These are eight, random "Daily Photographs" from my personal Flickr collection.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

It’s Saturday; it must be Helsinki!

Saturday: Today was one of our shortest shore stays. We were docked in Helsinki for just nine hours. We were pretty close to downtown but many smaller ships were parked much closer than we were. If there's one trouble with ships holding 3,500 passengers and 1,200 staff it is that they are big, too big for old ports. We were docked on newly reclaimed land today and in Russia too.

June 11 Helsinki (Formal)

We had purchased Hop-on/Hop-off bus tickets prior to arriving. The directions on our vouchers said to look for the green-top buses near Senate Square. We only saw red-coloured buses out front at the port. So, we started walking towards the Helsinki tram lines. The driver seemed a little exasperated with we only had a €10 note. He just waved us aboard and we got the 10-minute trip gratis. (On this trip, only Estonia and Finland adopted and use the Euro.)

June 11 Helsinki (Formal)
June 11 Helsinki (Formal)
June 11 Helsinki (Formal)

We got off at the Central Station and everything seemed short walk from there. Helsinki is a clean, attractive, little city.

June 11 Helsinki (Formal)

We found that we could have used any on the buses with our vouchers, as they run special trips to the port on days when big cruise ships are there. In the end, that was how we returned to the Regal Princess.

From the bus we saw the whole city but didn't get off at the major stops as they really aren't that special: a rock church (cave) and the old, 1952 Olypmic Grounds. Yet, getting a sense of the geography and the city was immensely satisfying for me.

June 11 Helsinki (Formal)
June 11 Helsinki (Formal)
June 11 Helsinki (Formal)

My father's side of the family had Finnish roots. My grandparents were children or born soon after arriving in North America. I once flew through Helsinki and stopped overnight but never really had a chance to learn about the city. Today, we managed to walk a lot through a central park area and around the main harbour.

June 11 Helsinki (Formal)
June 11 Helsinki (Formal)
June 11 Helsinki (Formal)
June 11 Helsinki (Formal)

I'd have to say that the time outside today was delightful. Oh, and it was the second of two formal nights aboard. Occasionally, who doesn't love wearing a necktie?

June 11 Helsinki (Formal)


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