Saturday, 16 August 2014

Experience: Mariella + Helsinki & Tampere

The trip I waited for so long is finally happening and as promised I'm taking the chance to give an update. I've been able to give very brief daily updates on instagram, so if those interest you, feel free to follow me there as well.
I started with taking Mariella of Viking Line to Helsinki. She's usually on Helsinki-Stockholm route, but during this peak season she does a trip to Tallinn and back instead of staying in Helsinki all day. Obviously I couldn't let such a sweet chance go. Mariella's stop in Tallinn lasted for less than an hour, which means that I had to be in the terminal long before her arrival and I got to watch her come in to her sister's harbour spot. Mariella had everything one would expect to see in an overnight cruising ferry and her interior reminded me of the Cinderella, but it was clear that she's not quite the newest vessel in the fleet. I liked her large sundecks and the fact that the area under the bridge wings was accessible.

Mariella arriving and her fleetmate Viking XPRS
The info & wifi spot
Open decks
Bow visor closing as we depart...
...leaving Viking XPRS behind... well as Victoria I
Silja Europa in Paljassaare
Cruise ships of the day - Royal Princess, MSC Poesia and Costa Fortuna
Royal Princess and MSC Poesia
Costa Fortuna leaving with us
Possibly the nicest place on board during summertime, although the vibration there was quite bad.
If I were to guess I'd say the captain has a thing for plants

Lifeboats, hopefully never to be used
Mandatory funnel picture
Karaoke at the night club
Quite a nice view to accompany a slice of pizza.
Mariella's sister and ex-fleetmate Princess Anastasia near Helsinki
Superstar near Helsinki
AIDAmar in Helsinki
Silja Symphony and Seabourn Legend
Ex-fleetmates Club Med 2 and Wind Surf in Helsinki
Club Med 2
Silja Symphony departing

On my first day in Helsinki I didn't do much besides checking in to a hostel and walking around a bit. On the 2nd day I visited Linnanmäki which is a kind of a must-visit for me at least once every year. I've always had a thing for amusement parks.

Salama and Hurjakuru under it
Kingi, a freefall built this year, quickly became a favourite, especially because of the mighty view up there.
Ukko has also been a big fave ever since it was built in 2011
Vuoristorata, built in 1951.

The same evening I took a train to Tampere and met up with my friend Tuulia, who hosted me. The next day we looked around in Tampere, visited the Chilifest and a couple of stores.

They had literally everything made out of chili at the fest - chili sauces, chili marmalade, chili ice cream, you name it..

Quite the usual forest view at Pyynikki.

The Pyynikki tower. I visited this place two years ago, though this time I didn't even bother to climb up - I was here for the famous landmark doughnuts, which are possibly one of the most delicious things I've ever had. I had two on the spot and bought 6 for later.

Today consisted entirely of Särkänniemi - yeah, another amusement park
Koskiseikkailu and the Näsinneula tower
View from the viking ship
Me on Trombi, which was quite a rough ride
The swing ride; On the background Tornado, the best ride of the park, and Näsinneula tower.
Tomorrow early in the morning I'll continue to Turku. I have never been there before and common sense tells me that there's probably a lot more ships there than here in Tampere, although there's lots of small boats here on lake Näsijärvi. I hope I'll be able to update again soon.

Next post - Turku & Viking Grace

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