Day Trip Part III: Last Few Hours in Helsinki (+ What NOT to Miss)
Shortly before we reached the mainland again and left the boat, we figured that we had about four more hours to spend in Helsinki.
The quick ride back was pretty windy but I enjoyed passing by the little islands that are all spread around Finland’s - in this case Helsinki’s - mainland.
You have to admit it looks dreamy, doesn’t it?
Exceptionally peaceful I should probably say…and I still wonder whether people really live right here? At least they know what the word calm means.
We set off to another round of walking and ambled along the other side of the harbor with all the private sailing ships.
We eventually ended up at the Usbenski Orthodox Cathedral, which is pretty impressive. From there, we had a lovely view on the Helsinki Cathedral…
…all about cathedrals.
From the other side of the hill on which the Usbenski Cathedral is built, you can see the market square. This is where we arrived earlier in the day.
Since we were a little cold from spending time outside probably a little too long, we were looking for a cozy café to warm up. We didn’t have to search for long.
Johan & Nyström was just the perfect place.
Unfortunately, we only had about half an hour to drink the most delicious, rich hot choc I’ve had to date, as they closed at 5 pm.
It’s barista art.
When they closed their doors, we were all warmed up from the inside and had a chocolaty taste in our mouthes.
We aimlessly walked hand in hand. It’s funny how peaceful Helsinki seemed at that time of the day. Barely a soul was out on the streets. Was it because it was Sunday? Is that always the case? Cafés close at 5 pm, supermarkets at 6 pm.
I told you: not a soul.
At around 6 pm we had two more hours before our catamaran would take us back to Estonia.
I’ve never found myself in such a situation before but there were either wicked expensive restaurants we couldn’t - or weren’t willing to - afford or closed shops and bistros. We literally walked around for 45 minutes trying to find something to eat.
We couldn’t help but laugh at ourselves.
It was bound to happen; we ended up at a McDonald’s. What a culinary delight and I almost refused to eat, although my stomach was already complaining loudly, when I had to pay about 7 Euros for fries. Mr. T. had to give a little more cash for his salad (you know, McDonald’s, gotta eat healthy).
Anyway, we fed our rumbling stomachs and then strolled back to the harbor.
We had a blast that day and this day trip was a wonderful surprise.
What to See in Helsinki in a Nutshell:
✈👟 Helsinki Cathedral / Senate Square
✈👟 Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral
✈👟 National Museum of Finland
✈👟 Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church)
✈👟 Market Square
✈👟 Old Market Hall
With a half hour delay, we boarded and found ourselves a seat by the window, exhausted but happy from all the walking and new impressions.
When the ferry left, I had to take my camera out one more time to snap a picture of the Helsinki Cathedral as it got smaller and smaller until it eventually disappeared in the dark.
‘Bye, bye, Helsinki and see you soon, Tallinn. It has been a blast getting to know you.’
It is just possible that I’ll return and then explore more of cold Finland. This quick visit really spurred my desire to see more of specifically Finland but also Sweden and Norway as those have always been countries I wanted to visit, mainly because of the nature, the coziness, the people’s said friendliness and endless outdoor opportunities.
Have you been to Helsinki in particular or Finland at large? What were your impressions of the city / country and people? Share your thoughts!