11 January 2010

Fin for a Day (Helsinki)

After a big night on the ferry the only thing I had on my mind was pain relief! But when I stepped outside I was met with so much wind and cold and snow I almost headed back to my cabin. After gathering my courage for a couple of minutes I pulled on my hat and scarf and braved the cold. Once I got moving it wasn't so bad...

First impressions were really good - the city was beautiful and white and the people were extremely friendly. I enjoyed just wandering through the streets, finding small parks and seeing all the trees covered in snow. The Christmas lights were still up which made it even more picturesque. It was exactly how I imagined Christmas in the northern hemisphere.

I walked down past the harbor where there were lots of boats surrounded by ice. I made my way to Lutheran Cathedral, which towers over the town and is very impressive. I think it looks even more amazing surrounded by all the white snow.

Next I wandered past Uspenski Cathedral which was also very impressive. I can't tell you a lot about the building, other than it looked awesome! But if you want to know more - you can go here. I then walked into the city and wandered through the streets. There was a big ice rink in the middle of town which was open to anyone to have a skate - I wasn't keen!

I kept walking for what seemed like miles in the freezing temperature (but more likely it was just down the road). I found the Parliment buildings and the National Museum, both very cool.

With the wind getting up I decided to head back to the city for some warmth. I found some shopping malls, but as I'm not much of a shopper, so didn't find anything interesting. What was much more interesting were the open air markets - these guys are out there in rediculous tempretures selling their wares. They had some really strange things too - reigndeer furs and antlers, fox furs, what looked like seal fur, as well as all the normal touristy stuff.

Just by the markets I saw more insane ducks - I have no idea how they survive in such cold tempretures. But they were happy waddling around and walking on the ice looking for food. Crazy!

It was late afternoon by this stage and the cold was starting to get to me. I decided I had done Helsinki justice, and that a warm cafe with a hot drink was a good idea. So I found a nice place with a big comfy chair and sat and read my book for an hour or so, a perfect end to a huge day.

The trip back on the ferry was considerably quieter than the night before. Probably due to the fact that I was so tired that I pretty much slept the whole way. I picked up some duty free for Rich, Lynn and myself, had a bit of dinner and a couple of beers, and that was about the extent of my night.

Coming up in my next exciting adventure - exploring Stockholm + New Years!

Next Post - 'New Years Eve in Stockholm'

1 comment:

  1. Nice one. Will check out some of these things when I'm there on Tuesday!


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