05.08.2008 - 05.08.2008 16 °C
We left Jyväskäla early Tuesday morning with the Danish couple to catch the am train to Helsinki. Although the views were expansive, I'll be honest, we were so tired we slept the whole way. What a difference the city is after being in the countryside! We had to stow our luggage at the rail station so we could explore the city, awaiting check-in time at our hotel, but had to haul one of the rolling bags all over the cobblestone streets. We saw the famous churches in Helsinki, the Lutheran (white one) and Cathedral (red one), and also Temmpeliokirkko, the church excavated into the rock. It was kind of like Holland library at WSU, with only the dome visible above ground. We got market lunch of paella, then caught a ferry out to Suommenlinna, a fortress island in Helsinki Harbor, but it was a bit underwhelming. No major fortifications or armaments, and the 'open prison' is now an artist's colony. Also the weather turned stormy, but we persisted. Finally we came back to town, to rest and regroup over Kebabs. After dinner we went out to the Helsinki 'Ice Bar' (walk in freezer in the basement of a Mexican restaurant - skip it) and the Hotel Torni rooftop bar, with a view over the city. Serendipitously, we got talking to another couple who mentioned that boats to Tallinn were cancelled due to the storm, so we had to go to the rail station at 1am to rearrange our passage plans to ensure we made our connection to Stockholm.