Atlantis Alumni

Monday, May 16, 2011

Fun In Finlandia!

Photos: 1) Uspenski Cathedral, Helsinki; 2) Old Town Poorvo, Finland; 3) Neoclassical architecture in Downtown Helsinki; 4 and 5) the monument to Finnish Composer Jean Sibelius; 6) Finnish icebreakers in Helsinki harbor.

On Monday we made our first ever visit to Finland. The Emerald Princess docked in Helsinki at around 10 AM and we boarded our tour bus before driving into the center of town. As is often the case when you travel, we were pleasantly surprised by the interesting appearance of this city. Our first stop was the monument to famous Finnish composer Jean Sibelius designed by Eila Hiltunun, which was unveiled in 1967. Other drive by attractions are: the Olympic Stadium, Finlandia (concert) Hall, Temppeliaukio Church (carved out of a mound of granite,) Uspenski Cathedral, and the Finnish National Opera. We stopped our bus for an hour near the Helsinki Cathedral and walked trough the shopping district neat the center of town. Helsinki is quite beautiful with lots of interesting neoclassical architecture. Following our stop downtown we drove about an hour east in the direction of the border with Russia to visit Finland’s second oldest town, Poorvo, that dates back to the 13th century. On the way to Poorvo we had a delicious lunch at a country manor house. Poorvo features many quaint wooden structures and narrow cobblestone streets in its old quarter. There is a pretty old stone church to visit. The organist was playing while we were there. After our visit to Poorvo we returned to our ship and joined our friends for dinner as the ship set sail for St. Petersburg. We are taking with us fond memories of our visit to Finland.

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