Яussia* (Day 3, Part 1)

May 29

Helsinki

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Helsinki is the capital city and most populous municipality of Finland. Helsinki is on the shore of the Gulf of Finland. They city has a population of 642,045 with a metropolitan area of over 1.4 million. Helsinki is located 50 miles north of Talinn, Estonia, 250 miles east of Stockholm, and 240 miles west of St. Petersburg, Russia.  It has close historical ties with these three cities.  Helsinki is the world’s northern most metro area with over one million people, and the city is the northernmost capital of an EU member state. Helsinki is the third largest city in the Nordic countries, after Stockholm and Oslo. Helsinki has one of the highest urban standards of living in the world. In 2011, the British magazine ‘Monocle’ ranked Helsinki the world’s most liveable city.  (Wikipedia)

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[While breakfasting in the hotel, we couldn’t help but notice the . . . chandeliers?]

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[On our first full day in Helsinki, we began our walking tour of the city.  As you can see the weather was terrible!  Actually, the locals were in total awe of the good weather they were having – it’s never this nice here, they would exclaim!]

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[Located on Railway Station Square in front of the National Theatre Building, this is either Aleksis Kivi or . . . Jessica Lange?  If Kivi, the writer who founded realistic Finnish lterature.]

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[Anteneum Museum across Railway Station Square . . . ]

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[Follow the guy with the Viking ‘lollipop,’  whose name we can’t remember . . . ]

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[Finnish National Theatre . . . ]

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[Pam and Tom are all ears as our guide explains things around us . . . ]

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[Makkaratalo (Finnish for “sausage house”?), a/k/a, shop till you drop . . . ]

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[And the classic railway station in City-Center . . . ]

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[Again, Makkaratalo . . . ]

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[The front of the railway station, highlighted by a prototypical Finn striding by . . . ]

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[With angle, I can capture the entire station name . . . ]

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[Sorry, I don’t do Finnish . . . ]

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[Where we were in the grand scheme of things . . . ]

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[Passing through Makkaratalo . . . ]

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[Wow, the Finns pay homage to the Minnesota state fish – the crappie!]

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[Finland’s Parliament House . . . ]

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[Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art . . . ]

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[Upon further review, it’s not a crappie . . . ]

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[It’s  Laulupuut, the giant pike . . . ]

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[In front of the Helsinki Music Centre . . . ]

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[Artsy . . . ]

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[Mannerheim Statue . . . ]

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[Marshal of Finland Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, by Aimi Tukuainen, 1960.  The bronze statue is 5.4 m tall. It is raised on a granite podium, 6.3 m tall, 6.3 m long and 2.72 m wide.  Mannerheim is a symbolic figure in Finland since the Finnish Civil War 1918.  (Wikipedia)]

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[Your guess is as good as . . . ]

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[Urbanity . . . ]

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[The largest department store in the Nordic countries . . . ]

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[The statue of Vainamoinen by Robert Stigell (1888) decorates the Vanha Ylioppilastalo (Old Student House) built in 1870. (Wikipedia)]

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[Three Smiths . . . ]

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[The safari continued down a major commercial street toward the waterfront . . . ]

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[Actually, I prefer “wear what fits!”]

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[Aha, outside the shadows of the commercial street . . . ]

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[Johan Ludvig Runeberg, a Finnish national poet, in Esplanadi Park.]

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[The waterfront is nigh . . . ]

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[But first, an obvious favorite, Havis Amanda at Market Square . . . ]

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[Pam and Tom ride the Ferris Wheel at every place they visit – this one was no exception.]

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[Market Square]

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[Helsinki Cathedral in view down a narrow street . . . ]

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[And closer-upper . . . ]

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[Shouldn’t every great city have one?]

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[Getting closer . . . ]

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[Shouldn’t every great city have one?  BTW, that’s the main building of the University of Helsinki in the background . . . ]

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[Prepping for Flag Day of the National Defense Forces – 100 years on June 4 . . . ]

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[Helsinki Cathedral is the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Cathedral, located in the neighborhood of Kruununhaka in the centre of the city. The church was originally built from 1830-1852 as a tribute to the Grand Duke of Finland, Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. It was also known as St Nicholas’ Church until the independence of Finland in 1917.  (Wikipedia)]

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[The cathedral overlooks Senate Square . . . ]

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[Shhhhhhhhhhh . . . ]

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[Again, shhhhhhhhh . . . ]

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[Overlooking Senate Square from the cathedral.  We later fine dined in the building directly behind the statue of Alexander II . . . ]

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[Suspected to be tourists . . . ]

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[Leaving the cathedral grounds to visit here, the main library of the university . . . ]

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[Final pix of the cathedral . . . ]

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[The National Library . . . ]

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[Again, shhhhhh – we’re inside the library . . . ]

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[Funny, that doesn’t look Finnish?]

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[The Uspenski Cathedral spire . . . ]

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[And even more of the cathedral . . . ]

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[The waterfront . . . ]

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[We’re climbing to:  Uspenski Cathedral is an Eastern Orthodox cathedral, dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos (the Virgin Mary). Its name comes from the Old Church Slavonic word uspenie. Designed by the Russia architect Aleksey Gornostayev (1808–1862). The cathedral was built after his death in 1862–1868. The Cathedral is set upon a hillside on the Katajanokka peninsula overlooking the city.  Uspenski Cathedral is claimed to be the largest orthodox church in Western Europe.  In 2006, about 516,500 tourists visited the church. (Wikipedia)]

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[View of Helsinki Cathedral from Uspenski Cathedral . . . ]

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[Pam and the Super readying for the final climb into the cathedral . . . ]

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[Decent view, n’es pas?]

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[Pam and Tom’s Ferris wheel . . . ]

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[Inside the cathedral (oh, you figured that out?) . . . ]

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[Like many such buildings of antiquity around the world, undergoing major fix-up . . . ]

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[Professor Kiehne shoots . . . ]

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[He scores . . . ]

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[Back at the waterfront – swimming pools with “treated and natural” water . . . ]

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[It’s lunch time, but we figured this place would be too crowded . . . ]

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[So we walked on . . . ]

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[Hey, we found vendors!  In a tourist area?  Amazing!]

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[Keisarinnankivi – The Stone of The Empress.  The folks at the bottom were tourists from Schenectady, or not . . . ]

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[A tourist, not from Schenectady . . . ]

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[Remember, it was lunch time . . . ]

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[You scream, I scream, Finlanders scream, for ice cream!]

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[Sightseeing the Helsinki Sightseeing boat . . . ]

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[Don’t know why I took this shot – other than to show we’re in transition back to our starting point . . . ]

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[Bye-bye, waterfront . . . ]

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[Hello, Havis Amanda . . . ]

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[Nice bird . . . ]

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[Nice . . . whatever . . . ]

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[OK, it’s a thing with us . . . ]

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[The gulls really ought to show her more respect . . . ]

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[And then we stumbled into a rock concert . . . ]

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And now, a little live music.  Proof once again that rock ‘n roll unites the world!

[Promenading through the promenade . . . ]

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[Back to Johan Ludvig Runeberg – as with Havis Amanda, he now had an avian perched upon his pate, coming . . . ]

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[And going . . . ]

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[The image in my morning mirror . . . ]

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[This completes our morning tour of Helsinki.  The afternoon tour begins on the next posting.]

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It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia.  ~  Sarah Palin

Up Next:  Likely “Russia”

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