Monday, June 22, 2009

Helsinki Visa Trip

We took this tour bus to see the city. The guide was an interesting woman who shared her opinion about politics, the financial crisis and the history of Finland. She described the sites on the tour in four different languages.
One of the interesting buildings we saw was this one with the wonderful detail at the corner.
This view shows the corner as it appears from the front.
Rick thought it was neat to see clean streets and a tramvai that was quiet, clean and modern.
This monument was built to remember the Finnish composer Sebelius. A sculpture of his head is in the background, right. As you can see, it was a chilly day.
The Church in the Rock is a Lutheran church "carved" out of a rock hill. It was interesting to see the variations of rock and the sound was wonderful. The ceiling is a copper dome. There was a piano concert while we were there.
Of course, we had to shop for souveniers here. But we spent so much time, we had to run to catch our tour bus.
This is one of the government buildings. It's across the street from a great indoor food market and an outdoor fresh fruit and vegetable market.
We loved this reindeer outside another souvenier shop. Rick just needs his Santa suit.
We couldn't resist taking a picture of this quint telephone booth. Isn't that more fun than a cell phone?
Walking through one of the many parks where the flowers were in bloom and the grass was cut! The lilacs were still in bloom and the fragrance permeated the city.
If you look closely, you can see a pigeon resting on the head of the statue. He flew off and back several times while we were walking through the park. Reminds us of the "Happy Prince" story.
The Helsinki Temple is up on a wooded hill. It has dark stained woodwork all throughout except in the Celestial room. All the wood in the Celestial room is hand carved, inlaid, natural light finish, which is very Scandinavian. It was so peaceful and enjoyable to be there. The flowerbeds all around the grounds were in bloom and the tall pine trees were majestic.
This fountain, overlooking the bay, was so fun. The water shoots out of the mouths of the four seals on the edge.
There were fountains everywhere! This one was in a park and was very soothing. We loved the blue-painted basin and the hostas.
While we were there, we had to ferry to Tallinn for an interview at the Russian Embassy. This is the ferry we took. It was more like a luxury cruise ship. It was 2 hours over and 2 hours back for a five minute interview. We left the hotel at 8:30 am and got back at 8 pm that night. But we enjoyed the scenery and the peaceful calm of the water.

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