May 27 & 28
* Faux Cyrillic with the backward ‘R’. Я, “Ya,” is actually a vowel and the last letter in the Cyrillic alphabet. The correct spelling of Russia in Cyrillic would begin with ‘P’. So, this spelling of Russia is just . . . to look cool?
Our Viking river cruise, beginning first with three days in Helsinki and Talinn. We rejoined old cruise partners Pam Mathison and Tom Kiehne, who seem to have visited every country on the planet in the last year!
[Leaving home and blog office behind . . . ]
[We were the only two Executive Express passengers from Alex to MSP – giving us the feeling of being limoed. At the airport, we survived the TSA shakedown but needed wine anyway.]
[Helsinki is really that far away?]
[Before boarding, go into airplane mode!]
[Why are we leaving the great spring weather of Minnesota? Oh yeah, it just started being great.]
[About to endure 8 1/2 hours of agony!]
[But I think it’s coming to an end . . . ]
[It seems Finland may have even more lakes than Minnesota . . . is 188,000 more than 10,000?]
[Not densely populated here.]
[Aha, a building.]
[Welcome to Finland! My first visit . . . ]
[We’re “here” – about 18 hours door-to-door. We met Tom and Pam in the lobby, but nap time came first for us.]
[But we didn’t go “there.”]
[Where multi-syllabic words and names hold fort . . . ]
[Where we stayed in Helsinki . . . ]
[We’re just off Kluuvi, the commercial centre of the city . . . ]
[That nap thing . . . ]
[A little outdoor area in the “backyard.”]
[I did a quick walkabout. This is the “centre,” the tower is the main train station . . . ]
[Sidewalk cafes abound along this street . . . ]
[Walking the other way, then looking back at our hotel front . . . ]
[And now we’re off in search of our first fine dining experience . . . ]
[Ateneum is one of the three museums forming the Finnish National Gallery. It is located in the centre of Helsinki on the south side of Rautatientori square close to Helsinki Central railway station. (Wikipedia)]
[The railway station . . . ]
[We have crossed the square, our hotel is at the back center . . . ]
[And now paralleling the train station . . . ]
[And now past it . . . ]
[With Pam, Tom, and the Super leading the way, we approach our destination in the FORUM building . . . ]
[And this is Kaarna, recommended by a Viking rep. It was a home run. We ambled maybe a half mile through downtown on a beautiful evening to get here. . . . ]
[All modern and stuff . . . ]
[I’m so hungry I could eat a reindeer!]
[Why yes, we are excited about eating!]
[The menu . . . ]
[I think we all opted for the “classics” at the top and bottom of the menu page . . . ]
[Looks like someone had soup?]
[And you can’t skip dessert!]
[Bon appetit (well, I don’t know the Finnish equivalent) . . . ]
[The perfect end to our first day.]
Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife announced that they are getting a divorce after almost 30 years of marriage. When asked why, Putin said, ‘We tried to make it work, but you know what they say: Men are from Malgobek, women are from Kadnikov.’ ~ Jimmy Fallon
And from my fortune cookie as I write this: Travel with an open heart and positive expectations.
Up Next: Likely more Яussia, but maybe not soon . . . or often. After 17 years, we’re relearning the joys of moving.
2 thoughts on “Яussia* (Days 1 & 2)”
Love the backward R… It’s almost like being there!!
What a wonderful journey you and Ruth have taken all these many years — with many more years to come. Cheers!!!!