Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Trip to Helsinki/Tallinn | emmainlapland

Hei guys!

I'm really sorry that it's taken me so long to finally sit down and write this. I've been pretty busy and if I'm totally honest, I've been lazy too. But, here is my blog update for my adventure to Helsinki and Tallinn!

We (me and two of my friends) left Rovaniemi pretty early in the morning to fly down to Helsinki. It's a much shorter fight than I remember it being, but last time I travelled to Helsinki, I did so by bus (never again!) and so perhaps that's where my misconceptions came from.

Once in Helsinki, we headed for a coffee then split up. One of my friends was meeting her brother who was travelling from Scotland, and so me and my other friend headed to where we were staying for the trip. Later on we headed back into the city centre to meet another friend who was catching a later flight, however, we were early in going to meet her so a couple of cocktails ensued first.

Once the five of us had met up again, we went out for a pint and some dinner at a nice place called Stones. The pints, we rather quickly realised, were disgustingly expensive.  It took a while for me to get over the price of everything in Helsinki as for me, Rovaniemi was expensive, but pints were sometimes three or four euros more expensive in Helsinki!

In any case, we did eventually get over that as we moved on to a pub with pool tables. What we didn't realise about the pool tables is that you got charged every hour you played... oops, and so from there, we swiftly left and found a karaoke bar. We were all split about where to go and so in the end, my friend and her brother went elsewhere whilst we stayed and actually participated in the karaoke.

The thing about karaoke in Finland is that it's a really big deal and so more or less everyone could sing and could sing well. Then myself and my friends had a go... we can't sing. But we did try.

Our night ended there as we were up bright and early the next morning to go to the zoo! If I'm honest, the zoo was a bit of a let down, which wasn't helped by the crappy overcast weather. The tigers and lions etc looked sad and all the bears were hibernating. However, the zoo did eventually redeem itself with an impressive tropical area which had monkeys, snakes and fish.

We ended up splitting up again and so me and two of my friends headed to the natural history museum which in my opinion was far more exciting than zoo. Plus, there giraffes here... what more could one want??

We then headed to Hesburger which in my opinion is the best fast food burger type place ever! And then we did a spot of shopping before going to yet another bar. Once we had all met up again, we went for cocktails in the tallest building in Helsinki. The building was a hotel called Torni and had the best toilet in the world (so long as you weren't afraid of heights).

We left the evening like that as we were up early again the next day to head to Tallinn in Estonia.

We got the boat from Helsinki harbour to Tallinn which took about two hours. Tallinn was an incredibly beautiful place and I would definitely go back for more time. We only had seven hours or so there and so the first thing we did was hit the souvenir shops. We then took a trip to all the churches and cathedrals as well as climbing some strange old building that was laughably old and dark, but had a great view. We then hit the pubs... it had to be done.

In the first pub we had cocktails, the second was a Scottish bar that had Irn Bru! We ended up having one too many vodka Irn Bru's as well as a deep fried mars bar. We then rushed out to have some food (and cocktails) before catching our boat back to Helsinki.

The boat ride home was less than fun as alcohol and waves just don't mix. However, we did play 'how many things can you balance on a sleeping person' and saw an appropriate sign once arriving back in Finland, so it wasn't so bad.

The next day, our last full day, was reserved for going on a 'sightseeing' pub crawl. First though, we wanted to be 'cultivated' as my friend would say, and so we headed to an art gallery before the drinking commenced. The gallery itself was quite good but it was mainly dedicated to one man, who's name I can't recall, and so it was a bit tedious in the end. Still worth it though. I didn't know that we weren't supposed to take photos here and so I do have a few cheeky snaps from the gallery as well as a bathroom selfie... I couldn't help myself.

We then went for lunch at a sushi buffet. I don't like sushi but there was plenty chicken, beef and noodles for me that I was happy. We then began our pub crawl. The idea was that between each pub there will be something of interest to see. By the time we hit the second pub, we gave up on sightseeing and concentrated on the over-priced alcohol

It turns out that I took a lot less photos on this pub trip than I had realised. In any case, it was a fun and successful evening and a great end to a brilliant trip.

The following day we returned back to sunny Lapland and embraced the bitter cold weather and the snow.

This trip was well over a week ago now and I have done a few things in this time but not enough to warrant an entire blog post about it. But to quickly fill you in, I have been at uni most days, went to the Santa parade, drank Golgi with gin and wrote Christmas cards, had about 38810961 sauna trips and got horrendously drunk at a 'fin-ternational' party.

I'm going to Oulu at the end of the week so expect another update in the near future.

Until then, thanks for reading!

Emma x

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