Bad Weather and just tired out.
Trip Start Jun 03, 2010
56Trip End Jul 02, 2010
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Today we were in Helsinki and it was sort of anti-climatic after St. Petersburg. The weather was lousy, cold, foggy, raining, and extremely windy. However we pressed on into the heart of Helsinki bad weather, tired feet, and all.
We did not take any tour today but we did do one of those Hop-On, Hop-Off bus things. It picked us up at the cruise ship and dropped us off there when we were done.
We first visited the Temppeliaukio Kirkko or the Rock Church. The church was blasted out of a rocky outcrop about 40 feet above street level. It was very neat and is a popular church in Helsinki. Most of the population in Helsinki is protestant, mostly Lutheran, but do to its location near Russia there is also a significant Russian Orthodox population too.
After the Rock Church we walked to an area called the Glass Palace. It is really a building from the sixties with a lot of glass which is now filled with little stores and café's. Danielle and I tried some of the local food and then we went to a mall and shopped.
From the Glass Palace we hopped back on the bus. The bus tour took us down Helsinki’s main street,
After main street we saw Market Square. Market Square is along the coast and to us it appeared to be like a farmers market, lots of fresh fruits, veggies, and fish. But the main attraction today was Senate Square and
A little (and only a little because that’s all I learned)
Since today was a national holiday the square was the site of a large celebration and also the staging point for a parade. We left before the parade but there were many colorful costumes and floats in the square.
On our Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour we also saw the Olympic Stadium from the 1952 summer games, Helsinki’s Railway Square (trains to almost everywhere including Russia,
A couple of interesting Finnish facts, 95% of the population speak Finnish (a cross between, German, Estonia, and Hungarian) while the other 5% speak Swedish. Even though only 5% of the population speak Swedish all school children learn both languages.
A second interesting fact is Finland is one of the largest ship building areas in the world. They built the newest cruise ship at sea, I think it is the Radiance of the Sea.
Finnish people drink the most coffee in all of Europe breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner.
Nokia is a Finnish company not a Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or any other Asian country company.
Paper and paper products were once Finland’s greatest export.
Many Finnish people travel to Estonia for shopping trips because the prices are much cheaper and it’s only about an hour and a half cruise across the Gulf of Finland.
There are no homeless people in Finland, everyone who needs assistance is given it.
All Finnish people are covered by health care except there is a waiting list to be seen by doctors at the clinics. Some businesses provide health care for their employee’s and those people do not go on the waiting list to be seen they can go to their own doctor.
Tomorrow we will be in Stockholm, Sweden and then we have two days at sea before we take a quick tour of London and then head to Zurich, Switzerland.
Tonight the sea is ruff and the ship is a rockin, not as bad as it did in Alaska but bad enough that the crew placed pretty white bags on all of the stair railings for those whose stomachs are wishing for calmer waters. The air temperature is about 50 degree’s and the sky is gray and cloudy, however, the good news is we gain another hour tonight meaning we will only be seven hours ahead of Michigan, so that is good news.
Tonight at dinner I asked Sam and Danielle what they thought of Norwegian Cruise Line (what we are on right now) in comparison to Royal Caribbean and here is what they told me. Both think the shows on this ship rock, last night we had a pick pocket guy, Bob Arno. He took a tie off of a guy and the guy did not realize it until he was off of the stage on his way back to his seat. He also removed an older gentleman’s suspenders from under his sports coat. Impressive. On the down side for Norwegian is the overall “things to do on ship” category. Sam liked BINGO better on RC and Danielle liked the teen club better on RC. One thing they both said, which I though was interesting, was the meals here on Norwegian which are eat when ever and where ever you want, they do not especially like this "Freestyle" dining. They enjoyed eating in the dining room all together on RC and missed the waiters who were the same every night and made the meals fun.
Well my fingers are getting tired so I will close for today. Luv to all,
Ann, Sam, and Danielle--on a very rocky boat in the Baltic Sea.
PS Happy Birthday Ron!!! Hope the fish are biting, the weather is sunny, and the lake is flat.
PSS Ron, I heard you had Barney at Londo and he was in the water you are in TROUBLE with Danielle!!!