Hong Kong to Helsinki by train 🚂

Who has two thumbs and is abysmal at keeping the travel blog up to date? 🙋🏻 This girl! Sorry! Here begins my attempt to get caught up…

Last week, Ryan and I completed nearly two months of travel from Hong Kong to Helsinki all by train. Through China, Mongolia, Russia & Finland, traveling by train was an amazing way to see these countries and experience the epic Trans-Siberian railway.

By the numbers, we spent 12 night sleeping on overnight trains. Our longest single journey between Irkutsk, Siberia and Moscow was 75 hours long over 3 nights. From Hong Kong to Helsinki we covered at least 13,600 km or around 8500 miles. That’s just a rough estimate, so its likely more than that. That is the equivalent to driving cross-country in the US three times.

As I try to catch up the blog, I’m going to start backwards with our last 3 days in Finland.

HELSINKI, FINLAND This was an exciting stop because Ryan’s great-grandfather immigrated to the United States from Finland. A couple times someone even noticed his Finnish last name and commented approvingly. We only spent three nights here and while it cold and rainy we still had a great time.

The Finnish sauna at Löyly was probably the highlight. Sauna seems to be a way of life in Finland. Many Finns have a sauna in their homes & summer cottages. We chose Löyly because it had two unisex public sauna rooms and was right on the Baltic Sea. Normally a public sauna is divided in male and female rooms.

The building’s architecture was absolutely gorgeous. And the experience of running from the hot sauna into the freezing cold Baltic Sea was oddly addicting.

Despite rainy & cold weather, we also went sightseeing around Helsinki. We walked around the downtown landmarks like Senate Square, we visited the National Museum of Finland and the Sibelius Monument. Ryan made a pilgrimage to see the statue of Paavo Nurmi, the “Flying Finn,” at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium. And we ate delicious Korvapuusti, the Finnish version of a cinnamon bun with cardamom.

Next up, I’ll be posting about our time in Russia!