Published: July 29th 2012July 14th 2012
Central Train Station
Departure point for our exploration of Helsinki
After a long flight to Europe Saturday is the first day that we have to roam around Helsinki and luckily we have good weather almost all day.
Staying near the airport has its advantages if you want to rent a car however we have to take the airport bus 615 downtown which takes about 1/2h. We get out at the last stop - the central train station - and after taking a few pictures of the modern plaza we continue down to the central artery of Helsinki - the Esplanade.
Everything seems curiously empty of tourists until we get to the Kauppatori (open market) and Kauppahalli (covered market) where there is a normal bustle as associated with European capitals. After taking a look at the stands filled with reindeer products from meat to furs and antlers as well lots of fish both prepared and freshly caught we take the ferry to Suomenlinna which is a Unesco Heritage site.
Suomenlinna is a relatively extensive site if you try to visit all the nooks and crannies as we did - lots of WW II and prior guns, the submarine and ships in drydock and of course the fortress with its
walls and underground tunnels for which we were not as well prepared as the locals (bring a flashlight :)).
After returning to the mainland we walk to the restaurant that we had chosen for its different finnish/lappish delicacies however it is unfortunately closed for the summer so we go to our backup restaurant Aino on the Esplanade - good food especially the reindeer.
All this walking (while still feeling the effect of the time zone difference) made us tired so we said good bye to Helsinki and returned to our hotel for the night so we can rest before starting tomorrow towards Turku.
There are more photos below