My campsite was a good way out from centre of Helsinki. A good 20 km to be precise. The network of cycle routes around Helsinki are by far the best I’ve seen anywhere. It’s like the cyclists have their own little road system with warning signs, painted white lines and sing posts.
Helsinki doesn’t particularly boast any historical monuments or attractions, it’s just a cool place to be, to hang out at the bars by the port. It has a lot of museums but I’m not really into that kind of thing, so relaxing around the port sounded good to me.
After I had arrived in Helsinki I made my to the tourist information office to find a map of the city, a list of campsites throughout Finland and a place where I could use the internet. I locked my bike up outside the train station where it was busy, thinking this would be a deterrent to any thief, but once leaving my bike I just couldn’t relax. So after getting the information I required I went back to get my bike and made my way to the port.
On the way back I popped into a bike shop where I had my brooks leather saddle tightened and bought some dry lube for the chain. I also stopped at a supermarket and bought some essentials for the next day’s ride as well as a book. I’ve found I’ve missed a book more than anything. Their English selection wasn’t great but I went for Hunter S. Thompson, Ancient Gonzo Wisdom, a book containing interviews with Hunter S. Thompson.
Incidentally, one thing I’ve noticed in Finland is not one supermarkets sells wine. I’m not sure if they have to go to a s special shop for wine but I haven’t seen any. I also had my first (albeit brief) conversation with a finnish? Checkout lady today. She asked where I was from, then the second question was â€œIs Finland more expensive than Englandâ€, to which I replied that it was depending on what you wanted to buy, it just seemed a bizarre question to me.
I didn’t sleep well that night due to some people getting trashed at the campsite all night long. In the end I gave up trying to sleep and got up an hour earlier and complained to the girl on reception that the security guard had not told them to quieten down all night.
I left feeling tired. The original route was to head towards Turku but I decided to go inland slightly to get away from the traffic and into the countryside. This was a good decision as I was almost alone on the road. I like the feeling of isolation you get when you’ve out on the road and nobody is about. There are houses dotted around but hardly any people, it’s like they’re all in hiding. The roads are also very up-and-down, hardly any flats but that doesn’t bother me.
Arrived at the campsite in time for dinner and spent the afternoon recouping some of the sleep I’d lost the night before. Tomorrow I head to Turku to catch a ferry to Stockholm (if it’s not too busy).