Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I'm on my way ... my # 1 on the Must See List!

25 June 08
Leaving Helsinki, Finland
Heading to Russia!!

YAY!! We are on our way to the USSR!

Ok, I know it isn’t called that anymore .. but I am sooo excited. This is what I extended my contract for; yes, Athens and Rome were wonderful .. but Russia, this is the icing!

I got notified today that I was able to be an escort on the Grand St Petersburg tour, as well as the Ballet! I am going to be very busy tomorrow .. but that is ok, it will be so worth it.

Ok, so back to today ~ we were in Helsinki, Finland. Really nice city. The weather (thank gawd) was not raining; it was a little overcast but the sun popped out at times and really made things pretty. Pierre, Gemma, Cat, (not my Cat, a guy) Amie and I walked along the Esplanade and I said I wanted to go to the Uspensky Russian Church, which was at the end. Helsinki has a strong Russian influence due to its close proximity. (Its only 4 hours by car) Along the way was a beautiful park; it was not unlike the one in Oslo, only the weather was much nicer, so it looked better. We wandered through the fish market, with all the locals selling crafts, fruits and veggies, fish, handmade hats and gloves, etc. At the end, up on the hill was the church. It was so pretty!

We made our way up the hill and then up the steps to the church. It was a nice view from up there as well. We could see back down into the fish market as well as see the tops of the Cathedral in Senate Square. It was so nice inside and it is great to take my friends who have never been to a Russian church. Cat is Romanian, so he is close enough to Russian and celebrates all the holidays on the Julian calendar as well. So it was neat to go around the church with him and be with someone who appreciates it the way I do. Took quite a few pics in there and then lit 2 candles before I left. Made me that much more excited to get to St Petersburg tomorrow!!!

After we left the church, we walked back through the other side of the fish market and then we seemed to have lost the guys. So Amie, Gemma and I went into a few souvenir shops and then decided to go for a coffee at one of the cafes along the Esplanade. As we were wandering around some of the shops, we realized we were only a block from the Cathedral and headed over there to see it and take pics. We didn’t go in, as we were getting a little tired and “peckish” (brit-speak for hungry) so we took some pictures of it and went on. We stopped at a cute little café facing the park and had some nice hot chocolate. It was strange weather; when the sun was out, it was quite warm. But if it wasn’t, the air was quite chilly. So since the sun wasn’t out, we felt cold and ordered hot chocolates. Of course, half way through them the sun came out and then we were too warm! Go figure.

Anyway, we decided not to have anything to eat as all they had were cakes and we all agreed we didn’t need to be eating more cakes! When we finished up, we wandered down the middle of the park and back towards the shuttle bus, to head back to the ship. Took some nice pictures along the way; one is of a Summer Pole. It is the Finnish celebratory pole for the coming of the summer. It will be up all summer long and into the winter, until next summer comes when they will put up a new one. Different, but interesting.

When we got back to the port we went into the shops that were on the quay and looked around. There was this beautiful red leather jacket and it was cheap! $200 US! But it was a little snug and I didn’t like it that way. Shame too. I would have bought it. Oh well.

Helsinki pics:

So we got back on board around 4pm and I did a little wash and got my rucksack ready for tomorrow. I have to be ready for 8am, so I have to be up early! I need to stop off in the cyber for at least a few mins to check the connection, etc. before I head off for the day. So I figured I would get my money together, any info I have, charge my camera battery, etc. Then tomorrow all I need to do is get up and get dressed! I tried to nap for a little while, but I think I was too excited as I really didn’t sleep. I will surely have to go to bed early tonight; we have Clocks Forward again! Yuck! (so for those of you counting, I will be 8 hours ahead of the East Coast by the time you get up on Thursday morning)

Off to brush up on my basic Russian!

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Wow - Helsinki is really pretty! And you got some great flower shots :)

I am so excited for you, I hope you are having an absolute BLAST in St. Petersburg today!!! I think I might just have to watch Anastasia in your honor tonight, lol :-)