Saturday, 10 May 2008


Distance traveled: 1214 km

Finally i got to visit our brother people in the north, certainly the Finns are the odd one out in Nordic context.

My first impression comming out of the rather massive ferry from Tallinn, was something of a welcome to land of Nokia, when a girl on the bus showed a text message to the bus driver as her bus ticket - neat :)

Anyway, journey to my hostel turned out to be a bit of journey, as it was located 15 minutes outside Helsinki on the motorway, in a suburb called Mattby - and something totally unpronounceable in Finnish. Superb location though, nestled in a pine forest down by a narrow inlet in the gulf of Finland, with it's own beach - although i didn't dare venture into the water this far North in early May :-)

The next day went with sightseeing in Helsinki, which really doesn't say much, as here is not that much to see here, although the town is cozy enough. I went out to Sveaborg , which is an old giant fortification, on an island at the sea approach to Helsinki. Quite nice, it actually had a little tint of Christiana to it, probably due to the art school and the apparent left wing crowd living there.

Friday i was supposed to leave for Russia, but - luckily - i was double checking everything, and as it turned out, with tiny print, my Russian visa doesn't allow me to enter Russia before Sunday. So i tried heading for the embassy to have it changed, but the consular department was close, bummer, so i went for a travel agency close by, that had a big sign with Express Visas outside, and asked if it would be a problem. The middle aged lady at the desk looked at me with a patient look in her eyes, and with a firm voice made it clear, that this would indeed be a problem.

So on to the railway station in a hurry, since I had 3 hours until my train were leaving, and much to my great relief, there was no problem changing the dates of my tickets to St Petersburg and Moscow.

The 'Sibilius' leaves for St Petersburg at 7.00 tomorrow, and then the journey really begins :-)

- Stefan

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