I’ve been waiting for Turku Tall Ships Races for months! Even got the bus tickets in advance. And nothing would ruin this plan. Not even an operation that I had the night before this event.
It was Friday evening, late evening. I was on my way to the bus station to get a ride back home. I was supposed to go early to bed because I had an early wake up next day. But things went totally wrong. I guess it was not my day and bad luck got on my way. Late at night my toe nail was removed.
After five hours of sleep I woke up feeling disturbing pain. The wisest thing would be to stay at home, not move much and let my toe get some rest… But instead I’ve decided to do the opposite. I simply couldn’t miss this event since I had no idea when tall ships are coming to Finland next time, and I knew for sure that I will regret not going there more than going. As you can see my misfortune didn’t break my spirit. So, I took enough painkillers and put myself ready. And just like that I was ready to roll.
Two hours by buss from Helsinki and here it is… beautiful city of Turku!
This building as you might have already guessed was originally belonging to the bank. Its history goes back to the year 1826. It was turned to restaurant in the beginning of 90’s. I like this place mainly because of its history, good beer selection and the atmosphere. I would even say that it has an authentic vibe.
After we were done with the drinks we headed towards Aurajoki river, eager to see tall ships. And ships we saw…
Some of those ships allowed you to come on board. We visited only those, which didn’t require any fee (Finnish museum ships cost six euros per person). We also had to skip those ships that had too long queues, since I couldn’t stand for long because of my injured toe. But it was really something to see all those amazing tall ships with my own eyes.
Small and big, they came all over the world. The oldest if I’m not mistaken was English 15,5 meters long “Leila”, built in 1892.
Longest amongst them were Russian four-masted barque “Kruzenshtern”, built in Germany in 1926 – 113,32 meters. Polish training sail ship “Dar Mlodziezy” (“Gift of the Youth”), built in 1982 – 108,81 m.
Russian three-masted full rigged training ship “Mir” (“Peace”), which was built in Poland in 1987 – 108,80 m. Romanian three-masted barque “Mircea”, built in Germany in 1939 – 93,29 m.
Norwegian “Statsraad Lehmkuhl” three-masted barque, used as a school ship for the Royal Norwegian Navy. It was built in 1914. 97,2 m.
And Russian four-masted steel barque “Sedov” from 1920. Originally built as a German cargo ship nowadays it’s a training sail ship, that is training cadets from the universities of Saint Petersburg, Murmansk and Arkhangelsk. 122,30 (!) meters long!
But my absolute favorite was… Russian frigate “Shtandart”!
This is a modern replica of the first ship of Russia’s Baltic fleet, which was built in 1703 by the decree of Tsar Peter the Great.
While walking on that ship I was thinking that I would gladly leave my job in Finland and come to work here instead, start sailing around the world and become a sailor (or pirate like Jack Sparrow!). How cool it would be – to live the adventure! Or maybe it’s only cool in the movies, who knows. Sadly, I won’t be able to find out, since you need to be between 18 to 25 years old in order to join the crew. So, as they say… that ship has sailed.
Even though I was in pain basically whole day, I do not regret coming to Turku. It was great and unforgettable experience and I enjoyed every bit of it. I’m also happy that we were very lucky with the weather, – it was a very warm day, untypically warm for Finnish standards I might add.
They also had a great firework in the evening. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay to see it because our bus was leaving already 7pm. Hopefully we’ll see it next time, especially if tall ships will come to Helsinki.
Hope you enjoyed it!