Sunday, 29 July 2012


10 April 2012
We flew Finnar from Singapore to Helsinki.
I had hoped that we would have snow in Scandinavia and I went prepared clothes wise.
As we flew into Helsinki we could see snow on the ground so the excitement mounted.
It was very cold so made sure we had our hat, gloves and scarf on. We caught the bus at the airport and picked up passengers on their way to work. I was so awe struck as we drove through the suburbs I forgot to take photos which was unusual for me.

Finnar flight to Helsinki with sunrise and moon
Arriving in Helsinki with snow on the ground

We wandered through the city cobblestone streets and finally made it to our Hotel. There was snow in sheltered areas from the last snow fall of a few days ago. During our stay in Helsinki we visited the Lutheran Cathedral built 1830 - 1852 and Senate Square.

Lutheran Cathedral & Senate Square

The impressive Uspenski Russian Orthodox Church built 1868 is the largest Orthodox Cathedral in Western Europe.

Uspenski Russian Orthodox Church, Helsinki
Interior Uspenski Russian Orthodox Church
Presidential Palace, South Harbour, Market Square, Parliament House and Temppeliankio Church.

Parliament House, Helsinki

Presidential Palace & Uspenski Church
Temppeliankio Lutheran  (Church in the Rock)

National Museum designed in national romantic completed 1916

We took a tram ride to the terminus where we found snow on the ground and the sea was still frozen.

Frozen sea in Helsinki

13 April 2012
Our 1st class train trip from Helsinki to Turku was interesting with snow on the ground, poplars, small villages and farms.  Most houses were timber painted rust red or mustard colour.

View from train Helsinki to Turku

It was raining in Turku which was disappointing but we made it to the ferry terminal ready for our overnight crossing to Stockholm on "Europa" with Silja Line.  There were about 3000 passengers - the largest ferry in the world. It was a rat race to get on board and no directions on where to find our cabin. We had been spoilt travelling on "Dawn Princess"!  All passengers have a cabin but many only on the ferry to party.  There were lots of dining options and nightclubs. Most passengers boarded the ferry in Turku and stayed on board to return to Turku 24 hours later.  Our cabin was basic and we had a good sleep.  Snow had been falling in Stockholm for 6 hours, and still falling which was an exciting adventure for us.

"Europa" berthed in Stockholm with snow falling.
"Europa" berthed in Stockholm with snow falling.
Scandic Hotel - just a covered walkway from Dock
Stockholm from our Hotel room

14 April 2012
When we woke heavy wet snow was falling. It had been snowing for about 6 hours so it was white everywhere. Fortunately there was a covered walkway from the ferry terminal to the reception of our hotel. We were given access to a room on the 14th floor so had a great view of the terminal and surroundings.We put our thermals on and ventured out to explore Stockholm while the snow was still falling. By mid afternoon it had stopped snowing and the sun came out - but it was still only 0 degrees. 

With our thermals on we were ready to explore Stockholm
King's Garden, Stockholm
Snow outside Town Hall, Stockholm
Drottingham Palace, Stockholm
We experienced the city streets with snow, the snow plough clearing the roads and footpaths.  The Town Hall where the Nobel Peace Prize is presented each December, Gamla Stan, the old town with its cobblestone streets, Lutheran Cathedral, Market Square, Royal Palace, Opera House, and Drottingham Palace were some of the hightlights of Stockholm.

Stockholm's Town Hall

Stortorget Square, Stockholm
Gamla Stan - the old Town
Opera House, Stockholm

Gamla Stan - the old Town

16 April 2012
Train to Gothenberg and again we woke to snow but it soon melted. Went to the Zoo and old city Haga with its cobblestone strrets.  A 3 hour ferry crossing to Frederickshavn in Denmark was pleasant. Another train journey to Copenhagen, taking 7 hours.  It was flat farming with wild deer, wooly shetlands and some thatched roofed houses.

Bamens Zoo, Gothenberg
Tram in Gothenberg

18 April 2012
Copenhagen has hundreds and hundreds of bikes that share the footpath - quite an experience.
Loved Copenhagen with its Tivoli Gardens, Hans Christian Andersen influence, old canals, Churches, Royal Amalienborg Palace, Marble Church and Pania the Mermaid.

Bikes in Copenhagen
Hans Christian Andersen, Copenhagen
Canal in Copenhagen
Pania the Mermaid in Copenhagen

20 April 2012
We flew from Copenhagen to Helsinki to Budapest to commence our 12 night cruise/tour with Avalon Waterways.

Semi frozen lake in Helsinki

You may wish to contact the author Joy Olney via email:

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