Saturday, May 19, 2007

Helsinki: Day Two

Our first full day in Helsinki was a busy one.
Dale at Helsinki Cathedral
We visited the Helsinki Cathedral (the big white one that overlooks Senate Square) and the Uspenski Cathedral - you would think we would be burned out from visiting so many churches at this point, but we're not. We went to the market which occurs every morning down by the water. It is sort of like a temporary Granville Island - people selling produce and fish and handmade items, souvenirs, etc. There was live music (which included one man using a moped as a percussion instrument) and the weather was most agreeable.
We had coffee on the Esplanad, which is basically a pedestrian street/park which is lined with cafes, shops and public art installations. For those of you who know South Beach, it is sort of like Lincoln Road. We had coffee and watched a marching band parade around the area. We don't know what the marching was all about, but it felt festive.
Helsinki Metro
We checked out some of the shops in the Design District before hopping on the number 3T tram, which winds a figure eight through the city in about an hour and goes past most of the sights. We hopped off after a full loop and visited the Kiasma museum of modern art, which is a truly stunning structure, slightly reminiscent of the Guggenheim from the inside, but with quite a different exterior. The art was interesting, the best exhibit being one from Asia, which depicted mostly disturbing installations and sculptures inspired by political upheaval and poverty.
The Kiasma
We had a fabulous dinner at a classic Helsinki restaurant...the name escapes me, but i suppose it doesn't matter.
Today has been more leisurely. Slept in until 7am (yes, for us that is sleeping in), went out for breakfast and then took the metro up to another market, which was not too different from the one we went to yesterday, but it did get us to another part of the city and to another church (quel surprise).
Today is especially warm and sunny and it seems that every Finn is out with their dogs and strollers. They are sunning themselves on lawns and benches and every sunny cafe patio is packed. We did manage to find a place to enjoy the weather a bit as well.
We went to the Design Museum today, which we both enjoyed quite a bit. It had a history of Finnish design and an impressive exhibit by Finnish design students. After that, i napped on a park bench while Betty Lou read Chekov and ensured that no one mugged or molested me.
We may take in a movie tonight, as there is a cinema near our hotel. In Russia the American movies were all dubbed into Russian, but here they are in English with Finnish subtitles.
Tomorrow we fly back to Amsterdam. I shall be sure to double check our departure time to avoid another error.
We will be home very soon. I can't imagine how anyone can be missing us, with our daily blogging, but hopefully some of you will be pleased by our return.
Ok, that's all for now.
Good evening, faithful readers.
Until next time,
Dale & Betty Lou

No comments: