We have finally left Helsinki after 4 days - longer than we had planned due to having to obtain a new water pump then find someone to fit it - no, not on the Mercedes, but in the habitation part of the motorhome.
It first went wrong when we were up near the Arctic Circle, but it turned out to be an unusual system - Whale submersible pump, which required the fresh water tank to be lowered in order to replace it (something we only established for certain after several emails to the manufacturer). Two motorhome dealers in Rovaneimi said they didn't know about the system, one did offer to look at it but had no spare parts for it anyway. We discovered, using the internet, that we could get a pump from a marine dealer, so we tried two when we were in Oulu, only to find that the pump would have to come from Helsinki - in 5 days including the weekend, so we decided we were best to carry on to there, get the pump, then find someone to fix it for us. Well we were lucky with that, because we stumbled upon a really helpful company and a real a 'diamond bloke' to do what turned out to be a pig of a job - and thank goodness he spoke English, as most, but not all do here. Why did it fail after less than 2 years? Probably run 'dry' by previous owner, as they normally last 10 years or so - some things you can't foresee.
Then, worst of all, after the pump was replaced we went off to fill the tank with water, and the external pump which is used on this system to fillthe tank would not work! After the closest we have come to panicing, we tok some deep breaths and had (yet) another think - we figured that it must be the 12 volt supply, so Edward had a look under the 'van and found a connection, disturbed by the work that had been necessarily been done, which was broken. So back to the friendly dealer who took it all apart and found that the connections, less than 2 years old, were badly corroded - no wonder they fell apart when disturbed to to the rest of the job!. Very kindly, he didn't charge us for the extra work, saying it was part of he previous job - I couldn'y see many in UK doing that. The new joints will be well protected by me wehn we get home! Anyway, we are all up and running again now, so all is well
There is not much to photograph in Finland, except lakes and trees, but we loved the place; the weather has been superb, we were parked, for free, by a beach one mile from the centre of the city!
I have never been anywhere where cars, cyclists and pedestrians mix so calmly together. We made good use of our bikes, and could cycle right through the middle of the city with no problems. When there is no cycle path, but the road is busy, we rode on the pavement, carefully of course - no-one moaned - pedestrians just move to let you through, and we do the same for them. To our mind it's a lovely city, with lots of smart building, both new and old, and it beats Liverpool by having not 2, but 3 cathedrals Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Lutheran (not sure what they are ding with such grandeur, but it is relatively plain inside.
They also love american cars - lots of 50s and 60s cars around, all in excellent condition - and room on the roads to drive them