Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Stockholm trip

It was a sudden decision to have a tour in Stockholm, Sweden. We thought about it in November but because of our exams and other stuffs we could not make it at that time but after the exam we are having more than 2 weeks long vacation and we decided to go for it now.

It was Tareq vi, Saad and me who are going to this tour from Tampere. On 21 December we started our journey from Tampere around 1530. We took train to Turku because Turku is a city with port and our cruise starts from there. We reached Turku harbor around 1830. The ship will leave at 2100 so we had two and half hours in our hand. The temperature was -13 so we just sit inside the vikingline office. Oh, I forgot to mention that we had the cruise in vikingline. One of my friends, Ratul, met us there around 1930 and then we headed to the check in counter. We checked in and waited for boarding. The gate of the ship opened at 2030 and we got in. I was very excited inside. It was one of my dreams to have cruise in sea in a big ship. When I saw the ship I was kinda speechless. It is huge. The name of the ship is Isabella and it is 169 meter long. When I entered into it I was just so amazed. It has 10 floors. Our cabin was in level 5, room number 5331. To me, the ship looked like a 5 star hotel ( well I become happy with simplest thing :P ). It gave me the illusion of Titanic.

We went to our cabin, left our luggage and went out to roam around the ship. We went to the top floor and had a walk in the deck. We wanted the starting of sailing. We wanted to see from the front but it was not allowed, so we went to the back side of the ship and saw ship leaving the jetty. Then we started looking around inside the ship. In level 7 there is a duty free shopping mall. I wanted to buy a perfume of J'adore but finally I changed my mind. We roamed around the ship for more than an hour and then we went back to our cabin to have our dinner.

The dinner was awesome because Ratul brought biriyani from Nazmul vi's home. We ate to the full of our tummy and then played poker for almost 2 hours. Then we came out again to have a look at the ship at night. We went to the dance hall and saw there was a musical team playing melodious music. Couples were dancing. At one corner people were playing black-jack. I watched it for a while. From the dance hall we went to disco. It is just beside a bar. The DJ was playing rock n roll and only one couple were dancing. We took a table, gossiping and hearing the music without any drink :D Slowly people were coming and within an hour there were many boys and girls started to dance. Tareq vi and Saad joined them. Saad was pestering me to join but what can I do when I don't know how to dance :( We were there until 3 am. Then we came back to our cabin and fell asleep.

We reached Stockholm around 0630 next morning. We called Tareq vi's friend and waited for him in the vikingline office. He came after an hour and we started exploring Stockholm. Fortunately the weather was really good, it was sunny.

We had only one day in our hand so we need to hurry. We decided to walk as we heard that several important things are at the same place. It took us around 40 minutes to come to the city central. It was not so easy because the temperature was -9. We went to the City Hall where the Nobel Prize winners have their official dinner together. From the city hall we went to old Stockholm. There were lots of antique shops. They were just opening the shops. From the old Stockholm we went to McDonald's to have our breakfast. McDonald's has wifi inside so we could check our mails and wrote if necessary. After the breakfast we went to KTH to meet one of our undergraduate school friends, Miftah. It was far from the city central. So we had to buy metro tickets.

Miftah came to receive us in KTH(KTH Royal Institute of Technology) main entrance. He showed almost the whole area of KTH. It was time consuming. KTH is a huge university and very old as well. We returned to the old Stockholm again around 1400 to see the Royal Palace in Sweden. We did not enter into it. Just walk around it and took some pictures. We took our lunch around 1600 in an Arabic pizza shop. We rested there for a while and then started walking towards harbor. Miftah offered ice cream from McDonald's on our way back and we did not deny :D

We reached the harbor around 1800. We were waiting for the checking in for return trip to Turku. Check in started around 1840. We entered into the ship may be 20 minutes after checking in. Now it is another ship from vikingline. Its name is Amorella and it is 171 meter long. This time we got our cabin in level 7, room number is 7711. We were so tired after the whole day walking in Stockholm. So we decided to take a nap first. We slept for 2 hours. When we woke up we felt that the ship is jerking and giving uneven swing as well. It gave us dizzy feeling. So we took bath and went for a walk because if we sit in a particular place then it is more difficult. We tried to go to the deck to see what is going on but it was not possible. It was storming outside, so windy. We were a bit scared. We went to the disco hall but it was almost empty. Two girls tried to dance for awhile but nobody was coming to give them company, so they gave up as well. We were there for 15 minutes may be. Then we returned to our cabin and slept. The ship reached Turku around 0735 next morning. We were waiting inside the vikingline office for the train. The train came around 0830 and got into the train. Ratul left us for he is going to Helsinki. We three were so sleepy in the train. Finally the train reached Tampere station around 1050 and the nice short trip to Stockholm came to an end on 23 December.

To me the trip was really awesome. I liked the cruise very much. About Stockholm, it is a busy city, lots of traffic and people but good thing is there is no traffic jam. People know good English. There are some very nice monuments in Stockholm. KTH is really big. I found Tampere cleaner than Stockholm :)

Here are some pictures from this trip. Let's have a look.

In the train on the way to Turku

Tareq vi forgot to bring his student card, so he had to pay 12 euros extra :D

Waiting room in vikingline office

We were waiting for checking in

After the check in arranging tickets and other stuffs

One part of waiting room

The same part after 30 minutes :)

The corridor in front of our cabin

That was our cabin, 5331

Just left the luggage

In the corridor, from left Tareq vi, me and Saad

Wanted to have a picture with Scarlett Johansson :P

From the deck

Walking in the slippery deck covered with snow

At the back side of the ship

The ship just left the jetty

Playing poker

Game zone for kids

The shopping mall

In the cafe

Dance hall

The bar inside disco

We took a table. Don't think that is my glass or one of ours. It belongs to somebody else. We just took the table.

They are dancing. Tareq vi and Saad are also there.

Everybody went to take drinks but Saad did not want to stop :D

In Stockholm, waiting for Tareq vi's friend Tuton. Ratul was so sleepy :D

Also them :D

Stockholm central

Bridge over the lake

Picture from the bridge

Tareq vi and his friend Tuton

In front of a church. I don't know what church it is. It is in old Stockholm.

The city hall of Stockholm

It is the opposite side of city hall

Entering the premises of the city hall

Another shot

Yet another one

Main entrance of KTH

Miftah, standing in front of his department building

Before leaving KTH

In front of Royal Palace

Another shot of Royal Palace

Main gate of Royal Palace

Other side of Royal Palace

Another church visible from the palace

A car is coming out from inside the palace.

The return ship "Amorella"

After reaching Turku. You are just seeing less than half of the ship.

Programming Solution

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Independence day of Finland

Today is independence day of Finland. It is a public holiday here. Unfortunately it is weekend, so people did not get any extra day off for this day this year. It was 1919 when Finland celebrated their first independence day. Since it is the 90th anniversary of their independence day they celebrated it nicely this year.

We went to downtown around 05:40 pm. We were 6 persons together. Lots of people were going to the city center. The buses were full even though they arranged many extra buses today. Around 6 pm the city mayor gave his speech from the balcony of his office. Thousands of people were gathered in front of his office. After his speech a group of teenagers sang three songs. The songs were nice with bugle tune. The last song was the national anthem of Finland. After the national anthem fireworks started. It was an awesome fireworks, and it lasted for more than ten minutes.

After the fireworks we started walking for the bus but it was difficult because of so many people. Kamal vi offered us pizza and we did not deny :D For us, the celebration ended with a nice fireworks followed by nice pizza :)

Gang of 5 :D

Gang of 4 :D

Now some pictures of the fireworks

Programming solution