On our way to Murmansk in Russia for the North East passage Northern Sea Route journey; we stopped in Helsinki for a week.
Helsinki is beautiful. Quiet. Clean. Had such a lovely feel to it. Max and I walked about 10kms a day and immersed ourselves totally in the city area to acclimate our body clock before our epic sea journey north of Russia.
Language wasn’t an issue, and although the Finnish people seemed to be a little reserved and not as boisterous or jovial as Australians; most were kind and polite and we didn’t encounter any problems at all.
Cobblestones. Churches. Cool wind. Misty rain. markets with reindeer horns and fluffy skinned hats. Knitted mittens. Ice-cream. Pushbikes. Music…. (including xylophones echoing along the cobblestones which do irritate me a bit for some reason)… Hot chocolate! Yum!
Tourism is a BIG thing here with a constant stream of VERY large cruise ships which seem to tip out thousands of passengers each morning scattering them across the cobblestoned roads. Clumps of tourists from all nationalities huddle around leaders with numbered discs raised on long paddles. I did smile at one tour leader who had a toy stuffed tiger impaled on the end of her raised pole! We did encounter a couple of bucket hat topped rogue escapees meandering through town happily; albeit a little confused about the direction to return to the ‘port’.
Design was a stand out feature for me here in Helsinki. It seemed like the Finns are very proud of their ability to design things. There is even a museum dedicated to the design achievements of the Finns. Everywhere I looked were examples of slick and sleek. Light and clean. Contemporary and edgy designs which permeated everything from architecture to cutlery!
Here is a list of some of the things to do whilst in Helsinki.
- Stay at the accommodation which was a prison.
- Ride the trams
- Markets at the harbour
- Chapel of Silence
- Graze on gourmet food
- Visit galleries and hand craft stalls
- Listen to music in outdoor performances
- Ride bike through city
- Boat ride excursions to local islands
- Visit Natural History museums
- Visit Design museum
- Enjoy summer gardens trees and flowers
- Ataneum Art Museum
- Uspenskin Cathedral
….and so much more. We had a fabulous time. Just what we both needed. My rehab is going well and I managed to walk most days, with just one day where I bunkered in to give my knee a bit of healing time. …. So now we are set off to Murmansk in Russia. Stay tuned.