Helsinki

Opps it seems like I have forgotten to mention anything about our cruise to Helsinki. I went with NOC batch 8 and SY, right after our 1st period exams. Thanks to a membership card, it was still quite cheap though we left on a Friday.

7 hours isn’t enough for Helsinki. As it was, we nearly missed the boat and had to run for the last part. We seem to be doing that quite a lot.

At Helsinki, we visited a few churches, both Russian Orthodox and Lutheran, as well as the Rock Church. Unfortunately we couldn’t go inside the Rock Church as it was outside opening hours.

Lunch was at a Chinese restaurant for 10 euros. Finally some Chinese food which tastes acceptable, and at a quite OK price too, considering it’s Europe.

In the afternoon, we headed over to Suomenlinna, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s a fortress island and the walls are still standing. With lots of snow still lying around, it was only natural for a snowball fight to develop. An attempt by a couple of the guys to use the fortress for a flanking maneuver ended in dismal failure when they were caught in a cul de sac and found themselves pelted with snowballs.

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The view from the island was stunning. Large open seas and the winter sun in a blue sky with wispy cirrus clouds. More pictures will come later when there’s time to post them.

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Thanks Antonia for spending the whole day showing us around.

20090314helsinki_0204There she is on the left pointing something out to her tour group.

The cruise itself was quite boring. There’s supposed to be lots of stuff to do, but it basically meant that there were lots of people roaming half drunk around the upper decks. We watched movies in our cabins instead. During the 1st night, as we could hear a grinding noise above our heads as the ship sailed to Helsinki. It turned out to be ice grinding on the hull. Going up in the morning, we could see the ship sailing through a sea of ice. Very beautiful, but just a little discomforting.

The wind up on the highest deck was very strong. We could lean back a little and let the wind support us. Attempts to do vertical star jumps resulted in us being blown back by the wind.

On the return trip, we caught the sunset as the ship sailed out of Helsinki. Simply beautiful. Ok just 1 picture.

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