After returning from Riga by the same route with a short stop in Parnu, Estonia we got up bright and early for the morning ferry to Helsinki.  this is a 3 hour trip on a ferry that’s more cruise ship with sleeping cabins, bars, dance floors, shopping, conference rooms and a promenade.  This morning was especially early as the previous day, the 24th happened to be Estonian Independence day and the parties ragged on across town and including in the bar in our hotel till 4am.  Given that the 24th was also my 40th birthday I was certain that the parties were actually for me :).  In any event we could clearly hear very bad, very drunk Estonian karaoke all the way to our room till 4am.

The ferry ride was an experience across the gulf of Finland as the ocean was frozen into sheets of ice for the last hour of travel!  And of course you really haven’t lived till the return trip when the first officer makes announcements with the song “In The Navy” by The Village People being sung in Finnish in the background and the band in the bar full of drunks is playing Elvis tunes sung in Estonian as people dance the trip away. (checkout the last photo below)

Helsinki is a very metropolitan city and very modern with history spread throughout.  We spent the day wandering around town and soaking it all in. Helsinki was a balmy -4 degrees F for our day but included a lovely wind off the ocean.  The girls are still thawing out but it was interesting and the over priced vodka is good and keeps you warm.