my third cousin lives there and we had plans to meet him and his family.
After being in St. Petersburg for two long and hot days, it was nice
to have a bit of sea before porting again. We arrived near Helsinki
around 8 AM when the pilot came aboard to guide us in. I happened to
be on the verandah and watched him literally walk into the side of the
ship. That was so cool.
We agreed to meet around 9:45 as that is what tome our ashore time was
set for. We got off the ship a little earlier than that and waited for
him to arrive. The parking area was small and it became apparent that
it was not easy for anyone to get to where we were without experience
in getting there. We met a woman and her children who were there to
catch a glimpse of characters and she offered to let me call with her
phone. He was very near so that was nice. I had a pair of new DVC
caps in my bag so I gave them to her kids.
We took the shuttle into town and then walked through a central park
and up to the Senate Square. We bought our souvenirs and then went up
to see the large Lutheran church that was there and afforded a nice
view. Then we met his wife for lunch at a lovely restaurant where the
boys had chocolate cake for lunch while DH had a salmon soup ad did my
cousin, and his wife and I had Caesar salad with shrimp. They also
have an adorable son who is two and very sweet.
After lunch we walked her to her tram / streetcar stop and then back
to the shuttle. We so enjoyed meeting them and are very glad we were
able to. This was definitely the highlight of our trip. Or one of the
top ones anyway.
We had a brief rest and then were out again for the afternoon for a
bus trip around Helsinki. We saw some of the same things as before but
with additional but less personal information. We saw many of the
important sites in Helsinki.
They said yesterday hit a record high at 93.5 degres farenheit.
Highest in 76 years. Today was a bit milder and thankfully there was
enough breeze to keep it bearable. It reminded us of home.
When we got back to the ship, the family from this morning had cone
back for sailaway so we talked to them and thanked her again for
letting us use her phone. They stayed until the ship left. They spied
us on Deck 10 (well it was easy because we were waving at them) and
that was fun.
Tonight is Pirate night onboard and also at 10:45, they are premearing
the Sorcerors Apprentice. We have an early day in Stockholm so no late
movies for us.