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]