Helsinki and the Suomenlinna fortress
Helsinki Travel Blog› entry 3 of 9 › view all entries
May 4th, 2009 – by: hauteboy
Hotel: [url=http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/hi/1/en/hotel/helwe]Holiday Inn City West[/url], Helsinki, Finland Points Stay
I was finally able to get in touch with my friend today and we arranged to meet for dinner this evening. I also was able to arrange with American Express to get $500 emergency travel cash wired to me; I could pick this up at the forex bureau in the train station. This plus what was left of the $300 was all I would have to last me for the next 6 days. I had a big breakfast at the buffet; this had been my SOP for the past few days since I had been low on $$.. eat a huge breakfast and have that last for most of the rest of the day, just snacking for other meals.
I didn't have too much planned for today, visiting the rock church at Temppeliaukio and then the fortress of Suomenlinna. I bought a 24-hr transit pass at one of the machines in the metro station; it is good on all bus/tram/metro routes and even some ferries. Today was the first meh weather day I'd had, starting off cloudy. It also felt a lot colder than St. Petersburg. Helsinki is a small city and you can walk almost everywhere; the core of the city is on a peninsula only 2 miles wide. The rock church was built out of a hollowed rocky outcrop and has become a tourist attraction.
From the bay, I caught a tram down the to the Helsinki Cathedral, a huge white building fronting a large square. The skies had cleared up by now to a gorgeous blue and it started warming up. I wandered down to the ferry dock and caught the 20 minute ferry over to Suomenlinna, or Sveaborg (Swedish Fort).
I headed back into town and into the old fish market, which now is full of delis and restaurants selling fish, reindeer, donor kebab, etc. I had a reindeer baguette, cheesecake and a soda for a few Euro. Reindeer meat is supposedly pretty good for you; it's a bright red color. From there it was back to the hotel then soon it was time to meet my friend for dinner. We spent a good while talking about travel over a beer, she was heading to Central America in a few weeks for an overland trip from Cancun to Panama. I had just done a portion of that trip this past December so had some good tips to share.
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