-in process was super easy, just scan the QR code to get through to the departure area. They didn't even scan it again before boarding the ferry like the other company had. I was taking the Tallink ferry this time and it was almost three times the price of the one I had taken over to Tallinn, but the timings were a lot better, giving me more time to explore Helsinki. The ferry was a lot ... read more
Kyosti Kallio
The National Museum of Finland
The National Museum of Finland

Europe » Finland » Uusimaa » Helsinki February 3rd 2019

Lunar/Chinese New Year means the opportunity to get out of China for a bit. I wouldn't have minded travelling in China, but probably left it too late to any train tickets and decent accommodation. Flights within Asia were almost as expensive as those to Europe and there wasn't really anywhere in Asia that I really had my heart set on visiting. Europe on the other hand, there were quite a few places I fancied. Finnair had a direct flight to Helsinki that left and arrived at a decent time, so I bit the bullet and got the credit card out. The flight was fine and only took about 8 hours. The food was a bit hit and miss, but the cabin crew were lovely. Walking through the airport was like a ghost town, I was unsure ... read more
Somewhere over Russia

Europe » Finland » Uusimaa » Helsinki August 31st 2018

Tish still needed rest to vercome her illness so Andrew headed out to Suomenlinna Island which is a UNESCO sea fort originally constructed by the Swedes when they invaded ad conquered this part of the world but as a sea fort, it was used by Russia in the 1800’s and Germany & the Soviet Union in the 1900’s. The fort is pretty much intact and there are 800 people living in the accommodations on the island which ensures buildings and structures are maintained. The stone structures including bunkers and tunnels are impressive and there is plenty of Military hardware around the islands to give the visitor an idea of life in the fort. Th most impressive structure is the dry dock which used a windmill and horse driven pump to empty the drydock after a boat ... read more

Europe » Finland » Uusimaa » Helsinki August 31st 2018

The last full day of our holiday has finally come as we are due to fly out of Helsinki at around midnight to Singapore and then onto Melbourne and Adelaide. But before then there was much to see around Helsinki before we left. We started the day packing up our apartment, repacking our suitcases to ensue we met the 23 kg limit, placed our suitcases into luggage storage and headed for the Helsinki marketplace full of eats, souvineers and Knick knacks servicing the thousands of cruise ship passengers that must pass through this area each day. After 2 days in bed, Tish was well enough to venture out for a full day but we were still going to take it easy. However, taking it easy didn’t last for long as the ever adventurous Tish decided to ... read more

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