Wednesday, September 4, 2013

See You Later Tallinn. Hello Helsinki!

Water and boats....we're heading in the right direction.

Wake up! I had to rustle Bro up today. It was an early wake up call as we left Tallinn for Helsinki today. We had packed our bags last night. Lucky for us, Jurgen had kindly agreed to allow us to leave our suitcases in the apartment even though we were not spending the next two nights here. It was nice to be able to just lock up and go.


It was a quick breakfast before we headed out. We had tickets for the Tallink Superstar leaving Tallin at 7:30a departing from Terminal D.  So off to the ferry terminal we went. We followed our map but ran into a few challenges along the way - couldn't figure out how to cross the main road, couldn't easily figure out which of the several big white buildings was Terminal D.  Fortunately, we had factored in some "wrong way, turn around" time so all was okay.

Nope.....not the ferry terminal.

Buses.  Good clue that we're getting close.

Ta da....we're here!

Once inside, we figured out that check in could easily be done at the self serve kiosk so we did that and got our boarding passes.  We had pretty much arrived just in time.  A few short minutes later and we were boarding.


Just like boarding the subway - feed boarding pass into gate machine.

Following the crowd to the ferry.

It's a big terminal!  The Superstar ferry has it's own passenger lane.

Catching a glimpse of our ferry.

On board, we headed up the stairs, picked a room, found a spot to sit and settled in for the two hour ride to Helsinki.  Bro even managed to take in a quick cat nap.


Best part about traveling bright and early on a weekday?  No crowds!

As the ferry pulled away from the dock, we could see Old Tallinn.  By now, the spires and towers were familiar sights to us!

Time can fly by so quickly.  Before we knew it, we were in Finland!  Our first time ever for either of us.


Our next challenge began the moment we got off the ship.  We had to find our way to the hotel.  I had a Google Map but we had to orient ourselves first to know which direction to walk in.  Wisely, we opted to follow the crowd.


Luck was on our side.  The street that our hotel is on, ends at one of the main roads near the ferry terminal.  Walking toward the main road, we saw the large green and white road signs pointing towards city center which was further confirmation we were going in the right direction since I had booked a hotel that was in the heart of the city.

It seemed like forever before we got to our hotel which was also not easy to find.  I had remembered that the hotel was not an entire building; it only took up two floors of a building.  We eventually found the place.  On the outside, it looked very nondescript.  I think Bro was a bit skeptical.  We followed the signage and took the elevator up to the hotel lobby.

Welcome to the Hotel Finn!  I picked the place because it's reasonably priced (by Helsinki standards) and more importantly, because it's located just about half a block from the main avenue, Mannerheimintie, that runs through the city.  We have to get our way around on foot and tram so being close to the action was crucial in deciding on where to stay.

Funky and modern with a very welcoming and helpful staff.

Our room was down this hallway.

Small but very comfy room. 

We took a few minutes to settle in and relax before heading out.  By now, it was just late morning - plenty of time to do a bit of sightseeing before calling it a day.

Hello Helsinki!