Here comes my last entry about Helsinki, the white city of the north. Why it is called as such, I don’t know. Many people say it’s because of the white structures dominating the city that you see Helsinki as white when you approach by the sea. One can easily assume it’s because of the white snow in winter though. 😉 Anyway, even if Carl & I stayed in the city only for a few days, we still managed to explore the famous sites, in addition to Soumenlinna, the Helsinki Zoo, and the Kaisanieme botanical garden.
First stop: the Uspenski Cathedral, an Eastern Orthodox church dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary). It was designed by the Russian architect Aleksey Gornostayev, but the construction began after his death, i.e., between 1862-1868.
The church is located on a hillside, so it was a little bit challenging to climb, as the stairs and pavements were covered in ice. But thanks to my charming husband, we got to see the beautiful cathedral up close, both the inside and from the outside! You can also catch a nice view of the city from the up the hill, with the white Helsinki Cathedral in the background. What a contrast!
Finland and Sweden share a great deal of history, so Swedish is considered a second language in the country. My husband also pointed out some similar stuff, like the library bus. How cool is that? Making books accessible for everyone!
Next stop: the Helsinki Cathedral, the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran cathedral of the Diocese of Helsinki. It was an amazing and beautiful structure in the middle of the city, originally built from 1830-1852. The cathedral served as a tribute to Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, the Grand Duke of Finland in the 1800s.
We continued walking thru the city center, and just like other big cities in Europe, it’s a compound of shopping streets and residential buildings. Here’s how Helsinki looks like in the middle of January:
You see, it’s pretty dry and cold in the white city in mid-January. 🙂 We had a really great time in Helsinki, and with the trip, I cross out my 17th country visited. Hurrah! Now, I have to stay within Norway until my residence permit is processed by the Immigration. Hopefully, they’d finish soon. 😉 For now, it’s beautiful Norway for me and husband. Cheers!