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Helsinki Travel Blog

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In the last two weeks i have been in two new countries! I spent four days in St. Petersburg, Russia and I took a day trip to Tallinn, Estonia.


I apologize for the delay of updating, I always think I will get around to it (I even had it started twice) and then it gets too late or I run off to do something else. Here it is though, I have a little bit of time before I have to leave.


Russia- AMAZING. We did plenty of things to delight the tourist inside me and also had the right amount of down time to socialize with everyone. A short list of the things we did… 1st day took all day to drive to St. Petes, that night we took a night boat tour of the city. It was beautiful to see all the building lit up. We had some champagne and chocolate and really enjoyed our selves even though it was quite chilly. After that we went as a group to a pub and got to know each other a little better.  Walking through the city we got to witness a real Russian street fight! Actually it was quite scary… the group had been split up because some walked faster and some slower, my part of the group tried to get involved, so I hid behind a sign. And then had to sacrifice my water bottle and my tissue to the stupid kid that got his butt kicked… I am still upset... I liked that water bottle. But after he tried to hand the bloody tissues back to me I told him he could keep it all. The next day we went to Peterhof summer gardens, it is something that peter the great had built for him in the 1700’s it has over a hundred fountains and they all run on pressure from the see… not pumps, it’s pretty cool. That day we also went to the Hermitage, which is the world’s largest museum based on volume. I got to see all sorts of amazing pieces I never dreamed of seeing. After that we had some free time and a few of us went to see the church on spilled blood and then took the metro home. THAT was an experience. I thought for sure I was going to get left behind… but some man jumped spread eagle into the metro car and pushed me the rest of the way in and I made it back safely. That night we had a small gathering in one of the hotel rooms… almost 40 people in one tiny double room. Two of our group members got to experience the Russian police that night, by gun point. Glad I wasn’t around for that. The third day we woke up and took a bus tour around the city, also very cool. There are so many different things in that city. After the tour we had free time, I was going back to the hotel for a nap (I only had three hours of sleep the night before) and then I was going back to the center to explore. I wasn’t able to sign up for the Yusopov palace tour and I was kind of bummed. Well it took like and hour and a half to get back to the hotel because of traffic. So when we got there, there was no time for a nap, we had to go to the metro and go back already. However, someone didn’t want to go on the tour and she gave me her spot. On our way to the tour a few other members of our group, not with us for the tour, had a run in with the police, there was a misunderstanding at a store and it took a couple hours to get under control but in the end everything was fine. The palace tour was AMAZING it was one of my highlights of the trip. From the outside it just looks kind of normal not too fancy but the inside is really a palace! This happens to be the place of Rasputin’s murder. If you don’t know about that I highly suggest you look it up. But here is a brief summary. Rasputin was a mystic (best way I can describe him), the royal family and others in Russia were feeling threatened by him and his ‘powers’, or what ever you want to call them. So Felix Yusopov planned to kill Rasputin. He invited him over with the promise of meeting a woman (I forgot which one) while he was there he was poisoned. There was enough poison to kill several mean but it hardly affected Rasputin. So Felix shot him. He thought he was dead but when he returned to check Rasputin tried to get up. They shot him two more times and he wouldn’t die. They then beat him with clubs. The wrapped him in a coat and dumped him in the river. When he was found they discovered water in his lungs which means he was still alive when they dumped him in the river! Poisoned, three bullets in him and beaten with clubs and he was still alive. I think it’s pretty neat. Any ways the palace was gorgeous. Most of the things inside are all just replicas because the KGB took most of the things worth value a long time ago. I am so happy that I got the chance to go on that tour. After that we had a little bit of free time so we looked at St. Isaac’s Cathedral. Then we went to a Russian dinner. It was some of the best food I have had since coming over here, no offense to Finland (but it IS okay to use spices). There was a traditional folk band that came to entertain us, I loved that. We rented a limo for a few hours that night, never having been in one before I hoped on that train right away. The next morning we all packed up and checked out, some people went on another tour, but I chose to walk around. We went to some shops and to Spilled blob again and then to a cathedral I wanted to check out. I wish I could have taken pictures inside. It was immaculate. Then we went home. Even though it rained pretty much the whole time I loved it!


The next Saturday I went to Tallinn, Estonia for they day. We had to leave the apartment at 6 am! Yuck! And we got home at almost midnight. We took a ferry to and fro. We had a beautiful day to explore, a little chilly but not too bad. We spent most of the day in the old city, which is all medieval and amazing. It was like stepping into a fairy tale. I cant even describe how excited and happy I was to be there, I highly recommend a day trip there if you are ever close.


Other than that I have just been hanging out and going to classes when I have them. right now I have only Finnish for the next three weeks. So I am pretty much on holiday. I am supposed to start my placement soon, but I was notified last week the place I was going to go decided not to have me. I am over all very disappointed with Metropolia. After knowing we would need placements since January… you would think that they might have something lined up before October. And only offering us three courses for the semester. But at least its an easy semester so I wont complain too much. Right now I am heading out to go to a support group for multi cultural women to speak with the leader about a possible placement. I have decided if my tutor teacher can’t find me a placement I might as well look for myself.  I need to get going to that because it starts at six and I have no idea where it’s at… I shall add links to pictures later on and hopefully a little more of an update.

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photo by: portia