Sunday 20 August 2017
We arrived in Stockholm around 6am and headed straight for the ferry terminal. There we got tickets for the first ferry to Turku in Finland. We were asked if we wanted a day cabin for an extra €30, and we thought “sod it yes” as it would mean (a) a few hour’s kip and (b) a shower, something that anybody attempting this challenge should embrace whenever the opportunity presents.
The ferry was wonderful. And I rarely say that about ferries. And while we thought that we’d be sharing a cabin we got one each. Heaven!
Even better, we stopped in Åland along the way, an autonomous region of Finland, a magnificent archipelago of hundreds of rocky islands, every one as unique as the last.
The ferry pulled in just after 7pm and Cricket and I were, of course, first to disembark, running through passport control (unnecessary) and customs (also unnecessary). In less than a minute we were in taxi heading to the bus for Helsinki which left at 7.15.
We caught the bus and once in Helsinki, flagged down a taxi to take us to the port as we would be leaving on the 10:30pm ferry to Tallinn in Estonia. NO TIME FOR LOVE, DR JONES.
We arrived in good time in what was one of what I thought was going to be one of the tightest connections of the trip.
The ferry, brilliantly called the MEGASTAR, was, without a shadow of a doubt the best ship/boat/canoe/dingy I’ve ever been on. It had a Burger King, for Christ’s sake.
I really can’t recommend Tallink Silja, the operators of both ferries today, highly enough. I now have a new high water mark when it comes to big metal floaty things, like I do with Turkish coaches or Spanish trains.
We ploughed on through the darkness to country number 6: Estonia!