Saturday, June 23, 2012

Helsinki, Finland, Day 2 - Helsinki Central Railway Station, Market Square, Helsinki Cathedral, Uspenski Cathedral

9:30am Woke up and had breakfast.  Breakfast was pancakes.  Nom nom.  I also had some yoghurt with berries.  Rockmelon.  Bacon, sausages and scrambled eggs.

11:30am After breakfast we caught a bus to Kamppi, a shopping centre in downtown Helsinki.  It's a nice warm sunny day to explore.

Choices choices... so many buses to choose from.

The bus stop was a short walk from the hotel and surprisingly to me, Kampi was just one stop after.  It cost 2.70 Euros for the one stop so it was quite expensive.  I'm not sure how the public transport system works but I think it's like in Norway, where you pay according to zones so even if it's just one stop away, it costs the same as any other stop within the zone.  The bus ride was only 5 minutes, and we arrived at the bus terminal which was underground.  Because it was midsummer pretty much everything was closed.

Outside Kamppi shopping centre.

Thingymajiggy outside Kamppi shopping centre.

Another drunken lamp post.  Also see Kristiansand, Norway.

Outside Kamppi shopping centre.

From Kamppi we took a walk to the Central Railway Station.


The Baron Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim statue, he was the 6th president of Finland.

Hippy looking bicycle.

Outside of Central Railway Station, along Stationsplatsen.

Inside Central Railway Station.

Inside Central Railway Station.

Inside Central Railway Station.

The other side of Central Railway Station,  along Kaivokatu.

Outside Central Railway Station.  Suomen Kansallisteatteri, Finnish National Theatre building on the right.

 Valtion taidemuseo, the Finnish National Gallery.

After that we took a walk to the Helsinki Cathedral which was about 20 minutes away.  Hard work in the sweltering heat.

In the background, Helsingin tuomiokirkko, Suurkirkko, or the Helsinki Cathedral, originally built from 1830-1852 as a tribute to the Grand Duke of Finland, Tsar Nicholas I of Russia.  The statue located in the front of the steps is a statue of Emperor Alexander II of Russia.  Lots of tourists.

Helsinki Cathedral.

Inside of the Helsinki Cathedral.

Inside of the Helsinki Cathedral.  It has a very plain interior.  No murals on the walls, nothing.

After that we stopped for a while at a nearby souvenir shop and bought some souvenirs.  I dropped a magnet on accident and broke it so I had to pay for it.  So I was a bit peeved off.  Anyway, next stop was market square.  Close to market square was an ice cream shop where we stopped for some ice cream, and also a tourist information booth where we grabbed some brochures.

Along Kapellesplanaden, which is next to Market Square.

The Havis Amanda, sculpted by Ville Vallgren (1855-1940) in 1906 in Paris.

Kauppatori or Market Square.  Where it's all happening, food stalls, fruit stalls, and other shops.

There was a British guy who asked where we were from, he guessed American.  He was trying to sell us Chaga, which is a mushroom and he swears by the stuff.  He said it tastes like caramel.  5 euros (?) for a small one.  It looked like a rock (to me anyway), the size of half an adult fist.  He has only been in Finland for 3 months and moved here because of his girlfriend.  After we basically said no, the other guy who was next to his stall showed me a Superman bronze necklace.  Haha.  Well I turned him down, it was going to cost 40 euros. :)  Instead I visited another souvenir shop and bought more souvenirs from there.  It was cheaper too.  And I didn't break anything this time.

Harbour along Kauppatori.

Harbour along Kauppatori.

Harbour along Kauppatori.

Carpark :)

2:42pm We were famished at this point so it was time to get some lunch.  I originally wanted seafood paella but settled for salmon with vegetables instead.

10 euros for salmon and vegetables, prepared by these ladies.

3pm After lunch we took a walk to Uspenski Cathedral, it's close by, along Norra Esplanaden.

Cycling on a modified bike of sorts.

Uspenskin katedraali, or Uspenski Cathedral.  Built in 1862 - 1868.

The church was closed so we couldn't go in.  So we just walked around and took photos instead.

There's market square in the distance.

Helsinki Cathedral.

Halkolaituri wharf behind me.

3:33pm We took a walk back to market square after that.  Walking along Kanalgatan.

Fancy looking restaurant!

Harbour along Kauppatori.

There's a ferry that takes you to Suomenlinna which is an old fortress, but we didn't take it that day.  Maybe another time.  Also considered the zoo but that's closed.  So we took a walk to one end of the Esplanade, and sat down to rest a bit.

Södra esplanaden

Södra esplanaden

4pm ish We left and decided to walk around the city a bit more, and to get something to drink.  And of course capture more pictures of the city.

Strawberry plants along Centralgatan Keskuskatu.  Too bad no ripe strawberries.

Along Centralgatan Keskuskatu.

Along Aleksanterinkatu.

Shop along Aleksanterinkatu selling gold dentures.  Want the gold, not the dentures!

Along Aleksanterinkatu.

Along Aleksanterinkatu.

5:15pm Stopped at an Irish pub called Molly Malone's for apple cider.

6pm ish Resumed walking.  Looking around a place for dinner.  Eventually we settled for pasta at a restaurant called Vapiano.  Not many places were open.

Nude figures just outside Stockmann shopping centre.

Outside Stockmann shopping centre.  Not many people as you can see.

On the left we have an Asian pasta with brown spaghetti, and on the right we have linguini with clams cooked in white white.

I stopped taking photos after dinner.  We bought some bottled water and food just in case.  Actually what happened was we went to a nearby 24 hour shop to get a drink for me, and then walked to Kamppi with the intent to purchase food there but it was shut and there was no shop closeby that sold normal no-gas water, so we had to walk all the way back to the same shop to get the water.  Then we walked back to Kamppi to catch a bus back to the hotel.  The match between Germany and Greece served as entertainment for the rest of the evening.

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