Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Finland Part 3: Helsinki

It's about time I post part 3 of this Finland vacation!! But we have been having too much fun enjoying the AMAZING summer weather we have here! And this post will have the most pictures and stories to tell, so I have been avoiding it!

The last two full days we had of vacation in Finland we decided to spend in Helsinki doing all kinds of tourist activities, shopping, and eating. It was fun to be "touristy" in Finland, even though we have been there so many times. It was nice to spend some time in the capital and getting to know more about Helsinki and its interesting history. Here is how we spent our time there, in pictures:

Our first stop coming into Helsinki was the temple, dedicated October 2006. It was very neat to be there on the grounds.

Sadly, it started raining shortly after we arrived. And then it started POURING buckets! So it was a brief visit.
Owen loved the temple grounds. He loves rocks.

When Shad and I were first married we were lucky enough to attend the broadcast of the dedication of this temple in SLC with my parents. It was the last temple dedicated by President Hinckley.
The next day was a full day of sightseeing! Luckily it was beautiful both days we were there! It started off with a bus ride into town... this was the HIGHLIGHT of the entire trip for Owen. He still talks about riding a "Bus," and begs to go on one!!
After arriving downtown at the train station, we walked around downtown for a bit. We found our way to the famous Helsinki farmers market. It had wonderful looking fruit and berries, and I couldn't resist and bought Owen some blueberries. (Which he scarfed down 3 at a time!)

Typical Finnish food spread: herring, salmon, & potatoes!
We made our way to the docks, to catch a boat ride over to Suomenlinna Fortress.

Owen enjoyed the boat ride both there and back!
Pulling up to Suomenlinna. This fortress was started in 1748, by Sweden (When Finland was under Swedish rule). It has since been used by the Russians when Finland was under Russian rule, it was also used in World War I & World War II, and many other historical wars and events for various reasons. It spreads over 6 different islands. Very cool place.
This is the burial site of Augustin Ehrensvard who built and designed the fortress. Shad is pulling the sword from the stone. No such luck!

Gotta be tough when near cannons!

View of the Fortress:

It provided spectacular views of Helsinki & the Gulf of Finland:

"The Kings Gate:" Where the King of Sweden entered to inspect the new fortress.
Our last stop was the church located on the fortress:
Taking a break with Daddy, poor kid was running on no naps and long/hot days! But he was still a trooper!
On the boat leaving:

After we arrived back on the main land, we stopped at the beautiful Uspenski Cathedral. An Eastern Orthodox church, built under Russian rule (1862-1868).
It had great views of Helsinki downtown:
Love this!
The Helsinki Cathedral, the main jewel of Helsinki and center of downtown. (Built 1830-1856)

Some views of the inside:

Owen zonked out at this point... so he missed the church. I don't think he minded.
The view from the church steps: Senate Square, what used to be the main city center.
Our last stop of the day: Karl Fazer Cafe. Karl Fazer is a Finnish chocolatier, who makes most of our favorite candy in Finland. We just HAD to stop at this iconic cafe, built in 1891, and indulge ourselves. We also stopped in again the next morning for hot chocolate!
Look at all those treats!
Our picks:

Day 2 of Helsinki was made up of a lot of walking around and enjoying the city. And a lot of shopping! (Not as many pictures!) However, Shad and my dad stopped into Finnish Parliment and took a tour. It was one of the most enjoyable stops of the trip for both of them. The parliament building (built 1926-1931):
These are pictures Shad took of the inside:
The Parliament Chamber:

Some sights we saw during the day, but didn't have time to visit in depth. The National Museum:
Olympic Stadium, built for the 1940 Summer Olympics, but due to World War II those games were not held. So it was used for the 1952 games:
The Opera House:
Lots of walking... and shopping:
Our first and last stop, the railway station to catch the bus back to the hotel. A very popular and iconic building in Helsinki (Opened 1919) .

A very memorable family trip for us. Goodbye Finland...Until next time! As always, you did not disappoint!


Anonymous said...

So fun! It's more metropolitan than I had pictured. Love the pictures.

Kirsten said...

Love all the pictures. That farmers market looks awesome!! And those desserts looks DELISH!!!! Now I want a dessert :) love you guys! oh p.s. Owen looks like he is getting SO BIG!!! He has changed so much just since June!