It’s everyone’s dream to travel solo to new destinations ,to explore the place as well as our own self.When you are on your own, you understand yourself better. I chose one such trip to travel from Helsinki to Stockholm, the capital of Sweden.I was on a short trip to Helsinki with my friend and was looking for a country to explore in the shortest available time . I had only 2 nights and one day to spare in my schedule. That’s how I chose SILJA SYMPHONY CRUISE . I can board the ship in the evening at Helsinki (Finland) and spend the entire night in the cruise. The next day morning ,ship berths at Stockholm(Sweden).The same evening you board the ship at the same location ,back for another night cruise experience on the way back to Helsinki. I booked my cruise online from SILJA SYMPHONY official website.
I can speak to my soul only when the two of us are off exploring deserts or cities or mountains or roads. _ Paulo Coelho
I took the cruise the same day as I landed in Helsinki. From the Vantaa International Airport,Helsinki, I hired a taxi to Silja Line port which is located next to the Helsinki central square. The Finnish taxi driver was very friendly and courteous .When he heard me talking in Hindi over my phone, he asked me more about my country and was surprised to know that we have almost 22 official languages in India.He was generous to be like a tour guide and showed the market square and other tourist attractions en route the port. The taxi fare was 57 Euros.
I checked in at the reception counter at 5 pm and collected my visitor card which will be my cabin key as well. I rushed to the roof top so that i could get a good glance of the Helsinki port in the remaining day light. Since it was thick winters, I couldn’t enjoy the roof top for a very long time.After returning to the cabin, I freshened up and decided to walk around all the decks and explore the ship thoroughly. Silja symphony is undoubtedly a luxurious cruise experience . The ship has many floors and each floor had amazing experiences to offer the visitor.
- Huge tax free shops had immense variety of stuffs displayed .Be it clothes,souvenirs , liquor, chocolates, toys or anything… you name and they had it there.
- Grand Buffet restaurants had global cuisines to chose from.
- Sushi lovers could enjoy the Sushi restaurant.
- Kids had their own play area .
- The night clubs and bars were filled with high energy and I could see a lot of couple from across the world dancing to the beats .
- They had deluxe and family cabins too.
- Many shows kept happening on the deck . Acrobatic shows by Russians was one of them.
- Italian restaurant
Language is no barrier if you really want to communicate 🙂
- I reached Stockholm next morning . My plan was to visit the medieval old town ,Gamlastan and have a good view of Swedish life and people. English is not a widely used language in Sweden and my brain lacks the skill to follow Google Maps accurately. So at times, I needed human help. The helping mentality of Swedish was amazing. Two local women literally walked me to the nearby metro station and handed me over to a guy who could speak English. Though I could have managed without so much help , I was enjoying this pampering 🙂 .
The main places of interest in Gamlastan were
- The Royal palace
- Swedish parliament
- The Royal cathedral of Sweden, storkyrkan.
- The Nobel Museum
- Museum of medieval stockholm, Medeltidsmuseet.
I will be elaborately covering my Stockholm experiences in another post.
2. While returning to the ship after my exciting solo visit to Stockholm, I met a Japanese girl . She needed some help with basic communication as English was out of her limit. After few conversations using Google translator, we got along very well. We again met for dinner in the ship and walked around to explore the ship once again. She was relieved of the stress of not talking to anyone for the last two days. I finally got some one to click my pictures and smile . The next day morning we reached Helsinki and we traveled together to Sibelius park and Rock church .It will always be a short and sweet friendship for me to cherish .
I learned many things in my solo travel and the most important of all is ” As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal…”. When I was travelling solo, I din’t have to wait for anyone and could plan my day independently. I was missing a company when I was excited about a new sight or experience. But I learned to enjoy it alone . I overcame the fear of being alone far away from my home and people. I learned to manage money transactions in a foreign land easily with the help of Multi currency master card.I will be looking forward for more such trips which will help my personal growth.