Blogs from Uusimaa, Finland, Europe


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 June 4th 2019

I only know about Finnish (saunas) baths, and pretty Finnish girls. And not much else, though I will try to find out on a short layover in Helsinki, Finland on May 24th. Aside from being the most populous city in Finland, it was the home of the 1952 Summer Olympics. And it has been, at least lately, one of the best urban standards for living, always ranked high in livable cities indexes. And it is ranked by the UN as the happiest country in the world. There are 187,888 lakes in Finland. The tendency, for us westerners, is to lump Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark together. But having grown up in a mostly Swedish hamlet in California, I have been schooled repeatedly about their difference. The Danes in our little town took great exception to being ... read more
Teemu Sellane

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 February 9th 2019

I was pretty tired when I dragged myself from my bed. Idiot roommate decided to start a full blown conversation with another roommate when the latter returned from clubbing in the wee small hours. I don't really think she wanted to know the comings and goings of the people in the dorm during the night, but this bloke was intent on telling her. I filled myself up with coffee while eating my breakfast and then headed out to take another look around the city centre, this time in daylight. I made my way to Senate Square, which I had been to on my first night in Helsinki. I really wanted to go into the Helsinki Cathedral, but there was a funeral going on, so had to give it a miss. I noticed that the funeral car ... read more
Alexander II of Russia
Senate Square
Helsinki Cathedral

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 September 6th 2018

Day two was planned to be a whole different ball game, and the dawn til dusk rental car day had a planned itinerary worked into the mix. Leaving Tampere, and heading west, no planned stop-offs were worked into the mix between Tampere and the coastal town of Pori, most famed for being the location of the week-long annual jazz festival which jazz enthusiasts from all over the world flock to attend in their masses. It looked, on first glance, as if this was the only time Pori actually buzzes, as the town comes across as being liveable but really sleepy, with a few elements thrown in to make it worth the trek. Pori's cathedral is a highlight, as is the old town hall in all its architectural splendour, and the streets which sew together the urban ... read more
The cathedral, Helsinki
Lakeside scenery
The old town hall, Pori

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

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