Last few business visits, city markets, and fun!

Trip Start May 15, 2007
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Trip End Jun 04, 2007


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Friday, June 1, 2007

We arrived early Thursday morning at the port of Helsinki, Finland in our cruise ship from Stockholm, Sweden and caught a tram to our hostel, which just happened to be part of the 1952 Olympic Stadium.   We tossed out luggage in our rooms and headed directly to our first business visit of Aker Yards.  They are one of the larger ship and sea vessel builders in the Baltic Sea area.   We were able to get a personal presentation by one of the head engineers who knew everything a person could about the large ship building business.  We got a personal presentation by one of the head engineers and then we were able to put on all our safety gear and get to take a walk into the massive ports where they custom build each vessel.  It was amazing to walk underneath one of the massive ships and see different ones in the making.  Now when I see all the large Carnival cruise style ships in the ports I look at them in a entirely different way.
   That evening a few of us went out to an amazing little authentic Finnish restaurant where we ate Reindeer, which is a authentic Finnish style meal.   The ambiance, atmosphere, and food was so enjoyable I would say it was one of the best meals I have had in a long time.  We toured the city on foot that evening.
   I also want to point out that Finland only gets like 3-4 hours of darkness during the summer months and only 3-4 hours of daylight during the winter months.  We were walking around at 12:00 at night and the sun was still putting off a considerable amount of light.  It was a very different experience walking around at that hour of the night and it feeling like its 6 in the afternoon.  Plus, you wake up at 4 in the morning because you think its 8 or 9 and that you've slept through the business tours.  It was a fun experience though!
   Friday we went to two more business visits, The Bank of Finland and the OMX stock exchange (which just was acquired by the Nasdaq).   Afterwords we tour the city markets and had then second best meal I have had in a long time.  We had herring, salmon, and vegetables.   The herring is small fish the size of minnows (and kind of look like them), but are grilled and have the most unique flavor for a "fish".  That evening I organized the entire group to head across town and buy tickets to the Finland versus Serbia soccer match on Saturday.  We then also purchased tickets for the ferry to take us to the country of Estonia.   
   After an entire day of events, we still were not done... the first Friday of each month is American car night where people cruise their American cars and then all makes of cars then come to the Olympic stadium parking lot to burn rubber and do "donuts".  It was one of the most hilarious events I went to on the trip.  All these weird Finnish people completely burning their tires up until they pop or catch on fire and then the crowd roars ( I guess ruining your tires makes you cool!)  We stayed until we couldn't breath from all the burned rubber and smoke.  I have the best photo of the trip from this night and several awesome video clips of old BMW and Volvo's and even a real old van doing donuts and roasting their tires.  It was even more unique because like I said above it was one or two in the morning and it still was light outside (like the last 10-15 minutes before sunset). 
    We headed caught the ferry to Tallin, Estonia in the morning.  This will be the next entry.
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