From Helsinki to Stockholm

A most exciting night at sea

leaving Helsinki - passing the Finnjet When I came to Helsinki I regarded this journey to be over. I had planned to take the Finnjet from here to Travemünde and to return to Bonn by train. But now I stand at the rail of the Viking Saga and take a photo of the Finnjet. What has happened?
In Helsinki I take my time to check in the ferry boat, never thinking about the possibility that the ship could be fully booked. But then, on a tuesday evening, I have to face the fact that this is possible. I am at a loss. However, soon I realize  Helsinki harbour, sailing boats that there are other opportunities to go. And this turn of the trip turns out to be the most valuable ever since. I take my bike to the quay for Sweden and get a ticket to Stockholm at a price of one tenth of the Finnjet ticket. The difference will last for an extra week, I guess. 
And this extra week becomes one of the most exciting weeks of the tour. It starts the next morning, when I get up without having slept at all, standing at my favourite place again, the rail. The rise of the morning sun is overwhelming. If I told you about a boat trip to the Caribean Sea you might believe it as regards the photos. Now, in fact this is the Baltic Sea.
the hour of the rising sun *
I stare at the rising sun, seeing the rest of the journey in a totally different light. When I have learned something from the many voyages I made it is this: No trip is complete that ends somewhere where did not start. To end up on a german railway station is like a crime play where the inspector fails to uncover the murderer. A dreadful idea.
another ferry boat against the rising sun *
So I start to enjoy the thought that travelling is a value on its own. At six o'clock I step into the dining room at the very end of the ferry to have the best breakfast I every had. For about € 5.- I get more than I can eat, though I try hard to break every record before I quit the room again at about half past eight. I drink 8 to 10 cups of coffee brewed in enourmous tanks and eat anything from bread to cheeese, fish to meat, onions to milk rice.
Two elderly german ladies at my table can't help telling me that they do enjoy to see me eating like that: «Where does all the food go?»
I tell them about the bicycle tour, the long and hard days in Finnland and the budget that did not allow me anything extraordinary to eat. And to me it seems that their admiration is not only based on the fact that I eat that good...
The best Stockholm harbour thing, however, is the fact that there is another ferry following us in a short distance. The boat of the Silja Line is very impressive - and I wonder how that boat manages not to hit one of the many rocks that form little islands in front of the swedish coast.
At about 9 o'clock we arrive at Stockholm where I don't rest for long. I follow the signposts to Nynäshamn to get the ferry for Gotland, the biggest swedish island. No need to tell that the boat leaves at midnight. Another night without sleep.