Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Etelä Suomen, Finland

Apr 18, 2012 - Helsinki

Arrived Helsinki in the morning. Collected rental car at Vantaa airport and drove to city centre. It took a while for Siew Leong to get used to the left-hand drive and manual car. City is about 17 km away. City roads are not easy to drive - most roads are one way and the right-most lane is usually dedicated to buses and taxis, and there are also trams that we need to avoid. Parking is limited. However, it was a conscious decision on our part to drive, to limit walking for Luke. We walked around the city square and stepped into one of the...

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Aug 12, 2011 - Departing Lapland with a heavy heart.

This afternoon I leave this beautiful country and fly south for a super quick stopover in Helsinki. Markus reminded me of my own son, Daniel.Thank you again to Pasi & Anne for their hospitality :) I think I've left my heart behind in Lapland. Spent the evening catching up with my cousin Anssi and his wife, Arja. They live in Helsinki and can see the sea from their balcony...we saw quite a few ships leave port...and of course the full moon reflected beautifully on the sea, made me think of home and how the moon reflects on the ocean.

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Aug 6, 2011 - Retail therapy

Well I spent the day in Helsinki, love the city! It's so cosmopolitan. The cafes have the patrons sitting with their backs to the cafe so they can have their coffee etc while watching the world go by. The summer entertainment continues and the place was bustling with foreigners as well as locals. That is one thing I HAVE noticed is that Finland has certainly become more multicultural since I visited last, 12 years ago. Thoroughly enjoyed my retail therapy :) I then found a lovely Spanish restaurant...yeah I know I'm in Finland but had...

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Aug 5, 2011 - Road trip!

Ok today was road trip day... I awoke this morning early to the sound of rain on the roof, I pulled up the blinds and my beautiful paradise had turned dismal and grey. It seemed even nature was sad of our imminent departure. The weather had been spectacular the whole time I was at Mummonmökki next to Kalliojärvi. YIKES! got a text from my trainer the other day. He must've known somehow that I'd been slacking off?!? So I rowed around the island twice at full pace yesterday as I had done the day before...feeling guilty as I've been eating...

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Aug 1, 2011 - Helsinki, Last day of our European Vacation

August 1, Monday, Helsinki, Last day of our European Vacation It's hard to believe that our 6 week trip is almost over, but we're ready to come home. Today was a cooler day, apparently much more typical for Helsinki and St Petersburg.  We took the 15 minute ferry ride to the fortress, Suomenlina in Finnish, but originally named Sveaborg, or "Sweden's Fortress."  It was build by the Swedish in the mid-18th century when they ruled Finland, to counter the rising threat from Russia.  It was Sweden's pride and joy, the 2nd largest fortress in...

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Jul 31, 2011 - Helsinki

July 31, Sunday, Helsinki A nice and slightly cooler day.  We went to church this morning at the Lutheran Cathedral, though, as expected, the service was in Finnish.  The liturgy was fairly easy to follow, and we were able to pronounce (somewhat) the Finnish and sing the hymns.  Much of the liturgy is sung and follows the form of the Catholic mass with which we are familiar.  There was the Kyrie, Credo, Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, etc.  The organ music was terrific. Unfortunately, there were probably not more than 100 in attendance in a...

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Jul 30, 2011 - Helsinki

Saturday, July 30, Helsinki We slept well and slept in till about 8 am.  It felt good to get so much sleep.  We had a very large European breakfast and embarked on a walking tour outlined in Rick Steves' guide.   Helsinki is a fairly new city, established very early in the 19th century, soon after Russia took over this country.  They hired a German architect, Carl Engel, to build this city in the style of St Petersburg.  The area of the market square and Senate Square do look much like areas of St Petersburg.  There is much fine...

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Jul 29, 2011 - Helsinki

Friday, July 29th, On to Helsinki This morning after breakfast we took a cab to Finlandsky Train Station where we arrived with plenty of time to spare.  The train trip to Helsinki was uneventful, though the train overly warm.  The part of Russia and Finland we traversed is very flat and largely covered with birch forests intermixed, in Finland, with a few wheat fields.  We arrived at the main station in Helsinki in the early afternoon, walked to our hotel, aptly described by Rick Steves as well worn, and of industrial strength.  It is...

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Jul 28, 2011 - Train trip

Woke up to a clap of thunder yesterday morning! Quite humid which is really odd as it's this is the northern hemisphere.Spent yesterday in Helsinki shopping. Enjoyed a relaxing sauna in the evening -hard work this retail therapy! Today we're off on a train to Lahti to meet my cousin and aunt.

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Jul 27, 2011 - Finland

Landed in Finland at about 3pm local time yesterday after a long 10 hour flight over China, Mongolia, Russia and the Gulf of Finland. Got quite emotional as I watched the beautiful scenery below us as the plane circled the airport due to arriving earlier than planned. Much has happened in my life since I saw this land 12 years ago, and this land with its people and memories remains very dear to me. Weather is surprisingly VERY warm! 29 yesterday and maybe even 30 degrees today. Went into Helsinki today. Wandered thru shops and outdoor...

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Jul 13, 2011 - Helsinki, Finland

The NCL Sun arrived in Helsinki, Poland (according to Dad) but to the rest of the world, Helsinki, Finland. We had another quick breakfast at the buffet and strutted off the ship. We spent the night before planning a walking tour of the city and the first part of our plan was to take a taxi to Market Square. Our taxi driver suggested going to the sights first, and then offered to take us to each place as part of a private tour. Klaus, our driver, was a genuine Finnish gentleman. We first drove through a beautiful Finnish cemetery, while on...

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Jun 12, 2011 - Scandinavia last days

Thursday 9th June Sorry about the abrupt end to my last entry but the lady wanted to close the library. By the way thanks for all the messages Dave and I really appreciate reading them. Feeling the most chilled than I ever thought possible today. We’re taking the oldest road in Finland that runs along the south coast that connected Russia to Turku, it’s really beautiful constantly going up and down like a roller coaster so harder than we have been used to, this is where you can really feel the weight that’s loaded on the bike. Trouble is...

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