Day 11, Helsinki / Vantaa, January 20th 2012
Posted: January 20, 2012 Filed under: Helsinki, Vantaa | Tags: architecture, Baltic Sea, boat, cathedral, church, Copenhagen, ferry, Finland, frozen, Germany, helsinki, island, olympia, ship, snow, Sokos, stockholm, Tallink Silja, tea, twinings, Vantaa
Tea 11: Green Tea with Lemon, somewhere in the Baltic Sea, near Helsinki.
SNOW! Proper Snow! Helsinki is like I had sort of imagined it would be, but even more snowy, especially after the lack of snow in Copenhagen and Stockholm. Apparently yesterday they had 20cm, and today they must of had the same again. There is loads!!! I’ve not seen so much since I was a kid skiing.
I woke up in my cabin at around 8am local time, 7am head time and 6am UK time. I was lucky in that the cabin I had booked was a shared one, and so I could of had to share with other people, but the ship was quiet and I had the whole thing to myself! Brilliant! So after a fairly decent nights sleep I headed downstairs to the Promenade deck in search of tea. I didn’t get my hopes up and was therefore not too disappointed when I was limited to a small Twinings selection. How they manage to fit so many tannins into their tea I do not know, I’m starting to think when they say ‘Green Tea’ they just mean they picked the ones out of the black tea batch that stand out a little…. It did the job though and by the time I had drunk that and eaten the extremely dry and chewy cinnamon bun thing (trust me, a camel would have struggled), it was almost time to disembark. I headed to the top deck and out into the cold air, where I was greeted by lots of lovely, snow-covered islands, even the back of the ship had a little covering. Helsinki soon loomed up on me and it was time to get off.
I took the tram from the Olympia ferry terminal to the central station and met my friend Eeero, who is kindly hosting me for the next 10 days, outside of the station, after me having seen him, but not him me, outside of the Sokos hotel / department store and me chasing him around for a while. We went and got my travelcard sorted and headed to his house in Vantaa, a little way north of Helsinki. After dumping my stuff, meeting his wife and their new baby I headed out into the snow, really really thick snow, and back into the city centre where I filled myself up at a disgustingly satisfying Chinese Buffet and wandered around the city a little to get my bearings a little. The river running through Helsinki is completely frozen over and a weird murky brown colour, which means I will not be testing my theory that you could easily walk across it, but nonetheless I’m pretty sure that water isn’t moving for a while. I treated myself to a bar of soap and a wee in a department store and headed back to Eeero’s place.