The corner of the main train station in Helsinki. These were several stories high. Rich caught this street performer in the act of doing a back flip... Sitting on a seal in the square in Helsinki. Rich felt that he really needed a picture of me in one of these classical northern tier fur hats. Again, Rich and I in the Temppeliaukio Rock Church Inside the Temppeliaukio Rock Church Cyndi, by the Sebelius monument in Sebelius park. Evidently, this is Sebilius, the famous Finnish composer that kept the spirits up of his countrymen, while being oppressed by enemies. Goof balls (it was definitely Rich's idea....) The inner harbor of Helsinki A Russian Orthodox Church - Finland has a much longer border with Russia than with Sweden. Kauppatori Market Square...where you can buy (and eat) just about anything! I had pancakes that were AWESOME! The outside of the Russian Orthodox Church The pipe organ in the Lutheran Cathedral of St. Nicholas The statue at Senate Square The Lutheran Cathedral of St. Nicholas Craig and Mayra inside of Temppeliaukio Rock Church The inside of Temppeliaukio Rock Church. An set of architect brothers, Timo and Tuomo Suomaliainen wanted to build a church. The local gov't felt they didn't need another church so gave them a square block within the city that was a solid rock. The brothers took it as a challenge and in 1969, finished this beautiful The church carved into the rock...with a copper coil ceiling that used over 15 miles of copper wiring to make. Sibelius Park, named for the Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius. Rich and Cyndi taking a break from siteseeing in Helsinki Mayra and Craig....a long way from Houston! my baby brother, Craig It's the tin man...played by Rich Messina... Did you know that Finland is not considered part of Scandanavia? Little bit of trivia for you... The three countries that make up Scandanavia are Norway, Sweden and Denmark. In some instances, Iceland and Finland are thrown in as Scandanavian countries, but the mighty three of Norway, Sweden and Denmark are the true heart of Scandanavia. In all three of the countries, there are statues with the "triple crowns" - 3 gold-gilded crowns to represent those three countries that are so closely linked in their history. Their languages are quite similar and they have taken turns pillaging each other for centuries, if not longer. Finland has a very different language...which is not closely related to the other Scandanavian languages. It is similar to Estonian and also Hungarian and Turkish - distantly. So it is VERY different. Many of the Finnish people do speak Swedish though, so that helps with Norwegian and Dutch. Both Finnish and Swedish are the official languages.
Some basics about Finland...it is 130,558 sq miles (slightly smaller than Montana for you American readers). The population is a little over 5.25 million. Unlike Sweden, Denmark and Norway, Finland uses the Euro and is a part of the EU and NATO. We lost an hour moving on to Finland, as they are in another time zone than most of Europe. (GMT +3) Their government is a constitutional republic. No monarchies here...another thing that delineates it from the Scandanavian countries.
Rich and I really enjoyed this stop. I have recently met a new NATO family that is from Finland. I have a feeling they will be good friends. We would definitely like to return someday to spend some more time there.
This was a Swedish band that happened to be playing while we were in Helsinki. Bands like this are very popular in Scandanavia...perhaps all of Europe...but I can only speak for the northern tier countries for certain.
A brief look inside the Temppeliaukio Rock Church