Helsinki, hmmmAugust 15, 2017 in Finland
Just back from a quick after dinner stroll in Hesperian puisto, a lovely lakeside park just across from our hotel. Attracted by the sound of music, I discovered a large group of dancers who seem to have arrived by bicycle like a flash mob. They seemed to be enjoying themselves and finished at 7. I think this is a strong union town despite being proudly independent and NOT Russian!
Insight charge a lot of money for a supposedly premium product. Yes enjoyed two of their toes with Em in 2015 and this has so far failed to meet expectations, firstly with our tour director, secondly the included dinners and today, the Local guide. Maybe they were caught short today by all the cruise boats in port. Our guide expected a German group but it was her delivery rather than her English that was laughably inept. She might have been acceptable in the old Soviet era but today, she failed. Her anecdotes were unfinished and meandering, she felt confident to foist her opinions on stay at home versus working mums on us and she regularly failed to describe important monuments and landmarks as the coach traveled slowly by. We did not tip her.
The previous 16 hours were largely happily spent aboard the MV Symphony as we crossed the Baltic sea from Stockholm to Helsinki. Great boat. Shame I woke at 1.30 am. Might be handy for tomorrow though.
We have a wake-up call tomorrow at 5 am! We're trying to beat the rush of commuter buses crossing the Russian border. I'm not hopeful. Breakfast is at 5.45.
Destination, st Petersburg. Our 5 nights in Russia will be the highlight of the trip even if the bureaucracy was trying. Helsinki is a old city but I think it's life is private making it a great place top live but a bit boring for the tourist. Pretty enough and clean and the air is fresh like home but I know it must be inhospitable for at least 8 months a year. I'll keep Sydney.Read more