I visited the capital of Finland, Helsinki in summer 2011 and really enjoyed my short time in this city. I found it to be very clean and the people were always warm, friendly and welcoming.
The Uspenski Cathedral is one of two very different Cathedrals which dominate Helsinki's skyline. The Uspenski Cathedral was once a Russian Orthodox Cathedral and is now Finnish Orthodox. It was built in the mid-19th Century and the interior contains a vast array of chandeliers and when I visited there was a man singing traditional orthodox songs of praise which was incredibly atmospheric despite not being able to understand a word of it!
The other Cathedral which punctuates the skyline of Helsinki is the Lutheran Cathedral which is only a couple of minutes walk from the Uspenski Cathedral located in Senate Square. This cathedral was completed around the same time as the Uspenski Cathedral in the mid 19th Century and is built in neoclassical style which mirrors the ancient Greek and Roman styles.
|Tuomiokirkko Lutheran Cathedral|
The interior of the Lutheran Cathedral is rather stark, minimalist and bare in comparison to the ornate interior of the Uspenski. It has white walls, simple wooden pews and there are none of the ostentatious features of the Uspenski Cathedral yet it is beautiful in an entirely different way.
Whilst I was in Helsinki there was a great market on at Norra Esplanden, next to the water's edge. There were stalls selling everything from freshly caught fish to children's trinkets and souvenirs. I bought a gorgeous silver ring from a stall here which was designed and handmade by a local artist and could have ended up spending a fortune on some of the beautiful jewellery on sale here.
When I visited I was lucky enough to enjoy some beautiful, warm weather and decided to take advantage of this with a boat trip which left from the area next to the market and took around one hour sailing past many of the 300 islands which exist within the archipelago.
|View from boat trip on the archipelago|
There are also many shops in the centre of Helsinki which you can spend time perusing and spending your hard earned money. There are some great cafes and restaurants around the market area of Norra Esplanden and judging by the fresh fish that was on sale at the market it would be an excellent place to enjoy some seafood.
|Me at the harbour area|