Helsinki, Finland

This is the cruise ship that ferries thousands on the 50 mile journey from Estonia to Finland.

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The passengers were almost all male, most sprawled across the hallway floors, making the journey to buy beer at a lower tax rate. They disembarked into the night dragging handcarts stacked high with Saku.

Fins are certainly a modest bunch. The underlying sentiment for my visit seems to be, "Thank you for coming here, but why did you bother?"

Ranee, my travel assistant, booked me in a renovated Helsinki prison that is now a hotel.

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The rooms are nice, but it doesn't matter how you spruce up a sauna that used to be a solitary confinement cell. NOT RELAXING.

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