I expected Helsinki to be, well, bigger. You hear about the city in the news of the world all the time, but when you get down to brass tacks, it's a city of little over 600,000. Like Tallin, it's impeccably clean and cosmopolitan. I'd best describe it as being, well, nondescript. First thing in the morning we went down to the harbor market.
(Near the Harbor Market)
(Helsinki Town Hall)
(The Cathedral of the Finnish Lutheran Church)
(An old fortification)
(A complex on one of the islands)
Finally, a few shots from the trip out of the Port of Helsinki.
(Basically the Helsinki skyline, all be it from pretty far away)
(On one of the many little harbor islands)
- Streak Broken. The streak has been broken, as I saw my first real pick-up truck in Europe in the Port of Helsinki, a late 70's/early 80's vintage full-sized Ford (the badge read "Ranger", but it was more of an F-150). Gaze upon it in all of its splendor -
- English. As somewhat expected, the English language skills I encountered in Helsinki were simply outstanding. In fact, I vendor I spoke to at the harbor market spoke perfect English.
- Signs. Most signs in Helsinki are written in both Finnish and Swedish (which is the largest minority in Finland). Honestly, I couldn't tell the difference and in fact, thought that "gee, the place names here are really long here".
- (Not) National Anthem. Monty Python fans have probably heard the "Finland" song, but for those who have not...all together Fin-a-philes -
Tomorrow is our final stop, Stockholm. This is a place I've always wanted to visit, literally, since I was a teenager. It's the "bucket" in "bucket list". Stops will include the Vasa and the ABBA museum.