|Senate Square & Cathedral|
So Helsinki, our fourth and final Scandinavian Capital. We've stopped trying to compare places to Stockholm because there is no comparison, but it's great being able to get three scoops of ice cream for €3 rather than €7! Yesterday we boarded the municipal ferry to Suomenlinna a fortress on an Island and another UNESCO where we promptly got soaked in a torrential downpour naturally as we walked at the furthest point so apologies for the lack of photos here. Back to the van (did I mention we were parked right in the centre?) for a change of clothes and then the sun came out - typical! We also stumbled upon the Lidl Roadshow again and duly stocked up on cooking oil, cartoned juice, bottled coke, cereal bars. There was also red and white liquid in glass bottles which turned out to be balsamic and white vinegar much to Sophie's dissapointment!
Helsinki does the mix of old and new quite well, with relatively few 1970's concrete monstrosities instead glass fronted buildings rub shoulders with grand examples 1800's architecture. We did nose around some of the bars and restaurants but prices are still eye watering for eating out, Sophie got excited when she saw a glass of wine for €4 but turned out to be for 120ml, smaller than a standard measure!
Salu Market - Produce on sale from boats and stalls alike
Salu market came alive on Sunday where you could purchase fish and reindeer dishes for sensible prices, we opted for some fresh fruit - strawberries, peas and blueberries. I quite fancy a reindeer skin which are on sale everywhere for £50 and given that their primary purpose is for food you don't feel so bad in purchasing the bi-product but we've got nowhere to put it really.
Sibelius Monument and there's also a beach in Helsinki!
We managed a 5 mile walk around the city today up to view the Sibelius Monument which had the walk not been so rewarding it might have been a wasted journey, the weather stayed dry thankfully and we managed to see quite a lot of the city on foot. We have in the past wandered into Ghetto's using this method but we're happy to report that Helsinki is a very friendly place - dog friendly too, most neighbourhoods have a enclosed 'run' for dogs!
Parliament Building and a Guard named Penfold...