Sweden

BOATS TO SWEDEN

We had a really interesting discussion with my Dad about the 'Sweden boats'. These are ferries that sail between Helsinki and Stockholm, every day, overnight. 

Ever since I was a child these boats represented something new and exciting. My Dad told me that the cruises started after the war, and the first ships were all Swedish (e.g. Svea-line). Currently the two big companies are Silja-Line and Viking Line. 

The epic dinner buffets on the 'Sweden boats' have served luxury and abundance to ordinary people from their inception. Many Finns tasted their first shrimp or fresh pineapple on the boats!

My abundant birthday dinner was enjoyed at the bow table on Viking Gabriella...   

My abundant birthday dinner was enjoyed at the bow table on Viking Gabriella...

 

Lili at the dessert buffet on the way back to Helsinki. Mamma Mia they even had a chocolate fountain! 

Lili at the dessert buffet on the way back to Helsinki. Mamma Mia they even had a chocolate fountain! 

 

The first ever ball pits were on the Sweden boats.    

The first ever ball pits were on the Sweden boats. 

 

Lili at the conclusion of the kids program Magic Show. She was a keen volunteer - no shoes required! 

Lili at the conclusion of the kids program Magic Show. She was a keen volunteer - no shoes required! 

This has to be the biggest draw of the boats - tax free shopping. Historically, people would go to a cruise just to be able to bring back 'a full load' of tax free alcohol and cigarettes. These days with EU the importing is completely different - you can bring a van full of wine if you want - but cosmetics, alcohol, sweets and cigarettes are still flying off the shelves. 

This has to be the biggest draw of the boats - tax free shopping. Historically, people would go to a cruise just to be able to bring back 'a full load' of tax free alcohol and cigarettes. These days with EU the importing is completely different - you can bring a van full of wine if you want - but cosmetics, alcohol, sweets and cigarettes are still flying off the shelves. 

One of the many gorgeous views during the cruise. This was at around 10 pm, approaching Åland Islands. 

One of the many gorgeous views during the cruise. This was at around 10 pm, approaching Åland Islands. 

Back in Helsinki in the summer sun. Our ferry is the red and white one at the top right of the picture.  

Back in Helsinki in the summer sun. Our ferry is the red and white one at the top right of the picture.  

BIRTHDAY CONCERT

Now it so happened that the Swedish Army orchestra was giving a concert outside the Swedish Academy on Thursday. It made for a perfect, festive birthday concert.  

 

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Thank you for the great music! 

Thank you for the great music! 

Lili, Kirsti and Pappa Anssi at Stortorget right after the concert. Stortorget (which is actually very small) is Sweden's oldest square. 

Lili, Kirsti and Pappa Anssi at Stortorget right after the concert. Stortorget (which is actually very small) is Sweden's oldest square. 

Lili doing one of her leaps in Gamla Stan. 

Lili doing one of her leaps in Gamla Stan. 

FOTOGRAFISKA IN STOCKHOLM

We visited the photographic museum in Stockholm. It is a great place to see both classic and contemporary photography.  

Lili really enjoyed an exhibit of horses in photography and we also saw three horse films related to it. One was about a Swedish show jumper Peter Fredriksson and his horse All In. The film showed his training of the horse. The film was made before the Rio Olympics wher he went on to win the show jumping silver!

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Some of the amazing horse photos we saw. The bottom one is of a horse diving into water off a 20 meter platform. Yikes!    

Some of the amazing horse photos we saw. The bottom one is of a horse diving into water off a 20 meter platform. Yikes! 

 

There was also an exhibit of photos by the iconic Irving Penn. What a feast for the eyes!

 

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