Helsinki- Cathedrals and meeting the Weasley twins

Trip Start Jul 12, 2009
Trip End Jul 26, 2009

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Flag of Finland  , Southern Finland,
Thursday, July 16, 2009

We woke up early in the morning and wandered down to the buffet. We ate quickly and went up to the deck to watch out boat pull into Helsinki.

After crowding off the boat, Sofie and I went to our hotel. It was a very close walk away from the terminal, and I was surprised at how fancy the place was. After formulating a plan for the day, we decided that what we really needed was a nap. We slept for a few hours before heading out to go see some tourist attractions.

First we decided to walk to the Senate Square to take a look at Helsinki Cathedreal, completed in 1842. It is an absoloutley gigantic building, bright while with pale green domes. It dominates the square, and the skyline. As you approach, climbing up a steep staircase from below, it gets seems to get bigger and bigger. The inside is a little plain, but the bare interior blends well with the impressive exterior. The walls and celing are plane white, and it features little decoration. All it really features a four statues of famous Finnish people and some chandeliers.  The main feature is a large pipe organ dominating one of the walls.

After this we decided to head to Uspenski Cathedral, the largest Orthodox Cathedral in Western Europe. Brick red on the outside, with green domes but extremely detailed on the inside. All of the walls were covered with different types of design and pictures of various saints. Not a lot of the church was opened up to the public, but you could easily assume that the rest of the church was decorated in a way similar to the main room.

From here we made our way down to the harbour where our boat came in in the morning. There was some sort of market going on. Many stalls, all selling slightly different variations of the same things. Almost every second stall was selling some kind of shrimp, and because of that the entire area smelled like fish. Other than that there were many people selling post cards, sheep related products, silver, and jewelry. Prices were alright, I guessed. I found it kind of hard to convert between Euro and Canadian Dollars. I guess I should have looked up the exchange rate before I left, all I could really do was convert between Canadian Dollars and Swedish Kronor.

During the evening is when things got really exciting. Sofie and I decided that we would eat at Pizza Hut, and there were two within walking distance. We picked one, just randomly, not really having a preference of which way we wanted to go. As we were walking to the one we had chosen, we noticed that there was a large group of people outside and some sort of red carpet on the ground. We decided to go and investigate and once we got closer we saw what was going on. There was some sort of Harry Potter publicity thing going on, and James and Oliver Phelps (a.k.a. Fred and George Weasley) were there signing autographs and taking pictures with fans! Both Sofie and I are big Harry Potter fans, so naturally we were extremely excited at this point. It was at this point that I was extremely happy that I always keep my camera in my purse, and we both got our picture taken with both of them. I don't know if anything more exciting could have ever happened that night, the amazing part was that there was nothing advertising that this was going on at all, and we just happened to walk by the right place at the right time. After this we went into Pizza Hut, and were extremely hyper and excited for the rest of the evening. We must have showed up right at the end of the meet & greet, because they had everything cleaned up and taken away by the time we were on our way back to the hotel.
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