We spent 1 ½ days in Helsinki—but we will be back!  Took a city tour.  There was too much to see and it was hard to actually see when sitting in a  bus.  We did sort of get a feel for the city.

We stopped at the monument for Sibelius.  The sculpture consists of series of more than 600 hollow steel pipes welded together in a wave-like pattern. The purpose of the artist was to capture the essence of the music of Sibelius.  An image of Sibelius was added at the side.

We stopped at the Rock Church—carved from bedrock granite, opened in 1969.  Beautiful inside, wonderful acoustics.  We were privileged to hear a piano recital while there.

We also stopped at the Evangelical Lutheran Cathedral built in the mid-1800’s.  Again, we just happened to arrive for a short organ recital.  Beautiful music.  The inside is quite plain, but lovely.

We were near the open market and had our lunch there twice.  One can find crafts, flowers, fruits and vegetables, fresh fish, and meals.  The gulls also have found this place and are very cocky.  We saw one fly into one of the eating shelters and take fish from someone’s plate before they even knew it!

We spent an afternoon at the island sea fortress, Suomenlinna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Construction was started in 1748 by the Swedish government (Finland then under Sweden) to protect against Russian expansion.  The lilacs were in full bloom and very fragrant.

These maps were provided by our tour guide at the end of our trip as a summary. The blue squiggles indicate stormy weather!

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