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Zappas Stache
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Member since Apr 2009
23136 posts

My Summer Vacation Pics-Helsinki, Tallin, Riga, Vilnius, Amsterdam, NYC
We flew out of DFW the middle of July and spent 3 weeks traveling. My pics are pretty crappy and often I don't take pics but I'll try to fill in the blanks. Also, I will update this thread over the next few days. I'll start with the first couple of days in Helsinki.

We flew British Air to London Heathrow and had a 1 1/2 hr layover before heading to Helsinki. We flew on miles and I tried to get business class but none was available so we did get Premium Economy. I will definitely pay for Prem. Econ. since you get way more leg room and seat width and the seats recline back much further. The food is from the business class menu too.

Our bags are packed.....I bought new backpacks this year since my Redwing was getting old and I wanted a smaller main pack. I bought the Osprey Farpoint 40 which I really like. You can tuck and zip the shoulder straps in their own compartment in about 20 seconds which is great for checking you backpack. My Osprey weighed 12 lbs packed which is a record low for me. I also bought a new carry on pack as my old carry on pack was very small. Swiss Gear Lightweight ScanSmart Laptop Backpack SA1923 is what I went with as I travel with my laptop so I can work while we are traveling. Again, really good pack. It has a TSA friendly laptop foldout thingy but I never used it. I just pulled the laptop out like normal.



We got to Helsinki at 4:20pm and we made it to our AirBnB apt by 5:30. We dropped our bags ,pinched a loaf, washed our face and headed out to find some eats.



I was pleasantly surprised to discover the Craft Beer craze has hit Europe!But....Helsinki is very expensive. A craft beer was $10 most everywhere and a regular crappy beer was $9. Luckily the dollar was strong. Last time we were here I was paying close to $15 for a crappy beer.

Next day we rented bicycles and road around with no destination just exploring the city. We had been here 15 years ago so we had seen the main tourist sites....which there really aren't many. Helsinki is a nice city and much more vibrant than when we were here in 2001 but its more of a place to chill and explore.

Bike parking in the courtyard of our apt. building


A lot of my pics will be beer pics....sorry not sorry.


There was a bar on the deck of this boat.


Old Church


My wife on her bike


Finlandia Hall by the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto.


My wife loves street art and you'll see a lot of that in the pics I post.
This post was edited on 8/30 at 2:37 pm


LanierSpots
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Member since Sep 2010
43748 posts

re: My Summer Vacation Pics-Helsinki, Tallin, Riga, Vilnius, Amsterdam, NYC
Nice. Look forward to reading the rest of your trip.


Jimmy2shoes
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Member since Mar 2014
6059 posts

re: My Summer Vacation Pics-Helsinki, Tallin, Riga, Vilnius, Amsterdam, NYC
Interesting!


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dirtsandwich
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AL
Member since May 2016
1429 posts

re: My Summer Vacation Pics-Helsinki, Tallin, Riga, Vilnius, Amsterdam, NYC
Looking forward to seeing more. I sometimes read the FBD of threads. Lived vicariously through a few of your beer runs.


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Blue Velvet
Colorado State Fan
Apple butter toast is nice
Member since Nov 2009
20112 posts

re: My Summer Vacation Pics-Helsinki, Tallin, Riga, Vilnius, Amsterdam, NYC
I did Helsinki, Tallin, Riga, and Vilnius last spring. Great minds Had a blast in that bizarro world.


Zappas Stache
Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Member since Apr 2009
23136 posts

re: My Summer Vacation Pics-Helsinki, Tallin, Riga, Vilnius, Amsterdam, NYC
quote:

I did Helsinki, Tallin, Riga, and Vilnius last spring. Great minds


Nice!


The next day in Helsinki we had tour planned of Alvar Aalto's Studio and his residence. Aalto is a really famous modern architect from Helsinki and we are modern architecure buffs. We always try to do tours of modern architects buildings if we can. We were going to ride our bikes out to the suburban hood, bout a 30 minute ride, but it was pissing down rain. So we ubered out there.

Here is a stolen internet pic of the outside.



Inside the studio



This was his office in the studio



His residence which was just down the street. But it was pissing rain so the whole tour group of about 15 people got soaked walking there. The Finnish tour guides did not give two f*cks about the rain.





After the tour, which was about 3 hours long, we headed back into town and stopped at a cafe for coffee that Aalto had designed. It looks better in pics than in real life. Turns out the current owners bought the interior and moved it to this current location in a bookstore.



And then we headed to the modern furniture store Artek he and his wife started that featured his furniture designs.

You can see how Ikea ripped his designs off for a lot of their furniture. His stuff sells for several thousand dollars. This chair that Ikea sells for $30 was about $2000.





After this we headed for a shower and then beer. Met a guy from Greece at the bar that now lived in Helsinki working for Nokia. I asked him about handling the cold, dark winters as someone from a sunny climate. He said he had trouble getting out of bed the first winter but eventually discovered light therapy lamps. He said the darkness was way more difficult to handle than the cold.

This post was edited on 8/31 at 11:51 am


Chadaristic
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Member since Jan 2011
21506 posts

re: My Summer Vacation Pics-Helsinki, Tallin, Riga, Vilnius, Amsterdam, NYC
Awesome stuff. Looking forward to the rest of this thread.


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wickowick
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re: My Summer Vacation Pics-Helsinki, Tallin, Riga, Vilnius, Amsterdam, NYC
Looking forward to the rest of the trip


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lsusportsman2
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Member since Oct 2007
27232 posts

re: My Summer Vacation Pics-Helsinki, Tallin, Riga, Vilnius, Amsterdam, NYC
That's a pretty great trip you took with some great photos. Hope you enjoyed it man.


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AmeriKop45
LSU Fan
Coach, Wing Tip Seat
Member since Jan 2016
2102 posts

re: My Summer Vacation Pics-Helsinki, Tallin, Riga, Vilnius, Amsterdam, NYC
Must be nice to be able to take off of work for so long

Excited for this thread. Keep 'em coming


Zappas Stache
Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Member since Apr 2009
23136 posts

re: My Summer Vacation Pics-Helsinki, Tallin, Riga, Vilnius, Amsterdam, NYC
quote:

Must be nice to be able to take off of work for so long


Im lucky that I work for myself and my wife is a school teacher. I did work 3 to 4 hours every morning on this trip.


AmeriKop45
LSU Fan
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Member since Jan 2016
2102 posts

re: My Summer Vacation Pics-Helsinki, Tallin, Riga, Vilnius, Amsterdam, NYC
You're living the life, my friend. I literally just booked a trip to Svalbard myself over thanksgiving. Excited to see the Northern Lights and to set foot on the North Pole. 10 flights, 5 countries (layovers mostly) with 2 days in Amsterdam, 3 days in Svalbard and the 2.5 days of transit
This post was edited on 9/2 at 10:24 am


Zappas Stache
Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Member since Apr 2009
23136 posts

re: My Summer Vacation Pics-Helsinki, Tallin, Riga, Vilnius, Amsterdam, NYC
quote:

just booked a trip to Svalbard myself over thanksgiving. Excited to see the Northern Lights and to set foot on the North Pole


Nice! I would like to see the Northern Lights someday.......its gonna be kinda chilly up there at thanksgiving.


AmeriKop45
LSU Fan
Coach, Wing Tip Seat
Member since Jan 2016
2102 posts

re: My Summer Vacation Pics-Helsinki, Tallin, Riga, Vilnius, Amsterdam, NYC
This year is the last year of high activity. They are going to be little to non-existent for the next 12-15 years after this year's cycle. Was on my bucket list so will beare that crazy itinerary.
This post was edited on 9/2 at 10:26 am


Zappas Stache
Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Member since Apr 2009
23136 posts

re: My Summer Vacation Pics-Helsinki, Tallin, Riga, Vilnius, Amsterdam, NYC
quote:

They are going to be little to non-existent for the next 12-15 years


Thanks Obama.


Zappas Stache
Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Member since Apr 2009
23136 posts

re: My Summer Vacation Pics-Helsinki, Tallin, Riga, Vilnius, Amsterdam, NYC
More Helsinki Pics

the Foodhallen we ate lunch in one day.







Pedestrian Mall downtown



Church of Peace



More city



Train Station....designed by Eliel Saarinen who is the father of Eero Saarinen who designed the St' Louis Arch.




One afternoon in Helsinki we found a brew pub hidden away down some alley. Would have never found it if we weren't looking for it. We walked through a wooden gate and down a corridor to this courtyard. Place was full of locals listening to a Finnish Rockabilly Band. The crowd loved the band but they were pretty bad. Beer was good though. We sat at a table with some Finns and talked with them for a couple of hours. The girl in the lower right of my pic was lives in a small town near the arctic circle but was in town visiting friends. The Finns are all super nice people.



Next day we took the Ferry to Tallin, Estonia. Its a 2 hour ride over. My wife gets sea sick very easily so we paid extra to have an assigned seat in the lounge. I worked the whole time.



This is one of the ferries.





Zappas Stache
Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Member since Apr 2009
23136 posts

re: My Summer Vacation Pics-Helsinki, Tallin, Riga, Vilnius, Amsterdam, NYC
Tallin, Estonia

We had been here 15 years ago and so we only stayed 2 nights. Tallin has definitely improved since we were here last. I remember a lot of soviet era apt blocks everywhere outside of old town. But there is quiet a bit of new building going on now replacing the old soviet crap. I counted 6 or 7 large construction cranes and many signs for new apartment developments just in our hood.

Tallin's Old Town is really beautiful.









There is a fiar about of Tourista Kitsch catering to the hordes of tourists.



This is our airbnb apt about a 10 minute walk from Old Town in an area they call Telliskivi Creative District. The building is in a "Russian Style" where Russian fishermen and port workers lived. Its now a bohemian sort of hood.



It was pretty nice inside with a "shabby chic" decor.....Only bad thing was if I was sitting on the toilet, my knees blocked me from closing the door. Luckily there was a door I could shut to block the living room from my.....



We spent a lot of time around our hood checking out funky cafes/bars and artsy stuff.







More of our hood




tduecen
New York Yankees Fan
Member since Nov 2006
140415 posts

re: My Summer Vacation Pics-Helsinki, Tallin, Riga, Vilnius, Amsterdam, NYC
Zappa what kinda price you pay flying out of Dallas? Was it round trip or one way?
Looking online for ideas next summer since friends bailed and everything is still 1200-2200 out of New Orleans. Thinking of flying to Dallas and saving 300-400 if I can.


Zappas Stache
Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Member since Apr 2009
23136 posts

re: My Summer Vacation Pics-Helsinki, Tallin, Riga, Vilnius, Amsterdam, NYC
quote:

everything is still 1200-2200 o



Like I said, we used miles. But it's too early to be looking for next summer. The deals don't hit until late spring.....April maybe. Also look at flying to NYC instead of Dallas.


tduecen
New York Yankees Fan
Member since Nov 2006
140415 posts

re: My Summer Vacation Pics-Helsinki, Tallin, Riga, Vilnius, Amsterdam, NYC
Yea I usually look every other day trying to find one of those 700-800 deals even if it is round trip, I can always take a train to see other cities.


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