I simply loved everything about Finland……….maybe it was the fresh air, the sea, or the fact that I no longer felt I was being watched all the time after being in Russia. I just felt free! I loved the wide streets, the cleanliness and the no graffiti look! I loved the chatter of the tour guide, who had moved here from Spain……… I had a smile on my face the entire time I was here and I definitely would go back. I toured Helsinki in my own way and hubby took another tour and did his thing. So, I will share lots of different things to see here. I even went out in the country to the village of Porvoo, which I will share in another post to follow this one! Let’s get a move on, we’re in Helsinki!
We’ll start down by the harbor looking at the different boats……..
You can get around by boat……or bike……and it’s a fabulous place to walk!
Or go by streetcar………and look, not one smudge of graffiti anywhere!
One of our favorite things to do is visit a food market. I am always interested in what people eat! This is Vanha Kauppahalli Market …… a genuine Finnish Market Hall. Designed by architect Karl Hård af Segerstad, who was the city architect for Helsinki by 1907, Hakaniemi Market Hall was opened in 1914. The charming, 100-year-old building has many shops on two floors. His architectural inspiration came from Swedish and German designs.
and this is how the Hall looks inside………where you could get a reindeer plate with potato, or reindeer soup, or a reindeer sandwich, a reindeer kabab, a reindeer wrap, or a reindeer meat pie! Oh my!
Maybe the fresh fish is more to your liking………
or the fresh honey, or plain ‘ol reindeer, elk or bear meat………in giant tins.
This was more to my liking, the BERRIES! The blueberries were huge……..the guide told us that in most Scandinavian countries one can forage or camp anywhere up to 500 feet of a house! In Finland nature is not only wild, it’s free for everyone to enjoy, respectfully. The general public’s rights allows an access to anyone living in or visiting Finland, the freedom to roam the countryside, fish with a line and rod, forage for berries, nuts or mushrooms, and enjoy the recreational use of the natural areas. This is called, “The Everyman’s Rights.”
Look at all the nuts!
The old market is located next door to the huge, orange-tented outdoor market, right on the water’s edge.
Very fresh-looking vegetables were here!
Now, let’s follow the street car and move along…….. oh look, it’s the Helsinki Cathedral!
which gets its own marker in the square…….
Before we go up the steps we should look closer at the statue while we’re here. This a commemorative to Alexander II of Russia, who was Emperor of Russia from March 2, 1855 until his assassination on March 13, 1881 on the streets of St Petersburg. Remember I posted about that on our visit there. Alexander was also the King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Finland, so that would get you a statue here up front and highlighting the square!
Going up the steps, up and up and up…………..
I need a breather, so here’s a good photo of the top of the cathedral!
and this is what it looks like inside!
Looking down you can see how big this square is and how wide the streets are, even the side streets.
Back in the square I think I need some refreshment. It is early morning and we have a lot planned for today.
Hubby and I are going separate ways now. He is setting off on a walking tour of the city and I am headed to Porvoo, Finland. What will we discover in these stops? See you soon for more of Finland!