Calendar   Home
Previous Day August 4, 2001 Next Day
We couldn't resist a quick visit to Finland, only a 90 minute ferry ride from the port of Tallinn. We arrived in Helsinki and treated ourselves to fresh salmon and fried white fish, which look like sardines fried in a batter and taste like fishy french fries. The Finns are friendly and most people we met spoke good English, good enough that we felt free to move around as if at home. Unfortunately, the prices are like home too - it costs a fortune to buy anything in Helsinki. Proof of Finn friendliness: Whereas English speakers use the term Finland, the Finns call their home "Suomi." They've been too polite all these years to correct the rest of the world.
Finnish mall
View into Helsinki harbor
Helsinki cathedral is a symbol of the city; it's on all of the postcards (we always scout the local postcards to make sure we don't miss any city sites - postcards make great informal tour guides) Remember that Russian tsar, Alexander II, who was blown up by radicals - that's his statue, dunno why the Finns want him on their Senate Square. It's a throwback to the days when Russia ruled Finland (the Finns gained independence on 6 Dec 1917). Another example of Finnish politeness: the Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians couldn't wait to tear down their Russian statues.
After seeing the Helsinki cathedral we visited the Suomenlinna fort, another Helsinki landmark. Forts, churches, it's exciting stuff, Jill is overwhelmed...