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Published: July 20th 2018
We visited the Finland National Museum the day we left Helsinki, so we are adding a couple of pictures here. Museum was a chronological representation from prehistory until 2017. This item was from CE 300 of so, and an archaeologist concluded the gold came from the Roman Empire. Gosh, is that not wonderful?
Hello from St. Petersburg. We have now made an overnight ferry trip on the Princess Anastasia (the Princess was a member of the Czar's family the Communists murdered almost exactly 100 years ago). Our first impression of the ship was favorable compared to the Viking we have previously sailed and will two more times. Newer paint, carpet and other décor. However, when we were confronted with the ship's systems and meals we quickly altered our view. The buffets do not approach Viking. Can't drink the water-must buy bottled water from them. Furthermore, at the buffet where potable water is available a sign is posted not to fill water bottles. Really? Nonetheless they delivered us to St. Petersburg.
Now for customs. Upon leaving Helsinki we were thoroughly assessed by a Russian official. Fully two occasions of seriously alternating between us and the picture on the passport as if we were not the person on the passport. Upon the second scan HP, the wise (deleted) winked at the official. Then in St. Petersburg, well what can we say? The ship arrived at 9am; we finally cleared Passport Control just after 11. Each person was thoroughly assessed averaging two minutes per individual (each
Priests delivered their sermons from this a few hundred years ago.
member of a family group was evaluated separately). We have been through a ton of passport checks and nothing has ever approached being anything like this.
After a lengthy trip with many backtracks and inquiries of locals (some quite helpful, some not so much) we arrived at our apartment at 1:30. Check-in difficult but we will not elaborate. Out on the town at 2pm. Back in Norway we had a conversation with an Italian from Venice about Chinese tourists. We complained about the constant selfies and pushiness. He agreed and added, they just rush through things, not spending time to appreciate what they are seeing. Seems our passport may be from China today. Not sure we'll do any better tomorrow-so much to tour and only two days for us, but we'll try at the Hermitage.
Finally, on the most important note. Happy 16th M-1!
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