Saturday, July 28, 2012

Helsinki, Finland

Today is our last day in Europe; this afternoon we fly to New York, and then L.A.  The last few days have been busy as we drove from Transylvania to Bucharest in our rented car; took an overnight sleeper train from Bucharest to Budapest; and flew to Helsinki from Budapest.

Helsinki is the first place we've visited on our monthlong trip where the temperatures have dipped into the 70s, which is a nice change.  We had one afternoon and evening to sightsee, and we used it to walk around the town center, take a ferry boat out to a ruined fortress on an island, and enjoy a delicious Indian meal.

Helsinki is busy, lively and colorful.  Street musicians play everything from New Orleans style jazz to the accordian, and people sit in the cafes, or enjoy picnics in the city's numerous parks.  The electric trams and buses are efficient, cheap and easy to use.

However, prices are much steeper than in Eastern Europe.  On my "beer-o-meter," Helsinki is at the top, with a draft brew costing $7-$8 - and often not even filled to the top of the glass - compared with $1-$3 in most of the places we've been.

As we walked around the town last night, we were caught in a brief downpour, which felt very refreshing after the summer heat we've endured. Then, it the middle of the night, it rained again, furiously, for more than a half-hour.  I enjoyed standing by the open window, feeling the mist on my face.

As we wrap up our trip, here are a few final photos from Romania, including a shot of the family who ran a guest house in Sighisoara, who fed us delicious local dishes, shared homemade wine and eggs from their chickens, and treated us like royalty. Also are shots from a hike we took in the Bucegi Mountains, an ancient fort, and the town square in Braso's old town.

1 comment:

  1. It is nice to know your trip went out great. Your photos ensemble that the memories of your travels linger. I also have great travels whenever I travel jet lag free with jetLAGFX Leaving away from destinations is sad but thinking the fantastic experiences you had, it is very rewarding.