Helsinki

Trip Start Jul 04, 2005
1
14
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Trip End Jul 18, 2005


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Thursday, July 7, 2005

Today i wanted to go to Helsinki in Finland. The catamaran of Nordic Jet Line is a bit expensive (43 euros return ticket) but since it is only a 90-minute ride I decided to go there with Matthew.

We met at Fat Margaret in Pikk Street (a big guardtower) and relaxed in the comfortable seats of the Catamaran. We looked at some pictures from the HC Midsummer Baltic camp (the uncensored version, so it was really cool !) and just hoped that the rough weather on the boat would disappear when we got on land. When we arrived in Helsinki the sun was shining and we headed towards the Railway station to meet Jutta (Matthew's HC host).
I went into town on my own to find something to eat but when I tried to take a picture of a police man, there was an obnoxious American guy telling me it was illegal to take pictures of people without their permission. Not only in Finland, but in the whole world! He told me he knew everything about the law, because he studied it, and you cannot take a picture of a group of people without asking each INDIVIDUAL person their agreement first. So if you are wondering why I haven't posted many pictures lately, you now know ! :)

Anyway I didn't feel like argueing because he became quite aggressive and after meeting some Tourist Information Girls they sent me to my best culinary experience so far : Bank Restaurant. It was delicious, nutricious, fabuliscious... for only 8 euro I had the best soup EVER (yams with ginger mmmmmhhh) and a gigantic Wok Dish, all the drinks I wanted and TWO desserts... who said Finland was expensive ? (ok, I only found this through some inside tips, because otherwise Helsinki is very expensive).

You can find some nice pictures of the restaurant (an old converted Bank from the 50's, it looked a bit like the bank where my father used to work) on http://www.palace.fi/etusivu.asp?rest=bank&lang=fi. I went Fish market called Kauppatoni.
Afterwards I met up again with Matthew and we walked to some nice churces : Uspenski Cathedral (the largest Russian-Orthodox curch in Western Europe), Helsinki Cathedral and the amazing Rock Church (Temppeliaukio). It is a church built into a rock underground with a sober interior and a wonderful transparant roof.

At the end of the day we just walked through the cemetary and looked at the Delicatesses in Wanha Kauppahalli, a covered market.

Then we learned about the tragic events in london. Only three weeks ago i was there with Ingrid and Patrick and Claudia... it is too unreal to imagine what it must be like.

Matthew stayed in Helsinki, I took the ferry home and met Florian and Dani from Switzerland on the boat and we went together to a birthday party at Kaisa's place. It get's dark in Tallinn around 23.30, and the sun starts rising around 3.30 again. I'm not going to say how late it was when we got to Hanna's place to sleep, but let me just say that the sun was shining already :)
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