Russia 2006 Journey Day Twenty-One
Helsinki, Finnland

                                    [03 August, 2006] Early wake up call to catch the 7:30 a.m. train to Helsinki, Finland.  All west bound
                                    bound trains have shifted from the original Helsinsky station (Used by Lenin for his exile return in 1917) to 
                                    the newly built Ladbodski station.  Design of the new station is basic granite tiles and exposed black steel 
                                    beams - Could be located in any contemporary city and lacks any St. Petersburg flavor.  All the signs have 
                                    English text written below.
                                    Morning rain and fogged windows in the black Lada brand taxi made it difficult to see sights going to the 
                                    station.  Several arriving trains were overnight journeys and masses are staggering to the exits.  It is an
                                    interesting sight to see old trains in a new station - quite the contrast.
                                    The compartment on the train is the quintessential wood veneer interior with solid wood windows.  Two
                                    benches faced each and can be converted to beds.  Two layers of contrasting colored drapes and plastic 
                                    flowers in a vase finish the overall classic look.  Once the volume switch was located (The Russian Ricky
                                    Martin type music was too much for morning), it was time to settled in for the trip.  An occasional 
                                    railroad crossing was assured of not having cars attempt to cross - in addition to the white and orange
                                    striped barrier, a more robust pop up steel plate from the road surface assured stoppage or at least
                                    a major headache for the driver.
                                    Once the Russian-Finland border was encountered, Russian police and dogs checked each train 
                                    compartment - very thoroughly.  Once within Finland, the skies cleared and the scenery changed
                                    dramatically - from haphazard and neglected rural houses to structured agricultural fields with
                                    well maintained and painted homes 
                                    After six hours, the train pulled into Helsinki - a art deco styled central railroad station with four
                                    cubed shaped guardians of the main entrance.  Tram No. 4 provided quick transport to the Viking
                                    Lines cruise ship terminal.  We checked the bags in a locker and had 4 hours to explore the
                                    port city.  Since we already had our tram pass, Tram 7B provided a loop tour of the central city
                                    area.  On one street was a elementary school driving school - pedal cars with traffic lights and
                                    signs.  Looks like 8 year olds in Finland receive better driving training than States based drivers..
                                    After a return walk from the port area, it was time to board the cruise line for the overnight
                                    trip to Stockholm.  Our cabin had two large viewing windows to enjoy the many outlining
                                    islands - many with their own small cabin homes.  The ship buffet was substantial and as
                                    imagined, it included various forms of salmon, caviar, and Scandinavian delights.  After watching
                                    a Harrison Ford movie in the conference center and then the sunset at 10:00 p.m., the full day
                                    was done.  Breakfast will be in Sweden.
                                        Russia Train - St. Petersburg to Helsinki     Russia Train - St. Petersburg to Helsinki     Russia Train - St. Petersburg to Helsinki - View from the Compartment
                                                                                                St. Petersburg to Helsinki Train

                                    Helsinki, Finland, Scenes - Central Train Station  Helsinki, Finland, Scenes - Central Train Station  Helsinki, Finland, Scenes - Cathedral     
                                          Helsinki, Finland, Scenes - Cathedral    Helsinki, Finland, Scenes     Helsinki, Finland, Scenes - Fur Trader
                                        Helsinki, Finland, Scenes - Main Dock  Helsinki, Finland, Scenes - Main Dock  Helsinki, Finland, Scenes - Out Island
                                                                                                    Helsinki, Finland, Scenes

                                                Helsinki, Finland, Scenes - Viking Line Cruise   Helsinki, Finland, Scenes - Viking Line Cruise  .Helsinki, Finland, Scenes - Viking Line Cruise - Cabin View
                                                                                                 Viking Cruise Line Scenes

                                    Transportation:  Lada brand Taxi (Called for fixed rate), Russian Train line, Helsinki Trams 7A and 4, and
                                    Viking Cruise line exterior room 6104.

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