Travel

Oceania Baltic Cruise–Helsinki

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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Christian guided us back to the boat on foot & we stopped off at another market hall. 

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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!

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Our stop in Helsinki was a small taste of Finland.  I would love to come back to explore more areas of Finland now!

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