The GoGlobal Blog

Spring Break Part 2

Spring Break Part 2

Spring Break Part 2: Overnight Boats and Finland

 Our next leg of the ESN (Eramus Student Network) Spring Break trip was to board a boat that would take us overnight to Helsinki, Finland followed by another night arriving in Saint Petersburg, Russia. This is Part Two of my adventures.

Day 4: Tuesday 

Our entire group boarded this massive boat that was to take us to Finland. It wasn’t as elegant of a cruise as the one I took to Riga the week before, but this time we were all in the same cabin (minus Vince, poor Vince…), which was both a blessing and a curse. It was only slightly negative because the room was incredible minuscule. Despite that, it was fun to have all of us there in the same cabin to eat, talk, laugh, and sleep together.

We all sat on the floor to eat dinner together and then Nice, Vince, and I went up a few floors to go read while Sam and Cami took a nap. The guys and I just sat in the café on board reading for an hour or so before we all met up to go exploring and purchase items from the duty free shop.

The view on the top deck of the boat as we were leaving Sweden – very beautiful.
Captured is Cami in our cabin for the night. You can see just how small it was, with bunk beds tucked away adjacent to one another.
We ate our meals together on the floor with food we had bought as various super-markets. Pictured is Vince eating an avocado like an apple.

Later that evening, we had such a fun time hanging out in the cabin. Sam invited some girls he had met to hang out in our room, which made it a tight fit. When the claustrophobia and heat became too much we moved on to the rest of the boat. I danced a lot with Cami and mostly Vince in the dance room before we ended up in this one area of the cruise that had this bald guy singing and playing the guitar for people to enjoy. Not many people were there, and those that were certainly were not playing attention to the entertainment. My friends and I were the opposite. We quite often sung along with him for hours and I had so much fun just being as peace with my friends, listening and singing to acoustics. The man definitely loved us and was gracious that we enjoyed his music.

Nick fell asleep (more like completely passed out) before any of us. So, naturally, we had to mess with him by placing as much as we could on his face before he might awake. It was so funny, all of us huddled around him in our tiny cabin doing that. Overall, it was beyond fun that night on the boat—much more than my previous boat experience to Riga where we lost everyone and I felt sick. Here, our group stuck together the whole night, talked, danced, and mostly laughed. It was just great.

Hopefully Nicky won’t be upset with me sharing this, but you can see just how much stuff we were able to place on his face while he was fast asleep… Quite the heavy sleeper that Kiwi is…

Day 5: Wednesday in Finland

When we woke up, we all ate breakfast in our cabin with the food we had purchased and then proceeded to get ready for our day in Helsinki. The first thing we did when we got off the boat was walk to the hostel to drop off our stuff because we would be on a different boat to Russia. (This boat company has a monopoly on the Russian market, only this one company offers trips to and from the country).

We went on a walking tour of the city which I found to be small and quaint. I enjoyed it, but I doubt I would ever have the desire to return. After a while, we were so hungry that we had to find somewhere to eat. We came across this unique indoor market where we all ate the most amazing seafood soup with unlimited bread. Vince and I, who were at a small table of our own, basically ate an entire load of bread between the two of us.

The main church in Helsinki.
Beautiful city, Helsinki is.
Inside the market we found in the city to get lunch. You can see the happiness in Sam’s face.
The market (and so many others in the Nordic countries) is full of fresh food, especially fish. I have become so spoiled with the high quality fish available here.
The beautifully scrumptious sea-food soup we bought, with a slice of bread off to the side.

After eating, we continued to explore and more importantly went food shopping again for the next long night on the boat to Russia. Because the country is so difficult to get into, we waited forever to board the Russia cruise. But, before we knew it, we were on board and in our cabin (we all got placed in the same room again, minus Vince—again). The guys and I played a game Nick introduced to us (we now call it “Back-to-back”) before Cami came and joined us. In short, the game is just a quirky, yet fun way to get to know good friends even better.

After that, we all just talked and, well, bonded. I really fell in love with this group over the trip, we were an amazing crew. I had the feeling before departing that it was going to be awesome with who was going, but honestly, I had no idea just how true that was. We agreed that we are all very different people and therefore probably wouldn’t have ever become friends if we had simply gone to the same university. Yet, because of the special exchange we chose to do, we nonetheless became friends and it just somehow works. Shows how you never know who you can get along with and grow to love. Everyone, even if you can’t see it in the moment, has something unique to offer to the world and specifically to you. I guess, in a way, I found it beautiful that this group of 5 people, 2 of which aren’t even native english speakers (and I the only American), could get along so well with each other. In the moment I didn’t realize that was part of what made me love the trip so much, but in retrospect, it certainly was a large, contributing factor to my enjoyment of Spring break.

I went to bed that night excited, for in the morning we would be in Russia… But that is for my Part Three of my Spring Break Blogs.

Takk for i dag, Lola blog!

Taken while exploring Helsinki. From left to right: Sam, Vince, Cami, Nick.
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