Friday, October 27, 2017

Scandinavia #7


Helsinki, Finland

          Helsinki, Finland was our next Port o' Call. This is a city I have always wanted to see. It was freezing cold, about 62 and windy. However, the sun is very close to the earth this far north and helped warm things to comfortable by noon.

Helsinki, Finland
          Helsinki, Finland was our next Port o' Call. This is a city I have always wanted to see. It was freezing cold, about 62 and windy. However, the sun is very close to the earth this far north and helped warm things to comfortable by noon.

Harbor Excursion
          We took a harbor cruise along the southern coast of Finland. Our group walked along the harbor to our boat. We noticed the sand was very dark, looked like it was mixed with dirt/mud. I didn't know the harbor into Helsinki had many islands, covered with trees and buildings on high rises. The largest island had a huge fort built to defend against Swedes and Russians in the 1700s. The architecture along the mainland coast was amazing. We passed Ice Breaker ships and learned the entire Baltic Sea sometimes freezes over and the Ice Breakers are needed to keep the sea open for shipping. In other spots, the local government creates lanes on the ice for cars to drive over and for people to ice skate.

We had a perspective from the sea we wouldn’t have had from a tour bus. The city has been around since the 1100AD with the Vikings part of the growth of the city.
Finland had a close relationship with Germany during WWII, they were deathly afraid of the Russians and turned to Germany for protection. They said they had to choose between two evils and chose Germany.
I notice that the Finnish people, men, are very handsome and the women rather pretty, and extremely tall! Their facial features are delicate.



Old Town Helsinki
          After the cruise, we stopped at the ship for a buffet lunch, then took a 30-minute walk to the open air market in Old Town Square. We noticed the cobblestones were like boulders, huge! Also, saunas are a way of life in Finland and apparently in most of the Scandinavian culture and it's quite a ritual.
          This capital city has the most interesting architecture I have seen. The variety in the buildings is superb. Each had a history that added to this amazing city.



Old Town Helsinki
          After the cruise, we stopped at the ship for a buffet lunch, then took a 30-minute walk to the open air market in Old Town Square. We noticed the cobblestones were like boulders, huge! Also, saunas are a way of life in Finland and apparently in most of the Scandinavian culture and it's quite a ritual.


          This capital city has the most interesting architecture I have seen. The variety in the buildings is superb. Each had a history that added to this amazing city.


An evening on the ship
          With such comfortable weather today, we just walked and walked through the city. Hence, when we got back to the ship, we were exhausted.  We had dinner that night in the Grand Dining room, a dress code was strictly adhered.

          We were seated at a table of 6 and met the most interesting people. One of the couples, an older couple from Kentucky, escaped Nazi Germany and made their way to Seattle. Their story was heartwarming.

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