Author Topic: 5 countries in 4 days  (Read 862 times)

Offline Jo 08701

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5 countries in 4 days
« on: March 21, 2022, 09:52:30 AM »
I am now in middle of a 4 day trip, that will cover Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania & Poland.

The highlight of the trip is Lezjask to be by the Yurtzeit of Reb Elimelech. Originaly when I booked the tickets, I was planning to also be in Belarus, however in the current situation I don't wonna try.

You can even say its 7 countries in 5 days, since I was flying through France and return through Amsterdam, however since I won't leave the airport, I won't count it.

Finland is a pretty modern country, there is almost nothing history there, its history as an independent country actually goes back a little more than a century, when they declared independence from Russia.

I checked here and other forums what to do in Finland but nothing major, however I have a habit that whenever I visit a new country, I wonna give a look at the Jewish community, or by attending a Minyan, or by visiting a jewish attraction, Cemetery, etc. Officially on godaven.com there is listed a Minyan Shachris,  but when I was there, there was only 2 people. The Rav told me that, weekdays it's very hard, but on shabbos there is approximately 40 people,  and Yom kipur approximately 300 attend it. There is also a chabad, but they also dont have a minyan.
The Jewish community is also very new, compared to any Eastern or Western European city. So nothing of historical significance.

I davend Shachris at the Jewish Community of Helsinki, it also serves as the Jewish school.

After that I went to the Terminal to buy a ticket for the Tallinn ferry, buying online a few days in advance you can save a few EUR, however I wasn't exactly sure when I will be able to go.

The cheapest option is to take the day cruise to Tallinn which is 10 EUR, for the Round Trip plus a tour in Tallinn. You don't need to use the round trip ticket,  (Hidden City alert....)

I am actually writing this part while I am on the Ferry. Its pretty smooth, much more convenient than a flight.

For anyone who has a long stopover in Helsinki, I would recommend to buy the Day pass for Zones A, B, C this includes unlimited rides between these zones for the day, which includes the airport to City Center train, which a single fare is 4.10 EUR, and the day pass was 11 EUR.
That also includes the Ferry from Helsinki to the Suomenlinna island which is on the UNESCO list. When I wanted to go there, I was told I need a minimum of 3 hrs to explore the island, and I had to catch the ferry to Estonia, so I was afraid I will miss it. I would say, if you go straight from the Airport to the the City Center and from there you take a Tram, than the way from the Airport to the Ferry terminal is about an hour, I would give for the ferry going and back plus approximately 4 hrs to explore, that would be about 5 hrs. An hour to get back to the airport.

So if you have a stop of 9 hrs you will be good. At your own risk...

The Helsinki Transport didn't accept Amex, it was a hassle for me, plus the machine doesn't give change, so I had to run back to the airport to break a 20 EUR bill to have exact change.

I was just walking around near the water,  visited the Stockmann, which is like Macy's at Harold square but with a Food section.

I took the 3pm ferry, it actually left a few minutes earlier, you have to be there 45 min before departure.

To be followed.. אי"ה

Online AsherO

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Re: 5 countries in 4 days
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2022, 10:10:57 AM »
Finland was under Swedish rule for centuries and Russian for just about one century (basically the 19th century, give or take. A lot of what there is to see is religious and thus of no interest to most DDFers, but to say “there is nothing history there” is simply not true.

Offline Jo 08701

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Re: 5 countries in 4 days
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2022, 10:42:41 AM »
You are right, there is a square called Santorini (something like that) but the only significant old building was a church, but even that is nothing to compare to other medieval European countries, plus for most readers here, it's not even appropriate to even mention it.
Even the parliament plaza is very new, that an average US state has more of a medieval look than Finlands parliament.

Online EliJelly

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Re: 5 countries in 4 days
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2022, 01:08:18 AM »
@Jo 08701 waiting for the rest. :)

Offline Jo 08701

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Re: 5 countries in 4 days
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2022, 01:44:49 PM »
I got busy. But in short, I covered Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, Warsaw.
Was able to use Busses from one city to the other, I know most people here don't like bus travel, but I do enjoy it. You get a chance to speak to others, see other small towns which you would never get to see.
I also had the benefit since I was traveling with busses and trains, I was able to witness firsthand the refugee issue, and it was an experience and it gave me a different perspective to the ongoing war.
One piece of information which can be of help for a lot of readers here, there is a train a few times a day from Warsaw, which also pass by the Airport and goes direct to Lezjask. Its a 5 hrs ride on a smooth train, with wifi. Train stop is approximately 25 min walk to the Tzion.
I had no problem walking from train station to Tzion in middle of the night.

Offline Digdeals

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Re: 5 countries in 4 days
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2022, 03:11:24 AM »
Where did you start and how much did it cost in total?

Offline Digdeals

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Re: 5 countries in 4 days
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2022, 03:13:34 AM »
No money to travel when I have time, no time to travel when I have money. :(