Sunday, 11 August 2013
Day 5 - Morning in Helsinki, Evening in St. Petersburg
After getting a few hours of sleep, I decided to go on deck and take some pictures until the ferry arrived in Helsinki. It was again a nice, sunny morning and a calm sea. It provided a nice scene for photography.
Arrving in Helsinki, I went for a walk to take in as many sights as possible before my train to St. Petersburg would depart at 15:00. Before taking in the sights, I stopped off at Cafe Engel to get brunch and am very happy I did.
I can only recommend you go there when in Helsinki and order a 'Bacon and Eggs' breakfast, you'll get lots of bacon, scrambled eggs, fruit, orange juice and coffee. It is in front of the Helsinki Cathedral so you are bound to be in the area.
Wandering around Helsinki was very nice and relaxing and I happened upon the rail station quicker than I thought so decided to take some pictures there. Since I felt like I have been neglecting the GXR and to get different types of photos, I decided to use the GXR with Jupiter-8 lens. After using the GR so much, it felt strange not having AF anymore and using a less than perfect lens but it did give me some nice people shots.
The Allegro train to St. Petersburg is very modern and comfortable with free wifi, enough leg room, plugs to charge devices and it's clean. It's the nicest train I took so far and think it will remain for a while, at least till I get to China.
Arriving in St. Petersburg it was a bit overcast and grey so it did not look very welcoming, especially with the Soviet grey architecture around Finlyandskiy station.
I took my camera out anyway and set out for my almost 4km walk to the hotel. After taking a few photos with the GR, I decided it is more fitting to take the GXR A12-M with the Jupiter-8 lens.
After checking into the hotel, I went out for a stroll along Nevsky Prospect and to get in some of the sights nearby. At first it was not overly impressive but this quickly changed once the lights were turned on.
Tomorrow, I will have more time to explore the city before taking the night train from St. Petersburg to Moscow.