Wednesday, October 03, 2018

NORTHERN COUNTRY TOUR - HELSINKI

We arrived late morning in Helsinki and visited the Orthodox church of Helsinki,  a beautiful building





It dates from 1868 and is located in the Katajanokka district of Helsinki, the Uspenski Cathedral is the largest orthodox church in Western Europe. With its golden cupolas and redbrick facade, the church is one of the clearest symbols of the Russian impact on Finnish history.




Just besides was a playground for children.


Helsinki is the capital  of Finland and is only 390 km (240 mi) far from Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Together with the cities of Espoo, Vantaa, and Kauniainen, and surrounding commuter towns, Helsinki forms the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which has a population of over 1.4 million and is the northernmost capital of an EU member state.

Around Helsinki there are about 330 islands, providing a great getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. Many families own a little island or they share one with other families and escape the city during weekends and holidays.

Our bus drove us into the center of Helsinki and we had half a day for ourselves to discover the city.



It was full of funny decoration figurines and a stuffed reindeer ! It looked a bit shabby, too many hands had petted it !




I had never seen a museum with a seagull's head as decoration !



We walked around the city, saw elegant cafés, (with elegant prices too ) and impressive Art Nouveau architecture.



This turtle statue sat on the street and there were a few others



We saw a bride and locks hanging on the bridge banister, which amorous people had hung there.

Then we arrived at the market which was very huge and had yellow and white tents. There was an enormous choice of all kind of things in the stands that sell items including fish freshly caught from the harbour, fruits and vegetables, coffee, and local arts and crafts. You can find anything from moose meat to reindeer skin gloves. It is a good place to find Finland-specific souvenirs and support local merchants and artists.

The Market Square is located on the eastern side of central Helsinki, between the south harbour and Esplanade Park. Surrounding the square are the harbour itself, ferry ports connecting the mainland to Suomenlinna, the Presidential Palace, the Uspenski Cathedral, and a market hall.




And there you also could eat for real cheap prices, and you got a huge plate with vegetable, potatoes and meat or fish. I tried reindeer steak for the first time of my life ! Poor Rudolf. It tasted very good and I could eat it again. It was so much fun to sit there observe the people and enjoy the excellent meal. We look so yellow because we sat under a yellow tent, which was the sign for food stands.

As it was very hot, close to 30°C  we decided not to stay in the city, too much to walk in this heat and we took a sightseeing boat which made a tour around islands



We left the market






and lined up to buy the sightseeing boat tickets. The captain was also the guide and explained what we saw







The skyline of Helsinki








different small to bigger islands with one or more houses on them.

We enjoyed the sightseeing very much and on the boat it was not so hot and the heat bearable.

At 6 pm we joined our group and the bus and drove to our hotel



Some private houses to see on the way and then we arrived at our hotel




Again it was a very nice one as we had during the whole trip. After supper we were tired and went early to bed.

Next day we had to leave for St. Petersburg.





Linking to Our World here

7 comments:

Fun60 said...

What a pity we weren't there at the same time as I'm sure we would have bumped into one another. You saw a lot of %the city in a short time.

Andrew said...

It looks nice. I thought it would not be an expensive place to visit. I guess it is cheaper if you are away from the tourist hotspots.

Lady Fi said...

Wonderful shots of Helsinki.

italiafinlandia said...

Hello, thanks for sharing beautiful shots of my beloved Helsinki!
You are welcome to my blog if you are interested in knowing more of Finland.
Have a nice week!

Joyful said...

Nice to see other places in the world through your eyes Gattina. I'm glad you are still travelling far and wide.

Angie said...

Thanks for such a thorough tour - it looks like a lovely city - I would have especially enjoyed the local market and the FOOD!

Su-sieee! Mac said...

I forgot that Finland is near Russia, so it was surprising to see the brick building in your photo. Not what I would think of as Finland. Reindeer meat, definitely yes. I enjoy open markets and the different local foods to try.

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I love painting, writing, travelling and photography. My favorit models are my four cats which I observe with fun and humor. I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.

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