Helsinki, Finland

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Helsinki

Let it be known that Tony and Mary Beecher are idiots. Two half-wits definitely do NOT make a full wit. More on that later..

Helsinki is a very nice city. We bought a day pass for the local transportation and headed off to tour the city at our own pace. The number 16 bus picked us up at the ship and delivered us to the Market Square. We headed out to the site of the 1952 Summer Olympics. We visited the churches, Embassies, stores, and parks. We had lunch at a nice cafe called Memphis.

We wanted to get back to the ship early to run a load of laundry before everyone else showed up. We waited for bus 16. When it arrived we asked the driver if he went to the cruise ship terminal where Carnival Splendor is. He said “No!” A nice lady told us to take Tram 4T. We walked to the place where 4 and 4T stop. Two 4’s went by but no 4Ts. We looked and decided to take the 4 which went a few blocks away from 4T. We had a difference of opinion and I let Mary win which cost us about 10 minutes. In the end she had to admit that the stop I thought we should have gotten off was the right one. We walked to the cruise terminal and it looked very different. We can’t see our ship which is the largest in the Baltic Sea. We ask a taxi driver if he knows where our ship is and he has no clue. We start asking agents and they are useless. We finally find a guy who worked for the harbor and he checks a chart and walks us over to a map and tells us that our ship is in the West Harbor and we are in the East Harbor. It is now 4:45 and we have to be on board by 5:30. We waited for a taxi but none came. We decided to hoof it back to the Market Square and find a taxi there. We get there and can’t find one. Now it is 5:00 and we are in a full panic thinking that we are going to miss the ship. This is very bad because we would have to find our way to St. Petersburg, Russia. I don’t think that would be a simple task. We decide to head to the shopping area to see if we can find a taxi. Up ahead we see the queue of taxis. I stick my head in the window of the first one and say “Do you know where the Carnival Splendor is???” He said “Ja!” We jumped in and told him that we were very late. It was now 5:15 and we have no idea how far the ship is. This driver took all the back roads and was really moving. We pulled up to the ship at about 5:25, way too close for comfort. The fare was $9.50 Euro. I handed him a 20 and said “You don’t know how much money you just saved me! Keep the change” He was so happy to have picked us up.

As we came back on board the security agent at the ship saw the two of us in a full sweat, breathing hard and gave us that knowing smile. Mary went on a cocktail run and we sat on the deck trying to cool down. The ship sailed at 5:45, way too soon after we arrived. We were the laughing stock of the dinner table. It is time for bed now since we lose another hour and have to get up at 5:30.

Helsinki Church

This is a church that is cut into a rock wall.

Helsinki Church

Helsinki

Helsinki

Helsinki

This is a new building made out of some really great marble

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