Wednesday, September 28, 2011

So last week Lindsy Serrano had a food related mishap.  This week it was apparently my turn.  We went down to the main market square because we had planned to take the ferry to the sea fortress.  We got there like 20 minutes before the ferry left, so we decided to grab some food.  There's a ton of food stalls around, everything looks really good, and we decide to share a bowl of something called "Reindeer Delight," which was basically fried potatoes, reindeer sausage, and some kind of spicy mayo-ish sauce.  I don't know if it was the food, or the disgusting sea gulls that were constantly trying to snatch it out of our hands, or the fact that we wolfed it standing up, but something made me feel a bit off.  I don't wanna get too graphic, but that was the most miserable ferry ride of all time.  Anyway I'm pretty sure puking reindeer meat off of a boat into the Gulf of Finland is some kind of rite of passage or something around here.

But then the ferry docked, my stomach was empty, and the rest of the day was great.  There's all kinds of stuff on the sea fortress island that you wouldn't necessarily associate with either the sea or a fortress, like a brewery, several cafes, a public library, a hostel, a grocery store, and an antique toy museum full of terrifying nightmare fuel.

Another interesting feature of this charming tourist island is the fact that it contains a functioning prison.  We were following the signposts toward something called an "open prison," assuming it was some kind of historical facility that you could tour, when I suddenly remembered reading the night before that it is actually a minimum-security detention facility where the inmates perform upkeep on the island as part of their sentence.  So we turned around.  Turns out not only do prisoners live on the island, but also employees of the city and approximately 900 other random people who apparently enjoy living in close proximity to an 18th century fortress that sees over 700,000 visitors per year.

Overall, I highly recommend visiting the sea fortress.  Just stay away from the Reindeer Delight and any detention facilities you might wander across.

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