Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Weekend Vacation: Part 2 Helsinki, Old Town Tallin

After we all woke up refreshed and renewed with energy we decided to go and visit some of the historic Old Town in Tallinn. We took the local bus down to the middle of the city, only .50 Euros. Upon arriving I noticed a huge crane holding what looked like a huge platform in the sky. It happened to be called Sky Bar, a pretty intense way to have a dinner and drink. We continued our walk around the Old Town visiting all the ancient churches, remaining walls of the fortress that surrounded the old city, and beautiful buildings surrounding us. It was really interesting since Tallinn only has around three hours of total darkness every day. Ten at night was still very bright. After touring a part of the Old Town we decided to head back to our hotel and buy tickets for a ferry ride out to Finland. A chance to see the ocean and ride a two hour ferry ride up north to Finland sounded fantastic.

Another early morning was upon us. We bought tickets for 7:30 in the morning that way we could have the full day in Helsinki. Our ferry back was to leave around 7:30 at night, plenty of time to see all of Helsinki. The ferry ride was very relaxing and the two hour ride seemed to go by very quick. Upon arriving we needed to exchange for some Euros, so we went to the closest exchange center. The gentleman working spoke excellent English (as we learned many Finnish do) and gave us a nice detailed map of how to tour the whole city. Following the instructions we just received, we a bus to the center of Helsinki. The city of Helsinki is beautiful. I fell in love with the city's architecture and its atmosphere. It is a very modernly built city and the people are extremely kind. The Finnish people didn't hesitate in lending us a hand with directions or guiding us in the correct direction. We visited numerous churches and visited some interesting museums. One of  the stops we made was at the East Harbor. The East Harbor was full of merchant shops, bustling tourists trying out the amazing local seafood, and the ocean full with sailing boats. While there I got to try a local goodie. Reindeer and wild hog. Unfortunately they did not have any bear in that day, that would have been an interesting option as well. The meal was very tasty. The rest of the day we continued walking all around Helsinki and picked up many new gifts. At 6 we started heading back to the ferry station to catch the ride back.

Once we arrived back in Tallinn we were all very worn out from the long day or traveling. We took three separate taxis to get back to our hotel due to nine person group. Our taxi driver however had no clue about our hostel nor the English language. At one point we thought he understood us with the hotel information. The whole scenario turned out to be completely misunderstood and the driver took us to another random hotel. After some arguing, we were able to jump out without paying and jumped right back into another one who fortunately knew his way around Tallinn. The night ended with everyone going straight to bed.

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