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Published: July 20th 2018
Ok - I haven't been to Finland and it was on my list, but now it's a for-sure-soon spot... 7hrs is too much of a tease. I'll be back soon - next summer or the one after.
So, instead of paying 15USD for a shuttle to the city centre (ugh) we caught the tram like a 4min walk from the boat for 2.90euro which they obviously conveniently do not mention as an option on the boat lol.
First stop was the one thing Mom requested: Chapel of Silence / Kamppi Chapel. It's the big stand-alone structure in the middle of the city with super thick walls, benches inside (like pews) and a bunch of giant cushions if you want to sit on the floor. It's so cool - it's really, truly silence in the middle of a bustling city. It's a wonderful idea.
From there we went to the Cathedral. Well. Mom sat in the square by the statues while I climbed the mountain of stairs up to the Cathedral. They're mostly Lutheran churches here, very simplistic designs inside which is a nice change to see. Still have those beautiful light fixtures though 😉
Next was up
was Uspenski Cathedral. Again, it was on top of a hill, so Mom waited down in the park area. There was a dog park that I suggested haha, but she opted not. Up the hill I went - this one is an Orthodox church. It had icons all over and beautifully intricate Gates and front area, but after just seeing Spilled Blood and Peter and Paul Cathedral, it's not quite at that level.
We walked down into the market area - saw such interesting things as moose meatballs and reindeer burgers. To be fair, I've had reindeer meatballs before (in Norway) and they were amazing.
Anyway, we weren't hungry yet, so we decided to take the ferry over to Suomenlinna which is a series of islands with a fortress and a bunch of smaller museums on it. We basically just wanted the ferry ride and something else outside lol. Again Mom people watched while I roamed the cobblestone roads... they were really cobblestoney - birkenstocks were not the best shoe choice lol. Oh well. I wandered the main island (some coast, fortress wall, church) and checked out some of the private houses which were colorful little gems.
Back in Helsinki we went to the food market and saw some guy playing accordion which Mom loved. In the market itself I got some chicken coconut soup... not Finnish, but I had heard this stall made amaaaaazing soup and we were not disappointed. On the way out we saw reindeer everything lol - burgers, chips (ie jerky), meatballs and poop (licorice balls lol). There was also sliced bear meat..????
We walked along the Esplanade Park back towards the trams. We saw like 10 "Robert's Coffee" throughout the day - I figured I'd try it since it's everywhere. I got an ice coffee and it was realllllly good. I haven't had a coffee drink for like 2 weeks, so that's also maybe why I enjoyed it so much lol.
Cruise left Helsinki at 4pm (boo), so I grabbed my book and sat outside to read and watch us pull out of the harbour. There were a ton of seagulls and terns following the boat and the idiots in the balcony cabins were throwing them bread and I don't know what else... but in doing so they were showering us down on the Waterfront deck. Way to use your
They had a Russian bazaar (selling a bunch of Ruzsian things - matrushkas, ornaments, chocolates, shawls etc etc). We had a good laugh when we went to pay - the machine glitched - the cashier realized it right away and called to cancel and make sure it was all good lol - but Mom's cabin account was accidentally charged $116,000...!!! Hahahahaha. They had no idea what happened because it wasn't even like there were extra zeros, it was totally arbitrary.
Tomorrow is time for Sweden!
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