Thursday, August 23, 2012

Horsing Around in Helsinki

This morning we woke up in Helsinki, Finland. A few days earlier, on our first sea day, we went to a lecture discussing our upcoming ports. The speaker said that many people are disappointed with Helsinki because it is much smaller and less charming than the other ports we're visiting. She recommended getting out into the Finish countryside for the best Finish experience. Dan and I initially planned on just walking around town, but we decided to follow the speaker's advice and book an excursion.

Porvoo, Finland

Our tour took us to Porvoo, a medieval sea town south of Helsinki. Unfortunately, I was kind of disappointed by it. It was much smaller than I thought it would be and it was kind of touristy. There was one main street that ended abruptly with a giant supermarket and bank. Not exactly the 15th century vibe it was billed as.

Porvoo, Finland

We didn't spend much time in Porvoo before heading to a horse farm in the countryside. We had a three-course, home-cooked meal that was really delicious. My favorite part was the stinging nettle soup! It tasted just like a creamy spinach soup. We have tons of nettle in England and it's really nasty stuff. Since it burns when you touch it, I have no idea who first thought to eat it.

Stinging nettle soup

We also got to see some of the new horses on the farm, including a shetland pony foal.

We had a (very little) bit of time in Helsinki before we had to head back to the boat.

Lutheran Cathedral

Huge servings of salmon, whitebait, potatoes and reindeer sausage

Uspenski Cathedral

We did have time to visit the Rock Church. It's a church built into a rock with a massive copper dome roof. It's very different.

Rock Church

I wish we had more time here just to walk around and explore. I heard from some people on the boat that they were pretty bored most of the day though, so who knows. I guess Helsinki is just not the best port in this itinerary. No worries up is Saint Petersburg!!

Read about our other ports of call:
First port: Copenhagen, Denmark
Second port: Stockholm, Sweden
Fourth port: Saint Petersburg, Russia (day 1, day 2)
Fifth port: Tallin, Estonia
Sixth port: Gothenburg, Sweden

1 comment:

  1. I finally took the time to sit and catch up with all of your blogs to date. So fun and informative! Good job to the guest bloggers as well.
    Can't wait for more!