Day Two

Helsinki Travel Blog

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After a bad nights sleep (being woken up by every door slam all through the night) I got woken up by room service. I had set my alarm to wake me up early but being the clever fool that I am, I had set it to 8pm instead of 8am!! My plan for today was to have a walk to the beach (I've always wanted to see a beach covered in snow!), then up to the Sibelious monument, Seurasssari Island Park round to teh Olympic stadium, then back down to the city centre for the National Museum and the Temppeliaukio Church. Then back to the market place via the Senate Square to catch the ferry to Suomenlinna fortress. Looking at the map that I had printed off, this seemed like a very realistic itinerary (I really should get a map with a scale on!!).

I walked for what seemed like an age and eventually got to the coast. It wasn't the beach but it was quite nice with lots of plastic turtles walking all over the place. I then walked up the coast to where the beach was. As I was walking I passed what had to have been the largest graveyard I have ever seen. It looked very serene with a topping of light snow and all the head stones.

I got to the beach and was starting to feel very tired from all the walking. The beach was a bit of a let down as it was only small but it was good seeing a lifeguard tower on a snowy beach. I realised that there was no way I was going to make it all the way to the Seurasaari Island Park and back before the ferry left to the Suomenlinna fortress so I decided to walk directly to the Sibelious monument. There isn't very much signage about for the monument and I ended up walking and hoping I was going in the right direction. I had left my maps in the hotel as it looked very easy to find everything and I didn't think I would need it, another mistake! I walked past where I thought the monument should be and couldn't see it so I gave up and started to make my way back into town. I found out when I got back to the hotel that I was literally the other side of a small hill from the monument!! I got to the Olympic tower and was a bit disappointed as it didn't look impressive at all. By this time I was quite demoralised and couldn't be bothered to go to the Olympic museum and started to make my way back to the Senate buildings.

On the way I passed this beautiful lake that was half frozen from the cold. As I got to the Senate buildings by legs were really starting to ache at this time so I just took a couple of quick pictures and walked to the market square ready to catch the ferry. I'd made the ferry with about 15 minutes to spare and was glad of the quick sit down. When I got to the Suomenlinna fortress you could really feel how cold it was getting. I walked to the visitors centre and joined the guided walking tour of the island. The tour guide was very informative and gave a good history of the island but we didn't get to see much of the island on the tour, although I did get a couple of good pictures of the sun setting into the sea. After the tour I was beginning to feel tired and decided to walk back to the ferry port to catch the next ferry back to Helsinki.

I went back to the hotel to have a nice warm shower and a long sit down meal and drink. Then back to the room to nurse my aching legs and watch some tv.

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photo by: portia