Thursday's Child: Exploring Helsinki

Thursday, May 8, 2014
We visited Helsinki for one day, as part of a Baltic cruise. The other destinations on the cruise were so fabulous (St. Petersburg! Stockholm! Copenhagen!) that we didn't give much advance thought to Helsinki. In the end, it was such a great port that I wished we'd had more time there.

I've written elsewhere about a few of the sites we saw: the stunning Helsinki Cathedral, the evocative Sibelius Park, the striking Rock Church with its peculiar choice of organ music. I'll finish the tour today by describing some of the other places we visited.

Taking mass transit might be more uplifting if every station was as beautiful as the Helsinki Central Railway Station (Rautatieasema jarnvagsstation). Pictured both here and at the top of the post, it was designed by star art nouveau architect, Eliel Saarinen.


The statue of Havis Amanda was erected in Market Square over a hundred years ago amid controversy, because of both the subject's nudity and the concern that it subjugated women. Now it's one of the best-loved features of the city. (The orange tent in the background is one of the tents in Market Square that sells food and other items in warm weather.)


The great Finnish long-distance runner, Paavo Nurmi, is celebrated with a statue in front of the Olympic Stadium Tower, site of the 1952 summer Olympics.


Helsinki Market Hall is a food terminal that serves fabulous Finnish and international food, both to eat there and for takeout. Those that eat there might enjoy a lunch of herring pie, or salmon pie, with lingonberry juice. And those who get teary-eyed at the sight of realistic-looking herrings might convince their mother to buy cheese sandwiches from a food tent in Market Square.



Sharing a seat - and a laugh - on the bus back to the ship:


18 comments:

Valerie Gamine said...

Ah, yet another place I'd love to visit! (Salmon pie sounds scrumptious!)

Velva said...

I might have to go woth the chesse sandwiches (smile). What a great journey. Very nice!

velva

Jemi Fraser said...

Wow - what beauty! The architecture is stunning! I'm with Velva - I'd be having those cheese sandwiches :)

Monet said...

Goodness! So beautiful. And as everyone mentioned, yes to those cheese sandwiches!

Juliana Levine said...

Thank you for the virtual tour Beth...I have never been in Helsinki...therefore I love the pictures...and so many different food.
Enjoy your cruise :D

Angie Schneider said...

mmm..those fish pies are so delicious! Thanks for sharing, Beth.

Barbara said...

Great trip! Lovely photos as well. Saarinen designed the boarding school I went to, so I was surrounded by beauty. When I married, we lived 1/2 block away and my kids went to school there too, until we moved to Florida. (Kingswood/Cranbrook schools in Michigan)

bamskitchen said...

Thanks Beth for sharing your lovely journey, site seeing and food. Very interesting fish pies and love those beautiful blue skies.

Jess said...

Love the photos! My hubby would love the food there :)

kirstenlopresti said...

Beautiful pictures. I'd love to go there someday.

Liz Berg said...

I have some friends going on a Scandanavian cruise including St. Petersburg! I'd go nuts for all that lovely seafood...Bill would probably go looking for that cheese sandwich :)

Kathy said...

My daughter is an Architect and studied for a summer in Finland. She was quite impressed by Eliel Saarinen. She loved Finland and it’s people! Great post! Happy Mother’s day, Beth!

Guru Uru said...

What exotic food in Helsinki and such a beautiful place :D

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Julia said...

What a wonderful, historical city! And, I would love to try that herring pie - I love herring!

Elzbieta Hester said...

Oh men, Beth, your were there...! On the other side of my sea. I'd love to go one day. Those herring pies look to die for...worth the trip :)
ela@GrayApron

Mary @ The World Is A Book said...

Helsinki looks beautiful! Cruise ports stops can be a hit or a miss and I'm glad you found Helsinki worth returning to. The market looks great. I think I'll settle for cheese sandwiches instead.

allieksmith said...

How neat that you got to visit Helsinki while on a cruise! It looks like such a unique place! I love the last picture :)

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Beth, what a fabulous place to visit - Helsinki is certainly one of the cities I would absolutely love to be able to visit one day! Thank you for sharing a virtual trip to this amazing place!
Have a terrific Thursday!

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