Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Kiss My Turku

It has now been well over a month since the beautiful sunny day when I packed my boxes, loaded them on a truck, took the Baltic Queen to Helsinki and continued to Turku.

Romantika as seen before boarding
When I last saw Tallinn, it looked like this
Gabriella meeting us near Tallinn
... followed by Viking XPRS not much later
Mandatory funnel photo
Meanwhile at the Starlight palace there was a one man show involving lots of big bubbles...
... as well as poor, defenseless kids trapped in them
When the show was over, the curtains were lifted from the windows, giving a nice, proper view of the lovely interior
met Finlandia near Helsinki
Norwegian Star in Länsisatama
Princess Maria

Ever since that beautiful, sunny early August day I have rightfully called Turku my hometown. If I had somehow known that a year ago when I first explored this place (and wrote this post), I would have probably had a fit of excitement so intense it would've landed me in a mental asylum. Fortunately, that did not happen, instead I was wondering about study opportunities here. As a result, in June I was accepted to study Maritime Management in Novia University of Applied Sciences, which made a perfect excuse to move here.
I've had plenty of time to settle down by now; my studies started about three weeks after I moved and those three weeks were great for making my new home livable, finding the nearest stores, bus routes, most convenient cycle routes and so on. Of course that involved seeing more of the city as well. Turku may seem quite small at first, however the suburbs are very much spread out and there's a lot of nature and greenery everywhere, even in the center. For example, my suburb is surrounded by forests and fields, while it's not far at all from the center. I'm not going to add any mandatory tourist photos (except for this one right here), because I already did that a year ago, in the post I linked earlier.

A riverside promenade near the center
When it comes to ships, Turku doesn't really get anywhere near as much as Tallinn - some cargo ships, lots of smaller boats and two Stockholm ferries in the morning and in the evening. Cruise ship calls are rare; the archipelago is not easy to navigate and the city is nowhere near as tourism-oriented as Tallinn or any of the more common cruise destinations.

Baltic Princess sailing in as seen from Ruissalo, the best ship watching place in the city. 
The channel is quite narrow.

Viking Grace following some time later

The LNG tanks of the Viking Grace, kept outside for safety reasons.
View to the harbour from Ruissalo
A couple of days ago, AIDAcara visited...
...and at the same time, Viking Grace happened to be laid up for maintenance.
As for now, I'm mainly focusing on my studies, therefore cruise reports and ship photos may not pop up as often for some time. I'm really enjoying my school and so far it seems there will be quite a lot of excitement and new experiences in the next few years. I may write a more detailed post about my studies at one point (no promises just yet though), and of course I will report when things get particularly exciting. 

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