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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 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 ... 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
Helsinki
Mannerheimintie

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
Helsinki
Helsinki
Helsinki

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
Helsinki
Helsinki
Helsinki

Europe » Finland » Uusimaa » Helsinki August 30th 2018

With Tish still recovering from her illness, Andrew stepped out into Helsinki by himself for the day checking out the harbours both north and south of our apartment which is located on Katajanokka, a peninsular on the east side of downtown Helsinki. There are lots of walking tours through our neighbourhood so it obviously has played a part in Helsinki’s past but the quality of apartment buildings here is second to none. Down the bottom of our street stands the Uspenskin Cathedral which has a grand viewing platform overlooking th north and south harbours. The Cathedral has an amazing dome and while compact inside, it was very busy with antiquities. The viewover the north harbour included the Helsinki Eye and a number of cruise ships and ferry’s docked for the day. There was a large market ... read more
Helsinki
Helsinki
Helsinki

Europe » Finland » Uusimaa » Helsinki August 23rd 2018

Today was another travelling days as we moved from Copenhagen to Helsinki where we boarded our Ferry (The Princess Anastasia) to St Petersburg Russia. We packed our bags and left our Copenhagen hotel room around 10:45 am headed for Osterport train station, catching the first train to the airport. We had already checked in the night before so upon arriving at the airport we adjusted the weight in our bags to be 23 kg each and then had to print our luggage tags from a machine before dropping them off on a conveyor belt, scanning the luggage barcode and sending them on their way. Before long we were on our Finnair flight to Helsinki and 1 hour 45 minutes later we were in Helsinki airport making our way to the underground train station. We caught the ... read more
Copenhagen
Helsinki
Helsinki

Europe » Finland » Uusimaa » Helsinki July 19th 2018

We arrived in Helsinki 20 minutes before midnight. It had just become night - the light fading from the west as we flew into the airport. It would be light again here in less than 4 hours. If you like daylight, this was the place to be on your summer city break. Helsinki is actually the second most northerly capital city in the world behind Reykjavik in Iceland and just pipping the capital of Norway, Oslo, into third. Close neighbours, Tallinn (Estonia) and Stockholm (Sweden) complete the top five. Helsinki Airport was humming even at this late hour. Flights arriving and bodies lying around waiting for the early morning departures. The queues were long at immigration and I was just about to curse Scandinavian efficiency or the lack of it, when the automatic facial recognition passport ... read more
Helsinki Central Railway Station
Helsinki Cathedral
Olympic Stadium Tower

Europe » Finland » Uusimaa » Helsinki July 19th 2018

The circus was coming to town on Monday. I paused to watch the Finnish police unit carefully extracting the drain covers near the Presidential Palace. Mirrors descended in to check for explosives, before a security seal was applied. I had seen something similar in Belfast when Clinton was trying to add some American input into the Northern Ireland peace process, but the security on show here was in another level. The city was to be the venue for a summit between the 2 world super powers. Trump, fresh from keeping his new mate "Little Rocket Man" getting too pushy with his demands and getting right up the noses of most EU leaders on his recent visit and Putin, gloating over the success of his World Cup in which the Russian team actually exceeded all expectations. The ... read more
National Museum of Finland
Sibelius Monument
Alvar Aalto House, Helsinki




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