we got by water. We could travel by land, but it would take extra two thousand miles and a couple of days. Instead, we booked a place on an evening ferry from Turku to Stockholm, and the first half of the day devoted to walking around
. However, this was my third time in Finland with my family, so we didn't walk a lot. I remembered Ferris wheel, there was free Wi-Fi and everyone was looking at their phones...
Ferry departed only at 9 pm. We were not in a hurry to wake up early from 16 hours of traveling. We decided to sleep it off. However, it was not possible because early in the morning we were woken up by quacking ducks. It is so clean around the hotel that ducks live in the park and hang out under our windows:
Nature is the best source of motivation for morning exercise. In the morning we went jogging in the woods near the hotel. There is wonderful scenery on the path along the bay:
We saw a man with a huge spyglass. Then another one. We got interested:
It turned out there was a bird watching tower nearby. A bird watcher is an amateur ornithologist who spends his/her free time silently observing birds. This is a very popular hobby, but it requires favorable environmental conditions. You can observe many birds species practically in the city center:
We went up to the tower and watched the observers:
I got used to seeing lots of people and tripods, but in my world, there are cameras on tripods and people enthusiastically take pictures. Here everyone just hangs out near their telescopes, occasionally looking into them. I realized that I have not yet grown up to be a bird watcher:
Needless to say, there is a beautiful view from the tower even without birds:
From forest, we came to city. This is an example of Finnish architecture:
Here is a mobile diner on campus. The hotel is near Aalto, the Finnish University formed from three Helsinki universities. During the three-year program, AppCampus, Microsoft, and Nokia are investing nine million Euros each in Aalto University for the development of mobile applications and services for Windows smartphones:
Our walk stats:
In the afternoon we checked out from the hotel. As I have previously mentioned, the bill for two family rooms for 4 people with Breakfast was 178 Euros (89 Euros each). Later we went to see the city itself. We parked near the station in an underground garage. Two and a half hours cost us 16.5 Euros. Technically if you don't want to park in the center, you can find cheaper options:
We went for a walk along the central pedestrian city street. We got lucky with the weather:
People were relaxing on patios:
Street musicians were playing two large xylophones. Oddly enough, it sounded very nice:
We noticed a Ferris wheel and decided to go there. The bridge of love is not yet as popular here as it is in Paris, it looks inconspicuous:
The glass in the cabins was blue. All photos came out blueish. I couldn't properly remove this shade even on my computer:
When the wheel stopped, and we were ready to leave, it began to rise again. It turns out that the ticket price includes 5 (five!) circles. To make sure you really experience it! We got bored on the third lap and started to upload photos on Instagram. Luckily, the cabin was equipped with Wi-Fi:
In search of a lunch place, we decided to eat at the market. It was a minimum of 20 Euros per dish in restaurants, and dinner for eight would be expensive enough.
The market is very clean and pleasant:
We passed by the vegetables rows and headed towards the "fish department":
Not only they sell fresh fish here, but they also cook it:
The average price of a fish dish is 10 Euro. However, it's worth looking around to choose the best one. Some pavilions are clearly overdoing it with oil:
I took vegetables and salmon. The only disadvantage is plastic plates and cutlery. Everything else was good and tasty. After eating half of my meal, I realized that I forgot to photograph the food:
There was a world gymnastics festival "Gymnastrada" in Helsinki. It is held every 4 years since 1953 and is the most important event in the gymnastics world. The festival's goal is not the competition but promotion of gymnastics:
This is the Argentine participants:
As a result, we walked five miles in two and a half hours:
After lunch at around 3.20 pm, we went to Turku from where the ferry departs. We decided to leave some spare time and arrived on site around 6 pm.
Check in to the ship is as follows: the cars line up on the markup and wait for their turn on the ferry in the square in front of it. Then they get in one by one. Tickets must be purchased in advance:
We were in the first line but got on the ferry almost last. In Stockholm, however, we were among the first cars to leave the ferry.
We chose Viking Line ferry company. The liner was called Grace, it is one of the most modern ferries in the world. Our way from Turku to Helsinki was overnight, and I slept almost the whole way. On the way back, we sailed in the afternoon, and I was going to explore the ship and write about it.
Ferry arrived at 7.45 pm. It unloaded-loaded in an hour, and at 8.55 pm we sailed in accordance with the schedule. It's amazing how they have time to clean up, change linen, etc., despite the fact that ferry is of cruise liner's size.
The first couple of floors are reserved for parking:
We drove on board. Those cars that got in first were lifted up to the ceiling:
The cabin is small similar to a railway carriage. There are pull-out beds on the right and left, top and bottom:
We went to promenade deck to watch the departure. There were "toilets" (lawns) for dogs:
There are several restaurants, but we chose the best one and for a good reason. It was a wonderful buffet with a huge selection of fish, salads, desserts, etc. It cost 174 Euro for four people (two adults and two children):
In the following review, I will tell you how we went from Stockholm to Oslo.