Helsinki day 3 and day 4 (to Turku)

Helsinki day 3

We got a late start today, though mostly I was waiting for my wife and not catching up on sleep. Around noon, we finally left the hotel and we hit the market square. They sell some vegetables and berries and things plus a few more touristy things. My wife got a charm for her bracelet. It’s a Finnish lion carved out of an old Finnish coin (from the year my wife was born so it’s not really old).

We then started a walking tour (there’s a book of 5 in the tourist information places – we were on #3) but we quickly got off track when my wife felt she could find her way to an interesting store we had passed while riding tram 5. So we followed the tram 5 route for a bit and got to see a street that had a little character. We tried a few shops but I got off cheap. Somewhere in there we stopped at a park and had a picnic.

Around 3:00 we were tired of walking so we headed back to the market square place and got on a ferry to the fortress. At first we were pretty underwhelmed but once you get to explore the island a bit you can find some cool stuff like dark tunnels where you might smack your head, cannons to climb on, pretty spots to picnic, a small beach if you want to swim, and friendly locals if you want to talk. And at the right time (I hear between 5 and 6 is pretty good), if you find the right place, you can see some big ships sailing through a narrow channel.

I guess we got back to the hotel around 7:00 but 7 hours of walking around in the sun had left us pretty beat. We had dinner in the jailyard terrace of our hotel, the Best Western Premier —— that used to be a prison. Normally I don’t eat in hotels and the food here was slightly overpriced (though not much) but we had 21 euros left on our Best Western card (our compensation for complaining to Best Western HQ about the crappy service we experienced in Paris). But the terrace is kind of cool because you can face the side of the hotel and it still sort of looks like a prison.

Helsinki day 4

We had to checkout at noon and catch our train to Turku but we did have a couple of hours in the morning to shop (shops open at 10:00 AM). My wife finally got a hoodie to combat the Finnish summer shade, breeze, and night.

We are now on our train (though finding track 13 was almost as hard as finding 9 3/4 – they could use a few more signs along the way).

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