Helsinki, Finland

August 20, 2013

Good morning from the land of reindeers, saunas, a wife carrying contest, midnight sun and Nokia.  For those who are geographically challenged, Finland is sandwiched between Sweden and Russia. It has 186,000 reindeer, 2 million saunas for 5 million people, basically 1 sauna per household, a world champion wife-carrying contest where the winning prize is determined by the wife’s weight in beer, an annual phone throwing contest, perpetual sunshine 24 hours of daylight in June, and yet it does not receive ANY sunshine for about 51 consecutive days in the winter, as it is one of the coldest cities in the world.   It is also believed that St. Nickolas lives here in Helsinki and we might be able to see him in Stockman’s, the largest department store.  We arrived by plane from Stockholm on Sunday afternoon, about an hour flight.  From what we have seen so far, it looks like a fun place to explore. Yesterday, there was an international cookout on the main esplanade where people from 40 to 50 different countries cooked food representative of their country and sold it, they call it “Restaurant Day” when anyone can become a restauranteur for the day. It didn’t take us long to eat our way through four or five countries.  There were a lot of Asian choices, which is different from what we’ve had so far.  Monday was overcast and we had some rain, but we still got some sightseeing done.  There is a very large Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Cathedral here, built from 1830 to 1852 and its plan is built as a  greek cross.  There is no ornamentation, it is very neoclassical and resembles a persons dining room with large chandeliers and pews that have a door at each end.  We walked the streets for a few hours, stopped for a little Mexican snack, (just because we were curious about Mexican food in Finland), and then listened to music on the streets for quite some time. The Russian church, Uspenski Cathedral,  is closed on Mondays, so we will have to see the inside of it today and also the famous Church in the Rock that is built underground in a cave.  There is a large design district here that is worth seeing, so we have our work cut out for us.  

Love and miss you all, 

 

Norm and Rita 

Here are a few pictures from our stop in Helsinki, Finland which we found to be a very interesting little city of over 600,000 people, and St. Nicholas is one of them !! We didn’t see him, but everyone says for sure he lives there.

Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church

Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Cathedral

The alter of the Lutheran Cathedral

The alter of the Lutheran Cathedral

And the Organ, quite beautiful.

And the Organ, quite beautiful.

The pulpit in the Lutheran Cathedral

The pulpit in the Lutheran Cathedral

And a chandelier that hangs in the middle of the greek cross plan of the church. No candles in this church that we could see.

And a chandelier that hangs in the middle of the greek cross plan of the church. No candles in this church that we could see.

Senate Square in Helsinki

Senate Square in Helsinki

A couple of boats in one of the many harbors of Helsinki.

A couple of boats in one of the many harbors of Helsinki.

Uspenski Cathedral, Largest orthodox church in western Europe.

Uspenski Cathedral, Largest orthodox church in western Europe.

Interior of the orthodox cathedral

Interior of the orthodox cathedral

These electric trolley cars are running all over town.

These electric trolley cars are running all over town.

The Finn's call this "ART"

The Finn’s call this “ART”

These are the people that were selling food for the day from all the different countries.

These are the people that were selling food for the day from all the different countries.

They even had baked goods.

They even had baked goods.

This just goes to show you that siblings are the same all over the world!! LOL!

This just goes to show you that siblings are the same all over the world!! LOL!

These gals had our favorite spring rolls.

These gals had our favorite spring rolls.

Kamppi Chapel - right in the middle of a very busy square in the heart of downtown.

Kamppi Chapel – right in the middle of a very busy square in the heart of downtown.

Kamppi Interior is entirely curved and very quiet, a place to go and get calmness during your busy day.

Kamppi Interior is entirely curved and very quiet, a place to go and get calmness during your busy day.

The ROCK church. This was amazing. Blasted out of granite, Totally underground.

The ROCK church. This was amazing. Blasted out of granite, Totally underground.

180 window panes, and there is live music playing all day long here, every day.

180 window panes, and there is live music playing all day long here, every day.

A better picture of the natural granite walls of this church.

A better picture of the natural granite walls of this church.

The ceiling is a copper wire dome.

The ceiling is a copper wire dome.

The dome of the church is made from a copper disc.

The dome of the church is made from a copper disc.

It is really unique!

It is really unique!

5 thoughts on “Helsinki, Finland

  1. More posts, Please!!! It’s been THREE days!! Some of us can’t wait to see what Rita and Norm are doing next. Even if it’s just to say, “Hey, we’re in Guam and stayed in a motel with llamas last night…more later!”…I log on every weekday to distract myself from work. If there is no news, I gotta do work. 😦 I love and miss you guys. I think of you every day. Someone asked me yesterday what I want to be when I grow up…I said, “I want to be my dad on sabbatical.”

    Like

  2. So the bigger the wife the better?! More beer!!! Have fun! Seems like y’all are staying busy! How was the Mexican food? Curious!

    Like

    • Yep!! If you want more beer, it is! The mexican food was just ok. We had Guacamole, queso, chips & Salsa and chicken nachos. Nothing like what we are used to, but not too bad.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s