Scandinavian Awesomeness – Part 2

Boat ride was really calm – but very strange to be on a boat for extended period of time, especially to sleep. As Alex put it, it was like a floating RSL. Dinner was nice – smorgasbord style. Had the Swedish equivalent of potato bake…was WAY nicer than anything we’ve had. Also had Swedish meatballs, which were really yummy!
Spent most of the time in the cabin and looking out on our private deck – only went outside on the deck a few times as it was very very cold. Did go to the duty free shopping to grab Alex a beanie (very nice mustard coloured, looks really nice – can also attest to it’s warmth!)

Woman who served us had been to Brisbane, said it was a lovely place and really liked Australia. Was really nice 🙂

Went to bed relatively early (around 9pm) after taking some ginger tablets…don’t want to throw up while sleeping!

Landed in Helsinki at about 10:15am – strangely no one wanting to see our passports or anything, which was a tad odd. Think it was to do with our car being Swedish. Hope it doesn’t give us any issues! No SIM or wifi, so we were blind when we landed in Helsinki. Drove around a bit to find somewhere to buy a SIM – got to a servo and grabbed a DNA SIM just so we’d have satnav. Yay! We got data!

Had three hours to burn, so headed to the Helsinki Zoo. So. Freakin’. Cold. You drive and park and then have to walk across to the zoo – over a bridge. It was freezing. Stole Alex’s beanie, as he was wearing his hoodie.
Saw some amazing things at the zoo – Pallas cat, massive brown bears, red pandas RUNNING AROUND (they don’t do that in our neck of the woods!), massive birds of prey, lots of turtles and tortoises, strange little mammals that looked like giant guinea pigs…photos to come!

After chilling at the zoo for a while, headed back to the car and it was almost time to check in. Navigated to the hotel (Hotel Haven) and then had to park in their parking garage…terrifying. They use car lifts O.o Think the car will be staying put until we have to leave for Joensuu.

Hotel room is seriously swanky – there’s even a TV in the bathroom O.o Unloaded all our stuff, had a shower (or a bath while watching TV in Alex’s case) and then got dressed to head out to get a Sonera SIM (for me, for coverage in Lapland), some milk for tea and plenty of water to keep us going. Also needed food (as we hadn’t eaten really since breakfast) and cash…no euro’s on us, just Swedish kroner.

Found an ATM (Otto!) and saw a supermarket that we could use to get our supplies. Spotted a little place called Big Mama’s near the market, so decided to call in there for dinner – BEST. PIZZA. EVER! Also, their cider was insanely sweet – I had strawberry and Alex had pear.

Once finished, headed into the market for supplies – water, milk and more travel cookies!

Went back to the hotel, called home (at 1am in the morning – promise we’ll try to keep it to normal times from now on, Carol!) and watched a few shows on TV (including Cops…even on this side of the world, I can’t escape it) and ended up asleep by 8pm. Obviously still slightly jet-lagged 😛

Woke up insanely early at 3:30am, then went back to sleep – woke up again around 6am, decided to get up. Quick Facebook call to back home (HI MUM!) and then head downstairs for breakfast which I’d smartly included in our room while in Helsinki. Food was really really good – I have no idea why, but scrambled eggs over here are just amazing. We’re now back in the hotel room, chilling for a bit (downloading photos and writing blog posts!) before we head back downstairs to head to the Helsinki Tourist booth for a Helsinki Card and some kind of tour of the city!

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