Hope you’re all getting into the Christmas spirit – I’m super excited to have my Christmas in my own house for the first time so I’ve been busy buying and making as much as I can!
Work seems to be slowing down ready for Christmas but November was crazy busy and I was out of the office every week for various reasons. One of the trips I went on was to Helsinki in Finland for three days. It was a very quick trip, involving some very early mornings and late nights but I dragged myself out to do some sightseeing during the 1 free hour in day light that I had!
My hotel was right next to a beautiful lake – it was in fact still part of the sea because Helsinki itself is surrounded by it and alsmot looks like it’s made up of little islands on the map, like Venice is. The lake was surrounded by paths and trees, and I am honestly impressed at how many people were meeting to walk dogs, power walk, jog and cycle around it. It was really inspiring and they were all so fit, it kind of puts the general British public to shame with the level of exercise they were doing.
That said I continued around the lake and got very very lost – my planned 30 minute walk ended up taking me at least 1.5 hours as I found myself on the other side of a completely different lake!
I had to re-navigate myself back to the centre of the city to find my way back to my hotel without walking the same route all the way back – it was an experience!
I did see some beautifully lit buildings though. It was surprising to see a European city without an abundance of old brick building which is what I am used to from travelling around France and Italy for example. All of the buildings are fairly new and minimalist in their appearance, so the odd building still made of old-style brick stood out to me, like the one below.
After my super long walk I went back to the hotel ready for my first day of work there, I was only there for 2 nights so I was hoping I would have more time to wander around the next evening.
Luck was on my side though as I was back at my hotel by 4 the next day and it was still daylight at this time so I was really pleased. I walked as fast as I possibly could to one of the main attractions in Helsinki, the Helsinki Cathedral.
This suddenly appears from the middle of nowhere and opens out into a sizeable square, there is a monument in the centre (shown above) but the main attraction definitely takes the most of your attention.
It is so beautiful and pristinely white that you wonder how on earth they have managed to keep it clean for so long!
Unfortunately I was too late to get inside the cathedral but the outside was good enough for me. There were a load of steps to climb so I just started running up them before I changed my mind…
One of my favourite things to look at is all of the detail up close, the tops of pillars are always interesting and often overlooked.
I also really loved the colour of the domes – there is one large dome and then four smaller ones all in the same beautiful green colour. Also,the gold accents can’t be ignored and if I’m honest the reason I love these so much is because these are the colours in my bedroom at home! I’m a sucker for greens and golds!
It was a shame that the other half was having maintenance performed as this photo would have been so much better – maybe this is how they manage to get it so white though!
After this I moved on to see Market Square, it’s right on the water front and I managed to time it perfectly with the sunset. I spent a good half an hour here talking pictures of the amazing ship – I’ve been watching Once Upon a Time recently and in my opinion this was Hook’s!
I also loved that a few people had decided to put some ‘love locks’ on the bridge – I understand why the one in Paris was removed as there were so many on there it was starting to become a health and safety problem but it’s still a lovely idea and maybe even more special that it isn’t somewhere as obvious as Paris.
The scenery here was amazing, I loved watching the boats moving back and forth, there were cruise ships and all sorts passing through and I couldn’t help but take many panoramic shots as the sky was changing colour – it was so so pretty.
Have you been to Helsinki? What did you think of it?
I really appreciated my 2 hours of sightseeing and tried to do as much as I could before it got dark! I would have liked to have explored more and also taken a boat trip to the nearby islands but sadly this was a work trip so time was very limited. In fact the last day I was up at 6.30 to pack up and check out of the hotel before working for the day and travelling back to the UK – I got home the equivalent of 2.30am so I was a zombie at work the next day!
Now I’m looking forward to my next trip – there aren’t any planned for next year yet so who knows where I’ll be ending up next!