Thursday, November 27, 2014

Zeit für Eine Kreuzfahrt!

Hello folks!

It's been a while!
Yeah, I know that my blog has been silent for a month now but this time -as the title says in German- I've been on an extraordinary trip! Namely a cruise trip from Helsinki to Stockholm! So, how was my trip you ask? Well, you'll soon find out if you keep reading! But before I move on, I want to say that this post will be all but serious! ;)

It all started when Shiro Samurai's and my dad called us for quite some time ago and explained that he had lot of Silja Line points that would expire the coming months and well, he didn't want that. Since he won't be able to use up the points until they expire he asked if we could go on a free cruise. A few days afterwards he fixed everything for the trip except that I changed the last passenger a few days before the trip. Our original company for the cruise was supposed to be me (duh!), Shiro Samurai, Hasakitsuki and Sacchan but Sacchan later informed me that she couldn't come with us because of her school. With Sacchan out of the gang I had to quickly find someone else to take her place before it would be too late. I started to think if I had any friend who wouldn't have it too troublesome to take themselves to Helsinki as the ship terminal was there. In other words - the closer to Helsinki the better. The first person who crossed my mind who I know lives close to Helsinki -and want to go on a cruise- is SipsiNekku. So she became our 4th passenger and we're all set now. Oh and before I forget! Like a day or two before our trio left for the trip towards Helsinki in the south we got a package in the mail that we all been eagerly waiting for. Hence I was the only one who took my "part" of the package with me to the cruise. What this is, well you'll see soon!

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Our journey started on the 17th November when I, Shiro Samurai and Hasakitsuki got a ride from one of my childhood friends who drove us to Kemi's train station. At the train station we had to wait for about 2 hours before our train would arrive so we had time to walk to the nearby Lidl to buy some snacks for the train and so. When the train arrived we all knew that ahead of us was a sleep deprived night and so it was. The trip felt like forever but I was happy to have my PSP with me, so that our gang could knark play some Monster Hunter together and sleep those 3-4 hours. When we finally reached Helsinki early in the morning (18th November) around 7:00 local time, we headed pretty straight to the Olympia Terminal where our ship would arrive at 10:30. I must say that walking through Helsinki's streets felt quite nostalgic for me as I haven't been there for a very long time! At the terminal we just played and derped some more until our ship -Silja Serenade- showed it's beauty in the harbor and until SipsiNekku showed up somewhere around 15:30 or so.

Hello there sweetie! ~
Despite the ship being in the harbor like SOON since 10:30 we couldn't board it before 17:00. Blööööööööööörgh! *insert time machine here*

When the ports were open and it was time to board the ship and walk through that narrow corridor towards the ship, I mentally did over 9001 backflips and squeed out of happiness inside. Oh yeah! Before you enter the ship at the very end of the corridor there is this ship environment-ish photo station and when you're about to pass it, some peeps from the ship crew will take your photo and later during the trip you can go and check it out and if you want, buy it as a memory/souvenir. I personally like this idea a lot. Our group thought about making silly faces when passing but we decided to not. Well inside the ship *insert noodle arms here* we headed straight to our cabin that was located on deck 10 to drop off our stuff, take a small break and later change to what we called "fabulous" soon afterwards. My fabulous was a random Attack on Titan soldier -not any specific character- and it was the jacket that had arrived in the mail earlier. When everyone had changed to their fabulous gear it was time to take a look around the ship! So we went to stroll on deck 7 which was the ship's main deck. On deck 7 you would find the bars, night clubs, restaurants and more. The most stuff was there simply. The first thing we went to check was the ship buffet to decide if we wanted to eat there or not and if yes, had to book a table in advance. But after seeing what the ship buffet had to offer this time -mainly consisting of Christmas foods- it had us all go "meh not worth those 40 €" as none of us is really that fond of the kind of Christmas foods that you eat here in Sweden and Finland. The ship buffet had me especially disappointed when half the reason I came aboard was to eat at the buffet. I've been drooling after specific dishes for a couple of years now! *sob* Oh well, at least my wallet will spare me, ahaha.

Here are some photos from the stroll on deck 7!

All photos taken by Shiro Samurai.

Inside the Tax Free. Caaandiieees ~
Pirate themed money games.
While strolling around we saw those claw crane machines with plushies inside where you play by inserting coins to the machine. I didn't play but Hasakitsuki did as one of the machines had Pacman ghost plushies and she wanted the pink one. After having the machine eating her wallet 30+ € poorer she gave up on the pink one. I was glad to see her fishing up an orange and blue ghost though. SipsiNekku played too but on the machine next to the Pacman one with random plushies (some from Star Wars) though she gave up after about 6 tries.

I feel you!
Game arcade with rally games. Dat Batmobile though!
Deck 7 (also known as Promenade deck) view.
I don't remember when but at one point we watched this one dance show that was very nice and entertaining. It was performed at the center of deck 7.

Part of the dance performance.
You guys have no clue how long it took for our group of 4 to decide where to eat! We kept walking back and forth on deck 7 for something that felt like forever before finally deciding on a restaurant called Mundo. But when we were on our way there -from the other end of the deck- we were stopped in our tracks and watched an amazing acrobat performance!

They knew their thing for sure!
Shortly after the acrobat performance our group camped in front of Mundo to decide what to eat and I was happy to receive my food!

Hungry like a titan!
I find it funny that I am the shortest of our group and the only one who managed to eat everything on the plate. Sometimes I wonder if I really have a blackhole instead of a stomach because at times I really eat like a Jean horse and I don't even need to be hungry to do that! Hohoho ~

Later with the food somewhere in our stomachs it was time for the next stop. Can you guess where? What's the smartest place to visit after eating, hm? Yeah, the candy store aka Tax Free! Before heading there we decided that we should only buy what we wanted for the evening/night as it would be kinda pointless to stock up on candy already now when we had a second day on the ship. From the store I bought just a few stuff and a kiddy party drink bottle with Disney's Princess motive. Around this time we were all sort of laggy so we headed towards our cabin in deck 10. Said cabin was a Promenade cabin which meant that we could see the Promenade deck from our window. How about the rest of the evening? Well it went to derping, eating candies making silly faces and talking about hilarious shit! Of course at one point I decided to be a gentle soldier and share my drink!

Inner sharing conflicts! DUN DUN ~
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Okay, I admit. I did share my drink and I did it with spirit!

Wanna try bro?
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I totally didn't go on duty the following day! xD

By the way, the drink tasted like a cheap carbonated apple juice with a sort of... puke aftertaste. Yeah... puke.

When it was getting pretty late -if not past midnight- we all changed to night gear and went to sleep. You have no clue how godly a ship bed is after lying sleep deprived almost a full night in the train <3

The morning dawned (19th November) and the ship arrived at Värtahamnen in Stockholm 10:30 local time. Shiro Samurai and Hasakitsuki didn't wake up as early as I and SipsiNekku did, as they wanted to stay at the ship meanwhile the two of us went to explore Stockholm. Alright, it was only SipsiNekku who wanted to visit a specific place in Stockholm namely the Royal Armory (Livrustkammaren in Swedish) close to the Royal Castle in Gamla Stan (old historical/king-y part of the city). I just tagged along to give her company and for safety reasons mainly because I speak fluent Swedish and have good local sight. Oh and I just don't want my friend to wander alone in a big city like Stockholm with more or less worrisome stuff happening every now and then. Besides it's always more nice to travel together, right? We went to the ship's entrance in time so that there wouldn't be a rush and it was nice to be on familiar ground again.

We first thought about taking the bus to the city -Värtahamnen is a bit outside of the city- but we ended up walking, as we had checked it up that it was only around 4 km to our destination. We bought something to eat from Ica as soon as we got more into the city and kept looking for the Royal Armory and places that looked familiar to us. Despite myself being a lot in Stockholm during my life I can still get very unsure where in the city I am. I have this kind of "ahaa!" memory of Stockholm and will only recognize specific parts and streets of the city when I am somewhere near them. After walking in the inner city for about 30 minutes and checking for maps close by, we managed to find the way to the Royal Armory and I was surprised by the small amount of maps in the city, dangnabbit! SipsiNekku wanted to visit the Royal Armory when they had for the time being a display about the Game of Thrones saga which SipsiNekku is a big fan of. She didn't end up going inside to look at the actual display -it was sort of expensive- and was satisfied to just sit on the throne from the saga that was near the entrance. The Royal Armory is just around the corner of the Royal Castle if anyone wants to visit it. When I had snapped some photos of SipsiNekku looking like a boss and ruling the world of Game of Thrones we started heading back to Värtahamnen as we had nothing more to do at Stockholm. I didn't take any photos of Stockholm, I am sorry! I did regret it afterwards though. Ibland vill man ta sig i kragen för kamera-glömskheten, argh!

When we reached Värtahamnen and boarded the ship we headed to our cabin to see if Shiro Samurai and Hasakitsuki would be there. To our surprise the cabin was empty but we decided to wait for them instead of running across the ship like derps. Meanwhile waiting for the two to return I went to change to my Attack on Titan costume. Luckily we didn't need to wait long before the two others came and then we were finally 4 again. With all of us together, we went downstairs to the Promenade deck to just walk around and spend time on the deck until the ship would leave Värtahamnen.

Ship entrance.
Staircases leading to the upper or lower decks.
At one point we went to check Silja Land (playroom for kids) and we found this one turtle plush that didn't seem to have the best shape ever when more than half of its filling was gone. I bet it has been thrown all over the place... poor thing.

Meh, what have they done with you man?
When the ship finally left the harbor of Stockholm and started to slowly move its way towards Helsinki again, we went back to our cabin and I changed my fabulous Levi (Attack on Titan) t-shirt to the white shirt that many of the soldiers in the show wears. While I was in "proper" costume Shiro Samurai and Hasakitsuki couldn't resist giving me this one specific bakery that has turned into a well-known Attack on Titan joke in the Finnish fandom.

Pullava salut!
If you want to see how the Finns turned a delicious bakery commercial into a traumatic one just go to Youtube and search for "Pullava Attack on Titan" or something like that and hopefully you find it!

Silja Serenade had left the harbor and it meant only one thing to us - you see, when the ship is in the harbor the stores are closed and they open first after the ship leaves the harbor. For us the "ship in the open sea" meant candies! So together we dragged ourselves to the candy part of the Tax Free and stocked up on candies, chocolates or whatever we came to fetch up - this time for real as it was the last day on the ship! Oh and I was really happy to see that the ship had something I never expected to see anywhere in Sweden/Finland namely Christmas marzipan from the German Lübecker Marzipan brand! Yeah, I'm totally a marzipan nut go figure. Having the candy shopping behind us we took the elevator to deck 10 and here I will introduce you peeps to our glorious ship highlight tradition - the elevator selfies!

Herp derp!
This means that everytime we took the elevator -be it up or down- we pulled silly faces facing the mirror and took le elevator selfie. Yeah, I'm totally not kidding when I'm saying that this was one of the best things for us on the whole trip! We had fun everytime! With the candies in our cabin we changed the course to the ship's 12th deck - the highest deck where you can go. We visited both the indoor area with the spa and the cold, windy outdoor area to watch the sea.

Cabin corridor. We're on our way to the 12th deck!
and in the elevator:

That was a successful face from my part! Booyah!
At one point near the evening we went to eat in a restaurant called El Capitan -no one of us was so keen to eat at Mundo for the second time in a row- and I could at least have one of my long awaited ship dishes - fillet of beef with garlic potatoes! Thumbs up for the very good dish and surprisingly fast arrival of the food! Totally worth my money!

Our last day on the ship started to slowly draw to a close and during late evening we headed back to our cabin to enjoy the ship beds for one last time on this trip. Man I'm gonna miss them! On the following morning we dragged our tired bodies to Mundo to have a not-so-healthy breakfast (except for SipsiNekku) before the ship would arrive in Helsinki. My breakfast consisted of a doughnut and 3 macarons, yummy! At least sugar wakes you up, haha! The macarons were better than I had expected them to be overall. As we left the ship and arrived at Helsinki terminal we said our goodbyes to SipsiNekku who took a bus to her hometown and the remaining three of us headed towards Helsinki city to eat at Subway and lag at the train station. I bought some candies to us and some German chocolate to myself that I haven't seen anywhere else -so far- from one of the train station candy stores. At the train station was this one bubble tea corner and I personally had no clue what the whole thing was -despite it being known worldwide seemingly- so our group went there to give it a try. I mostly tagged along not all that curious about it to be honest. It was more Shiro Samurai and Hasakitsuki who was curious and into it. It was good I give it that, but I somehow didn't really get the "epic flavor" thing as for me it wasn't really all that good or special. Maybe it was just me having the wrong combination of jellies or something? But I just preferred the drink without any jellies or add-ons. I would give it a second try though, don't get me wrong.

We just kept molding in the train station until our train showed up that will take us back to the cold city of Kemi in the north. The feeling when Helsinki don't even have snow when the ground is white in the north! Oh and the only thought in my head when I saw the train arriving on the rail was "Scheiße here comes another almost sleepless night!". I surely had a hard time to sleep that night... oh boy, did I even manage to sleep a hour? Luckily I'm not on the train all that often. I arrived home safe and sound somewhere around 10:00 (Swedish time) during the 21st November.

That was the end of my journey!

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For more hilarious crap and silly faces check out my company buddies ship stories click, click and double click!

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What? You're still here waiting for something "extra"? Fine, fine! I get it! :-DD

Begone or...
I'm out of here, tschüss! ~

Frozen Angel out.