What I discovered when browsing through them again was that there were more stations than I remembered, but also more water – I think the best of the latter are the ones taken while sailing out of Stockholm through the archipelago in the early evening.
In case you don’t want to go to flickr and have a look, these are my favourites:
11th June: I’m sitting here at Helsinki station, having arrived far too early for my train to Turku. I prefer it this way, especially after the missed train fiasco earlier.
Today has been a free day. I have walked a little too far despite having spent some time on trams and an hour and a half going round some of the many islands on a boat – in case I hadn’t seen enough boats lately. Last night I had dinner in a very picturesque restaurant that apparently used to be frequented by Sibelius and his friends. I wish I had been able to go to a concert while in Helsinki.
On this occasion I’ve got hold of a small amount of food and drink to take with me on the train. I haven’t usually bothered on this trip because of having to carry it, but after some of my food experiences I’ve decided it’s worthwhile.
A little later – on train to Turku – ferry port. I realise this blog hasn’t had a lot of actual trains in it yet, but I have just taken some Finnish train pics so here’s one of the train I’m on.
10th June: Yes, for anyone who is still wondering, I’ve made it to Helsinki. I was pleased in the end to have changed my ferry booking, as I was able to make a dramatic entrance, sailing majestically past the conference centre, which happens to be right on the harbour front. I made it through disembarkation, checked into my hotel – also near the harbour – and still got to the conference in time for morning coffee.
The ship sat outside for a while but wasn’t actually waiting to take me back to Stockholm. I’ll be going to Turku tomorrow to catch a different ferry.
In the meantime I will be a tourist as my presentation has been delivered and the conference has just finished. As often happens, I have played the part of class clown but most people seemed to be enjoying it.
I will report back later on my return journey, which will be slightly different, but a bit the same – hoping for no faulty trains next time though. I remember on one UK journey hearing the ominous station announcement: ‘This train is a complete failure.’ That isn’t what I want to hear any time on Thursday or Friday in any language.