Less than an hour in Russia proper and I have already been fined by a very severe looking railway official. The crime was taking a photo of an, on reflection kind of average, wall mosaic of Lenin. The site Finland Station where the great leader had arrived back to from his exile, gave a speech on a tank and proceeded on to do some stuff that you can read about elsewhere. The punishment 100 roubles, a sixth of the money that we had just changed upon arrival. The sequence of events was as simple as get off train from Helsinki, drag others outside to take photo of statue of Lenin on spot of aforementioned speech, change money, line up for subway tokens, pull out camera, get pulled by the scruff of the neck into a booth filled with unidentifiably uniformed officials, have piece of paper shoved under nose explaining offense and amount of fine, try and explain that personally I have no money on me a situation that’s not covered by my phrasebook, get shouted at, eventually wave over others who thankfully post my bail. [read on]
Archive for the 'Finland' Category
This is a lesson in how to forget a city. With Russia dominating the planning and preparation, the regionalism of the Baltic being the first stop, the only thought that had gone into Helsinki was that there is a ferry there from Tallinn and a train out to St Petersburg. So ignorant was I that it was a surprise to find that Finland uses the Euro.
The RoRo ferry over was pretty rough and not that fun, just like the Interislander a route which this boat will probably be used for in the near future, apart from the last bit as you come into the harbour and pass these cool little islands with cute wee houses on them.
One of these islands is apparently a big tourist destination but it is called Suomenlinna which sounds a lot like semolina which is a dessert I detested as a kid and we knew nothing about it so chances of a visit were not good. We were about the only ones not walking off with the maximum allowance of duty free, apparently people make this trip return just to buy booze as even with the price of the ferry it’s still cheaper than the local bottlie. No need for us though as the bounty of Russia was on the horizon. [read on]