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Old 12-10-2007, 03:37 PM   #1
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Default Helsinki, Finland

okay who's been there? I read today that it's like a 4 hour train ride from St. Petersburg and was a recommended day trip from St. Pete. Anyhoo, brought it up on wiki travel and it looks pretty sweet so I'm going to head over there for 2 days of my Russia trip in September. I figure, I doubt I'll even be up that way again, unless I go to Russia again, and shit, why not go to Finland?

I scoured the toipics on the board and saw a few topics of people planning on going but then I dunno of they went, so I dunno who to PM lol!

anyhoo, if you've been, let me know what's up!
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Old 12-10-2007, 05:16 PM   #2
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I wanted to go there last summer when I took my trip to Scandinavia and I wish I did. I hear they are the most fun of the Nordic countries. Not to be start stereotyping, but generally the Danish are serious but smoke and drink hard; the Swedes are very reserved, private, and shy; the Norwegians are very friendly, independent, and outdoorsy. But the Finns are friendly, love to party, and are very much into proving their physical strength. A Swedish woman I met told me the Finns are the most "Viking" of the Nordic people outside of Iceland. Heavy Metal music and arm wrestling is very popular among young Finns. I also would like to take a trip to Saint Pete's and Finland in a future trip.
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Old 12-10-2007, 05:24 PM   #3
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I was there for a day on my way to st petersburg. It was pretty cool, we went to some fortress, I can't remember the name. we ended up seeing the Borat movie there because we were really cold at night and had nowhere to stay.
We actually took an overnight bus from Helsinki to St Petersburg, it was waayyy cheaper but not really the best experience - very crowded and uncomfortable for sleeping, and we were woken up repeatedly throughout the night to go through customs. I'd probably look into the train!
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Old 12-10-2007, 05:28 PM   #4
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my girlfriend flew there on her way to St. petersburg and she said it was awesome!
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Old 12-10-2007, 08:38 PM   #5
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I think I am going to try to spend some time there. Tallinn, Estonia is a short ferry ride away too. I love how I promised it would be just Moscow, then I added St. Pete, then Finland, and now I am talking Estonia. Airfare is cheaper if I fly into Finland anyway. I'm going to have to make the trip 10 days instead of 7. LOL.
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Old 12-10-2007, 10:57 PM   #6
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yes, go to Tallinn! the old town is so cool.
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Old 12-11-2007, 04:50 AM   #7
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I'm going to have to make the trip 10 days instead of 7. LOL.
Nothing wrong with that if you've got the time!
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Old 12-11-2007, 10:06 AM   #8
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Nothing wrong with that if you've got the time!
I know, right?! I do have the time, since I move back to C-bus Aug 25th, I don't start fall qurter at OSU til Sept 24th, so I do have an assload of time, so I am tempted to travel more, but I do have to move into a new apartment and then see Celine on the 22nd!
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Old 12-16-2007, 04:56 AM   #9
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I went there in the summer on a day trip (Baltic cruise). It's a cool city, lots of neat churches, forts and such. Don't they have a ferry you can take back and forth to St. Pete or (more likely) Tallinn? I've learned that crossing borders by bus in Eastern Europe is an excruciating process. Like having your fingernails pulled in slow motion...which is what those border guards move in...

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Old 12-16-2007, 06:25 AM   #10
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Yes, there is a ferry from Helsinki to/from Tallinn. It takes around 3 hours and costs roughly $25 one-way. I never checked roundtrip prices, sorry. Apparently there is a bar on-board as well.

I actually heard that some Finns will take the ferry to Tallinn, drinking the whole time, party in Tallinn for the evening where its cheaper, than catch the last ferry back home to Helsinki, finishing off their night. Crossing an international border? That sounds like a good pub crawl to me!
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:05 AM   #11
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Crossing an international border? That sounds like a good pub crawl to me!
Ugh...NOT by bus! One of the worst bus rides I've ever taken was one from Vilnius, Lithuania to Warsaw, Poland. The border guards were drunk, the entire process took about 2 excruciating hours, and in the end, they tried to drive off without half a dozen people on the bus getting their passports back!

Nyetsky bordersky autobusky!

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Old 12-18-2007, 10:17 AM   #12
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that does sound terrible. From what I've read, the ferry crossing is pretty easy to do. When i got off the ferry in Croatia this summer, the immigration "office" was a guy at a desk just blindly stamping passports...
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Old 12-18-2007, 11:28 AM   #13
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When i got off the ferry in Croatia this summer, the immigration "office" was a guy at a desk just blindly stamping passports...
see this is exactly how crossing borders should be. except that might be a bad idea to be too la, but it makes our travel lives easier anyway! I have a friend who spent nearly 13 hours in queue on the border of like India and Pakistan or something. In the summer!! oy vey.

anyway, from what I read on wikitravel, going from Finland to Estonia on the ferry doesn't seem very painful. I think the painful part is crossing borders between Russia and Finland.
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Old 12-23-2007, 10:37 PM   #14
 
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I spent a month or so in Helsinki in December 2005 - January 2006. I also traveled from Helsinki to Tallinn by ferry and spent two nights there before flying to London (it was supposed to only be one night, but I got ridiculously drunk for very cheap and missed my flight the next day!).

I can probably answer many of your questions, at least to the best of my recollection & memory. Also if there is anything I don't know, I can find information out from friends of mine in Helsinki. Several of my friends from Helsinki are actually here in Saskatoon, visiting for the holidays as well. Rather than PM me, you can e-mail me at matthew (at) sinclairmanagement.com because I don't check Travelpunk very often.

Kippis (cheers)!

-Matthew
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