June 27, 2000
For a capital city, Helsinki isnít that large. There are two nice churches to visit and some great art museums, but surprisingly, little else. This is mainly because Helsinki is a fairly new cityÖ the Russians made this the capital because the old capital was too close to the Swedish boarder and figured it should be moved closer to Moscow. A day was enough to cover the interesting parts of town. It would take more to do the museums properly.
Unlike every other country Iíve passed through, the Finns arenít bitter against the Russians. In fact, they think they were treated quite well under the Soviet rule. Perhaps itís because the Finnish are woodsy people, while the Russians were after the cities.
Anyway, I didnít expect to make it up here, but the boat was affordable from Estonia. As promised, I made my phone call to one of the older ladies, Tuula. She quickly found me in the city and got me orientated; however, it didnít seem like I had many options of a place to stay. I was planning on calling the other woman, Tiiti, the bear hunter artist/ice swimmer, to see and spend the night on her island.
She made some phone calls and unfortunately, Tiitiís car was in the shop and it would be difficult get there; however, her daughter would be glad to have a guest. ďYou can probably sleep in the kitchen in a sleeping bag,Ē Tuula told me.
ďAs long as Iím not causing any inconvenience, Iíd love to see more of Finnish lifeĒ I replied, and off I went to Salo.