Sunday, March 13, 2016

Helsinki - Glance through visited places

Date of visit: 19th till 21st October 2015

We left Stockholm city on 18th October 2015, after a relaxing first half of the day, doing nothing in the hotel room. We've check-out at the last remaining hour and headed for lunch. The hotel reception assisted to call a cab so that we can reach Stockholm Stadsgarden for a night cruise to Helsinki. You may read about our amazing experience in the provided link, "cruising in a Viking Line". We took the city cab that were line-up waiting as soon as we arrived in Helsinki Cruise Harbour the next morning, on 19th October 2015. However, it was still very early for a check-in time which is set at 2pm by the hotel when we arrived. It has a similar system with Urban House, Copenhagen. Between the 2, I much prefer Omena Hotel Helsinki Lonnrotinkatu as the room is bigger and much more comfortable to stay.

How I view and describe a beautiful Helsinki city, quite yet stunning
This is where I sat in while waiting for a check-in time and the Pizza is a must try whenever you are there

I was having a heavy menstrual day, hence in no good mind to explore the city. So I sat patiently waiting at the Pizza Restaurant on the ground floor of the hotel while waiting for Anne to explore and snapped few below photos. Argh.. this city is indeed very beautiful with a calming autumn at present. The autumn leaves falling on the ground makes it even more beautiful. Marju Ronko, a Finnish lady that I met on the train from Helsinki to St Petersburg is lucky enough in enjoying her country's seasonal weather. She's been sharing about her beautiful country where Lapland is located with me recently on her Facebook. She is kind too to extend an invitation for me to come over again and if I may, I must go to the north and wait for Aurora Borealis a whole night. Maybe one fine day, my dear friend, I would be considering revisit your beautiful country.

After checked in, we just prepared for dinner using the ingredients that we bought earlier on from the groceries store accross the hotel. We bought so many food items and feeling so much comfortable staying over leasurely as we were staying 3 days and 2 nights in Helsinki. Apparently, Helsinki is not a lively city unlike Kuala Lumpur. It was what we derived while riding and having a pleasant conversation with a cab driver who surprisingly, speaks fluent English in the morning. He took us towards Old Market Square from where Viking Line, berth at Katajanokka, Skatudden. 19th was the only relaxing rest day that we had during the 16 days travel. We only explored a quiet Helsinki the next day on the 20th. 

Unique Statue in Esplanadi Park

Kappeli, a popular restaurant in Esplanadi

As soon as we were done with breakfast at the hotel, we really walk slowly, taking good times to ourself knowing that all attractions are within our area and can be achieved in a day. After all, we have not listed that many attractions to visit as there's not really that many to see in this part of the country. The above 2 photos were snapped while we lingered at Esplanadi's park, which was originally open in 1812. On our way back to the hotel that evening, I took my time snapping uncounted photos of roses plant that were blooming and scented the park in a very nice smell to compliment a pleasant afternoon weather. I have written an entry about the gardens and shared some photos on 21st October 2015, on the day we departed from the city. You may read at the given link, "Helsinki roses in autumn season".

Above photo was snap at the end of the Esplanadi where it meet the Market Square. The water fountain over facing the harbour is the mark of the place. As you can see there's a public transportation available for those who does not keen of exploring the city by foot. We took one of the earliest ferry or rather boat to the most famous attraction of the city, Fort Suomelina or famously called by the locals as Sveaborg Suomenlina. The ferry is available in every 15 to 20 minutes. You have nothing to worry while planning to visit the huge island, the boat traveling time and flexi schedule allows you to explore both parts of the attraction.

There are many things to share in the Fotress Suomenlina but in the meantime, I am more than glad to share the above 2 photos as a teaser. You may picture the Great Wall of China, the Acropolis in Athens and the Grand Canyon when someone talks about the Suomenlina. We can talk at great length the beauties of these World Heritage Site, at separate entry next to come. To me, what makes Suomenlina even beautiful are the photos that we snapped turns out so lovely due to the autumn seasons. No words worthy to explain its beauty, you may either see it in person or read what I will share about the place. It is a must visit destination to be added to your bucket list.

Lunch that day, salmon soup + others local dishes

We were pretty disappointing to see what are there at the Market Square. I would say our Central Market in Kuala Lumpur City offers much more things to the tourist than there. The bazaar in Athens offers much more items for its tourist than this place. But then, there's not much tourist were around that could encourage locals to put more stalls, I guessed.

Tourist are encourage to explore Helsinki by foot as you may encounter many unexpected beautiful things while walking. What I captured in the above 2 photos are an example of what we saw that day and Uspenski Cathedral look even more amazing when recorded from it's nearby garden.

A visit to Helsinki would not be completed without a step inside the Uspensky's Cathedral. However, we where there at a wrong day. Of all the day, this cathedral that was built in memory of the Virgin Mary, is closed on Monday. Even so, hanging around on the compound made us feel 50% accomplished. So guys, do take note and try to avoid your frustration by planning and check the opening day and time before you arrived in the scheduled destination. If we knew, we could make an effort to walk from the hotel, right after our lunch a day earlier. For your information entrance is free.

The last place in our itinerary was in the Senate Square and a visit to the Helsinki Cathedral, the one in white. Anne was too tired to climb up the stairs, so, I went alone to explore inside. People said, the steps leading to Helsinki Cathedral are one of the best places to get a sense of this city's unique atmosphere, and yes, I did feel the steps gives that special effect. You should try too if you in town. Take note that the Senate Square, seen in the above photo is the departure point for those who wishes to take HOHO (Hop On Hop Off) services. Till then, enjoy your lovely Sunday in the cities where you are now dear readers. I have a class to attend to. Adios...

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