Our last “new” stop! And to be perfectly honest, my least favorite. Not to say I didn’t enjoy Helsinki, but I didn’t love it. There were several contributing factors – we really didn’t have a lot of time, there were mobs of tourists (more so than anywhere else we had been so far), and it was FREEZING!! And this was summer! It was warmer in Australia and it was their winter!
From where the ship docked, we took the tram into town and headed directly for the market. Past experience has taught us we can spend lots of time in markets! Exploring the market was my favorite part of Helsinki. It was down on the waterfront and full of foods and crafts and more importantly, gloves. Oh yes, it was cold enough to require purchasing another pair of gloves!
But I’m getting ahead of myself! First it was breakfast! I stopped and got a waffle and started walking over to where Jessica was getting a crepe.
Screech!!!!! A seagull swooped on my waffle!! I had just enough warning to cover my waffle and fight off the seagull. Stupid seagull. Apparently the seagulls are quite aggressive and the vendors laugh at the tourists or warn them to stay under the tents.
Prior to coming here, a friend who had spent a semester in Helsinki, had talked about a vendor who sold unique handmade silver jewelry. Granted this was close to 10 years ago. But guess what? We found the booth!! If I had been employed at the time I can only imagine what I would have bought. But since I was unemployed, I only bought a necklace for myself.
Finally we dragged ourselves away from the market and began our quick exploration of Helsinki.
Our first stop was Helsinki Cathedral which was mobbed with tourists and tourist busses.
Next up was the Three Smiths Statue, on which you can see the damage from fighting between the Soviet Union and Finland.
Followed by the train station. I have a thing about train stations. And this one did not disappoint. I can’t quite put my finger on what drew me in to the train station but I was captivated.
Our last stop was Temppeliaukio Church otherwise known as the Rock Church. It was carved out of the bedrock.
Our time was fast running out and we hadn’t eaten. We hightailed it back towards downtown where we ate at a restaurant which had tractors as its décor! Since we hadn’t yet tried reindeer in Stockholm, we decided to try it here. It tasted like venison. Which makes sense.
And then it was time to head back to the ship. I can’t decide if I want to go back to Helsinki. I spent so little time there, it only seems fair to visit again when I can spend more time and properly explore Helsinki.