Poor start to a fabulous holiday , however things went just superbly after that and the poor in flight experience was soon forgotton.We landed at Helsinki and wenrt straight to the Information Counter where we got precise info on the free shuttle service to the Hotel Cumulus.We also took A few brochures and leaflets to help plan our stay .We had ofcourse also surfed the net and gather a fair amount of info on what to see and do in Helsinki .Besides Petra had looked through the tour itinery give to us by the Tour Agency , Red Carpet, andmore or less aproved of it .She did also add her recommendations .Petra was in Helsinki on a holiday so we knew that if we ran into any kind of trouble we could call her for help.
We checked into the Hotel , quite a nice one although out in the suburbs and near the International airport at Vantaa. We were soon to learn the route into the city which was by the shuttle service from Htel to the airport and then the 615 bus into the city centre .Both ran at frequencies of approx 20 mins .Going in and out of the city centre thus meant journey time of approx 45 mins .This was the compromise we had to make for eting a comfortable and decent hotel at economical rates.
After checking in and depositing our luggage in the luggage room we set off for the city centre.
We floundered for a while as we got off the bus too early and struggled to find our bearings .We finally managed to do so with some help from passersby.They were most courteous and we found that this was some thing we could do at any time and not guess our way around.Eventuaolly we walked quite a bit before we reached the City Centre and on to the information centre. We did all the necessary things such as buy our tickets to Stockholm on the Viking Line for Wednesday evening at 5 pm.This we realised was going to class with our Visit to the Old Town of Poorvoo for and afternoon tour.Red Carpet had goofed up as they had no clue of the Cruize times and therush for tickets.We barerly managed it and that to with a cabin with out sea facing port holes .
We walked along top the Market Square near the Ferry terminals and had a bruch of Crepes .Deepa had a spnach and sweet corn crepe and I had a chicken and sweet corn crepe .We of course shared both and washed it down with hot chocolate.This was a nice experiece and we would come back later for more such quick bites.The Market Square with it’s eating places and shops for vegetables , fruits and curious is a wonderful place to spend time .Theplace is teeming with people and and its a fun place to be in.
We then walked a bit and got our bearings with respect to the Viking Line Terminal as we knew we would have to rush to catch the cruize on time .We then bought 3 day travel passes so that we could travel anywhere in thw Helsinki Region in any public transport ; got our Euro Rail paases validated and dashed back to the Hotel for som ebadly needed sleep and a wash up.
Later that evening we headed off again into the city centre.In summer Helsinki hardily sees and night time .The sun stays up till way after 10 pm and is up around 4 am or so .Perhaps earlier.We had a quick bite at .. hold your breath.. a McDonalds were wqe had a Big Mac and a Fillet tof Fish , along with Yogurt and fruits and a Cappacino for me .It was funny that the sales girl couldnt understand our order for Fillet of Fish and also for the Yogurt.Poor training I guess.
We then went on a 3T Tram ride to get a feel of the place and see some of the key sights around this part of Helsinki. We strolled around the bustling shopping streets around the city centre including the Alexsanterinkatu and The Pohjoiesplanadi streets.These are the reasl happening streets in this part of Helsinki.We did a bit of window shopping at the Alexis Mall and also min a large book shop in the Stockman Mall.The book shop had a wonderful collection of books in the History and Sociology section.A very wide arange from all over the world including comtempory affairs and personae .
We sat around in the Alexis Kivi square for a while before having dinner in a Nepalese joint !!! Never thought we would have a Nepalese meal in Helsinki. We then headed back to the hotel to crash for the night.