Finnishing Topdeck

Present/future Tom here: As you may’ve noticed it’s been a wee while since I’ve managed to get an update out. Internet on the Topdeck tour continued to be dodgy, and I’ve been super busy since then with Moot and Moot by-products. I’m now in Zurich (without my bag, but that’s a story for later) and still busy, but at least have half an hour to sit down with some internet and get a bit of photo uploading done. Now back to the past/present.

We left Norway and headed South into Finland, the second half of the trip had more concentrated driving days, without anywhere super exciting to stop. The focus was mostly on making progress towards Helsinki and Tallinn. There was still pretty scenery, but it wasn’t as ridiculously stunning as Norway. This, combined with long days on the coach, led to people getting a little stir crazy. Fortunately at every site we stayed there was a chance to sneak off and find somewhere peaceful.

20170720_163254
Generic Finnish scenery
20170718_182146
Somewhere peaceful

The last couple days of the trip things got exciting again. Helsinki was an incredibly walkable city, and after a brief coach/walking tour we had plenty of time to wander around through the markets (where we spotted heaps of Aussies) and town. We even stumbled onto an exhibition all about and sex and identity. It sometimes almost always pays to wander down the cool looking alleyways.

For the evening in Helsinki the whole tour headed out to a bar. It was a nice reminder that I can enjoy clubbing under the right circumstances/with the right people, even when not drinking. Helsinki looked gorgeous at night, especially on the walk back as the sun was just starting to rise.

Our final day of the tour was over in Tallinn in Estonia. Just a short ferry from Helsinki then we were free to explore (or recover) before a walking tour into old town and dinner. Dinner was near the centre of old town, and included a swordfight as mid meal entertainment. Tallinn’s a lovely little city, and was an absolute highlight, especially as I had very few expectations going in.
After dinner it was on to bars and more clubbing, there was a really cool science themed bar that served all the drinks in test tubes and had interactive lights under the tables. and out tour leader got us into the VIP section at a club. Again the night was capped off with a wander through town back to the hostel.

And then all of a sudden it was over. It was an incredible two weeks, seeing some ridiculously good looking scenery in Norway, capped off with two gorgeous cities, all while hanging out with some of my favourite people and getting surprisingly close to new friends. Packing up and heading out from the hostel was a pretty emotional experience, especially as half the tour was carrying on still. But it was on to the next adventure in Iceland!

Norway in photos pt 3 – Oslo to Nordkapp

Fair warning, there’s one or two panoramas in the photos below… As always check out the captions for an update on what I’ve been up to (and maybe some info about the photos).

We’re now on day 9 of our Topdeck tour, our last full day in Norway, and boy has Norway put it on. My friend Caitlin has written a really good post here weighing up the merits of package tours vs DIY travel, and so far for me prepackaged has been ticking all the right boxes. I’m super glad to not have to think about the plan for each day, but more importantly to not have to drive. The scenery we’ve been passing through is absolutely incredible and my eyes have often been fixed out the windows.

Next up is Finland, and hopefully somewhere to actually upload this post…

 

 

Norway in photos pt 2 – More Nord

Part one here

More photos from Nord below. I’m now a few days into the Topdeck tour of the Scandinavian Peninsula, but wifi for the last few days has been super unreliable. Check out the captions for a bit of info on how the second half of Nord went down.

Norway in photos pt 1 – Nord

Part two here