"From Stockholm to Helsinki" Helsinki by bpacker
Helsinki Travel Guide: 3,614 reviews and 7,274 photos
Months before I went to Scandinavia, I was advised to take one of those overnight cruises from Stockholm to Helsinki. It sounded like a good, if not hedonistic, helluva idea to me. Not only would I get to sleep on board a luxury cruise liner, I'll get to pig out on those legendary smörgåsbords and drink all the free booze I wanted . Count me in !!!!
Well, I promptly booked a cabin for myself and Liz on the Viking Line the moment I reached Stockholm and set out to enjoy myself onboard the cruise liner. It was a good, indulgent break from all the budget travelling we endured for the past 2 weeks or so, on top of that, Liz and I got to enjoy some dramatic island scenery in the Baltic Sea, a beautiful setting sun, and a helluva fantastic smörgåsbord dinner.
Perhaps, the only spoiler in this hedonistic break was the thoroughly unlucky and coincidental meeting I had with some rowdy people from my own country. Really bad luck, I must say. Just how often do you meet people of your own kind, after you've crossed a few equator lines from your country of origin? Well, double that probability by about 20, becuase that's how large a group I met. All of them were customers from a local tour agency ( easily identified by the plasticky blue bag they carried ) and they were all rude, rowdy and really making a show out of themselves just because they thought no one understood a single word they said ( they spoke in Hokkien, a Chinese dialect ).Unknownst to them, there was a girl who understood every word they said. Well, I won't repeat whatever they've mentioned because it would even make a pirate blush, much less a reader like yourself.
Well, I wouldn't have mentioned them if not for the embarrasing dining incident. Well, just as all of us were about to dig into our delicious dead fish and meats, those mad countrymen of mine went wild and gave a loud, blood-curdling yodel (YUM SENG!!!) when they toasted one another with the free booze. Not just once but thrice, according to Chinese custom.
Of course, the whole place went deathly quiet and every Scandinavian head turned around from their platter of dead fish to look at them after they have recovered from shock and indigestion.
My face turned a beet -root red. So , the ugly Singaporean myth was a reality after all. Here, we were all sitting among very quiet Scandinavians who were just content to pile their plates with little dead fishes and here was a group of rowdy Singaporeans willing to let their hair down because of some cheap alcohol. How insensitive could we get? I avoided them the whole evening, not too difficult since I look Japanese anyway...
Well, I partied the rest of the night away and when I awoke at a bleary 9am, we had already docked at Helsinki. I washed my face quickly , ate a very apologectic breakfast and took a quick tour around this city.
It turned out to be a beautiful place , everywhere we went, we saw beautiful, beautiful buildings like the one you see above and met lots of harworking and friendly Finns. It was a good one day break before we took an overnight train to Rovaneimi.
It was very cloudy the day when I was there, but several things brighthen up my day. The colourful palette of vegetables at the Market Square near the Harbour certainly did that....
....As does a gigantic plate of yummy seafood paella ..funny how your blues can be chased away by the sight of colourful food. Of course, it disappears even faster when those food is in your tummy.
- Pros:Beautiful buildings, rich history, good access to Internet everywhere
- Cons:Few people speak English over here
- In a nutshell:Architectural Haven
If you have to travel to Helsinki from Stockholm , consider taking a 16 hour overnight cruise on one of their luxury... more travel advice
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