arriving in Helsinki

Helsinki Travel Blog

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The Uspensky Orthodox Cathedral taken 10 years ago on our previous trip to Helsinki. Maybe I will have a new photo when I go this time.

The last time I was here was in 1996. I wonder if it's much different (or if I remembered much from 10 years ago, other than the cathedral and the Russian submarine)

(OK, updating this while in Tallin) Flights were on time, and we did not lose our luggage. A taxi took us to the hotel downtown, the driver gave us a quick intro of Finland. A little more than 5 million people in the country, about 1 million in Helsinki and immediate surroundings, the streets were not very crowded and the highway from the airport to Helsinki was almost deserted at 6pm, they were not very used to traffic or big crowds. Street signs were in the 2 official languages, Finnish and Swedish. Finland being part of Sweden in history, before being part of Russia, it was autonomous under Tsar Nicholas, and eventually gaining independence in 1917.

We were leaving on an airplane in SFO!
About 89% of the population are Lutherans, 1% Russian Orthodox, 1% Jewish and the rest non-religious. The religious have to pay a 1% religion tax though!

We got to the hotel just in time to change and go to our welcome dinner for the tour group. The dinner was very good (appertizer was Orange seasoned duck terrine with apricot pure, the lobster bisque with lobster-artichoke salad was good as well as my grilled fillet of lamb with dark olive sauce and the dessert of Milk Chocolate-Raspberry mousse with raspberry sorbet) and we were introduced to our group of about 30 travellers. 2 couples had the misfortune of losing their luggages! The pleasures of airline travel, one was on Air France, the other was Lufthansa (we were going to blame Air France because they lost our luggage last time, but I suppose even the Germans can not keep track of luggages at times).

Changing to a smalller one in London for the flight to Helsinki.

After dinner, my husband Kevin and I and my parents took a walk around the hotel, and the esplanade park at the center of town. It's almost 10pm, but the sky was still light, but cars have thinned out even more. There were a trio of musicians playing on the street corner across from the hotel (violin, cello and viola), they were young men from St. Petersburg we found out later. They played very well, and attracted more and more audience as the night went on.  I uploaded a short video of the musicans to mytube, as an experiment, to see if it works or not.

Internet access from the hotel was 7 euros per hour or 20 euros for 24 hours from the room, the business center cost 5 euros every 15 minutes. We gave it a try the next day.

 

portia says:
yeah, it's amazing for something recorded on a tiny camera less than 2"x4".
Posted on: Oct 27, 2006
koala says:
hahaha I like your travel blog, now I know what to expect when I am going to Finland and St. Petersburg one day - thank you .....
By the way the Catholics and Protestants in Germany also pay a 1% religion tax of their income tax!
Posted on: Oct 26, 2006
travelman727 says:
Great going, Portia! The music came over very well!
Posted on: Oct 26, 2006
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The Uspensky Orthodox Cathedral ta…
The Uspensky Orthodox Cathedral t…
We were leaving on an airplane in …
We were leaving on an airplane in…
Changing to a smalller one in Lond…
Changing to a smalller one in Lon…
At the airport in Helsinki, this i…
At the airport in Helsinki, this …
Our hotel comes with a rubber duck…
Our hotel comes with a rubber duc…
The lobster bisque with lobster-ar…
The lobster bisque with lobster-a…
The tasty dessert! Milk Chocolate-…
The tasty dessert! Milk Chocolate…
After dinner, dad took a picture o…
After dinner, dad took a picture …
A fountain in front of of the cafe…
A fountain in front of of the caf…
The street is empty at almost 10pm…
The street is empty at almost 10p…
The fountain, Helsinki harbor beyo…
The fountain, Helsinki harbor bey…
A street car goes by
A street car goes by
The three musicians from St Peters…
The three musicians from St Peter…
Helsinki Hotels & Accommodations review
The hotel Kamp is supposed to be the best hotel in Helsinki. It is centrally located, within walking distance to the train station, Senate Square,… read entire review
Helsinki
photo by: portia