Finland will always be this very special country to me. I absolutely love going back there. Finland is where I can be closest to the nature and live my adolescent Scandinavian dream. I stayed in Helsinki for a total of two weeks. One week of seasonal job at a fur company, and the other week of sightseeing.
After the leisure week started, so did our outdoor activities. We went to the musem of modern art called Kiasma and spent the evening chatting at a cafe. We then went to see the Samba festival in the streets of Helsinki the other day which was lively and colorful. It was a parade mostly comprising of Finnish dancers and singers but it did give an insight to the Brazilian culture. After the show was over, we just basked in the sun on the stairs of the white church.
The next day we went to the famous fortress of Suomenlinna. Because I lived in a small town about 500 kms North of Helsinki for 2,5 years, I hadn’t really seen much of Helsinki. This was a perfect week for all the local traveling. The ferry to Suomenlinna took about 15 minutes, and it was a beautiful, sunny day with clear skies. This little island was very pretty surrounded by the calm Baltic sea. The views of Helsinki and the surroundings looked spectacular from here. We picnicked in the shore rocks and soaked up all the sun 😀
The next day we set off to Tallinn, only 2.5 hours of ferry ride away from Helsinki. A haven of cheap alcohol and supplies for Finns, a pleasant change from the outrageous prices at home. It was very windy on the deck but we tried to ignore the cold by huddling together in the bench and chatting. It was a big, modern ship with luxuries including karaoke house, restaurants, game points, cabins and of course shops.
It started to rain when we arrived to Tallinn, but we kept walking straight to the old town. The language sounded very similar to Finnish and some shopkeepers would even call out customers in Finnish language.
The old town was peaceful and lovely. We climbed more than 200 narrow steps of an old church tower to be stunned by the views from the top. The ships could be seen at the port far off, and the old town with red roofs and churches looked marvelous. We strolled around old town, looked at the shops and reached to the old town square. We ended up having Indian dinner (we had planned on Estonian dinner initially).
We only had a day in Estonia and didn’t have time to go to the modern city center. Old town however kept us occupied for the day with its charms. On the way back, we stopped at a store to buy some cheap beer for friends back in Helsinki. It took us so long in the shop and none of us kept track of time. By the time we got back to the port, I could see the giant Viking Line cruise sailing away! I panicked because my flight to Poland was on early morning the other day. Luckily, we weren’t the only ones who missed the ship and we bought tickets for another one which was leaving in 40 minutes. The ship was crammed with Finns stocking up their alcohol supplies from Estonia. Funnily enough, I learnt that Finland exports Finnish beer to Estonia which is found for half the price in Estonia because of relaxed taxation laws over there. Exhausted, we sat in the lounge area of the ship and gazed outside to the raining waters on the Baltic.