Thursday, October 21, 2010

Finland in October

Yesterday we went to Helsinki, yet even before stepping on board the ferry we realised that reports of high waves and a rough crossing were greatly exaggerated as the two and a half hour journey passed quickly and sea sick free. Although it rained, was windy and we were dressed in our warmest winter clothes, it was still great to be there.

As soon as we docked I went straight for the book store, but after two hours of reading through countless history books even I had seen one too many General Custer or WWII pictures and was ready to leave. Being in Helsinki was a bit like being in Dublin, except cleaner although just as expensive. However this time we were over the shock that a can of coke costs nearly two euro in a supermarket, but finding out that a pint of beer cost SEVEN euro. Yes CAPITAL letters. I guess I was really really surprised. Come on, Seven euro, bloody hell and I used to complain at paying up to forty crowns (2.80'ish).
The one big difference between Helsinki and Tallinn or Dublin is the apparent lack of pubs and of course the one or two you can find are in shopping centres and charge seven euro per pint.

What was unique to Helsinki was the parade of bears, with one from each of nearly two hundred countries. These two meter tall statues have been travelling around the world since 2002 and ended up here. But of course a holiday isn't a holiday unless you try the local food, so we tried Finnish McDonald's and Finnish Subway's. Each bite probably put on about two kilos, but who cares, after all we were on holiday.

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