Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > Smarty- Pants husband Chooses Arctic Circle for Birthday trip

Smarty- Pants husband Chooses Arctic Circle for Birthday trip

Reply

Aug 26th, 2003, 09:46 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 987
Smarty- Pants husband Chooses Arctic Circle for Birthday trip

We are back from a 1 week trip to Stockholm - Helsinki - Tallinn - Lapland (Arctic Circle). We had a lovely time...ate and drank too much. Enjoyed the long daylight hours and gloriously chilly evenings.

Highlights:
- Stockholm. We took the Arlanda Express train from the airport to town (20 minutes, $12). Strolled the outdoor market full of colorful berries, and a yellow flower for sale everywhere that looked like goldenrod. Meandered the streets of Gamla Stan and asked a shopkeeper for dinner suggestions. She directed us to some obscure neighborhood in the SoderMalm area (#53 bus) where we had a taste treat at Mellis. No tourists there, not too expensive and food was fabulous. I ate rooster, my husband swordfish. I did get a matchbook, but evidently the place is so hip and cool that the address is not on it - only the name.

- Viking Ferry. The next evening (5 pm) we boarded the Viking overnight ferry to Helsinki. This is a huge ship with 2500 person capacity. Complete with restaurants, casino, sauna, bars, and yes - karoke. We had a lovely outside cabin including WC, and I slept like a baby. Some of the backpacker kids booked Air seats which are like airplane seats for the overnite trip. Some kids booked only the ferry ride and slept on the floors in the hallway. It sounds dreadful, but the ship was really lots of fun. We docked in Helsinki at 9 the next morning.

- Helsinki. Took the #3 tram that circles the city. If you go to the tourist office, they give you a pamphlet that explains the sights at each stop. All this for the price of a day ticket! The architecture alone is worth a trip to this city. We also browsed the outdoor market and the old converted indoor market hall, brimming with fish and reindeer meat concoctions.

- Tallinn, Estonia. Took the 3 hour ferry to Estonia from Helsinki. The ferry has a 1700 person capacity, but there were only 12 of us on board! Tallinn is a quaint medieval town, and we walked every square inch. Especially enjoyed drinking Rock beer at the Depeche Mode bar on Nunne #4. The bar owner shared his pictures of the band on their visits to his cave-like establishment. Had a tasty meal at the Three Pigs recommended by fellow Fodorite, Kavey (Thanks Kavey!). overall the town was very touristy and a bit Disney-esque.

- Kiruna-Lappland. We flew Estonia Air/ SAS to Kiruna Sweden for my husbands birthday celebration. This is where the Ice Hotel is located - in the winter. In August it is a bit more quiet. There are 2 things to do here:
1. The iron mine tour or
2. drink yourself silly.

I did enjoy sipping the Pear Fizz a great deal. The arctic tundra and low population density was a real contrast to the earlier portion of our trip. And I have never seen so many rainbows in my life. Finally, we saw the reindeer then we ate the reindeer.

I am proud to say we took only public transportation the entire trip, and carried only daypacks. Scandanavia is very easy to navigate and has outstanding public transport.
Queenie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 26th, 2003, 10:05 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 240
What a COOL husband you have! Thanks for sharing.
DixieChick is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 26th, 2003, 10:18 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,643
So that is what a Smarty Pants husband does Not bad Queenie!

You saw the reindeer then ate the reindeer, did it taste like chicken
I kind of like having choices, tour or drink yourself silly~

Thank you for the charming report~
Scarlett is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 26th, 2003, 10:38 AM
  #4
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 73,512
Hi Queenie,

Lovely trip. Thanks for sharing. I take it that the Smorgasbord was not memorable.
ira is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 26th, 2003, 02:32 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,643
Topping
For some evening reading
Scarlett is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 26th, 2003, 04:23 PM
  #6
Arlene
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Queenie- sounds like a fun trip.How expensive were things there?
 
Reply With Quote
Aug 30th, 2003, 05:47 AM
  #7
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 987

No, the reindeer did not taste like chicken. It was a bit like beef - it was really good.

Ira - we DID do the smorgasbord, but it was an experience I'd like to forget. Im not very big on smoked and pickled fish.

Arlene - we didnt find Scandanavia too expensive, but then we live in Switzerland so basically any other country is less expensive for us.

The only exception was the alcohol - the hard alcohol (not beer or wine). That was pricey.

We also enjoy visiting outdoor markets and grocery stores. The basement level of most dept. stores have groceries, and we often buy noshes there from the deli or cheese counter. Its much less expensive than going to a restaurant, and quite tasty too.
Queenie is offline  
Reply With Quote
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:26 PM.