Monday, October 5, 2015

June 26, 2015. Helsinki and the Princess Maria

Today there was 40% chance of rain, which of course did NOT happen. It was in the 60's. Absolutely perfect.

We slept in and took our time since checkout wasn't until noon. We left our bags with the hotel and took off down Pohjoisesplanadi. Even though a bird pooped on me, I still love this city!!

We walked to the Lutheran Cathedral where Karen took a bunch of pictures, and then I took a bunch of pictures, for her to send to people in her church... except it wasn't the Lutheran Cathedral at all, it was the Uspenski Russian Orthodox Cathedral. haha.

We went on a ferris wheel that was sort of like the London Eye, but not really. I did enjoy flirting with the boy running it though.

We spent most of our time wandering around the market square looking at all the cool stuff... there was clothing, jewelry, souvenir items... we got a really pretty necklace for mom here. Oh, and by the way, the Fins do NOT haggle. If you tell them their price is too high, they very politely thank you for stopping by.

We had a great lunch at one of the booths here, reindeer balls and potatoes, Karen got the best calamari ever. We did not haggle.

We stopped at Stockmann's to get some food to take on board the ship, there's a full grocery store, right underneath the full deli. On the way there we stumbled across the actual Lutheran Cathedral, so we went in for some pictures. After all the ornate churches we've visited for the last almost 4 weeks, this one was stark and bare in comparison. very Lutheran.

After Stockmann's we went back to the hotel and retrieved our small suitcases and took a cab to the harbor and boarded the Princess Maria. On deck we met a very nice couple from Canada, Tobin and Debbie. We thought Marc would have been besties with Tobin within minutes and we probably would have never seen the two of them again. We stayed up top for our departure, then went to our room, ate and called it a day. We were both thrilled to just hang out and read our books. Also EXTREMELY happy not be dealing with our giant suitcases for a few days.

Karen on the street. Stockmann's to the left. In Finland they say if Stockmann's doesn't carry it, you don't need it.
 This bird, or another of its kind is guilty of assaulting me. 

 A FOUNTAIN!!!!!!!!

 There were several concerts in our honor (they didn't want to be outdone by Rome).
 Uspenski Russian Orthodox Cathedral. How we mistook this for Lutheran is beyond me.
 Another one of the welcome concerts. I took pix of the french horn dudes for my friend Kate.
 Some government building of some kind.
 We followed the band here, then watched their changing of the guard.
 This harbor was near our hotel. (there are several ports in Helsinki) 
 Notice the lovely day... 
 So pretty... 

 just gorgeous... 
 we went got to the top at the Russian Cathedral, we saw the Lutheran Cathedral in the distance.

 View from the Russian Cathedral.

 My ferris wheel boyfriend.
 This is the market area with all the booths with all the stuff.  Taken from the ferris wheel so everything is a little blue.
 Lutheran Cathedral from the ferris wheel.
 Russian Cathedral from the ferris wheel
 The place we got mom's necklace. that's the stone they cut from and the hand carved boxes they make for each piece.
 Reindeer balls and yellow potatoes. i'm in heaven!
Calamari and sausage and part of a reindeer ball (we're sharers).
 Praise the lord, we've found our people!
 still a little fancy for our dutch tastes... lol

 The famous Iron Workers statue in Helsinki, all decked out for pride week!

 time to get on the boat and go to Russia. 
 Karen is less excited. Karen thinks we will end up in a gulag. 
yet she still came. good sister!

 long way down... 
 those two boats are both ferries. (not that there's anything wrong with that)

Our boat was supposed to stop in Tallinn, but didn't. We found out after it was too late, that we could have taken this boat over to Tallinn for the day after we got back from Russia... IF we get back from Russia, that is.

 What do you mean "Restricted?" Jordon would not let that stop him, and neither will his daughters!

One last pretty look as we sail off to Russia!

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