officer on board the train greeted us with a smile and cleared us in speedily
and efficiently - the only delay was that he stopped to look at all our
visas and stamps - many I'm sure he hadn't seen before. "You certainly
like to travel," he commented. We were now well and truly in Europe
and our British passports gave us leave travel without visas.
proud that it shook off the Russian yoke in the late 19th century and
fought to keep out of the Soviet umbrella. Peter the Great tried to create
a mini St Petersburg in Helsinki and much of the architecture around the
main square looked the same. Apart from this, the Finns have made it their
own. The only downside was the high cost of living - we found everything
Our walking tour was again very informative. We were enjoying these and decided to join one at every city we visited as they were so informative and good value. After the 2-3 hour walking tour, we, as always, gravitated towards the harbour. There were many yachts dressed overall - we chatted to a Danish couple who were stowing their dinghy and found out they were part of the Baltic Rally and, like all cruisers, were celebrating their arrival at this major stop over. Another highlight was the food stalls on the water front - we discovered the salmon and vegies were superb, as was the reindeer with loganberry jam. A punnet of fresh berries polished off our feast.
For our final
day in Helsinki we joined our own Baltic cruise - the ferry from Helsinki
to Tallinn in Estonia where we would step back 400 years into the past
- and leap forward into a vision of the future for us all.