Visit Helsinki, Finland

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Lauren Stevens's Goal

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Maria and I took the Onnibus from Jyväskylä and arrived in Helsinki at around 09:00 am on 27th September 2014. We had a quick breakfast in a nearby shopping centre and then walked to Radisson Blu Seaside Hotel, where we left our suitcases. We then took the tram back towards the centre, where Maria said she had a surprise for me. After stopping for Maria's coffee and my strawberry milkshake, we arrived at​ Linnanmäki amusement park. I was surprised because Maria had tricked me into thinking it was closed. It wasn't that busy because it was term time and the weather wasn't that warm, so we we able to go on most of the rides. Kingi, a 75 metre drop tower that opened earlier in the year, was probably the scariest ride. The rollercoaster Ukko was also quite terrifying, mostly because it went upside down and there was no shoulder support so it felt like I might fall out. When we were queuing for one ride Maria convinced me to climb over the barrier because there was nobody else waiting, but we got told off. We had burger and chips for lunch and stayed there from lunchtime until it started getting dark in the early evening. We got a bit lost on the way back but eventually made it back to the hotel to check in. The room was really spacious with a view over West Harbour and it had the comfiest bed I've ever slept in! We didn't manage to find a restaurant we both liked the look of on the way to the hotel, so decided to go in the hotel Viola restaurant. It was a little pricey, but really nice. Maria's sister previously worked in that chain of hotels, so we got a 20% discount on the room and meal. We wanted to go out to a gay bar in the evening, but we were both so tired that we went straight to sleep.

The next morning we had a buffet breakfast at the hotel. It was amazing and had every type of food you could imagine. It felt like I had a three course breakfast! Then we went upstairs to get our things and checked out to get the tram to the train station, where we left our suitcases in lockers. I read on Wikitravel that you could get tours in the parliament building in English, so we went there and tried to get in but it seemed like Wikitravel was wrong. We had a bit of an argument and I think Maria was a bit annoyed that I got my facts wrong. Next we went to the National Museum of Finland and it was really interesting to learn about Finnish history and nature. Afterwards we went to Temppeliaukio Church, which is also known as Church of the Rock because it is built into solid rock. It was really cool to see, although it saddened me that a religious place had turned into a tourist spot because tourists didn't respect the peace and silence. Next we visited Helsinki cathedral in the Senate Square. It was beautiful but simple and a lot smaller inside then I imagined. Finally we went for pizza in Vapino, an italian restaurant, before catching the bus back to Jyväskylä.

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