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Final days of Stockholm and the road to Helsinki.

Leaving Stockholm


Stockholm is a great city that merges the old and the new, like most cities, however, due to it being built across an archipelago, certain islands remain full of it's old charm and other offer new architecture and high rise buildings creeping up into the skyline. On our last few days we spent in Stockholm we fitted in quite a lot considering we took a strangle hold of our budgeting after our lapse!




On the Tuesday evening we went round to see Patrick and Iris at their apartment. Iris had cooked us dinner and we were also joined by Christian, which was nice as we had had little time to catch up when we saw him working at the bar at the weekend. The food was delicious, I think Iris was a little worried about our reactions, but I think our second helpings reassured her! She had even gone to the trouble of making a cake for afters, I had teased her at the weekend about how much I liked carrot cake when she had suggested she might make one! So I think she was worried to see my reaction. I was very impressed, and I think that view was shared round the table as the cake was virtually demolished! After the food we sat about making jokes, listening to music and discussing travel plans. I hope they might read this blog as I would like to make clear what fantastic hosts they have been while visiting Stockholm, Christian very much included in that too and also the Swedish guide we had in Oslo, Amanda! You have done Sweden proud!

(Patrik & Iris live in a cool suburb)


For our last few days sightseeing we had a wonder round areas of Stockholm we hadn't yet visited, or if we had it was at night and under the influence, so I didn't have my beer compass switched on! We decide we would do one of the paid museums that we had been avoiding in order to save money! The whole time we were there I was keen to see the Vasa museum which Patrik had recommended, which contains an old ship which sank in 1628. It doesn't sound the most interesting place, but we were all very impressed! The boat was huge and covered in ornate carvings with a double gun deck! The ship was ordered to be built by King Gustav II Adolf, and he wanted it to be the jewel of his navel fleet. However, his over zealous demands of the ships specifications and the lack of knowledge of building double decked gun ships by his navy led to the Vasa being built with a hull that was too narrow for it's enormous size an weight, especially when carrying it's guns, which led to it sinking on it's maiden voyage! Interestingly in a stroke of luck, not for the 12 or so people who unfortunately lost their lives, it sunk still in the archipelago, where the waters are less salty. This  allowed the ships hull and the main bulk of the ships contents to be preserved, particularly the wood work which on most shipwrecks is destroyed by a type of worm that eats away at it. 


(This was exhibit was showing the natural source of the colouring they used to paint the statues and carvings on the Vasa)

The museum was had lots if interesting exhibits based around the vasa, as well as some of the many items salvaged including some if it's victims. The museum had interesting told the stories of the individuals from looking at their bones, personal items found on or around them and from rough records from the disaster itself. I would recommend the museum as a must see to people visiting Stockholm!

The last day in Stockholm was spent milling around in the sun in different parks due to the fact that we had to leave our hostel at 11am, however, due to a lack of forethought when me and smith booked our travel, our flight to Helsinki was not until 6:40am the following morning! After a very uncomfortable 10 hour wait at the airport resenting Smith and Kailey for managing some admittedly poor sleep we boarded the plain were I fell asleep instantly! That 45 mins was my fist bit of sleep in 24 hours after a very busy day. Therefore my initial outlook of Helsinki was tainted by this growing feeling of frustration inside of me. Even once arriving at Helsinki's main square, to find none of the transport info in English. This of course is not their fault and is a very British reaction to a situation, but being tired, hungry and lost made it difficult to remain calm and deal with the situation. We eventually sorted things out and got to the hostel, which through tired eyes and the fact that we arrived at about 10:30am but couldn't have our rooms til 4pm, was close to tipping me over the edge! After a nap on the common room sofa, a venture out to get some food, I was starring to feel more human. In the time of waiting we looked at what Helsinki had to offer and after getting our rooms, having a shower another little sleep I was full of beans and looking forward to this next leg of the journey! That sounds like a rant, but i thought I'd be honest of my first impressions of the place seen through very groggy eyes. 

Helsinki already seems to have a vibe of Russia, even the people look slightly more of a Russian decent. I think that it's a logical step on the direction we are taking to visit Helsinki to help us prepare for our exploration of Russia, which deep down I feel might be a challenge! The hostel is situated at the back of the Olympic stadium which was suppose to host the Olympics in 1940, but was cancelled due to WWII, it was later held here
in 1952. The stadium is now used for big concerts and is the home of Finland's national football team. The area is very sporting as literally a stones throw from the entrance of the hostel is another impressive stadium and training ground for Helsinki's biggest football team HJK. There are are over 80 museums in Helsinki so I expect we will find something of interest as well as a zoo, which for me is always a must, due to my love of the natural world and animals. Another place if interest is Suomenlinna fortress on an island just off Helsinki, which is one of seven UNESCO World Heritage sites. After the initial tiredness and frustration I'm looking forward to exploring the place described as the worlds northernmost urban area with a population greater than 1 million.

Posted by Christian25 09:10 Archived in Finland Tagged travel_sweden_finland Comments (3)

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