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Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Moscow


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Book passage via sea shuttle to Tallin from Helsinki. Some Finns won’t endorse an Estonian trip but when compared to other Scandinavians during the sun’s height, the Finns are funnless drunken zombies who subsist on milk and watch Conan O’Brien but don’t “get it”; they may have already had their brains eaten or are Russian societal rejects. The medieval city within the fortress walls is exceptional and stock up on the Vanna Tallinn, the local caramel-rum-like spirit as the state run liquor stores in Finland are bureaucratic CVS methadone clinics with Spanish summer banking hours. A trot outside of Tallinn, things get real Trotsky. Lots of bleak grey and square concrete.

Best food is anything with herring, sprats, pork and sour cream.

Troika has traditionalish Russian fare; Vodka, borscht and thin strips of fatback . Olde Hansa is ye guilded standarde of Medieval Times themed gluttony. Not sure if it is on purpose.

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Book passage via sea shuttle to Tallin from Helsinki.

Or to Stockhom on the Silja or Viking lines (detailed in Rick Steves). It's an overnight cruise, with a fun buffet dinner onboard - you wake up in Stockholm, tool around for the day, and then take the same ship back the next night, saving two nights in hotels (for about the same cost).

One of my best friends is from St Pete, and will be your perfect resource - I'll hector him and have him post here ...

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Or to Stockhom
There is a night club (of sorts) on the boat and you don’t even have to book a berth, spare bohemian bunks at the end of the stairs. Won’t see Gopher, Doc or Isaac but you can get juiced for cheap and seeing desperate Nordics drop their all-you-can-drink-beer-cafeteria plow at the piano bar is worth the price of admission. In Sweden go to the Vasa museum. Better than Goonies.

8 panoramic shots of Finnish train carriages carrying lumber laid end to end make a nice sparse-wall mural.

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We're going to Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Moscow in July.

Any recommendations on food, lodging, etc.?

Loire Lover -

May I first ask whether your trip is some sort of an organized tour, or if you are doing this entirely on your own? Presumably a tour would provide lodging and a number sightseeing side trips, perhaps even a meal or two.

Please let me know. I can definitely recommend some less-than-obvious places for lunch, dinner and your most important wine-free meal of the day, breakfast. And some places to stay at. Particularly, in St.Petersburg; I will need to refresh my memory regarding Moscow. But it would also be good to know whether you plan to dine with a large group or in a more private setting.

Sightseeing - do you like well planned visits to famous cathedrals and museums, or would you wonder off and explore the city on your own once in a while? You can of course do a bit of both.

Hope I can be of some help.


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