Wednesday, 14 September 2016

How to kill time before a trip, the my way.

I'm quite certain I already have shared this "Five stages of travel" graph once, at some point, somewhere; afterall, if I had to choose any picture to describe my life, this would most certainly be it, because while there is a lot more to my life, this is what occupies the largest space in my brain. Though one rather important part missing from the picture would be waiting. Of course, having daily duties to attend to, such as school, helps a lot with making time fly faster. But nonetheless, more than once I've found myself anxiously waiting for a trip with a few too many completely free and unplanned days to get over with first. And how would a travel addict solve such a situation? Of course, by booking a quick mini-trip.

Admittedly it's not a solution one can always rely on, but I've had two such occasions recently, where an offer from a shipping company has popped into my mailbox just at the right moment. The first occasion was when I was waiting for the trip that I told about in the previous post. Despite it being far past Christmas, I realized that my unused Tallink Club One Christmas discount offer was still valid. The year before I used it to take my mother on the Silja Symphony, and this year it turned out to be the perfect occasion to try out her older sister, the Silja Serenade, again with my mother.

As we approached the Olympia Terminal to embark, I was surprised to see that both Mariella and Gabriella were in Helsinki, something that doesn't happen very often as Mariella would have normally been in Stockholm. But she was doing Abi-cruises (for Finnish high school seniors), and just as I ran on the outside deck to take pictures, she departed for Tallinn, giving me the sweetest views. It should also be noted that the Silja Line ship usually departs earlier than the Viking Line one, making such a sweet view even more unusual.

All in all, the cruise was a very fun way to spend three days. The two nights on board turned out to be mostly chatting, shopping and partying. In fact, when the ship was in Stockholm, we only made it out when most people were already returning on board and only made our way to the nearest grocery store.

Outfit Of The Day
As the entire Värtahamnen area in Stockholm is being rebuilt while remaining in use, it can get quite inconvenient. Then, the walk from the ship (docked in a new spot) to the old terminal was about 1km long and this little vehicle spared some lucky people the walk.

Mandatory funnel. Admittedly, the Silja sisters must be among the worst ships for funnel photos...
... except from outside the ship, but that doesn't count!

Another sweet opportunity for a quick cruise presented itself just days before the trip I'll write about in my next post. With a few puny remains of Club One bonus points and pocket pennies, I got a mini-cruise from Turku to Mariehamn and back. And it just happened that Galaxy, the regular morning ship from Turku was in drydock at the time and being replaced by Baltic Queen. So, in one day I travelled on Baltic Queen from Turku to Mariehamn, and Baltic Princess from Mariehamn back to Turku. For more fun, I invited my classmate Joakim (Jokke) to come with me, and on board we ran into another classmate and his girlfriend, so it most certainly never got boring.

Amorella in Turku

Baltic Princess coming from Stockholm
Baltic Queen, about to continue to Stockholm
The Vikings sail in to Mariehamn
Viking Grace, as beautiful as ever
Mandatory Funnel 1
Mandatory Funnel 2. Somehow it has always bothered me that the rear of her funnel is pink, not white.

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