The capital of Finland, Helsinki, is a modern city set on the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea. It was quite a change from our days in St. Petersburg.
We took the complimentary shuttle bus from the ship into town.
We were dropped off at Market Square, where during summer there is a daily market. The Market Hall is also located on the square, which is where permanent food stalls are set-up for the locals & tourists alike to shop. We spent a bit of time wandering through the market & wishing that we didn’t just have breakfast, so we could try some of the local food.
We had a pretty relaxing day with no specific list of things to see. We went into quite a few shops (Iittala, Marimekko, Lapuan Kankurit), purchasing a few souvenirs. We probably spent the longest part of the day in a bookstore, browsing the English titles & taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi!
We did visit Helsinki Cathedral, also known as Tuomiokirkko or the Lutheran Cathedral. The large, white building is pretty hard to miss! It was completed in 1852 & is located on Senate Square.
Another famous church in Helsinki is the Church in the Rock. They blasted granite to construct this church & added a roof of copper wire and windows. It has very good acoustics and is not only used for church services but also concerts.
Christian guided us back to the boat on foot & we stopped off at another market hall.
The Finnish love their saunas. We passed by one right on the sea. You can heat up in the sauna and then jump into the sea for a cool down & repeat as many times as you like!
Our stop in Helsinki was a small taste of Finland. I would love to come back to explore more areas of Finland now!