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Helsinki and departure to St Petersburg.

I love my hotel room at the Radisson Blu Seaside. It has plenty of light, some A/C , a nice bed and is spacious. I spent the morning downloading some maps and stuff to my phone as I won't have a SIM card in Russia. After showering, repacking and trip planning, I finally left the room at 11 a.m. I was still trying to figure out how to ride the trolley to St Peterline. It was walkable but difficult with my bags and I've noticed the sidewalks for the walkers are not smooth like the bike sidewalks. I finally downloaded the transit app and with the help of the desk clerk learned how to buy a ticket online for the trolley since there was no ticket booth close nor do the drivers sell them. Interesting that the ticket on my phone had a circle that goes round and round in bright colors while the ticket is valid. That way you can get on the bus and the driver and see quickly that you have a valid ticket.

I walked over to the "Old Market Hall near me again and this time ate at a shop that made "Super Bowls". It was vegetarian and full of yummy vegetables and rice. Healthy and I loved every bite of it. One thing I like in Finland is when you ask for water you get a whole quart of it in a bottle. No ice but that's ok with me.

After I ate I went back to the herring booth and talked to the young women who I talked to yesterday that has started this restaurant and is from Riga. I thanked her again for picking out the perfect herring for me (the vinegar ones) the day before. I asked her where her dad's shop was in Riga and she gave me a handwritten map so I can find it. She is so sweet and her English is so good. I walked down a couple different streets and then back to the hotel to get my bag. I left the hotel at 2 pm because the Moby Peterline ferry to St Petersburg started check in at 3 pm. After I got there I found out the ferry didn't leave until 6:30. Somehow I had missed that. So I checked in and toured the ferry (an old cruise ship I think) called the Anastasia before most people were on board. It is much like the Viking line ship I took from Stockholm. Both were built in the 1980's. They are old but clean and well kept up.

The bar on top opened at 5 pm so I had a beer and found a spot in the shade. A couple sat next to me. They are from New Zealand. He was a principal (Lindsey) and she (Trish) is a teacher. We talked for a couple of hours about everything from travel to politics. They have two children in the UK working. They housesit -- have done half dozen. Last year one in Wales. It saves them from spending so much to travel and they enjoy living in neighborhoods and meeting people. They travel to Europe almost every year since they have kids there. They said it is common for kids to do a year abroad. When I asked what they thought about Trump, Lindsey put his hand to his head...making like a gun. They live on the southern New Zealand island - near Christchurch. They highly recommend coming there and not just the northern New Zealand Island. We talked about the earthquake a few years ago and the rebuilding. We talked about helicopter parents and the trouble they have in the schools with them. Those parents act like their child is always right and is the only one. He said he is old and cranky and stands up to them. He doesn't think the new principals do. They said their educational system is test-based now too and they feel sad about the way the education system is going. We finally parted to go eat.

I went to the Italian restaurant where I could order minestrone soup. Oh my. It was green, weak, overcooked veggies and oily. I ate it just to have something in my stomach. There aren't many choices for a light meal without meat. I'm glad I didn't try pizza as they were large.

Off to a shower and bed. My bed was harder than the Viking ferry. But I slept ok but woke with a kinked neck.

Posted by Linda K 12:53 Archived in Finland Tagged market petersburg finland old st ferry hall

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