At eight fifteen in the evening I am on the cold and windy sundeck of the Amorella as the lights of Stockholm slowly fades in the distance.
For about $70 US dollars, this time of the year I have a cabin all to myself onboard a Viking Line cruise ship.
The Amorella turns out to be more fun than expected with a line up of entertainment from karaoke, to live bands, and casino slots. Sleep comes at a premium and the ten hours pass too quickly.
Within a few hours of arriving in Turku I am in the Finnish capital, Helsinki. A light cold rain is falling as I leave the central bus station but I have an immediate love for this cosmopolitan city that is so alive and vibrant.
About a 20 minute walk from the city center I arrive at my accommodation for the night and what a surprise. With Hellsten Hotel And Apartments I have booked a single room for the night but at check in I am upgraded to an apartment that is so large “I can play baseball in it”. My bathroom even has a sauna in it. Nice.
This time of the year darkness comes early and the light rain is still falling as I set out to explore some of Helsinki by night. My journey takes me to an unknown part of Finland's history for me.
Yes, Finland hosted the Olympics in 1952.