Our final stop on the Scandi cruise we did this summer was to Finland. I always think Denmark and Sweden have a reputation for the ‘cool’ Scandinavian countries to visit but there was something about Helsinki that captivated all of us. I still can’t quite put my finger on exactly why but we had a really great day here and I would love to return.
We were greeted in the port by this rather magnificent sculpture (!) before wandering further into the city centre.
One thing we noticed straight away is that the Finns love a good car boot sale! We passed several open air markets selling a variety of vintage items.
Just walking along the streets made me fall in love with Helsinki. The buildings were beautiful, the streets themselves spotless, the cafes and restaurants lovely, the interior shops amazing and the people friendly and welcoming. We ended up spending a little while in a lovely homeware shop chatting to the owner about travel, Brexit, Scandi culture and our general attitudes towards Europe.
We made our way to the port area and found a lovely little food market where Ian had some tasty fresh fish and my friend Lucie and I found more souvenirs to admire.
We climbed the hill to visit Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral which was beautiful.
It was then time for more tea, cake and people-watching (one of my favourite holiday pastimes!) and a wander around the city centre.
We walked the long way back, enjoying a bracing walk in the sunshine along the coastline back to our ship. I can imagine this part of the city being quite bleak in the winter months but we picked a beautiful day to visit and I think this really painted it in its best light.